REVIEW: Indignation [2016]

“You be greater than your feelings.” If I’ve seen a bleaker, more pessimistic film in the past ten years than Indignation I find myself absolutely stumped trying to think of it. Adapted from Philip Roth‘s 2008 novel by writer/director James Schamus, this look at a Korean War-era America full of fear, anxiety, sexual repression, and attempted solace through religion supplies a gut-punch at every turn in plot. There’s no hope to be found when the one possible glimmer of love that’s provided is riddled with constant missteps and tragic circumstances…

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REVIEW: The 9th Life of Louis Drax [2016]

“More than all the fish in the sea” Ten years after Anthony Minghella optioned Liz Jensen‘s The 9th Life of Louis Drax to develop cinematically, it was his son Max who saw it begin production. The younger Minghella’s first credited screenplay, probably brought to director Alexandre Aja on set of their previous collaboration Horns, it would ultimately take another two for the finished film’s release. If I were to wager a guess as to why I’d say the distributors found themselves painted in a corner unable to figure out how…

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REVIEW: Maps to the Stars [2014]

“… Liberty” There are many versions of Hollywood I would never wish to live within—including the real one—but it appears those crafted by Bruce Wagner might be the most nightmarishly hedonistic, vile, and depressingly pathetic. A man who grew up in Los Angeles via Wisconsin and probably experienced many of the selfish acts of depravity he cynically puts to paper first hand, it says something about his artistic merits that he was able to write and direct two films (both based on what must be a sprawling novel I’m Losing…

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REVIEW: Enemy [2014]

“Chaos is order yet undeciphered” When you read a synopsis for the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double you’ll find a very straightforward tale of doppelgangers. There’s the alpha, the pushover, and the innocent victims caught between; the insanity of seeing an exact replica in the flesh paired with the infinite possibilities such a discovery could mean. One is married; one has a girlfriend. The latter injects himself into the former’s world through curiosity, the first into the second’s purely for unfounded revenge and sexual desire. They exist…

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REVIEW: Antiviral [2012]

“Celebrities aren’t human. They’re group hallucinations.” Like father, like son—Brandon Cronenberg has been paying attention. Even though a credit as Special Effects Technician on eXistenZ is the only one of David’s films he’s attached to in a professional capacity, it would be hard to believe he wasn’t at least on set for a few others. And if watching Brandon’s debut feature length Antiviral conjured memories of that virtual reality reality flick alongside a taste of Videodrome like it did to me, you know the body horror gene was passed down.…

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REVIEW: Cosmopolis [2012]

“My prostate is asymmetrical” Thematically more like what David Cronenberg created before his last three films; I’m not quite sure what to think about Cosmopolis. Faithfully adapted from a novel by Don DeLillo, its look inside the day of billionaire magnate Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) skews closest to the hellish descents behind the director’s eXistenZ and seminal work Videodrome through a filter of smugness a la Bret Easton Ellis‘ American Psycho. The characters speak in pronouns with a universal aloofness that makes their world appear a coldly detached fabrication of…

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