REVIEW: On the Basis of Sex [2018]

Hooray for Mommy. Even if we weren’t mired in the middle of the Trump Administration with a constant tidal wave of sexist and xenophobic rhetoric masquerading as national emergencies, the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg defying the patriarchy where it came to archaic laws arbitrarily creating separate rights based on gender would be timely. Because while it’s fun to joke about giving the eighty-five year old Supreme Court justice a kidney so another GOP-sanctioned candidate doesn’t get shoved through without proper vetting, a line spoken by one of her husband…

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REVIEW: The Standoff at Sparrow Creek [2019]

One’s missing. The film begins in total silence to the point where you wonder if something went wrong with the sound. The camera pans through still trees until finding Gannon (James Badge Dale) on the ground with rifle ready to take out the deer we can assume is somewhere out of frame. It’s only when we hear the pop of guns in the distance that we realize first-time writer/director Henry Dunham has been meticulously ensuring that we process exactly what he needs us to before heading towards the solitary locale…

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REVIEW: The Living [2014]

“All we got in life are choices” An interesting choice was made on Jack Bryan‘s film The Living—one that occurred before the camera rolled. If you’re familiar with Fran Kranz‘s emotionally fractured science nerd Topher from “Dollhouse” and Kenny Wormald‘s coolly confident Ren from the Footloose remake, you’d probably have a pretty good idea of who would play who inside a plot dealing with an abusive husband and the sheepishly insecure brother-in-law wrestling with the desire to hire a hitman to kill him. For whatever reason—and this is to the…

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REVIEW: Captain Phillips [2013]

“A little air might do him some good” Despite my affinity for director Paul Greengrass‘ entries to the Bourne Saga, his cinéma vérité style will always in my opinion be better suited for gritty, true-life tales such as the contemporary classics Bloody Sunday and United 93. (We’ll just forget Green Zone ever squeezed its way into his oeuvre.) As a result, his attachment to Richard Phillips‘ harrowing tale of getting hijacked by Somali pirates and subsequently kidnapped as a hostage for ten million dollars was a perfect marriage from the…

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REVIEW: The Perfect Game [2008]

“They’ve never seen real grass” The film The Perfect Game is a great story of the underdog defeating adversity at home and in public. This young team of Mexicans band together against all odds to form a Little League team in Monterey to be entered into the 1957 competition against the powerhouses of 12-year old baseball Americans. Not only must they overcome a novice at best skill at the game—helped enormously by their ex-Major League towel boy turned coach—but also the bigotry and racism of a segregated America not yet…

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REVIEW: Unknown [2006]

“He must be tied up for a reason” Here is a little known film that never reached theatres in Buffalo, despite its all-star cast of talented actors. When you have guys like Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper, Peter Stormare, and Joe Pantoliano, with Jeremy Sisto and Bridget Moynahan thrown in, and an intriguing trailer about five men waking up with amnesia in an abandoned warehouse, not knowing which side of good they are on, (a couple people are hurt and/or tied up), how could this film not be raking…

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