REVIEW: Le mépris [Contempt] [1963]

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“I love you totally, tenderly, tragically” Director Jean-Luc Godard has tested cinema’s boundaries throughout his career. So it’s hardly surprising his foray into CinemaScope color with a bigger budget would be as much an aesthetic exercise showing off the technology’s splendor as it is a scathing look at the industry with the money and ego […]

REVIEW: Phoenix [2014]

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“I no longer exist” The Holocaust left thousands of survivors stripped of identity—branded by a number as though they weren’t worthy of the name given at birth. To exit such horror was to enter a new world forever changed for them as well as those lucky enough to have missed the nightmare first-hand. Pity, guilt, […]

REVIEW: Straight Outta Compton [2015]

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“Speak a little truth and people lose their minds” NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is a conventional biopic. And I hate conventional biopics. It’s therefore a good thing its story is anything but. Between its time period containing an excess of racial and political strife to the void of a black voice filled by rap […]

REVIEW: Tom à la ferme [Tom at the Farm] [2014]

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“Today a part of me has died and I cannot cry” For wunderkind Xavier Dolan, a film unreleased in America two years after completion is hard to believe. But that’s exactly what happened with his adaptation of Michel Marc Bouchard‘s play Tom à la ferme [Tom at the Farm]. On the surface it should be […]

REVIEW: My Cousin Vinny [1992]

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“I’ve just never actually seen a grit” I watched My Cousin Vinny a lot in my youth thanks in part to it being a cable TV staple. It’s been a while since my last visit with Joe Pesci‘s titular character’s antics, but the appeal of its humor never faded. I’ve continued to quote lines like […]

REVIEW: Mother & Brother [2015]

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“You want me to be happy for you two fools?” There’s a lot of drama to be tapped from the relationship between parent and child, especially those with a dynamic clouded by abuse. It doesn’t have to be physical or sexual to leave a lasting mark either—constant verbal disapproval despite doing everything in your power […]

FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Catch Me Daddy [2015]

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“Why did I create you?” Even though he’s absent until the film’s final sequence because the estranged daughter he’s hired bounty hunters to find is foremost in our attention, director Daniel Wolfe‘s quote explaining his story as “a man imprisoned by his own narrative” couldn’t be truer. Pakistani mobster—the only label befitting him after experiencing […]

REVIEW: Dark Places [2015]

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” If Gillian Flynn wasn’t the “It” author after the phenomenon that was Gone Girl the book, she surely was once David Fincher adapted it into a huge moneymaking win. What’s interesting, though, is that Gone Girl wasn’t the first of her novels to head into […]

FANTASIA15 REVIEW: Bridgend [2015]

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“There’s a new girl in town” When 79 people between 2007 and 2012 commit suicide—many teens and most without a note—within a single town, there’s definitely a story to tell. Welcome to Bridgend, South Wales. No evidence has yet been found to link them together and some parents blame the media for reporting the tragedies […]

REVIEW: Game Changers [2015]

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“That’s not how you use that card” Can a film about twenty-eight year olds be considered a coming-of-age story? I guess when the two men in question were professional gamers throughout their teens it can because that’s exactly what Robert Imbs‘ Game Changers is. And if we really thought about it, that age is a […]

REVIEW: Mommy [2014]

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“A mother doesn’t wake up one morning not loving her son” If I can be justified in agreeing with all the praise after seeing just one of his films—his latest, Cannes Jury Prize-winning Mommy—twenty-five year old writer/director Xavier Dolan is every bit the wunderkind label that has been thrust upon him. Five films in six […]