REVIEW: Jungleland [2020]

We don’t have a front door. Director Max Winkler (who co-wrote with Theodore Bressman and David Branson Smith) opens his latest film Jungleland with a great reveal. We meet Stanley (Charlie Hunnam) as he wakes his younger brother Lion (Jack O’Connell) up, staring out the window with a huge grin on his face. He’s talking about the future and how it’s paved with gold. California is in sights, boxing stardom is in reach, and all they have to do is win this fight. So Lion gets out of bed, does…

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TIFF20 REVIEW: Holler [2020]

There’s more than cans and bottles. You can only hide so many eviction notices underneath the porch flowerpot before a bank official finds and tapes them all onto the front door. This is where we meet Ruth (Jessica Barden) and Blaze Avery (Gus Halper). What choice do they have, though? With their mother (Pamela Adlon‘s Rhonda) in jail because of a refusal to go to rehab for a pain pill addiction and family friend Linda (Becky Ann Baker) already over-extending herself to help, these two siblings are waking up at…

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REVIEW: The Lobster [2015]

“That is none of your concern” Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ English language debut The Lobster is a dystopian sci-fi romance depicting a world where Paula Abdul doesn’t exist. If these mechanical creatures devoid of emotion heard her 1988 single “Opposites Attract” their woes of the heart might be eased. I say this because while life is hazardous to your health without someone to share it, Lanthimos’ non-descript City strictly inhabited by couples is impossible to traverse without that someone also sharing your “defining characteristic”. To be a match is to be…

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REVIEW: Hanna [2011]

“I found her, she can’t speak English. She’s Sri Lankan.” Written on spec by Seth Lochhead in 2006, the Black List alum Hanna finally reaches screens with help from co-screenwriter David Farr and director Joe Wright. If you thought Wright’s last film, The Soloist, seemed a bit out of his comfort zone, having previously completed two period pieces, I can relate to the confusion and excitement you’d have hearing his next would be an action thriller starring a young, brutally violent female killer. But just as he stunned me by…

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