• REVIEW: Bacalaureat [Graduation] [2016]

    “Do what’s best for you” The amount of corruption to simply exist within the borders of Romania as displayed by Cristian Mungiu‘s Bacalaureat [Graduation] is insane. So much so that I feel bad admitting to what it reminded me of on a much more insidiously vile scale. Yes, it was nearly impossible not to see […]

  • REVIEW: Under sandet [Land of Mine] [2015]

    “I’ll make it home” War is a horrific reality that forces people into doing terrible things. Everyone sees him/herself as being on the side of “good” and “righteous”—look at the discrepancies from one history book to another in how education systems describe certain events to shine one’s own nation in a rosier tint than it […]

  • Top 100 Albums of 2016

    Honorable Mention: #100: Above Water by Gibbz #99: Muzik by Delorean #98: Lonely Is a Lifetime by The Wild Feathers #97: iii by Miike Snow #96: Let Them Eat Chaos by Kate Tempest #95: Good Will Prevail by GRiZ #94: Blackstar by David Bowie #93: Everything You’ve Come To Expect by The Last Shadow Puppets […]

  • REVIEW: Get Out [2017]

    “Magic isn’t real” If you ever watched “Key & Peele” you’d know the line between comedy and horror is very fine. Their sketches would often devolve into a horrific situation that you’d have to cry about if you weren’t already laughing. I think of “Aerobics Meltdown” where there’s this hilarious conceit of Keegan-Michael Key and […]

  • The 89th Oscars recap through tweets …

    pic.twitter.com/oGJkXytnQ2 — PwC LLP (@PwC_LLP) February 27, 2017 So that actually happened. Warren Beatty opened the Best Picture envelope, furrowed his brow, and looked for another card. He’s thinking, “This is wrong.” He stalls—his body language coming off as a joke in the moment, the audience and his co-presenter Faye Dunaway laughing at what appears […]

film reviews

REVIEW: The Time Being [2013]

“Artists don’t have families” The life of an artist is often pigeonholed into some lofty, depression-laden existence built upon selfish ambitions and creative genius leaving no room for anything else. One could argue the great works possess such high emotive worth and resonant beauty because their creators poured every ounce of their heart and soul […]

REVIEW: Blackfish [2013]

“This was not a singular event” After hearing about the death of top Orca trainer Dawn Brancheau on February 24, 2010, writer/director Gabriela Cowperthwaite became intrigued by the SeaWorld party line explaining to the media the incident was completely human error. They said it was Branchaeu’s ponytail that did her in—an unnecessarily added appendage for […]

REVIEW: I Declare War [2013]

“It’s too hot for rules” While containing the inherent inexperience that comes with an entire cast of twelve-year olds, Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson’s I Declare War proves potent from the simple fact these minors portray soldiers without censor. Hollywood is chock full of war movies these days focusing on the strategic wizardry of officers […]

REVIEW: The Sandwich Nazi [2012]

“I don’t believe in prayer. I believe in acts.” “Seinfeld’s” Soup Nazi has nothing on Vancouver, Canada’s Scandinavian deli La Charcuterie owner Salam Kahil. Actor Larry Thomas may have helped create an iconic television character in 1995—one he didn’t realize was based on a real New Yorker at the time—but the world doesn’t always want […]

REVIEW: The Days God Slept [2013]

“Things are both precisely and not at all as they appear” It’s often us—not the people we care about—who we hide our past secrets from in order to get through the day. Our actions—whether the result of youth, stupidity, or complete and utter desire—are what define us; they are what make us into unique individuals […]

REVIEW: RED 2 [2013]

“I was very touched that you cried at my funeral” For DC Comics imprint Homage’s RED, screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber turned Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s original work into a surprise box office hit with an inspired cast of aged, former CIA operatives presently labeled “retired: extremely dangerous”. The goal with any successful comic […]

REVIEW: Nickyho rodina [Nicky’s Family] [2011]

“At least I ought to try and save the children” The title of Emmy Award winning team Matej Minac and Patrik Pass’ new documentary is probably its most telling attribute. Where many would have jumped at the chance to package this incredible tale as The Nicholas Winton Story, these two filmmakers made the very conscious […]

REVIEW: The Way Way Back [2013]

“You just surprised me” Fresh off their Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Descendants, writing duo Jim Rash and Nat Faxon return with a wholly original work to serve as their directorial debut. Well, original in the sense they created it without any previous material to jump off from besides a century plus worth of […]

REVIEW: Pacific Rim [2013]

“She’s starting to chase the rabbit” After watching two spec scripts get sold and ultimately fall through, Clash of the Titans scribe Travis Beacham finally breaks into Hollywood with an original vision in Pacific Rim. A futuristic look at our world on the cusp of annihilation by the claws of an alien species entering our […]

REVIEW: Mallas, MA [2013]

“Believe me, it’s worth it” Created as part of the 48 Hour Film Project’s 2013 installment in Boston, Sean Meehan’s Mallas, MA had four stipulations: his team Fix It In Post had the genre of “Buddy Film” and were made to use a character named Brian or Bonnie Higgins, a net as a prop, and […]

REVIEW: Stories We Tell [2012]

“Love is so short; forgetting is so long” I remember seeing posters for Sarah Polley‘s newest work Stories We Tell affixed to storefront windows while walking down the streets of Toronto at last September’s 2012 Film Festival. It struck me as weird since she had just completed Take This Waltz the year before, itself five […]

NYAFF13 REVIEW: 大上海 [The Last Tycoon] [2012]

“You have to kill him first” Director Jing Wong’s 大上海 [The Last Tycoon] is an intriguing entry to the period gangster genre that depicts the weight of triad influence in 1930s Shanghai at the cusp of war with an invading Japan. Co-written by Wong, Koon-nam Lui, and Manfred Wong, the plot’s loose inspiration comes from […]

REVIEW: The Lone Ranger [2013]

“A fairly sinister jar of pickles at the bar” To sum up Disney’s big budget reboot of Fran Striker and George W. Trendle’s radio show turned television hit The Lone Ranger in one word conjures “silly”. It’s silly to read how Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio’s original script involved werewolves—John Reid’s outlaw does use silver […]

NYAFF13 REVIEW: 浮城謎事 [Mystery] [2012]

“His money is either spent on you or me” Having already been banned from filmmaking in China twice, it’s no surprise director Lou Ye has refused to quell his appetites for highly sexualized, naturalistic tales of deceit and betrayal. His debut Weekend Lover had its release postponed two years by the government; 2000’s Suzhou River […]

REVIEW: The Heat [2013]

“She’s looking for my balls” The simple fact producers worried a film like The Heat wouldn’t find an audience because females don’t like action and males don’t like women leads is more a commentary on society’s absurd lack of faith in itself than it is on the industry. It’s 2013 and we haven’t yet looked […]