REVIEW: Three Christs [2020]

I can attest. Two decades after publishing his study The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, Milton Rokeach came to the realization that his methods were both manipulative and unethical. He included an afterword in a re-release of the book to that effect—something surely helped by the supposed fact his research assistants questioned his morality while it was still being conducted. Rokeach’s goal was to cure three patients who independently believed themselves the one-and-only reincarnation of Jesus by placing them together in a controlled environment to confront the absurdity of their claims.…

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REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp [2018]

“Like Baba Yaga …” While a lot of fans were instantly and irrationally mad upon learning Avengers: Infinity War wouldn’t include Hawkeye or Ant-Man, I rejoiced knowing that Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s release date fell between both it and its as yet untitled Avengers follow-up. This meant that Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) latest adventure to the Quantum Realm would have no bearing on the crazy cliffhanger seemingly sealing the fates of so many other superheroes. Marvel was positioning its cinematic universe’s “lighter side” as a vehicle to help distract audiences…

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REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Death Cure [2018]

“It’s about knowing when you’ve lost” Could you sacrifice a percentage of the population if it meant saving mankind in its entirety? What about if it merely gave you a chance at that salvation? These are the big questions we ask ourselves at the end of the world—ones that force us to face the reality of our inevitable demise. We can infer that we’ll reach this point because we made a wrong decision in the past. And if the whole reason we’re about to be lost forever is our fault,…

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REVIEW: Mojave [2016]

“I’m into motive-less malignity” I’m not sure what I thought William Monahan‘s Mojave would be, but it definitely wasn’t what followed the tense first fifteen or so minutes spent in the titular desert. We’re thrown into the world he creates to meet a man named Thomas (Garrett Hedlund) speaking philosophically about life and identity via narration as his stern yet lost self leaves a naked woman alone in his bed and ignores the voicemails of who we assume is his family. He’s a mystery—a formidable guy both physically and mentally…

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REVIEW: The Hateful Eight [2015]

“Well I’ll be double-dog damned” It appears Quentin Tarantino has decided to go back to his roots by making his eighth feature film The Hateful Eight in the same vein as his debut Reservoir Dogs—namely keeping sets and actors to the bare minimum for added tension without room for escape. The maneuver couldn’t have come sooner with its predecessor Django Unchained, despite earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, proving to me his weakest work. Not only was it pretty much a watered-down rehash of Inglourious Basterds, it was also…

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REVIEW: American Ultra [2015]

“We fired the ugly one” When there are only seven basic plots—as the saying goes—to implicitly choose from as a screenwriter, genre-bending homage becomes the sole path towards creativity. So while Max Landis‘ script for American Ultra is The Bourne Identity meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith through a Pineapple Express filter, it’s a damn good ride regardless. He’s throwing common tropes on their head by making a government-trained agent into a paranoid stoner filled to the brim with anxiety. He’s creating laughs out of dramatic convention while director Nima Nourizadeh…

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REVIEW: G.I. Joe: Retaliation [2013]

“You love my panties” I have to give Paramount Pictures credit as they saw what did and didn’t work in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and sought a way to rectify their mistakes. Were they going to end up with a good film? No. Did they at least want to find a way to give audiences something to have fun with? Surprisingly, yes. G.I. Joe: Retaliation would make big bucks at the box office anyway—it would have probably made more before a nine-month 3D retrofitting delay. The question was…

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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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REVIEW: Predators [2010]

“Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man” Sometimes you have to be dropped on an alien planet with a bunch of amoral killers to finally discover what it means to be human. The sentiment may be cheesy, but for some reason it works in the reboot/sequel hybrid Predators. I haven’t seen the first two installments, knowing only that Predator is supposedly a classic of the genre and Predator 2 good for a laugh at Danny Glover. After watching both Alien vs. Predator flicks, however, I wouldn’t say…

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REVIEW: Miracle at St. Anna [2008]

“I know who the sleeping man is” Spike Lee has left me confused after viewing his new WWII epic Miracle at St. Anna. This film is a jumbled mess of great sequences, surreal moments, and short bridge scenes thrown in to advanced a contrived plot and then left on the floor to possibly come back to at the end. I give the marketing people credit for keeping a veil of intrigue over the movie, never really delving into what the plot truly is. At the heart of the story is…

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