REVIEW: Echo Boomers [2020]

You can help me bridge that gap. I’d never heard the term Echo Boomers until Seth Savoy‘s film (co-written by him, Jason Miller, and Kevin Bernhardt). As a synonym for Millennials, however, it’s pretty apt. Baby Boomers screamed into the void and Millennials bounced back. We (I’m borderline with Boomers saying my 1982 birthdate makes me a Millennial and Millennials saying I’m Gen-X) are mirrors they hate because of how much we remind them of themselves. They call us the “Me Generation” because they believe we’re over-confident and entitled without…

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REVIEW: The White Tiger [2021]

I was trapped in the rooster coop. You know that young Balram Halwai’s (Adarsh Gourav) ascent from servant to entrepreneur within Ramin Bahrani‘s The White Tiger won’t be quite what we’re used to thanks to two moments. One comes via a quip at Slumdog Millionaire‘s expense explaining how there are no game shows in India that could make someone from Balram’s sweet-maker caste rich. The other is when we discover the so-called “Great Socialist” (Swaroop Sampat)—the nation’s leader and a woman who herself rose from “country mouse” to powerful politician—isn’t…

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REVIEW: On the Rocks [2020]

It was heartbreaking … for everyone. Before the first image of Sofia Coppola‘s On the Rocks arrives on-screen, we hear Felix’s (Bill Murray) voice to a teenaged Laura: “You’re mine until you get married. Then you’re still mine.” It’s the type of goofy sentiments Dads tell their daughters and we dismiss it as such when she replies with a sarcastic, “Okay.” The choice is a correct one too once we meet them in the present. Felix is an aging art dealer lothario for whom Laura (Rashida Jones) is his sole…

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REVIEW: Lingua Franca [2020]

Always a bridesmaid. There are few things worse in this life than to be refused one’s humanity. Whether the result of bigotry via the lens of race, gender, sexuality, and age or mistrust via a desire to underestimate, reduce people to their biggest regrets, or dismiss sight unseen, our capacity to treat others as “less than” ourselves is growing at an exponential rate. And for what? A laugh? A false sense of superiority deflecting from one’s own shortcomings? So much about how we as Americans act boils down to our…

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REVIEW: 魔女の宅急便 [Majo no takkyûbin] [Kiki’s Delivery Service] [1989]

Just follow your heart and keep smiling. Every witch upon her thirteenth birthday must leave home for a year abroad to hone her witchcraft skills. She must find a community without witches and establish herself within it via a career based in the magic she provides—through whatever form is unique to her. It’s a time for excitement and trepidation as she’s forced to advance towards adulthood extremely early with no support system but the one she hopes to uncover wherever she lands. While some surely feel a bit of both…

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REVIEW: Emma. [2020]

I have not yet been proved wrong. There have been countless adaptations of Jane Austen‘s Emma. and yet Autumn de Wilde‘s version (from a script by Eleanor Catton) is still able to feel fresh regardless. It might help that the director admits Clueless is her favorite of them because that viewpoint allowed its modern sensibilities to shine through the period aesthetic. The wit is sharp and quick, the production design is impeccable, and the characters are given life with the sort of off-the-cuff expressions today’s youth cannot stop themselves from…

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REVIEW: I’m Your Woman [2020]

You’re not supposed to look back. Director Julia Hart and co-writer Jordan Horowitz waste no time making sure Jean’s (Rachel Brosnahan) introduction tells us everything we need to know. There she is sitting in her backyard staring off into space and thinking about how empty her life has become. She’s so bored that an urge to rip the tags off her new robe walks her into such a rage that her husband Eddie (Bill Heck) finds her sitting on the kitchen counter with a carving knife at the ready to…

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REVIEW: Martin Eden [2019]

Beauty is demanding. Martin Eden (Luca Marinelli) is a man without a home. He’s too ambitious to become a working class cog with little to no room for education and he’s too much of a rugged realist to play the aristocratic elite’s hypocritical games. So the former calls him lazy. The latter calls him undeserving. And yet he somehow finds himself with a foot firmly planted in both worlds regardless thanks to a charming likeability that turns him into the puppy by their side that he later rails against via…

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REVIEW: Дылда [Dylda] [Beanpole] [2019]

He’ll heal us. World War II has left Stalingrad in shambles. Buildings are destroyed. Families are torn apart. And meaning has all but disappeared in the face of atrocities that won’t simply go away. The head doctor at the city’s hospital (Andrey Bykov‘s Nikolay Ivanovich) tries his best to hold morale by saying that “peace is on its way” and yet the words can’t help but feel hollow. He lost everyone in the war himself and now he’s tasked with pretending that a soldier devoid of movement anywhere but his…

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REVIEW: La Casa Lobo [The Wolf House] [2018]

But he will not catch me. You may need some context before starting Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León‘s dark animated feature La casa lobo [The Wolf House]—namely that of German fugitive Paul Schäfer and the colony he created in Chile known as Colonia Dignidad. There he and other Nazis war criminals committed countless acts of human atrocities upon those they imprisoned behind its walls. We’re talking the sexual abuse of minors, the internment and torture of dissidents on behalf of General Augusto Pinochet, and weapon smuggling. The area’s borders have…

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REVIEW: Archenemy [2020]

A man alone in a dream that never ends. Give Max Fist (Joe Manganiello) a fifth of whiskey and he’ll tell you about the alternate dimension that holds his home city of Chromium. He was a hero there: indestructible, revered, and fearless when confronted by the evil Cleo (Amy Seimetz) and her apocalyptic weapons. It was her “void machine” that ultimately banished him to our version of Earth after he ripped a hole in space-time to detonate it between realities and save mankind. His “reward” was an eternity in purgatory…

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