TIFF14 REVIEW: The Cobbler [2015]

“I’m not gonna eat you!” Adults need fairy tales too and Thomas McCarthy—with cowriter Paul Sado—deliver one in The Cobbler. They don’t try to pretend it’s something more either as its opening prologue can attest thanks to older tradesmen on the Lower East Side speaking Yiddish around a table to think up a way to defeat the evil landlord raising their rent to drive them away. Cut to the local shoe man deemed their savior stitching up a pair of loafers with son in tow and we learn his machine…

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REVIEW: Obvious Child [2014]

“Let’s do it on Valentine’s Day” It seems like a slight on the film since it’s a comedy, but I sincerely applaud Obvious Child for taking the subject of abortion seriously. Or maybe I should say naturally because while I never felt preached at from either side of the issue, I did laugh hard and often. There’s no flippant joke showing a protestor outside the clinic a la Juno or any espousing of a political agenda like the end of The Visitor turning immigration compassion into system vilification—it simply lets…

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REVIEW: The Station Agent [2003]

“Would you mind not looking at me right now?” Actor Thomas McCarthy is quite the paradox. The man has a face full of smugness and unchecked attitude, making him ideal for intelligent, arrogant jerks. Maybe jerk is too strong a word since he also has the capacity for remorse, but I do find it apt after just recently seeing him become one of the most amoral characters on the HBO series “The Wire”. What makes him a paradox, however, is his foray into writing and directing. For some reason—perhaps because…

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REVIEW: Step Brothers [2008]

“A combination of Fergie and Jesus” I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d ever utter these words about a Will Ferrell vehicle, especially one with Adam McKay as collaborator—besides that Pearl video The Landlord on the internet last year—but here it is. Step Brothers is an absolutely hilarious film. From end to end, I don’t remember the last time I’ve laughed this hard, without stop. This is what Ferrell needs to do, no more of those bio-spoofs of idiots that fall flat due to their tired joke. He is…

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REVIEW: The Visitor [2008]

“Thinking just screws it all up” When I first saw the trailer for the new film The Visitor I knew I wanted to see it solely on the basis that Richard Jenkins was going to be the star. I’ve loved this guy in everything he has done, mostly small to medium supporting work; it’s great to see him get the chance to carry an entire movie. Of course there was more to like: the music seemed fantastic, the storyline something with some dramatic weight, and the fact that it was…

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REVIEW: The Messengers [2007]

“Farmer Sutra” Special sneak previews are always a good time. No matter what movie it is you are seeing, people will always pack the theatre who have been awaiting the film, like free stuff, thought it’d be something to do, or just got lost. Either way, no matter how good or bad the film, the audience alone will make it enjoyable. Now when said movie is a PG-13 pseudo-horror film (can you really delve into horror when the MPAA is on your back censoring everything?) you know there will be…

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