REVIEW: Björk: Biophilia Live [2014]

“If you feel like dancing, don’t stop yourself” Icelandic musician Björk has always been somewhat uncategorizable with a career that’s uniquely evolved to the beat of her own electronic drum. There was the infamous swan dress, her critically acclaimed foray into acting for Lars von Trier‘s Dancer in the Dark, collaborations with cutting edge artists like Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, and Chris Cunningham for memorably batty music videos, and the 2011 release of her eighth studio album as an iPad app. Partially recorded and composed on the device, Biophilia was…

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Top 25 Films of 2013

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 220+ releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Mud directed by Jeff Nichols #24: Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo del Toro #23: The Conjuring directed by James Wan #22: Satellite of Love directed by Will James Moore #21: Una noche [One Night] directed by Lucy Mulloy #20: The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann #19: The Spectacular Now directed by James Ponsoldt #18: Blue Jasmine directed by Woody Allen…

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The 86th Oscars recap through tweets …

Welcome to the 86th Annual Academy Awards everyone! If you didn’t watch the festivities that occurred Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre you are probably a lot better off than most of us because it was a very lackluster affair. We all hoped Ellen DeGeneres would bring a fun, smart, witty return to her success with the 79th installment, but the reality ended up being one of the most dull and safe presentations in quite some time. I guess it wasn’t all bad, though, considering the Academy actually got most…

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Top Ten Films of 2013: A year in cinema to write home about

2013 has been a banner year for cinema with a slew of quality pictures that makes you wonder how only nine got enough first place votes to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Most of my favorites could have filled that elusive tenth spot for some added acclaim—whether having a chance to win or not. I hadn’t even seen a good chunk of these until the calendar flipped to 2014, the sheer amount of winners was too vast. And after only awarding three films a 10/10 rating last year,…

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Picking Winners at the 86th Annual Academy Awards

The Oscars are generally quite boring, since we often know well in advance what is going to win Best Picture, Director, etc. But this year? Not so much. Sure, there are heavy favorites — see below. But it is entirely possible there will be some real surprises. Of course, I could be completely wrong. But if I am, hopefully Bill Altreuter and Jared Mobarak will be right. And away we go … —Chris Best ActorBruce Dern: NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor: 12 Years a SlaveMatthew McConaughey: Dallas Buyers ClubLeonardo DiCaprio: The Wolf of Wall StreetChristian Bale: American Hustle…

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REVIEW: Her [2013]

“Hey, do you want to have a Sunday adventure with me?” The first thing I wondered upon hearing Spike Jonze‘s new film concerned a man who falls in love with his computer’s intuitive operating system was how he’d thematically comment on the lack of physical connectivity inherent to such a pairing. What didn’t cross my mind until watching Her, however, was how shortsighted and selfish that worldview was in context to an ever-evolving universe populated by myriad personalities and beings. To see this sort of science fiction relationship as absurd…

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Posterized Propaganda December 2013: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Her,’ ‘American Hustle’ & 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. Is the industry overcompensating a bit with almost every film in December having character sheets? And I’m not even talking about Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs (open December 20)—the one that…

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REVIEW: Sound of My Voice [2012]

“Why do I like being lame?” There is a new, legitimate voice in science fiction and her name is Brit Marling. A steadily rising actress seen in a collection of intellectually stimulating independent films the past two years, her writing talents have surprisingly proven to be an even greater asset. In fact, it’s fascinating to learn her breakthrough movies—as co-writer and star—debuted together at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Another Earth turned public heads first only a few months later, but I believe it’s her work on Sound of My…

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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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REVIEW: Scenes From the Suburbs [2011]

“I wonder what happened to the other moments” There is no better praise to heap on a short film than to admit you watched it again right after the initial viewing. Scenes from the Suburbs is just such a piece, not because of the connection to one of my favorite albums of 2010—Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs—nor the fact it’s directed by Spike Jonze, but because it really hits upon the jaded cynicism of our current world. No longer do we live in an environment deemed safe. My childhood of leaving…

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REVIEW: I’m Here [2010]

“I love music yes, I think” What would you do for love? That is the question Spike Jonze posits with his new short film I’m Here. Brought to us for free on its website by Absolut Vodka, after debuting at Sundance, the tale is a love story between two robots in a world where coexistence with humans is possible. The machines may be looked upon as second-class citizens, holding down menial jobs and not being allowed to drive cars, yet they do what they can to enjoy life. When a…

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