• 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

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REVIEW: Cash Only [2016]

“Albanian hell is cold” An arson insurance scam attempt gone tragically wrong leaves low-rent criminal Elvis Martini (Nickola Shreli) with little to hold onto besides his young daughter Lena (Ava Simony) in Cash Only. Unfortunately, he also has little to provide her despite two years having passed since the incident. Money woes mount as Albanian […]

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REVIEW: El futuro [The Future] [2015]

“For change” The best thing I can say about Luis López Carrasco‘s El futuro [The Future] is that it got me researching Spain’s 1982 general elections. How could it not? With an opening of just a pitch-black screen as archival voices sound out victory for the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) and the systemic change […]

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REVIEW: Pelé: Birth of a Legend [2016]

“When in doubt: do what they do” It may be called Pelé: Birth of a Legend, but Jeff and Michael Zimbalist‘s film is really about Ginga soccer and Brazil at risk of losing its soul. The climax depicts the 1958 World Cup with the country’s unexpected run to the final on the back of a […]

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REVIEW: Keanu [2016]

“It’s like smoking crack with God” After the massive success of former “MADtv” comics Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key’s eponymous sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” it was only a matter of time before the duo would grace the silver screen together. It’s actually surprising that it’s taken this long (the Comedy Central property went […]

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REVIEW: Green Room [2016]

“The energy doesn’t last” It’s official: Jeremy Saulnier‘s Blue Ruin was no fluke. That pulse-pounding thriller wowed audiences a couple years ago with good reason and his follow-up Green Room only advances that success further. It’s as though he looked upon the climax of his 2014 gem and wondered what it’d be like to mold […]

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REVIEW: Francofonia [2015]

“Why is art unable to teach us prescience?” In a sort of “This Is Your Life” for Paris, France’s Louvre, Aleksandr Sokurov‘s Francofonia exposes a history of artistic heroes you may not expect. The journey takes us through archival footage; re-enactments shown in a faux raw state with clapboards against post-produced visual artifacting; in-close, high-definition […]

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REVIEW: Being Charlie [2016]

“Most end up chasing it to the grave” After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during […]

captainamerica301

REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War [2016]

“Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all” We’ve officially approached the apex of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wherein films cannot be about one single character anymore. The Infinity Wars being just around the corner means that time has been regulated. There’s an endgame as there always has been and the […]

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REVIEW: The Family Fang [2016]

“Let this be your trumpet call: life is sweet so taste it while you still can” No one knows Nicole Kidman‘s strength as an actor quite like Nicole Kidman. It’s no secret that the choices she’s made post-Oscar win for The Hours have been somewhat questionable, but there was at least one fantastic gem in […]

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REVIEW: I Am Belfast [2016]

“Brick then iron then mesh” Don’t spend too long deciphering the title to Mark Cousins‘ latest essay film on his hometown I Am Belfast because it’s meant to be taken at face value. The film itself is this Northern Ireland city and the narrator (Helena Bereen) is as well. Don’t try to project metaphors or […]

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REVIEW: A Hologram for the King [2016]

“Look. They are sweeping sand in the desert.” If you’re doubling-down on the existential content of your film as soon as it begins, you can do worse than Talking Heads classic “Once in a Lifetime”. Not only does it perfectly encapsulate the fallout of a mid-life crisis wherein everything you believed made you who you […]

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REVIEW: The Man Who Knew Infinity [2016]

“Like other great men he invented himself” A bit character in Matt Brown‘s affecting biographical drama The Man Who Knew Infinity chants “Din, Din, Din, Gunga Din” a couple times in friendly jest as a response to his employer G.H. Hardy’s (Jeremy Irons) decision to send for an uneducated South Indian man on the merits […]

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REVIEW: Prospero’s Books [1991]

“And yet I needs must curse” I have a hard enough time with William Shakespeare when the characters onscreen are speaking his words with relevant visual cues to cut through the iambic pentameter and present the stories for my eyes. Don’t ask me to comprehend anything while reading his plays because my mind is constantly […]

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REVIEW: Dough [2016]

“How can you lose trousers?” Think of John Goldschmidt‘s latest film Dough (his first in the director’s chair since 1987) as a cinematic peace pipe for race relations and religious zealots. Rather than tobacco and herbs mixed into kinnikinnick for a clay vessel, however, screenwriters Jonathan Benson and Jez Freedman use marijuana and challah. The […]

colby01

REVIEW: Colby [2016]

“I don’t belong here” The fallacy of escape is thinking it’s possible to truly leave the past behind. You can travel thousands of miles away and put years in between, but the stuff forcing you to do so never disappears. It marks you and shapes you whether you like or not, for better or worse. […]