• 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

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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 […]

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REVIEW: Room [2015]

“There’s Room then outer space with the TV planets then Heaven.” ***POTENTIAL SPOILERS*** I’m not sure a more intensely emotional film than Lenny Abrahamson‘s Room has been released in the past decade let alone this year. Nothing hits home deeper than the bond of a mother and child, but the situation novelist/screenwriter Emma Donoghue constructs […]

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REVIEW: Spotlight [2015]

“What arraignment?” If Thomas McCarthy’s maligned fairy tale The Cobbler provided any help in securing money to put his script Spotlight in front of cameras, it was worth every disparaging word thrown its way. Co-written with Josh Singer, this 2013 Blacklist alum proves an informative and accurate look at the investigative journalism process as well […]

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REVIEW: The Danish Girl [2015]

“It’s what I dream. They’re Lili’s dreams.” It’s difficult to fathom what Lili Elbe went through in the 1920s—and not just living as a transgender woman at a time where there was no name for it, but also to undergo surgeries as advanced as sex reassignment a century ago. You’d like to believe her life […]

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REVIEW: The Big Short [2015]

“Trust me. This happened.” I can honestly say I learned something watching The Big Short. That’s no small feat considering it was directed and cowritten by funnyman Adam McKay. His collaborations with Will Ferrell acting like a doofus are generally the exact opposite of educational. But he couldn’t have told this story about the handful […]

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REVIEW: Spy [2015]

“I’ve swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer” The Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy train continues forward with James Bond spoof Spy after the box office successes of Bridesmaids and The Heat (with Ghostbusters still forthcoming). This installment sees McCarthy as the bona fide star, onscreen for practically the entire duration […]

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REVIEW: The End of the Tour [2015]

“You might just have to read it” A young writer whose day job involved scribing 500-word reviews of boy band albums during the 90s comes to the decision of pitching his editor something Rolling Stone hadn’t done in years: interview an author. Who better than in-the-moment rockstar David Foster Wallace on the road promoting his […]

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REVIEW: Beasts of No Nation [2015]

“You must die before you are reborn” War often leaves as large a psychological scar as physical. Surviving with your life is sometimes not enough to escape the horrors of what’s been done to yourself or those around you. As for what you’ve done—those acts remain forever in nightmare. So when young Agu (Abraham Attah) […]

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REVIEW: Steve Jobs [2015]

“Computers aren’t paintings” Despite being an Apple guy from way back playing with LOGO the turtle in grade school before eventually swapping out MacBook Pros every five years or so from college on, I never really cared who Steve Jobs was beyond the kindly looking genius in a black turtleneck. To me the appeal was […]

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

“They chose you” With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 officially in the books I’m confident in saying Suzanne Collins‘ dystopic trilogy will hold up as one of the most successfully faithful cinematic adaptations ever. And a big part of that is the decision to make it into four movies because, as anyone who’s […]