REVIEW: Do Not Resist [2016]

“It isn’t just us. It’s everybody.” First-time director Craig Atkinson‘s Do Not Resist could easily have become an agenda piece highlighting one viewpoint of the escalating militarization of America’s police force above another. His footage on the ground at Ferguson during the protests of Michael Brown’s murder and numerous glimpses inside deliberations of city, state, and federal commissions seeking to bolster defense and/or question why leans towards the opinion that the country is growing more and more totalitarian. If he added talking-head interviews from liberal experts with leading questions that…

Read More

REVIEW: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World [2016]

“Did you get the ‘G’?” Documentarian Werner Herzog‘s latest film Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World peers into the longer than expected history of our uncontrollable phenomenon known as the internet. The word uncontrollable doesn’t, however, allude to this network having created an artificial intelligence—although, as one subject states, who’s to say an AI hasn’t already been born that simply refuses to make itself known? No, the internet’s unchecked power stems from humanity’s present-day reliance upon it to literally survive. It’s become an extension of who we are…

Read More

REVIEW: A Good American [2016]

“I need you to know that I would never deliberately commit suicide” If any of you “Person of Interest” fans out there still wondered whether or not our government was capable of and/or currently practice many of the same programs its fictionalized establishment utilizes, William Binney would like to tell you the definitive answer: yes. If anyone were to know it’s him, a former technical director at the NSA recruited into the agency during the Vietnam War. He’s a master with algorithms and worked tirelessly alongside Kirk Wiebe, Edward Loomis,…

Read More

REVIEW: Ex Machina [2015]

“The history of man? That’s the history of Gods.” Artificial intelligence isn’t new. It’s in video games, toys, software platforms—most computer systems we interact with daily possess it in some capacity. The idea that one day someone will code a manufactured consciousness capable of becoming sentient, however, is still in the realm of science fiction. Already a well-worn trope, its implementation has seen resurgence of late. Not only is a new installment of Skynet’s war-torn future coming with Terminator Genisys, but “Person of Interest” has been ruling the cyber-thriller forum…

Read More

REVIEW: Furious 7 [2015]

“You never could take a punch” There’s something about this series that’s transcended any intellectual discussion about cinema. How else does a lamely derivative version of Point Break substituting waves with cars spawn six sequels in fifteen years? Think about that. 2 Fast 2 Furious was so bad that star Vin Diesel turned down a twenty-five million dollar payday to be in it. Then the third entry threw everything out the window but horsepower and took things international across the Pacific. This is where the taste of its potential began,…

Read More

REVIEW: Citizenfour [2014]

“It’s scary but at the same time liberating” Some films cannot be judged solely on form because their content is too crucial to be swept underneath ideas of aesthetic. Laura Poitras‘ Citizenfour is a perfect example. Its visuals are monotonously static with a majority of sequences depicting conversations between a whistleblower and a reporter inside a hotel room and there’s little information disseminated that hasn’t already been made publically known. To someone like me with only a cursory knowledge of the leak and specifics of the NSA’s surveillance into the…

Read More

REVIEW: Transcendence [2014]

“They say there’s power in Boston” With a trailer digitizing Johnny Depp and electronic machinery created out of thin air, it’s an understatement to say I was surprised the beginning of Transcendence introduced a world without power. I thought the film was about new technology and the advancement of artificial intelligence harboring a potential for hubristic power grabs and the genocide of organic thinking/emotional response. Instead I saw broken screens on the street and a shop owner wedging a chewed-up keyboard into the gap between his door and the ground…

Read More

REVIEW: Jack Reacher [2012]

“Weird to meet you” It appears it was only a matter of time before author Lee Child—or Jim Grant to his parents—saw the sole protagonist of his life’s work on the big screen. Jack Reacher is the type of character audiences adore; one easily catered towards the sequel model paved by Tom Clancy‘s Jack Ryan if and when Tom Cruise finally gives up action flicks. An ex-Army Military Police Major who spent his childhood abroad before a stint at West Point led to thirteen years in the service, he now…

Read More