REVIEW: Fist Fight [2017]

“Never trash talk an English teacher” It’s hard to believe that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has been on the air for twelve years now, but it’s still going strong. While the show opened doors for the entire quartet of relative unknowns, Charlie Day has been the one who’s leveraged his rising star into a pretty prolific film career, generally as the confused, manic comic relief. He fills that role on the show too, albeit at a level of imbecilic illiteracy that’s hard to fathom without watching yourself. But in…

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REVIEW: Friday [1995]

“Ya’ll ain’t never got two things that match” By age twenty Ice Cube had proven himself an originator of gangsta rap with the seminal Straight Outta Compton from N.W.A and AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted as a solo artist. Two years later his role in Boyz n the Hood garnered enough critical acclaim to cement the Los Angeles native a red-hot commodity in Hollywood as well. And the successes kept coming with more albums, producing credits, and eventually a stoner comedy. Yes, the man known for his socio-political raps and controversially honest…

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REVIEW: Straight Outta Compton [2015]

“Speak a little truth and people lose their minds” NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is a conventional biopic. And I hate conventional biopics. It’s therefore a good thing its story is anything but. Between its time period containing an excess of racial and political strife to the void of a black voice filled by rap lyrics expressing said climate devoid of fear to the crisscross of music industry and gang life, this thing is so much more than merely a rags to riches tale of some kids from Los Angeles.…

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REVIEW: 22 Jump Street [2014]

“Something cool!” I really wished 22 Jump Street‘s one-note joke would sustain. I really did. I even forgave the first thirty minutes lulling me to sleep with cute references to its increased production budget courtesy of its prequel’s surprise financial success like carbon copy beats built bigger and Korean Jesus getting replaced by his Vietnamese brethren. Sadly, however, I knew it never could. The joke’s funny because it’s self-deprecating and true, but at a certain point you must expand beyond “meta”. Dare I say The Hangover Part II was better…

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REVIEW: Ride Along [2014]

“Congratulations. They know we have a dirty household.” Are you a fan of Kevin Hart? Saying yes means you’ll probably be satisfied with Ride Along if only to enjoy the antics he’s saturated Hollywood with these past couple years. It’s a run-of-the-mill buddy cop comedy that hits every note in the formula book thanks to two sets of rewrites over a four-year gestation, but none of it truly matters when Hart is there to amp up the funny each time he opens his mouth and ceases to shut it. The…

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REVIEW: 21 Jump Street [2012]

“What’s the girl in the back doing?” Screenwriters Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill made the right move when they decided their 21 Jump Street would be a continuation of the original television series and not a remake. They may go a bit heavy on the pseudo-meta scripting of characters mocking the fact their police department can’t come up with any good new ideas so they have to rehash what worked and hope no one notices, but it succeeds in letting me forgive the unoriginal genesis and enjoy its newly created…

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REVIEW: Rampart [2011]

“You can’t cheat on something you never committed to” After making a splash with his directorial debut The Messenger, writer/director Oren Moverman continues to delve into the subject matter of conflicted heroes and misunderstood men with Rampart. His focus is a veteran soldier once again, but this time far removed from his stint in Vietnam. A rough and tumble cop in the LAPD Rampart Division, his notoriety for ‘possibly’ killing an accused serial rapist years earlier has allowed him certain freedoms during the infamous 1990s scandal embroiling his department that…

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