• 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 […]

  • conjuring201

    REVIEW: The Conjuring 2 [2016]

    “This is the closest to Hell I ever want to go” When a formula succeeds as well as that of James Wan‘s The Conjuring and its real life subjects have as extensive a Rolodex of haunting investigations as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the prospect of a sequel arrives as both inevitability and an initial pause. […]

  • holyhell01

    REVIEW: Holy Hell [2016]

    “Maybe it’s worth it” Every story containing religious or spiritual content inherently brings with it supporters and detractors beholden to personal agendas either from experience or unwavering positions of faith. It’s difficult subject matter to truly expose objectively because religion and spirituality are by definition subjective when compared against an infinite number of other similar […]

  • midnightspecial01

    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? […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Alien [1979]

“What is Special Order 937?” When you hear the title Alien, images are conjured up of Bill Paxton having a mental breakdown, Lance Henriksen rapidly stabbing a knife through his fingers, and Sigourney Weaver‘s Ripley inside a mechanical forklift suit engaging a slobbering, hulking monster. The most fascinating thing about this comes not from how […]

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REVIEW: Extraterrestre [Extraterrestrial] [2012]

“Maybe the spacemen will give us diplomas” You wake in a strange place without memory of arriving. You see light’s curved shadows on the wall through clouded eyes while a chorus of clanging is heard in the next room. Disoriented, mildly frightened, and without a clue to what is going on, you’re lost trying to […]

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REVIEW: The Sweet Hand of the White Rose [2010]

“I’m happy when I play alone” Dealing with the tragic nature of death and the myriad split-second decisions we make to set us on our inevitable courses towards mortality, Davide Melini‘s The Sweet Hand of the White Rose becomes both a cautionary tale and memorial to those lost. Shown as a diptych of two parallel […]

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REVIEW: The Puzzle [2008]

“You always spend my money on stupid things” If you hadn’t read a synopsis of Davide Melini‘s short film The Puzzle, you may be confused as to what is happening onscreen. I myself was in the dark until the end credits explained the relationship between the two characters I had just watched come together. But […]

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REVIEW: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted [2012]

“I’m like a candy cane in a black and white movie” A round of applause for directors Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath—and Conrad Vernon who joins them to expand on his responsibilities playing Mason the monkey—because they have kind of accomplished the impossible with Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. I was surprised at how much […]

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REVIEW: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [2008]

“I find it pretty and slightly hypnotic” It’s amazing what happens when filmmakers craft a plot for their characters. I’m not saying I approve of sequels with lame flashback origin prologues trying to make up for the lack of story in their predecessors, but I won’t complain if such contrivances help ground the jokes into […]

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REVIEW: Madagascar [2005]

“Just smile and wave boys. Smile and wave.” Made as though in opposition to Pixar’s brand of magical storytelling, Dreamworks Animation’s Madagascar ushered in the studio’s want for broader comedy and adolescent appeal. With Shrek, they found a franchise that subverted Disney’s use of fairy tales for cinematic fodder and created a nice hybrid of […]

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REVIEW: Snow White and the Huntsman [2012]

“Have I not given you all?” What happens when a fairy tale depicting an innocent princess saved by a litany of characters on her way to the crown turns into an epic battle with heroine in full armor storming the castle herself? Well, we discover just how flimsy a character the titular Snow White actually […]

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REVIEW: Los cronocrímenes [Timecrimes] [2008]

“No one knows our phone number” All he had to do was stay hidden for an hour, biding time away from sight as his impossible doppelganger went through the same motions of an hour earlier. The ramifications of time travel would have been erased; the insane crippling fear of seeing another man identical to him […]

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REVIEW: 7:35 de la mañana [7:35 in the Morning] [2004]

“Always in a hurry; always at the same time” An Oscar nominee for Best Live Action Short with his debut work, writer/director Nacho Vigalondo has gone on to make a couple features with festival appeal in the almost decade since. But there is something peculiar, unique, and a bit demented about 7:35 de la mañana […]

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REVIEW: Men in Black 3 [2012]

“He didn’t say please” While strange for a Men in Black film to open with something other than a crashing spaceship, I’ll admit to being ecstatic for the alternative. Having the sexy Nicole Scherzinger lead us into the maximum-security prison housing one of the universe’s most notorious criminals definitely didn’t hurt either. What I really […]

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REVIEW: Men in Black II [2002]

“I see you neuralyzed another partner” There’s nothing like a lost memory trope to allow lazy screenwriters the opportunity to explain their film within the construct of its plot. Despite an inventive, tongue-in-cheek reenactment program hosted by Peter Graves about mysterious conspiracy stories ushering us back into the Men in Black universe, Robert Gordon and […]

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REVIEW: Men in Black [1997]

“May I ask why you felt little Tiffany had to die?” Fresh off the success of Get Shorty two years prior, director Barry Sonnenfeld‘s still young but effective career found it’s biggest hit in the rollicking science fiction comedy Men in Black. Unfortunately for him, the film also proved to be his last cinematic work […]

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REVIEW: Battleship [2012]

“It’s the North Koreans—I’m tellin’ ya” Screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoeber actually made paying Hasbro a boatload of cash for their seemingly unnecessary board game property a relevant story point in their big budget, science fiction actioner Battleship. The fact they had to conjure up a humanoid alien race with reptilian characteristics and cloaking technology […]

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REVIEW: Grosse Pointe Blank [1997]

“Well thank you for profiting from my childhood” Despite having most likely seen John Cusack in previous films, I do believe black comedy Grosse Pointe Blank was the first to put him firmly on my radar as an actor to follow. While the last few years haven’t necessarily been a great showcase of his talent, […]