REVIEW: Cowboys [2021]

It’s not my fault. Hearing writer/director Anna Kerrigan talk about the origins of her latest film Cowboys is to understand the love she has for Montana and the way it provides a respite from the noise of city life. With that sense of comfort in nature’s majesty, however, also lies the potential for disconnect where politics are concerned since those who call that state home aren’t always the most diverse or understanding when it comes to lifestyle choices that fall outside the “norms” of their conservative religious worldview. So it…

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REVIEW: A Glitch in the Matrix [2021]

It’s just like a videogame. Simulation theory is an interesting concept because it cannot be objectively measured. Even if someone came up with a definitive answer to the question of whether our reality is the base world or one of infinite copies created by an unknown architect, the life we are living right now remains “real.” If we have to die to discover a new existence, the one we leave behind isn’t erased. We don’t actively seek to die so we can get to Heaven. Point of fact: our deeds…

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REVIEW: Greenland [2020]

Where are the flashes? John Garrity (Gerard Butler) dreads going home at the start of director Ric Roman Waugh and screenwriter Chris Sparling‘s disaster film Greenland, but it’s not because a giant comet from an unknown solar system is flying closer to Earth than expected. He’s not some scientist who’s been studying the trajectory or a military man with the expertise to stop it. He’s a structural engineer pretending his foreman can’t finish up because he’s unsure of what to expect upon opening his front door. The fact Allison (Morena…

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REVIEW: The Reckoning [2021]

I must persist. While Neil Marshall‘s 1665 London-set, Great Plague drama The Reckoning has obvious allusions to our own present-day pandemic, COVID-19 wasn’t a factor in its creation being that filming occurred in 2019. The fear and paranoia that surround both eras are palpable, though, and the ways in which our current disease has been politicized beyond the point of human empathy does bear superficial similarity to the ways in which women were persecuted as witches against the backdrop that past sickness. Despite Marshall and co-writers Charlotte Kirk and Edward…

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SUNDANCE21 REVIEW: In the Earth [2021]

You worried she’s going to get you? There’s a shared ambition during times like worldwide pandemics and it’s to find meaning in the chaos. We need to figure out cause and composition in order to create a solution, but there’s also a necessity for comprehension insofar as abetting the anxiety that inevitably rises from the moment’s uncertainty. Some of us go straight to the science as a result, (How bad is it? What can we do to stay safe? Who’s at a higher risk?), while others search their souls through…

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REVIEW: Little Fish [2021]

I was so sad the day I met you. It happens slow or fast—only those suffering alongside you know for sure. Think Alzheimer’s except without an age threshold or genetic factor. One day you’re yourself and the next finds you either forgetting certain details or everything at once. The disease is known as NIA and it’s been ravaging the world for a while now. Planes are grounded so no more pilots will forget how to fly mid-flight. Stray dogs have increased exponentially because owners don’t realize they ever had a…

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REVIEW: Palmer [2021]

Boys don’t play with dolls. After a twelve-year incarceration for attempted murder, Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) is finally coming home. If the main takeaway from that sentence is you wondering how you’ll ever believe Timberlake as an ex-con, know you’re not alone. That was my first thought too. But there are ex-cons who carry themselves as though the violent crime they committed is part of their identity and those who have truly repented and accepted what they did as a tragic mistake that took away a decade of their life.…

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REVIEW: Apollo 11: Quarantine [2021]

Please do not feed the animals. When you craft a 90-minute movie out of over 11,000 hours of newly sourced video documenting the Apollo 11 mission, the amount of footage left on the cutting room floor is extensive. That’s not to say you should have made a longer film, though. Todd Douglas Miller‘s succinctly titled Apollo 11 is one of the best documentaries to come out of the past decade. Adding more imagery of pre-launch, moon landing, and/or aftermath wouldn’t have improved anything—it may have conversely made it worse. But…

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REVIEW: The Little Things [2021]

How’s the trunk space? Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) never wanted to return to Los Angeles. It didn’t matter that he had a good life there before his divorce and estrangement from his daughters. It didn’t matter that he’s now a Sheriff’s deputy in a small town when he used to be a big city detective with the department’s highest clearance rate. His fall from grace scarred him enough to know that setting foot in the City of Angels again would bring the memories he’s struggled to suppress during sleepless nights…

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REVIEW: Saint Maud [2020]

Never waste your pain. After attempting to get her young nurse to agree with a mean-spirited comment about a just departed houseguest, Amanda (Jennifer Ehle) remarks that, “We don’t see what we don’t want to see.” Maud (Morfydd Clark) never disagreed with her, though. She simply stated that she didn’t notice. That’s nevertheless enough to make her the enemy in this instance. That’s enough for Amanda to grow defensive (towards herself) because that anger is the only thing keeping her warm against what she deems emotional betrayal. And who’s to…

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REVIEW: アーヤと魔女 [Âya to majo] [Earwig and the Witch] [2020]

I shall give you the worms. Those familiar with Diana Wynne Jones‘ children’s book Âya to majo [Earwig and the Witch] will be surprised to find Gorô Miyazaki‘s cinematic adaptation beginning with a chase scene pitting a red-headed woman on a motorcycle against a yellow Citroën on her tail. They weave in and out of traffic with impossible speed and maneuvering before we see the first bit of magic used to create some extra distance. That’s when a cut occurs for us to watch the unknown redhead walk through a…

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