• hellorhighwater01

    REVIEW: Hell or High Water [2016]

    “I ain’t speeding” It wasn’t long after his run as above-board Deputy Chief David Hale on “Sons of Anarchy” that Taylor Sheridan would find himself caught in awards season platitudes with Sicario, a film earning three Oscar nominations despite his screenplay not quite making the cut. Well he has a second change this January as […]

  • touchofzen01

    REVIEW: 俠女 [Xia nü] [A Touch of Zen] [1971]

    “One should rather believe in ghosts than not” It’s enlightening to read writer/director King Hu‘s press notes that accompanied the Cannes premiere of his then newly-cut 俠女 [Xia nü] [A Touch of Zen]. 1975 was four years removed from the film’s original release—as two parts, a format his producers demanded to try recouping some of […]

  • eyesofmymother01

    FANTASIA16 REVIEW: The Eyes of My Mother [2016]

    “Why would I kill you? You’re my only friend.” This is isolation, suffering. It’s also normal. We on the outside see Nicolas Pesce‘s debut feature The Eyes of My Mother as the former, young Francisca (Olivia Bond) swimming in a pool of abject dread as death proves a natural evolution for all living things. For […]

  • huntforthewilderpeople01

    REVIEW: Hunt for the Wilderpeople [2016]

    “Find water. Go to high ground. And don’t get naked.” A Māori boy and a Pākehā man go forth into the New Zealand bush. It sounds like the start to a joke. But while Taika Waititi‘s latest Hunt for the Wilderpeople is hilarious, it’s far from being a trivial lark. There’s some weighty emotion involved […]

  • swissarmyman01

    REVIEW: Swiss Army Man [2016]

    “I don’t want to die alone” You can never be sure about a marketing campaign using a phrase like, “You’ve heard it a million times, but this time it’s true. You’ve never seen a movie like Swiss Army Man.” What type of ploy are they engaging in? We all know it’s been affectionately called (and […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Sing Street [2016]

“Happy sad” Writer/director John Carney emotionally stripped ex-The Frames bandmate Glen Hansard bare in his 2007 feature film Once and now he does it to himself. The hiccup that was an attempt to recreate lightning in a bottle despite the conscious addition of polish and star appeal with Begin Again is thankfully a distant memory […]

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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? […]

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REVIEW: L [2012]

“From your blood, reckless car drivers!” A bankrupt nation suffering from severe depression that’s ripe for surrealistic cinematic escape, Greece has spawned some wild films lately. Whereas Dogtooth possessed a plot you could dig into as an outsider, however, I’m at somewhat of a loss with Babis Makridis‘ L. There’s definitely a strain of social […]

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REVIEW: The Nice Guys [2016]

“You will never be happy :)” Even a huge Shane Black fan like myself won’t necessarily tell you his style has nuance. You watch his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (released almost a decade after his previous screenwriting credit) and you feel its kinship to his scripting debut Lethal Weapon. His most recent assignment […]

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REVIEW: Elstree 1976 [2016]

“There wasn’t a lot of certainty as to what it would be” Everybody knows Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas and announced they’d be producing a new Star Wars trilogy and spin-off features, everyone knew those three would be back in the fold. Even guys like Peter […]

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REVIEW: Welcome to Happiness [2016]

“But then …” When you think of short stories like W.W. Jacobs‘ “The Monkey’s Paw” or Richard Matheson‘s “Button, Button” (adapted to the small screen for “The Twilight Zone” and big for Richard Kelly‘s underrated The Box), dark images of death are conjured. The consequences of earning personal reward come at great cost to those […]

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REVIEW: Money Monster [2016]

“It’s time to throw some punches” The show must and will go on. This is the lesson Jodie Foster‘s latest thriller Money Monster provides above its suspense-fueled look into corporate greed and Wall Street’s seemingly Teflon-covered skin. I don’t know if it was written this way by Alan DiFiore, Jim Kouf, and Jamie Linden or […]

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REVIEW: Sueñan los androides [Androids Dream] [2015]

“I see many tears” Back in 1962 author Philip K. Dick asked the question, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” From there director Ridley Scott brought Blade Runner to life in 1982 and today we have Spaniard Ion De Sosa commenting on the query himself with Sueñan los androids [Androids Dream]. For him the answer […]

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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 […]