REVIEW: Moffie [2020]

You are no longer someone. There’s no better propaganda machine than the military. But while that institution generally wields its power upon those who willingly embrace its messaging, not every country relies on volunteers to fill their ranks. For countries like South Africa during Apartheid, conscription became a way to retain white minority control. Why? Because it ensured that every able white male would receive a steady dose of its racist and bigoted rhetoric for at least two years. Rather than preach to the choir, the Afrikaners could brainwash every…

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REVIEW: Funny Face [2021]

Maybe I have to do more. One person’s garbage is another’s treasure … or something like that. And if Tim Sutton‘s Funny Face is any indication, there’s no place in the world who understands those sentiments more than Brooklyn, New York. Whether we’re talking about rundown homes where impoverished families survive being torn down for a shiny new parking lot or a once great basketball team making you wonder if the owners are lifelong fans of its greatest rivals desperately trying to ensure they never make the playoffs again or…

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REVIEW: Happily [2021]

I could have made that omelet. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has come up to me with a story that positions their significant other as the proverbial albatross around their neck with a look that screams, “Amirite?” only to have me shrug, smile, and reply, “I don’t know. I actually like my partner.” I only partially say this in jest because I do hope they’ll hear those words and rethink their situation—their refusal to acknowledge their own part in their problems, the possibility that their relationship…

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REVIEW: Blithe Spirit [2021]

Divine intervention. Charles Condomine (Dan Stevens) is plagued by writer’s block—so much so that his wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) talked her film producer father (Simon Kunz‘s Henry Mackintosh) into paying him to adapt his best-selling detective novel debut into a screenplay. The hope is that an easy task without the need for new ideas will get the creative (and sexual) juices flowing again so that they can push their beds together and maybe even cross the Atlantic to Hollywood. No matter how supportive Ruth has been, however, Charles still can’t…

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REVIEW: Supernova [2021]

Being sad something is gone just means it was great while it was there. No terminal disease solely affects the dying patient because any death not brought naturally by father time is a tragedy everyone surrounding them must also bear. Love is too powerful an emotion to simply allow oneself to check out and avoid the pain of another—even if the latter wishes they would. That’s the rub. One side says, “If you truly love me you will let me go” while the other explains how, “It’s precisely because I…

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REVIEW: Show Me What You Got [2021]

This hasn’t even happened yet. We start at the end as three young lovers jump around in their underwear on a bed in Italy. The voice we hear is of a French woman (Anne-Laure Jardry)—our assumption being that it’s the woman on-screen remembering what was. And why shouldn’t it? We’ve yet to meet Christine (Cristina Rambaldi) or the two men by her side (Mattia Minasi‘s Marcello and Neyssan Falahi‘s Nassim). All we know is that this scene depicts their final moment of unbridled excitement before the complexity of the world…

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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: 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: 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: 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: Wild Mountain Thyme [2020]

Who’s going to kill the crows? Ireland is full of history. Take that statement in a literal sense with centuries of rolling hills, struggles, and people or a figurative one leaning more towards the realm of memories and ghosts. As Tony (Christopher Walken)—our sporadic narrator through an obtuse framing device that sets most of John Patrick Shanley‘s Wild Mountain Thyme (adapted from his own play “Outside Mullingar”) as flashback despite portraying it as present-day—says, “If an Irishman dies in the middle of telling a story, he just might come back.”…

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