REVIEW: Marriage Story [2019]

The pie was just a pie. It’s crazy how love changes the way we see things. Ambition can look like genius when we’re there as a supportive cheerleader and narcissism when we begin to recognize our sacrifices in seeing it get fulfilled. Success can be construed as a mutually beneficial byproduct of a union when one is strong and fertile, but also evidence of what we personally brought to the equation despite the other when we’re picking through the past to dissect what went wrong and who’s to blame. We…

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REVIEW: Muppets Most Wanted [2014]

“It’s not easy being … mean” Is it a coincidence the Muppet renaissance follows the same trajectory as its subjects’ original cinematic saga? 2011’s The Muppets was enjoyable if not a tad overrated due to its story mirroring many of the beats that made 1979’s The Muppet Movie a classic. Revamping its road movie trope perfectly suited the need to reintroduce these iconic figures to a new audience ready to realize the troupe’s potential as they reunited for the common goal of putting on the greatest show in their history.…

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REVIEW: The Iceman [2013]

“I don’t believe in bad luck” Arrested in 1986 after three decades of murdering an estimated one hundred men, it’s hard to believe another thirty years were necessary before the story of serial killer turned hitman Richie Kuklinski reached the big screen. Based on Anthony Bruno‘s book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, Ariel Vroman‘s film brings us up close and personal to the family man’s myriad demons. Possessed by a temper so volatile he would send men to hell for simply rubbing him the wrong way,…

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REVIEW: Killing Them Softly [2012]

“America’s not a country. It’s just a business.” Now I know why writer/director Andrew Dominik changed his film’s name to Killing Me Softly. It’s not because star Brad Pitt uses the phrase to describe his preferred method of murder; that just supplied the words. I’d like to believe he did so because he knew how different a beast it was from the novel by George V. Higgins on which it’s based, Cogan’s Trade. Written in 1974, the book obviously couldn’t have had our recent global recession in mind let alone…

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REVIEW: The Hire [2001-2002]

“BMW recommends that you always wear your seatbelt” After watching the Parallel Lines series, my desire to revisit BMW’s The Hire was too much to contain. This thing was a cultural phenomenon, doing what no one had ever done, with a medium still untested at the time. Back in 2001, households across America were still learning about the internet; installing their dial-up connections to surf for mostly news articles and sites without too many images for quick access. Looking to tap into a market that could target its demographic of…

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REVIEW: Observe and Report [2009]

“This is my lifeline, my legacy” I can’t say enough about Danny McBride. The guy has been on a tear of late, even getting his own HBO show “Eastbound & Down”. Well, his star has risen in large part to his collaborator on that show, Jody Hill. Hill wrote and directed everyone’s favorite curly mullet in a little film called The Foot Fist Way, and it’s been all uphill since. I have yet to experience this inaugural turn—the film the Apatow gang saw before letting him join their posse—but have…

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REVIEW: Smokin’ Aces [2007]

“Call the florist” The 2007 film lineup has finally begun for me. Sure I have seen many movies thus far, but they have all been holdovers from last year. Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces is definitely a fantastic opener and a hopeful sign of things to come. A mixture of high octane action with some very surprising, emotional moments and true dramatic worth, this all-star cast has some fun and allows the audience to just ride the wave with them. Something like this has a big tendency to taper off, yet…

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