FANTASIA20 REVIEW: Undergods [2020]

All will be fog. We all like to think we have control—kings of our proverbial castles. It’s all a ruse, though. We’re actually slaves to a system that seems more and more likely to fail with each new day and each new declaration that its imminent demise is a call to arms to save it rather than move on and evolve. That false sense of control is thus a mechanism we use to combat the fear of knowing how little we truly possess. We dream of other men failing so…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: Guns Akimbo [2020]

Never bring a spork to a gunfight. Just because you can troll the trolls on the internet from the comfort of your couch while wearing nothing but underwear and a bathrobe doesn’t mean you should. It’s not because it’s a waste of time, but that you probably didn’t activate your VPN and the death match website you’re commenting on now knows your address. And they don’t take kindly to anonymous nerds projecting on them the aggression they’re too afraid to unleash on their bosses. So when they break down your…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: The Shadow of Violence [Calm with Horses] [2020]

That’s not you. To cross the Devers family is to earn retribution. This is a known fact to all in the rural Irish town of Glanbeigh. Some strangers arrive and overstep their bounds without knowing (as if getting involved with drug dealers was an act whose danger can be unknown), but most everyone knows everyone else’s name and where to find them. So when it’s Fannigan’s (Liam Carney) turn to “make good” on a transgression, he doesn’t try to run. He sits in his chair as Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (Cosmo…

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REVIEW: Mandy [2018]

It’s all but a beautiful dream. At some point during Panos Cosmatos‘ acid trip of a phantasmagoric horror Mandy you will start to wonder if you’re the one tripping on LSD. It could be when oily ghouls on motorcycles arrive with the call of a stone horn’s whistle or perhaps when a severed jugular sprays blood all over our hero’s face as he screams in deranged delight. You’ll watch as the characters onscreen drink hallucinogens, prick others with the stinger of a giant insect, and snort cocaine—each new experience opening…

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REVIEW: Blitz [2011]

“Do I look like I carry a pencil?” With a name like Blitz and the surly visage of Jason Statham on its poster, one would expect this British flick to be an action-packed romp with little plausibility. Surprisingly, however, Elliott Lester’s film is a straightforward criminal thriller using its star’s penchant for brutality as merely a character trait rather than a lifestyle. Hotheaded, temperamental, and never one to follow authority too closely, Statham is on the right side of the law this time. A Detective Sergeant going by the name…

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