• 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

REVIEW: It’s Complicated [2009]

“You’ve gone native” I think I totally got Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron confused when going into the former’s newly Golden Globe nominated film It’s Complicated. Meyers’ filmography has actually been well received, both what she’s written and directed, while Ephron’s, besides her latest, a gem in Julie & Julia, is lackluster for my taste, […]

REVIEW: Elf [2003]

“You sit on a throne of lies” The exercise of revisiting films can have a happy ending. Looking back, I think I may have disregarded Elf more for the fact I was in an “I hate Will Ferrell” mood, than because it was a poorly made movie. It’s not like my idea of Ferrell has […]

REVIEW: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [2009]

“Who ordered the whoop-ass fajitas?” I really didn’t think it would ever happen. Maybe, somehow, Troy Duffy would have finished a script for the oft-rumored The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, but no way no how would he be directing it. After his well documented exercise in bridge-burning—Overnight—I’m surprised he was even able to […]

REVIEW: Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire [2009]

“A Day at the Shore” About halfway through watching Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire I started to think about another dark and dismal drama about abuse. The comparison to Requiem for a Dream was very hard to remove from my consciousness, both with the subject matter and the stylish way in which […]

REVIEW: I Shot Jesse James [1949]

“Tell ‘em I’m gonna be a farmer” Back in 2007, the film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford made my initial top ten list with its spectacle and grandeur. It was my introduction into the myth and legend of James as well as Ford, a name I was not familiar with […]

REVIEW: Invictus [2009]

“The Rainbow Nation starts here” Now here is a sports film I can get behind. I’ll say that a little trepidation set in when going to see Clint Eastwood’s new film Invictus as it was a hybrid of my two least favorite genres—the biopic and the sports uplifter. The biography aspect actually had me intrigued […]

REVIEW: Los abrazos rotos [Broken Embraces] [2009]

“Living one life was not enough” There was only one thing on TV growing up that I thought was even more amateurish and unprofessional then soap operas and it was the Spanish variety. These actors played the parts so over-the-top that I had to wonder if it was all done intentionally. No way were these […]

fantasticmrfox01

REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox [2009]

“Never look a beagle in the eye” When I heard that Wes Anderson was going to direct a stop-motion adaptation of a Roald Dahl children’s story I was shocked, perplexed, and very worried. Not only had he stumbled—not fallen—with The Life Aquatic, but he was now also putting his talent behind a multi-year project. He […]

REVIEW: A Serious Man [2009]

“Did he tell you about the Goy’s teeth?” Despite the prevalent use of Hebrew without translation and, I’m sure, many instances of Jewish culture that I am unfamiliar with, I really enjoyed the new Coen Brothers film A Serious Man. The film, while a bit odd and seemingly schizophrenic in tone, is vintage Coen, harkening […]

REVIEW: Planes, Trains & Automobiles [1987]

“Like your job; love your wife” Being the first John Hughes film I have seen since the writer/director’s passing, I feel that I need to speak about the man’s oeuvre along with the movie itself. I think many could make the argument that Planes, Trains & Automobiles is his best work. He wrote a lot […]

REVIEW: The Men Who Stare at Goats [2009]

“It’s a man sitting in a chair” When looking in retrospect, it’s always nice to know that you made the right decision. While at the Toronto International Film festival this year, my friend and I had a conflict of movies with Up in the Air and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Both stared George […]

REVIEW: The Blind Side [2009]

“With God All Things Are Possible” Everyone enjoys a feel good story, especially if it’s based on fact. When the main character of the true life tale is a young man saved from the squalor of gang life and an inevitable bullet to be loved, educated, and sent on his merry way towards a career […]

REVIEW: The Bigamist [1953]

“You will travel far” It is something that I don’t necessarily wish was true, but watching an older film carries with it the process of aging. Some are timeless and relevant no matter when they are seen, while others become a remnant of the past due to style, dialogue, and subject matter. When viewing Ida […]

REVIEW: The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard [2009]

“Looks like a refugee camp for dirty men” Sometimes you just have to get over the fact that a film needs a good/coherent plot to be a success and let the stupidity flow over you. This is exactly what I did when sitting down to watch The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. You cannot argue […]

REVIEW: Planet 51 [2009]

“Sea monkeys dancing to the Oldies” There is a new competitor on the animated picture front. The Spain-based company Ilion Studios has thrown their hat in the ring with the new film Planet 51. Unlike some of the other upstart firms that have cropped up in the past decade, Ilion’s artistry is very much on […]