REVIEW: Boy Erased [2018]

“Almighty Dog” I’ll never understand religion’s ability to shield believers from its inherent contradictions. I’ve seen faith help many in my family through its power for hope, healing, and positivity. But never have they been tested as far as making the choice to reject Catholicism’s rigidity where it pertains to subjects they’re simply happy to excuse with empty parroting from afar. They try and play both sides of issues—sticking to what they believe without “finding the need to prevent someone else from thinking the opposite.” They’re allowed to do this…

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REVIEW: The Mummy [2017]

“Death is a doorway and the past cannot be buried forever” A new cinematic universe is upon us—one I’m surprised took this long to materialize. The moniker is Dark Universe and it’s composed of all the classic Universal monsters from Dracula to Frankenstein to the Creature from the Black Lagoon as shepherded by producer Alex Kurtzman. The potential is immense with twenty-first century technology providing the studio a means to really up the ante on gore and horror, the possible connections between them possessing opportunity for exciting clashes or secondary…

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REVIEW: Fathers and Daughters [2015]

“I have very self-destructive tendencies” The works of director Gabriele Muccino aren’t for everyone. I can’t speak on his Italian films, but the American ones are unavoidably cloying and sentimental in a way that must be accepted or ignored to find resonance. Despite being the one showered with praise, The Pursuit of Happyness didn’t quite do enough for me. I appreciated the story and performances, but felt the artifice. For Seven Pounds, however, I didn’t care. The entire film proved one giant manipulative contrivance yet it unexpectedly hit me with…

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REVIEW: The Nice Guys [2016]

“You will never be happy :)” Even a huge Shane Black fan like myself won’t necessarily tell you his style has nuance. You watch his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (released almost a decade after his previous screenwriting credit) and you feel its kinship to his scripting debut Lethal Weapon. His most recent assignment behind the camera Iron Man 3 feels exactly like both despite being entrenched inside an over-arching universe micro-managed by an outside force. So watching the trailer for his latest The Nice Guys is like seeing…

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REVIEW: Noah [2014]

“Maybe we’ll learn to be kind” Religion likes to talk about mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance as though such grace was instilled in humanity before we decided to ignore it for carnal pleasure, bloodlust, and greed. This is why most films depicting Biblical stories go heavy on angels and enlightenment, giving pithy parables with “a-ha” lessons to take stock and deflect from the copious amounts of violence throughout its text. Yes there’s creation, salvation, good deeds unto others, and heroes to aspire towards, but don’t forget deception, cleansings, sin, and damnation.…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2014: ‘Noah’, ‘Nymphomaniac,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Enemy’ & More

“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. Has summer started early? Big blockbusters like Divergent, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Need for Speed are releasing in March—I guess they must therefore be the studios’ lesser…

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REVIEW: Winter’s Tale [2014]

“For even time and distance are not what they appear to be” Can you buy a world where angels and demons walk alongside humans, gently coaxing us onto a path of righteousness or evil in order to tip the scales of eternity their way throughout time infinite? What about the idea that we each have a miracle to give to the one person we are meant to love unequivocally if only we’re destined to meet him/her? How about two Russian immigrants being deported back home who’d lower a model ship…

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REVIEW: Man of Steel [2013]

“It wouldn’t be much of a surrender if I resisted” After Bryan Singer’s misguided attempt to stay true to original cinematic canon by having Superman Returns follow Richard Donner’s two Christopher Reeve starrers ultimately failed, a hard reboot was necessary. With DC Comics getting increasingly outplayed by every new expansion of the Marvel universe, it’s no surprise they would hand creative franchise control over to the man who reinvigorated their brand on the big screen in 2008. Producer Christopher Nolan not only found a way to rinse the ugly taste…

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REVIEW: Les Misérables [2012]

“I dreamed a dream” I tried to tackle Victor Hugo‘s massive literary masterpiece Les Misérables years ago only to find myself stuck two hundred pages in and our book club disbanded after learning my poor progress was actually second best among the lot of us. Suffice it to say, none of the words I caught sunk in to give me any sort of footing before sitting down to Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper‘s musical adaptation. This was a welcome development, though, as going in fresh seemed the best way to let…

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REVIEW: The Man with the Iron Fists [2012]

“When it comes to money, things get funny” Far from anything resembling a Kung Fu aficionado, I entered into RZA‘s directorial debut The Man with the Iron Fists with a lesser of many evils mentality. The theatre was to be my safe haven while my car got its oil change and of the two or three flicks I hadn’t yet seen, the potential sideshow of Jungle Village seemed the best way to spend ninety minutes. The Tarantino seal of approval and co-writing credit to Eli Roth did little to temper…

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REVIEW: The Next Three Days [2010]

“Someone’s belief in virtue is more important than virtue itself” Director Paul Haggis is somewhat of an enigma with me. I like the guy, I’m not sure why, I just do. I was one of the ten fans who enjoyed “The Black Donnellys” and the first time I saw his Oscar-winning Crash at the theatres, I thought it was a masterpiece. He soon wrote two fantastic films in Million Dollar Baby and Casino Royale, but that success began to wane once time passed and I realized just how pandering and…

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