REVIEW: Paradise Hills [2019]

There’s always a way to get what you want. It’s Uma’s (Emma Roberts) wedding day and everyone is excited. She sings a song while her affluent guests clap and dance, the conversations surrounding her making mention of how much work she’s put into making this whole occasion possible. The idyllic scene’s ornate beauty and plastic smiles seem to be in a permanent state of universal bliss until a woman lets Uma know that her new husband (Arnaud Valois‘ Son) waits in their bedroom. Here is where the happy bride pauses…

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REVIEW: Hellboy [2019]

It looked bigger in the cartoon. There’s no getting around the fact that Lionsgate did Guillermo del Toro dirty by not extending him an invitation to complete his Hellboy vision with a third film. Whether their decision was due to whatever rubric used to measure the franchise’s success (that they’d willingly reboot the property so soon shows it was viable enough) or creator Mike Mignola wanting to bring things back to where he thought they should be (as was floated around), they turned their back on a soon-to-be Oscar winning…

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REVIEW: Resident Evil: Retribution [2012]

“Congratulations, you’re officially a bad ass” You would think that by installment five the studio and/or writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson would realize the fans of the Resident Evil franchise are the only ones still buying tickets. The fact Resident Evil: Retribution only made a little over forty million of its sixty-five million dollar budget back should get this fact across. The T-virus zombies aren’t big box office bank anymore—it’s simply been too long since the games or movies were truly relevant. So, why are they still giving us a five-minute…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2012: White Space Rules the Month

“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. When not distracted by the more offbeat, artistically inclined one-sheets for the amazing line-up gracing Toronto screens at TIFF this month, I was surprised to see a few good ones…

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The 84th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • Shut up Ryan Seacrest … Like the studio isn’t going to reimburse you. Cry about it #Oscars12 And with a little Bisquick, the 84th Annual Academy Awards show began before the camera even entered the Kodak “Chapter 11” Theatre. The is he or isn’t he banned from the show star of The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen, did what he does best by getting interviewed in character and causing a scene. Ryan Seacrest appeared to be enjoying the joke of it all and remained quite amiable until the comedian…

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REVIEW: Underworld: Awakening [2012]

“My heart isn’t cold, it’s broken” I like dark, sci-fi actioners and I’m unafraid to admit it. I’ve seen every Underworld and Resident Evil in the theatre and anticipate continuing that trend until their respective series die. My interest in each comes from different motivations, though. No matter how cheesy and overly stylish the vampire versus lycan war gets, it retains its intriguing mythology as a backbone to the carnage. On the flip side, Alice’s adventures against Umbrella ratchet up the aggression for non-stop fight choreography deflecting from the fact…

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REVIEW: Resident Evil: Afterlife [2010]

“Star Power, Bitches” Is it bad to say I think Paul W.S. Anderson gets a bad rap? This guy has been getting David S. Goyer type flack for years now, but while Goyer can write great work for other directors, saving himself the drivel, Anderson has seen a pretty solid slate of work. I think both Mortal Kombat and Event Horizon are vastly underrated and the first Resident Evil was a fantastic mood piece/sci-fi/actioner. After marrying muse Milla Jovovich, however, he took a back seat by writing the next two…

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TIFF10: Day Three Recap

Day Three at TIFF was by far our craziest of the year—seeing five films back-to-back from 11AM to 2:30AM. The late start allowed for a bit of sleeping in for preparation, as well as a semi-lengthy breakfast at Timmy Ho’s, both of which probably kept us from falling asleep during the marathon sittings. And while the last two of the night finally saw a bit of humor infused into the otherwise heavy schedule of dramas that do take something out of you, the morning opened with what could have been…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: Stone [2010]

“I don’t want no beef with you, I want to be a vegetarian” The trailers being released for Rochester resident John Curran’s newest film Stone show a conventional thriller concerning a convict using his wife to seduce the parole officer in control of an early release. You almost think the advertisement gives everything away, touching upon the secret affair as well as an interesting change in attitude by the inmate who orchestrates it all, almost as though revenge will be sought after despite his blackmail plan being the cause. This…

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TIFF10 PREVIEW: 4 Days, 16 Films, 200 Miles …

September is once more synonymous with four words: Toronto International Film Festival. Fellow Spree’er Christopher Schobert and I will again travel north for a weekend of what could be the top candidates for Oscar gold come next winter. Of course, they could also be films that may hit theater screens within the next two to three years depending on distribution deals. It’s another jam-packed schedule of sixteen films in less than four days. Daunting for sure, but a challenge we rise toward with excitement. Sadly, the most coveted title of…

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REVIEW: The Fourth Kind [2009]

“Even with hypnosis, it’s black” I don’t care if The Fourth Kind utilizes real footage or not, it’s a very powerful film. All the marketing materials allude to the fact that filmmaker Olatunde Osunsanmi interviewed psychologist Abigail Tyler and, by using actual footage of her hypnotizing patients and herself, recreated scenes to give the audience the full story of what is happening in Nome, Alaska. The technique is very effective—excising names, showing the actors’ names and who they are playing, (mostly changed to withhold identities anyways), showing the “real” Tyler…

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