REVIEW: The Virgin Suicides [2000]

Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a 13-year-old girl. With all the accolades bestowed upon writer/director Sofia Coppola these past two decades, only an idiot would question her worth by saying she’s little more than her Hollywood royalty name. Those who said it back in 1999 as her debut feature The Virgin Suicides made the festival rounds were idiots too. If you’ve ever seen this film you should know the sum of its parts goes well beyond pedigree or accessibility. Whether her name allowed her the ability to collect the wonderful…

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REVIEW: Oh Lucy! [2018]

Meow. Meow. Smooch. I saw Atsuko Hirayanagi‘s short film Oh Lucy! back in 2014 and thought it to be a bona fide charmer. It told the story of a lonely woman named Setsuko who does her niece a favor by recouping the cost of English classes the cash-strapped girl had decided quit. The American teacher was an eccentric who used wigs and fake names to allow ‘Lucy’ to disappear into a new, more candid version of her buttoned-up self. It’s a whirlwind of emotions when the teacher goes back home—enough…

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Posterized Propaganda September 2011: Misfires countered by fearlessness

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. September is the start of the film festival season. Unsurprisingly, while Toronto, Venice, and New York debut the flicks we’ve been waiting all year to see, the box office…

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TIFF10 RECAP: The Festival In Photos, Tweets & Reviews

Another year done at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was a pretty uneventful trip into the city—besides a rogue Customs official’s 5 minute power trip before we reached the border—that saw a smooth two hour drive both to and from, a far cry from the parking lot car jams of a few short weeks earlier to hand in film picks for the advance lottery. 2010 saw its fair share of rain, the umbrella while waiting in line for Andrew Lau‘s screening of Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen [Legend…

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TIFF10: Day Three Recap

Day Three at TIFF was by far our craziest of the year—seeing five films back-to-back from 11AM to 2:30AM. The late start allowed for a bit of sleeping in for preparation, as well as a semi-lengthy breakfast at Timmy Ho’s, both of which probably kept us from falling asleep during the marathon sittings. And while the last two of the night finally saw a bit of humor infused into the otherwise heavy schedule of dramas that do take something out of you, the morning opened with what could have been…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: Bunraku [2010]

“Love is temporary; Hope is eternal” Bunraku may be the term used to describe a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater, but that is no longer what I am going think when the word comes up in casual conversation—because it happens so frequently. Instead, I will recall memories of writer/director Guy Moshe’s unique vision of a future where the law is enforced by battles of skill and hand-to-hand or samurai combat, guns now outlawed from use. His Bunraku is an unforgettable film of high style and high-concept that was three…

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REVIEW: Push [2009]

“It’s a shiny, shimmery bead” So, I’ll just come out and say it … I enjoyed Lucky Number Slevin. It was stylish, Ben Kingsley was a good kind of hammy, and Josh Hartnett’s penchant for wooden acting worked with the character. You know another thing I really enjoy? That little television show called “Heroes”. Trust me, it’s a goodie. Why do I say all this? Well because director Paul McGuigan has taken his action-infused storytelling to the new film Push, basically using a similar premise as the before mentioned NBC…

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REVIEW: 30 Days of Night [2007]

“Where’s my phone?” Here is the next chapter in the graphic novels cum film movement that has been taking over the industry. The ingredients seem pretty foolproof: a revisionist vampire tale screenwritten by the novel’s authors, a setting without the sun for thirty days, a hard-r rating, a good cast, and visionary music video director David Slade fresh off his debut feature Hard Candy. 30 Days of Night is a brutal look into a world where the monsters reign supreme with little in their way to slow them down. With…

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REVIEW: The Black Dahlia [2006]

“Fire and Ice” I will preface this review with the fact that I am a big Brian De Palma apologist. I have not seen a movie by him that I didn’t like. Whether mainstream hits like Scarface and The Untouchables, indie favs like Sisters and Femme Fatale, or even the surreal camp that is The Phantom of the Paradise, I love them all. Therefore I tried to disregard all the bad press surrounding The Black Dahlia’s release as I figured no matter how bad people thought it was I would…

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