REVIEW: Marriage Story [2019]

The pie was just a pie. It’s crazy how love changes the way we see things. Ambition can look like genius when we’re there as a supportive cheerleader and narcissism when we begin to recognize our sacrifices in seeing it get fulfilled. Success can be construed as a mutually beneficial byproduct of a union when one is strong and fertile, but also evidence of what we personally brought to the equation despite the other when we’re picking through the past to dissect what went wrong and who’s to blame. We…

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REVIEW: Clueless [1995]

I totally paused! I’m not sure why we picked Amy Heckerling‘s Clueless five days after it opened (I save my ticket stubs), but I do remember enjoying it. Not in spite of assumptions either—unless we went because it was the only PG-13 film out (I became a teenage six months earlier). Maybe my love of cinema as more than superficially reductive genres with targeted demographics existed even then since that two-week span also included Apollo 13 and Nine Months. And because I wouldn’t have known about Jane Austen or Heckerling’s…

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REVIEW: Partysaurus Rex [2012]

You were way scarier than the last sea monster. As the wet blanket of the group, Rex (Wallace Shawn) rarely gets to do anything more than fret and accidentally cause problems due to uncontrollable anxieties. So why not let him have some fun, albeit against his better judgment? Knowing this outcome would only be possible if he was removed from the usual Toy Story group and thus rendered “cool” by not having anyone cooler to compare, Mark A. Walsh and Dylan Brown let Bonnie isolate him in the tub with…

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REVIEW: Book Club [2018]

“Sex must not be taken off the table” Besides the numerous raunchy one-liners spoken by the central quartet of aging stars for easy laughs, there’s one short passage from Fifty Shades of Grey that’s actually read onscreen. It comes courtesy of Candice Bergen‘s Sharon and deals with the inexplicable decision to arouse Anastasia Steele with the “friction” of Christian Grey’s zipper. The line is a perfect barometer for whether you’re the target audience of E.L. James‘ trilogy or Bill Holderman and Erin Simms‘ romantic comedy utilizing it as a catalyst…

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REVIEW: Toy Story That Time Forgot [2014]

“Limitations are the shackles that we bind to ourselves” Following the success of last year’s Toy Story of Terror special, Disney and Pixar have presently tackled a holiday more on the nose: Christmas. Toy Story That Time Forgot opens two days after the presents have been torn apart and each new addition to the posable family introduced. A bit of cheer remains as Bonnie (Emily Hahn) has affixed antlers onto her triceratops Trixie’s (Kristen Schaal) horns to transform her into the unsuspecting victim of a terrible faux dinosaur played by…

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REVIEW: Don Peyote [2014]

“Her cigarette never burned out” No one can say I didn’t do my due diligence, but I simply can’t wrap my head around Dan Fogler and Michael Canzoniero‘s stoner-tinted, loose modernization of Don Quixote aptly entitled Don Peyote. People often joke about certain cult films “working better” while high and I can’t help thinking this might actually be the optimal state to truly understand Warren Allman’s (Fogler) spiritual journey. I should know as I viewed it twice in the hopes that fatigue rendered me impossibly perplexed after the first screening…

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REVIEW: Toy Story of Terror [2013]

“And if something does happen to the potato—I don’t want to miss it!” While Disney/Pixar has dove into children’s television with Cars-centric offerings and a Buzz Lightyear spin-off, it’s surprising it’s taken this long to craft a primetime special. With what used to be a flawless feature film enterprise bolstered by award-winning shorts, perhaps they believed themselves above the small screen until now. But as Pixar evolves from luxury brand to simply one more animation arm of Disney proper, good press and high ratings aren’t something to ignore out of…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: The Double [2014]

“It’s terrible to be alone too much” Comically dry like director Richard Ayoade‘s debut Submarine, his sophomore effort takes more than a few steps towards an even more arid realm of complete existentialist surrealism. Adapted by he and Avi Korine, The Double brings Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s novella to the big screen with a surefire confidence in its visual form and an eccentric comedy that should go a long way towards securing “The IT Crowd” starrer as a permanent, unique voice in contemporary cinema. There is a definite stylistic kinship to his…

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REVIEW: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore [2010]

“I’m 65% sure, I can go to 67% … Oh, look! A potato bug” Remember those days of spoof films like Scary Movie, Superhero Movie, Date Movie, and ‘Insert Generic Genre Title’ Movie? Oh, that’s right, we haven’t left that abysmal period of cinematic history behind quite yet. But instead of inundating Middle Schoolers with fart jokes and actors who laugh at themselves, Hollywood has gone to the children. I’ve never seen Cats & Dogs, so I don’t know if that was a real film or not, however, its sequel,…

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REVIEW: Toy Story [1995]

“Ages three and up! It’s on my box!” It’s hard to believe that, with Toy Story 3 coming out soon, it has been fifteen years since the original film. Back in 1995, Toy Story ushered in an animation renaissance for not only Disney, but also the medium as a whole. Pixar Studios had created something that changed the game forever, spawning countless other computer-graphic studios to follow suit and never fully reach the potential consistently exceeded by the Mouse House’s little buddy. Starting as a small-scale studio inside the Lucasfilm…

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