REVIEW: The Kid [2019]

You gotta learn to trust inna fella. With so many different iterations of the same exact story flooding the cinematic market every year via reboots and sequels, it’s nice when someone decides to look at a common narrative through a new lens. This is what director Vincent D’Onofrio and screenwriter Andrew Lanham hope to accomplish with The Kid—a glimpse at the oft-mythologized game played by former friends turned enemies Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan) and Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke) from the eyes of a fourteen year old boy (Jake Shur‘s…

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REVIEW: CHIPS [2017]

“Shoulda cuddled, bro” I’ve never watched an episode of “CHiPs” so I don’t care whether or not the original Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis Poncherello (Erik Estrada) pulled their guns during six seasons of television as some on social media have enjoyed touting they didn’t since the trailer hit. I will, however, admit I’m glad writer/director Dax Shepard didn’t feel beholden to such a streak of pacifism because I don’t see how it would have been entertaining for 90-plus minutes. And if his CHIPS remake is anything, it is…

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REVIEW: The Player [1992]

“… with a heart” When thinking about a satire on Hollywood, the idea to glorify its luck, ego, and excess rather than vilify probably wouldn’t be the direction your mind gravitates towards. To some extent this may ensure the exercise will prove pointless because the message shifts from showing everything wrong that needs fixing into everything wrong that you can also enjoy if the opportunity to join the hedonistic fun ever presented itself. You wouldn’t necessarily take the time to lambast if you weren’t angry at the status quo and…

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TIFF16 REVIEW: The Magnificent Seven [2016]

“It won’t sweeten, it’ll only sour” I’m at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the new The Magnificent Seven despite going in thinking it’d be the other way around. Here I was anticipating that I’d be able to watch the film with a completely blank slate because I’ve never seen the 1960 version nor have I yet been able to sit down for what is surely one of cinema’s greats: Akira Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai. So, pretending to be a true millennial that doesn’t realize movies were made before those…

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REVIEW: Pelé: Birth of a Legend [2016]

“When in doubt: do what they do” It may be called Pelé: Birth of a Legend, but Jeff and Michael Zimbalist‘s film is really about Ginga soccer and Brazil at risk of losing its soul. The climax depicts the 1958 World Cup with the country’s unexpected run to the final on the back of a seventeen year-old hobbled by a sprained knee, but it’s not his goal scoring that inspires confidence. His ability to run around the pitch in complete ignorance of the Europeans’ formation game lights a fire that…

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REVIEW: Jurassic World [2015]

“This will give parents nightmares” As all good sequels must learn, the key to success is delivering on the promise set forth by the original while also providing something fresh and improved. Just ask James Cameron, a master at the task, who injected action-packed life into both Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day without negating or watering down the mythology still relevant beneath those newfound popcorn blockbuster sensibilities. Neither The Lost World nor Jurassic Park III did it. They decided to both reinvent the wheel and forget what the appeal…

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REVIEW: Run All Night [2015]

“Me and you” There’s something to be said about knowing exactly what you’re getting and Jaume Collet-Serra is proving consistent enough to deliver that promise through his films. Whereas Luc Besson spins a revolving door of directors to helm his actioners—mostly tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top fare (besides the original hit-maker Taken) he doesn’t deem worthy of his own eye behind the lens—Collet-Serra has carefully chosen a series of scripts from disparate scribes to supply him serious thrills with which to place his visual stamp. The common denominator between them being Liam Neeson…

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REVIEW: Odd Thomas [2014]

“I may see dead people, but by God I do something about it” It’s August 14th in Pico Mundo, CA and the world is about to end. Well, not the world per se, but the community young Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) resides. Sort of. He sees ghosts of dead people with unfinished business, a gift passed down by his crazy mother wielded in secret from everyone besides Police Chief Porter (Willem Dafoe) and girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin). But while it allows him to help the tragic, helpless souls wandering around…

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REVIEW: Men in Black 3 [2012]

“He didn’t say please” While strange for a Men in Black film to open with something other than a crashing spaceship, I’ll admit to being ecstatic for the alternative. Having the sexy Nicole Scherzinger lead us into the maximum-security prison housing one of the universe’s most notorious criminals definitely didn’t hurt either. What I really enjoyed about the pre-credit sequence to Men in Black 3, however, was that our introduction to Bogladite destroyer Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) seemed to get the series back on track as far as giving…

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REVIEW: Men in Black [1997]

“May I ask why you felt little Tiffany had to die?” Fresh off the success of Get Shorty two years prior, director Barry Sonnenfeld‘s still young but effective career found it’s biggest hit in the rollicking science fiction comedy Men in Black. Unfortunately for him, the film also proved to be his last cinematic work worthy of note after a solid Hollywood journey beginning behind the lens for Rob Reiner, Penny Marshall, and the Coen Brothers. Broader in his comic sensibilities than that more subversive duo, his handling of Ed…

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REVIEW: Thor [2011]

“Unworthy of the loved ones you’ve betrayed” Considering the extent of my knowledge on Thor pertains to the fantasy that Vincent D’Onofrio was he in Adventures in Babysitting, you will not be getting any grand breakdown comparison of the film with the comics. I just don’t know anything about the source material, much like all the DC and Marvel films coming out the past decade—I simply didn’t start reading comics until college and by then it was just graphic novels. So my entry into the world of Asgard came from…

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