REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp [2018]

“Like Baba Yaga …” While a lot of fans were instantly and irrationally mad upon learning Avengers: Infinity War wouldn’t include Hawkeye or Ant-Man, I rejoiced knowing that Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s release date fell between both it and its as yet untitled Avengers follow-up. This meant that Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) latest adventure to the Quantum Realm would have no bearing on the crazy cliffhanger seemingly sealing the fates of so many other superheroes. Marvel was positioning its cinematic universe’s “lighter side” as a vehicle to help distract audiences…

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REVIEW: mother! [2017]

“His words are yours” Paramount has taken pains to ensure you know as little about Darren Aronofsky‘s mother! as possible. I know this because they’ve made it very difficult to find any images with which to populate this review. Their press site has no entry. The Toronto International Film Festival site contains no stills. And my local publicist made it very clear that press wasn’t allowed to bring a plus one to the screening. I’m surprised the studio let it play TIFF and Venice at all since that only means…

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REVIEW: Dark Shadows [2012]

“You’ll have to imagine us on a better day” At present, the Tim Burton discussion can be answered in two ways. One: I’ve become too old and jaded to ‘get’ the farcical nature of the auteur’s darkly comic worlds anymore. The satiric tongue-in-cheek tonality he so brilliantly cultivated in grotesque-lite universes either doesn’t have the same effect on me that it did in my youth or just isn’t as good. In that vein comes number Two: Burton has lost a step and now languishes in a perpetual self-parody desperately trying…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2012: Monkeys on a Typewriter

“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. This month may be one of the least creative in terms of movie posters ever. Between the laziness, litany of character sheets, and over-used technique, I think I only actually…

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REVIEW: New Year’s Eve [2011]

“Did he just snap me in a maternity ward?” So many questions I never knew I had were answered last night during a packed house screening of New Year’s Eve. A spiritual sequel to last year’s Valentine’s Day, director Garry Marshall, writer Katherine Fugate, and at least three actors playing different characters return. Besides learning the general masses savor broad-stroked comedy when it’s spoon-fed to them, I also discovered trite generic love to be their fantasy dream-come-true of choice. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since this film received…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, the campiness, and the transvestites are present—and what work based on a John Waters film wouldn’t—but everything is displayed out of context. Soundbytes and visuals are shown without explanation and believed to just be a…

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REVIEW: Stardust [2007]

“Mind you don’t wear out the wench” A magical adventure is just what the summer needed to usher the season into its closing months, leading up to the award contenders’ fall/winter releases. With all the sequels and over-the-top action and special effects heavy drivel, an intelligent story steeped in originality couldn’t come at a better time. Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s fantasy story Stardust is a tale ripe for cinematic translation. With the adventure, the surreal, the action, the romance, and the comedy, this film is a direct descendant of…

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