• 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 […]

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    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 […]

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    INTERVIEW: Stephen Frears, director of The Program

    It’s proving to be a couple of busy months for legendary director Stephen Frears, fresh off his delightful true-life story Philomena making an Oscar run in 2013. Not only does he have his Lance Armstrong biopic The Program opening US theaters this Friday (March 18th), but his newest Florence Foster Jenkins also hits UK screens […]

  • sonofsaul01

    REVIEW: Saul fia [Son of Saul] [2015]

    “You failed the living for the dead” It’s stunning how all these years later a Holocaust film can come along and prove wholly unique from the myriad examples we’ve already received and lauded. But László Nemes‘ directorial debut Saul Fia [Son of Saul] does exactly that. Not only does he capture the brutality by entering […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Point Break [1991]

“Sir, I take the skin off chicken” ***SPOILERS*** I’m thankful I always saw Point Break as stupid fun watching it years ago because there’s no way I could ever take it seriously today. But rather than have the decade-spanning The Fast and the Furious rip-off saga and hilarious spoofing in Hot Fuzz among others ruin […]

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REVIEW: Youth [2015]

“Levity is an irresistible temptation” What strange beauty writer/director Paolo Sorrentino finds within the sadness of his palatial Swiss Alps resort’s inhabitants in Youth. The story plays like a surrealistic existential revelation—the aftermaths of each character’s crisis as they discover exactly who they are in the midst of tragic knowing. Age transforms bodies and minds […]

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REVIEW: Trumbo [2015]

“The rich guy wins with the cunning of Satan” I will admit that my interest in the Dalton Trumbo biopic Trumbo was held in check for one reason: director Jay Roach. The guy behind the horrible Meet the Parents saga and uneven Austin Powers series was hired to helm a historical drama with huge political […]

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REVIEW: Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief [2015]

“We’re out to make every life extraordinary” Scientology is almost too stupid to believe. No it is too stupid to believe. That’s why I always just dismissed it as a joke—a religion founded by a science fiction author in order to never pay taxes like the rumor went. Celebrities love it, there are weird “stress” […]

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REVIEW: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials [2015]

“Where did you come from? Where are you going? How can I profit?” Full disclosure: I haven’t yet read James Dasher‘s Maze Runner series so I’m not sure if his second installment is as hollow as the film version, but I hope it isn’t. Many people have told me that T.S. Nowlin‘s script virtually rewrites […]

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REVIEW: Anomalisa [2015]

“Nah. That’s British Airways.” Leave it to Charlie Kaufman to write a play about human connection and have it be just three actors who don’t physically interact—two playing single characters and the third everyone else with no discernable attempt to differentiate his voice. Then leave it to Dino Stamatopoulos and Dan Harmon of “Community” and […]

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REVIEW: Joy [2015]

“No, I don’t need a prince” There’s a reason you don’t hear “Mangano” throughout David O. Russell‘s supposed biography of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano and it’s because Joy isn’t real. Whether original scribe Annie Mumolo intended this aesthetic—she reportedly fought tooth and nail to retain her credit—or Russell retooled its tone, what could have […]

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REVIEW: 45 Years [2015]

“She’d look like she was from 1962 and I look like this” Half a century is a long time—enough to believe you know everything about the person you’ve spent it with lovingly and happily. But what do we really know? What was he/she like before you met and what shaped them into the person you […]

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REVIEW: The Revenant [2015]

“As long as you can still grab a breath … you fight” If we’re to go by the setting of Michael Punke‘s novel The Revenant on which Mark L. Smith based his script—director Alejandro González Iñárritu gets a co-writing credit after coming onboard—the year is 1822 and the Central American frontier is loaded with fur […]

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REVIEW: Creed [2015]

“Now that we’re family, who won that third fight?” The question on everyone’s mind gets answered immediately in Ryan Coogler‘s Creed: How can Michael B. Jordan be Apollo Creed’s son if he was already born throughout Carl Weather‘s run of four Rocky films? Well, Adonis Johnson (Jordan) isn’t that boy. Instead he’s a child out […]

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REVIEW: Best of Enemies [2015]

“The way to end the Vietnam War was to put it on ABC and it’d be canceled in thirteen weeks” It was the birth of punditry and epitome of television as theater: William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal head-to-head wherein they themselves respectively became Conservatism and Liberalism for the whole country to watch. Did they […]

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REVIEW: Amy [2015]

“Love is a losing game” I think perhaps I’m tapped out where it comes to stories about musicians’ tragic lives. Binging on “Behind the Music” during my teens probably doesn’t help matters and seeing Montage of Heck earlier this year carries no favors either. Asif Kapadia‘s Amy seeks to do the same thing Brett Morgen […]

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REVIEW: Touch of Evil [1958]

“Your future’s all used up” Back in Hollywood a decade after his The Lady from Shanghai debacle, Orson Welles‘ Touch of Evil almost met the same fate. He presented his rough cut on time yet Universal brought in Harry Keller to reshoot scenes—replacements and brand new—and truncated it to 93-minutes nonetheless. While the studio destroyed […]

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REVIEW: The Lady from Shanghai [1948]

“Killing you is killing myself. But, you know, I’m pretty tired of both of us.” Director Why would Orson Welles work on a studio film again after the debacle of The Lady from Shanghai? The auteur submitted his first film noir on budget only to watch producers chop sixty minutes out and demanded reshoots to […]

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REVIEW: Carol [2015]

“How many times have you been in love?” Director Todd Haynes‘ latest period romance Carol is nothing short of impeccable. From the acting to the cinematography to the art direction to Carter Burwell‘s gorgeous score, this thing is flawless in execution to the point where it should be rendered a clinically cold piece devoid of […]