Toronto International Film Festival 2014 Preview

We may have two consistent film festivals here in town showcasing small releases and restored classics, but you might not realize how close we are to one of the biggest in the world. Most “in the know” will center on five events when thinking about the best of the best film festivals and while Venice, Cannes, and Berlin are an ocean away and Sundance is across the country, The Toronto International Film Festival is less than a two-hour drive via the QEW into Canada. Even better than proximity, though, is…

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REVIEW: End of Watch [2012]

“Comfortable footwear. Police is all about comfortable footwear.” If David Ayer is to be believed, life as a South Central L.A. cop is a ticking time bomb ready to explode. What the region isn’t, however, is a cesspool of corrupt officers on the take forming yet one more gang of street thugs to combat. This is a new development in a career built on the nefarious deeds of men in power and the amorality of fresh blood taken under their wings. The writer/director of Harsh Times, Street Kings, and scribe…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2012: White Space Rules the Month

“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. When not distracted by the more offbeat, artistically inclined one-sheets for the amazing line-up gracing Toronto screens at TIFF this month, I was surprised to see a few good ones…

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REVIEW: Rampart [2011]

“You can’t cheat on something you never committed to” After making a splash with his directorial debut The Messenger, writer/director Oren Moverman continues to delve into the subject matter of conflicted heroes and misunderstood men with Rampart. His focus is a veteran soldier once again, but this time far removed from his stint in Vietnam. A rough and tumble cop in the LAPD Rampart Division, his notoriety for ‘possibly’ killing an accused serial rapist years earlier has allowed him certain freedoms during the infamous 1990s scandal embroiling his department that…

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REVIEW: Street Kings [2008]

“I’m already packed” What I love about David Ayer’s work is that he is unpredictable and unafraid to tell a story in all its brutality. From his penned script Training Day to his directorial debut in Harsh Times, we are treated with bad men and worse men, doing what they need to survive and not worrying about the consequences. When I saw the trailer for his new film Street Kings, I thought I’d be in for a three-peat, but I should have looked at the writing credits. Don’t get me…

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REVIEW: Shooter [2007]

“I’m gonna see it through” Director Antoine Fuqua has a style and filmography that I have enjoyed in the past. With Training Day and King Arthur, he delivered some action packed movies that had both story and popcorn pyrotechnics. I will say that after seeing the trailer for his new film Shooter, I was a bit underwhelmed, but until I went to one of his works and was not entertained, I would at least give it a shot. I’m glad I did as Shooter ended up being a well told,…

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REVIEW: Harsh Times [2006]

“Soldiers of the Apocalypse” Harsh Times is an intense film. Keeping you on the edge of finding out how crazy events can become seems to be a staple in the writing of David Ayer. He penned the script for the gritty cop drama Training Day and saw its star, Denzel Washington, win an Oscar for his portrayal of the conflicted beast at its core. With his new film, and directorial debut, Ayer has crafted another street drama about people who themselves don’t know whether they are the good guys, the…

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