REVIEW: Le passé [The Past] [2013]

“Some things can’t be forgiven” If A Separation didn’t cause writer/director Asghar Farhadi to be revered as an auteur who understood domestic strife and illness’ lasting effect on those left to pick up the pieces, you better believe he is now. Switching to France for Le passé [The Past], the filmmaker brings us into an […]

REVIEW: Dirty Wars [2013]

“We call them the American Taliban” The Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars is a powerful, eye-opening exposé on the covert operations of the United States government abroad in war zones both declared and not. You’ll find yourself at the edge of your seat as it progresses forward; riveted to every word and newly discovered evidence explaining […]

Picking Winners at the 86th Annual Academy Awards

The Oscars are generally quite boring, since we often know well in advance what is going to win Best Picture, Director, etc. But this year? Not so much. Sure, there are heavy favorites — see below. But it is entirely possible there will be some real surprises. Of course, I could be completely wrong. But […]

REVIEW: 一代宗師 [The Grandmaster] [2013]

“Keep the light burning” I think 一代宗師 [The Grandmaster] loses something in its translation for an American who couldn’t spot the differences between Kung Fu and Karate if his life depended on it (besides the former being Chinese and latter Japanese, of course). There’s the significance of the dark rain beating down on multiple fight […]

REVIEW: Non-Stop [2014]

“Status?” This film could have just as easily been called Deflection as Non-Stop because screenwriters John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, and Ryan Engle (none of whom instill a stellar track record for Hollywood blockbuster success) have a lot of fun making sure to inject as many red herrings into the mix as possible. Even at […]

REVIEW: The Croods [2013]

“Never not be afraid” One credit has fascinated me since The Croods opened in theaters: story by John Cleese. That John Cleese? Surprisingly, yes. It’s a somewhat convoluted journey from his failed adaptation of Roald Dahl‘s The Twits with Kirk DeMicco catching the eye of Dreamworks and earning them the pick of the litter as […]

REVIEW: Al-Midan [The Square] [2013]

“We were all present; we were one hand” As the initial sit-in at Tahrir Square taught the Egyptian people the power of protest and revolution in securing freedoms they only dreamed they could have, Jehane Noujaim’s Al-Midan [The Square] shares it on an international scale. I’ll admit I thought everything was okay after Hosni Mubarak […]

REVIEW: The Act of Killing [2012]

“They proudly told us stories about what they did” Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing can be described as nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a one-of-a-kind document that gets into the mind of madmen with the blood of genocide on their hands by displaying their hubris, remorselessness, and cavalier attitudes firsthand. Oppenheimer […]

REVIEW: そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] [2013]

“Now it all makes sense” After recently reading that Hirokazu Koreeda’s そして父になる [Like Father, Like Son] had been optioned by Dreamworks for an English language reboot, I can’t help but imagine how ineffective it will be in comparison to the Japanese original. A lot of what works in this tale of a father struggling to […]

REVIEW: RoboCop [1987]

“The future has a silver lining” It started with a passing thought by screenwriter Edward Neumeier as he walked by a poster for Blade Runner—a movie his friend explained was about a “cop hunting robots”. What if he combined those two nouns to make a robot cop? A machine with the computational power to judge […]

REVIEW: Odd Thomas [2014]

“I may see dead people, but by God I do something about it” It’s August 14th in Pico Mundo, CA and the world is about to end. Well, not the world per se, but the community young Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) resides. Sort of. He sees ghosts of dead people with unfinished business, a gift […]