TIFF11 REVIEW: The Hunter [2011]

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“GO HOME GREENIE” The Australian takeover in cineplexes worldwide continues at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011. With more and more work finding distribution to travel off the island, one woman is writing her chapter in the movement. A novelist of two acclaimed works, Julia Leigh has already found her way into Cannes with […]

TIFF11 REVIEW: El gato desaparece [The Cat Vanishes] [2011]

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“I’ve ceased to exist” A psychotic break has fractured Luis (Luis Luque) and Beatriz’s (Beatriz Spelzini) marriage in El gato desaparece [The Cat Vanishes], playing at the Toronto International Film Festival. Proud parents of two, successful in life as a professor and translator respectively, and completely in love, they still prove ill equipped to handle […]

Posterized Propaganda September 2011: Misfires countered by fearlessness

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“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to […]

TIFF11 REVIEW: The Odds [2011]

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“You wanna see a card trick?” The Toronto International Film Festival media blurb for Simon Davidson’s debut feature, The Odds, likens it to a combination of Rounders and Brick. While this statement is true to a point, the comparisons remain solely on the surface. Poker plays a very small role—as gambling in general looms large—and […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #12: The King and I [1956]

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“Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” You don’t get much more dated than the 1956 musical edition of The King and I. Through all the pomp and circumstance, it’s the trite storyline of a wannabe-modern king and the British school teacher who thaws his barbaric ways that comes through. All that’s wrong with the Western world is brought […]

TIFF11 REVIEW: Roméo Onze [Romeo Eleven] [2012]

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“You’re scary when you stare at women” Who is Rami? Or better yet, who should Rami be? It’s the question he fears to ask himself while the people surrounding him attempt to give the answer. Should he be the accounting major at University his father pushes him to be? Should he be out trying to […]

TIFF11 REVIEW: Habibi Rasak Kharban [Habibi] [2012]

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“It is the light that saves us from the darkness of the grave” A love letter stuck in limbo—forever undelivered, returned to sender, and lost in transit—the union between Layla and Qays can never be cemented. Caught in a world of oppressive forces from both occupiers of their land and the zealots perverting their religion, […]

REVIEW: Hævnen [In a Better World] [2010]

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“Not if you hit hard enough the first time” Heaven. Hell. Life. Death. We live within an existence that holds those four words as gospel. We strive to be good in hope for salvation while the threat of eternal damnation lingers just close enough to fear. Wars—whether big or small, on an international scale or […]

DESIGN: The Western New York Performing Arts Guide 2011

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2011 The Western New York Performing Arts Guide 2011, published by Buffalo Spree Publishing, Inc. Front Cover: Thinking back to the children’s puzzles where a cube would have four different heads, torsos, and legs that you could twist to mix and match, I decided to base this year’s cover design on the same concept. Making […]

REVIEW: Colombiana [2011]

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“In this world, smart girls always get what they want” When it comes to an action flick scribed by the prolific Luc Besson, one shouldn’t be surprised to see a badass heroine using a toothbrush and towel as her weapons of choice during a fight. This is the type of hyper-real, action packed, quick-cut orchestra […]

REVIEW: Prom [2011]

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“What are you, his peer counselor or something?” Please Disney, give me overwrought angst, earnest adolescents, and a stereotypical high school melting pot of checked sexuality within a PG world. Moviegoers have been clamoring for it, haven’t they? Why give us gimmicks like High School Musical when you can lay it all out in an […]