REVIEW: Ad Astra [2019]

Most of us spend our entire life in hiding. In our quests for more, many of us forget that which we already have. This is true on a micro (sacrificing family for career) and macro (domination no matter the collateral damage) level. Space exploration can often become a rather direct example of this as a common reason for advancement in interstellar travel stems from our desire to find a new home to replace the one we’ve destroyed. We latch onto those things that we can only hope to achieve while…

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REVIEW: Jason Bourne [2016]

“And I heard you got hacked” In the nine years since Matt Damon last played amnesiac black ops assassin Jason Bourne, (eleven movie years considering the character exclaims he’s been running for three in The Bourne Ultimatum after The Bourne Identity bowed in 2002), there’s been a lot of chatter about making a reunion work only to have the actor and director Paul Greengrass emphatically say, “No.” It was with good reason too because they knew throwing a sequel together without a quality story that did justice to the original…

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REVIEW: The Homesman [2014]

“God will strike you down” I didn’t necessarily love The Homesman, but it’s hard not to respect it. This is a dark story in the desolate Mid-West with outlaw justice and remorseless murder surrounding the charitably selfless journey of Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) and the three crazed women she’s taking across the Missouri into Iowa so they can be cared for under reasonable conditions. It can’t have been an easy adaptation of Glendon Swarthout‘s novel for director Tommy Lee Jones and his co-writers Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley A. Oliver…

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The 85th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • and the #Oscars begin … #[email protected] • SUCCESS!! Tommy Lee Jones smiles! #[email protected] • poor Don Cheadle #Oscars13 Welcome to the 85th annual Academy Awards from the newly renamed Dolby Theatre. Bankruptcy is a drag, ain’t it Kodak? Hopes were high after host Seth MacFarlane‘s surprisingly hilarious Ted made me wonder if the dude wasn’t the real deal after all. A poor man’s Ricky Gervais, the Academy was probably wise in going for the watered-down Americanized version of unbridled snark because one would think the “Family Guy” creator…

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Picking Winners at the 85th Annual Academy Awards

Supporting Actress:Amy Adams: The MasterSally Field: LincolnAnne Hathaway: Les MisérablesHelen Hunt: The SessionsJacki Weaver: Silver Linings Playbook William Altreuter: It often seems to me that the Best Supporting categories are where the most interesting things are to be found in the Academy Award nominations, and this year is proving me right. What we often get—especially with Best Actress in a Supporting Role—are performances that really carry the movie, even though we tend not to notice. We also get actresses showing us what they can do against type, and that display of craft and professionalism is frequently rewarded. The…

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REVIEW: Lincoln [2012]

“This isn’t usual, Mr. Pendleton. This is history.” Images of brother fighting brother, President Lincoln orating the Emancipation Proclamation, and his tragic demise at the end of John Wilkes Booth’s gun are conjured when most think about the Civil War. For many the abolition of slavery was merely one of the resulting terms of surrender on behalf of the Confederates, the goal of the Union and the Republican Party from the start finally becoming reality. But the details of this historic event are never really explained save a couple dates,…

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Posterized Propaganda August 2012: A Summer Lull

“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. August isn’t fooling around with a ton of releases spanning both big budget and independent productions. I couldn’t even begin to talk about them all here—sorry Sparkle—but there sadly aren’t…

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REVIEW: Men in Black 3 [2012]

“He didn’t say please” While strange for a Men in Black film to open with something other than a crashing spaceship, I’ll admit to being ecstatic for the alternative. Having the sexy Nicole Scherzinger lead us into the maximum-security prison housing one of the universe’s most notorious criminals definitely didn’t hurt either. What I really enjoyed about the pre-credit sequence to Men in Black 3, however, was that our introduction to Bogladite destroyer Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) seemed to get the series back on track as far as giving…

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REVIEW: Men in Black II [2002]

“I see you neuralyzed another partner” There’s nothing like a lost memory trope to allow lazy screenwriters the opportunity to explain their film within the construct of its plot. Despite an inventive, tongue-in-cheek reenactment program hosted by Peter Graves about mysterious conspiracy stories ushering us back into the Men in Black universe, Robert Gordon and Barry Fanaro‘s subversion of their expository prologue is wasted. No one enjoys disembodied voices and scrolling text to describe backstory in a Kindergarten teacher’s tone of superiority, so why not poke some fun at the…

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REVIEW: Men in Black [1997]

“May I ask why you felt little Tiffany had to die?” Fresh off the success of Get Shorty two years prior, director Barry Sonnenfeld‘s still young but effective career found it’s biggest hit in the rollicking science fiction comedy Men in Black. Unfortunately for him, the film also proved to be his last cinematic work worthy of note after a solid Hollywood journey beginning behind the lens for Rob Reiner, Penny Marshall, and the Coen Brothers. Broader in his comic sensibilities than that more subversive duo, his handling of Ed…

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Posterized Propaganda May 2012: Monkeys on a Typewriter

“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. This month may be one of the least creative in terms of movie posters ever. Between the laziness, litany of character sheets, and over-used technique, I think I only actually…

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