REVIEW: Children Without Parents [2013]

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“Who even said you were my kid?” The tagline for Casey Puccini‘s autobiographical fiction Children Without Parents is a disturbing proposition in context with its subject matter. As a film dealing with a quartet of siblings coming together at the house of their father days after his suicide, the words “this film will be a […]

REVIEW: Bad Hurt [2016]

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“It’s kind of a forgotten place” The kitchen sink’s thrown against the wall with bathtub, toilet, and whatever else made of easily-shattered porcelain in the house following right behind—this is Mark Kemble‘s Bad Hurt. Adapted from his semi-autobiographical play “Bad Hurt on Cedar Street” with the help of Jamieson Stern, the film depicts a dysfunctional […]

REVIEW: What Happened, Miss Simone? [2015]

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“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear” As someone who heard “Feeling Good” on a Muse album in the early 2000s thinking it was their song until the promotional advertisements for season four of “Six Feet Under” got me researching the female vocalist singing its “new” rendition, a documentary on Nina Simone […]

REVIEW: 旺角卡門 [Wong gok ka moon] [As Tears Go By] [1988]

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“I found that glass” Writer/Director Kar Wai Wong hit the scene in 1988 with gangster drama 旺角卡門 [Wong gok ka moon] [As Tears Go By] in a way that many compare to Martin Scorsese‘s debut splash Mean Streets. It’s a gritty look at the streets of Hong Kong populated by men who are nothing without […]

REVIEW: Hail, Caesar! [2016]

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“It’s all in the hips, the lips, the eyes, and the thighs” You don’t think much when you read the Coen Brothers have been bouncing Hail, Caesar! around since 2004. After all, they’re prolific auteurs that often write scripts for other directors, so a decade-long gestation period is nothing to scoff at. Only when you […]

REVIEW: Shopping [1994]

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“Don’t get caught” I don’t know what it is about Paul W.S. Anderson, but I very rarely dislike his flicks no matter the critical consensus or fandom drubbings. He isn’t the best director out there but he has created some interesting vehicles despite it—enough to accept the fact that Hollywood studios will continue giving him […]

REVIEW: O Menino e o Mundo [Boy & the World] [2014]

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Writer/director Alê Abreu‘s O Menino e o Mundo [Boy & the World] is nothing if not a breath of fresh air against the animation medium’s otherwise stagnant aesthetic of glossy computerized fare. Not only does he dive back into a traditional hand-drawn style, he does so with an un-polished rough-edged crayon texture to make it […]

REVIEW: Poison [1991]

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“I’ve just captured the sex drive” Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Todd Haynes‘ directorial debut Poison is a wild, outside-the-box ride. It reminded me of David Lynch‘s Eraserhead with a surreally experimental aesthetic and odd relationships sparked between over-the-top and perhaps parodied “freaks” standing-in as metaphors for humanity’s intolerance towards the “different”. […]

REVIEW: Fear and Desire [1953]

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“Rafts always float” I love that legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick began his career with a dud so misguided he was rumored to have tried to destroy every print in existence. In his words it was a “bumbling amateur film exercise” and he’s not wrong. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering he was a […]

REVIEW: How to Change the World [2015]

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“Ecology is flow” Using the unplanned creation of Greenpeace by a group of hippie ecologists in the 1970s trying to stop nuclear bomb testing in Alaska as its backdrop, Jerry Rothwell‘s documentary How to Change the World shows us the trials, tribulations, fame, ego, and success of doing exactly that. It’s a savvy mix of […]

REVIEW: The Runaround Club [2016]

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“What exactly is your father capable of doing up there?” Directed by Matt Rindini and written Andrew Gleeson, The Runaround Club shows a lot of promise. The former has a good visual sense and paces the dramatic thriller well; the latter weaves a web of complex characters crossing paths and interacting in ways conventional thinking […]