REVIEW: Mistress America [2015]

“Five feet to the left and unhappy” I’ve considered myself a sociopath for a while now, but Noah Baumbach‘s Mistress America has confirmed it. Maybe this is why I have such a love hate relationship with the writer/director’s work—it’s full of them. I guess it’s the light in which the one I align myself with most is shone that determines my reaction. Or maybe it’s whether or not he makes a concerted effort to portray the film in which they’re depicted as purposefully satirical or authentic. But even then it’s…

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REVIEW: While We’re Young [2015]

“She is a mess. And an ugly eater.” I hated While We’re Young—a fact that actually increases my already healthy dose of respect for writer/director Noah Baumbach. He’s a filmmaker with the type of style, tone, and air of not quite tongue-in-cheek pretension you could pick out from across the room as his and his alone. Sometimes it’s good (Greenberg) or downright perfection (The Squid and the Whale and Frances Ha). Other times it makes me so mad I could scream (Margot at the Wedding). Here’s the thing, though: they…

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TIFF13 REVIEW: The Double [2014]

“It’s terrible to be alone too much” Comically dry like director Richard Ayoade‘s debut Submarine, his sophomore effort takes more than a few steps towards an even more arid realm of complete existentialist surrealism. Adapted by he and Avi Korine, The Double brings Fyodor Dostoyevsky‘s novella to the big screen with a surefire confidence in its visual form and an eccentric comedy that should go a long way towards securing “The IT Crowd” starrer as a permanent, unique voice in contemporary cinema. There is a definite stylistic kinship to his…

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Top Ten Films of 2012: Ensembles upon ensembles

Many have been saying 2012 was a great year for movies. I’m not sure I fully agree. There were a ton of solid 7/10s and 8/10s, yes, but how does that compare with previous years when the amount of 10/10s were also drastically reduced? It took until September for me to give a film four stars and the two I did laud with such a distinction that month were the only ones. Rather than a showcase of masterpiece cinema, 2012 was instead a year of the performance. And I mean…

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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: Submarine [2011]

“Cancer trumps potential infidelity” Only having seen one episode of “The IT Crowd” doesn’t make me a professional on the subject, but I do recall thinking it quirky, funny, and a bit awkward. It’s no surprise then that the directorial debut of one of its actors would be all those things—possibly even farther down the spectrum towards their extremes. Based on a novel by Joe Dunthorne, Richard Ayoade brings 1986 Swansea, Wales to life with a coming of age tale much more intelligent than the standard teen sex comedy. It’s…

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TIFF07 REVIEW: Margot at the Wedding [2007]

“I think we should do an audit” Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed film The Squid and the Whale falls way short of living up to the expectations laid before it. There were numerous moments in Margot at the Wedding’s predecessor that skirted the line of acceptance, but they never crossed it. With this entry, however, Baumbach crosses the line early and soon finds that he can’t find his way back. No character here is really likeable at all. Everyone is a bit off mentally and unfortunately acknowledge that…

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REVIEW: The Squid and the Whale [2005]

“The filet of the neighborhood” I have yet to see Noah Baumbach’s debut film Kicking and Screaming, but I can only hope it shows the sarcastic wit and heart that his later effort The Squid and the Whale does. What is supposed to be a very personal story that mirrors his life growing up with his intellectual writer father and misfit family, really hits all its marks. While a film like Running with Scissors fails because its comedy is at the expense of flawed characters, Baumbach’s film succeeds because its…

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Top 25 Films of 2005

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 93 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Hauru no ugoku shiro[Howl’s Moving Castle] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #24: Good Night,and Good Luck directed by George Clooney #23: Joyeux Noël[Merry Christmas] directed by Christian Carion #22: The Descent directed by Neil Marshall #21: Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott #20: 13 Tzameti directed by Géla Babluani #19: Batman Begins directed byChristopher Nolan #18: The Girl in the Café…

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