REVIEW: Mom and Dad [2018]

Whatever. I have to imagine every parent at some point wonders where their life could have gone if they didn’t have children. This doesn’t make them bad people—only those who actually act on the urge by abandoning their families without so much as a goodbye fall under that label. It just proves they’re human. It’s merely a manifestation of fatigue and frustration as the late-night parties and carefree, irresponsible attitudes necessary to let loose disappear. Gone are the dreams you can try and fail at knowing you don’t have a…

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BIFF17 REVIEW: After the Sun Fell [2017]

You have an empty space that you need to fill. Everyone’s family is crazy. Some may seem crazier than others, but that’s generally a byproduct of them being less self-conscious. The question we don’t ask ourselves—whether a part of the insanity or watching as an outsider—is why. Why does one member prove so gratingly obnoxious when you know he/she knows what others think? Why does another member retreat into his/her insular existence away from the sprawling chaos so that any opportunity to join the others feels like a chore? What…

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REVIEW: The Terminator [1984]

“It’s just him and me” Sometimes the road to success hinges on a series of happenstances and whom you know. Just ask James Cameron: on-set special effects director for Piranha II: The Spawning (former boss Roger Corman produced the first) before it became his directorial debut due to creative differences between his predecessor and producer Ovidio G. Assonitis (who subsequently took it away from Cameron after shooting wrapped). Hardly a glowing experience to warrant handing the not-yet thirty-year old six-million dollars to bring an original script to life, but Orion…

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REVIEW: Aliens [1986]

“Game over, man. Game over!” Leave it to über action champion James Cameron to turn a darkly serious sci-fi thriller into a brutally fun romp successful enough to spawn two more sequels and a separate spin-off series that has kept H.R. Giger‘s grotesque xenomorph relevant today. Fresh off the success of Terminator 2, Cameron joined original Alien producers David Giler and Walter Hill to flesh out a new concept that would take the saga into another genre and wider audience appeal. Proving a strong female lead could carry a film…

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REVIEW: Alien [1979]

“What is Special Order 937?” When you hear the title Alien, images are conjured up of Bill Paxton having a mental breakdown, Lance Henriksen rapidly stabbing a knife through his fingers, and Sigourney Weaver‘s Ripley inside a mechanical forklift suit engaging a slobbering, hulking monster. The most fascinating thing about this comes not from how iconic the franchise has become, but instead the realization that none of these moments occurred in the original film. Somehow James Cameron‘s action-packed sequel has usurped its predecessor’s slow, cerebral horror in our consciousness to…

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REVIEW: The Human Centipede (First Sequence) [2010]

“Mein lieber 3-hund” Everyone needs a hobby. Hitler was a painter, Mussolini a violinist, Hussein’s was plain and simple torture, and I love watching movies. But what about Germany’s most acclaimed and celebrated surgeon for separating Siamese twins? Here is a guy with one of the most high pressured jobs in existence, having the lives of two human beings in his hands each and every time he goes to work, cleaning up what some would say are God’s mistakes. So what could he possibly do when he arrives back home?…

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REVIEW: The Slammin’ Salmon [2009]

“Feed my pretties—Feed!” Those Broken Lizard boys had quite the run. After needing to visit colleges for screenings of their debut Puddle Cruiser, the comedy troupe struck it big with Super Troopers, in effect giving them free reign to see both follow-ups have their day in multiplexes, albeit to low returns. As a result—Club Dread is admittedly weak, but Beerfest found some of that magic from their Trooper days—the new flick wasn’t given a wide release, instead relegated to DVD and the hopes word of mouth and fan base will…

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TIFF09 REVIEW: Jennifer’s Body [2009]

“I’m a kicker; it says so in my chart” I’ll admit to not being very excited to see Jennifer’s Body on first look. Coming as a fast-tracked script, hot on the heels of Diablo Cody’s successful debut Juno, it just looked rushed, abused, and left for dead. After the production house Fox Atomic folded and dissolved back into its parent, the future did not look bright. However, being a teen horror flick starring Megan Fox had to all but assure it a theatrical release of some sort. And here it…

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REVIEW: Appaloosa [2008]

“Everything eats meat likes a dead buffalo” It kind of flew under the radar, but Ed Harris’ film Appaloosa is a pretty solid western. As only his second foray behind the camera, after the good art biography Pollock, Harris has upped the stakes a bit in terms of scope and execution. Sure an old time western set around New Mexico territory isn’t all that posh and expensive, but it is impressive nonetheless. Between the costumes and the authenticity needed to make it real, something that HBO showed was possible with…

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REVIEW: Near Dark [1987]

“Normal folks, they don’t spit out bullets when you shoot ’em” Before cult classic Point Break and sci-fi winner Strange Days, Kathryn Bigelow had an 80’s vampire gem called Near Dark. Having heard a lot of good word of mouth on this one, and my love for Days, I needed to check it out. Vampire films have a tendency to become redundant, always following rules and never being creative. Seeing 30 Days of Night add a little something to the genre, it was interesting to see what Bigelow and co-writer…

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