REVIEW: The Way Back [2020]

I don’t think I can help you. This isn’t a sports movie. While a lot of similar films (troubled adult is asked to coach a bunch of troubled kids en route to everyone finding an identity and purpose they couldn’t before) do try to distance themselves from that stigma, The Way Back seems intentionally built upon this separation. When all is said and done, there’s barely any basketball on-screen at all besides close-ups showing a full press defense and practices showing player strengths and weaknesses. The bulk of the games…

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REVIEW: Sword of Trust [2019]

Is this ‘Antiques Roadshow’ for racists? There’s a point in Lynn Shelton‘s Sword of Trust where the four principal characters are being led into a situation with as much chance of ending in their death as it does the payment of forty thousand dollars. Sitting there in that moment of uncertainty without any bearing as to where they were or where they were going, Mel (Marc Maron) can’t help but smile and revel in the fact that he’s about to see something so wild he can’t wrap his head around…

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REVIEW: Brigsby Bear [2017]

“Prophecy is meaningless. Trust only your familial unit.” The best films are those that come out of nowhere and should be viewed as such. Seriously. Stop reading and go see Brigsby Bear yourself because the less you know about it the better. That’s not to say its conceit is a spoiler—its complete shift in perspective and environment occurs barely fifteen minutes in and proves crucial as the impetus for the entire plot—but I was glad I was completely unaware. I read the description about how the film deals with a…

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REVIEW: In a World … [2013]

“The whole thing’s based on the Prussian War” I remember seeing Lake Bell for the first time on the criminally underrated HBO show “How to Make It in America” and thinking, “this is a real person.” She was slightly awkward, somewhat unconventionally attractive, and far from the ditzy, interchangeably dull girls mainstream entertainment loves to shove down our throats ad nauseum. Bell’s Rachel was headstrong, successful, charmingly flakey, and ultimately the kind of woman you’d believe could find herself at the center of a love triangle. What I couldn’t have…

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REVIEW: Afternoon Delight [2013]

“I’m gonna go put Bonnet out” For a woman like Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) who after a few too many drinks will candidly admit to a wild college life in her twenties, a sexual awakening wasn’t supposed to be something she had yet to experience. She’d done it all already; that’s what that decade of her life was for. Now is the time to be a wife, a mother, and an adult with responsibilities who understands the consequences of her actions. But what if that isn’t working? What if living the…

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REVIEW: The Back-up Plan [2010]

“It’s stubborn, overly-paranoid, and distrustful of men” Over the years Jennifer Lopez has been involved in some good films. I’m talking Out of Sight, U-Turn, and The Cell—movies that have a dark edge to them and stay far, far away from the romantic comedy genre she so readily takes roles for. So, let’s just say I had zero expectations going into her newest entry and CBS Films’ sophomore effort The Back-up Plan. I’ll admit to wanting to be anywhere else but in that theatre, anticipating a horrible affair that would…

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