REVIEW: Unbreakable [2000]

I had a bad dream. I didn’t watch The Sixth Sense when it was in theaters and therefore never had much of an affinity for it due to knowing the twist before eventually sitting down. I’m not therefore certain why I was excited to check out his follow-up Unbreakable. It could have been friends wanting to go or simply that it was “the” movie to see that weekend in November. All I do remember is my confusion when the opening screen of text arrived with statistics about comic books. I…

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REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 [2017]

“Because you’ve never seen a miracle” Survival is a selfish endeavor, but not necessarily one driven by ego. On the contrary, survival is often a selfless means to place community ahead of the individual. Look at our country’s current, abhorrent divisions along lines we should have erased decades ago or never created in the first place. As long as privilege exists and one race, gender, religion, et al holds power and sway above the rest simply because it fears relinquishing its place atop the “status quo,” rebellion is only a…

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REVIEW: Wonder Woman [2017]

“They don’t deserve you” October 1941. That’s the month William Moulton Marston‘s Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8. Yes, it’s taken seventy plus years to put her in movie theaters alongside contemporaries and equals Superman (created in 1938, onscreen in 1948 via serial) and Batman (created in 1939, onscreen in 1943 via serial). Finally women the world over who’ve been inspired by the superhero, (you know, how many believe only a red-blooded, action-crazed male ever could), can see her in today’s popular media while young girls are allowed…

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REVIEW: A Most Wanted Man [2014]

“You can’t undo what’s done” You wouldn’t be wrong to assume a lot of what’s happening during the course of A Most Wanted Man are red herrings steering us away from the truth it’s suspense thriller hides, but you would be mistaken. What I love about John le Carré—admittedly removed from his text in my only being familiar with cinematic adaptations of his work like the underrated The Constant Gardener and the taut Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy—is that there never seems to be any superfluity. Instead he finds a way…

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REVIEW: Rampart [2011]

“You can’t cheat on something you never committed to” After making a splash with his directorial debut The Messenger, writer/director Oren Moverman continues to delve into the subject matter of conflicted heroes and misunderstood men with Rampart. His focus is a veteran soldier once again, but this time far removed from his stint in Vietnam. A rough and tumble cop in the LAPD Rampart Division, his notoriety for ‘possibly’ killing an accused serial rapist years earlier has allowed him certain freedoms during the infamous 1990s scandal embroiling his department that…

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TIFF11 REVIEW: Moneyball [2011]

“Now we’re gutted—organ donors for the rich” Did Billy Beane change the game of baseball? If the epilogue to Moneyball is to be believed, he did—to a point. General Manager of a team that was one win away from a World Series birth and watching his star trio walk for giant paydays, anyone would be dejected and unsure how to move forward. The Oakland A’s owner had no money to spend, his scouts were pushing sixty years old and cared more about whether their ballplayers had pretty faces than if…

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TIFF10: Day Four Recap

Day Four at TIFF had a rough start if only because we had been out until 3am the previous night. Thankfully—although we really wanted to see it—Snabba Cash [Easy Money] had sold out because if we somehow got our hands on tickets, we would have headed to the theatre at 8am with probably three hours of sleep. Instead, we met up with our Syracuse journalism friends at Tim Horton’s around 11am and headed down to the Ryerson for Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator. We would have put money down that the…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: The Conspirator [2010]

“Why did I fight for the Union if my rights aren’t assured?” The aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination hasn’t really been the subject of many films that I know of. Of course there is the whole Steven Spielberg Lincoln project that has been pushed back every year since its announcement, a starting date nowhere near close at hand, but while watching a depiction of his life should be interesting, the subject of his death is more so. Here was the first murder of a President, an event no one…

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REVIEW: What Just Happened [2008]

“That’s a good school” Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened made me ponder that exact question as I walked out of my screening. Sadly, the answer I settled on was: not much. I think Robert De Niro’s producer Ben said it best when being completely honest with Stanley Tucci’s screenwriter about his new florist-set script—“it’s not a movie”. That is exactly what I would have said when this script was green-lit to become what it now is. No disrespect to Art Linson who adapted the screenplay from his own comic memoirs…

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REVIEW: Beowulf [2007]

“Sins of the father” Let’s start this out with the fact that my College Professor of World Civ had us read The Epic of Gilgamesh rather than the one adapted here with Beowulf. So, I went into the film without really knowing anything of the story besides the monster Grendel and the obligatory pride as a curse, creating your own demons, etc. As shown onscreen, it is obvious that the yarn is an ancient one. Besides the archaic traditions—Queens are inherited as the wife of all who take the crown?—it…

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