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 […]

REVIEW: Dark [2016]

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“I didn’t like what I saw” It’s summer 2003 and the entire Northeast is about to go Dark. I lost seeing Radiohead as a result of that blackout—my tickets for the weekend’s Toronto show postponed a few months later to an exam night the next semester. Some people had it better with nothing going awry […]

REVIEW: Careful What You Wish For [2016]

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“This guy looks like he’d hit a child” The real mystery is how Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum‘s Careful What You Wish For got itself a theatrical release in the first place—no matter how limited. I’m not surprised Starz Digital is handling distribution, though, since it feels exactly like a late night pay cable ticket sanitized to […]

REVIEW: Approaching the Unknown [2016]

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“That planet is calling for us” While the mission is one thing, your reason for performing it could be drastically different. For Captain William Stanaforth (Mark Strong) the two barely overlap except for a common destination: Mars. He will be the first man to ever step foot on the Red Planet with another astronaut (Sanaa […]

REVIEW: Blue Velvet [1986]

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“Now it’s dark” After finding critical and commercial success with The Elephant Man—earning his first Oscar nominations for directing and screenplay—David Lynch became bankable enough to mount what would end up a large-scale disaster in Dune. Whereas many would probably count the latter as a failure across the board, the truth is that the sci-fi […]

REVIEW: Money Monster [2016]

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“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: Sueñan los androides [Androids Dream] [2015]

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“I see many tears” Back in 1962 author Philip K. Dick asked the question, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” From there director Ridley Scott brought Blade Runner to life in 1982 and today we have Spaniard Ion De Sosa commenting on the query himself with Sueñan los androids [Androids Dream]. For him the answer […]