REVIEW: Domino [2019]

Nothing works like vengeance. Director Brian De Palma made a wise decision distancing himself from the long-awaited release of Domino. Not only was it a troubled production he admits was ruled by unprofessional Danish producers that didn’t pay people on time (if ever), but he also didn’t write the script (that credit goes to Petter Skavlan, someone who should disavow it too considering the original 148-minute cut was reduced to a paltry 88). All this adds up to a poorly edited, badly-scored shadow of what a De Palma thriller should…

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REVIEW: Mission: Impossible [1996]

Hasta lasagna. Don’t get any on ya. Despite completing its successful seven-season run in 1973, it would take another twenty-three years before Bruce Geller‘s original television series received its inevitable cinematic adaptation. For a former Emmy winner starring the likes of Peter Graves, Martin Landau, and Leonard Nimoy with an action thriller premise just past science fiction to make it so new technological advancements would perpetually help increase production value, that’s a difficult hiatus to believe until you factor in Hollywood. Not only did rights owner Paramount Pictures find it…

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REVIEW: Carrie [1976]

Sin never dies. As a Maine resident trying his hand at literary horror, it shouldn’t be surprising that Stephen King would gravitate towards a New England topic such as witchcraft so early in his career. Carrie was his fourth novel (first to be published) and showed the potential for the skewed gaze on common tropes he possessed. The titular character isn’t a witch per se, but a young girl with newfound telekinetic powers and an abused background with which to foster a seething rage beneath her shyly sweet demeanor. Rather…

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REVIEW: De Palma [2016]

“I’m driven by unrealistic ideas” I’ve seen twelve Brian De Palma films in my lifetime—a seemingly healthy number when you consider the industry. A guy like Terrence Malick began his career just five years after Brian and it’s only his seventh film that hit DVD this week. Unfortunately for me, twelve doesn’t come close to equaling half of De Palma’s filmography. It’s a problem I always say I’ll rectify considering I’ve missed biggies like Blow Out and Carlito’s Way, but not one that would prevent me from checking out Noah…

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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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The 2014 BxNF Buffalo International Film Festival Preview

Many people may not know this, but Buffalo has two annual film festivals. One happens in spring—The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival—and one in fall. Now that October has arrived, it’s time to start checking out what the latter has to offer. Formally founded in 2005 by Edward Summer, Buffalo International Film Festival is less interested in showcasing new films as much as placing a spotlight on work in a more cultural and historical context. There’s still a desire to connect things to the Greater Buffalo region—I saw Buffalo’s infamous son…

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Posterized Propaganda December 2012: A Cinematic Library with ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Les Miserables’ & 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. Here we are at the end of 2012, ready for the release of the last few Oscar. It’s a time where story generally triumphs over mainstream appeal and where the…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: Passion [2013]

“Why don’t we kiss and make up?” Five years after his last foray behind the camera, writer/director Brian De Palma looks to take some of the alternative devices used to film Redacted and combine them with the sexual thriller genre to which he is so indelibly aligned. A remake of the 2010 French film Love Crime, the auteur brings Natalie Carter and Alain Corneau‘s tale to Germany and lets its cutthroat female executives have at it. Beginning as a congenial work relationship, our central duo’s dynamic quickly spills into their…

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TIFF07 REVIEW: Redacted [2007]

“Welcome to the goddamn army” Our final foray with the 2007 Toronto Film Festival screenings was Brian De Palma’s Redacted, a film about what is going on in Iraq that the government doesn’t want the public to know. All those black scribbles on documents and censored video coverage are examples of redaction and this movie aims to show the world the ugly truth, unfiltered. As the director said after the showing, the movie is “fictionalized for lawyer purposes,” but actually based on footage and accounts that he found on the…

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REVIEW: The Black Dahlia [2006]

“Fire and Ice” I will preface this review with the fact that I am a big Brian De Palma apologist. I have not seen a movie by him that I didn’t like. Whether mainstream hits like Scarface and The Untouchables, indie favs like Sisters and Femme Fatale, or even the surreal camp that is The Phantom of the Paradise, I love them all. Therefore I tried to disregard all the bad press surrounding The Black Dahlia’s release as I figured no matter how bad people thought it was I would…

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REVIEW: Sisters [1973]

“There is no body because there was no murder” Many people out there seem to have some sort of indifference when it comes to the subject of director Brian De Palma. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I have enjoyed every film I’ve seen by him. In anticipation of his new The Black Dahlia, I decided to revisit one of his earlier films, Sisters. I hadn’t seen it in over five years or so, but always remembered finding it intellectually disturbing and containing one of the most surreal,…

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