REVIEW: The Trial of the Chicago 7 [2020]

You don’t know what to do with the egg now, do you? It’s a project tailor-made for Aaron Sorkin. So much so that I’m surprised The Trial of the Chicago 7 didn’t somehow worm its way into becoming his directorial debut rather than Molly’s Game three years prior. There’s the courtroom drama aspect recalling his play and screenplay for A Few Good Men, the government inner-workings a la his television show “The West Wing”, and the notion of a youth-led counter culture of bickering geniuses similar to the fast-paced insults…

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REVIEW: Captain Fantastic [2016]

“Your mother is dead” When you look at the poster for Captain Fantastic—especially the bright red suit worn by Cash family patriarch Ben (Viggo Mortensen)—you can’t help conjure twee thoughts of Wes Anderson quirk and yet Matt Ross‘ sophomore feature is anything but. This film is instead rooted in a very strong sense of reality. Just because it may not be your reality doesn’t lessen the events occurring or decisions made. If anything they’re strengthened because you notice the choices your parents made and you’ve made as parents in this…

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REVIEW: Draft Day [2014]

“Who’s the most desperate guy you know?” You’ve gotta love a prerelease screening Buffalo audience applauding for a skyline aerial of their beloved city and Ralph Wilson Stadium, oblivious to the fact Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph originally composed their Draft Day screenplay to actually take place here before costs initiated a move to Cleveland. I guess it’s nice they threw us a bone (probably swapping us into a part set aside for the Browns) to get the crowd excited because the film itself leaves a lot to be desired.…

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REVIEW: The Time Being [2013]

“Artists don’t have families” The life of an artist is often pigeonholed into some lofty, depression-laden existence built upon selfish ambitions and creative genius leaving no room for anything else. One could argue the great works possess such high emotive worth and resonant beauty because their creators poured every ounce of their heart and soul into them with nothing to spare on a life with which to love or be loved. Well-known masters were penniless and poor—starving artists who could have used the financial wealth bestowed upon their estates in…

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REVIEW: Unknown [2011]

“And that’s where I first saw Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man” I have it on good authority from a friend that Jaume Collet-Serra’s Unknown, as well as Didier van Cauwelaert’s French-language novel it’s based on, is uncannily similar to Roman Polanski’s Frantic. Unfortunately, to my chagrin, I have no opinion on the accusation, having not seen the 1988 film, but I’d lie if I didn’t admit my view of the new release is a bit tainted now. The premise of both are definitely eerily similar and my friend knows what he’s talking…

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REVIEW: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps [2010]

“Growing old’s not for sissies, kid” Stupid subtitle aside, dare I say Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps surpasses its predecessor pretty much across the board cinematically? Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff have woven together an intricate plot of dueling con jobs amidst a young romance between idealists in a capitalist world where greed is a top commodity. Oliver Stone doesn’t need a tour de force performance from Michael Douglas like he did to shield the somewhat simplistic storyline at the backbone of Wall Street—although he reprises the role very effectively—because…

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REVIEW: The Box [2009]

“You have blood on your hands” Does anyone not push the button? What can I say about Richard Kelly’s supposed turn to mainstream cinema? Three things, and they are as follows: One, the marketing for The Box has to be some of the worst in the history of film. Warner Brothers is selling a completely different movie than what is shown on screen. This isn’t a thriller against the clock for a yuppie couple; it’s a fight for the salvation of the human race. Hell, it takes place in 1976…

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REVIEW: Frost/Nixon [2008]

“I let them down” Now if you want a film to show the problems of drinking and how it can ruin your life, Frost/Nixon could be it. I jest somewhat here because, of course, that is not what this story is about. However, if what is shown is to be believed, a drunken night of nerves and fear on behalf of Richard Nixon might have been his ultimate demise. After what had been a steamrolling of his interviewer, David Frost, basically reshaping his image and making he, recently disgraced and…

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REVIEW: Starting Out in the Evening [2007]

“You gave me the courage to live life for myself” In a time of year when most films entering the public arena are either devoid of intelligence or dumped for release in attempts to recoup just a little of their budget, it is nice to know we in Buffalo still get the off the beaten track indies to satiate those looking for an evening of pondering and contemplation. Starting Out in the Evening is one of those movies, despite the fact that it comes to DVD in a little over…

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REVIEW: House of D [2004]

“I need the Dad face one more time” David Duchovny has crafted a beautifully touching film with House of D. It is a coming-of-age story of sorts as his character narrates what happened to him around his thirteenth birthday. Being that his own son, in France, is now turning into a teenager, he feels that the time is finally right to tell his wife the reality of his past. Much happened to the young Tom Warshaw in the days leading to what should have been a joyous date. He was…

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