REVIEW: Godzilla: King of the Monsters [2019]

This will not bring him back to us. Here’s the thing. Godzilla vs. Kong was announced way back in 2015—a year after Godzilla released and two before Kong: Skull Island. Warner Bros. wasn’t taking their time rolling out the MonsterVerse and thus guaranteed we knew the big bad reptile and big bad mammal would eventually square off. So with a writers’ room formed in 2016 to get everyone on the same page as far as how and why that titanic fight would manifest, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was always…

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REVIEW: Game Night [2018]

It worked for Hitler. I never watched a trailer for Game Night because the posters looked lame and it came out at a time when I couldn’t watch it in a theater. So when the almost universal praise landed to hail it a dark comedy must-see of 2018 … I still didn’t watch the trailer. This wasn’t some premeditated act, though. I simply knew I’d eventually catch it and therefore didn’t need to be oversold or conversely given any undue reason to question the acclaim. As a result I was…

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REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea [2016]

“I can’t beat it” It’s hard to imagine a Manchester by the Sea directed by Matt Damon and starring John Krasinski, but that was the original plan. They actually brought the idea to Kenneth Lonergan—Damon acted in one of his friend’s plays on stage and also his sophomore film Margaret. Hollywood is tough, though. Schedules fill up and pieces move around. Damon loved the initial draft Lonergan drew up for them so much that he asked him to take over directing duties while he shifted to the lead (perhaps Krasinski…

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REVIEW: Carol [2015]

“How many times have you been in love?” Director Todd Haynes‘ latest period romance Carol is nothing short of impeccable. From the acting to the cinematography to the art direction to Carter Burwell‘s gorgeous score, this thing is flawless in execution to the point where it should be rendered a clinically cold piece devoid of the immense emotion captured within each scene. Somehow these meticulous camera set-ups and intense expressions retain the warmth necessary to experience its characters’ love—a love in its purest form. The story is brimming with complex…

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REVIEW: The Wolf of Wall Street [2013]

“Into the donuts, my boy?” This is the story of an American antihero: a guy born in the Bronx to working class parents who set off for Wall Street to make a name for himself as a stockbroker and rule the world. Jordan Belfort got a good five years or so of the limelight as a result, learning the tricks from Mark Hanna before discovering penny trades cashing out at fifty percent commission could be applied to the whales big firms were targeting for blue chip stocks. He built brokerage…

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REVIEW: The Spectacular Now [2013]

“You’ll always be my favorite ex-boyfriend” Some of us are lucky—a lot luckier than most. The thing about luck, though, is that it may look nothing like it should. Sometimes luck means having your father leave. Sometimes it’s being an eighteen-year old alcoholic everyone at school loves for epitomizing fun despite ultimately acknowledging you’re a joke. We can’t all hit bottom to pull ourselves back up because the floor isn’t always forgiving enough to allow us to walk away. When it does—when the collision rocks you awake, scares you to…

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REVIEW: Zero Dark Thirty [2012]

“Some hummus, tabouli—I don’t know what that is—some figs” I have a very clear recollection of the day Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan because I was having dinner in India when a friend Facebook messaged me from America with the news. With no fanfare or announcement, Hindi reporters on TV were my only point of confirmation before bed. Naively (stupidly) while waiting to leave Jaipur for Ahmedabad as lobby televisions played soaps instead of breaking news the next morning, I allowed a local paper to interview me about…

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TIFF12 REVIEW: Argo [2012]

“The United States government has just sanctioned your science fiction movie” In 1979, tensions between Iran and the United States reached a boil after Ayatollah Khomeini called for a return of his predecessor—Shah Pahlavi—in order to try him in what would be a kangaroo court whether or not deserved. Allowed passage into the US to attend the Mayo clinic and combat his cancer, the fact we were housing him infuriated a group of Islamist students and militant followers of the Imam’s Line to the point of storming the American embassy…

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REVIEW: Super 8 [2011]

“Cut! … That was mint.” When the silhouette of a boy and his bike floats across a moon as a blue Amblin wavers its way over, you know you’re in for something special. A flood of nostalgia overwhelms and you feel like a kid again, anticipating the heartfelt tale of mystery and adventure that waits. Credit producer Steven Spielberg for refusing to update his shingle’s iconic look, retaining the fuzzy quality devoid of the computers we had become accustomed to in the 80s. Couple it with J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot…

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REVIEW: The Kingdom [2007]

“If we go slower, next time we might pick out livestock” Here is the introduction of screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan, brother of high-octane director Joe Carnahan. With this being his first film, it appears as though he has already reached A-list status. I mean his next three scripts will be brought to the screen by Oscar winner Robert Redford, Oscar winner Kevin MacDonald, and his brother. After viewing this entry, I must say I am looking forward to the others, if not with a little trepidation, very much. The Kingdom…

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