• top10_2014

    Top Ten Films of 2014: A deluge of sci-fi doppelgängers and one-word titles

    I don’t want to label 2014 as a good, bad, or average year. I want to call it inventive, original, and delightfully dark. Whether it’s doppelgänger paradoxes leading to murderous rage, the bleak carnage of war, prison violence, or psychologically debilitating struggles to be great, my favorite films had an edge that cut to the […]

  • wildtales01

    REVIEW: Relatos salvajes [Wild Tales] [2014]

    “Crime of passion?” Best. Wedding. Ever. And trip to the bureaucratic black hole that is government sanctioned towing. And expertly planned, faux fateful airline flight this side of “Lost”. I mean it. Damián Szifrón‘s Relatos salvejes [Wild Tales] is a twisted cousin of Krzysztof Kieslowski‘s The Decalogue, a sextet of darkly comic morality plays where […]

  • faults01

    REVIEW: Faults [2015]

    “What did you lose?” There’s an inherent paradox to the universally held idea of cults being destructive. So quick to deem what occurs within them unnatural—namely a leader using his charisma to indoctrinate the weak into a “family” that understands them—we forget to acknowledge how much of our own lives follow the same pattern. As […]

  • 2014topalbums

    Top 100 Albums of 2014

    Honorable Mention: #100: Get Hurt by The Gaslight Anthem #99: They Want My Soul by Spoon #98: Motion by Calvin Harris #97: The Joy of Motion by Animals as Leaders #96: Dialects by Snowmine #95: Emmaar by Tinariwen #94: The Fire is Gone by Midnight Faces #93: The Endless River by Pink Floyd #92: Count […]

  • oscars2015a

    The 87th Oscars recap through tweets …

    I’m not sure why I keep filling myself with false hope that the Oscars will one day be an entertaining show to watch. The optimism is almost completely unfounded by this point. Whether they go weird (Anne Hathaway and James Franco), safe (Billy Crystal), hip (Seth MacFarlane), or try and steal another show’s success (Neil […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Penguins of Madagascar [2014]

“Venetian blinded again” Is Penguins of Madagascar a total cash grab? Not quite. It’s one thing when a studio hones in on a successful franchise’s periphery character and deems it worthy of a spin-off by pretending it possessed enough depth to carry a feature of its own, but it’s another when the filmmakers embrace its […]

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REVIEW: אפס ביחסי אנוש [Zero Motivation] [2014]

“Paper Shredding NCO is what you make it” When thinking about the Israeli army, images of badass Mossad agents covertly wreaking havoc across the world crop up. It’s a hyperbolic generalization, but that’s kind of the flavor our media delivers being that the country is such a strong defensive ally of the US. We’re to […]

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REVIEW: Rosewater [2014]

“I used to think only the most pious shared that scent” We all need inspiration to propel us onto new paths we may previously have never thought about pursuing or at least never found a good enough reason to take that first step. The director’s chair called Jon Stewart through a story deserving to be […]

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REVIEW: Beverly Hills Cop [1984]

“We got cocaine and coffee here. We’re gonna get wired and have a big party.” It isn’t difficult to believe why Beverly Hills Cop received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The laughs are huge, the characters more complex than simply facilitators of plot progression, and the central mystery a solid criminal investigation despite […]

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REVIEW: The Theory of Everything [2014]

“The little one has done it” To me Stephen Hawking has always been synonymous with physics I will never understand and that ubiquitous computerized voice cracking snide jokes. Until I saw the trailer for James Marsh‘s The Theory of Everything I never even knew he was once able to walk. It was kind of a […]

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REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 [2014]

“If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree” Welcome to the bait and switch. If you’ve read Suzanne Collins‘ Hunger Games Trilogy you know that Mockingjay is by far the meatiest and most resonate installment of the series despite diverting from the blueprint that brought people in. So rich in the politics, revolution, […]

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REVIEW: Open Windows [2014]

“I’m just getting even” The first thing I think of when I hear the name Nacho Vigalondo is “high concept”. From his fantastic time traveling debut thriller Timecrimes to a romantic dramedy set against the backdrop of an alien invasion with Extraterrestrial, you know you’re in for a unique genre treat whenever the Spaniard goes […]

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REVIEW: Prada: Candy [2013]

“I baked a cake” The message appears to be that Prada will make you irresistible as well as vain enough to yearn for the attention it demands. I guess this means it’s a job well done being that Prada: Candy is a commercial, but as a short film it’s lacking in showing us something other […]

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REVIEW: Cousin Ben Troop Screening with Jason Schwartzman [2012]

“Why? Why? I don’t know.” A Funny or Die exclusive promoting the release of Moonrise Kingdom, Cousin Ben Troop Screening with Jason Schwartzman is a two-minute piece directed by the feature’s Wes Anderson with co-writing duties from Roman Coppola. Schwartzman reprises his role as Cousin Ben while the children paying admission to watch his tented […]

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REVIEW: The Mule [2014]

“Who doesn’t want a veranda, eh?” Directors Tony Mahony and Angus Sampson‘s The Mule is not at all what I expected. The marketing materials draw it up as a B-movie romp, something the involvement of Sampson and Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell (they co-wrote this one together from a story by Jaime Browne) helps corroborate. Besides […]

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REVIEW: Whiplash [2014]

“I belong here” And here I naively thought the dinner sequence from The Riot Club would end up proving my favorite scene of the year despite the film itself leaving a lot to be desired. It just goes to show that you can never be sure until every prospective entry is counted because the final […]

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REVIEW: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story [2004]

“So what are you dying from that’s keeping you from the finals?” I’m usually the guy who watches the trailer for a stupid raunchy comedy and instantaneously declares it unworthy of my time. For some reason, however, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story hit every mark necessary to have me believing it could […]

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REVIEW: Thou Wast Mild & Lovely [2014]

“My lover knows how to love me” She is not kidding when she says: “To those who feel that their cruelty is too cruel, their sadness too sad, I dedicate this film: an embrace.” Writer/director Josephine Decker means every single word because she herself has laid bare her own cruelty and sadness with Thou Wast […]

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REVIEW: Butter on the Latch [2014]

“Because she sat on Pinocchio’s head” I’m going to run with this quote from director Josephine Decker: “I think an ending is much more exciting if even I don’t know what it ‘means’.” For all intents and purposes she’s giving permission for me to make of her fiction narrative feature debut Butter on the Latch […]

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REVIEW: Dumb and Dumber To [2014]

“I don’t even know cursive” Nope. Not even the movie that started it all can save the fledgling career of the Farrelly Brothers. Despite reading an interview of them speaking about how great the sequel’s script was due to its being almost identical to the first, I entered their last film with an open mind. […]