• holyhell01

    REVIEW: Holy Hell [2016]

    “Maybe it’s worth it” Every story containing religious or spiritual content inherently brings with it supporters and detractors beholden to personal agendas either from experience or unwavering positions of faith. It’s difficult subject matter to truly expose objectively because religion and spirituality are by definition subjective when compared against an infinite number of other similar […]

  • midnightspecial01

    REVIEW: Midnight Special [2016]

    “Where do you belong?” Is young Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) the savior of the human race, born to unsuspecting parents inside a cult known as The Ranch in order to bring them salvation? Is he somehow an expert hacker infiltrating the NSA’s foolproof satellite transmissions courtesy of an uncanny technokinetic power no one can explain? […]

  • wingsofdesire01

    REVIEW: Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire] [1987]

    “Why am I me, and why not you?” What does it mean to be human? This is the question the Angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) wonders from his eternal perch on high surveying, subtly steering, and always listening. He sees humanity’s joy and laughter, jealous of their ability to live, feel, and touch. Even amongst the […]

  • paristexas01

    REVIEW: Paris, Texas [1984]

    “Don’t go yet” The first word my mind conjured after watching Wim Wenders‘ Paris, Texas was honesty. It’s delivered from lead Harry Dean Stanton all the way down to Robby Müller‘s gorgeous cinematography of untouched Mojave Desert isolation and graffiti-filled urban concrete. Nothing appears inauthentic and that’s not an easy accomplishment when you think about […]

  • eyeinthesky01

    REVIEW: Eye in the Sky [2016]

    “Never tell a soldier he doesn’t know the cost of war” How do you simultaneously become hero and martyr in twenty-first century warfare? You find yourself unwittingly lodged within the kill zone of a high value target that has been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt. Death or injury earns you both labels for […]



film reviews

tabu2012a

REVIEW: Tabu [2012]

“You will not escape your heart” There are definite thematic similarities between Miguel Gomes‘ Tabu and F.W. Murnau‘s Tabu: A Story of the South Seas from its forbidden love to its descriptions of paradises lost. The structures are even identical—albeit in reverse—showing the joy of romance and the pain of losing it. If I were […]

tabu1931a

REVIEW: Tabu: A Story of the South Seas [1931]

“The island of Bora-Bora: still untouched by the hand of civilization” It’s a “Romeo and Juliet” by way of French Polynesia to be commended first and foremost for its use of island natives as cast and crew (the latter a result of cost-saving efforts not-withstanding). Conceived by F.W. Murnau and Robert J. Flaherty as a […]

farfromheaven01

REVIEW: Far From Heaven [2002]

“Here’s to being the only one” While Todd Haynes‘ Far From Heaven wears its “inspired by All That Heaven Allows” on its sleeves from aesthetic to subject matter to blatant homage, it’s so much more. He takes what Douglas Sirk brought to life and injects it with a healthy dose of complexity and jeopardy wherein […]

allthatheavenallows01

REVIEW: All That Heaven Allows [1955]

“To thine own self be true” I shouldn’t be surprised that it took almost a half-century for Douglas Sirk‘s 1955 social comment on suburban gossip and image amongst the wealthy elite, All That Heaven Allows, to be appreciated as the masterpiece it is considering those watching in theaters upon its release were exactly those types […]

mojave01

REVIEW: Mojave [2016]

“I’m into motive-less malignity” I’m not sure what I thought William Monahan‘s Mojave would be, but it definitely wasn’t what followed the tense first fifteen or so minutes spent in the titular desert. We’re thrown into the world he creates to meet a man named Thomas (Garrett Hedlund) speaking philosophically about life and identity via […]

humanelement01

REVIEW: The Human Element [2016]

“I have never been a resident” Many speak about the Allies’ pride in victory once World War II came to a close—and with good reason. Where the Holocaust is concerned, many people were saved as a result of these soldiers’ actions. Unfortunately, many more died before that liberation. It’s a real life horror story with […]

clonetheory01

REVIEW: The Clone Theory [2015]

“Maybe it’s something so crazy you wouldn’t ever mention it in public” There’s a fatal flaw to A.P. Stevens‘ extremely short film The Clone Theory and it’s that clones are not artificial intelligence-controlled robots. At least they aren’t in my understanding of the term. To allow his character “The Human” to admit a crazy theory […]

whatjackbuilt

REVIEW: What Jack Built [2015]

It’s difficult not to think about Tom Waits‘ song “What’s He Building?” from Mule Variations while watching Matthew Mahler‘s (co-written with Ross Mahler) What Jack Built. This is both a compliment to the tone set by Timothy J. Cox‘s performance as Jack and the tension created by the filmmaker slowly revealing hidden details as the […]

jeruzalem01

REVIEW: JeruZalem [2016]

“They say there are three gates to Hell and that night they found one of them” Is it coincidence that Google filed a new application to revive Google Glass on December 28th (despite halting production on the prototype in January) just weeks before Israeli-set horror film JeruZalem supplies a 90-minute adventure into Hell through those […]

steamboatbilljr01

REVIEW: Steamboat Bill, Jr. [1928]

“That must have happened when the dough fell in the tool chest” The beauty of Buster Keaton‘s work is how keenly he and his “gagmen” could build a plot around their comedic stunts. It’s said director Charles Reisner was the man who told his vaudevillian friend to craft a tale focusing on the son of […]

lilquinquin01

REVIEW: P’tit Quinquin [Li’l Quinquin] [2014]

“The dung flies are afraid of moo cows” Comparisons to “Twin Peaks” are easy when it comes to Bruno Dumont’s miniseries P’tit Quinquin [Li’l Quinquin] because there’s definitely an evil running wild within his small French town (or big if it’s up to the kindly, Asperger’s-lite slaughterhouse hired-hand). Unlike David Lynch’s “Bob” who inhabits residents […]

darkcrystal01

REVIEW: The Dark Crystal [1982]

“The great conjunction is the end of the world! … Or the beginning.” I’ll say right now that a little fright never harmed my adolescence so kudos to Jim Henson for sticking to his guns in bringing “family film” and potential nightmare inducing adventure The Dark Crystal to life. Anyone who spied upon Brian Froud’s […]

brewstersmillions01

REVIEW: Brewster’s Millions [1945]

“A few days or thereabouts” It just goes to show how little I know that I found myself utterly perplexed after seeing a Brewster’s Millions film still in black and white and without Richard Pryor. Further than that: I not only didn’t know the comedian’s starring vehicle was a remake, I had no clue just […]

hellandback01

REVIEW: Hell and Back [2015]

“If you’re a priest or a nun, that’s funny. You wasted your life.” You may have noticed posters for the R-rated, stop-motion animated comedy Hell and Back throughout the summer and fall seasons in anticipation of its October release only to find it didn’t come to a theater near you. It was released and took […]

hatefuleight01

REVIEW: The Hateful Eight [2015]

“Well I’ll be double-dog damned” It appears Quentin Tarantino has decided to go back to his roots by making his eighth feature film The Hateful Eight in the same vein as his debut Reservoir Dogs—namely keeping sets and actors to the bare minimum for added tension without room for escape. The maneuver couldn’t have come […]