• 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 […]

  • starwars701

    REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens [2015]

    “There’s still light inside of him” First thing’s first: there’s probably spoilers in this review. Because let’s face it, anything besides me plainly stating that I loved it is construed as a spoiler to a fandom as intense as that of George Lucas‘ Star Wars saga. Will I go into lineages and deaths? No. Does […]

  • ofcs-ballot2015

    Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2015

    Below is my December 12th ballot for the 19th annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2015 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1Inside Out. #2Carol. #3Spotlight. #4Ex Machina. #5Mad MaxFury Road #6Brooklyn #7The Revenant #8Room #9The Martian #10Sicario Best Animated Film […]

  • 45years01

    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 […]

  • revenant01

    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 […]



film reviews

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 […]

gremlins01

REVIEW: Gremlins [1984]

“What’d you call this? The putrid stage?” There had been gremlins in existence before the diminutive green monsters screenwriter Chris Columbus, director Joe Dante, and creature creator Chris Walas imagined and yet theirs are the ones we immediately think about when the word is uttered. The design is a far cry from Bugs Bunny’s colorful […]

muppetchristmascarol01

REVIEW: The Muppet Christmas Carol [1992]

“Heeeeyyy. You’re not Charles Dickens.” Not having seen The Muppet Christmas Carol in over a decade made me forget how effective an adaptation it is of Charles Dickens‘ classic tale. It helps that I’ve seen other iterations in the meantime, especially the one from 1951 starring Alastair Sim which Brian Henson‘s version works hard to […]

starwars701

REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens [2015]

“There’s still light inside of him” First thing’s first: there’s probably spoilers in this review. Because let’s face it, anything besides me plainly stating that I loved it is construed as a spoiler to a fandom as intense as that of George Lucas‘ Star Wars saga. Will I go into lineages and deaths? No. Does […]

pointbreak2015a

REVIEW: Point Break [2015]

“Do you own a suit, son?” We’ve officially come full circle. Point Break arrived in 1991 with more cheese than a Green Bay Packers game and ten years later a fresh generation got to enjoy an ambiguous cops and robbers romp that moved the same basic plot from ocean to streets with The Fast and […]

pointbreak01

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 […]

youth01

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 […]

trumbo01

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 […]

goingclear01

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” […]

mazerunner201

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 […]

anomalisa01

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 […]

joy01

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 […]