REVIEW: The Beach Bum [2019]

Chase the moon. It’s as though writer/director Harmony Korine breathed life into a Jimmy Buffett song with his latest film The Beach Bum considering how effortlessly it allows its lead character Moondog (Matthew McConaughey) to skate by in the moment with a laissez-faire attitude balanced atop the simple desire to have fun. The musician even cameos as himself, lounging around R&B singer Rie’s (Snoop Dogg) yacht while surrounded by naked women. But even though the script is bare bones and devoid of narrative drive beyond allowing Moondog to move from…

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REVIEW: Neighbors [2014]

“We should go Mom tipping later” After respectively writing and directing a short film that dealt with a manchild living in a storage unit who befriends one of the employees in hopes to stay, Brendan O’Brien and Andrew Jay Cohen have decided to go a bit less high concept with their feature screenwriting debut. But while the quirky setting may be gone, the theme of surviving the suburban boredom of adulthood is not. One could say Neighbors is an evolutionary reworking of American Storage‘s concepts as the duo polishes things…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: Parkland [2013]

“It’s my story too” We all know the story of President John F Kennedy’s assassination. It’s an event that has been ingrained into our culture, spawned a myriad of conspiracy theories, and remains a hotly contested moment in time that changed the fabric of an entire nation. But what about the people this tragedy affected on a personal level beyond victim and perpetrator? What about the trauma surgeons and nurses who watched as the president’s heartbeat flat-lined? What about the giddy business owner excitedly filming the motorcade on his lunch…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2012: Summer Excess and Festival Freshness

“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. Summer is over and the studios still have a few genre flicks to unload before the arthouse, festival favorites begin rolling out. Oh, and Halloween is here too. The sad…

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REVIEW: The Lucky One [2012]

“She’s not mine” Sadly—or perhaps not—The Lucky One did not instill a need to rectify my neglect of watching or reading author Nicholas Sparks‘ previous works. A romantic drama that falls prey to all the tropes you know and love/hate, the roller coaster ride of emotions it wants to be ends up little more than a gradual slide to the inevitably safe bottom. Not even a pair of lead actors I actually like could save the story from itself when Taylor Schilling‘s Beth is a trite casualty of every stereotypical…

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Posterized Propaganda April 2012: Where Art and Commerce Meet

“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. There’s a good mix of work coming out in April and the posters do well to mirror such. I’m not quite sure how Chris Sparling could have his script for…

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REVIEW: The Lorax [2012]

“I’m Frankenstein’s head on a spider’s body” I loved The Land Before Time when I was a kid. It was a cute story with memorable characters in a world full of dinosaurs that utterly fascinated me. I remember seeing it in the theatre, getting the plastic hand puppets from Pizza Hut, and eventually acquiring a VHS of the film through some other restaurant’s promotion. There was something about it that allowed for its message of friendship, love, and whatever else to come across without a shred of overt manipulation or…

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REVIEW: New Year’s Eve [2011]

“Did he just snap me in a maternity ward?” So many questions I never knew I had were answered last night during a packed house screening of New Year’s Eve. A spiritual sequel to last year’s Valentine’s Day, director Garry Marshall, writer Katherine Fugate, and at least three actors playing different characters return. Besides learning the general masses savor broad-stroked comedy when it’s spoon-fed to them, I also discovered trite generic love to be their fantasy dream-come-true of choice. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since this film received…

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FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, the campiness, and the transvestites are present—and what work based on a John Waters film wouldn’t—but everything is displayed out of context. Soundbytes and visuals are shown without explanation and believed to just be a…

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REVIEW: 17 Again [2009]

“Let’s push some pills my peeps” I feel like Hollywood just remade Big a few years back. It was called 13 Going on 30 and it was an inferior product; but what wouldn’t be in comparison to Penny Marshall’s classic? This year sees the industry go back to that well again with the Zac Efron vehicle 17 Again. It comes from director Burr Steers whose debut was the critical darling Igby Goes Down, so there was potential. Complete with a cast of notable faces and a stellar soundtrack featuring The…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: Me and Orson Welles [2008]

“Quadruple space” I am a huge fan of Tim Robbins’ film Cradle Will Rock. The cast is amazing, the story epic in scope, and the behind the scenes setting of the theatre and arts world is something I enjoy. So, when I saw that Richard Linklater had a new film at the Toronto International Film Festival and that it took place during Orson Welles’ run at the Mercury Theatre, I was very interested. Me and Orson Welles is based off a novel which creates a fictional character to be our…

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