REVIEW: Motherless Brooklyn [2019]

I’m chasing his footsteps. Frank Minna (Bruce Willis) was more than a boss to Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton). This man plucked him out of an orphanage wherein the nuns beat him because they believed his Tourette syndrome was a sign of wavering faith. Frank taught Lionel that anyone using God’s name to harm a child isn’t someone worth listening to, took him under his wing, and hired him (along with three other orphans in Bobby Cannavale‘s Tony, Dallas Roberts‘ Danny, and Ethan Suplee‘s Gilbert) as a gumshoe for his private…

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REVIEW: Framing John DeLorean [2019]

He is open to interpretation. I was three when Back to the Future immortalized John DeLorean‘s namesake automobile the DMC-12 (known plainly as the DeLorean since no other model was produced). Doc Brown’s time machine was therefore unsurprisingly the extent of what my mind could associate with the former visionary of General Motors who continuously found himself flying close enough to the sun to harness its power and ultimately be destroyed by it. So it was confusing to watch Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce‘s comical procession of filmmakers who…

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REVIEW: The Public [2019]

Books saved my life. It’s the same tragic story. Another unarmed Black man is killed by the police. Another White man takes an arsenal into a school, campus, or place of worship before opening fire on unarmed innocents. The media takes these headlines, packages them together with thoughts and prayers, and uses the ratings to continue peddling their editorializing as news until another such event inevitably occurs yet again. And what do we have to show for it all? Besides a growing anger at the political injustices and vile rhetoric…

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REVIEW: BlacKkKlansman [2018]

Did you just use your real name? The fact that Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman is based on a true story is absolutely crazy. A black rookie cop in Colorado calls the Ku Klux Klan, wins them over with racist rhetoric, and talks his precinct chief into approving an investigation wherein a white officer would pretend to be him in-person before ultimately coming face-to-face with Grand Wizard David Duke? You literally cannot write a more scathing commentary on the hubris of white supremacists or the courage of those fighting the good fight…

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REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Fallout [2018]

We’re never free. The former leader of a group of rogue agents seeking to unite people against unchecked government oversight—a cause worthy of pause if not for the terrorist acts of genocide utilized to achieve this goal—speaks to the man who caught him with confidence about how he’s worked to ensure the price of that “hero’s” good intentions will soon be paid in full. We wonder how this is possible considering Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) was captured by Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) two in-film years ago, spending every second since…

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REVIEW: Rules Don’t Apply [2016]

“You’re an exception” Eighteen years after Bulworth and fifteen after Town & Country (his last time directing and acting for a feature film respectively), Warren Beatty returns to the big screen with a fictionalized biography of Howard Hughes forty years in the making. It’s a passion project and vanity project: two endeavors worthy of an auspicious return to the spotlight even if the latter isn’t always the best decision for retaining a renowned legacy. Will Rules Don’t Apply taint peoples’ image of him? No. It’s not going to mark any…

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REVIEW: Concussion [2015]

“Tell the truth” As of September of 2015 it was reported that 87 former NFL players tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) out of the 91 deceased men researchers at Boston University autopsied. That’s almost 96%. Their study revealed that 79% of all players (professionally, semi-professionally, or college/high school athletes) examined had it—damning numbers not to be ignored and yet the NFL did for many, many years. How long and what exact details they denied, we may never know. Settlements are funny that way. It’s hardly surprising, with the…

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REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation [2015]

“Face your fate” It’s amazing what a few years can do for a celebrity’s image. From couch-jumping in love to rumors of getting written out of the fourth Mission: Impossible installment despite building the franchise to being the bell of the Hollywood Ball scaling the Burj Khalifa and now hanging from an Airbus A400M Atlas in flight without a stunt double, Tom Cruise epitomizes box office royalty. Hell, there’s even rumblings he’s trying to distance himself from Scientology now—but I won’t hold my breathe with that one. Whatever he does…

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REVIEW: Still Alice [2014]

“I knew I shouldn’t have had that champagne” There’s little scarier in this world than a debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s. You may initially feel a sentiment as shared by the titular Alice (Julianne Moore) in Still Alice to be hyperbolic, but the thought that cancer could be a better option is an extreme worth considering. We’d all hope to never have either effect ourselves or our families, but the prospect of losing health does in a certain way seem more appealing than losing one’s self. Because that’s what Alzheimer’s does:…

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REVIEW: The Royal Tenenbaums [2001]

“How interesting. How bizarre!” Nothing Wes Anderson does will ever match the brilliance of his third film, The Royal Tenenbaums. A lot of this has to do with when I first saw it back in the winter of 2002, but I say it objectively too. I was still in college, still in the midst of my cinematic education after an adolescence full of mainstream Hollywood, and just starting to realize the potential of my local independent theaters’ reach. I don’t remember why I even went to see it considering I…

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REVIEW: Blue Jasmine [2013]

“When I did what I did I regretted it” A film dealing with issues of causality, Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine provides much more than surface appearances. Rather than simply be a character study of an emotionally and psychologically broken woman whose rarified airs of elitist wealth came crashing down after her husband’s villainous financial skeletons are found, this story is also a tragic tale about perception. Does one woman’s dumb luck success really make her into some kind of expert on life possessed by a trustworthy opinion because she can…

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