REVIEW: G.I. Joe: Retaliation [2013]

“You love my panties” I have to give Paramount Pictures credit as they saw what did and didn’t work in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and sought a way to rectify their mistakes. Were they going to end up with a good film? No. Did they at least want to find a way to […]

REVIEW: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra [2009]

“Duke wasn’t born, he was government issued” Growing up during the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles heyday meant some of the classic toys were neglected in my youth. I had Transformers—although I never watched the cartoon to think of them as anything more than cars turning into robots—and loved Voltron if only for the fact each […]

REVIEW: Leonie [2013]

“Don’t bore me by being ordinary” The saying goes as follows: “behind every great man stands a great woman”. No words are truer said for renowned sculptor/designer Isamu Noguchi if Hisako Matsui‘s film Leonie is any indication towards a mother’s stewardship into a life providing the freedom necessary to achieve one’s dreams. Written by the […]

REVIEW: Admission [2013]

“Thank you, sad lady” When your movie depends on its unorthodox relationship between star (Tina Fey‘s Princeton admissions officer, Portia) and central plot device (Nat Wolff‘s soon-to-be high school graduate dreaming of attending said college, Jeremiah) stemming from the very real possibility they’re estranged mother and son, it’s unsurprising to discover the world around them […]

REVIEW: Graceland [2012]

“Karma bites back fast” Thrillers with a bit of amorality at their center are always a welcome treat when Hollywood seems too quick to make theirs possess ironclad happy endings. The thing about life is that good and bad are never so easy to define. Rarely does a heroic saint come along to wreak havoc […]

REVIEW: How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song [2013]

“It’s not like I’m going to shove you down the stairs or anything” Artistic integrity—is it a dying concept or has the definition simply changed? As a freshman in college I began admitting to anyone who asked my major that pursuing a career in graphic design meant I sold out. Yes, before I had even […]

SXSW13 REVIEW: Coldwater [2013]

“Make no mistake—we will readjust you” Whether true or not, hearing writer/director Vincent Grashaw wrote the first draft of his debut feature Coldwater right after graduating high school in 1999 was an intriguing tidbit for my preconceptions to process. A producer on hipster darling Bellflower—a movie I didn’t warm towards—its success may have been the […]

REVIEW: Top of the Lake, Parts 1-3 [2013]

“You know, you were my first kiss. Was I yours?” A young boy on a bus—this is the indelible mark left by the first three episodes of Jane Campion and Gerard Lee‘s miniseries Top of the Lake and it sticks less than five minutes in. Anonymous throughout these three hours of crime drama, this boy […]

REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone [2013]

“Pretend I’m still here and tell me all about it” I’m a big magic fan—always have been. Armed with a set of tricks needing extensive instructions before allowing my parents to feign astonishment at my implementation, I watched every David Copperfield special and even went to a weekly magic class one summer as a kid. […]

REVIEW: Snatch [2000]

“What do I know about diamonds?” Hot on the heels of his debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie‘s sophomore effort Snatch proved to be the one to cement his name into American audiences’ consciousness. A second collaboration with soon-to-be action superstar Jason Statham, the heist flick is a hilarious romp of brutally […]

Writing the truth … Babel’s Alexandra Fuller

With what might have been the largest audience Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel series has seen since Salman Rushdie, novelist Alexandra Fuller brought the house down with her unparalleled candor and humor. Without notes or books to read she treated her lecture as she would one of her works—a carefully composed soliloquy spanning a life […]