REVIEW: Greed [2020]

Nod your head and shake my hand. What’s that Greek word? Hubris. The question is asked and answered by people who know all too well what drives Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan) because they’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of being the target of his ire whenever they’ve done something that might damage his international reputation in the slightest (even if they acted on his command). Do they really care, though? Do they care that being berated by “Greedy” McCreadie is a daily certainty rather than possibility? Not when he’s paying…

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REVIEW: The Wedding Guest [2019]

That’ll be a lot more work. There’s actually a lot to like about Michael Winterbottom‘s The Wedding Guest from its performances to its locale and onwards towards its characters always proving to be more than our preconceptions initially allow. We’re talking about a serious criminal in Jay (Dev Patel) who has the ability and mindset to hurt people, but genuinely prides himself on not doing so because he values human life. There’s the seemingly pampered victim of his kidnapping plot (Radhika Apte‘s Samira) who is quickly revealed as more modern…

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Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Preview

We may have two consistent film festivals here in town showcasing small releases and restored classics, but you might not realize how close we are to one of the biggest in the world. Most “in the know” will center on five events when thinking about the best of the best film festivals and while Venice, Cannes, and Berlin are an ocean away and Sundance is across the country, The Toronto International Film Festival is less than a two-hour drive via the QEW into Canada. Even better than proximity, though, is…

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REVIEW: The Killer Inside Me [2010]

“It’s always lightest just before the dark” Nobody is more across the board genre-wise than director Michael Winterbottom. Who else could traverse the broad canvases of Steve Coogan shenanigans, Guantanamo Bay documentation, the human condition of emotion in the face of terrorism, and an unsimulated meld of sex and rock n’ roll? Shake those sensibilities up with screenwriter John Curran’s penchant for thought-provoking material, (this year’s Stone is much more than the cookie cutter its trailer advertises), and the pulp crime styling of novelist Jim Thompson and you’ll need to…

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REVIEW: 9 Songs [2004]

“Now she’s gone and love burns inside me” Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. That pretty much epitomizes the film 9 Songs. Michael Winterbottom is a director that has never shied away from genre hopping or controversy, doing both with this explicit romance consisting of concert footage and sexual intercourse, with a little story thrown in for good measure. More an art film than anything that should be given a theatrical release, it is only 71-minutes in length, but that is enough for what is being portrayed. One can only…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: Genova [Summer in Genoa] [2008]

“My heart bleeds” Michael Winterbottom is a director that never sticks to one genre and never compromises his vision. From the well-received music bio-pic 24 Hour Party People, to a meta-comedy in A Cock and Bull Story, to a sexually graphic concert narrative in 9 Songs, to the story of Daniel Pearl’s murder in the Middle East with A Mighty Heart, he won’t shy from controversial subject matter. That makes his new film, Genova [Summer in Genoa], that much more interesting because it is on all accounts a very safe…

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REVIEW: A Mighty Heart [2007]

“Don’t hold it in” The story of Daniel Pearl is a tragic one. I remember following it all on the news until the fateful day of his horrific beheading. Just imagining what his family and friends could have been thinking during the whole ordeal is tough to fathom, but when his wife is there with him in Pakistan, pregnant with his first child, your heart must go out to them. Pearl’s widow, Mariane, used her journalistic skills to write a novel on what transpired from his kidnapping to eventual murder.…

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Top 25 Films of 2003

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 85 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: American Splendor directed byShari Springer Berman& Robert Pulcini #24: The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King directed by Peter Jackson. #23: Pieces of April directed by Peter Hedges.. #22: Master and Commander:The Far Side of the World directed by Peter Weir #21: Code 46 directed byMichael Winterbottom #20: Big Fish directed by Tim Burton. #19: Dirty Pretty Things directed…

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