REVIEW: Imperium [2016]

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“Just because you’re not looking at something doesn’t mean it’s not there” People forget that before 9/11 our idea of a terrorist was a lone wolf type: domestic white Neo Nazis with agendas that warped their intellect into working towards creating chaos to spark a cleansing. It’s therefore interesting to look at the constituency of […]

REVIEW: Level Up [2016]

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“See if you can get off the sofa today” You watch enough hero-backed-into-a-corner action films like Crank, Taken, or The Equalizer and you start to find your mind drifting away from the sheer monotony of their progression. Their characters are built to survive these situations no matter how dire because people want to see the […]

REVIEW: Sun Choke [2016]

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“I think you need to clear your mind” Something happened to Janie (Sarah Hagan). Something bad. This cataclysmic event—wherein quick flashes of screams by the pool mixing with bloody red liquid screens of abstraction are all we ever see—has led her to an agreed upon house arrest. Cared for by long-time nanny Irma (Barbara Crampton), […]

REVIEW: The Grifters [1990]

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“He was so crooked he could eat soup with a corkscrew” My first Stephen Frears film was High Fidelity and I loved it. A couple years later came Dirty Pretty Things and my reaction was the same. Here was a director I must keep tabs on as well as peer back towards everything pre-2000 to […]

REVIEW: Jason Bourne [2016]

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“And I heard you got hacked” In the nine years since Matt Damon last played amnesiac black ops assassin Jason Bourne, (eleven movie years considering the character exclaims he’s been running for three in The Bourne Ultimatum after The Bourne Identity bowed in 2002), there’s been a lot of chatter about making a reunion work […]

FANTASIA16 REVIEW: I Am Not a Serial Killer [2016]

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“Nightmares are nothing, man. Those pictures gave me a therapist.” Often lumped into the Young Adult category to the chagrin of author Dan Wells, I’m not sure I know many parents who would like to have their fourteen-year old child heading to theaters with friends for the cinematic adaptation of his debut I Am Not […]

REVIEW: Our Kind of Traitor [2016]

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“What am I doing here?” We received two John le Carré adaptations this year, each delivering high production value, effective performances, and somewhat weak plotting. Susanne Bier‘s The Night Manager provides a “hero” between worlds—not a bona fide spy as in A Most Wanted Man or Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, not a regular man at […]

REVIEW: The Invitation [2016]

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“I’ve been waiting to die since the moment it happened” Death plays a large role in our lives, mortality seemingly out of reach but never forgotten. For some it knocks early—or at least earlier than we’d hope to believe. Disease, accident, and fate remind us how precious our time on Earth is. We grieve, pray, […]

REVIEW: The Neon Demon [2016]

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“Are you food or are you sex” Fame: all that’s glittered and gold, the intrinsic “it” quality we’d kill for but never do. That aura with an expiration date; beauty, confidence, radiance, and whatever other label outsiders use to transform you into a commodity to be bought, sold, and exploited within the tiny window before […]

REVIEW: The Purge: Election Year [2016]

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“Is murder our new religion?” The escalation of terror has dialed up a few more notches as writer/director James DeMonaco takes us further down the hole of first world genocide in The Purge: Election Year. What began behind fortified walls and a false sense of modest superiority to show how no one was safe when […]

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 […]