REVIEW: Joker [2019]

Don’t forget to smile. I would have bought writer/director Todd Phillips‘ line about bringing his gritty origin film Joker to the 1970s as a way of removing it from the existing DC Extended Universe (more than he already did by recasting the titular character after Jared Leto played him in Suicide Squad) if not for new comments made on this recent press tour. Trying to drum up sympathy for the plight of the mistreated “underdog,” the man behind The Hangover‘s billion-dollar trilogy has lamented that you can’t do comedy in…

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REVIEW: The Shallows [2016]

“The island of the pregnant woman” Not all shark movies should be compared to Jaws—not even The Shallows. If you were to make any type of correlation cinema-wise it should be Cast Away meets Gravity or All Is Lost. The idea here is to put a character in isolation during a survival moment where hope can be lost in an instant. Will he/she prevail? Will he/she give him/herself the opportunity to live? Most of us would give up as soon as that shark’s vice-grip tightened around our thigh. Kicking and…

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REVIEW: 42 [2013]

“He discombobulated the man” Much like the origin of forty-two as Douglas Adams’ “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” being nothing more than a joke—an ordinary, smallish number he chose—the fact Brooklyn Dodgers first-baseman Jackie Robinson wore it on his back simply derives from it being stitched on the jersey he was given. Baseball is a numbers driven game with statistics at the forefront of how players are drafted and utilized on the field and writer/director Brian Helgeland’s 42 follows suit with its timelines, batting…

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REVIEW: The Guilt Trip [2012]

“This place smells like strawberry gum” I never would have thought the aspect of The Guilt Trip I most dreaded would be its one saving grace. Barbra Streisand has never been—and still isn’t—one of my favorite movie stars and the prospect of her playing an overbearing Jewish mother was not an appealing one. I assumed if anything could save what appeared to be a lame pastiche of cinematic tropes mixing the road trip with the out-of-touch parent/child relationship, Seth Rogen would be it. But while his attempt at veiled anger…

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