Browsing: Reviews

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.24.30 PM

Jackie Boy, Cody Campanale’s electrifying feature debut, is an ingenious act of subversion that fully commits to a garish, off-putting opening which later reveals the true intention broiling beneath its stylishly nihilistic surface. We open to Jack (Alino Giraldi in his first narrative-film performance) in a small, reasonably quiet bar. He strikes an imposing, lumbering figure as flashes of neon radiate along his classically …

Reviews The Preppie Connection

Adapted true stories of the drug trade have produced either subversive, thought-provoking films, or pointless garbage only depicting how many parties its central kingpins throw. The pointless ones, very apparently, offer nothing of real significance, but the subversive ones always have some interesting, fresh angle they’re…

Reviews They're Watching

Likely one of the found-footage genre’s most inventive gimmicks is that of the documentary style. It not only provides an instant explanation for the filming of the footage we’re watching, but grounds it in a strong sense of realism. This was put to horrifying effect in The Poughkeepsie Tapes, John Erick Dowdle’s controversial…

Reviews Batman v Superman

Zack Snyder is an interesting director, for sure. He brings so much passion and effort to whatever he does, and it generally seems to work out for him. If he’s adapting a comic book, he’ll make it his duty to visually pay homage by bringing forth his bombastic style, while doing something unique of his own creation, whether or…

Reviews 10 on Ten

In a masterclass of his own unique filmmaking techniques and philosophies on the art form, Abbas Kiarostami’s 10 on Ten is a film that contextualizes its own existence as it unfolds. It is broken into ten segments, each of the ten segments offering another dimension of insight into the creative processes and,,,

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 8.32.45 AM

Drones have been topics of controversy for quite a while, and they should be, as should any advancement in warfare. There are many questions that deserve presenting, like whether it’s fair for a human life to be ended from behind a computer screen, and there have been plenty of films to tackle such moral debates. Even superhero films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier have addressed them at points …

Home Entertainment Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 8.23.01 AM

The Winter (IndiePix Films) is the story of young, impoverished writer Niko Gounaras (Theo Albanis), an immigrant in London who, to escape financial difficulties, leaves for his shabby family home in the Greek mountain town of Siatista, only to discover that the home has been abandoned and is now haunted by the ghosts of the past.

Home Entertainment Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 7.57.11 AM

In The Hateful Eight (Anchor Bay), director Quentin Tarantino presents a Western set in post-Civil War Wyoming during a raging blizzard. Bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) is in a stagecoach en route to Red Rock with his prisoner, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), to deliver her to the authorities and collect a $10,000 reward. On the way, he encounters fellow bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren (Samuel …

Reviews Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 7.13.57 PM

If there’s a titanic battle more seismic than the one staged in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s the battle among critics debating the film’s quality level. There are a variety of notorious critical red flags at play here – the fact that Man of Steel was a total dud (if you need a refresher, refer to my 2013 review), a general loathing for Zack Snyder’s oeuvre, the already-infamous audacity to reboot the Batman …

Film Festival in a valley of violence

As a filmmaker deeply associated with horror, the idea of a Ti West revenge western set in the 1890s may cause some to do a double take. However, by the time the film’s wonderful animated opening credit sequence concludes it’s crystal clear that In a Valley of Violence is a Ti West film through and through. West’s signature is all over the film, from his dialogue-driven interactions and blood-soaked gore to his trademark humor and visual style. That’s not even to mention the film’s magnificent score, top-notch performances, and layered emotional undercurrents. In A Valley of Violence isn’t just a strong candidate for West’s best work. It’s one of the best westerns the genre has seen in years.

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