REVIEW: The Spy Who Dumped Me [2018]

Thumbs up. While Drew (Justin Theroux) gets his butt kicked in Lithuana on a covert assignment for the CIA, the woman he dumped via text just days earlier is forced to endure the psychological trauma of having every single person she knows at her birthday party wondering where he is. To make matters worse, we soon discover that Audrey (Mila Kunis) met him a year ago to the date—one celebration to ignite the relationship and another to ensure everyone knows it came to an end. But while he’s seemingly left…

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REVIEW: Hell and Back [2015]

“If you’re a priest or a nun, that’s funny. You wasted your life.” You may have noticed posters for the R-rated, stop-motion animated comedy Hell and Back throughout the summer and fall seasons in anticipation of its October release only to find it didn’t come to a theater near you. It was released and took in about $150,000 on the few screens it graced to the chagrin of a ton of hopeful Nick Swardson fans complaining on the movie’s Facebook page about their inability to watch. So January 5th brings…

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REVIEW: Ted 2 [2015]

“Fresh cakes” Something Steve Harvey said on a recent episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” really struck me: “Tragedy strikes. I got news for you—we have the jokes that night. We know that we can’t bring this to the public yet cause we’ll get hammered. But in a room alone, when it’s just us, we have the jokes already ready.” He’s right. If the joke is funny—no matter what the circumstance is—it’s funny. Your finding it offense or “too-soon” isn’t a comment on the joke itself, but on your…

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REVIEW: Jupiter Ascending [2015]

“The problem with astrology … total bullshit” Sometimes filmgoers simply want to be entertained and often don’t mind when the means of that fun skews towards the headier side of things—no matter how implausible, campy, or convenient that direction proves. Jupiter Ascending isn’t trying to sell itself as some grand magnum opus that cures cancer; it’s merely a new space opera from the blockbuster sci-fi duo Wachowski Starship (Andy and Lana). They were commissioned by the studio to write exactly that in the hopes of franchise viability. Do I see…

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REVIEW: The Color of Time [2014]

“I have things I want to do” I wonder if James Franco showed his NYU class Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life because it appears the twelve students he handpicked to write and direct what became the C.K. Williams biography The Color of Time saw it and sought to remake it. Instead of musings on the world with one boy/man serving as a metaphor for the whole of existence, however, they’ve centered their love for elegiac interludes of the mundane on a series of poems serving as a metaphor for…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: The F Word [2014]

“Love is stupid monkeys dancing in a slapstick hurricane” I’m officially a sucker for romantic comedies where guy meets girl by engaging in sarcastically cynical conversation consisting more of glib quips than substantive information. It’s more than likely because that’s exactly what my girlfriend and I do even to this day and most definitely because I’m a hopeless romantic just like the male leads generally are. There is something absolutely relatable to the awkwardly genuine smiles of two introverts connecting with an acquired humor made funnier by the fact everyone…

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REVIEW: Oz the Great and Powerful [2013]

“What’s the third up?” I have to reevaluate my distaste for everything Oz not existing inside the mind of Dorothy Gale now that I’ve discovered Victor Fleming’s seminal work The Wizard of Oz wasn’t as faithful to its source material as I once assumed. I could never ignore how the simple attempt to craft a prequel within a fictitious fantasy world was in direct opposition to what made the original so timeless and important to lost children yearning for more than they have. And then I read how L. Frank…

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REVIEW: Ted [2012]

“Thanks for creeping up my night” If you looked at the trailers for Seth MacFarlane‘s Ted and thought it would be a full-length, live action riff on his popular animated television show “Family Guy”, you wouldn’t be wrong. However, if your assumption also carried the thought such a result would end up overlong, obnoxious, and too weak to sustain its one-note joke, get ready to be pleasantly surprised. I won’t say this crude, R-rated fantasy about a teddy bear come to life will be for everyone, but MacFarlane and “Guy”…

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REVIEW: The Five-Year Engagement [2012]

“The Taxman waits for no one” Writer/actor Jason Segel and writer/director Nicholas Stoller have been working with each other for years now, both cementing their membership in Judd Apatow‘s comedic entourage on “Undeclared”. It was their first cinematic collaboration—Forgetting Sarah Marshall—however, that put them on the map as a creative team worth keeping in the recesses of your mind for light bulbs of clarity to illuminate when hearing their names in trailers. The film was a perfect mix of charm, hilarity, and crude behavior that was sadly unmatched with Stoller’s…

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REVIEW: Friends with Benefits [2011]

“Shut up Katherine Heigl, you stupid liar” I refuse to call it a romantic comedy. Yes, there are clichés, there’s love, some sex, and a little bit of heart, but Friends with Benefits is not just the sum of those parts. It is a raunchy buddy comedy that excels despite its genre’s limitations, a fun, witty, and smart tale of two damaged souls who find their best friend and successfully add a physical relationship to the equation. This tale weaves us through the delicate emotional turmoil of a couple twenty-somethings…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2011: ‘Pooh’ and Friends Trump ‘Monte Carlo’

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Photoshop: the Bad, the Really Bad, and Some Success You see it a lot these days—the dreaded floating head Photoshop hack job. July 2011 is no stranger to the…

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