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: Private Life [2018]

Let’s get pregnant, shall we? At forty-one and forty-seven respectively, Rachel Biegler (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard Grimes (Paul Giamatti) are against the proverbial clock when it comes to having children. With her novel about to be published, his pickle business sustaining him after his successful off-Broadway theater troupe disbanded, and a rent-controlled New York City apartment keeping them warm, the time to finally make a go of it has arrived. But things aren’t going very well. Both have their reproductive organs called into question, the adoption process is moving at…

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REVIEW: Jackie [2016]

“When something’s written down—does that make it true?” It’s rather intriguing how we feel we know our presidents. They represent us as a leader of the free world and we in turn love them enough to mourn their passing even when it’s decades after their run in the Oval Office ceased. But what is it that we really know? We only see what they allow. We see the aftermath of important moments—good and bad—but not the decisions themselves. Everything that we know without reading a book comes from what they’ve…

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REVIEW: The Invitation [2016]

“I’ve been waiting to die since the moment it happened” Death plays a large role in our lives, mortality seemingly out of reach but never forgotten. For some it knocks early—or at least earlier than we’d hope to believe. Disease, accident, and fate remind us how precious our time on Earth is. We grieve, pray, repress, and overcome, the inevitable sorrow bringing as much strength to move on as agony to stop everything. And nothing is more heartbreaking or painful than the passing of a child taken too soon and…

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REVIEW: Sympathy for Delicious [2011]

“God is trying to say hello to you” The Lord works in mysterious ways. Talk with any priest and he’ll most likely fit those sentiments in at some point. But what do those words mean? Are they mere shoulder rubbing for the devastated trying to reconcile what has happened to them? Are they empty words of men with nothing to say? The fact of the matter is, they are just words spoken whose meaning and worth lie with their receiver. We can disregard them as our initial desire demands in…

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REVIEW: Paul [2011]

“And that’s Jenga!” If I hadn’t already realized this fact last year after loving Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I knew it following my screening of Paul—Edgar Wright is the lynchpin of success for the quartet of he, Nira Park, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. It began on British television with the hilarious homage-driven “Spaced” and continued onto the big screen in two very funny, very over-the-top, and very British films. Replacement director Greg Mottola is no slouch—he brought us Superbad and Adventureland after all—he just can’t fill Wright’s shoes…

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REVIEW: Gran Torino [2008]

“Why does everyone want my car?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Clint Eastwood, the director, fan. Mystic River was one of my favorite films from its release year and Million Dollar Baby deserved much of its acclaim, if not the actual best picture Oscar. However, Gran Torino is getting buzz like crazy. It hasn’t even opened wide yet and already ranks #184 of all time on IMDB. I’ll agree that it is a very good movie, well composed and paced with a fantastic final act; I just can’t…

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REVIEW: Zodiac [2007]

“I am not Avery” Two David Fincher films in two years? Is that even possible? With The Curious Case of Benjamin Button finishing filming this year for a 2008 release, we get the director’s sixth film, Zodiac. While we do get some vintage Fincher style throughout the proceedings, this is very different from his other movies. As much a real life story film as one can be, Zodiac goes through the years chronicling the hunt for the serial killer that got away. There isn’t the graphic gore quality we’ve become…

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