REVIEW: Cinderella [2015]

“Have courage and be kind” For anyone who cannot stand singing, Disney’s latest iteration of the timeless Cinderella is catered to you. I know Chris Weitz and the other screenwriters on the project before him poured through the fairy tale’s vast lineage for every detail they could cull together into what they surely believe to be the definitive version, but what I saw onscreen is the same thing I saw as a child in cartoon form. Just without the sing-songy “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boos”. There are a couple spoken ones for…

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REVIEW: Her [2013]

“Hey, do you want to have a Sunday adventure with me?” The first thing I wondered upon hearing Spike Jonze‘s new film concerned a man who falls in love with his computer’s intuitive operating system was how he’d thematically comment on the lack of physical connectivity inherent to such a pairing. What didn’t cross my mind until watching Her, however, was how shortsighted and selfish that worldview was in context to an ever-evolving universe populated by myriad personalities and beings. To see this sort of science fiction relationship as absurd…

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REVIEW: Crave [2013]

“Forgive me for the things I’ve done and the things I’ve yet to do” When you take a look at Charles de Lauzirika‘s filmography to see the myriad behind the scenes featurettes and home video productions he’s accomplished for the likes of Ridley Scott, David Lynch, and Mark Romanek, it’s no surprise that his directoral debut Crave would prove as dark as it does. Co-written by Robert Lawton, the story follows an increasingly deranged, freelance crime scene photographer as the rage-fueled fantasies in his head begin to crawl out into…

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Top Ten Films of 2010: Dark Fantasy Cinema

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all—141 seen is this year’s number—the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I remember thinking around April that there hadn’t been a truly great film released yet. After summer came and went with little to cheer about, I feared 2010 would be a gigantic bust containing a ton of decent to good films, but only a handful of great ones. And then—like it seems…

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Top 25 Films of 2010

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 156 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Restrepo directed by Tim Hetherington& Sebastian Junger #24: Trust directed by David Schwimmer. #23: Kick-Ass directed by Matthew Vaughn. #22: Christina directed by Larry Brand. #21: It’s Kind of a Funny Story directed byAnna Boden & Ryan Fleck #20: Catfish directed by Henry Joost& Ariel Schulman #19: The City ofYour Final Destination directed by James Ivory #18: The King’s Speech directed…

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TIFF10: Day Two Recap

Day Two at TIFF may have started with two junket screenings, meaning there was no chance of seeing any filmmakers/actors, but it also began with what could be my number one film of the year—Never Let Me Go. Amidst the small contingent of press glomming down free danishes and coffee courtesy of Fox Searchlight was a work of art that will devastate even the most cynical of souls. It’s tough to go into detail of the plot, though, without ruining the nuance of the parallel universe world, one where disease…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: Never Let Me Go [2010]

“I didn’t want to be the one left alone” It has been eight years since Mark Romanek last gave us a feature film—the decade since One Hour Photo being filled with a spate of music videos and an ill-fated affair with what would become last winter’s Wolfman. He possesses a certain aesthetic, noticeable throughout his work as a style leaning towards darker subject matter, so when I first watched the trailer for Never Let Me Go, I thought it seemed an odd choice. Screening at the Toronto International Film Festival,…

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TIFF10: Day One Recap

Day One at TIFF has been completed. It started with a bang … as in a rogue Customs agent yelling for us to stop at a cone wall before the actual stop followed by a seemingly exciting wrestling to the ground of two criminals at Dundas Square. We couldn’t stop to see the action completely because we had movies to see. Our first screening was cinema maestro Jean-Luc Godard‘s newest work Film socialisme [Film Socialism]. A complete head-scratcher consisting of unsubtitled French for 100 minutes, overlapping a random sequence of…

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TIFF10 PREVIEW: 4 Days, 16 Films, 200 Miles …

September is once more synonymous with four words: Toronto International Film Festival. Fellow Spree’er Christopher Schobert and I will again travel north for a weekend of what could be the top candidates for Oscar gold come next winter. Of course, they could also be films that may hit theater screens within the next two to three years depending on distribution deals. It’s another jam-packed schedule of sixteen films in less than four days. Daunting for sure, but a challenge we rise toward with excitement. Sadly, the most coveted title of…

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REVIEW: Control [2007]

“Love will tear us apart, again” Anton Corbijn has finally joined the ranks of his contemporaries Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Mark Romanek in directing his first full-length feature. No one could have been a better choice than this still photographer and music video director of cutting edge bands like Depeche Mode, Echo and the Bunnymen, and, of course, Joy Division themselves with the video for “Atmosphere” (albeit eight years after the death of frontman Ian Curtis). Corbijn has the sensibilities to craft a gorgeous study of a man on…

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