REVIEW: Paradise Hills [2019]

There’s always a way to get what you want. It’s Uma’s (Emma Roberts) wedding day and everyone is excited. She sings a song while her affluent guests clap and dance, the conversations surrounding her making mention of how much work she’s put into making this whole occasion possible. The idyllic scene’s ornate beauty and plastic smiles seem to be in a permanent state of universal bliss until a woman lets Uma know that her new husband (Arnaud Valois‘ Son) waits in their bedroom. Here is where the happy bride pauses…

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REVIEW: Skin [2018]

Truly dedicated. How deep does hate go? Is it something with meaning that burns within every cell of your body or a desperate ploy to be included, feel superior, and feign importance? And how much of it is based in fear of the unknown, fear of being exposed, fear of being left behind? Or is it born out of a warped conflation of bigotry with culture and a projection of that which you are onto another in order to trick yourself into believing you aren’t the worthless one? These are…

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TIFF REVIEW: Skin [2019]

This is what I have. Bryon ‘Babs’ Widner (Jamie Bell) hears the buzz of a faulty electrical connection, triggering a transition to an operating table and screams as the tattoos covering most of his body start being removed. It’s a soundscape that’ll have you squirming in your seat, the close-up shots of scar tissue replacing ink as physical a transformation as the act is metaphorical. Because the art adorning his face, neck, and torso isn’t some elaborate supernatural fantasy with family memorials—it’s a map to the blackest center of his…

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REVIEW: Patty Cake$ [2017]

“Blood is thicker than Jäger” If you ever watched Hustle & Flow and wondered what it might look like rebranded for a younger audience, Geremy Jasper‘s Patti Cake$ has arrived—with a side of cultural appropriation. Admittedly this added “bonus” is a wild card attribute that has the potential of turning the whole very sour, very fast. Considering the main theme concerns being yourself and overcoming the adversity of bullies from all angles (family included), however, it does ultimately work. You could tell a similar story set in a black neighborhood…

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