REVIEW: Don Jon [2013]

“I lose myself” I will say this: Don Jon is not quite what I expected. While the trailers do a good job showing off the surface objectification first-time writer/director Joseph Gordon-Levitt infuses into the comedy, it doesn’t speak to the film’s heart. Rather than simply a 90-minute romp of Jersey accents and pretty people arguing […]

REVIEW: In a World … [2013]

“The whole thing’s based on the Prussian War” I remember seeing Lake Bell for the first time on the criminally underrated HBO show “How to Make It in America” and thinking, “this is a real person.” She was slightly awkward, somewhat unconventionally attractive, and far from the ditzy, interchangeably dull girls mainstream entertainment loves to […]

REVIEW: Eroticide [2013]

“I’m the woman of his dreams. And you? You’re the silver medal.” With a title like Eroticide, it isn’t hard to imagine at least one character dying by the time the credits roll. Who of Matthew Saliba’s sexually warped love triangle will it be, though: the doormat, the predator, or the prey? Love, sex, and […]

REVIEW: Computer Chess [2013]

“War is death. Hell is pain. Chess is Victory.” Writer/director Andrew Bujalaski‘s lo-fi Computer Chess is an intriguing period piece curio depicting a programming convention of brilliant minds engaging in a five-round competition that pits their artificial intelligences against each other’s at the titular, strategic board game. Although we see tournament organizer Pat Henderson (Gerald […]

REVIEW: Rush [2013]

“You fat little inbred beauty” The story of James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) is one we can all relate too. It’s a tale of two extremes: the easygoing partier with ideas of immortality and the calculating taskmaster who knows the odds and understands the consequences. In keeping with the Formula One […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: Falastine Stereo [Palestine Stereo] [2013]

“We all should sing and dance and live and allow nothing to break us” No matter how much Stereo (Mahmud Abu-Jazi) loves his country, living in the warzone that is occupied Palestine has to prove hollow at some point. A wedding singer with what many say is a sweet voice—hence the nickname—that moment comes via […]

REVIEW: Brazil [1985]

“Care for a little necrophilia?” Although Terry Gilliam had already established the highly imaginative filmic style we now associate him with above his Monty Python animations, no one could have imagined the scale of what would become his unequivocal masterpiece, Brazil. There were shades of its escapism in Time Bandits and its bureaucratic satire in […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: Faroeste caboclo [Brazilian Western] [2013]

“A real man always pays his debts” Composed by Renato Russo in 1979 and finally released in 1987 on his band Legião Urbana’s album Que País É Este, “Faroeste Caboclo” became a folk song hit in Brazil. It was Russo’s family —Renato died in 1996 due to complications from AIDS—who began the process of finding […]

REVIEW: The Spectacular Now [2013]

“You’ll always be my favorite ex-boyfriend” Some of us are lucky—a lot luckier than most. The thing about luck, though, is that it may look nothing like it should. Sometimes luck means having your father leave. Sometimes it’s being an eighteen-year old alcoholic everyone at school loves for epitomizing fun despite ultimately acknowledging you’re a […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: iNumber Number [2013]

“Hurry. This place got more crooks than government.” The South African director behind cinematic adaptations of John van de Ruit’s comedic, teen-lit Spud series about life at boarding school starring John Cleese hits the Toronto International Film Festival with his latest work: a violent heist flick with a rogue undercover cop at its center. I’m […]

REVIEW: A Single Shot [2013]

“He’s got a hard bark on him” It’s a shame most people need an incident that risks taking their life to finally acknowledge they have one left to live. For John Moon (Sam Rockwell), this moment comes on a morning hunt like many others. Already with three arrests for poaching deer, this specific excursion finds […]