REVIEW: The Shallows [2016]

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“The island of the pregnant woman” Not all shark movies should be compared to Jaws—not even The Shallows. If you were to make any type of correlation cinema-wise it should be Cast Away meets Gravity or All Is Lost. The idea here is to put a character in isolation during a survival moment where hope […]

REVIEW: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, Wrath of God] [1972]

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“Meat is floating by” Talk about the heart of darkness. It’s completely unsurprising that Francis Ford Coppola would admit to using Werner Herzog‘s Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, the Wrath of God] as inspiration for his Apocalypse Now because they epitomize the stark moral depravity of warped conquering “heroes”. The quiet rage underlying every action […]

REVIEW: Oh Boy [A Coffee in Berlin] [2012]

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“Are you still serving coffee?” German Academy Award-sweeping Oh Boy [A Coffee in Berlin] is a day in the life of a Berliner slacker named Niko Fischer (Tom Schilling). He’s a law school dropout that’s been living off the thousand-dollar-a-week allowance his father continuously supplies under the auspices that it’s being used for college. He […]

REVIEW: Sound/Vision [2016]

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“I continued my studies and the music stopped” Music is a powerful force—a sensory cause leading towards an effect of memory, emotion, and spirit. It brings us together beyond labels of race, gender, or religion with a commonality able to strip us down to our purest humanity. And as Ludwig van Beethoven proved through his […]

REVIEW: The Phenom [2016]

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“You give it a name and it might want to stick around” I admittedly didn’t think too much on The Phenom after watching its trailer. There was a good cast, its look behind the curtain of fame seemed intriguing, and there’d probably be some darkly honest depictions of sports abuse at the hands of over-zealous […]

REVIEW: Friday [1995]

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“Ya’ll ain’t never got two things that match” By age twenty Ice Cube had proven himself an originator of gangsta rap with the seminal Straight Outta Compton from N.W.A and AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted as a solo artist. Two years later his role in Boyz n the Hood garnered enough critical acclaim to cement the Los […]

REVIEW: Maggie’s Plan [2016]

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“‘Like’ is a language condom. Trust me.” The character of John (Ethan Hawke) within Rebecca Miller‘s Maggie’s Plan is writing his first fiction novel not-so-loosely based upon his life—a loveless marriage with a bigger narcissist (Julianne Moore‘s Georgette) than he that’s up-ended by a hopeful affair with a control freak (Greta Gerwig‘s titular Maggie) just […]

REVIEW: Dheepan [2015]

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“Be nice. That’s all.” It was a surprise when Palme d’Or winner Dheepan wasn’t chosen as France’s Oscar pick for the 2016 Academy Awards (interestingly enough the country selected Mustang, another film whose main language isn’t French). Even more surprising is how long it’s taken to open stateside as ten months sit between its debuts […]

REVIEW: Romance [2013]

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“Aim low and you won’t be disappointed” With the impending cinematic adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s Lullaby about to swing into pre-production once its Kickstarter campaign finishes, it became time to look into its director Andy Mingo. His filmography includes one independent feature film and a few shorts—the obvious standout on paper being Romance, based upon […]

REVIEW: Bulldog [2016]

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“Who does drugs in their own home?” It can get tiresome watching movie upon movie projecting supposedly authentic glimpses of life’s complexities progress towards having its troubled central character find love, clarity, or redemption with a bow on top. So tiresome in fact that we find ourselves waiting for the moment to come as a […]

REVIEW: The Lobster [2015]

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“That is none of your concern” Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ English language debut The Lobster is a dystopian sci-fi romance depicting a world where Paula Abdul doesn’t exist. If these mechanical creatures devoid of emotion heard her 1988 single “Opposites Attract” their woes of the heart might be eased. I say this because while life is […]