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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TIFF16 REVIEW: Colossal [2017]

“I’m sorry. It was a mistake. It won’t happen again.” Whether the existence of time travel or an alien invasion, writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has proven king at dealing with large-scale concepts affecting small-scale characters. Always looking to portray how genre catastrophes are handled by nobodies on the ground without government credentials or scientific degrees, he continues this trend again with his latest monster movie Colossal … for the most part. After certain truths are revealed, it’s easy to discover how two former classmates in a sleepy city with one watering…

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REVIEW: Alienated [2015]

“Which one of the men is going to see the light?” Who isn’t self-centered? If you find someone, please let me know because I don’t think that person exists. Even when we are at our most compassionate, empathetic, or charitable, our actions are still our own. We do what we do out of love—molding our lives as society or religion deems moral. Action or inaction is a choice no one can make for us. Our weakness or strength allows us to be manipulated or stand tall, not the other person’s…

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REVIEW: Open Windows [2014]

“I’m just getting even” The first thing I think of when I hear the name Nacho Vigalondo is “high concept”. From his fantastic time traveling debut thriller Timecrimes to a romantic dramedy set against the backdrop of an alien invasion with Extraterrestrial, you know you’re in for a unique genre treat whenever the Spaniard goes behind the camera. His third film Open Windows continues the trend by wearing a gimmick on its sleeve that forces every frame to be viewed off of an electronic screen. Through a suspenseful cat and…

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: The Infinite Man [2014]

“Sexual congress in five” There are some great science fiction films that deal with time travel in a way blockbusters like The Terminator simply cannot due to scale and want for mass appeal. To fans of that series a movie like Primer may be too technically oppressive and intellectual while Timecrimes too dark and finite. Well, Australian Hugh Sullivan looks to change these preconceptions by combining Shane Carruth‘s impeccable plotting and Nacho Vigalondo‘s expert visual repetition in a genre the casual moviegoer can embrace: romantic comedy. In fact the clichéd…

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INTERVIEW: Nacho Vigalondo, writer/director of Extraterrestrial

After finding great international success with his debut feature film Timecrimes in 2007, writer/director Nacho Vigalondo performed a bit of a 180 for his sophomore effort. Coming to the Toronto International Film Festival last year with a romantic comedy set to the backdrop of an alien invasion, his Extraterrestrial showed he would not be pigeonholed to dark thrillers with twists a la M. Night Shyamalan. It’s a move that showed his versatility and creative story-telling approach—two things that must have appealed to Hollywood with him now attached to direct an…

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REVIEW: Extraterrestre [Extraterrestrial] [2012]

“Maybe the spacemen will give us diplomas” You wake in a strange place without memory of arriving. You see light’s curved shadows on the wall through clouded eyes while a chorus of clanging is heard in the next room. Disoriented, mildly frightened, and without a clue to what is going on, you’re lost trying to recall the erased minutes of an alcohol-infused evening eerily similar to a crackpot’s account of alien abduction. But rather than a greyed creature with probe in hand, the figure moving in the kitchen is an…

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REVIEW: Los cronocrímenes [Timecrimes] [2008]

“No one knows our phone number” All he had to do was stay hidden for an hour, biding time away from sight as his impossible doppelganger went through the same motions of an hour earlier. The ramifications of time travel would have been erased; the insane crippling fear of seeing another man identical to him kissing his wife goodbye a distant memory. But curiosity proves too much as the strangeness leading him to the time portal in the first place was too odd to simply hope it would happen again.…

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REVIEW: 7:35 de la mañana [7:35 in the Morning] [2004]

“Always in a hurry; always at the same time” An Oscar nominee for Best Live Action Short with his debut work, writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has gone on to make a couple features with festival appeal in the almost decade since. But there is something peculiar, unique, and a bit demented about 7:35 de la mañana [7:35 in the Morning] that makes it the film I will always associate with him. A crazy musical shown to me by a coworker two years after its release, the darkly comic subject isn’t easy…

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Top 25 Films of 2008

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 129 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Entre les murs [The Class] directed by Laurent Cantet #24: JCVD directed by Mabrouk El Mechri #23: Boy A directed by John Crowley . #22: Cloverfield directed by Matt Reeves . . #21: Doubt directed by John Patrick Shanley . #20: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime [I’ve Loved You So Long] directed by Philippe Claudel #19: Milk directed by…

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