REVIEW: Allied [2016]

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“Look for the hummingbird” Sometimes that story you’ve had bouncing around your head needs time to gestate and your career the opportunity to blossom before it can be released upon the world. For Steven Knight it was a bit of both. Already nominated for an Oscar back in 2004 for the brilliant Dirty Pretty Things, […]

REVIEW: Pigskin [2016]

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“Go Magpies!” Their publicists would be remiss not to mention that the same school Pigskin director Jake Hammond and co-writer Nicola Newton attend is that which graduated It Follows creator David Robert Mitchell. I personally couldn’t stop thinking about the latter while watching thanks to the horror underpinnings of a creepily deformed figure trailing high […]

REVIEW: Dead Bullet [2016]

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“I wanted to give you everything” If you’ve seen writer/director Erik Reese‘s debut Train to Stockholm—a personal, introspective drama—the thought of him helming a down and dirty Nevadan desert revenger doesn’t necessarily come to mind. But that’s exactly what he’s done with Dead Bullet, the successful genre jump as good a calling card as any […]

REVIEW: Inferno [2016]

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“We’re a minute to midnight” America loves popcorn thrillers as much as Hollywood and that suits Dan Brown fine. Having Ron Howard and Tom Hanks take an interest in his character Robert Langdon definitely helps too, but the “bestseller” label would have been enough if lesser names attached instead. Whether or not Brown anticipated his […]

REVIEW: The Unspoken [2016]

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“I repeat. Suspect present.” There are only so many iterations of the haunted house trope and yet they continue getting made. Sometimes we’re lucky with James Wan‘s The Conjuring series delivering fear along with period aesthetic and tense mood, but those are few and far between. More often we receive work trying hard to stand […]

REVIEW: The Greasy Strangler [2016]

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“He likes to shout. I like to smile.” My description of Jim Hosking‘s feature directorial debut The Greasy Strangler: a gross-out, darkly obscure comedy centered on a father and son duo akin to Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne from Dumb and Dumber that exists in a deranged parallel universe to Napoleon Dynamite as directed by […]

REVIEW: Dog Eat Dog [2016]

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“It’s death or victory” After forty odd years as a career criminal in-and-out of jail, Edward Bunker changed his life by writing fictionalized accounts of his experiences for a lucrative career as novelist, screenwriter, and eventually actor. He got Danny Trejo a part on a project he wrote entitled Runaway Train after spending time with […]

REVIEW: Jack Goes Home [2016]

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“Artists write poetry. Assholes just complain.” There’s no question that Thomas Dekker‘s sophomore effort as writer/director is a head-scratcher. What you as a viewer must decide is whether or not to keep scratching. I don’t think anyone outside of Dekker himself can truly unpack the type of psychological chaos occurring within Jack Goes Home and […]

BIFF16 REVIEW: Mercy [2016]

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“Why would you let her suffer?” It’s practically impossible to talk about what’s happening in Chris Sparling‘s latest thriller Mercy without spoiling it. The writer/director knows, splitting it into three pieces as a result: the first third completely shrouded in mystery, the next a replay from alternative perspectives, and the last the truth of the […]

REVIEW: The Girl on the Train [2016]

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“I’m not the girl I used to be” I like unreliable narrators because it’s fun to witness actions unfolding without knowing whether anything onscreen is real. The person could be a liar, schizophrenic, a secondary source ignorant to pertinent facts, or simply mistaken. So I got excited upon learning of Paula Hawkins‘ The Girl on […]

REVIEW: Don’t Breathe [2016]

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“If we do this right we never have to do this again” The best thing you can do to distance yourself from the big budget remake of a cult classic that serves as your feature directorial debut is to pare things down and deliver an original gem of your own. Fede Alvarez took the criticisms […]