REVIEW: All the Money in the World [2017]

‘Thank you’ is for strangers. It’s impossible to see a disclaimer at the end of an “inspired by” film reiterating with more direct language about how the “truth” has been altered without assuming the majority of what I just saw never really happened. Ridley Scott fades to black on a seething Michelle Williams before two one-sentence captions replace her with epilogue declarations that then are replaced by the caveat of taking everything with a grain of salt. It reeks of lawyer speech as though the studio anticipated backlash from those…

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REVIEW: Baby Driver [2017]

“They call. I go.” I’ll admit that writer/director Edgar Wright‘s departure from Ant-Man was met with mixed feelings on my part. On one hand I was disappointed that we’d never see what he could have done with the material—something I had anticipated for many years. On the other, however, was the realization that I’d rather only see work devoid of outside interference when his name was attached. If the rumors were true about Marvel wanting to rewrite the script he and Joe Cornish crafted to make changes they saw as…

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REVIEW: See No Evil, Hear No Evil [1989]

“You’re a dumb idiot” TriStar Pictures—in a bid to put Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor back onscreen together after Stir Crazy and Silver Streak proved successful a decade plus earlier—agreed to the former’s understandable stipulation. They’d act in See No Evil, Hear No Evil only if Wilder was allowed to take a crack at rewriting its script, one that already passed through two separate screenwriting teams and producer Marvin Worth‘s hands during preproduction. It makes sense: no one of their incomparable comedic stature would want to simply cash-in without ensuring…

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REVIEW: Margin Call [2011]

“It’s a long way down” When most people think about Wall Street movies they usually conjure images of the financial center’s eponymous Oliver Stone flick or something like Boiler Room showing the fast life and high rewards achieved by twenty-somethings pushing numbers around a computer screen. We think glamorous lifestyles and the stench of arrogance as money-hungry men in suits fleece the common man to make a percentage off their nest egg’s devastating losses. It’s high stakes poker on a grand scale relying on men with ulterior motives to give…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2011: Faces Take the Spotlight

“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. Thank goodness for the fall season. Not only are the films better, but the artwork generally has its own yummy indie flavor too. Close-up faces covered by sans-serif text reign…

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REVIEW: Horrible Bosses [2011]

“How you like ‘dem nipples?” I had such high hopes. Between Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day being the leads, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston the supporters, and Jamie Foxx as the comedy’s comic relief, how could it have gone wrong? It must have been the writing, right? The trio tasked to tackle this tale of men trapped in jobs with the worst bosses possible, who hatch a plan to murder them all, ended up falling prey to the easy desire of catering the characters to the…

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REVIEW: Casino Jack [2010]

“Washington is just Hollywood with ugly faces” Did you know Jack Abramoff works out everyday? Well, if director George Hickenlooper and writer Norman Snider’s Casino Jack is to be believed, everyone he dealt with knew. Here is a man (Kevin Spacey) who’s been in the lobbying game for so many years that his hot shot assistant, Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), is even getting on in years, yet both call each other ‘bro’ affectionately and their clients ‘dude’. The media coined Abramoff a ‘Superlobbyist’ and he lived up to the reputation,…

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REVIEW: The Men Who Stare at Goats [2009]

“It’s a man sitting in a chair” When looking in retrospect, it’s always nice to know that you made the right decision. While at the Toronto International Film festival this year, my friend and I had a conflict of movies with Up in the Air and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Both stared George Clooney, but only the one had any trailers and/or marketing push at the time. We picked the Reitman film in the end—and it was one of the best movies we saw at the fest—figuring to…

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REVIEW: Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt [2009]

“Funkyzeit mit Brüno” I don’t know why, but when sitting down to view Sacha Baron Cohen’s new faux documentary featuring one of his cast of doppelgangers Brüno, I started thinking how there was no way it could be more offensive than his last effort, Borat. Oh, was I wrong. I highly underestimated America’s hatred and fear of the homosexual population, forgetting that while many are intolerant to foreigners, that prejudice is just against one aspect, the gay community has many hurdles to overcome. Not only are they viewed as outsiders…

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REVIEW: Moon [2009]

“Dad, there’s someone asking about Mom” After an early career playing “thugs,” (see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Basquiat), Sam Rockwell began performing in supporting roles for many high profile indies in the early 2000s. It wasn’t until George Clooney, of all people, decided to step behind the camera for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind that he got his first real lead role, and did he ever take advantage. Well, he did as far as acting goes, maybe not job-wise because, besides a second lead in Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men,…

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REVIEW: 21 [2008]

“Did that dazzle you?” Not long after reading Ben Mezrich’s novel Busting Vegas did I see my first preview for 21, a film based on his previous novel about card counters. The idea of MIT students getting recruited by their professor to take down Vegas is an intriguing yet not so unique concept. Busting Vegas had more interest with its elaborate scheme to win big without needing to count cards in the traditional sense. However, the book was well put together and so I wasn’t averse to checking out this…

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