TIFF17 REVIEW: Brad’s Status [2017]

“Why are you competing at all?” Brad’s (Ben Stiller) son is about to embark on college. It’s the type of auspicious life marker to make anyone look back and question the journey they’ve taken thus far. Has Brad done enough? Lived up to the potential he felt he possessed? Or was he passed by? All of his old Tufts friends are rich, famous, successful, and/or happy—pure happiness unencumbered by the seemingly trivial struggles Brad faces daily. He isn’t poor, though. Nor destitute. If anything he’s on the cusp of breaking…

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LOCARNO16 REVIEW: Where Is Rocky II? [2016]

“You can Hollywood anything” It was around the time Pierre Bismuth won his Oscar as an original story creator on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that he stumbled upon an unknown work by Edward Ruscha via a BBC documentary. This tape captured the artist as he created a fake rock dubbed “Rocky II,” a fiberglass/resin creation that ultimately replaced “Rocky I” once it was proven unsuitable for longevity in the desert (having been manufactured from wheat paste). It’s a fascinating discovery—a piece by a renowned figure that nobody’s seen…

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REVIEW: Youth in Revolt [2010]

“You sweet angel of the lavatory” Wow, never underestimate the drawing power of Michael Cera. This kid is the most awkward looking and acting actor on the planet, destined to be relegated to one-trick pony status unless he stops letting himself be typecast, but my God does he have comedic appeal. The screening I attended for Youth in Revolt was sold out almost an hour in advance, something unheard of and definitely worthy of mention. You’d think people would be sick of him by now—I know I am—but the glimmer…

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REVIEW: Zombieland [2009]

“It’s amazing how far you can go with costume jewelry and a cutthroat attitude” It is sometimes a fine line to cross when handing the reins of a big budget film to a newcomer, but that’s exactly what Sony Pictures did with Zombieland. The foursome in the lead aren’t necessarily A-list big money talent, but they are stalwarts in the industry, (Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin—I know she’s 13, but she did get an Oscar nom), and rising stars, (Jesse Eisenberg and Emma Stone). Steeped in horror clichés and more…

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