FANTASIA17 REVIEW: Tragedy Girls [2017]

“To make an omelet you have to kill some ex-boyfriends” You’re a couple of horror obsessed high school seniors living in a boring town where the most salacious thing happening is an affair between your teacher Mrs. Kent (Nicky Whelan) and fire chief Big Al (Craig Robinson). You’re vlog/twitter account searching for gore to capture and build an online presence is frequented by one of your mothers and no one else. And you’re forced to pretend to enjoy cheerleading and prom committee if for no other reason than to stay…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

“They chose you” With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 officially in the books I’m confident in saying Suzanne Collins‘ dystopic trilogy will hold up as one of the most successfully faithful cinematic adaptations ever. And a big part of that is the decision to make it into four movies because, as anyone who’s read the novels knows, Mockingjay is a dense work with little fat where its political and emotional intrigue are concerned. Any issues stem from Lionsgate’s misguided choice of putting a full year’s wait in between…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 [2014]

“If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree” Welcome to the bait and switch. If you’ve read Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games Trilogy you know that Mockingjay is by far the meatiest and most resonate installment of the series despite diverting from the blueprint that brought people in. So rich in the politics, revolution, and sci-fi lying underneath the action of the previous entries, splitting it into two films was actually a good idea. They should have placed the release dates months apart a la The Matrix sequels rather…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire [2013]

“Remember who the real enemy is” The aspect author Suzanne Collins included in Catching Fire that was more or less absent in The Hunger Games can be summed up with the above quote. While Panem’s dystopia provided a common antagonist for the surviving twelve districts of a revolution their Capital won seventy-four years previous, the series’ first installment relied almost exclusively upon whether its heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) would survive her adversaries in the titular games. Yes, the political unrest was at the constructed mythology’s back, but the ultimate…

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REVIEW: Epic [2013]

“Moist is what we do” Children’s author—and Academy Award winning animated short film director—William Joyce continues to make his rounds throughout the industry’s ever-expanding studio ranks with an adaptation of his book The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs with Blue Sky. Having already seen his work turned into feature length films with Pixar (Meet the Robinsons) and DreamWorks (Rise of the Guardians), it’s no surprise he would reteam with Ice Age director Chris Wedge in a larger creative capacity than was had as production designer on Robots. While…

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Posterized Propaganda November 2012: Marketing Goes Artsy With ‘Killing Them Softly,’ Lincoln,’ ‘Skyfall’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact 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. I have to credit the Alamo Drafthouse and Mondotees for slowly turning the industry around to the appeal of limited edition prints and excessive series. You’re spending an insane amount…

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games [2012]

“Thank you for your consideration” Underdogs thrive on the ability to retain hope in a world forever shoving them into a corner without the reality of upward mobility or a true chance at overall social change. When they start to believe their numbers can actually overcome that adversity, however, the ruling class must take notice and ready for a fight they may not win. Rebellion will forever be a threat whether one has been squashed in the past or not since you can only kick the underprivileged masses down so…

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REVIEW: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island [2012]

“They will not stop until you feed them” After making a boatload of money—that’s the equivalent to one hundred millions dollars if you didn’t know—Journey to the Center of the Earth was almost guaranteed a sequel. Proving they could bring the fictional worlds of Jules Verne to life and somehow make it relevant to a bunch of kids barely able to put down their Smartphones long enough to read a magazine let alone a dense volume of literature, nothing would stop the studio machine from taking the plunge to Atlantis…

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REVIEW: Journey to the Center of the Earth [2008]

“No one gets dibs on the mountain guide” I feel really bad for Canada now that the adventure it holds for young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) and his mother (Jane Wheeler) will never quite live up to the boy’s quick little Journey to the Center of the Earth. Perhaps it can offer something in the way of safety and stability where thin rock formations that crack under your weight cannot, but I doubt it possesses phosphorescent birds. And we all know how awesome those are. One could say our sister…

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REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right [2010]

“And then, ya know, my tongue started working again …” You can call writer/director Lisa Cholodenko’s new movie The Kids Are All Right a look into the world of a lesbian-raised family and you’d be correct. But it is so much more than just an exercise on showing the expansive definition of ‘nuclear family’. All the hardships, joys, struggles, and successes of marriage, raising kids, and loving those around you are included. The fact this family has two matriarchs only allows for the plot point of introducing the sperm donor…

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