TIFF REVIEW: Out of Blue [2019]

You can tell a lot by looking. It’s comforting to discover that the Martin Amis novel Carol Morley‘s Out of Blue adapts is considered a “comedic parody” because I couldn’t wrap my head around the blatant noir affectation she had her stellar cast provide. If Night Train was actually meant as a serious detective story, I’d almost have to agree with the hyperbolic response of one audience member upon leaving: “That was The Room level of awful.” I found the remark too harsh at the time and more so now,…

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REVIEW: Bottle Rocket [1996]

“You know there’s nothing to steal from my mom and Craig” Released two years after writer/director Wes Anderson brought its eponymous short film to Sundance, Bottle Rocket improves upon its predecessor’s shortcomings, makes good on its potential, and provides a prototype for the more commercial successes that would follow. A character-driven piece full of deflection and red herrings to confuse the audience into a state of unwitting ignorance just like that of the wannabe criminals at its center, the plot really becomes secondary to the relationships built along the way.…

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REVIEW: That’s My Boy [2012]

“Secret tickle time” Just when you thought Adam Sandler had hit bottom and could only improve upon a lackluster string of film’s that have to make you question the quality of his earlier gems, he proves it can always get worse. From Sean Anders (the director of Sex Drive) and David Caspe (creator of “Happy Endings”) comes one of the most unoriginal comedies in years. Recycling the ‘disastrous wedding’ trope that I’m sad to say was actually done better in Meet the Parents—a film I also abhor—we’re made to watch…

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REVIEW: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [2009]

“A film by a lot of people” I knew right after the above review title quote flashed across the screen that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was going to be a fun time. Sony Pictures Animation did not let me down, keeping me enthralled and smiling for the entire duration. Based on a children’s book from 1978, the film follows the exploits of a young scientist and his dreams of changing the world with his inventions. Up to adulthood, however, he has achieved little more that a ‘menace to…

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REVIEW: Elf [2003]

“You sit on a throne of lies” The exercise of revisiting films can have a happy ending. Looking back, I think I may have disregarded Elf more for the fact I was in an “I hate Will Ferrell” mood, than because it was a poorly made movie. It’s not like my idea of Ferrell has changed, but my opinion of the work definitely has. The viewing environment most likely played a role as well being that I was with three huge fans of both, so hearing them laugh and quote…

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REVIEW: Get Smart [2008]

“Chuck Norris and a BB-gun” It’s always nice to leave a theatre thinking how much better the film you just saw was compared to what you expected it to be going in. I’m not saying that the big screen version of Get Smart is a classic work of cinema history, but when you go in thinking that the overall piece will be boring, asinine, and a waste of time only to come out with a smile on your face knowing that you’ve been entertained for two hours: it is a…

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REVIEW: The Yards [2000]

“Your mother needs you now” After watching the latest entry from director James Gray, We Own the Night, my interest in seeing his previous work waned immensely. Not that I hated the film, it just wasn’t quite to the quality that I had heard his earlier stuff was. Maybe some of that had to do with Mark Wahlberg as a clean cop, for some reason I can’t believe him in roles like that, and it is a shame. However, after viewing The Yards, my opinion has completely turned around. I…

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