REVIEW: Sing Street [2016]

singstreet01

“Happy sad” Writer/director John Carney emotionally stripped ex-The Frames bandmate Glen Hansard bare in his 2007 feature film Once and now he does it to himself. The hiccup that was an attempt to recreate lightning in a bottle despite the conscious addition of polish and star appeal with Begin Again is thankfully a distant memory […]

REVIEW: Midnight Special [2016]

midnightspecial01

“Where do you belong?” Is young Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) the savior of the human race, born to unsuspecting parents inside a cult known as The Ranch in order to bring them salvation? Is he somehow an expert hacker infiltrating the NSA’s foolproof satellite transmissions courtesy of an uncanny technokinetic power no one can explain? […]

REVIEW: L [2012]

l01

“From your blood, reckless car drivers!” A bankrupt nation suffering from severe depression that’s ripe for surrealistic cinematic escape, Greece has spawned some wild films lately. Whereas Dogtooth possessed a plot you could dig into as an outsider, however, I’m at somewhat of a loss with Babis Makridis‘ L. There’s definitely a strain of social […]

REVIEW: Welcome to Happiness [2016]

welcometohappiness01

“But then …” When you think of short stories like W.W. Jacobs‘ “The Monkey’s Paw” or Richard Matheson‘s “Button, Button” (adapted to the small screen for “The Twilight Zone” and big for Richard Kelly‘s underrated The Box), dark images of death are conjured. The consequences of earning personal reward come at great cost to those […]

REVIEW: Money Monster [2016]

moneymonster01

“It’s time to throw some punches” The show must and will go on. This is the lesson Jodie Foster‘s latest thriller Money Monster provides above its suspense-fueled look into corporate greed and Wall Street’s seemingly Teflon-covered skin. I don’t know if it was written this way by Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, and Jamie Linden or […]

REVIEW: Cash Only [2016]

cashonly01

“Albanian hell is cold” An arson insurance scam attempt gone tragically wrong leaves low-rent criminal Elvis Martini (Nickola Shreli) with little to hold onto besides his young daughter Lena (Ava Simony) in Cash Only. Unfortunately, he also has little to provide her despite two years having passed since the incident. Money woes mount as Albanian […]

REVIEW: El futuro [The Future] [2015]

future01

“For change” The best thing I can say about Luis López Carrasco‘s El futuro [The Future] is that it got me researching Spain’s 1982 general elections. How could it not? With an opening of just a pitch-black screen as archival voices sound out victory for the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) and the systemic change […]

REVIEW: Pelé: Birth of a Legend [2016]

pele01

“When in doubt: do what they do” It may be called Pelé: Birth of a Legend, but Jeff and Michael Zimbalist‘s film is really about Ginga soccer and Brazil at risk of losing its soul. The climax depicts the 1958 World Cup with the country’s unexpected run to the final on the back of a […]

REVIEW: Francofonia [2015]

francofonia01

“Why is art unable to teach us prescience?” In a sort of “This Is Your Life” for Paris, France’s Louvre, Aleksandr Sokurov‘s Francofonia exposes a history of artistic heroes you may not expect. The journey takes us through archival footage; re-enactments shown in a faux raw state with clapboards against post-produced visual artifacting; in-close, high-definition […]

REVIEW: Being Charlie [2016]

beingcharlie01

“Most end up chasing it to the grave” After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during […]

REVIEW: The Family Fang [2016]

familyfang01

“Let this be your trumpet call: life is sweet so taste it while you still can” No one knows Nicole Kidman‘s strength as an actor quite like Nicole Kidman. It’s no secret that the choices she’s made post-Oscar win for The Hours have been somewhat questionable, but there was at least one fantastic gem in […]