• moonlight01

    TIFF16 REVIEW: Moonlight [2016]

    “Chiron and trouble always found a way” What’s it like to be a young boy on the drug-filled streets of Miami: without friends, without family, without hope? As cliques begin to feign superiority by ganging up on the weak to prove themselves hard enough for what’s coming, Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert)—or “Little” as they call […]

  • hellorhighwater01

    REVIEW: Hell or High Water [2016]

    “I ain’t speeding” It wasn’t long after his run as above-board Deputy Chief David Hale on “Sons of Anarchy” that Taylor Sheridan would find himself caught in awards season platitudes with Sicario, a film earning three Oscar nominations despite his screenplay not quite making the cut. Well he has a second change this January as […]

  • touchofzen01

    REVIEW: 俠女 [Xia nü] [A Touch of Zen] [1971]

    “One should rather believe in ghosts than not” It’s enlightening to read writer/director King Hu‘s press notes that accompanied the Cannes premiere of his then newly-cut 俠女 [Xia nü] [A Touch of Zen]. 1975 was four years removed from the film’s original release—as two parts, a format his producers demanded to try recouping some of […]

  • eyesofmymother01

    FANTASIA16 REVIEW: The Eyes of My Mother [2016]

    “Why would I kill you? You’re my only friend.” This is isolation, suffering. It’s also normal. We on the outside see Nicolas Pesce‘s debut feature The Eyes of My Mother as the former, young Francisca (Olivia Bond) swimming in a pool of abject dread as death proves a natural evolution for all living things. For […]

  • 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 […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: The Neon Demon [2016]

“Are you food or are you sex” Fame: all that’s glittered and gold, the intrinsic “it” quality we’d kill for but never do. That aura with an expiration date; beauty, confidence, radiance, and whatever other label outsiders use to transform you into a commodity to be bought, sold, and exploited within the tiny window before […]

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REVIEW: Buddymoon [2016]

“It will make sense in just some seconds” When Flula Borg showed up in the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer I found myself smiling at his success. It was a cameo keen to capitalize on his YouTube DJ fame and unabashedly broken English Chatty Cathy vibe, but it was studio film exposure nonetheless. This cemented the […]

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REVIEW: The Purge: Election Year [2016]

“Is murder our new religion?” The escalation of terror has dialed up a few more notches as writer/director James DeMonaco takes us further down the hole of first world genocide in The Purge: Election Year. What began behind fortified walls and a false sense of modest superiority to show how no one was safe when […]

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REVIEW: The Legend of Tarzan [2016]

“Look at his hands” The film wasn’t even over before an older woman sitting a row away loudly exclaimed, “I’m exhausted.” I chuckled to myself at the exasperation shown for what wasn’t even a two-hour movie, but quickly realized she wasn’t wrong. I felt a bit drained myself trying to figure out what part of […]

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REVIEW: The Shallows [2016]

“The island of the pregnant woman” Not all shark movies should be compared to Jaws—not even The Shallows. If you were to make any type of correlation cinema-wise it should be Cast Away meets Gravity or All Is Lost. The idea here is to put a character in isolation during a survival moment where hope […]

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REVIEW: Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, Wrath of God] [1972]

“Meat is floating by” Talk about the heart of darkness. It’s completely unsurprising that Francis Ford Coppola would admit to using Werner Herzog‘s Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Aguirre, the Wrath of God] as inspiration for his Apocalypse Now because they epitomize the stark moral depravity of warped conquering “heroes”. The quiet rage underlying every action […]

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REVIEW: Oh Boy [A Coffee in Berlin] [2012]

“Are you still serving coffee?” German Academy Award-sweeping Oh Boy [A Coffee in Berlin] is a day in the life of a Berliner slacker named Niko Fischer (Tom Schilling). He’s a law school dropout that’s been living off the thousand-dollar-a-week allowance his father continuously supplies under the auspices that it’s being used for college. He […]

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REVIEW: Sleeping Giant [2016]

“That’s the point. Something’s got to change.” Winner of the Best Canadian First Feature at TIFF and Best Canadian Feature in Vancouver after bowing at Cannes last May, Andrew Cividino‘s feature-length debut Sleeping Giant has earned itself a pretty impeccable pedigree. An expansion of his 2013 short film of the same name, this coming-of-age drama […]

nowyouseeme201

REVIEW: Now You See Me 2 [2016]

“You may not be having fun, but I am” The problem with giving a film steeped in misdirection a sequel is that the mysteries have already been uncovered. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle to achieve the same success. Now You See Me had a great magic premise wherein the theatrical audience […]

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REVIEW: De Palma [2016]

“I’m driven by unrealistic ideas” I’ve seen twelve Brian De Palma films in my lifetime—a seemingly healthy number when you consider the industry. A guy like Terrence Malick began his career just five years after Brian and it’s only his seventh film that hit DVD this week. Unfortunately for me, twelve doesn’t come close to […]

centralintelligence01

REVIEW: Central Intelligence [2016]

“You can’t look a guy in the eye and say something like that” Writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber is finally back to the zany, off-the-wall, and over-the-top antics that made him a hot commodity back in 2004 after the release of Dodgeball. He took a genre (the underdog sports tale), brought it down from its lofty […]

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REVIEW: Sound/Vision [2016]

“I continued my studies and the music stopped” Music is a powerful force—a sensory cause leading towards an effect of memory, emotion, and spirit. It brings us together beyond labels of race, gender, or religion with a commonality able to strip us down to our purest humanity. And as Ludwig van Beethoven proved through his […]

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REVIEW: Weiner [2016]

“We don’t care about the personal garbage. We’re from the Bronx.” Here’s the rub on the whole Anthony Weiner scandal(s): Bill de Blasio’s approval rating just fell to 41% on May 24th. Would Weiner have been better? Who knows? Would he have won if not for a faulty timeline between his final sexting partner and […]

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REVIEW: The Phenom [2016]

“You give it a name and it might want to stick around” I admittedly didn’t think too much on The Phenom after watching its trailer. There was a good cast, its look behind the curtain of fame seemed intriguing, and there’d probably be some darkly honest depictions of sports abuse at the hands of over-zealous […]

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REVIEW: Friday [1995]

“Ya’ll ain’t never got two things that match” By age twenty Ice Cube had proven himself an originator of gangsta rap with the seminal Straight Outta Compton from N.W.A and AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted as a solo artist. Two years later his role in Boyz n the Hood garnered enough critical acclaim to cement the Los […]