FANTASIA14 REVIEW: The Infinite Man [2014]

“Sexual congress in five” There are some great science fiction films that deal with time travel in a way blockbusters like The Terminator simply cannot due to scale and want for mass appeal. To fans of that series a movie like Primer may be too technically oppressive and intellectual while Timecrimes too dark and finite. Well, Australian Hugh Sullivan looks to change these preconceptions by combining Shane Carruth‘s impeccable plotting and Nacho Vigalondo‘s expert visual repetition in a genre the casual moviegoer can embrace: romantic comedy. In fact the clichéd…

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REVIEW: The Voorman Problem [2013]

“Release?” It’s an Oscar nominated short film and yet I thank The Voorman Problem not for its entertaining wit or Martin Freeman‘s outburst of hilarity at its end, but instead for it cementing my need to start reading David Mitchell. Yes, the author of Cloud Atlas is the main inspiration behind director Mark Gill and cowriter Baldwin Li‘s movie courtesy of it being an adaptation of an excerpt from the novel number9dream. Detailing the encounter of a psychiatrist named Dr. Williams (Freeman) and an imprisoned patient who believes he is…

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INTERVIEW: Neil LaBute, writer of Some Girl(s)

Always prolific on the playwright front, Neil LaBute’s past decade at the movies has been filled by studio pictures that never quite found the creative success of earlier works In the Company of Men or The Shape of Things. However, hot on the heels of his first original work since—Some Velvet Morning—a new adaptation of his 2005 play Some Girl(s) appears to be bringing him back to his roots. The film depicts a young man traveling the country to “right the wrongs” he may have committed with a few ex-girlfriends…

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REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone [2013]

“Pretend I’m still here and tell me all about it” I’m a big magic fan—always have been. Armed with a set of tricks needing extensive instructions before allowing my parents to feign astonishment at my implementation, I watched every David Copperfield special and even went to a weekly magic class one summer as a kid. There is something about making the impossible possible through hard work and dedication that is utterly satisfying. Who wouldn’t enjoy witnessing the look in someone’s eye when they’ve been genuinely surprised by a flawless illusion…

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REVIEW: Jeff, Who Lives at Home [2012]

“The Porsche is normal size. You’re a Sasquatch.” It’s good to see Mark Duplass hasn’t stopped making small-scale, heartfelt indies with his brother Jay despite success on the acting front with the likes of “The League” and Safety Not Guaranteed. While I’m not sure you could still call them mumblecore with increasingly prominent casts—although their second film of 2012, The Do-Deca Pentathlon might—they haven’t lost the quirkily authentic appeal that originally endeared the duo to audiences. Jeff, Who Lives at Home contains some questionable choices with constant zoom pulls recalling…

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REVIEW: Bad Teacher [2011]

“Peanut Butter everywhere …” I wasn’t the biggest fan when it was called Bad Santa and took place in a department store, so, suffice it to say, Bad Teacher’s foul-mouthed comedy never quite hit home. Scribed by writers from “The Office” and, what is sadly much lower on my anticipation list now, Ghostbusters III, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg have one thing going for them—laughs. If it weren’t for a healthy amount of laugh-out-loud instances, the void of any engaging conflict coupled with the broadest performances I’ve seen in quite…

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REVIEW: Cedar Rapids [2011]

“You’re what I like to call a Richard. A Richard Head.” On paper, Cedar Rapids seems an odd choice for a Sundance Selection. With a star in Ed Helms at the center, a man enjoying continued success on “The Office” and breaking out in The Hangover, you think overdone Hollywood vehicle to cash in on some timely exposure. Just look at that poster with his too wide grin and airplane pillow that doubles for a life preserver on quick glance next to the title. But then you go deeper and…

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10/12/10 … Talking Movies with Nick Mendola on WECK 1230AM

On the air with Nick Mendola at Buffalo’s own WECK 1230AM radio. 10/12/10 – Talking about, but not limited to, 127 Hours; The Social Network; Catfish; The Town; Jackass 3D; and A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop. Audio player appears once link is pressed: CLICK TO LISTEN [editor’s note: please excuse the constant interrupting of Nick as the connection constantly cut out to the point where I heard dead air and thought I needed to talk—hopefully rectified in the future.]

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REVIEW: Dinner for Schmucks [2010]

“You can eat my pudding” When reading the synopsis for 1998s French film Le dîner de cons, I was surprised at how close to the new Americanized version, Dinner for Schmucks, it actually was. Both titles allude to the fact a dinner is involved—one hinging on the invitation of guests with high levels of idiocy. After all, the one to make company owner Fender (Bruce Greenwood) laugh most is awarded a trophy for his/her trouble; a chalice designating the winner as “Most Extraordinary” to his face, but “Biggest Loser” behind…

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360|365FF10 REVIEW: Monogamy [2010]

“When do you want to swing by to choose your prints?” Those of you that say a monogamous relationship isn’t possible, that you can’t live the rest of your life with the same person and seriously be happy, Monogamy is the film for you. As succinctly and authentically as it can, Dana Adam Shapiro’s film, (Oscar nominated director of the documentary Murderball), peers through the window of Theo’s life. The guy has it all: a beautiful fiancé, a self-employed photography job where he calls the shots, and an apartment in…

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REVIEW: Date Night [2010]

“And you brought your androgynous friend” It is amazing what a month can do to change one’s tastes. I’m a fan of Steve Carell, have been since his days on “The Daily Show”, but recently couldn’t get past how much I hated his role in “The Office”, not to mention having wrote off the show last season. And then there’s Tina Fey, a comedienne that I respect and thought did a wonderful job with Mean Girls, but whom I really had no opinion of—I stopped watching “SNL” when Farley died.…

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