REVIEW: Phil [2019]

I never promised you a rose garden. We meet Phil McGuire (Greg Kinnear) exiting his parked car while still in traffic to climb up a bridge railing. It’s a one hundred-plus foot drop into the water and he imagines taking the plunge before a group of teens with cellphones outstretched jolt him from the morbid sensation with excitable demands that he jump so they can enjoy the carnage. That’s a bold tonal mood on behalf of screenwriter Stephen Mazur and director Kinnear (his debut) because there’s actual dejection on their…

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REVIEW: Family [2019]

Take control of your life. One of many side effects (central tenets) of the patriarchy is this notion that women must either follow a workaholic career trajectory devoid of distractions (family) or choose to stay at home and devote their time to being housewives without distractions (career). It’s a very conscious duality with which to place women in boxes and thus punish them for doing what men have done for millennia. Too many people see this contrast as deciding between a path towards ostracization for going against your unrealistic gender…

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REVIEW: The Public [2019]

Books saved my life. It’s the same tragic story. Another unarmed Black man is killed by the police. Another White man takes an arsenal into a school, campus, or place of worship before opening fire on unarmed innocents. The media takes these headlines, packages them together with thoughts and prayers, and uses the ratings to continue peddling their editorializing as news until another such event inevitably occurs yet again. And what do we have to show for it all? Besides a growing anger at the political injustices and vile rhetoric…

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REVIEW: The Overnight [2015]

“Give me twenty minutes and I will give you parental bliss” Writer/director Patrick Brice touches on many relationship aspects beyond attraction with his outrageous sex comedy The Overnight. Most work of this ilk push two couples with differing levels of strife together to see what comes out—swinging, uncoupling, cheating, etc. Brice instead introduces two pairs seemingly in bliss. Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) have a healthy relationship with each other and their son RJ (R.J. Hermes) while Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) are in a constant…

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REVIEW: The Lucky One [2012]

“She’s not mine” Sadly—or perhaps not—The Lucky One did not instill a need to rectify my neglect of watching or reading author Nicholas Sparks‘ previous works. A romantic drama that falls prey to all the tropes you know and love/hate, the roller coaster ride of emotions it wants to be ends up little more than a gradual slide to the inevitably safe bottom. Not even a pair of lead actors I actually like could save the story from itself when Taylor Schilling‘s Beth is a trite casualty of every stereotypical…

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Posterized Propaganda April 2012: Where Art and Commerce Meet

“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. There’s a good mix of work coming out in April and the posters do well to mirror such. I’m not quite sure how Chris Sparling could have his script for…

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REVIEW: Atlas Shrugged: Part I [2011]

“Who is John Galt?” The critical failings of the over fifty years in waiting adaptation of Ayn Rand’s seminal, controversial novel Atlas Shrugged: Part I are more due to the liberal slant of the industry then any shortcomings of the production. Critics across the country snidely remark how we shouldn’t “… hold our breath for parts 2 and 3” (Joe Morgenstern, admitting to not being an admirer of the author), but if you look at the per theatre average take of this independently financed endeavor as well as its unheard…

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