REVIEW: Rebecca [2020]

I don’t believe in ghosts. Despite David O. Selznick‘s desire to keep his cinematic adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier‘s novel Rebecca as true to the source novel as possible and not alienate its built-in fan base, at least one change was unavoidable en route to passing Hollywood’s “Hayes Code.” Because it concerns a late-arriving revelation that would spoil things, I won’t say what it was. Just know that this seemingly small alteration on paper beneficially reverberates throughout the entirety of what Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock put onscreen by allowing…

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REVIEW: Military Wives [2020]

Until we laugh again. Deployment day has arrived for the Flitcroft barracks. The soldiers are off to Afghanistan for a six-month stint while their spouses are left behind to raise families and attempt to stay sane. In a bid to help distract from the unavoidable worry, group activities are commonly brainstormed and executed for anyone interested in joining. And being the military, it should be no surprise that a rank-and-file hierarchy is adopted on that front too regardless of whether those forced into authority positions actually want them. As wife…

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REVIEW: Mission: Impossible [1996]

Hasta lasagna. Don’t get any on ya. Despite completing its successful seven-season run in 1973, it would take another twenty-three years before Bruce Geller‘s original television series received its inevitable cinematic adaptation. For a former Emmy winner starring the likes of Peter Graves, Martin Landau, and Leonard Nimoy with an action thriller premise just past science fiction to make it so new technological advancements would perpetually help increase production value, that’s a difficult hiatus to believe until you factor in Hollywood. Not only did rights owner Paramount Pictures find it…

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REVIEW: The Party [2017]

Another announcement. Good God. I admire what Sally Potter is trying to do with her black comedy The Party as experiment. She’s placed a group of friends with different political, economic, and romantic views into a single room, hanging a secret(s) over their heads with the potential to destroy their individual and communal identities. They’re provided the opportunity to come clean and be true to who they are despite what it might do to those around them, each embracing a desire to let their consistently over-inflated egos decide. Unfortunately that…

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REVIEW: Darkest Hour [2017]

It’s not a gift. It’s revenge. Did you know Winston Churchill was given the Prime Minister position during World War II as a means to appease the opposition party before quickly removing him (once he failed like he always did) for the Conservatives’ actual choice to replace Neville Chamberlain? It’s quite the bit of intrigue considering we all know of his rising to the occasion with back against the wall to rally his nation together for the fight to reclaim Europe against all odds that laid ahead. The great orator…

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REVIEW: Gosford Park [2001]

“I’m the perfect servant: I have no life” Watching Gosford Park again conjured thoughts about it being quintessential Robert Altman, thoughts I couldn’t conjure in 2001 considering it was my first true experience watching one of his films. It proves the perfect evolutionary end to a way of filmmaking he began over twenty years previous with A Wedding‘s sprawling cast, overlapping dialogue, and class strife. Its Agatha Christie-type whodunit conceit lends itself perfectly to his sensibilities and aesthetic, but we can thank Bob Balaban for enthusiastically asking to collaborate for…

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REVIEW: Only God Forgives [2013]

“No matter what happens, keep your eyes closed” I’ve never seen a film by Alejandro Jodorowsky, but it doesn’t take a long glimpse into the auteur’s internet biographies to understand why Nicolas Winding Refn dedicated his Only God Forgives to the legend. Descriptions are riddled with labels such as “avant-garde”, “violently surreal”, “mystical”, and “religiously provocative”—terms also very clearly formed while watching this newest, meditative jaunt through the stoic minds of morally tortured killers from the critically acclaimed director of Drive. More akin to his ethereal visual poem Valhalla Rising,…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2013: ‘Only God Forgives,’ ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Fruitvale Station’ & 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. Welcome to the heart of the summer folks—where giant robots, faux Native Americans, retired CIA operators, and mutants come out to play. It’s a tough time of year for true…

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REVIEW: Dans la maison [In the House] [2012]

“What’s a perfect family’s house like?” What happens inside one’s home is sacred. Your skeletons are exposed, carefully manufactured façades rest for the night, and pent up frustrations boil to the surface in a cathartic outburst of unchecked emotion and fatigued spirit. This is why voyeurism has such a psychologically sensual appeal in its incomparable way of satisfying one’s desires, fantasies, and curiosity. When our lives hit a rut of dull monotony we find ourselves searching for outside entertainment—through books, movies, videogames, hobbies, or that unavoidable satisfaction of stumbling upon…

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REVIEW: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen [2012]

“In that case I can fish” Much like how an absurd notion of satisfying a wealthy Sheikh’s whim to bring British salmon into the Yemen could actually occur—so Anglo-Middle East relations can attain a meaningless victory against a highly destructive war—the film adaptation of Paul Torday‘s novel Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a feel good tale able to put a smile on your face. The entertainment industry has flooded us with Arab villainy the past decade, so watching two posh Englanders uproot their lives to help facilitate the impossible…

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REVIEW: Ne le dis à personne [Tell No One] [2007]

“Be careful, I love you” Ne le dis à personne [Tell No One] is an ambitious adaptation of a Harlan Coben novel by French actor Guillaume Canet. I was completely surprised when checking out the actors’ names and seeing his as character Philippe Neuville, a deceased horse rider and integral part of the story. The writer/director could not be this young man; with all the accolades and success in my eyes of this intricately plotted thriller, I was expecting someone older and more accomplished at the craft. Knowing that this…

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