REVIEW: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore [2017]

“That’s how hard I threw it” There’s one specific thing differentiating actor Macon Blair‘s directorial debut I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore from the works of usual collaborator Jeremy Saulnier: comedy. Don’t tell me I’m wrong because the latter director shows his funny bone in Murder Party—I haven’t seen it. I’m not […]

REVIEW: Brimstone [2017]

“Retribution is coming” At a time when many supposedly God-fearing Christians in America blindly fear the idea of a Muslim insurgence implementing Sharia law (itself often warped by supposed Allah-fearing men to retain patriarchal control much like their Republican counterparts dictating what a woman can and can’t do with her body), it’s crucial to remember […]

REVIEW: The Dark Below [2017]

“Love is cold” The premise that director Douglas Schulze and co-writer Jonathan D’Ambrosio have cooked up for their film The Dark Below is a bold one. This 75-minute thriller is dialogue-free save one line at the start setting everything in motion, the story instead unfolding as a series of expressions through current duress and visually […]

REVIEW: The Ninth Configuration [1980]

“You have to say, ‘Simon Says.’ Then we’ll do it.” The history behind William Peter Blatty‘s The Ninth Configuration adds a ton of insight into its ambitious yet lacking film adaptation. His original intent, for instance, was to create a comic novel. Blatty has even been quoted as saying he prefers the first version he […]

REVIEW: Drifter [2017]

“It’s a wasteland. There are no more rules.” You can be two things inside a post-apocalyptic wasteland devoid of morality according to writer/director Chris von Hoffmann: stoic badass on a journey of vengeance or unhinged cartoon cannibal with tongue readier to lick flesh than gun is to blow a hole in someone’s head. There’s no […]

REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 2 [2017]

“Are you here for the Pope?” The team behind John Wick achieved success with a formula that distilled the prototypical action film down to its main points of entertainment while leaving the fat on the cutting room floor. This is why we moved back and forth through time for some scenes (the result playing out […]

REVIEW: Split [2017]

“In the sun we find our purpose” It doesn’t get better than The Village where M. Night Shyamalan is concerned. That film was a perfect confluence of his screenwriting and directing capabilities, a tale of love and protection through drastic measures as metaphor for the struggles of parenthood steeped in heavy emotion and guilt without […]

REVIEW: Die Hard [1988]

“Make fists with your toes” It’s become such an action classic with numerous sequels, copycats, and homages and yet Die Hard as we know it almost never was—by choice. Novelist Roderick Thorp wrote Nothing Lasts Forever, his follow-up to The Detective, thirteen years after the original because he saw The Towering Inferno and dreamt up […]

REVIEW: فروشنده [Forushande] [The Salesman] [2016]

“For once it looks like we’re in luck” There’s this notion that tragedy won’t happen to us. It’s for people who don’t live their lives correctly—some karmic retribution paying for mistakes made along the way. We like to believe we’re different whether such a belief is deserved or not. So when something does occur, only […]

REVIEW: Elle [2016]

“It was necessary” Director Paul Verhoeven has made a career of pushing the envelope whether through violence, sex, politics, or all three wrapped together. It’s hardly surprising then that his buzzword of choice on the promotional trail for his latest Elle has been “controversial.” The word choice is appropriate considering David Birke‘s script (adapted from […]

REVIEW: Eyes Wide Shut [1999]

“Fidelio” Would you gamble everything for lust? Is thinking about infidelity as egregious an offence as the act itself? After all, faithfulness isn’t merely a construct of the physical world—our trust and respect goes beyond the exterior into the very fibers of our being to make the words “I’d never cheat on you” flow effortlessly […]