REVIEW: Spider-Man: Far From Home [2019]

Please stop saying tingle. **There will obviously be Endgame spoilers.** It’s a post-“blip” world (the word humanity has agreed upon as a stand-in for the five-year period where half of world’s population disappeared at the snap of Thanos’ fingers) and the usual faces are gone. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) can no longer rely on Steve Rogers’ idealism, Natasha Romanoff’s loyalty, or Tony Stark’s genius as a last line of defense when Earth is challenged with a force the boots on the ground simply cannot handle. Captain Marvel is off…

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REVIEW: The First Purge [2018]

Pray Not Purge. There’s a brief loss of picture halfway through The First Purge‘s end credits that reveals a full-blown commercial for the upcoming ten-part television “event” based on its own franchise. It’s a bad look, especially for those already wondering if James DeMonaco cashed-in after writing and directing the first three installments of his surprisingly potent and prescient series before handing the reins to Gerard McMurray. He deftly balanced sci-fi horror thrills against the propulsive force of sound political commentary throughout his self-made trilogy and capped everything off with…

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REVIEW: Spider-Man: Homecoming [2017]

“Guy in the chair” Here’s an unpopular opinion for you: I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Yes, the one with a blue Jamie Foxx. The only reason I bring it up is to say even I was dreading the proposed villain team-up spin-off and inevitable trilogy capper seemingly arriving at a place wherein Peter Parker’s parents would reveal themselves as being crucial to whatever really happened with that fateful radioactive arachnid. But that doesn’t mean I wanted another reboot. It was bad enough Sony already scrapped one failed attempt at…

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REVIEW: My Cousin Vinny [1992]

“I’ve just never actually seen a grit” I watched My Cousin Vinny a lot in my youth thanks in part to it being a cable TV staple. It’s been a while since my last visit with Joe Pesci‘s titular character’s antics, but the appeal of its humor never faded. I’ve continued to quote lines like “two youts” and others despite my memory for that type of practice being far less conducive than most and therefore merely assumed through years of detachment that my enjoyment was purely on a comedic level.…

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REVIEW: Trainwreck [2015]

“Monogamy isn’t realistic” Here I thought I could blame the editor for why Judd Apatow‘s films have been lackluster and overlong since The 40-Year-Old Virgin only to discover his latest Trainwreck is the first of his theatrical quintet not in part handled by Brent White. Instead we have William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker: three people who either failed to explain that a scene shouldn’t remain in the final cut just because it’s funny or three people who ultimately were ignored and/or sequentially replaced by one another. Don’t get…

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REVIEW: Inescapable [2012]

“I need to see her eyes” Acclaimed Arab-Canadian filmmaker Ruba Nadda follows her festival winning romantic drama Cairo Time with the mystery thriller Inescapable. It’s new territory for the writer/director in that its love story has already occurred, been thwarted, and had its central pairing move on. Whereas one could see Nadda weaving the tapestry of Adib Abdel Kareem’s (Alexander Siddig) early years in Damascus with his love Fatima (Marisa Tomei) amidst the war-torn city’s police occupation’s paranoia, this chapter in her lead’s life is a different beast altogether. A…

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REVIEW: The Ides of March [2011]

“My name is Molly” To someone with limited interest and knowledge in politics like me, it seems an intriguing choice for a self-described political liberal who backed Barack Obama on his presidential campaign like George Clooney to tackle the subject matter of Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North. Based in part on the 2004 Democratic primary run of Howard Dean—who Willimon worked for—it depicts an idealistic, platform-driven candidate with an integrity the American public can rally around. With Shepard Fairey influenced posters of his visage, Clooney’s Governor Mike Morris appears to…

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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: The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]

“There’s no client scarier than an innocent man” Just when I thought The Lincoln Lawyer would be another run-of-the-mill courtroom drama with behind the scenes evidence gathering to either acquit Mick Haller’s (Matthew McConaughey) client or show he was guilty after all, a case from the past is remembered with eerily similar details. Everything Haller believed to be true about his career choice is brought into question; the fact he defends criminals he knows are guilty due to the corruption on the side of police and DAs trying to pin…

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REVIEW: Cyrus [2010]

“Its like a crippled tree reaching for heaven” I’m not sure anyone makes awkward comedies quite like Jay and Mark Duplass. Even though their newly found mainstream status as filmmakers has caused an evolution from the old days of Mumblecore, it hasn’t knocked those off-kilter sensibilities away. Their latest endeavor, Cyrus, is a huge step forward in that it has enticed a reasonably seasoned cast of actors to lend the film a more professional feel, for lack of a better term. That’s not to say the previous collaborations weren’t, they…

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The 2009 Oscars … ‘nuff said

The 2009 Academy Awards have closed out the 2008 award season once and for all. And in an inspired move, actually ushered in the new year of movies by ending the show with a montage of 2009 releases. It was a departure somewhat from previous years as it appeared the Academy wanted to try some new things out, making the ceremony a bit more intimate while also possibly shortening its length (well the latter didn’t end up happening). I’ll say that production-wise, this was one of my favorite incarnations ever.…

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