REVIEW: Dolor y gloria [Pain & Glory] [2019]

Compassionate and controlled. A lot has been said about Pedro Almodóvar‘s latest film Dolor y gloria [Pain & Glory] being autofiction, but the director says it best himself when explaining that the character (Antonio Banderas‘ Salvador Mallo) “wasn’t me, but was inside me.” There’s power to that statement because it accepts the notion that everything an artist creates is born from within. So the comparisons are unavoidable as a rule regardless of whether or not you write your script to be about a director who then lives in a set…

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REVIEW: Julieta [2016]

“Remember, you don’t like goodbyes” It began as many things: an adaptation of Nobel Prize winning Canadian writer Alice Munro‘s three connected short stories from her book Runaway (“Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”), Pedro Almodóvar‘s English-language debut with its venue switching from Vancouver to New York, and a starring vehicle for Meryl Streep. But Julieta eventually became none of them. It’s still credited as an adaptation, yet Almodóvar would be the first to say that he took pains to make it his own not only in content but context with the…

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Posterized Propaganda June 2013: The Apocalypse is Nigh With ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘World War Z,’ ‘This is the End’ & More

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact 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. Summer continues chugging along with the America and/or Earth threatened by destruction at every turn. Whether comic book adaptations, zombie wars, terrorist assaults or a giant pit opening up to…

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REVIEW: Let My People Go! [2011]

“My life is one bad Jewish joke” For his first feature length film, writer/director Mikael Buch has decided upon an extremely over-the-top romantic farce about a young homosexual Jewish man coming home to France from Finland after a lovers’ spat. It all plays out during Passover with a not-so-subtle aside about the holiday prayer speaking on the Exodus from Egypt and the coalescing of a people under the leadership of Moses. As Ézechiel the Rabbi (Michaël Abiteboul) says towards the end of the aptly named Let My People Go!, the…

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REVIEW: La piel que habito [The Skin I Live In] [2011]

“I breathe. I know I breathe” The largest organ of the human body, skin is our last defense against the outside world. Holding our internal muscles and veins within its vulnerable shell, it is also one of the traits that defines our unique appearance. Trapped by an external façade of varying attractiveness, the way we look to others greatly affects how they see us upon initial introduction. Male and female are generally obvious camps with which to lump us, but our physical attributes can never completely represent who we are…

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Posterized Propaganda October 2011: Faces Take the Spotlight

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact 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. Thank goodness for the fall season. Not only are the films better, but the artwork generally has its own yummy indie flavor too. Close-up faces covered by sans-serif text reign…

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360|365FF10 REVIEW: Celda 211 [Cell 211] [2009]

“I’ll see what I can do” Now this is the film I thought Un prophète would be. Despite all the hype surrounding that French prison drama—it was great—it never reached the pedestal of perfection for me. Yet here is the Goya sweeping Celda 211 [Cell 211]—not even given the country’s selection for inclusion on the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar list, but then that whole process of one per country is messed up to begin with—criminally given no buzz in America that I’ve been aware of. It snuck by me…

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Top 25 Films of 2009

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 153 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: An Education directed by Lone Scherfig #24: The Box directed by Richard Kelly #23: Sunshine Cleaning directed by Christine Jeffs #22: The Road directed by John Hillcoat #21: District 9 directed by Neill Blomkamp #20: Fantastic Mr. Fox directed by Wes Anderson #19: Lebanon directed by Samuel Maoz. #18: The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow. #17: Los abrazos rotos[Broken Embraces]…

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Top Ten Films of 2009: Foreign Films Reign Supreme

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all, the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … Another year gone, another 100+ releases down. 2009 was one that included a lot of good directors and some great ensemble pieces. Out of all the inclusions to my top ten, plus honorable mentions, only three really contained a central figure worthy of mention above the work itself; the others truly were complete packages consisting of…

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REVIEW: Los abrazos rotos [Broken Embraces] [2009]

“Living one life was not enough” There was only one thing on TV growing up that I thought was even more amateurish and unprofessional then soap operas and it was the Spanish variety. These actors played the parts so over-the-top that I had to wonder if it was all done intentionally. No way were these people breaking into the industry; they were horrible. The drama and the insanity was too much to be able to watch longer than a couple minutes, not to mention I was young and reading subtitles…

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TIFF09 PREVIEW: For the Love of Film indeed …

September 10th is the day that friend/co-worker Chris Schobert and I head back up north for our third year at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). We’ve done the middle three days (2007) and the last three days (2008), so we thought, “What the hell?”, let’s try our luck with the opening four. Rolling out of bed, speeding down the QEW, and landing at the box office hours before our first film wouldn’t quite be effective for this year’s journey, however. Being in TO for FaneXpo last weekend meant we…

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