REVIEW: Trolls [2016]

“I think I had sarcasm once” Depending on what you read, the genesis of Trolls is quite fascinating as original director Anand Tucker was to helm an adaptation of Terry Pratchett‘s Bromeliad trilogy about tiny humanoids in 2010. Did that project ultimately evolve into the glitter vomit Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell provide us today? Maybe. I personally hope that project was simply canceled so Tucker could subsequently shift over to Trolls in 2012 as a brand new journey. I don’t want to discover the opposite—that his work on Pratchett’s…

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REVIEW: Short Term 12 [2013]

“Oh. That’s the piece of avocado in your beard.” Other films cropping up into your memory while watching something new can either be a sign that originality in cinema is officially dead or the realization you’re about to experience greatness. The latter happened to me during Short Term 12 and I’m talking like ten minutes in after affable veteran Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) finishes telling newbie Nate (Rami Malek) about his second day as a line staff employee at the group home for at-risk teenagers behind them before having to…

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REVIEW: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [2005]

“So long and thanks for all the fish” It took a quarter century for Douglas Adams‘ seminal work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to hit the big screen, but it was worth the wait. Well, I’m probably not the authoritative word on such a statement considering the book series has rested unread on my shelf for the better part of ten years. As someone with no frame of reference to either it or the original radio play, though, I can say it’s a ton of British satirical fun showcasing…

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REVIEW: Winnie the Pooh [2011]

“I’m a bear with very little brain and long words bother me” Written in the 1920s by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard, Winnie the Pooh has been a children’s favorite for almost a century now. First adapted to film by Disney in the 60s and last seen in 2005’s Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, it is no surprise to see the Mouse House’s reworked animation department under John Lasseter reboot the franchise. Animated like I remembered it from my own youth, this new story decides to forego the allusion each…

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REVIEW: Your Highness [2011]

“I want you to be gay with me and father” I knew Your Highness was going to be bad, but I never anticipated just how much. I thought that no matter how horrible the trailers were, Danny McBride and James Franco re-teaming would make things tolerable. They helped support Seth Rogen’s stoner action flick, Pineapple Express, Franco’s complete absurdity and McBride’s acquired taste enhancing the writer’s formula we have come to love. While Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg have discovered mainstream appeal, though, McBride and co-scribe Ben Best are still…

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Top Ten Films of 2009: Foreign Films Reign Supreme

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 … Another year gone, another 100+ releases down. 2009 was one that included a lot of good directors and some great ensemble pieces. Out of all the inclusions to my top ten, plus honorable mentions, only three really contained a central figure worthy of mention above the work itself; the others truly were complete packages consisting of…

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REVIEW: Elf [2003]

“You sit on a throne of lies” The exercise of revisiting films can have a happy ending. Looking back, I think I may have disregarded Elf more for the fact I was in an “I hate Will Ferrell” mood, than because it was a poorly made movie. It’s not like my idea of Ferrell has changed, but my opinion of the work definitely has. The viewing environment most likely played a role as well being that I was with three huge fans of both, so hearing them laugh and quote…

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REVIEW: (500) Days of Summer [2009]

“I think you know what I need” This is a story of boy meets girl and it most definitely is not a love story … in the strictest sense of the word at least. Love is a major factor in (500) Days of Summer; just not in the way you may anticipate, thinking the film a romantic comedy. Instead, the tale shows us how love, or the lack therefore, can effect two young souls, lost and alone in the world. When Tom meets Summer his life is turned around to…

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REVIEW: The Happening [2008]

“Cheese and crackers” Ah, M. Night Shyamalan. The man who was overrated until I saw the masterpiece that was The Village, followed up by the beautiful fairy-tale Lady in the Water, vaulting him into my must-see echelon, no matter what preconceptions I have based on trailers or word-of-mouth. Well, my blind faith has somewhat let me down in this instance. No, it wasn’t the left wing agenda that is subtly prevalent throughout, nor the blatant “news brief” used to shove said agenda down our throats at the end. What happened…

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REVIEW: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [2007]

“Recapitulating the act of betrayal” The man, the myth, the legend, and the movie title. In what could be my favorite film name of all-time, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is much more than its superfluous moniker. From its bloated runtime to its slow, methodical pace, Andrew Dominik’s epic tale contains an inner beauty that allows for all the pretensions one seems to associate with it. Dominik is unrelenting on his quest to tell the story the way he wants it told, never compromising by…

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