TIFF16 REVIEW: A Monster Calls [2016]

“You will tell me your nightmare. That will be your truth.” When your author and illustrator both win Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the same book (it may still be the only time ever), you can bet Hollywood will come knocking. Even though the production is a joint effort between Britain (the majority of its cast) and Spain (The Orphanage director J.A. Bayona), it was Focus Features who scooped up the rights to Patrick Ness‘ A Monster Calls. The decision was a no-brainer without the accolades, its fairy tale proving…

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REVIEW: Finding Dory [2016]

“Just follow the shells” Even though Pixar’s first sequel Toy Story 2 equaled one of its best movies (many say both sequels did, although I’d argue Toy Story 3 pales in comparison to its predecessors), not even they could keep up appearances with Cars 2 and Monsters University. It’s impossible to hit as many homeruns as they have let alone go back to the well with an idea to hope lightning strikes twice. So after the aforementioned forgettable attempts at continuing fan favorites, anticipation wasn’t high for their return to…

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REVIEW: Ghostbusters [2016]

“Ain’t no bitches gonna bust no ghosts” They lied. I walked out of Paul Feig‘s Ghostbusters reboot to find my childhood intact. Memories didn’t disappear as the run-time progressed with cooties-infested women replacing the nerdy, elitist dickheads in jumpsuits who ran amok in New York City years ago. In fact, these 21st century scientists actually know more science than blind comedic references about proton-packs being compact nuclear reactors strapped to their backs. Who knew women could be nerdy dickheads too? Who knew they weren’t simply vessels to breath heavy and…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2012: White Space Rules the Month

“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. When not distracted by the more offbeat, artistically inclined one-sheets for the amazing line-up gracing Toronto screens at TIFF this month, I was surprised to see a few good ones…

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DESIGN: Ghostbusters — There Is No Dana, Only Zuul

Branching out from television, I decided to jump into the world of pop culture films for my next t-shirt design. And there isn’t much more beloved than 1984’s Ghostbusters for which to work off. Thinking about iconic quotes, the guttural line from Sigourney Weaver‘s Dana Barrett after being possessed, “There is no Dana, only Zuul” kept popping into my head. Focusing on her red, silky gown, I set out to go minimal by creating a clean silhouette to go against the text in a bold sans serif font. After playing…

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REVIEW: Galaxy Quest [1999]

“Never give up. Never surrender.” What would happen if William Shatner were beamed into space for real—tracked down by a group of aliens indecipherable from the litany of cosplaying fans clamoring for his autograph at one of the infinite Comic Cons held around the nation? This is the question stuck in screenwriter David Howard‘s head as he put Galaxy Quest to paper in order to imagine the possibilities. A lush with a bigger head than when the titular show was on air, Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) encourages fans with a…

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REVIEW: Prometheus [2012]

“How far are you willing to go?” **Potential thematic spoilers** The age-old question has always been an unanswerable, “What is the meaning of life?” It’s a query that could easily be solved on an individual basis as far as wealth, family, success, fame, etc., yet so many desire the all encompassing knowledge we were possibly never meant to have. Gods are created and worshiped to give us purpose—be they deities, idols, or even ourselves. We all strive for more and hope to accomplish whatever it takes to reach whatever form…

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REVIEW: Alien: Resurrection [1997]

“You’re a beautiful, beautiful butterfly” An obvious predecessor to screenwriter Joss Whedon‘s revered “Firefly”, Alien: Resurrection breathes new life into a franchise that could have easily been left alone. Reviving the iconic Ellen Ripley through the hot button topic of cloning, his script found a way to coax Sigourney Weaver back with a uniquely dark spin on the character. Part alien, part human, and all Petri dish, ‘Number 8’ is cognizant of her former self’s rage against the xenomorphs two hundred years before while also acknowledging her role as mother…

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REVIEW: Alien3 [1992]

“We’re on the honor system” After James Cameron reinvigorated the Alien franchise to huge success with his action-packed sequel Aliens, Twentieth Century Fox’s desire to keep going shouldn’t have surprised. Looking to retain the level of craftsmanship and professionalism of the first two installments, they tried bringing original director Ridley Scott back to helm an ambitious two part continuation from producers David Giler and Walter Hill—eventual cowriters with Larry Ferguson also—to no avail. So with sci-fi writer William Gibson hired to script them way back in 1987, Alien3‘s lengthy gestation…

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REVIEW: Aliens [1986]

“Game over, man. Game over!” Leave it to über action champion James Cameron to turn a darkly serious sci-fi thriller into a brutally fun romp successful enough to spawn two more sequels and a separate spin-off series that has kept H.R. Giger‘s grotesque xenomorph relevant today. Fresh off the success of Terminator 2, Cameron joined original Alien producers David Giler and Walter Hill to flesh out a new concept that would take the saga into another genre and wider audience appeal. Proving a strong female lead could carry a film…

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REVIEW: Alien [1979]

“What is Special Order 937?” When you hear the title Alien, images are conjured up of Bill Paxton having a mental breakdown, Lance Henriksen rapidly stabbing a knife through his fingers, and Sigourney Weaver‘s Ripley inside a mechanical forklift suit engaging a slobbering, hulking monster. The most fascinating thing about this comes not from how iconic the franchise has become, but instead the realization that none of these moments occurred in the original film. Somehow James Cameron‘s action-packed sequel has usurped its predecessor’s slow, cerebral horror in our consciousness to…

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