FANTASIA16 REVIEW: Tank 432 [2016]

“Suck it in, remember your training, and get on with it” Director Ben Wheatley is showing his eye for talent by putting his name behind a guy who’s worked closely with him since 2011’s Kill List. A filmmaker in his own right, camera operator Nick Gillespie has stayed by Wheatley’s side on every subsequent project up to and including the forthcoming Free Fire. This time around it’s he who’s providing the claustrophobic thriller as writer and director of Tank 432 (formerly known as Belly of the Bulldog). It’s a doozy…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: High-Rise [2016]

“I think he’s lost his focus” As soon as the voice of Tom Hiddleston‘s Dr. Robert Laing was heard speaking narration above his weathered and crazed visage manically moving from cluttered, dirty room to darkened feverish corner, my mind started racing. Terry Gilliam‘s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas popped into my consciousness and then his Brazil after a quick title card shoves us back in time to watch as Laing enters his new concrete behemoth of a housing structure oppressively standing above a vast and still parking lot. Add…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: A Field in England [2013]

“Open up and let the devil in” A coward becomes a man. I guess this is the crux of Ben Wheatley’s newest thriller, A Field in England. We find Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) hiding in the bushes while mortars explode around him during battle, weeping and praying to God to keep him hidden now that his mission to find an elusive old comrade seems all but futile and way too dangerous. He runs, meets a few other deserters in a mid-17th century English Civil War pitting the Parliamentarians against the Royalist…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2013: Super Sequel Summer with ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Hangover,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ & More

“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. One of these years Alamo Drafthouse has to organize some crazy Mondo Tees sponsored summer where every big tent pole release receives a unique artistic interpretation on paper. They get…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2012: The Dreadful and the Dread Inducing

“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. And we’re back after ignoring a month where the most interesting poster was Liam Neeson‘s face washed out in white. I’m not saying February is any better—because it’s not—but at…

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VIFF11 REVIEW: Kill List [2011]

“Was that twenty minutes?” Some films find a way to surprise, intrigue, and confound all at once, leading you down a rabbit hole that becomes bleaker with every step as it uncovers secrets you’re ill prepared to understand because the characters themselves are too. What starts off as though a psychological horror, burning slow to introduce a seemingly normal suburban family going through a rough patch with the British economy in recession soon turns into a bloody romp that is almost too serious in its actions. Between the over-the-top marital…

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