REVIEW: Love, Simon [2018]

You’re still you. There have been crazier premises for coming-of-age romantic comedies than having the lead fall in love via email with someone they’re afraid they’ll never meet. Unrequited love is nothing new to the genre and neither is an escalating series of mishaps and intentionally misleading manipulation on behalf of the lead towards his best friends to keep that love secret. But despite these familiarities, director Greg Berlanti and his talented cast of funny and emotive actors finds a way to make it resonate. The relationships onscreen—good or bad,…

Read More

REVIEW: Everything, Everything [2017]

“When I talk to him it feels like I’m outside” I was with Nicola Yoon‘s Everything, Everything for its first three-quarters. While it’s just as implausibly overwrought as The Space Between Us—another YA love story mired by a high-concept contrivance that literally places a character’s life in jeopardy so he/she may experience what living free and outdoors feels like—its smaller scale concept allows its romance to shine brighter than its premise’s consequences. The notion that Maddy Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) could die from her rare case of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)…

Read More

REVIEW: Being Charlie [2016]

“Most end up chasing it to the grave” After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during this period didn’t even garner a wide release and it was a real shame because Flipped held a worthwhile kinship to the likes of Stand By Me. So it comes as no shock to discover…

Read More

REVIEW: Jurassic World [2015]

“This will give parents nightmares” As all good sequels must learn, the key to success is delivering on the promise set forth by the original while also providing something fresh and improved. Just ask James Cameron, a master at the task, who injected action-packed life into both Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day without negating or watering down the mythology still relevant beneath those newfound popcorn blockbuster sensibilities. Neither The Lost World nor Jurassic Park III did it. They decided to both reinvent the wheel and forget what the appeal…

Read More

REVIEW: The Kings of Summer [2013]

“That’s something my great grandfather would say. He’s a racist.” We’ve all had that urge to runaway when our parents prove too overbearing or too indifferent, but those thoughts disappear quickly once the allure of freedom evolves into a nightmare of self-sufficiency. So we stay at home; deal with the push and pull of personality responsibility, adolescent rambunctiousness, and the hope for a modicum of space/privacy; and either find ourselves accepting our fate or counting the days until escape is agreed upon mutually with the means to support it. Screenwriter…

Read More