REVIEW: Wrath of Man [2021]

We’re all over-qualified for this game. And we all have a history. Fans of Guy Ritchie that wore out Lock Stock and Snatch during the early Aughts will find themselves hard-pressed to take the opening act of Wrath of Man seriously. It’s as though he and co-writers Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies are trying to re-capture the quick-paced slang that made the dialogue in those films so uniquely fun and of the moment despite being two decades removed in age and culture. Because while talking the talk as a thirty-year…

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REVIEW: Silo [2021]

‘They’ say a lot of stupid things. The After School Special vibe at the back of Marshall Burnette‘s Silo isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. Because beyond creating a captivatingly suspenseful premise with which to build a plot, grain entrapment is a significant enough issue to demand a path towards awareness as much as cinematic entertainment. As the text that appears right before the end credits states: one person has been victim to such incidents approximately every fifteen days since the 1960s. That’s a crazy stat and yet those of…

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REVIEW: Cliff Walkers [2021]

Everything will be fine when the sun rises. The mission: parachute into Manchukuo (an area of China under the unofficial control of Japan during the 1930s), find escaped comrade Wang, and escort him to freedom. It’s what Communist party operatives Zhang (Zhang Yi), Yu (Qin Hailu), Chuliang (Zhu Yawen), and Lan (Liu Haocun) have trained to accomplish during years spent in the USSR and they’re willing to give their lives towards that goal. It shouldn’t therefore be surprising when a last-minute order necessitates them splitting up into pairs that in…

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REVIEW: Trigger Point [2021]

Everybody breaks. Things get off to a pretty rocky start with Brad Turner‘s Trigger Point thanks to a haphazard opening sequence comprised of silencer shots and gun flashes as random bodies fall to the ground. It feels like the cold open to a television show (Turner has worked on the likes of “24”, “Homeland”, and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” amongst many others during his thirty-year career) and thus the precursor to what will ultimately feel like a made-for-TV actioner. That we quickly move to a day in the life of Nicolas…

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REVIEW: The Mosquito Coast [1986]

Ice is civilization. Anyone who has lived through the COVID pandemic with a MAGA-touting Trump lover in the family knows Allie Fox (Harrison Ford): a man so crippled by inadequacy and fear that he’ll twist himself into a pretzel to feign righteousness. It’s therefore interesting that this character is both anti-capitalism and anti-God since those are usually the means that facilitate that twist. But you listen to Allie’s opening rant (to his son Charlie, as played by River Phoenix, and ultimately to anyone in earshot of his intentionally sanctimonious shouting)…

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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: The Courier [2021]

Sometimes a lie is a gift. There’s a great line about mid-way through director Dominic Cooke and writer Tom O’Connor‘s The Courier wherein Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) are talking about the lies they have to tell to keep their families safe. The latter’s Russian official turned CIA asset is trying to comfort the former’s British businessman turned amateur operative by saying they’re in a similar predicament when it comes to home life only for Wynne to incredulously explain the exact opposite with the words, “Your…

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REVIEW: Crisis [2021]

We can’t quit. There’s little room to find hope in the ongoing and extremely deadly opioid crisis that’s afflicting our country. How could there be when we’re talking about a legal drug being manufactured by multi-billion-dollar corporations? They want authorities to track down the illegal outfits buying prescriptions from the poor to then sell it back to addicts and the authorities want to comply since a government ruled by lobbyists supplementing career politicians’ salaries with million-dollar incentives isn’t conducive to hitting the source. No, the only way to get them…

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REVIEW: Lucky [2021]

Make a plan and try to stay calm. It’s easy to get caught up in your own privilege to the point where you don’t even recognize it exists. I can’t recall how the conversation started, but I do remember the topic shifting to using a gas station in the middle of the night. I was talking with my father and mentioned how doing so was a solution to some problem regarding my older sister and him responding, “Well it’s different for her.” I’m in my teens and suddenly racking my…

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REVIEW: The Vigil [2021]

It wants your pain. After spending his entire life within the Orthodox Jewish community, Yakov Ronen (Dave Davis) recently decided to leave its insular environment and make his way amongst the freer and more modern society away from its borders. It’s hardly an easy transition, though, when you consider how little he and his fellow defectors know about the world they’re entering. Yakov himself can’t stop marveling about his new smartphone because it has a flashlight let alone access to the internet, so it’s no surprise that he’d fail to…

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REVIEW: Silk Road [2021]

It kind of felt like the future. Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) wanted to change the world. And he did. Whether you believe it was for the better (bringing the Dark Web and Tor into the mainstream via his anonymous marketplace Silk Road) or worse (using that marketplace to profit off illicit, criminal activities once selling designer drugs online quickly turned to hard narcotics, firearms, and even shadier “services”), the infrastructure he utilized coupled with the advantages afforded by Bitcoin ignited a firestorm of possibilities. Because at the center of it…

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