REVIEW: Trash [2014]

“Never trust a policeman” It’s not every day that a three-time Oscar nominee for directing decides on a foreign language film to be his next project, but that’s exactly what Stephen Daldry of Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader fame has done. Following in the footsteps of fellow Brit Danny Boyle—whose journey to India for Slumdog Millionaire earned his sole nomination and subsequently an Oscar win—Daldry takes on the novel Trash written by Andy Mulligan about three impoverished boys working as garbage pickers who find something in their nameless…

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REVIEW: Fury [2014]

“Are you saved?” I can relate when people look at David Ayer‘s Fury and shake their heads saying, “We get it. War is brutal.” I can because I remember sitting down to watch The Reader in 2008 only to think how completely over Holocaust movies I was that year. I believe I saw four or five—each good, relevant, and powerful on its own terms if not overwhelming when put together. That’s kind of the point, though, isn’t it? At the end of the day the truth of the matter is…

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The 2009 Oscars … ‘nuff said

The 2009 Academy Awards have closed out the 2008 award season once and for all. And in an inspired move, actually ushered in the new year of movies by ending the show with a montage of 2009 releases. It was a departure somewhat from previous years as it appeared the Academy wanted to try some new things out, making the ceremony a bit more intimate while also possibly shortening its length (well the latter didn’t end up happening). I’ll say that production-wise, this was one of my favorite incarnations ever.…

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REVIEW: Woyzeck [1979]

“You always look so hunted” **Spoilers** Let’s just say that it is good to watch something as potentially inaccessible as Werner Herzog’s Woyzeck with friends who know something about the work for which it is based. As someone unfamiliar with Herzog’s and Klaus Kinski’s film work—this is my first look at their tumultuous yet epic cinematic partnership—and clueless on the story this movie portrays, a post-screening discussion was much appreciated. Especially since the group I watched with is putting on an abstracted, and most likely absurdist, performance of the play,…

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Top Ten Films of 2008: The Year of World War II

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all, the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I don’t know what precipitated 2008 being the year of the World War II movie, but of the 100+ releases I saw, six of them concerned it in some regard. The year saw more than its share of war from all decades with Che, Stop-Loss, Waltz with Bashir, and even Tropic Thunder, however, the Holocaust spent…

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REVIEW: The Reader [2008]

“Only one thing can make a soul complete—and that one thing is love” What is guilt? I believe this is the central question behind Stephen Daldry’s new film The Reader. Based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink, the story asks its audience what a true monster is. If you are doing your job, afflicted by a handicap that others will use against you, can you be held responsible for your actions if your own demise would be the result of standing against orders? Should you be held to blame for…

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