REVIEW: On the Basis of Sex [2018]

Hooray for Mommy. Even if we weren’t mired in the middle of the Trump Administration with a constant tidal wave of sexist and xenophobic rhetoric masquerading as national emergencies, the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg defying the patriarchy where it came to archaic laws arbitrarily creating separate rights based on gender would be timely. Because while it’s fun to joke about giving the eighty-five year old Supreme Court justice a kidney so another GOP-sanctioned candidate doesn’t get shoved through without proper vetting, a line spoken by one of her husband…

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REVIEW: The Spy Who Dumped Me [2018]

Thumbs up. While Drew (Justin Theroux) gets his butt kicked in Lithuana on a covert assignment for the CIA, the woman he dumped via text just days earlier is forced to endure the psychological trauma of having every single person she knows at her birthday party wondering where he is. To make matters worse, we soon discover that Audrey (Mila Kunis) met him a year ago to the date—one celebration to ignite the relationship and another to ensure everyone knows it came to an end. But while he’s seemingly left…

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REVIEW: Bumblebee [2018]

I can fix you. I get the appeal to capitalize on nostalgia and credit to Hasbro and Paramount for doing exactly that with the original live-action Transformers film. They went for wall-to-wall explosions courtesy of Michael Bay, leaned into the male gaze with an out-of-the-lead’s-league love interest, and brought a sarcastic nerd to life who could probably be argued into filling the role of a proto-Gamer Gate type entitled prick. The goal was to excite twenty-year old men who played with the toys in their youth in the hopes they…

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REVIEW: The Girl on the Train [2016]

“I’m not the girl I used to be” I like unreliable narrators because it’s fun to witness actions unfolding without knowing whether anything onscreen is real. The person could be a liar, schizophrenic, a secondary source ignorant to pertinent facts, or simply mistaken. So I got excited upon learning of Paula Hawkins‘ The Girl on the Train and its lead Rachel (Emily Blunt). Here was a character who literally knew nothing but what she was told. A raging alcoholic prone to nightly blackouts, her reality becomes the stories told in…

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REVIEW: Your Highness [2011]

“I want you to be gay with me and father” I knew Your Highness was going to be bad, but I never anticipated just how much. I thought that no matter how horrible the trailers were, Danny McBride and James Franco re-teaming would make things tolerable. They helped support Seth Rogen’s stoner action flick, Pineapple Express, Franco’s complete absurdity and McBride’s acquired taste enhancing the writer’s formula we have come to love. While Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg have discovered mainstream appeal, though, McBride and co-scribe Ben Best are still…

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REVIEW: Tropic Thunder [2008]

“Welcome to the goodie room” Despite my somewhat indifference, bordering on dislike, of Ben Stiller and most of what he does, Tropic Thunder has been on my much-anticipated list for some time now. The audacity of what he was attempting, spoofing the industry that was giving him the money to do so, blatantly and lovingly, was too great to ignore. And then there is the cast of stars with cameo after cameo of surprise faces joining in on the fun, not to mention the intense marketing strategy pushing it along.…

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REVIEW: American Psycho [2000]

“I was returning some videotapes” Oh, the 1980’s, such happy times. Excess in full force, younger upstart yuppies making money that they could only imagine as children while doing as little work as possible. When did going to lunch, out to dinner at restaurants booked for months in advance, and vying for the biggest ego constitute an occupation worth six figures? Only in America. Bret Easton Ellis’ novel was looked upon as very demeaning to women in its portrayal of these masochistic males using their girls as trophies and toys,…

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REVIEW: Miami Vice [2006]

“Drugs, Money, and Speed” I had heard a rumor going around that writer/director Michael Mann was having a real tough time cutting his feature adaptation of his own 80’s television drama “Miami Vice.” Supposedly he wasn’t finding a balance in the material he shot that would support his vision of the update. Whether this is true or not, I believe he was finally able to come to terms with the brutal look at underground police justice he had filmed. The movie has an edge to it that works well with…

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