• Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2016

    Below is my December 31st ballot for the 20th annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2016 calendar year. Group winners are highlighted in red. Best Picture #1Moonlight. #2Manchesterby the Sea #3Arrival. #4Jackie. #5The Witch. #6Hell orHigh Water #7La La Land. #8O.J.: Madein America #9The Handmaiden. […]

  • REVIEW: Fences [2016]

    “A fastball on the outside corner” It seems that many people have been docking points from Denzel Washington‘s latest directorial effort Fences by labeling it as “too theatrical.” Well, that’s somewhat hard to avoid when you’re dealing with August Wilson‘s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play and its wall-to-wall dialogue touching upon love, responsibility, race, […]

  • REVIEW: La La Land [2016]

    “Or one more dream that I cannot make true” Writer/director Damien Chazelle burst onto the scene in 2014 on the back of his Oscar-nominated and critical darling Whiplash. It took this jazz drummer time to finally breakthrough with his sophomore feature, time that saw actors and producers taking a risk on him that would ultimately […]

  • REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea [2016]

    “I can’t beat it” It’s hard to imagine a Manchester by the Sea directed by Matt Damon and starring John Krasinski, but that was the original plan. They actually brought the idea to Kenneth Lonergan—Damon acted in one of his friend’s plays on stage and also his sophomore film Margaret. Hollywood is tough, though. Schedules […]

  • REVIEW: Jackie [2016]

    “When something’s written down—does that make it true?” It’s rather intriguing how we feel we know our presidents. They represent us as a leader of the free world and we in turn love them enough to mourn their passing even when it’s decades after their run in the Oval Office ceased. But what is it […]

film reviews

REVIEW: Mondays at Racine [2012]

“There’s a beauty that can come out” Mondays at Racine is a very worthwhile story touching upon the myriad points on life’s spectrum by branching off from its simple subject towards the much more personal and powerful realities facing cancer patients across the world. Oscar-winning—her documentary short Freeheld—director Cynthia Wade probably began her journey into […]

REVIEW: Redemption [2012]

“If you don’t do it full-time you ain’t gonna get what you need” As the economy struggles and paying jobs become few and far between, people need to do whatever is necessary to survive. For many New York City residents, canning is the one thing out there that will ensure they have at least a […]

REVIEW: Kings Point [2012]

“Staying here is just about all you can do” It was always the stereotypical retirement locale—Florida beckoning with open arms. Great weather, a new community of age-appropriate friends, and a simpler life away from the harsh cold of northern winters awaited everyone who migrated down. Some had to move due to doctor’s orders, others wanted […]

REVIEW: Welcome to the Punch [2013]

“Does she now? You look like Kenny Rogers.” Bolstered by a script ranking number three on the 2010 Brit List—a film industry tabulation of the best unproduced British screenplays—Eran Creevy‘s Welcome to the Punch goes a long way to putting the writer/director on our cinematic map. The guy has worked behind the scenes on projects […]

REVIEW: A Good Day to Die Hard [2013]

“I don’t want my life back” While A Good Day to Die Hard may never truly feel like a Die Hard flick, it isn’t for a lack of entertainment. Fans love the idea of John McClane (Bruce Willis) going above and beyond his duties as a policeman to the point of reckless endangerment, destruction of […]

REVIEW: Lucy in the Sky with Diamond [2013]

“Are you prepared to spend eternity together?” Written in the hopes iconic actor Lou Diamond Phillips would agree to participate, Joey Boukadakis‘ comedy short Lucy in the Sky with Diamond was born. Blindly sending the script to his muse unsure of what the reaction would be, Boukadakis found his love of the man validated once […]

REVIEW: Gut [2012]

“You’re supposed to be my friend” The low budget horror thriller Gut is a surprising work in that it isn’t surprising. Written and directed by New York’s School of Visual Arts graduate Elias, this psychological chiller has been released at a perfect time for diehard genre fans tired of the new torture porn style flooding […]

REVIEW: Brooklyn Castle [2012]

“Only the strong make it to Saratoga” With so many documentaries the past few years focusing on adolescent education and the stressful amounts of work our society has deemed appropriate for kids to undertake rather than allowing them to be kids, a film like Katie Dellamaggiore‘s Brooklyn Castle is a welcome—albeit subtle—spin on the concept. […]

REVIEW: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [2013]

“Never enter a house made of candy” The thing that’s so disappointing about Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is the rather ingenious premise at its back. Taking the classic Grimm Brothers tale and expanding on the results of what escaping an evil witch in the woods as children by burning her alive in an oven […]

REVIEW: Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey [2013]

“I’m living a fairy tale right now” It was Journey‘s album Trial by Fire from 1996 that opened my eyes to their insane library of hits upon entering high school. Here was their first new music since the year after my birth in 1983—”When You Love a Woman” was constantly on the radio, my father […]

REVIEW: More Perfect Union [2010]

“I want extra grits from the kitchen” Sabir (Arish Sahani) says it best towards the end of Matt Porter‘s short film More Perfect Union: “It was just a quarrel.” So often in this day and age we find ourselves reading too much into simple disagreements, unable to look beyond their seemingly trivial catalysts and realize […]

REVIEW: Open Heart [2012]

“She won’t make it past this year” Director Kief Davidson‘s Oscar nominated documentary short Open Heart is a complicated film. What on the surface shows the journey of eight Rwandan children to the only free cardiac hospital in Africa ends up transforming into a commercial for the non-governmental organization Emergency at its center. This is […]

REVIEW: Beautiful Creatures [2013]

“You can either run or shoot” Just like clockwork the Twilight series has found a successor. Trading vampires and werewolves for witches, authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl‘s Caster Chronicles‘ has hit theatres with much less fanfare but perhaps more intrigue. Gatlin, South Carolina’s secrets are a mixture of Hogwart’s affinity for the Muggle world […]

REVIEW: Identity Thief [2013]

“Foxhole! The safe word is Foxhole!” The words “from the director of Horrible Bosses” instilled little hope for me sitting down to Seth Gordon‘s newest work Identity Thief. Screenwriter Craig Mazan‘s name—he of too many asinine spoofs—only made matters worse. No, this road comedy’s saving grace would have to be co-star Melissa McCarthy and the […]

REVIEW: Gunderson’s [2011]

“That sounds like a supermarket” A short film inside a short film, Matt Porter‘s Gunderson’s survives as a standalone storyline from the marginally longer work Argyle. Depicting a week in the life of Max (Max Azulay) as he readies to substitute teach a 7th grade health class while the real teacher takes maternity leave, what […]