REVIEW: Alice Through the Looking Glass [2016]

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“Everyone parts with everything eventually, my dear” Now that the whole “should we reboot or create a sequel or just go ahead and do both at once” debacle is over thanks to Tim Burton‘s misguided Alice in Wonderland, maybe Disney’s desire to create an imaginative and surprisingly dark franchise of the absurd could find creative […]

REVIEW: Welcome to Happiness [2016]

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“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: Prospero’s Books [1991]

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“And yet I needs must curse” I have a hard enough time with William Shakespeare when the characters onscreen are speaking his words with relevant visual cues to cut through the iambic pentameter and present the stories for my eyes. Don’t ask me to comprehend anything while reading his plays because my mind is constantly […]

REVIEW: Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire] [1987]

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“Why am I me, and why not you?” What does it mean to be human? This is the question the Angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) wonders from his eternal perch on high surveying, subtly steering, and always listening. He sees humanity’s joy and laughter, jealous of their ability to live, feel, and touch. Even amongst the […]

REVIEW: The Huntsman: Winter’s War [2016]

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“Do not love. It’s a sin and I will not forgive it.” They tricked me. Yes, the deflective, vague, and completely false marketing campaign had me believing—no matter how slim the chances were considering my lack of feeling anything for Snow White and the Huntsman—that The Huntsman: Winter’s War had something special under its sleeves. […]

HOTDOCS16 REVIEW: Hotel Dallas [2016]

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“What time spits back, history devours and fatten itself on what we lack” Despite the name Hotel Dallas and general premise surrounding a replica of Southfork Ranch (where both the old and new “Dallas” series were filmed) built in Romania by an aspiring capitalist, husband and wife directing duo Sherng-Lee Huang and Livia Ungur‘s film […]

REVIEW: A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist [1978]

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“This drawing was probably the one I’d need first” What is “H”? It doesn’t stand for heron or owl keeper Van Hoyten. No, “H” is a place only decipherable when approaching its end—a journey spanning 1,418 miles traveled by following 92 distinct drawings that double as maps until such time comes when they fade into […]

REVIEW: The Age of Adaline [2015]

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“Tell me something I can hold onto forever and never let go” A high concept fantasy property such as The Age of Adaline could easily fall into trouble if it decided to put its focus on the mystery rather than the characters. J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz script deals with a woman who at […]

REVIEW: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016]

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“Ignorance is not the same as innocence” Director and steward of Warner Bros.’s entire DC Comic universe—for better or worse depending on your personal opinion of the man’s portfolio—Zack Snyder has spent two years telling us Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is ostensibly Man of Steel 2. It’s not. This thing is a Batman […]

REVIEW: 捉妖記 [Zhuō yāo jì] [Monster Hunt] [2015]

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“You gave birth to a white radish” Even if 捉妖記 [Zhuō Yāo Jì] [Monster Hunt] were billed in America with “from Raman Hui, the supervising animator of everyone’s favorite Dreamworks player the Gingerbread Man and co-director of Shrek the Third, comes a magical adventure of man and beast” on the posters, it wouldn’t be enough. […]

BERLINALE16 REVIEW: Ani ve snu! [In Your Dreams!] [2016]

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“I hate the ropes” The world of Parkour meets teenage coming-of-age angst in Petr Oukropec‘s Ani ve snu! [In Your Dreams!] and it’s a welcome mixture. Whereas most sports inherently breed competition to the point that American films must delineate good versus bad or favorite versus underdog because they underestimate their audience, the urban appropriation […]