REVIEW: Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood [2019]

Give me sexy, evil Hamlet. It was around midnight between August 8th and 9th, 1969 that Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel arrived at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles on a mission from their cult leader Charles Manson. They were told to go to that house (a former renter named Terry Melcher once rebuked Manson) and kill everyone inside as gruesomely as possible. By morning five people were dead including a pregnant Sharon Tate (whose husband, director Roman Polanski, was in Europe working on a new film) with…

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REVIEW: The Baytown Outlaws [2013]

“You ladies have anymore questions?” Who wants a little Southern fired cooking? I know ATF Agent Reese (Paul Wesley) from Chicago doesn’t. He can’t even find an anti-perspirant strong enough to save his button-down shirt from drowning. No, the heat and the culture is an acquired taste best instilled during youth so it can become infused into one’s blood like the Oogie brothers. For Brick (Clayne Crawford), McQueen (Travis Fimmel), and Lincoln (Daniel Cudmore), Alabama is a candy store and they are the kids. Redneck vigilantes with a penchant for…

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REVIEW: Django Unchained [2012]

“Are the bags on or off?” I’m not sure Quentin Tarantino could ever be mistaken for someone subtle, but even he may have gone too far with his latest, Django Unchained. A revenge flick drenched in blood, America’s tarnished history, and a surprising wealth of humor, what starts as a film I would have been hard-pressed to deny as being one of his best quickly buckles under its own weight towards an overblown, farcical finale that completely derails any momentum its climax builds. The auteur is a master of the…

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REVIEW: Bitch Slap [2009]

“Lusting after strapping Latvian gymnasts” What did I just watch? To say Bitch Slap is an oddity would be an understatement. Half soft-core porn without the nudity and half blood-soaked action orgy, Rick Jacobson’s film is a fourteen year old’s wet dream. Sitting through it is like watching a movie from the mind of Donald Kaufman, the fictional brother in Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation, putting action and sex above any semblance of quality acting or coherent storytelling. I laughed throughout and do believe that reaction was intended despite it’s attempts at…

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REVIEW: Whip It [2009]

“Cause shoes are a gateway drug” Bravo Drew Barrymore, who thought you had it in you? I am a self-proclaimed hater of this former child actress turned mediocre adult actress/producer. I did love Donnie Darko, though, and she did play a part in getting it made, but her role was atrocious. So, one may infer where my head was upon sitting down at the screening for Whip It—complete with Buffalo’s own roller derby girls in attendance—to see if she could pull an Affleck, (which isn’t fair since I think he’s…

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REVIEW: Grindhouse – Planet Terror & Death Proof [2007]

“These guys got the devil in them” A double-bill, Rodriguez and Tarantino—two of the most entertaining directors working today—faux trailers, and a 70’s pulp aesthetic…can a movie of this magnitude ever live up to the almost Godlike expectations for it? Generally there is no way the real thing can meet the hype, but with the amount of talent and creativity involved here, how could Grindhouse be anything but a masterpiece? Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino know their genres and are never afraid to mix in a little violence or camp…

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