• overnighters01

    REVIEW: The Overnighters [2014]

    “Just because you tough enough” The easiest thing I could say about The Overnighters is that director Jesse Moss got lucky. He looked to tell the story about a pastor doing God’s will against his congregation’s trepidation to house over a thousand strangers arrived in Williston, ND seeking employment within the area’s oil boom. Through […]

  • johnridley-interview01

    INTERVIEW: John Ridley, writer/director of Jimi: All Is By My Side

    After all the talk from last year’s TIFF centered around the eventually Oscar-winning Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, you can’t blame yourself for forgetting its Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley brought another film he both wrote and directed. Jimi: All Is By My Side flew under the radar and was mired by a media blitz […]

  • calvary01

    REVIEW: Calvary [2014]

    “I’ve always found forgiveness to be underrated” I’m not a religious man—hell, I’m barely agnostic. I’m also not sure if that truth helps my finding John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary as powerful as I believe it to be or simply evidence of it’s universality for both churchgoers and not. A reflection on faith, God, and ourselves […]

  • spring01

    TIFF14 REVIEW: Spring [??]

    “I’m not drunk enough to sleep in your mother’s deathbed” The first words in Colin Geddes’ TIFF description for Vanguard selection Spring are, “Before Sunrise gets a supernatural twist.” You read that as a cinephile and you push everything aside to check out what it could mean. A horror romance co-director Aaron Moorhead described in […]

  • samba01

    TIFF14 REVIEW: Samba [2014]

    “Red paper. Then … no more.” Every movie should have a score by Ludovico Einaudi and it’s comforting to see Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano agree. After using his haunting music on the brilliant Intouchables, the duo take a few tracks from his album In a Time Lapse to enhance their latest work Samba. Another […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Ida [2013]

“Why am I not here?” A life well lived. Now there’s a concept very few of us can truly comprehend. It doesn’t mean old age. It doesn’t mean fame or fortune. It doesn’t even mean legacy, familial or otherwise. A life well lived can be ten years long or one hundred years short—the only necessity […]

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REVIEW: The Babadook [2014]

“A friend of you and me” While it may be the monster lurking in the shadows—one terrorizing the imagination of a little boy already tortured by a darkness stemming from his mother’s inability to see him as anything more than the reason her husband died—The Babadook is also real. It’s the powerful manifestation of rage, […]

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REVIEW: Maleficent [2014]

“Goodbye, Beastie” Let’s be honest, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is a bit of a bore. I remember my sister often wanting to watch when we were kids and me having none of it until the end’s fire and brimstone and menacing dragon spawned from the tale’s creepy, wide-smiling villain. Did I understand the fairy’s reason for […]

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REVIEW: A Million Way to Die in the West [2014]

“Can you give Louise wrapped candies?” I do believe congratulations are in store for one Mr. Seth MacFarlane. After a successful animated comedy that survived cancellation; two follow-ups that never quite caught on with equal cheer; a bit part in the ill-fated “Flash Forward” as an actor; a ho-hum, neutered stint as Oscar host; and […]

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REVIEW: Lone [2014]

“Now I become death, destroyer of worlds” Singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe is a creator of atmospheric sounds that encompass your very soul if allowed to consume you without the twenty-first century’s love for distraction fighting for attention. She was unfamiliar to me last year when I stumbled upon the album Pain is Beauty and its descriptor […]

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REVIEW: Warriors of the Discotheque [2012]

“The Now Explosion” Everyone’s aware of Studio 54’s reign as nightclub supreme from 1977-1981: its sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. But what about the 80s? I’m not saying I should know the “It” club of the decade I was born, but it’s interesting that an era of excess, fashion, and eccentricity doesn’t possess a […]

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FILM MARATHON: 2014 Schrembs Movie Showcase #3: See No Evil, Hear No Evil [1989]

The 2014 Schrembs Movie Showcase: Film #3: Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder are the best comic duo in the past 50 years. Certainly a bold statement given who I’ve seen in my generation, but it’s hard to argue. Honorable mentions go to Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, as well as Chris Farley and David Spade. […]

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REVIEW: X-Men: Days of Future Past [2014]

“Mind the glass” If you have a storyline at your disposal capable of continuing two separate iterations of a single cinematic franchise simultaneously, you’d be a laughing stock not to take it. Credit Fox for seizing this opportunity to create something not even Marvel proper has dared to do quite yet. Would they have made […]

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REVIEW: Blended [2014]

“And the mustache is rattled” When an overused gag showed up for the third of about five times during Blended‘s runtime, the twenty-something college dude chowing down on his mall food court dinner uttered to his buddy the telling phrase, “This movie’s off the hook”. Now while this is a stunning and apt commentary on […]

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REVIEW: All Hail the King [2014]

“Bloody hell. It’s not exactly the Ritz is it?” I loved Iron Man 3. I know I might be in the minority, but Shane Black and Drew Pearce‘s creation was right up my alley comedy-wise and twist-wise. It really pissed off fans that thought the whole Mandarin thing was a giant cop-out: you know, him […]

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REVIEW: Agent Carter [2013]

“Learn to count” If Item 47 supplying us an expanded look at alien tech from The Avengers was the first step in making Marvel’s One-Shots a legitimate canonical extension, Agent Carter cements them as requisite viewing. There was no guarantee the short would lead to an eight-episode pick-up on ABC—heck, there wasn’t even a guarantee […]

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REVIEW: Item 47 [2012]

“It’s time we took a chance for ourselves” I guess when your latest film makes over 1.5 billion dollars at the worldwide box office you find yourself with a little extra scratch to throw around. What better way to spend it than on the series of short films you’ve been producing for DVD releases? Where […]

xmen301

REVIEW: X-Men: The Last Stand [2006]

“Same as the Professor: visiting an old friend.” I’m sad to inform you that X-Men: The Last Stand did not age well. Not that anyone called it great when it was released—it was little more than serviceable then—but boy does it falter when viewed in close proximity with the two stellar entries coming before it. […]

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REVIEW: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer [2011]

“I also have this gun …” Okay, it may be a glorified commercial for Acura, but A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer is like the title says: funny. Using the same crew as The Consultant—director Leythum and writer Eric Pearson—the interlude bridging Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) appearance in Iron Man 2 […]

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REVIEW: The Consultant [2011]

“I do a great patsy” The Marvel Cinematic Universe is something special—a franchise devoid of ceiling that has become Hollywood’s equivalent to a motion comic. Looking at it today, you can’t help but admire what they’re doing and how far their reach extends. There are the highly anticipated films each year, a dedicated TV show […]