REVIEW: Love, Antosha [2019]

I never eat the boogers. In an attempt to comfort after the death of their son, Viktor Yelchin suggested to his wife Irina Korina that they should just pretend he’s off on a very long movie shoot. That’s what Anton Yelchin often did anyway with sixty-plus film and television credits to his name by the age of twenty-seven, but things aren’t so simple when it comes to someone as caring as their child. Because even when he was thousands of miles away, Anton would inevitably call, email, or write his…

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REVIEW: Charlie’s Angels [2019]

Hugs work. It’s been over fifteen years since Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle hit cinemas. That might not seem so long considering the first movie bowed almost twenty years after the television show went off the air, but TV reboots were all the rage back in the early ‘aughts. That extra time might have actually helped then because the fad’s key selling point was updating seventies-era properties with twenty-first century technology. Going from then until now, however, doesn’t quite hold the same demand for a “new look” as far as aesthetics…

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REVIEW: JT LeRoy [2019]

I wouldn’t even exist without her. It really is a wild story. Laura Albert, in need of expressing her pain outside of her own identity, creates a fictional version of herself to write three novels as exorcism under “his” name. Who knows if she anticipated the type of acclaim they and “he” would receive, but Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy necessitated her performing multiple characters out of her San Francisco apartment with fake accents to speak with journalists, fans, and artists over the phone in order to keep the charade alive. Only…

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REVIEW: Lizzie [2018]

I never wanted anything from you. The level of intrigue surrounding Andrew and Abby Borden’s murders in 1892 is crazy because it’s only increased since. We’re talking the O.J. Simpson trial of the 19th century: a well-to-do family mutilated in their home with a hatchet, their youngest daughter Lizzie the prime suspect. She wasn’t the only one, but everyone else had an alibi (some so detailed that you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking they were too good). But when you look over the details of the case and the obvious…

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REVIEW: Personal Shopper [2016]

“I just need to see it to the end, that’s all” At the heart of Olivier Assayas‘ Personal Shopper is an idea of fear. This isn’t surprising considering it’s a genre ghost story, but its target is. Lead character Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart) isn’t afraid of ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural because she’s a medium like her recently deceased twin brother Lewis. And even though she doesn’t quite believe their abilities prove what he did—the afterlife’s existence—she trusts and respects him enough to make good on the oath they struck…

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REVIEW: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk [2016]

“What else is there?” Here’s an Oscar-winning director doing something no one else has—shoot an entire film at 120 frames per second (standard is 24, the previous high 48 with The Hobbit)—and movie theaters couldn’t accommodate. At a time when it’s difficult to get butts in seats with Netflix and VOD, an opportunity for a legitimate must-see theatrical event is squandered. Venues dropped the ball. Buffalo, NY isn’t the biggest of cities, but you’d think sustaining six-plus movie houses earns a chance to see Ang Lee‘s vision as intended. Sorry,…

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REVIEW: Certain Women [2016]

“She’s my lawyer. I’ve got reason to kill her.” I didn’t love Wendy and Lucy, the only Kelly Reichardt film I had thus far seen. The slow pacing and stripped-bare plot allowed for Michelle Williams to deliver a magnificent performance, but I found myself undeniably bored by the steady stream of troubles chipping away at her resolve. This reaction dissuaded me from Reichardt’s other features, but the almost universal critical praise—yet again—for her latest Certain Women dragged me back into her orbit to see if it would strike a louder…

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REVIEW: Café Society [2016]

“Dreams are … dreams” Ever since Woody Allen left New York City for England in 2005 to create some really spectacular films outside his usual comedic efforts of neurotic meet-cutes, I may have intentionally tried to avoid anything he made with a character he would have played himself a decade prior. I personally don’t count Midnight in Paris simply because Owen Wilson owns that lead role in a way Allen couldn’t equal. So when Café Society was announced with Jesse Eisenberg at the fore, I did cringe a bit. I…

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REVIEW: The Huntsman: Winter’s War [2016]

“Do not love. It’s a sin and I will not forgive it.” They tricked me. Yes, the deflective, vague, and completely false marketing campaign had me believing—no matter how slim the chances were considering my lack of feeling anything for Snow White and the Huntsman—that The Huntsman: Winter’s War had something special under its sleeves. It did away with the least interesting character of the first movie (thank you Kristen Stewart/Rupert Sanders sex scandal), decided to go prequel on us with the Huntsman’s back story (Eric is his name), and…

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Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2015

Below is my December 12th ballot for the 19th annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2015 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1 Inside Out . #2 Carol . #3 Spotlight . #4 Ex Machina . #5 Mad Max Fury Road #6 Brooklyn #7 The Revenant #8 Room #9 The Martian #10 Sicario Best Animated Film #1 Inside Out . #2 Shaun the Sheep Movie #3 Anomalisa . #4 The Peanuts Movie #5 The Good Dinosaur…

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REVIEW: American Ultra [2015]

“We fired the ugly one” When there are only seven basic plots—as the saying goes—to implicitly choose from as a screenwriter, genre-bending homage becomes the sole path towards creativity. So while Max Landis‘ script for American Ultra is The Bourne Identity meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith through a Pineapple Express filter, it’s a damn good ride regardless. He’s throwing common tropes on their head by making a government-trained agent into a paranoid stoner filled to the brim with anxiety. He’s creating laughs out of dramatic convention while director Nima Nourizadeh…

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