REVIEW: 47 Ronin [2013]

“Now know the depth of my lord’s honor” There have been numerous iterations of Japan’s unofficial, national legend about forty-seven ronin who avenged their master’s death at the start of the eighteenth century spanning movies, ballets, television productions, operas, bunraku, and kabuki plays. Known as Chūshingura, the true story has been embellished over the centuries […]

VIFF11 INTERVIEW: Prashant Bhargava, writer/director of Patang

While at the Vancouver International Film Festival this year, I had the pleasure of speaking to the writer/director of Patang [The Kite], Prashant Bhargava. A Chicago-born filmmaker of Indian descent, his first feature length work has hit screens in Berlin and Tribeca before making its way to Canada, picking up praise at every screening. A […]

REVIEW: Source Code [2011]

“I’d kiss you again” If it seems familiar, well it is. Duncan Jones’s sophomore effort, after his one man-show Moon, is eerily similar to Tony Scott’s Déjà Vu from five years ago. But while the Denzel vehicle dealt more with police work and action, Ben Ripley’s script for Source Code delves deeper into the ramifications […]

REVIEW: Unstoppable [2010]

“Stop. Look. And Listen.” Sometimes the thrillers that pit their heroes against a clock rather than some evil villain work the best. They generally contain situations you as a viewer can relate to, regular people being in the wrong place at the wrong time—or right time depending on your outlook—stepping up to risk sacrificing themselves […]

REVIEW: The Hire [2001-2002]

“BMW recommends that you always wear your seatbelt” After watching the Parallel Lines series, my desire to revisit BMW’s The Hire was too much to contain. This thing was a cultural phenomenon, doing what no one had ever done, with a medium still untested at the time. Back in 2001, households across America were still […]

REVIEW: Parallel Lines [2010]

“Five very different films. One piece of dialogue” Bravo Phillips for coming up with one of the best marketing maneuvers I’ve seen this side of BMW, (I still love The Hire and have the DVD). Not only did they commission five short films to comprise Parallel Lines, helping showcase their new Cinema 21:9 LCD TV, […]

REVIEW: The Taking of Pelham 123 [2009]

“You a Yankees fan?” If you ask me whether I’d prefer Ridley Scott or his brother Tony, I think I would have to pick the latter each and every time. Sure, Ridley has made some masterpieces, (Alien and Blade Runner), but he has also given the world plenty of overrated fare as well, (yes, I’m […]

REVIEW: Taken [2008]

“Good luck” Mr. Pierre Morel, you have picked an express train to latch on to—good for you. Something about Luc Besson just works every single time. I’m sad that his declaration of being finished with the director’s chair may be true, however, his scripts are mounting and churning out entertaining action flicks. If you can […]

REVIEW: What Just Happened [2008]

“That’s a good school” Barry Levinson’s What Just Happened made me ponder that exact question as I walked out of my screening. Sadly, the answer I settled on was: not much. I think Robert De Niro’s producer Ben said it best when being completely honest with Stanley Tucci’s screenwriter about his new florist-set script—“it’s not […]

REVIEW: Body of Lies [2008]

“And that means you work for us” The new Ridley Scott film has come upon us, the drama/thriller Body of Lies. I remember a time when Scott’s movies were must-sees, way back when. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the same of late with me having no interest in Hannibal, finding Gladiator and Black Hawk Down to […]

REVIEW: The Bourne Ultimatum [2007]

“He just drove off the roof” I have never been one to shy away from saying that most action films do nothing for me. Most times they’re blatant vehicles to blow stuff up, show off sexy models, and throw any semblance of reality or intelligence out the window. With that said, however, the Bourne series […]