INTERVIEW: Aaron Moorhead, director/cinematographer & Justin Benson director/writer of Spring

Sometimes the festival experience has a way of making you overrate films. The excitement of seeing things early with like-minded individuals, listening to filmmakers talk before and after their screenings, and the general festival aura are hard to separate from the work itself. So I won’t lie and say I didn’t re-watch Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson‘s Spring—my favorite of TIFF 2014—with a little trepidation in case the memory proved grander than reality. 109-minutes later, however, I realized I might have actually underrated it. This supernatural, sci-fi, horror, romantic drama…

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REVIEW: Relatos salvajes [Wild Tales] [2014]

“Crime of passion?” Best. Wedding. Ever. And trip to the bureaucratic black hole that is government sanctioned towing. And expertly planned, faux fateful airline flight this side of “Lost”. I mean it. Damián Szifrón‘s Relatos salvejes [Wild Tales] is a twisted cousin of Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s The Decalogue, a sextet of darkly comic morality plays where chaos reigns and vengeance rewards the unhinged desperate for a win. From the hilariously absurd yet perfectly revealed machinations of its opening segment “Pasternak” to the vicious table turn of its last “Til Death Do…

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REVIEW: This is 40 [2012]

“I control the radio on my birthday” It’s time to accept that the words “Directed by Judd Apatow” are synonymous with “sentimental familial dramedy littered by profanity”. I probably should have come to this realization years ago, but for some reason I still held out hope he’d once more match the entertainment value of The 40 Year Old Virgin. Everyone loves Knocked Up, I know, but to me it was a slow bore with few of those indelible moments his debut etched in my mind. Funny People was an improvement—at…

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REVIEW: California Solo [2012]

“Oh, you Googled me did you?” In a case of mistaken identity, Marshall Lewy‘s sophomore effort as writer/director is much more than its cliché-riddled trailer shows. A 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection, California Solo is the kind of character study that allows its plot to unfold naturally with minimal contrivances. Every preconception inferring things will turn out alright because star Robert Carlyle smiles in marketing materials with a light, optimistic bent will probably be proven wrong due to ex-rocker Lachlan MacAldonich’s infinite guilt preventing cheery results. On the brink of…

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The Most Anticipated Films of 2011

While Jon Favreau may say that 2011 looks to have a bloodbath summer on its hands with blockbusters galore taking 3D screens from each other, I’ll say right now that those aren’t the movies most intriguing me. Next year sees a return for Jack Sparrow, Lightning McQueen, Holmes and Watson, the Witwickys, Ethan Hunt, and, of course, everyone’s favorite Ghostface. Superheroes are king once more with Avengers, Mutants, and a delayed and beleaguered Black Beauty coming as well as our once beloved comedian Adam Sandler not only starring in a…

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The 82nd Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • NPH in sequins … i guess that’s something … The 82nd Annual Oscars ceremony begins, yet the hosts are nowhere to be found. Have we gotten to the point now where we need a lead-in for the most assuredly lame/very PC stand-up routine? We need to get the ball rolling for the ball that gets the show rolling? And they wonder why it always goes over its allotted timeslot. So, not only do we have to be introduced to all the lead acting nominees—because anyone watching doesn’t know…

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REVIEW: A Perfect Getaway [2009]

“Dude was a Silver Age Marvel freak” I’m not quite sure why I hold director David Twohy in such high esteem. I see his name attached to a picture and think that it could be pretty good when in fact I haven’t seen very much of his work. Below is a very underrated thriller he worked on with Darren Aronofsky and The Chronicles of Riddick is a fun adventure flick, (and I say that not seeing the director’s cut yet). But seriously, that is it. I know Pitch Black is…

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REVIEW: Star Trek [2009]

“You can whistle real loud” Time-traveling Romulans? Why has no one thought of that yet? Leave it to the crew behind the hit series “Lost” and its time-traveling physics in season five to breathe some fresh air into a franchise that has been out of theatres for seven years. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman showed they could do serious action with Mission: Impossible III, but the campiness of Transformers gave me trepidation that their reboot/prequel Star Trek might lose its way. However, with a guy like J.J. Abrams at the…

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“The Big Bang Theory”: Sitcom Comedy for the Mindless or Social Commentary on Genius and Its Idiosyncrasies?

I will be the first to admit that I was brainwashed by the Hollywood machine and never had an interest to check out the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory”. Its marketing campaign billed it as another stupid sitcom to bring in money and entertain the mindless hordes of America. Why would I want to sit and watch 21 minutes of a half hour block filled with nerdy twenty-somethings and their lame attempts at getting women? To me this was a show about Sheldon, (Jim Parsons), and Leonard, (Johnny Galecki),…

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REVIEW: The English Patient [1996]

“For the heart is an organ of fire” The English Patient is a story of love gained, lost, and never forgotten. The late Anthony Minghella had a couple films under his belt, but I don’t think even he saw the success coming from this adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s novel. It won nine Oscars, including Best Picture, and even welcomed some mention famously in a “Seinfeld” episode. So, the real question is, why did it take me 12 years to finally watch it? I really don’t have a good answer, except…

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