REVIEW: Honey Boy [2019]

Why am I here? The bane of childhood stardom is that nothing you do will ever be a secret again. Your success will be written in black and white in the trades. Personal relationships will be speculated upon in the tabloids. And mistakes—large or small—will trend like wildfire on the internet until they become the prevalent way by which you will be defined. Shia LaBeouf experienced every last bit of this with a keen, if imperfect, vantage point allowing him to use it to his advantage through performance art pieces…

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REVIEW: A Crooked Somebody [2018]

People aren’t just done being psychic. There’s a line that our actions can cross when our desire to help others turns into helping ourselves. And it’s often difficult to see when you’re the one falling prey to this hubristic vanity masked as good will. Outsiders don’t have a problem recognizing the shift, though. They only see a charlatan and victim too distraught with pain to discern truth from what they want to hear. This is why there will always be a con artist, mark, and disgruntled bystander catching the trick…

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REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [2010]

“You punched the highlights out of her hair” Some might say a tagline such as “An epic of epic epicness” is a tad too much. I might have even said that two hours ago, but alas, I saw the finished product. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is appropriately summed up in those five words—both epic in the Playstation lexicon synonym of 8-bit NES era ‘totally rad’ and in the Homer’s Illiad sense of a heroic journey of great achievements by the tale’s protagonist. But 22-year old Scott Pilgrim isn’t on…

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Sunshine Cleaning … Entrepreneurship as catharsis

Written as a guest post for my friend Leah MacVie’s blog, the original post is located here. The 2008 Sundance favorite Sunshine Cleaning, written by Megan Holley and directed by Christine Jeffs, is a phenomenal look into the emotional fragility of two young women trying to find their way in life. Rose and Norah Lorkowski are at the age where adulthood should be in full force, dependent lifestyles at home with school grades a top priority long gone. But these two haven’t had the most idyllic childhood; in fact, some…

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REVIEW: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [2009]

“Who ordered the whoop-ass fajitas?” I really didn’t think it would ever happen. Maybe, somehow, Troy Duffy would have finished a script for the oft-rumored The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, but no way no how would he be directing it. After his well documented exercise in bridge-burning—Overnight—I’m surprised he was even able to set foot in Hollywood. Here is a guy that really had things going for him, getting the surprising opportunity to actually helm his first script with an actor like Willem Dafoe involved. While The Boondock…

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REVIEW: Sunshine Cleaning [2009]

“I recommend the pecan pie” Sometimes it takes a while for a film to be shown to the masses, no matter how much praise is lauded on it. After being buzzed at Sundance in 2008, it took a complete year before Sunshine Cleaning got out to the public. Thankfully it finally got its shot because this film is a definite gem. The title begs comparison to another Sundance favorite, Little Miss Sunshine, and the trailer even attempts to ride that to financial success, but don’t be misled. While that film…

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REVIEW: Star Trek [2009]

“You can whistle real loud” Time-traveling Romulans? Why has no one thought of that yet? Leave it to the crew behind the hit series “Lost” and its time-traveling physics in season five to breathe some fresh air into a franchise that has been out of theatres for seven years. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman showed they could do serious action with Mission: Impossible III, but the campiness of Transformers gave me trepidation that their reboot/prequel Star Trek might lose its way. However, with a guy like J.J. Abrams at 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: Babel [2006]

“The brightest lights on the darkest nights” The final piece to Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga’s unofficial trilogy has finally reached theatres. Babel is a sprawling tale spanning multiple countries and languages as a lone gunshot leaves reverberations throughout the world, interfering with the lives of many people who at first glance are seemingly unrelated. These two men, director and writer respectively, have crafted two previous masterpieces with themes of love and sorrow, pain and redemption. From Amores Perros and 21 Grams, we are shown a steady progression of…

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REVIEW: The Rules of Attraction [2002]

“You better bring back change; Daddy wants change” After viewing The Rules of Attraction, one can definitely see how Roger Avary and Quentin Tarantino were friends. Upon leaving their jobs as video store clerks, the two went out and did Reservoir Dogs together, before collaborating on Pulp Fiction. Tarantino took all the credit for those two movies, basically striking Avary out of Dogs completely and only giving him story credit for Pulp. With Rules of Attraction, one sees that there was probably more influence on both films. While this adaptation…

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