REVIEW: They Came Together [2014]

“I admire your spirit” It’s one thing to satirize the romantic comedy genre and a whole other to literally break it down into its myriad tropes to build a story around them without transforming their generic designations into fully formed characters. But that’s exactly what David Wain (co-writer/director) and Michael Showalter (co-writer) did with They Came Together. It’s so transparent in its commentary that I was surprised they gave leading male Joel’s (Paul Rudd) brother (Max Greenfield‘s Jake) a name. The two men are so invested in calling each other…

Read More

REVIEW: The Diary of a Teenage Girl [2015]

“And now the making of a harlot” You don’t realize what might be missing from a film until it’s staring you in the face elsewhere. I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower for its universality, authentic emotions, and resonance, but there was something absent I could only see while watching Marielle Heller‘s adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner‘s graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl. To say it is honesty would be a disservice to Perks because Stephen Chbosky‘s fictional memoir is honest as far as the subject matter and…

Read More

REVIEW: Man of Steel [2013]

“It wouldn’t be much of a surrender if I resisted” After Bryan Singer’s misguided attempt to stay true to original cinematic canon by having Superman Returns follow Richard Donner’s two Christopher Reeve starrers ultimately failed, a hard reboot was necessary. With DC Comics getting increasingly outplayed by every new expansion of the Marvel universe, it’s no surprise they would hand creative franchise control over to the man who reinvigorated their brand on the big screen in 2008. Producer Christopher Nolan not only found a way to rinse the ugly taste…

Read More

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…

Read More

REVIEW: Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay [2008]

“Y2K?” If you enjoyed Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and have any reservations about the sequel, fear not. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay may not be quite the same as its predecessor, but it brings enough of the story mechanics back and the stoner humor that made it a cult success. Writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, also serving as directors this time around, have upped the ante like the sequel cliché goes. There is more nudity, (with a bottomless party, how could there not?), a…

Read More