REVIEW: Uncut Gems [2019]

Black Jew power. Writers/directors Benny and Josh Safdie‘s debut feature bowed at Cannes in 2009 to spark a rather prolific career spanning shorts, music videos, documentaries, and critically acclaimed independents featuring an increasingly more familiar stable of actors at the lead. I mention this because that’s also the year that the Safdie brothers approached Adam Sandler with the idea that became Uncut Gems. That’s before Lenny Cooke. Before their breakthrough Heaven Knows What. Before they let Robert Pattinson loose in New York City for Good Time. That’s Hollywood. Maybe Sandler…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: Knives Out [2019]

The cow and the shotgun. No stranger to a good mystery—noir (Brick) or comedy (The Brothers Bloom)—Knives Out sees Rian Johnson getting back to a wholly original property before returning to the world of Star Wars. From the stellar cast to its Clue-esque estate (even he couldn’t resist that joke), this whodunit has looked impeccably positioned to deliver exactly what the genre demands while also dissecting and subverting it for good measure. That the final result might go even further than that only makes it more intriguing. Why? Well the…

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REVIEW: Sorry to Bother You [2018]

More like apples and the Holocaust. If you’re still unsure about whether capitalism brought the United States to its current position with extreme political divisiveness and the fallacy of what’s left of the “American Dream,” rapper-turned-writer/director Boots Riley is here to break it down via a debut as satirically sound as it is insanely, absurdly surreal. The film is Sorry to Bother You and it was born from the artist’s own time as a telemarketer wherein success forced him to change who he was to earn higher sales. By putting…

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REVIEW: Crown Heights [2017]

Please don’t let it be a cell. It’s a horror story. Eighteen year-old black immigrant from Trinidad—not averse to such crimes as boosting cars for extra cash—is picked up on the street, handcuffed, and taken into custody for the murder of someone he’s never even heard of let alone seen to put a bullet in the back of his head. Months go by without bail, the actual killer is caught, and yet he remains incarcerated thanks to the state labeling him as “the driver” of a drive-by shooting created by…

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