REVIEW: Yesterday [2019]

Have you got coke? Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) has dreams of singer/songwriter stardom, but this Clacton-on-Sea native is lucky if one person besides best friend/manager Ellie (Lily James) and their mates Nick (Harry Michell) and Carol (Sophia Di Martino) is actually listening to “Summer Song” let alone enjoying it at gigs. That’s the pitfall of dreams: they don’t always work out. While he would have quit years ago if not for Ellie constantly pushing him forward, his latest set-back doubling as a modest moral victory allows him to finally give…

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REVIEW: Love & Mercy [2015]

“Lonely scared frightened” The best part of a Rock and Roll Music History class that I took in college was learning just how influential The Beach Boys were to music at large. I knew the songs and enjoyed them, but how could surfer pop be held in the same regard as The Beatles? It didn’t make sense. But then we dove into the intricacies of the music’s construction and Brian Wilson‘s insane ideas in the studio. We listened to Rubber Soul, Pet Sounds, and beyond to catch where one band…

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REVIEW: Artifact [2013]

“We put everything on black. And we rolled the dice.” Full disclosure on my feelings about Thirty Seconds to Mars: I’m a huge fan. When “Capricorn (A Brand New Name)” hit the radio waves, I was sold—not yet aware Jared Leto was the frontman or that the music wasn’t just another lame attempt by an actor to delve into another industry he/she knew nothing about. I torrented the disc, played it heavily on my iPod, and eventually purchased it as my way of saying they earned my support. I attended…

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REVIEW: Restless [2011]

“One—with a big fat head” I looked forward to this film with anticipation after watching its sweetly touching trailer of quirky kids, death, and the journey taken to find light amidst darkness. Gus Van Sant appeared the perfect match as a visionary able to do so much with sparse material; to allow quiet moments of introspection room to breathe and more resonate sentimentality an authenticity to rise above its inherent triteness. He found a way to make Good Will Hunting‘s overly clichéd script great and Elephant‘s silent storm invigorating, but…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: ノルウェイの森 [Norwegian Wood] [2010]

“I don’t go out of my way to make friends” The hugely popular Japanese novel by Haruki Murakami, ノルウェイの森 [Norwegian Wood], has made the leap to the big screen via director Anh Hung Tran, its North American Premiere held at the Toronto International Film Festival. A coming of age tale about a late-teen boy named Toru Watanabe, we are shown the unpredictable world of the 1960s amidst school, protest, love, and loss. What probably resonates much more through the written word, the film adaptation finds itself to be insanely depressing,…

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REVIEW: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story [2007]

“The wrong kid died” That quote above could not have been more correct, however, not in the way Pa Cox intended. I was thinking more along the lines of wishing young Dewey had cut me in half, because had I been unable to watch the rest of the hour and a half to come, it would have been a much better experience. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story is easily the worst movie I have seen all year long. There have been some bad films, but this was the first…

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TIFF07 REVIEW: Across the Universe [2007]

“Either learn French or die” Julie Taymor’s film Across the Universe has been high up on my most anticipated list for a year now. Taking classic and lesser-known Beatles’ tunes, she has crafted a contemporary musical about a group of young adults at the turning point of life during the start of the Vietnam War. While highly ambitious and oftentimes gorgeous to behold, the film ultimately ends up being a failed attempt at genius. Visually stunning, almost every sequence assaults your eyes with beauty and unique splendor. Unfortunately, Taymor may…

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