REVIEW: Ready or Not [2019]

You picked the one bad card. All Grace (Samara Weaving) has ever wanted since bouncing around foster homes during her adolescence was a permanent family to call her own. With Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien) that dream has become a reality. He wasn’t interested in a big wedding since he’d been estranged from those back home who lived in the lap of astronomical wealth’s luxury due to a gaming empire begun by his great-grandfather, but he relented to fulfill her wish. Alex could see it as one solitary evening of…

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REVIEW: CHIPS [2017]

“Shoulda cuddled, bro” I’ve never watched an episode of “CHiPs” so I don’t care whether or not the original Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis Poncherello (Erik Estrada) pulled their guns during six seasons of television as some on social media have enjoyed touting they didn’t since the trailer hit. I will, however, admit I’m glad writer/director Dax Shepard didn’t feel beholden to such a streak of pacifism because I don’t see how it would have been entertaining for 90-plus minutes. And if his CHIPS remake is anything, it is…

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REVIEW: Yoga Hosers [2016]

“It looks like a Vancouver hockey riot in here” You can’t fault Kevin Smith for having his heart in the right place. We can only blame his financiers for letting this True North trilogy crusade continue on with Yoga Hosers despite a short turnaround from script-to-screen neglecting the step of weighing its viability and worth against its vanity project underpinnings. Because that’s what it ultimately is: an excuse for the Depps and Smiths to have fun. We thought Tusk provided their escape, but that was merely the appetizer. The main…

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REVIEW: Sleeping with Other People [2015]

“Mousetrap” It has to overcome a pretty shaky start—mostly due to leads Jason Sudeikis (Jake) and Alison Brie (Lainey) playing Columbia undergrads—but Leslye Headlands‘ comedy Sleeping with Other People does prevail as quite the breath of fresh rom/com air. The plot isn’t groundbreaking, reconnecting two people twelve or so years after losing their virginity together for platonic shenanigans masking an underlying romance, but it does it with as much care for their tumultuous psyches as it does the inherent humor. When these two characters get on a roll their rapport…

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REVIEW: Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005]

“Right. Five or six years.” It was the aggressive nature of the stories told to screenwriter Simon Kinberg by friends in couples therapy that inspired Mr. & Mrs. Smith—his MFA thesis turned half billion dollar moneymaker at the box office. The leap from the tit for tat dynamic between bickering spouses to secret lives is hardly unique, but making those hidden existences equally successful assassin careers instead of extramarital affairs certainly was. Killers need to work through issues too, especially when the question of whether they married out of love…

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INTERVIEW: Adam Brody, star of Some Girl(s)

Best known as geeky Seth Cohen on “The O.C.”, Adam Brody has become a familiar comedic face in Hollywood over the past decade. With a recent turn in Whit Stillman‘s Damsels in Distress and now this Neil LaBute adaptation from his own play Some Girl(s), however, he’s beginning to branch out towards scripts and filmmakers with more palpable weight. It’s a welcome evolution that I believe he’s embraced and excelled at. Taking the time to talk to us—and being nice enough to call back after his first attempts came while…

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INTERVIEW: Neil LaBute, writer of Some Girl(s)

Always prolific on the playwright front, Neil LaBute’s past decade at the movies has been filled by studio pictures that never quite found the creative success of earlier works In the Company of Men or The Shape of Things. However, hot on the heels of his first original work since—Some Velvet Morning—a new adaptation of his 2005 play Some Girl(s) appears to be bringing him back to his roots. The film depicts a young man traveling the country to “right the wrongs” he may have committed with a few ex-girlfriends…

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REVIEW: Some Girl(s) [2013]

“Guys always mean well right before they screw someone over” Often labeled a misogynist misanthrope, Neil LaBute has made a career of writing self-absorbed characters completely ruining the lives of those around them for the fleeting second of giddy happiness resulting from knowing they’re in absolute control. Whether its two men actively seeking to destroy a handicapped coworker or a woman obsessed with proving she has the ability to manufacture the perfect man, his plays shed light on the shadowy corners of human nature in a heightened, darkly comic way.…

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REVIEW: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World [2012]

“You were the love of my life” It’s easy to conjure images of post-apocalyptic wastelands, cryptic symbolism, and philosophical ruminations when one thinks about the end of the world. Hollywood uses this fascination to create science fiction actioners and depression-laden dramas each decade even though the layperson would never fall into such over-the-top cliché. Most John Q. Publics would let loose, create some sort of last minute bucket list, and live without consequence after years of cautious sacrifice and regret. Despite inevitable riots, chaos, and crime, one shouldn’t ignore the…

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REVIEW: Damsels in Distress [2012]

“I’d like to thank you for that chastisement” Leave it to Whit Stillman to ensure decadence never dies. The king of creating a haughty air onscreen during the 90s returns after a prolonged absence with Damsels in Distress, a film existing in the present but populated with a wealth of characters keeping one colloquial foot in the past. Interjecting an outsider unfamiliar with the pretention cultivated by those she is joining—much like Tom into the auteur’s debut feature Metropolitan‘s debutante gala season—we are allowed to see behind the curtain of…

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REVIEW: American Pie 2 [2001]

“That’s a lot of flutes” Right when you thought Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) learned his lesson about manipulating the lives of his friends to compensate for his own insecurities, he does it again. Scared to go to college before becoming a man, American Pie followed his misguided pact to ensure his best friends would lose their virginity before graduation. One year later, American Pie 2 brings the whole gang back for a summer break meant to show their success in taking ‘the next step’ having since gotten sex out of…

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