REVIEW: Last Night in Soho [2021]

What’s the most? Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) sees dead people. Or, maybe, she’s crazy. No. She definitely sees dead people. Director Edgar Wright and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns aren’t interested in making Last Night in Soho a commentary on mental illness when they can merely use mental illness as a plot device (Eloise’s mother committed suicide a decade previously after her own journey to London proved too much to bear). That sounds snarkier than it is. Yes, they could have handled the topic better, but I say it simply because it’s true.…

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REVIEW: Big Eyes [2014]

“I’m just a Sunday painter” It’s a paint-off. Literally. Will the winner be the charismatic salesman peddling his wife’s art as his own or the soft-spoken woman slaving away in a turpentine-filled room that’s been dominated and belittled into allowing him to do so? Who will earn the right to say they were the creators of an oeuvre simultaneously thought to be worth thousands of dollars and infinite fame by the general populace and conversely less than the canvas they were painted on by New York Times critic John Canaday…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: The Art of the Steal [2013]

“Oh. So you’re a wizard now.” When you’re looking to create a successful heist flick it’s usually a good idea to keep things simple. Make everything as airtight as possible, don’t try for too many twists and turns, and maybe throw in a double cross to add a bit of intrigue. This is something that the underrated television show “Leverage” excelled at, allowing its stellar cast to shine above its crime of the week formula. When the theft itself is a foregone conclusion and you know it will all end…

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REVIEW: Haywire [2012]

“Oh, God. There’s a deer in the car.” If not for the cast list, I would treat Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire as the newest entry to the experimental, off-the-beaten path section of his oeuvre. Without mentioning the larger scale Che—which is quite possibly his least mainstream film of the aughts—this quiet actioner fits right in as a sibling to Bubble and especially The Girlfriend Experience by using an untrained dramatic actress inside a plot playing to her strengths. Mixed Martial Arts fighter Gina Carano won’t be winning awards for her thespian…

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REVIEW: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert [1994]

“Bernice has left her cake out in the rain” Based The road trip comedy is a staple in the cinematic world and I’m sure some would be quick to state how, “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”. However, I’d be surprised if those same people have ever seen anything as uniquely eccentric as Stephan Elliot’s foray in the genre. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a trek across the Australian desert with two drag queens and a transsexual making their way to the sleepy town…

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REVIEW: The Adjustment Bureau [2011]

“It doesn’t matter how you feel, what matters is in black and white” Do we have the capacity for free will? When you look back into the history of mankind, what really stand out are our blunders and tragedies. Nuclear power is created and we drop the bomb; diseases are discovered and cured and we manufacture biological weapons. The laundry list of things done for science, for good, for survival that end up twisting into one more way to inch closer to absolute annihilation is sickening to fathom. Maybe humanity…

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REVIEW: Valkyrie [2008]

“Long live sacred Germany” Bryan Singer returns to a world that isn’t inhabited with superheroes, joining an old friend in screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, a partnership that last resulted in The Usual Suspects. The question then becomes whether lightning can strike twice and if Tom Cruise’s thoughts that it would, by producing it as his second feature as head of United Artists, could be correct. With Valkyrie, a “based on true events” tale of high Nazi officials with enough guts to risk their lives to stop Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror…

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REVIEW: Get Smart [2008]

“Chuck Norris and a BB-gun” It’s always nice to leave a theatre thinking how much better the film you just saw was compared to what you expected it to be going in. I’m not saying that the big screen version of Get Smart is a classic work of cinema history, but when you go in thinking that the overall piece will be boring, asinine, and a waste of time only to come out with a smile on your face knowing that you’ve been entertained for two hours: it is a…

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