REVIEW: Black Mass [2015]

“If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen” The story of Southie crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) is perfectly suited for a sprawling, character-driven cinematic adaptation because of the corruption level involved. Based on the book by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, Black Mass screenwriters Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth take us through an in-depth look at a local gangster making good on his promise to watch out for South Boston just as he helps ruin it with drugs and murder before ultimately transforming into an…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2011: Faces Take the Spotlight

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Thank goodness for the fall season. Not only are the films better, but the artwork generally has its own yummy indie flavor too. Close-up faces covered by sans-serif text reign…

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REVIEW: Footloose [2011]

“We cannot be missing from our children’s lives” Whether it takes place in 1984 or 2011, the Footloose’s premise will never be plausible. No matter how small the place, I can’t wrap my head around a town council banning the act of dancing and listening to loud rock ‘n’ roll for minors under the age of 18 in any era other than the 1950s. Maybe I’m giving ultra conservative America too much credit or am reading into the set-up for a dance movie too deeply, but Craig Brewer’s remake doesn’t…

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REVIEW: Footloose [1984]

“When you burn all these—what are you going to do then?” Almost three decades later, I have to acknowledge the fact that Footloose is dated. I don’t say it to be derogatory or to admit some hidden yearning I have to see it remade—which it was—but instead to simply state a fact. It’s dated; I’m not sure anyone could really refute the statement. That said, however, you cannot deny the talent involved. With acclaimed director Herbert Ross and songwriter turned screenwriter Dean Pitchford, the level of expertise behind the camera…

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REVIEW: Crazy, Stupid, Love. [2011]

“Be better than the Gap” Love can make you do stupid things. Love can drive you crazy. It can break your heart, make you better than you ever thought you could be, or be used as a reason to cling on when there is nothing left to hold. We seek it out, question whether it’s true, hope he or she feels the same, and pray that it’s enough. Even when we do something that should sever all bonds for eternity, somehow there is always a tiny miniscule thread with the…

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REVIEW: X-Men: First Class [2011]

“Mutant and proud” The new world order begins and sides are chosen as Matthew Vaughn—five years late—finally gets his crack at the world of Marvel mutants. X-Men: First Class arrives to tell us the origins of what we’ve seen in the original trilogy, retreating back into the 40s, paralleling of the Holocaust with the world’s inevitable reaction to a new breed of evolution and how the oppressed become the oppressors to survive. It’s a very fine line between good and evil, right and wrong, retribution and revenge. Charles Xavier hones…

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REVIEW: Super [2010]

“Now you have no legs!” Writer/director James Gunn definitely has a unique sensibility. His debut feature, Slither, was a comedic horror than crossed the line into farce often while still retaining a great eye for gore and violence, appealing to both genres equally. So, when I heard his newest film, Super, was a look into the world of a down-on-his-luck sadsack who decides to become a superhero avenger, recruiting a young female sidekick along the way, I couldn’t help think it was the perfect setting to let Gunn’s imagination run…

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REVIEW: Planes, Trains & Automobiles [1987]

“Like your job; love your wife” Being the first John Hughes film I have seen since the writer/director’s passing, I feel that I need to speak about the man’s oeuvre along with the movie itself. I think many could make the argument that Planes, Trains & Automobiles is his best work. He wrote a lot of scripts, even into the years before his death, but as far as the ones he directed, you won’t get one that resonates on an adult level quite like this. The Breakfast Club will always…

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REVIEW: Frost/Nixon [2008]

“I let them down” Now if you want a film to show the problems of drinking and how it can ruin your life, Frost/Nixon could be it. I jest somewhat here because, of course, that is not what this story is about. However, if what is shown is to be believed, a drunken night of nerves and fear on behalf of Richard Nixon might have been his ultimate demise. After what had been a steamrolling of his interviewer, David Frost, basically reshaping his image and making he, recently disgraced and…

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REVIEW: The Air I Breathe [2008]

“Happiness, Pleasure, Sorrow, Love” First-time director Jieho Lee has brought us the next installment of the multiple stories genre threaded together as though fate and coincidence are the name of the game. This type of narrative has been around for a long time, most definitely before Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, but at least there is an example from 15 years ago, and I can’t rack the brains for an earlier one at this time. The most well known to those out there today is of course Oscar-winner Crash. Lee’s The…

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REVIEW: Death Sentence [2007]

“Welcome to hell” Unrelenting and uncompromising. That is all you need to know about James Wan’s new film Death Sentence. This is a tale of revenge and retribution for the death of a man’s son at the hands of a gang initiation. Taking the law into his own hands, Nick Hume, a father lost in the world, starts a war that he is not ready for. You can’t even out an equation when a person’s life is on the other side; the guilt of killing is just too much to…

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