TIFF16 REVIEW: Snowden [2016]

“Secrecy is security and security is victory” Remakes repackaging foreign films for American audiences are justifiable if done correctly. I’d hope our movie-going public would willingly read subtitles and experience the original artist’s vision, but we don’t live in a utopia. Dramatizing non-fiction work is equally acceptable in specific circumstances because a narrative built from talking head interviews is sometimes easier to parse and appreciate than those disparate accounts alone. Where I take umbrage with this trend is when Hollywood uses a documentary—an Oscar-winning documentary no less—and literally re-enacts it…

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REVIEW: Alice Through the Looking Glass [2016]

“Everyone parts with everything eventually, my dear” Now that the whole “should we reboot or create a sequel or just go ahead and do both at once” debacle is over thanks to Tim Burton‘s misguided Alice in Wonderland, maybe Disney’s desire to create an imaginative and surprisingly dark franchise of the absurd could find creative merit to match its insane billion dollar gross. This is because the filmmakers (Linda Woolverton returns as screenwriter with James Bobin taking over the director’s chair) have acquired the latitude to think outside the box…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Len and Company [2016]

“Be good or be gone” Hearing how deeply a film touched its cast lends a certain air that might not normally be there. Len and Company has it as Juno Temple and star Rhys Ifans both exclaimed during their TIFF premiere Q&A how affected they were by director Tim Godsall and cowriter Katherine Knight‘s script. Shot at the former’s own home with a delicate touch of humanity, an abundance of humor, and the perfect pinch of dramatic gravitas, the film proves more than its conventional story presumes. We’ve seen its…

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REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [2014]

“You still blow dry your hair every morning?” It’s time to embrace the comic aspect of comic book films. I’m sorry, but it is. Christopher Nolan‘s time on the Dark Knight Trilogy is over and while we’d like the comic genre’s big brother graphic novel to imbue the dark conflicted nature of an Oscar worthy film, it doesn’t necessarily mimic the medium’s tone. We’re talking costumed heroes fighting a rogue’s gallery of mutated baddies with special powers who wreak havoc, never die, and engage in a never-ending cycle so that…

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REVIEW: The Amazing Spider-Man [2012]

“Up your what, Dad?” Ten years after Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man joined Bryan Singer‘s X-Men in proving the superhero genre could be taken seriously in the annals of cinematic history, the reset button has been pressed for a fresh new look. Between Marvel taking the initiative to pool their collective, solely-owned properties into one giant universe of quasi sequels with 2008’s Iron Man and DC Comics lucking into Christopher Nolan‘s vision of Batman as more than a surreally cartoonish romp in the darkness, what was one of the most legitimate comic…

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REVIEW: The Five-Year Engagement [2012]

“The Taxman waits for no one” Writer/actor Jason Segel and writer/director Nicholas Stoller have been working with each other for years now, both cementing their membership in Judd Apatow‘s comedic entourage on “Undeclared”. It was their first cinematic collaboration—Forgetting Sarah Marshall—however, that put them on the map as a creative team worth keeping in the recesses of your mind for light bulbs of clarity to illuminate when hearing their names in trailers. The film was a perfect mix of charm, hilarity, and crude behavior that was sadly unmatched with Stoller’s…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2011: Faces Take the Spotlight

“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. Thank goodness for the fall season. Not only are the films better, but the artwork generally has its own yummy indie flavor too. Close-up faces covered by sans-serif text reign…

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REVIEW: Greenberg [2010]

“Can a pool overflow?” There is a saying relayed by Greta Gerwig’s character Florence which perfectly encapsulates what happens during the course of Noah Baumbach’s newest look into the angst of suburbia, Greenberg. She says, “Hurt people hurt people”. The phrase is apt, especially for her being the one a hurt person, Ben Stiller’s titular Roger Greenberg, constantly hurts. However, no matter how much worth there is in the dynamic between these two people separated by fifteen years, the generational gap a much larger chasm, I can’t shake the fact…

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REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 [2010]

“To a perfect pureblood society” The time has arrived for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter saga to come to a close. After an admirable job condensing each increasingly thicker novel to sub-three-hour durations on film, the decision was made to have frequent screenwriter Steve Kloves split the last chapter in two to ensure every single detail is retained so the tale itself can be given the justice it deserves. The book was definitely my favorite of the series and as the end cap contains a surplus of exposition, mystery, and character…

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REVIEW: Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang [Nanny McPhee Returns] [2010]

“Yes poo man, we’ve come from far, far away in the land of soap” I must say I’m disappointed in Emma Thompson. I could understand her desire to write and star in an adaptation of Nurse Matilda—perhaps a childhood favorite of hers or her children—but her new incarnation of the wart-faced, bucktoothed taskmaster, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, seems a complete cash grab. I looked past the juvenile humor of the first film, realizing the work was aimed at children, but the amount of poo jokes here is astonishing,…

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REVIEW: The Boat That Rocked [Pirate Radio] [2009]

“All he did was sleep with someone else’s wife” Why must Hollywood retitle a film that was produced in Britain? It’s the same language and frankly The Boat That Rocked sounds so much cooler than Pirate Radio … doesn’t it? Either way, no matter what it’s called, writer/director Richard Curtis has crafted a second hit to follow up his magnificent romantic tapestry Love Actually. Taking place on a renegade ship, anchored in the North Sea, the film follows eight DJs, their producer, his God son aboard to be “set straight”…

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