REVIEW: 20,000 Days on Earth [2014]

“And if that doesn’t do it—you shoot the clown” I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While a brilliant film regardless, I could not shake the violence in Cave’s stage presence or the intensity of his songs against the romantic plot thrusting my ears into its wake. So even though I knew…

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REVIEW: Lawless [2012]

“You still have the price tag on your coat” After The Proposition‘s grit and The Road‘s nightmarish post-apocalyptic vision, watching the trailer for John Hillcoat‘s newest film Lawless left a little something to be desired. Looking like an action flick about bootleggers standing against the law in a blaze of glory, all nuance from its showcase of familial strength and honor was missing. Based on an historical novel written by its subject’s grandson Matt Bondurant—The Wettest County in the World—this is the heroic legend of three indestructible brothers refusing to…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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TIFF09 RECAP: Connecting to Your World … and mine

Every year at the Toronto International Film Festival seems to get better and better. Is that due to the increase in films from six to eleven to fifteen? It very well might be. And I’ll just say now, watching fifteen films in less than four days may not be the healthiest thing in the world. Between the vendor sausage/chicken dogs/nitrates on a bun being easily accessible and a standard meal when going from one film to the next with barely enough time to catch your breath and the sheer fact…

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TIFF09 REVIEW: The Road [2009]

“I don’t want to just survive” Why do the Weinsteins continue to do it? They buy and finance great stuff, they have an eye for talent, and yet they squander it so many times. When I first heard that the Cormac McCarthy adapted, John Hillcoat directed The Road was being pushed back from last year’s Oscar contention—yes, last year—I just shook my head wondering how those two brothers could ruin it. Was it post-production that needed extra time to complete or did the volatile big men hate the cut and…

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REVIEW: 3:10 to Yuma [2007]

“Even bad men love they mommas” It is interesting how having an Oscar nominated director and actor, along with an Oscar winning actor can make a film garner award season buzz rather than the backlash of being a remake. The stigma of remake usually spells the kiss of death for most films, but it seems almost an afterthought with James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma. Based on an Elmore Leonard short story, the original is somewhat highly touted, so it is not as though people don’t know of it to have…

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REVIEW: First Snow [2007]

“Purple mountains” People constantly talk about how young actors like Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have the knack for choosing some great films to be a part of and really showing off the immense range and talent they contain, (I’m one of them). However, few people talk about the stalwart adults who have been doing their job for years yet without credit. Unless you’re a huge star doing some good stuff along with mindless drivel in order to keep your name in the minds of your viewers, you are thrown…

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Top 25 Films of 2006

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 88 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Déjà Vu directed by Tony Scott. #24: Lady in the Water directed byM. Night Shyamalan #23: Casino Royale directed by Martin Campbell. #22: Stranger Than Fiction directed by Marc Forster #21: The Science of Sleep directed by Michel Gondry #20: Half Nelson directed by Ryan Fleck #19: Clerks 2 directed by Kevin Smith #18: The Last King of Scotland directed by…

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Top Ten Films of 2006

The day has come where all that movie watching during the year, all that money given to Hollywood players who need none of it, and all those buttered popcorn induced coronaries boil down to one person’s ego-trip of compiling a list of the best of the best. I now join the list of film-snobs everywhere with my top ten films of 2006. If you have been reading my reviews you will know that I don’t care too much about how the film was made, but instead how much I enjoyed…

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REVIEW: The Proposition [2006]

“Australia … what fresh hell is this?” Late nineteenth century Australia seems to have been quite a hellish place indeed if we are to believe what Nick Cave and John Hillcoat have given us here. From the unflinching, seeming authenticity, the weight of conflicting emotion on the part of each and every human being portrayed, and the sheer beauty of it—pain, suffering, and all—I won’t be the one to dispute it. I must admit that I have never seen a western before. None of the classics—John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sergio…

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