REVIEW: Computer Chess [2013]

“War is death. Hell is pain. Chess is Victory.” Writer/director Andrew Bujalaski‘s lo-fi Computer Chess is an intriguing period piece curio depicting a programming convention of brilliant minds engaging in a five-round competition that pits their artificial intelligences against each other’s at the titular, strategic board game. Although we see tournament organizer Pat Henderson (Gerald Peary) has hired a filmographer (Kevin Bewersdorf) for the proceedings, our vantage point is outside that camera as a fly on the wall within their hotel. Shifting room to room spying on students, tech geeks,…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: The Wrestler [2008]

“Sacrificial ram” It’s a fascinating thought I had going into Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. I began to worry that a straightforward tale may not be playing to the director’s strengths. The reason being that his masterpiece The Fountain was still in my head and since he didn’t have writing credit here, my trepidation increased. It wasn’t until the end credits that I recalled Requiem For a Dream being an adaptation and his debut π being pretty grounded in reality despite its surrealistic tendencies.…

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REVIEW: The Fountain [2006]

“Death breeds creation” I never thought I would ever thank Brad Pitt for causing the utter failure of The Fountain launching principal photography three years ago. However, his leaving the production to do Troy may have resulted in the finest film-going experience I have ever had. Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece could only have been ruined by the doubled budget and lack of Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz’s stellar performances. The epic scope this film has is that much better due to the small-scale effects honed and enlarged to full utilization. Much…

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Top 20 Films of 1998

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 71 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #20: Very Bad Things directed by Peter Berg. #19: The Big Lebowski directed byJoel Coen & Ethan Coen #18: Following directed byChristopher Nolan #17: Shakespeare in Love directed by John Madden #16: Pi directed by Darren Aronofsky #15: Elizabeth directed by Shekhar Kapur #14: Rounders directed by John Dahl. #13: Fear and Loathingin Las Vegas directed by Terry Gilliam #12: Fallen directed…

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