REVIEW: The Abyss [1989]

“You have to look with better eyes than that” Even the most rudimentary research into the production of James Cameron‘s The Abyss yields horror story upon horror story as frustrations shattered personal lives and behind the scenes decisions fought against its genre, budget, and appeal. There’s the writer/director basing lead character Lindsey Brigman on producer Gale Anne Hurd only to find himself marrying her previous to filming, separating during pre-production, and divorcing months before it’s release date. That opening weekend itself was pushed from July until August to complete special…

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REVIEW: All Is Lost [2013]

“I’m sorry” If writer/director J.C. Chandor‘s goal was to ensure he didn’t get pigeonholed into one type of cinematic style and/or genre, his sophomore effort All Is Lost surely does the job. Hot off a breakout Sundance debut with the expertly written ensemble piece Margin Call—earning an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay—the rising star found himself face-to-face with festival founder Robert Redford to inquire about hiring the legend for his follow-up. It was to be an almost two-hour piece set entirely in the Indian Ocean as a solitary sailor battles…

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REVIEW: Sanctum [2011]

“Ah … that’s not a wizard” Who knew the best way to connect an emotionally estranged father and son was to trap them inside an unmapped cave with few materials, an abundance of frenzied spelunkers, and only the hope that the river rising to suffocate them will lead to the ocean and freedom? Inspired by true events, I guess maybe I shouldn’t make light of the situation, especially since John Garvin and Andrew Wight’s screenplay contains many deaths, but I can’t look past the rather convenient way such astronomical odds…

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REVIEW: Avatar [2009]

“I see you” I have one major problem with Avatar and that is what it means for the future of my home entertainment system. How can I ever replicate the visceral spectacle I experienced with a five-story screen, digital sound blaring, and 3D technology that is so beyond any I’ve seen before that nothing short of ‘blown away’ can describe it? I’m not sure I ever could and that is what may make this film as successful or more than its creator’s last, Titanic. People aren’t going to want to…

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TIFF08 REVIEW: Sexykiller, moriras por ella [2008]

“Like killing, but backwards” It is going to be very hard to delineate the film Sexykiller from the experience I had seeing it. My screening at the Toronto International Film Festival was the first time I had ever been to a Midnight Madness event. The atmosphere was fantastic, the theatre filled with kindred souls, all ready to have a blast and check their brains at the door. While we waited in line for seats, a couple people dressed in makeup as zombies walked by, talking to themselves about where they…

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Top 20 Films of 1997

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 57 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #20: Suicide Kings directed by Peter O’Fallon #19: The Fifth Element directed by Luc Besson #18: Titanic directed by James Cameron #17: Grosse Pointe Blank directed by George Armitage. #16: Mononoke-hime[Princess Mononoke] directed by Hayao Miyazaki #15: Deconstructing Harry directed by Woody Allen. #14: Jackie Brown directed byQuentin Tarantino #13: Funny Games directed by Michael Haneke. #12: A Life Less Ordinary directed…

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