REVIEW: The Hate U Give [2018]

Know your worth. The progression of The Hate U Give‘s genesis reveals its message’s importance. Angie Thomas began its short story precursor back in college as a response to Oscar Grant’s 2009 death by police. She would push it aside soon after in hopes to revisit the subject matter once her rage subsided. Her impulse was to instead find the love necessary to put everything she wanted to say down correctly—something the film adaptation (in theaters less than two years after the novel’s publication) possesses to create an authentic balance…

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TIFF18 REVIEW: Where Hands Touch [2018]

I want her to be like everyone else: unremarkable. Now is not the time to make a film romanticizing Nazism or allowing anyone who donned the swastika during World War II a modicum of sympathy. I’d argue there could never be such a time—at least not for those who say they felt bad but still did nothing to stop the nightmare they helped usher into creation. Their cooperation in a genocidal extermination cannot be given a footnote for remorse. They cannot skate by on some notion that they participated unwillingly…

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REVIEW: Everything, Everything [2017]

“When I talk to him it feels like I’m outside” I was with Nicola Yoon‘s Everything, Everything for its first three-quarters. While it’s just as implausibly overwrought as The Space Between Us—another YA love story mired by a high-concept contrivance that literally places a character’s life in jeopardy so he/she may experience what living free and outdoors feels like—its smaller scale concept allows its romance to shine brighter than its premise’s consequences. The notion that Maddy Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) could die from her rare case of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games [2012]

“Thank you for your consideration” Underdogs thrive on the ability to retain hope in a world forever shoving them into a corner without the reality of upward mobility or a true chance at overall social change. When they start to believe their numbers can actually overcome that adversity, however, the ruling class must take notice and ready for a fight they may not win. Rebellion will forever be a threat whether one has been squashed in the past or not since you can only kick the underprivileged masses down so…

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REVIEW: Colombiana [2011]

“In this world, smart girls always get what they want” When it comes to an action flick scribed by the prolific Luc Besson, one shouldn’t be surprised to see a badass heroine using a toothbrush and towel as her weapons of choice during a fight. This is the type of hyper-real, action packed, quick-cut orchestra of smacks and grunts we’ve come to welcome at the multiplex. And while Besson’s disciples have gone on to claim some fame for themselves beyond the looming shadow of their cinematic father—Louis Leterrier with The…

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