REVIEW: Never Here [2017]

You’ve done a bad thing. Miranda Fall (Mireille Enos) is a cataloger. Her art leads her on journeys following new subjects in order to understand who each is by what each does and possesses. She voyeuristically captures their lives in photographs and objects, exhibiting her findings as though a celebration despite some of her targets believing it more akin to a memoriam. And why shouldn’t they? Miranda is ostensibly stealing their identities for public consumption and in turn private financial compensation. She uses the mundane routines and patterns of others…

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REVIEW: Midnight Special [2016]

“Where do you belong?” Is young Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) the savior of the human race, born to unsuspecting parents inside a cult known as The Ranch in order to bring them salvation? Is he somehow an expert hacker infiltrating the NSA’s foolproof satellite transmissions courtesy of an uncanny technokinetic power no one can explain? Or is he simply a boy, a son, hunted by forces that do not understand him—forces that would scoop him up and use him for their own selfish gains as either a God or a…

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REVIEW: Paris, Texas [1984]

“Don’t go yet” The first word my mind conjured after watching Wim Wenders‘ Paris, Texas was honesty. It’s delivered from lead Harry Dean Stanton all the way down to Robby Müller‘s gorgeous cinematography of untouched Mojave Desert isolation and graffiti-filled urban concrete. Nothing appears inauthentic and that’s not an easy accomplishment when you think about how this road-trip adventure steeped in Americana was constructed through the eyes of a foreigner. Credit screenwriters L.M. Kit Carson and Sam Shepard for supplying the correct aesthetic on the page, but the success or…

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REVIEW: August: Osage County [2013]

“I’ll be sickly sweet” I’m drawn to dysfunction—especially when it’s of the familial persuasion. It’s probably because I didn’t really get exposed to much as a kid growing up with a family most would give anything to have. When you see the looks others who know dysfunction’s definition like the back of their hands telling you that what you believed was an example from your past is laughably quaint to say the least, experiencing a bit of that fiery vitriol at the movies can be invigorating. And when you have…

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REVIEW: Out of the Furnace [2013]

“Let me make this right” I think Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace has been given a bad rap by the critical world. It’s slow, laborious, and perhaps not possessed with the freshest of plots, but there is still a palpable power driving it forward courtesy of fantastic performances and a starkly authentic depiction of a forsaken region not unlike Winter’s Bone’s Ozarks. Whether it’s the gradual shutdown of a blue-collar Braddock, PA way beyond its prime in today’s America or the backwoods justice of a lawless portion of New…

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REVIEW: Mud [2013]

“Green beans never tasted so good” It’s a rarity to find a coming-of-age story set inside an adult-themed drama. Usually we’re made to watch adolescents caught inside the funny/awkward growing pains of puberty as lust and love and vanity and fear all mix into a pool of hormonal angst, embarrassment, and pratfall through comedy. Writer/director Jeff Nichols looked to create something in opposition to such cliché when he set off on the journey leading him to Mud more than a decade ago. He sought a way to capture the heaviness…

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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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FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #2 – Days of Heaven [1978]

“But if you’ve been bad, God don’t even hear you. He don’t even hear ya talkin’.” Overwhelmed. The tagline got it right: every sense—by the end of Days of Heaven—will be overwhelmed. Terrence Malick’s second feature film is as breathtaking as you’ve heard, mesmerizing you with its sumptuous beauty until the hellish climax burns through your soul with its flames of vengeance. I seriously don’t know which is more gorgeous, the sprawling wheat fields straight from an Andrew Wyeth painting or the stark contrast of fire on the night sky,…

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FILM MARATHON: Julia Roberts #3 – The Pelican Brief [1993]

“It’s rally around the leader time” It’s only fitting that the director behind one the of the great films of the 70s, All the President’s Men, Alan J. Pakula would be tasked with bringing John Grisham’s own look into political espionage and White House scandal, The Pelican Brief, to the screen. Admittedly I am not a fan of Grisham’s stories as they generally become convoluted and way to convenient, pandering to the audience at every turn, pretending to be suspenseful and unique. But I think perhaps this, along with The…

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