REVIEW: Bullet Train [2022]

Why do you laugh at fate? It was supposed to be simple. Ease his way back into the snatch and grab game. He’s not even carrying a gun—not that that ever prevented people from dying while he worked. It’s why he considered quitting. And why he’s in therapy. But he’s a new man now. Ready to think positive. Maybe even listen when his handler Maria says the “bad luck” befalling those around him is “good luck” for him. It’s not like he’s died yet. So, she names him Ladybug (Brad…

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REVIEW: Minamata [2021]

Just try not to disappoint yourself. A lot of things helped make this past Oscars ceremony an infamous affair—the most innocuous being the addition of two online popularity contests seemingly devoid of any real checks and balances to prevent them from becoming a ballot-stuffing battle royale between fandoms. The Zack Snyder contingent unsurprisingly proved victorious with both, but an intriguing dark horse by way of the Johnny Depp-starring (and produced) film Minamata received a push too. Was it genuine? Who knows? It’s third place finish could have been as much…

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REVIEW: Life [2017]

“Its curiosity outweighs its fear” Calling Daniel Espinosa‘s Life an Alien retread is the easy thing to do. Both are tensely claustrophobic science fiction films with a violent extraterrestrial that’s loose and in search of the crew. But it’s also a very reductive comparison considering they are nothing alike beside genre conventions. The missions are different. The time period is different. And the creature’s motivation is as dissimilar as can be. Life also can’t help but stand apart on its own for one reason: it could actually happen tomorrow. We…

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REVIEW: 47 Ronin [2013]

“Now know the depth of my lord’s honor” There have been numerous iterations of Japan’s unofficial, national legend about forty-seven ronin who avenged their master’s death at the start of the eighteenth century spanning movies, ballets, television productions, operas, bunraku, and kabuki plays. Known as Chūshingura, the true story has been embellished over the centuries to ensure each new generation told about these brave warriors understood the themes of loyalty, sacrifice, and honor being a Japanese citizen entailed. Whether or not the first account some fifty years after the actual…

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REVIEW: The Wolverine [2013]

“Everything has a meaning” To think, just a few short years ago The Wolverine held infinite promise. Fox brought in Christopher McQuarrie to rekindle his X-Men involvement after uncredited work on pal Bryan Singer’s franchise starter and independent auteur Darren Aronofsky was tapped to finally get a comic book flick after losing out on a Batman: Year One go. Star Hugh Jackman was giddy in interviews about the visual aesthetic a Japanese setting would give—the film culls its material from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Wolverine arc—as well as the…

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360|365FF10 REVIEW: The City of Your Final Destination [2010]

“How could any outsider understand this place?” A two and a half hour round trip to see a movie may appear crazy on the surface, but when it’s for opening night of something as well put together as the 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival, all is completely sane. Attending the first screening wasn’t in my original plans; I was supposed to just arrive for the weekend. Thankfully, though, I decided to throw caution to the wind and drive up for director James Ivory and his newest work, The City…

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REVIEW: Sunshine [2007]

“When he chooses for us to die, it is not our place to challenge God” I love Danny Boyle’s work. Sure I haven’t seen The Beach or Shallow Grave, but I can’t see myself thinking they will be anything less than fantastic because he has never let me down. The man has spanned genres and never shied away from doing something different than before. Between his visual flair—aesthetically and kinetically—and his brilliant choices in screenwriters to collaborate with, Boyle astounds at every turn. His newest film Sunshine just enhances his…

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