REVIEW: Molly’s Game [2017]

I’ll bet heavy on the favorite. There’s a common theme throughout much of Aaron Sorkin‘s work the past few years of focusing on the unlikely redeemable qualities of figures easily reduced and reviled by a general public quick to judge without all the facts. You see it in The Social Network and its quest to humanize the abrasive wunderkind at the back of Facebook. It’s there in “The Newsroom” and its desire to show what a media network with integrity in the face of ratings wars can look like. And…

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REVIEW: Hidden Figures [2016]

“I’m sorry. I’m … not the custodian.” This is the film that math teachers throughout the nation have needed as an answer to each year’s smart aleck questioning, “When are we ever going to use this?” Push away the depressing nature of A Beautiful Mind‘s schizophrenia and The Man Who Knew Infinity‘s tragic end and let a true story of perseverance, intelligence, and hope take their place. Now when that smirking kid throws out his/her query as though he/she was the first to ever ask it, your reply can explain…

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REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016]

“Ignorance is not the same as innocence” Director and steward of Warner Bros.’s entire DC Comic universe—for better or worse depending on your personal opinion of the man’s portfolio—Zack Snyder has spent two years telling us Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is ostensibly Man of Steel 2. It’s not. This thing is a Batman film from start to finish. It shows how Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) focuses his rage to destroy the world’s newest destroyer. It’s about a good man turning cruel as Gods threaten the sanctity of all…

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REVIEW: McFarland, USA [2015]

“There ain’t nothing American Dream about this place” I entered the theater expecting McFarland, USA to be a Million Dollar Arm redux with Latinos in place of Indians. What director Niki Caro actually delivered was something more akin to Miracle—still not a “great” film per se, but definitely a worthwhile telling of a heartwarmingly Disney, sports-themed tale. While the studio that loves plastering “based on a true story” atop every bit of marketing material available to them didn’t do so with this property has me questioning the authenticity of what’s…

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REVIEW: Draft Day [2014]

“Who’s the most desperate guy you know?” You’ve gotta love a prerelease screening Buffalo audience applauding for a skyline aerial of their beloved city and Ralph Wilson Stadium, oblivious to the fact Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph originally composed their Draft Day screenplay to actually take place here before costs initiated a move to Cleveland. I guess it’s nice they threw us a bone (probably swapping us into a part set aside for the Browns) to get the crowd excited because the film itself leaves a lot to be desired.…

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Posterized Propaganda April 2014: ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’, ‘Under the Skin’, ‘Transcendence’ & 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. April has a lot of movies coming out stateside and so many have decided to sell themselves on their star. Dom Hemingway (limited April 2) (poster), Alan Partridge (limited April…

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Posterized Propaganda February 2014: ‘RoboCop’, ‘The LEGO Movie’, ‘Non-Stop’ & 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. February is here, January dump month is over, and 2014 is officially ready to take control with only a few more festival holdovers from last Fall. A couple summer-caliber flicks…

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REVIEW: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit [2014]

“No. This is geopolitics, not couples therapy.” Even though The Sum of All Fears made a boatload of cash with Ben Affleck at its center, you can’t help but know his Gigli demise played a big role in the Jack Ryan saga not continuing. Why let Tom Clancy‘s cinematic legacy go down with the ship? So a few years passed, Chris Pine started rising through the ranks as an A-list action star, and Adam Cozad‘s script Moscow seemed ripe for a makeover to reboot Ryan and see where his ex-Marine,…

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REVIEW: Man of Steel [2013]

“It wouldn’t be much of a surrender if I resisted” After Bryan Singer’s misguided attempt to stay true to original cinematic canon by having Superman Returns follow Richard Donner’s two Christopher Reeve starrers ultimately failed, a hard reboot was necessary. With DC Comics getting increasingly outplayed by every new expansion of the Marvel universe, it’s no surprise they would hand creative franchise control over to the man who reinvigorated their brand on the big screen in 2008. Producer Christopher Nolan not only found a way to rinse the ugly taste…

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REVIEW: The Company Men [2011]

“You know the worst part? The world didn’t stop.” Independent and television producer/writer John Wells makes his feature directorial debut with The Company Men, a film about three men coping with the recession, corporate downsizing, and how—for the upper crust of America—unemployment may just be harder work than having a job. The conceit is one that audiences can wrap their heads around, especially with so many having family, friends, co-workers, or perhaps themselves affected in much the same way. But despite this universal theme, the implementation can be a bit…

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REVIEW: Robin Hood [2010]

“We are men of the hood, merry at your expense” I’ll start this out with the truth: Robin Hood is not Robin Hood—and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll catch on very early once you realize the name Robin Longstride for Russell Crowe’s lead character isn’t an artistic change because it rolls easier off the tongue. No, the Loxley moniker does also exist; only it’s attached to King Richard’s right hand man, neck deep in the Crusades’ final hoorah. Throw in the fact The Lionheart himself dies within the first…

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