REVIEW: Raya and the Last Dragon [2021]

Who’s hungry? As Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) states during her expository prologue to Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada‘s Raya and the Last Dragon (written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim), events that should unite us often end up doing the opposite. For the Asiatic world of Kumandra, this phenomenon occurs in the aftermath of their most dire moment once the plague known as druun (a virus-like creature that multiplies with every attack, turning living creatures into stone) is finally annihilated thanks to the bravery of a dragon named Sisu…

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REVIEW: Over the Moon [2020]

Cherish life and everything you love. As an Auntie jokes during dinner on the night of the Chinese Moon Festival, the myth concerning Moon Goddess Chang’e isn’t always one about love. Some versions have it that she stole the immortality elixir from her love Hou Yi—taking it from his hiding place all for herself shortly after he decided forget it in order to remain on Earth with her. Screenwriter Audrey Wells changes things for Over the Moon from liquid to pills with Chang’e hiding two in her mouth before accidentally…

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REVIEW: Last Night [1998]

Would it hurt you to play along just once? The cause might be unnamed, but the fact it’s still sunny at midnight guarantees the giant star at the center of our solar system is going supernova (whether or not physics deems it possible). Because all life on Earth will cease in a predetermined instant, you can bet the entire world thought about where they’ll be and what they’ll do when it happens. Maybe a newscaster takes it upon himself to stay on-air and guide viewers while your local DJ compiles…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: Catfight [2017]

“Raise a glass to trash” With a title like Catfight and the only available image showing a bloodied and battered chokehold between Anne Heche and Sandra Oh, our expectations are forced into conjuring hope for a wild, frenzied ride. Well writer/director Onur Tukel doesn’t disappoint with this broad satire of American politics and wealth disparity. It only takes Craig Bierko‘s rendition of a late night television host doing his smarmy best to poke fun at our broken system before introducing a fat, shirtless man as the “fart machine” to understand…

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REVIEW: Tammy [2014]

“You wanna go ride a cow?” I like Melissa McCarthy and her trademarked hard-edged, scumbag persona in films. She’s often the best part of things that don’t work—Identity Thief—and those that do—Bridesmaids. So I’d love to blame someone else for how tired and frankly unfunny her latest Tammy is despite knowing I can’t. She co-wrote the road trip comedy with her husband Ben Falcone while he also directed. Maybe there was some interference courtesy of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell lending their shingle to the production, but I’d be surprised…

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REVIEW: Rabbit Hole [2010]

“Why didn’t he just make another angel?” Everyone copes with tragedy differently. Some may go to group therapy sessions and slowly peel away at their grief while others do the same around them; some bottle it all up as though they are going through the pain alone, eventually seeing the pent up anger released all at once to an undeserved receipt of whomever is in the crossfire; and others might even attempt to talk with those involved in the event, whether victims or killers, to reconcile guilt, revenge, or give…

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