REVIEW: Only the Brave [2017]

Decide what you live for and what you can live without. Interagency Hotshot Crews are twenty person teams of Type 1 firefighters that exceed all experience, training, and fitness requirements of that designation. Originated in the 1940s to combat wildfires on a national level, these groups move all over the country to suppress flames and save cities in need. They’re to firefighters what Navy SEALs are to the military. You call them to get the big jobs done and as such are formed for that specific purpose on a federal…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: Bleed for This [2016]

“Christ and elephants” There’s something about boxing movies that gets butts in seats regardless of so many being practically the same story. The formula almost always concerns some type of personal and professional redemption and Ben Younger‘s Bleed for This is no exception. Being a true telling of Vinny Pazienza’s (Miles Teller) arduous journey back into the ring after a near-fatal car crash severed his neck, however, means it possesses some substance beyond the old “washed up” bid for revenge against the press or a former coach/manager who’s now inexplicably…

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REVIEW: War Dogs [2016]

“What would a bad man do?” Of course director Todd Phillips would gravitate towards a Rolling Stone article titled “The Stoner Arms Dealers.” If the man behind The Hangover trilogy was ever going to delve into more dramatic territory a la contemporary Adam McKay and last year’s The Big Short, Guy Lawson‘s piece on two twenty-somethings who landed huge military contracts with the US government before federal indictments was the perfect segue. It’s as though the characters from his Old School decided to make connections with black market arms organizations…

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REVIEW: Insurgent [2015]

“You have to forgive yourself” I don’t know which of the three writers credited (Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, and Mark Bomback) on Insurgent is responsible for the complete overhaul of Veronica Roth‘s source novel, but I applaud him. If not for the retention of its characters’ arcs, one could argue the majority of this cinematic version is a wholly original work. Ultimately, however, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four’s (Theo James) progression within the confines of a scorched Chicago is what gives Insurgent its identity. We as an audience and fans…

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REVIEW: Whiplash [2014]

“I belong here” And here I naively thought the dinner sequence from The Riot Club would end up proving my favorite scene of the year despite the film itself leaving a lot to be desired. It just goes to show that you can never be sure until every prospective entry is counted because the final moments of Whiplash‘s tour de force assault on the senses by musical genius is honestly a transcendent piece of art in itself. From the performances by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons changing mentality, focus, and…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2014: ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘Nightcrawler,’ ‘Whiplash,’ and 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. Say goodbye to summer. Tent pole season is over and the critical darlings have begun to pop up on the Fandango queue. October is still a weird month, however, since…

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REVIEW: Divergent [2014]

“Faction before blood” Like it or not, the twenty-first century has brought cultural alterations. For instance, the conversation about futuristic dystopias and/or social upheaval no longer includes 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451. Our contemporary equivalents are now The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. They may not be at the same reading level, target the same demographic, or prove as smart and prophetic as the former trio, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant or effective. All except for one thing impossible to ignore: their delivery method.…

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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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Posterized Propaganda August 2013: ‘Elysium,’ ‘The World’s End,’ ‘Short Term 12′ & 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. Summer is coming to a close with a five-Friday August jam-packing all the leftover big budget actioners that have been biding their time to distance themselves from the likes of…

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REVIEW: Project X [2012]

“He’s like a little fat Rain Man tweeting away” I guess I just don’t get it. Being the kid that would rather pick up an extra shift at my hourly job than attend an epic rager the likes no one has ever seen means the insanity that ensues in Project X only cements the fact I made the decision staying away. Directed by Nima Nourizadeh and the brainchild of Michael Bacall, Matt Drake and producer Todd Phillips, the idea that what we’re seeing is real has been squashed way before…

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REVIEW: Footloose [2011]

“We cannot be missing from our children’s lives” Whether it takes place in 1984 or 2011, the Footloose’s premise will never be plausible. No matter how small the place, I can’t wrap my head around a town council banning the act of dancing and listening to loud rock ‘n’ roll for minors under the age of 18 in any era other than the 1950s. Maybe I’m giving ultra conservative America too much credit or am reading into the set-up for a dance movie too deeply, but Craig Brewer’s remake doesn’t…

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