• huntforthewilderpeople01

    REVIEW: Hunt for the Wilderpeople [2016]

    “Find water. Go to high ground. And don’t get naked.” A Māori boy and a Pākehā man go forth into the New Zealand bush. It sounds like the start to a joke. But while Taika Waititi‘s latest Hunt for the Wilderpeople is hilarious, it’s far from being a trivial lark. There’s some weighty emotion involved […]

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    REVIEW: Swiss Army Man [2016]

    “I don’t want to die alone” You can never be sure about a marketing campaign using a phrase like, “You’ve heard it a million times, but this time it’s true. You’ve never seen a movie like Swiss Army Man.” What type of ploy are they engaging in? We all know it’s been affectionately called (and […]

  • conjuring201

    REVIEW: The Conjuring 2 [2016]

    “This is the closest to Hell I ever want to go” When a formula succeeds as well as that of James Wan‘s The Conjuring and its real life subjects have as extensive a Rolodex of haunting investigations as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the prospect of a sequel arrives as both inevitability and an initial pause. […]

  • 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? […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Evil Dead [2013]

“Okay. Let’s play cold turkey.” I wouldn’t say hopes were high, but I did enter Fede Alvarez‘s Evil Dead remake with an open mind. I liked the idea of bringing the series back to horror as the original Sam Raimi chiller was the trilogy’s best to me. In concert with this was my complete lack […]

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REVIEW: Cartel Land [2015]

“As long as He allows it, we will make drugs” With the success of “Breaking Bad” on TV, Sicario in theaters, and wannabe politicians like Donald Trump on the campaign trial, now’s the perfect time for Matthew Heineman‘s documentary Cartel Land. But while it begins as a glimpse at the vigilante militias forming on both […]

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REVIEW: The Unbelievable Truth [1990]

“Are you a priest or something?” The satire in Hal Hartley‘s debut The Unbelievable Truth is so over-the-top that you almost have to read it as a straight comedy. He’s constantly repeating dialogue through straight-faced actors, breaking up scenes with unnecessary title cards delineating arbitrary time lapses, and makes his characters so over-wrought that we […]

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REVIEW: The Oath [2010]

“One month is like a year here” Documentarian Laura Poitras‘ The Oath is an intriguing film with a lot going on in—sometimes to its detriment. It wants to be an exposé on America’s false imprisonment of suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, a heartfelt look at the guilt of a man responsible for another’s involvement in […]

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REVIEW: My Country, My Country [2006]

“The outcome of democracy!” It’s amazing how much we take democracy for granted having been born and raised within it for centuries. Only when we look at a nation struggling to adopt the practice can we understand how difficult and ultimately dangerous it can be. We laugh at reports saying candidates buy votes and roll […]

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REVIEW: Touched With Fire [2016]

“Meet me on the other side” Depicting mental illness in film is hard for two reasons. One is the fact that actors are playacting. This may not be the case across the board—performances could be inferred from personal experience—but I’d say a majority comes from a place of research and mimicry. The second reason deals […]

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REVIEW: Abe Lincoln in Illinois [1940]

“And this too shall pass away” Talk about destiny. If the tale woven by Robert E. Sherwood is to be believed—and I can’t find anywhere online that doesn’t exclaim Abe Lincoln in Illinois to be as accurate a telling as any—this humble young man bounced between Kentucky and Indiana before a fateful journey to New […]

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REVIEW: The Better Angels [2014]

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother” It only takes one look at a tree canopy from below in gorgeous black and white photography to know writer/director A.J. Edwards is a student of Terrence Malick. He’s actually been the auteur’s editor since To the Wonder after holding positions […]

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REVIEW: Deadpool [2016]

“Maximum effort” The fact Deadpool is in theaters should have fans and detractors of the superhero “genre” excited because it signals a burst of creativity within an otherwise stagnant artistic avenue. But don’t think it won’t still be a superhero movie. A lot of talk in the critical sphere revolves around how Tim Miller and […]

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REVIEW: New York Lately [2009]

“I still flippin’ care” The slice of life adventures start at a company party, each attendee in differing modes of acquaintance considering the company’s large size and the locale’s (New York City) sprawling possibilities. There’s drinking and conversation, stolen kisses and loud guffaws, and of course the promise of a hangover during work the next […]

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REVIEW: Eddie the Eagle [2016]

“Come on, man. Be a wing of a bird.” I was a freshman in high school when we traveled to Lake Placid as part of an Earth Science field trip. One of our main stops was the old 1980 Olympic compound, the most exciting bit of which was the ski jump towers to get a […]

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BERLINALE16 REVIEW: Ani ve snu! [In Your Dreams!] [2016]

“I hate the ropes” The world of Parkour meets teenage coming-of-age angst in Petr Oukropec‘s Ani ve snu! [In Your Dreams!] and it’s a welcome mixture. Whereas most sports inherently breed competition to the point that American films must delineate good versus bad or favorite versus underdog because they underestimate their audience, the urban appropriation […]

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REVIEW: Children Without Parents [2013]

“Who even said you were my kid?” The tagline for Casey Puccini‘s autobiographical fiction Children Without Parents is a disturbing proposition in context with its subject matter. As a film dealing with a quartet of siblings coming together at the house of their father days after his suicide, the words “this film will be a […]

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REVIEW: Bad Hurt [2016]

“It’s kind of a forgotten place” The kitchen sink’s thrown against the wall with bathtub, toilet, and whatever else made of easily-shattered porcelain in the house following right behind—this is Mark Kemble‘s Bad Hurt. Adapted from his semi-autobiographical play “Bad Hurt on Cedar Street” with the help of Jamieson Stern, the film depicts a dysfunctional […]

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REVIEW: What Happened, Miss Simone? [2015]

“I’ll tell you what freedom is to me: no fear” As someone who heard “Feeling Good” on a Muse album in the early 2000s thinking it was their song until the promotional advertisements for season four of “Six Feet Under” got me researching the female vocalist singing its “new” rendition, a documentary on Nina Simone […]