REVIEW: J’ai perdu mon corps [I Lost My Body] [2019]

You can’t always win. I think Netflix is doing J’ai perdu mon corps [I Lost My Body] a disservice by using the word “romance” to describe it wherever I look. Jérémy Clapin‘s animated film is most definitely not that. While Guillaume Laurant‘s novel Happy Hand—which he and Clapin adapted—might have been (I haven’t read it), this cinematic version of a young man’s (Dev Patel‘s Naoufel) lustful intrigue, sparked by loneliness, for a young woman (Alia Shawkat‘s Gabrielle) he delivered a pizza to once is very intentionally not handled as a…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: The Personal History of David Copperfield [2020]

Digs for joy, that boy. Finds it too. David Copperfield (Dev Patel) has a story to tell. It begins with his cute, precocious little self (Jairaj Varsani) making Mom laugh and nanny Mrs. Peggotty (Daisy May Cooper) laugh even harder. He’s a headstrong boy with dreams of joy thanks to the overflowing love shown to him by everyone but his aunt (Tilda Swinton‘s Betsey Trotwood) … for now. Like most widowed women of thirty with an estate in the Victorian Era, however, remarrying is a foregone conclusion for Ms. Copperfield.…

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REVIEW: Hotel Mumbai [2019]

Remember, the whole world will be watching. An Indian man who’s risked his life helping to save wealthy guests at the posh hotel where he works as head chef (Anupam Kher‘s Oberoi) is imploring a group dead-set on venturing into bullet-riddled hallways to remain in the exclusive (and therefore hard to enter) club chambers where they currently reside. When they force his hand to let them go, he offers them prayers. We don’t know anything about this man besides his selflessness and courage—especially not his religion. But what does he…

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REVIEW: The Wedding Guest [2019]

That’ll be a lot more work. There’s actually a lot to like about Michael Winterbottom‘s The Wedding Guest from its performances to its locale and onwards towards its characters always proving to be more than our preconceptions initially allow. We’re talking about a serious criminal in Jay (Dev Patel) who has the ability and mindset to hurt people, but genuinely prides himself on not doing so because he values human life. There’s the seemingly pampered victim of his kidnapping plot (Radhika Apte‘s Samira) who is quickly revealed as more modern…

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Picking Winners at the 89th Annual Academy Awards

The 89th Annual Academy Awards hits airwaves Sunday, February 26th, 2017 at 8:30pm on ABC. Buffalonians can watch it from the comfort of their home or take a trip down to these local destinations: • The Screening Room, The Boulevard MallFree (doors open at 7:00pm)• Buffalo State College, Campbell Student UnionFree with Student ID, $10 general public (doors open at 8:00pm)• Q, 44 Allen StreetFree (Red Carpet party begins at 6:00pm) For those handicapping at home, here are the guesses of Buffalo film fanatics Christopher Schobert, William Altreuter, and myself.…

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REVIEW: Lion [2016]

“Did you really look for my mum?” The Weinstein Company is lucky Google hasn’t moved into the film production game yet like tech giant Amazon (unless you count YouTube Red) or else they may not have secured the rights to one of 2016’s most upliftingly heart-wrenching movies of the year in Lion. We’re probably lucky too because had Google found a way to produce the true story of Saroo Brierley‘s improbable search themselves, a lot more time may have been spent on Google Earth’s role rather than the more pressing…

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REVIEW: The Man Who Knew Infinity [2016]

“Like other great men he invented himself” A bit character in Matt Brown‘s affecting biographical drama The Man Who Knew Infinity chants “Din, Din, Din, Gunga Din” a couple times in friendly jest as a response to his employer G.H. Hardy’s (Jeremy Irons) decision to send for an uneducated South Indian man on the merits of a letter presenting the potential for mathematical genius named Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel). We laugh at the line’s delivery as well as Hardy’s humored look of contempt because we embrace levity. What’s ironic, though,…

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REVIEW: Chappie [2015]

“I want to go home” I understand the general public not wanting to go as far into sci-fi as Neill Blomkamp goes with Chappie—although they loved the similar lengths of District 9—but it’s hard to believe the critical sphere has taken such a hard stance against it. Actually, maybe it’s not too difficult to believe after they’ve railed against it for months, anticipating a bomb due to the writer/director’s admittedly failed sophomore effort Elysium. In direct contrast to their relish at taking it down, I found it to be very…

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REVIEW: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [2012]

“Top of the mountain” It’s a rare success to see a film as great as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel excel because of its leading cast of seniors. Since this bunch of peerless British performers so often shine in the background, we forget how good they really are. An inspired group, they portray Deborah Moggach‘s odd mix of retirees with an authenticity that brings her novel These Foolish Things to life inside the vibrant hustle and bustle of its Indian locale. Whether looking for new love, lost love, companionship, an…

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REVIEW: The Last Airbender [2010]

“You stand alone; that was always your weakness” Ok, The Happening was a piece of crap. There’s no denying this fact, so get on with your lives and forget Marky Mark ever attempted to be a science teacher. Many think that wasn’t M. Night Shyamalan’s first misstep, though, people have fallen away from his work since The Village—a movie I am proud to call one of my all-time favorite cinematic artworks of style, tone, and emotion. Perhaps audiences got spoiled and pigeonholed the man into a spot he could never…

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The 2009 Oscars … ‘nuff said

The 2009 Academy Awards have closed out the 2008 award season once and for all. And in an inspired move, actually ushered in the new year of movies by ending the show with a montage of 2009 releases. It was a departure somewhat from previous years as it appeared the Academy wanted to try some new things out, making the ceremony a bit more intimate while also possibly shortening its length (well the latter didn’t end up happening). I’ll say that production-wise, this was one of my favorite incarnations ever.…

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