• 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: Shaun the Sheep Movie [2015]

“Have a … Day Off” Aardman is back after a three-year feature film hiatus with Shaun the Sheep Movie based on their television series “Shaun the Sheep” and it is a delight. It’s incredible to believe this newest entry to the studio’s stable cost only a sixth of critically-panned, computer animation debut Flushed Away‘s budget […]

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REVIEW: The Look of Silence [2015]

“If we didn’t drink human blood, we’d go crazy” Just when you thought a documentary couldn’t get more harrowing than Joshua Oppenheimer‘s look at murderers in The Act of Killing, the director gives editorial power to their victims in The Look of Silence. The descriptive label “companion piece” is apt because they both exist in […]

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REVIEW: The Good Dinosaur [2015]

“Look who got relevated” You constantly hear about movies needing reshoots, but The Good Dinosaur‘s troubles went beyond cosmetic enhancements into full-blown emergency room triage. I’m talking two years of development before a release date announcement, two more before that date and original director Bob Peterson (who came up with the story alongside his directorial […]

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REVIEW: Sanjay’s Super Team [2015]

“Super Team unite!” Sunday school would be a must-attend for kids of every religion if their church, synagogue, mosque, or temple put a fun, pop culture spin on their Gods—guaranteed. How badass would it be to watch a cartoon Jesus using his magic to raise people from the clutches of the evil Grim Reaper? Sure […]

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REVIEW: 刺客聶隱娘 [Nie yin niang] [The Assassin] [2015]

“She wanted me to see her before she took my life” Without a doubt one of the most gorgeous films of 2015, Hsiao-Hsien Hou‘s 刺客聶隱娘 [Nie yin niang] [The Assassin] is also high on the list for most convoluted. I still have little clue about what happened throughout the story—based on a late ninth century […]

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REVIEW: Brooklyn [2015]

“I’m not sure I have a home anymore” I believe a very crucial distinction should be made before going into director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby‘s adaptation of Colm Tóibín‘s Brooklyn for those unfamiliar with the book. When I watched the trailer it appeared very much like an Oscar-bait romance with a firecracker love […]

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REVIEW: Mistress America [2015]

“Five feet to the left and unhappy” I’ve considered myself a sociopath for a while now, but Noah Baumbach‘s Mistress America has confirmed it. Maybe this is why I have such a love hate relationship with the writer/director’s work—it’s full of them. I guess it’s the light in which the one I align myself with […]

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REVIEW: James White [2015]

“It’s okay to be sad” It begins and ends with a face of pain—the titular James White‘s (Christopher Abbott). We see that something is eating away at him, trapping him inside himself so imbibing drugs, alcohol, and sex is his only reprieve. We also know he’ll eventually recover even before family friend Ben (Ron Livingston) […]

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REVIEW: Mustang [2015]

“At least something will happen” While intriguing for France to select a film in Arabic as their sole Foreign Language Oscar hopeful, you cannot deny Mustang‘s quality. Academy rules center around financial stake rather than mother tongue, the stipulation being that dialogue only needs a non-English majority. A tale of five sisters conservatively raised in […]

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REVIEW: Les glaneurs et la glaneuse [The Gleaners and I] [2000]

“There’s no shame, just worries” What makes Agnès Varda such an integral voice in cinema is her colloquial way of engaging subjects. Everything appears as though unplanned when she visits locales believed to align with her current topic so as to capture unknown truths and adventure. None of her work does this better than Les […]

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REVIEW: Meet the Patels [2015]

“If you wanted to get married you’d be married” The title Meet the Patels seemed strange for a movie about an almost-thirty year old Indian-American (Ravi Patel) allowing his parents to commence the process of an arranged marriage for him over the course of a year. I knew we’d obviously meet his family since Dad […]

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REVIEW: The Peanuts Movie [2015]

“Good grief” It’s been at least a decade since I saw anything Peanuts related so saying that Steve Martino‘s The Peanuts Movie felt like old times has to be the best compliment I can bestow. The story itself doesn’t have the type of classic longevity of its predecessors—A Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s the Great […]

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REVIEW: Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe [2015]

“Make a wish” It’s amazing that the Ice Age series is still going on let alone the solitary adventures of little Scrat and his acorn. The studio may be just as surprised too since they’ve had to relegate their latest short to UFO conspiracies. Yes, Mike Thurmeier’s Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe sees everyone’s favorite pre-historic squirrel shoving […]

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REVIEW: Dope [2015]

“Congratulations. You have found your iPhone.” Malcolm Adekanbi (Shameik Moore) is a geek. You don’t even need the opening line of Rick Famuyiwa‘s Inglewood-set high school adventure Dope to state as much once we meet him. A self-proclaimed “oreo” with straight-As, constant beat-downs by Bloods-member Bug (Keith Stanfield), and Harvard aspirations his guidance counselor (Bruce […]

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REVIEW: She’s Lost Control [2015]

“Yes, you pay me for my time. But you can’t control how I feel.” Ronah (Brooke Bloom) may be working as a sexual surrogate to help people and complete her masters in behavioral psychology, but it isn’t long into She’s Lost Control to realize the title’s sentiments. It’s as though she has decided to retreat […]