REVIEW: Psychic Murder [2017]

“Yes. I realize I look … like the Hamburger Helper.” The idea of a “deal with the devil” tale is to show how—if at all—the victim caught with his/her soul on the line can escape. The fun is in the torture of this latest riff on Faust by his malicious benefactor and the payoff the […]

REVIEW: Night Job [2017]

“People just use the night as an excuse to be someone completely different” Write what you know. These are fortune cookie words of wisdom, but they aren’t wrong. Our own lives are often strange and interesting enough to form the basis of a sitcom because they’re simultaneously universal and unique. Viewers relate to a sense […]

REVIEW: Gary From Accounting [2016]

“I think I left my oven on so I’m going to …” Drinking problems are a serious matter. Alcoholics neglect their families, careers, and their own health as they walk through life in a haze towards their next glass. It’s hard to reach someone suffering from this disease without the cold hard truth. So you […]

REVIEW: Transience [2013]

What is the packet that George (Timothy J. Cox) gives Tom (Joshua Michael Payne) in Tan See Yun‘s short film Transience? This question is running through my mind in desperate need of an answer because without one the whole proves too esoteric to reconcile. We know these two men are a couple—the former responsible, caring, […]

REVIEW: Linda LeThorn & the Musicbox [2012]

“She is really good at this job!” There’s nothing generic about Linda LeThorn & the Musicbox, Meg Skaff‘s quirky psychological study delving into the mind of a damaged young woman who left her aunt behind to endure a fatal disease alone despite promising to remain by her side. Linda (Aundrea Fares) was obviously affected by […]

REVIEW: Hell-Bent [2016]

“May you write some great pieces on this” For whatever reason, screenwriters Lorenzo Cabello and Shayne Kamat refused to turn their script about an underachieving journalist and his demon acquaintance into a deal with the devil scenario. Kudos, guys. There’s ample opportunity too considering Michael’s (Justin Andrew Davis) struggles to find the confidence to fight […]

REVIEW: Dirty Books [2016]

“Jobs? You’re an after school club.” Print is dead and apparently this isn’t only true in the outside world where magazines and newspapers are shuttering and/or moving to a more robust online presence. Of course schools would find themselves facing the same problem. After all, it’s the latest generations’ penchant for using the internet as […]

REVIEW: Here Lies Joe [2016]

“There is hope. There’s a way back to your life.” Only dying can bring two people lost and finished with the world back from the brink of death. That may not make sense to read, but it does in my head. I think maybe writer/director Mark Battle and cowriter Pamela Conway will understand as their […]

REVIEW: What Jack Built [2015]

It’s difficult not to think about Tom Waits‘ song “What’s He Building?” from Mule Variations while watching Matthew Mahler‘s (co-written with Ross Mahler) What Jack Built. This is both a compliment to the tone set by Timothy J. Cox‘s performance as Jack and the tension created by the filmmaker slowly revealing hidden details as the […]

REVIEW: That Terrible Jazz [2014]

“I’m gonna kick up some dirt” A senior film student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Mike Falconi went noir for his thesis short That Terrible Jazz. The piece has an obvious affinity for past cinematic greats with hard-boiled dialogue, a stoic lead, and the missing persons mystery at its core, but his love for […]

REVIEW: Greg’s Guardian Angel [2013]

“Get the Cookies! Cookies!” It wears its comedy on its sleeve with an intentionally broad performance from its titular savior along a pretty obvious plot trajectory, but Greg’s Guardian Angel finds a way to entertain nonetheless. Whether it’s the office setting or the relatable gags embellished for effect sprinkled throughout Greg’s (Greg Vorob) unremarkable life’s […]