REVIEW: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn [2020]

Paying is for dummies. It still surprises me that the so-called DC Extended Universe has a pulse after what’s transpired. Warner Bros. hasn’t helped matters with their muddying of the waters thanks to a standalone Joker film (alongside Jared Leto‘s unceremonious dumping), a newly announced Batman movie (sans Ben Affleck with some ambiguity as far as whether or not it fits under the umbrella), and the release of Superman himself now that Henry Cavill is no longer under contract. The Flash still hasn’t been made (although Ezra Miller is popping…

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REVIEW: Gemini Man [2019]

I just want some peace. It took twenty years, multiple rewrites, and a who’s who list of directors and stars, but Gemini Man finally made it to the big screen. And original scribe Darren Lemke kept his story and screenplay credits through everything. That says something considering these development hell miracles too often become abominations so far removed from their auspicious beginnings that there’s no sign of what got studios excited in the first place. David Benioff and Billy Ray earned their place beside him with Ang Lee putting his…

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REVIEW: Swiss Army Man [2016]

“I don’t want to die alone” You can never be sure about a marketing campaign using a phrase like, “You’ve heard it a million times, but this time it’s true. You’ve never seen a movie like Swiss Army Man.” What type of ploy are they engaging in? We all know it’s been affectionately called (and derided as) the “farting corpse movie,” but that isn’t a mind-blowing detail to render us awestruck. That pitch causes us to wonder what the Daniels (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) actually did with their debut…

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REVIEW: 10 Cloverfield Lane [2016]

“You need to eat. You need to sleep. And you need to start showing a little appreciation.” Let’s address the elephant in the room first: 10 Cloverfield Lane is not a sequel to Cloverfield no matter what the title and media suggest. The filmmakers simply thought the script (developed by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken; rewritten/polished by Damien Chazelle before embarking on Whiplash) felt a lot like Matt Reeves and Drew Goddard’s handheld alien invasion thriller. J.J. Abrams agreed, added a Slusho sign, recruited his “Alias” buddy Bradley Cooper for…

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REVIEW: Faults [2015]

“What did you lose?” There’s an inherent paradox to the universally held idea of cults being destructive. So quick to deem what occurs within them unnatural—namely a leader using his charisma to indoctrinate the weak into a “family” that understands them—we forget to acknowledge how much of our own lives follow the same pattern. As children we look up to our parents, grandparents, role models, etc. As adults we seek validation from bosses, peers, and spouses, measuring our success on a scale built upon what a public we hold as…

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REVIEW: The Spectacular Now [2013]

“You’ll always be my favorite ex-boyfriend” Some of us are lucky—a lot luckier than most. The thing about luck, though, is that it may look nothing like it should. Sometimes luck means having your father leave. Sometimes it’s being an eighteen-year old alcoholic everyone at school loves for epitomizing fun despite ultimately acknowledging you’re a joke. We can’t all hit bottom to pull ourselves back up because the floor isn’t always forgiving enough to allow us to walk away. When it does—when the collision rocks you awake, scares you to…

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REVIEW: A Good Day to Die Hard [2013]

“I don’t want my life back” While A Good Day to Die Hard may never truly feel like a Die Hard flick, it isn’t for a lack of entertainment. Fans love the idea of John McClane (Bruce Willis) going above and beyond his duties as a policeman to the point of reckless endangerment, destruction of property, and quite possibly clinical insanity because it leads to high octane action and underdog heroics. So used to the formulaic dealings with foreign terrorists on American soil, however, screenwriter Skip Woods decides to throw…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2013: A Snort of Fresh Air with ‘Warm Bodies’, ‘Identity Thief,’ ‘Charles Swan’ & 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. February. Just outside of the dump month that is January and yet still devoid of any true must-sees besides the arty ones no one has heard of and the umpteenth…

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REVIEW: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III [2013]

“What are all these shoes?” Yeah, so Roman Coppola definitely threw the kitchen sink in much earlier than the moment he actually put it onscreen at the end of A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. But I don’t think anyone would expect different from a post-“tiger blood” Charlie Sheen for all intents and purposes playing his own crazy self jumping through a bunch of fever dreams on a broken heart. We’d like to believe the actor’s noggin is filled to the brim with depraved and lecherous fantasies…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2012: Summer Excess and Festival Freshness

“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. Summer is over and the studios still have a few genre flicks to unload before the arthouse, festival favorites begin rolling out. Oh, and Halloween is here too. The sad…

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REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [2010]

“You punched the highlights out of her hair” Some might say a tagline such as “An epic of epic epicness” is a tad too much. I might have even said that two hours ago, but alas, I saw the finished product. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is appropriately summed up in those five words—both epic in the Playstation lexicon synonym of 8-bit NES era ‘totally rad’ and in the Homer’s Illiad sense of a heroic journey of great achievements by the tale’s protagonist. But 22-year old Scott Pilgrim isn’t on…

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