REVIEW: Justice League [2017]

I don’t have to recognize it. I just have to save it. There are a lot of haters out there—those who pile on Zack Snyder, the DC Extended Universe, and both. I’m not one of them. But that doesn’t mean I’ve loved what they’ve delivered. We’ve received one good film (Wonder Woman), one ambitiously enjoyable mess (Batman v Superman), an okay origin tale (Man of Steel), and a mildly enjoyable mess (Suicide Squad). Despite this union’s many flaws, however, it’s consistently brought something wholly unique tonally in comparison to Marvel.…

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REVIEW: Alien: Covenant [2017]

“One wrong note eventually ruins the entire symphony” I was in the minority with Prometheus in 2012, declaring its brilliantly nuanced story diving beneath its genre conventions as the best entry in the Alien franchise since the original. It was spirituality-tinged science fiction whereas Ridley Scott‘s 1979 classic was character-based horror with palpable emotion-laden terror. Both were disparate worlds that fit together if not reliant upon each other. Scott found this new success in large part to screenwriter Damon Lindelof and the decision to scale back Alien references so that…

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REVIEW: Jackie [2016]

“When something’s written down—does that make it true?” It’s rather intriguing how we feel we know our presidents. They represent us as a leader of the free world and we in turn love them enough to mourn their passing even when it’s decades after their run in the Oval Office ceased. But what is it that we really know? We only see what they allow. We see the aftermath of important moments—good and bad—but not the decisions themselves. Everything that we know without reading a book comes from what they’ve…

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REVIEW: 20th Century Women [2016]

“You wish you were crazy” There’s a lot to unpack in 20th Century Women, Mike Mills‘ look at lost souls adrift on paths towards happiness (if happiness even exists). For one he’s a man writing progressive feminists who in turn earnestly educate the two men in their lives how to be men. That alone takes you down corridors of psychological profundity that may actually be profound or simply a mask for the filmmaker’s own explanation that all men aren’t stereotypically single-minded. Because despite the title including the word “women,” this…

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REVIEW: Spotlight [2015]

“What arraignment?” If Thomas McCarthy’s maligned fairy tale The Cobbler provided any help in securing money to put his script Spotlight in front of cameras, it was worth every disparaging word thrown its way. Co-written with Josh Singer, this 2013 Blacklist alum proves an informative and accurate look at the investigative journalism process as well as an engrossing exposé that refuses to let go despite our knowing the story it exposed. Much like famed predecessor All the President’s Men, audiences arrive keenly aware of the Catholic Church scandal at its…

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Posterized Propaganda March 2014: ‘Noah’, ‘Nymphomaniac,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Enemy’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Has summer started early? Big blockbusters like Divergent, Noah, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Need for Speed are releasing in March—I guess they must therefore be the studios’ lesser…

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REVIEW: Eat Pray Love [2010]

“Learn to believe in love again” The title says it all—Eat Pray Love—a mantra being adopted by women across the globe. I can understand the memoir’s appeal, in a want and desire to achieve an idyllic life and the balance/calm/forgiveness needed to find it, but Elizabeth Gilbert’s tale is a very personal journey. This isn’t some self-help book on scorched earth policy as it pertains to relationships, starting anew and discovering a love for one’s self and the perfect companion only a lifetime of struggle can uncover. It is an…

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REVIEW: Public Enemies [2009]

“Bye-bye blackbird” There’s this thing called clout that allows certain Hollywood types to be able to get people like Shawn Hatosy and Leelee Sobieski in their films for five-minute throwaway roles. It also gets them the ability to have carte blanche on a script that others may not. I think Michael Mann is one of the good ones; even subpar fare like Miami Vice still seemed to contain what could have been a good film, hidden inside, just a few more edits away. So, when trailers for Public Enemies started…

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REVIEW: Watchmen [2009]

“The end is nigh” The ultimate graphic novel—a tale many hold to be amongst the greatest stories ever written regardless of being illustrated—has finally been brought to cinematic life after twenty years and multiple failed attempts. Should an epic tale set in such a specific period of time (the Cold War of the 1980s) be updated? Should the bleak nature of humanity depicted be toned down? Will lunatics and delinquents dressed up in costumes pretending to be superheroes bring in a public more interested in reality television then something based…

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REVIEW: The Good Shepherd [2006]

“The rest of you are just visiting” The man who used to add credibility and substance to a film, Robert De Niro, has of late made some horrible career moves. For someone who has been in classic films and who created some of the most memorable characters in cinema, being a film god will not leave you unscathed from criticism. His recent string of disasters scream sellout and money whore, yet when I heard he was going behind the camera again I couldn’t help but be intrigued to see if…

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REVIEW: Mission: Impossible III [2006]

“There is a point where bold becomes stupid.” Ving Rhames’s character Luthor speaks the above words and couldn’t be more right. Just by looking at the evolution of the Mission: Impossible series, one can see a bold example of cerebral storytelling shot by virtuoso Brian De Palma and a cold, mechanical showing of a really stupid haircut filmed by John Woo—who still hasn’t matched the brilliance of his final Hong Kong piece Hard Boiled stateside. Mission: Impossible III definitely could have fallen in either camp and my thoughts leaned towards…

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