• coherence01

    REVIEW: Coherence [2014]

    “You guys want wine? Cheese? Ketamine?” If you’ve ever dabbled in theoretical physics—or watched “The Big Bang Theory”—you’ve probably heard of Schrödinger’s Cat. The cat that’s simultaneously dead and alive while unseen within a closed box also housing a vial of poison? Two realities co-existing with the only certainty being that both are possible until […]

  • hellion01

    REVIEW: Hellion [2014]

    “I will take responsibility for my actions and the consequences of those actions” The first real stunner of 2014 not from A24 has arrived with Kat Candler‘s heart-wrenching drama Hellion. Much like last year’s Short Term 12, this is a feature length film expanded from an already produced short that depicts troubled kids and the […]

  • xmendaysoffuturepast01

    REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past [2014]

    “Mind the glass” If you have a storyline at your disposal capable of continuing two separate iterations of a single cinematic franchise simultaneously, you’d be a laughing stock not to take it. Credit Fox for seizing this opportunity to create something not even Marvel proper has dared to do quite yet. Would they have made […]

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    INTERVIEW: Richard Ayoade, cowriter/director of The Double

    I didn’t know who Richard Ayoade was until 2010 and boy was it the perfect time to find out. My introduction was courtesy of the brilliant British television show “The IT Crowd” and his fantastically drawn Maurice Moss. I had tried watching the show a couple years previously only to forget about it after the […]

  • undertheskin01

    REVIEW: Under the Skin [2014]

    **POSSIBLE SPOILERS** “Do you want to touch my neck?” Some movies require you to take a pause so they may settle into your consciousness and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those are generally the good ones. It could be because the story is abstract or opaque and needs deciphering. Or perhaps it took […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: 47 Ronin [2013]

“Now know the depth of my lord’s honor” There have been numerous iterations of Japan’s unofficial, national legend about forty-seven ronin who avenged their master’s death at the start of the eighteenth century spanning movies, ballets, television productions, operas, bunraku, and kabuki plays. Known as Chūshingura, the true story has been embellished over the centuries […]

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REVIEW: American Hustle [2013]

“Don’t put metal in the science box” Director David O. Russell has said I Heart Huckabees was a transitional film for him wherein he took a break, took stock, and came back with the drive and enthusiasm for making movies that got him into the business in the first place. And even though the film […]

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REVIEW: The Kings of Summer [2013]

“That’s something my great grandfather would say. He’s a racist.” We’ve all had that urge to runaway when our parents prove too overbearing or too indifferent, but those thoughts disappear quickly once the allure of freedom evolves into a nightmare of self-sufficiency. So we stay at home; deal with the push and pull of personality […]

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REVIEW: Christmas Vacation [1989]

“Look around you, Ellen. We’re at the threshold of hell.” While I enjoy A Christmas Story‘s 1940s holiday aesthetic like the rest—when it’s not on 24-hour TBS repeat—I prefer my dysfunctional yuletide spirit to hit a little closer to home. This is where Christmas Vacation comes in, National Lampoon’s 1989 classic continuation of the Griswold […]

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REVIEW: Bad Santa [2003]

“Fraggle-stick car?” I tried to put a decade behind it and me, but not even that could turn my opinion on Bad Santa around. It’s just a mean-spirited, way-too-random account of a stereotypical alcoholic populated with other characters as ruthless as him or worse. The only role with a modicum of humanity is a borderline […]

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REVIEW: Nebraska [2013]

“Two goddamn days … from Billings?” I didn’t like About Schmidt. I remember very little about why or the film itself, but I do remember that. It should therefore be no surprise I didn’t necessarily love director Alexander Payne‘s latest Nebraska either since in my estimation they’re very similar works. He was actually approached with […]

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REVIEW: Out of the Furnace [2013]

“Let me make this right” I think Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace has been given a bad rap by the critical world. It’s slow, laborious, and perhaps not possessed with the freshest of plots, but there is still a palpable power driving it forward courtesy of fantastic performances and a starkly authentic depiction of […]

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REVIEW: The Bling Ring [2013]

“Let’s go shopping” After years of stuffy, standoffish dramas about excess and the psychological turmoil of the rich in hopes audiences will feel pity for their woe-is-me First World Problems, writer/director Sofia Coppola finally finds her way inside the joke with The Bling Ring. This tale of vanity, celebrity idolization, and the entitlement of today’s […]

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REVIEW: Spring Breakers [2013]

“He’s going to give you a way out” Writer/director Harmony Korine has created an anthem for the hedonistic American Dream of hustling, fucking, and giving the middle finger to the consequences. It only feels this good when the stakes are high enough to barely make it out alive, after all. This is the balls-to-the-wall atmosphere […]

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REVIEW: Lone Survivor [2013]

“A lot of moving parts” If you’ve read Marcus Luttrell‘s memoir Lone Survivor (co-written by Patrick Robinson), you’d know it was primed for a cinematic adaptation. There’s Navy SEAL boot camp, the infamous “hell week”, the brotherly bond formed between team members, and the courage under fire each has been trained to cultivate and utilize […]

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REVIEW: Stoker [2013]

“We are not responsible for what we have come to be” Despite being a new venture for both screenwriter and director, Stoker is the type of film that sticks with you whether you want it to or not. There’s an unsettling feeling from the first frame with Mia Wasikowska‘s India talking in voiceover as she […]

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REVIEW: Drinking Buddies [2013]

“I am a bourgeois pig” I really liked Drinking Buddies and I’ll admit I wasn’t sure that would be the case. The Mumblecore movement has always been one that has eluded me—well, the early stuff at least since I have found myself enjoying what the Duplass Brothers have done post success—and the prolific Joe Swanberg […]

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REVIEW: Scrooged [1988]

“Cupid’s arrow, right between the eyes” While there have been countless iterations of Charles Dickens‘ seminal novel A Christmas Carol—with the 1951 Alastair Sim starrer proving the best and modernized retreads like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past supplying the worst—one sometimes overlooked comedic gem from 1988 has always been this writer’s personal favorite. Titled Scrooged, screenwriters […]

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REVIEW: Side Effects [2013]

“I killed the wrong person” Some people will go to great lengths to get their lives back and Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects shows how far. It’s a crime thriller written by frequent collaborator Scott Z. Burns about a young woman named Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) and the beginning of what should be a brand new […]

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REVIEW: Grudge Match [2013]

“This is not the behavior of old men, man” Someone had the brilliant idea of putting Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta in the ring together at the ripe old comedic age of seventy and their Hollywood surrogates agreed to no one’s surprise. Not only that, but the actors also found added pleasure in playing […]