REVIEW: Grudge Match [2013]

“This is not the behavior of old men, man” Someone had the brilliant idea of putting Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta in the ring together at the ripe old comedic age of seventy and their Hollywood surrogates agreed to no one’s surprise. Not only that, but the actors also found added pleasure in playing these latest roles as somewhat of a parody on themselves with Robert De Niro‘s Billy “The Kid” McDonnen being all about the easy financial score (see the two-time Oscar-winner’s trajectory the past two decades) and…

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REVIEW: The Fighter [2010]

“I thought you were my mother too” It’s been a rough decade for director David O. Russell between highly publicized blow-ups with George Clooney and Lily Tomlin and his latest, Nailed, being shelved after financing fell through to the point he couldn’t finish filming. So, it is almost a miracle he was given the opportunity to even fathom helming Scott Silver’s scripted The Fighter once Darren Aronofsky backed away after having completed his own ‘fighting’ film with The Wrestler. And with the rave reviews from critics and audiences both, you…

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REVIEW: Crazy Heart [2009]

“Funny how falling feels like flying, even for a little while” Life ain’t no place for the weary kind. Just ask Bad Blake. Here is a man that acts from the soul every step of the way, however, it’s one that has been ravaged and decimated from a life of alcoholism and chain-smoking. Able to compose a song that will resonate for decades to come just by picking up his guitar, Blake is the sort of enigma that means well, but can never clean up enough to achieve. A legend…

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REVIEW: Big Fan [2009]

“We came all the way from Staten Island” Don’t underestimate the talent of Patton Oswalt. Playing a 36-year old man that lives with his mother, works a dead-end minimum wage job, and lives only for the New York Football Giants; this comedian delivers the goods on dark depression. It is always a pleasure to see an actor that has been pigeon-holed into one genre branch out and show the possibilities of range that have never been discovered. With Big Fan being written and directed by the former editor-in-chief of The…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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Top 25 Films of 2008

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 129 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Entre les murs [The Class] directed by Laurent Cantet #24: JCVD directed by Mabrouk El Mechri #23: Boy A directed by John Crowley . #22: Cloverfield directed by Matt Reeves . . #21: Doubt directed by John Patrick Shanley . #20: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime [I’ve Loved You So Long] directed by Philippe Claudel #19: Milk directed by…

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Top Ten Films of 2008: The Year of World War II

This list is accurate as of post-date. So many films and not enough time to see them all, the potential for future change is inevitable, but as of today here are the best … I don’t know what precipitated 2008 being the year of the World War II movie, but of the 100+ releases I saw, six of them concerned it in some regard. The year saw more than its share of war from all decades with Che, Stop-Loss, Waltz with Bashir, and even Tropic Thunder, however, the Holocaust spent…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: The Wrestler [2008]

“Sacrificial ram” It’s a fascinating thought I had going into Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. I began to worry that a straightforward tale may not be playing to the director’s strengths. The reason being that his masterpiece The Fountain was still in my head and since he didn’t have writing credit here, my trepidation increased. It wasn’t until the end credits that I recalled Requiem For a Dream being an adaptation and his debut π being pretty grounded in reality despite its surrealistic tendencies.…

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