Browsing: Reviews

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 11.10.01 PM

Director April Mullen’s 88 is a violent 88-minute blend of revenge, lost identity, bloodshed and both pure and twisted love. The film opens with Gwen (Katharine Isabelle) sitting alone in a diner, confused and disoriented and missing a finger, with no idea how she got there or what happened to her hand. After dropping the contents of her backpack and accidentally shooting a waitress with a gun she has no …

Film Festival nuestro_monte_luna_1-1

One of the great aspects of the documentary feature is in its ability chronicle the lives of people that audiences would regularly be unaware of. A director’s lens will act like a microscope to the world illuminating varied stories such as the lives of the disenfranchised youth of a little town in South America or the narratives of hard working people in Africa that…

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.59.35 PM

Eventually, they have to grow up. The twenty-somethings of the “mumblecore” movies, a sub-genre that typically follows single, professionally insecure young adults through a naturalistic lens, have arrived at the familial crossroads in Adult Beginners. Here, the characters are beyond (but not by much) their earlier years of reckless abandon and starting to face the prospect of parenthood – or what …

IFFBoston 2015 7 chinese brothers 1

I don’t care how charming Jason Schwartzman may be, he cannot be your entire film.

There have been plenty of films built almost entirely on the backs of their lead characters. However, it should never be the practice to have that be the film’s only clear reason for existing. Hell, even Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had the good grace to have some semblance of…

Film Festival The Frontier (dir. Oren Shai, 2015)

Blending 70s and classic noir to create a movie for the ages, Oren Shai’s feature debut follows a woman on the run who finds herself in an even more precarious position after arriving at an isolated diner. A wickedly entertaining ode to 1970s cinema that features a dynamite cast and searing suspense, The…

NP Approved Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 7.23.12 PM

The key to any comic book movie’s success is its characters, and nobody seems to know this better than Joss Whedon. One of only three people to have a sole writing credit for an MCU film and the only one to do so for two films, Whedon has not only written a sequel that runs laps around the original in terms of action and scale, but it also raises the stakes in ways that very incredibly real and dramatic.

Film Festival Peace Officer (dir. Brad Barber, Scott Christopherson, 2015)

Arriving at a time when police violence is very much in the social conversation, Peace Officer is most certainly a film that very adeptly examines its subject matters. The film chronicles the story of Dub Lawrence, a retired sherrif who established his state’s first SWAT team and would see his son killed by…

IFFBoston 2015 welcome to leith 1

I used to be utterly terrified of Freddy Krueger. I had never seen Nightmare on Elm Street (and to this day, I still haven’t) but I vividly remember the poster that hung in my local video store; that clawed hand creeping over the head of teenager. I can…

Hot Docs 2014 iambigbird_1-1

It’s hard to be unbiased about this film. My Colombian parents learned a lot of their English by watching Sesame Street. They were always seeking to improve their pronunciation, therefore, when I was born we’d all sit and watch The Children’s Television Network together. My favorite character has always been Cookie Monster, but something about Big Bird always stood out. He pretty much asked all the questions we were burning to ask as kids. His comments would sometimes come out as funny or naive, but he knew what to ask. Oscar the Grouch was easily the coolest punk around. There’s no denying that.

Reviews Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 1.17.30 PM

Sequels are tricky things. The hope is that they will be at least as good if not better than the original, but that is seldom the case. In the case of Avengers: Age of Ultron, writer/director Joss Whedon had even more of a challenge, being that this is not only a sequel to the immensely successful The Avengers but it is the eleventh film in a franchise made up largely of single-character films that all build to these …

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