TIFF18 REVIEW: First Man [2018]

“It’s kinda neat” The non-controversy surrounding Damien Chazelle‘s First Man shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows how political parties have appropriated art into their agendas since the dawn of time. Of course they’d glom onto the decision to ignore the lunar flag planting as some “un-American” thing rather than read the script, watch the movie, or […]

REVIEW: Kong: Skull Island [2017]

“Eating’s for the living” It’s amazing how a film’s success can create a tidal wave, but that’s exactly what Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla did in 2014. We’re talking critical acclaim, half a billion dollars at the box office, and a rejuvenated plea for monster flicks. Well the first two are fact, the third merely hope on […]

REVIEW: Lila & Eve [2015]

“Talk is meaningless” A movie isn’t necessarily ruined because its so-called twist is easily deciphered, especially when the reveal is less for shock value than depicting the psychological struggle of grief. For Lila Walcott (Viola Davis), the loss of her son Stephon (Aml Ameen) as an innocent bystander to a drive-by shooting has drowned her […]

REVIEW: Fast & Furious [2009]

“He used to date my sister” While only grossing half of its predecessor’s haul to make it seem as though Paul Walker‘s absence was a huge box office hindrance, Tokyo Drift still almost doubled its budget despite no discernible connection to the franchise that spawned it until the very end (minus its drag racing theme). […]

REVIEW: American Hustle [2013]

“Don’t put metal in the science box” Director David O. Russell has said I Heart Huckabees was a transitional film for him wherein he took a break, took stock, and came back with the drive and enthusiasm for making movies that got him into the business in the first place. And even though the film […]

REVIEW: Fast & Furious 6 [2013]

“You wanna catch wolves? You need wolves.” It’s family reunion time in the Fast & Furious franchise as its creative team consisting of director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan expand the arc they began seven years ago with Tokyo Drift. The one installment without tough guy scowls from Paul Walker’s Brian or Vin Diesel’s […]

TIFF12 REVIEW: Silver Linings Playbook [2012]

“Is that song really playing?” I know it’s misguided, but my interest in David O. Russell films kind of ended after The Fighter. This was a guy who used to pave his own path with challenging material and comedies that made you think. It’s not even that I disliked his true-life boxing tale—actually I loved […]

REVIEW: Take Shelter [2011]

“I just need you to believe me” An old co-worker of mine once told me about a story idea of his. With so many people on Bluetooth as they walk the streets ‘talking to themselves’, he wanted to craft a tale about those fringe eccentrics strolling about in conversation without the technology cradled in their […]

REVIEW: The Lincoln Lawyer [2011]

“There’s no client scarier than an innocent man” Just when I thought The Lincoln Lawyer would be another run-of-the-mill courtroom drama with behind the scenes evidence gathering to either acquit Mick Haller’s (Matthew McConaughey) client or show he was guilty after all, a case from the past is remembered with eerily similar details. Everything Haller […]

REVIEW: Wristcutters: A Love Story [2007]

“The dog has spoken” Goran Dukic’s Wristcutters: A Love Story is indie cinema to the core. With a plot concerning life in purgatory—an adequate punishment being that it is life as usual, but a little worse—and a band of suicides (or off’d people) trying to find love, answers, and a way out, this film laughs […]