REVIEW: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me [1992]

“And the angels wouldn’t help you cause they’ve all gone away” Without European money, American auteur David Lynch wouldn’t have many features to his name. His style isn’t necessarily conducive to our general population’s tastes, its surrealistic and highly sexualized depictions of the darkness underlying American society’s false façade of harmony a hard sell. So […]

REVIEW: Dèmoni [Demons] [1985]

“I’ll hold your hand if it’s scary” The concept behind Lamberto Bava‘s Dèmoni [Demons] is pretty great. It’s a reinvention of the rise of demons trope for an age of pop culture devotees within the 1980s era of its making. Rather than deal with cemeteries or rituals, Dardano Sacchetti‘s story (the script is credited to […]

REVIEW: Life [2017]

“Its curiosity outweighs its fear” Calling Daniel Espinosa‘s Life an Alien retread is the easy thing to do. Both are tensely claustrophobic science fiction films with a violent extraterrestrial that’s loose and in search of the crew. But it’s also a very reductive comparison considering they are nothing alike beside genre conventions. The missions are […]

REVIEW: Shoot Me Nicely [2017]

“Was it really that small?” A good cause and effect tale is hard to come by within an era of more is more popcorn fluff filled with contrivances nobody can feasibly ignore. But that’s exactly what Elias Plagianos delivers with short film Shoot Me Nicely. This is not to say there aren’t any coincidences involved […]

REVIEW: CHIPS [2017]

“Shoulda cuddled, bro” I’ve never watched an episode of “CHiPs” so I don’t care whether or not the original Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis Poncherello (Erik Estrada) pulled their guns during six seasons of television as some on social media have enjoyed touting they didn’t since the trailer hit. I will, however, admit I’m […]

REVIEW: Julieta [2016]

“Remember, you don’t like goodbyes” It began as many things: an adaptation of Nobel Prize winning Canadian writer Alice Munro‘s three connected short stories from her book Runaway (“Chance,” “Soon,” and “Silence”), Pedro Almodóvar‘s English-language debut with its venue switching from Vancouver to New York, and a starring vehicle for Meryl Streep. But Julieta eventually […]

REVIEW: Geride Kalanlar [Leftovers] [2017]

“Let’s hope it’s not her” We each possess a blind spot, one seeking to shield the horrors of life we know exist regardless. It manifests a sense of optimism in that we are safe because we live morally or that those we trust are inherently good. The opposite—to live in constant paranoia believing tragedy is […]

REVIEW: 路边野餐 [Lù biān yě Cān] [Kaili Blues] [2016]

“You took a photo and stole my soul” While the calling card for Gan Bi‘s feature debut 路边野餐 [Lù biān yě Cān] [Kaili Blues] is its magnificent 41-minute long take, that scene is but a movie within a movie. Its brilliance is in the way it takes his main character Chen Sheng (played by the […]

REVIEW: Psychic Murder [2017]

“Yes. I realize I look … like the Hamburger Helper.” The idea of a “deal with the devil” tale is to show how—if at all—the victim caught with his/her soul on the line can escape. The fun is in the torture of this latest riff on Faust by his malicious benefactor and the payoff the […]

REVIEW: April Flowers [2017]

“I’m not afraid of love if that’s what you mean” When writer/director Christopher Tedrick scholarly describes his film April Flowers as being based on the idea that the 21st century is an “Era of Choice”—a term coined by Temple Associate Professor Edward C. Rosenthal in an MIT-published paper—romance isn’t necessary the first thing that springs […]

REVIEW: Night Job [2017]

“People just use the night as an excuse to be someone completely different” Write what you know. These are fortune cookie words of wisdom, but they aren’t wrong. Our own lives are often strange and interesting enough to form the basis of a sitcom because they’re simultaneously universal and unique. Viewers relate to a sense […]