REVIEW: Doctor Sleep [2019]

We don’t end. I’m not going to lie: seeing Stephen King endorse Mike Flanagan‘s cinematic adaptation of his novel Doctor Sleep worried me. After being so vehemently vocal against Stanley Kubrick‘s changes to The Shining, the film version of the sequel would seemingly need to be religiously faithful to the text for him to laud it. The only way that happens is for it to conversely diverge from Kubrick’s masterpiece instead, rendering a middle ground between them impossible. Either Flanagan wrote and directed a continuation of the movie (hedge maze,…

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REVIEW: Finding Nemo [2003]

“You mean the swirling vortex of terror?” There’s a lot happening in Finding Nemo, a fact that hindered my appreciation for it back in 2003. At its core is a story about an over-protective clownfish father and his adventurous boy yearning to break free of the constant fear that’s ruled their lives for too long. But this logline barely scratches the surface after introducing a blue tang in the Pacific without a short-term memory and an angelfish in captivity searching for freedom. When the boy (Alexander Gould‘s Nemo) is taken…

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REVIEW: Réalité [Reality] [2015]

“The insides serve no purpose” This is what it’s like to go insane. Writer/director Quentin Dupieux loves the surreal and absurd, but Réalité [Reality] takes his penchant for humorous oddity to another level. With Philip Glass‘ “Music with Changing Parts” boring a hole into your temple and fluid sequences of characters meeting in real time or via some from of media projection (and sometimes both at once), the filmmaker revels in keeping his audience off balance and unsure. The beauty of it this time, though, is how he provides us…

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Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition preview

TIFF may be known for the film festival that makes up its name’s acronym, but they offer so much more ever since the TIFF Bell Lightbox opened a few years back. Along with an extensive screening schedule of new releases we in Buffalo may never see on the big screen, the organization has set itself apart as an East Coast venue for cinema-centric exhibits we had to previously enjoy from afar via internet recaps and photo galleries. Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition was the latest of these, debuting at LACMA last…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2014: ‘Noah’, ‘Nymphomaniac,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Enemy’ & 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. Has summer started early? Big blockbusters like Divergent, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Need for Speed are releasing in March—I guess they must therefore be the studios’ lesser…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2013: The Faces of ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘The Counselor’ & 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. Not too many movies open up in October—and only one studio horror flick at that, despite Halloween. What’s the best way to sell tickets then? Star power. Celebrity faces are…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: 2013 Short Cuts Canada Programmes

Programme 1 A far cry from the documentary short Joda—a visual letter to Jafar Panahi—that was included in the TIFF Short Cuts Canada Programme last year, graphic designer turned filmmaker Theodore Ushev’s Gloria Victoria is all about the visceral and aural capabilities of film without something as unnecessary as words. Full of sumptuous textured layers formed by sketch drawings, Russian Constructivist elements, what I believe were faces from Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, and more, the rising crescendo of Shostakovich’s “Invasion” from Symphony No. 7 helps spur on an emotive war in…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2013: ‘Stoker,’ ‘Place Beyond the Pines,’ ‘Spring Breakers’ & 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. I’m honestly not sure if it is possible to cram more movies in one 31-day period (five Fridays!). Let’s just say the dump month doldrums have ceased and we’ve moved…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: Room 237 [2013]

“Author intent is only part story in all forms of art” What happens to a film—or any work of art for that matter—when its artist has unleashed it to the world? Does it only exist to be what its creator intended or can it hold the potential for infinite possibilities as the disparate minds and interpretations of its viewers dissect and theorize? Art is above all else subjective and has always been at the mercy of a select few self-proclaimed or anointed experts who place a value—monetarily or intellectually—that then…

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REVIEW: Shutter Island [2010]

“Retreat isn’t something you consider an option” Very rarely does a film meet, let alone exceed, the expectations of the piece of literature it is based upon. With a director like Martin Scorsese, however, you do hold out hope that it will at least come close. But with postponements from the Oscar wheelhouse of a fall release and the move to a dump month such as February, concern weighed very heavy. Maybe the departure in subject matter caused the venerable auteur to falter a bit, unsure of how to handle…

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REVIEW: The Box [2009]

“You have blood on your hands” Does anyone not push the button? What can I say about Richard Kelly’s supposed turn to mainstream cinema? Three things, and they are as follows: One, the marketing for The Box has to be some of the worst in the history of film. Warner Brothers is selling a completely different movie than what is shown on screen. This isn’t a thriller against the clock for a yuppie couple; it’s a fight for the salvation of the human race. Hell, it takes place in 1976…

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