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Review: Get Hard, 2015, dir. Etan Cohen

Review: Get Hard, 2015, dir. Etan Cohen


“When do wry race jokes stumble over the line and devolve into straight-up racism? People like Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor and Louis C.K. have proven that color barriers can indeed be funny, but only because those barriers beg to be broken down. Etan Cohen, director and co-writer on Get Hard, can’t even plant a single … Continue reading

Review: Cesar Chavez, 2014, dir. Diego Luna

Review: Cesar Chavez, 2014, dir. Diego Luna


Too many contemporary biopics consciously and repeatedly make the same mistake: they struggle in vain to dilute the whole of their subjects’ lives into two hour chunks of running time, and they often end up scattered, non-cohesive, and aimless as a result. It’s a dual-pronged problem of too much content being stuffed into too narrow … Continue reading

Review: The World’s End, 2013, dir. Edgar Wright

Review: The World’s End, 2013, dir. Edgar Wright


Picture The World’s End as a bittersweet layer cake, a film about the double-edged sword of growing up that also serves as the capstone offering in Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. Have nine years really passed since Wright, along with his go-to leading men, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, vaulted into national prominence with … Continue reading

Review: Iron Man 3, 2013, dir. Shane Black

Review: Iron Man 3, 2013, dir. Shane Black


Looking backward, there are more reasons than not to expect disappointment from Iron Man 3. For one, history shows that the third entry tends to be the worst in many franchises, a la  Return of the Jedi, The Godfather III, Infernal Affairs III, The Dark Knight Rises; for another, Shane Black’s contribution to the story of … Continue reading

Review: Lincoln, 2012, dir. Steven Spielberg

Review: Lincoln, 2012, dir. Steven Spielberg


Walking out of Lincoln, you may be struck at the revelation that Honest Abe had a pretty consistent comedic streak running through him. Would you believe that Spielberg’s biopic on one of the US’s greatest leaders happens to be one of the best comedies of 2012? I’m being dishonest, naturally; Lincoln, mired in a bloody stage … Continue reading

Liebster Award Blogathon!

Liebster Award Blogathon!


Sometimes, people give you a thumbs up. Recently, Andy Buckle over at The Film Emporium did me that honor by name-dropping me in his Liebster Award blogathon post. Over a week has passed since he published his own response to this chain event– I’ll use work, real life, and a mountain of movie reviews as … Continue reading

Review: The Avengers, 2012, dir. Joss Whedon

Review: The Avengers, 2012, dir. Joss Whedon


The Avengers didn’t have to do much to impress me. Being as honest as possible, Joss Whedon’s attempt at making a respectable entrance into the 2012 summer season with the capstone picture of Marvel Studios’ long-gestating superhero bonanza just needed to be tolerable to get a pass from me. Put bluntly, C-level material alone would … Continue reading

Review: The Hunger Games, 2012, dir. Gary Ross

Review: The Hunger Games, 2012, dir. Gary Ross


There’s so much surrounding The Hunger Games— socially, artistically, politically– that it’s hard to know where to start in writing a review about the latest pop-cultural literary and cinematic phenomenon. It feels somewhat gauche to begin by comparing Gary Ross’ adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ award-winning young adult novel to  Twilight, to which it owes something of a … Continue reading

Review: Casa De Mi Padre, 2012, dir. Matt Piedmont

Review: Casa De Mi Padre, 2012, dir. Matt Piedmont


Casa de mi Padre is remarkably difficult to categorize. On the one hand, it’s eighty minutes of bizarre, absurdist, surrealist humor bent on taking potshots at immeasurably melodramatic telenovelas as well as the works of Sam Peckinpah. On the other, there’s still very little cinema to which it has a direct analogue. Take, for example, Friday’s other … Continue reading

Review: Haywire, 2012, dir. Steven Soderbergh

Review: Haywire, 2012, dir. Steven Soderbergh


Haywire, in its fashion, possesses many of the best qualities of its protagonist; like Mallory Kane, it’s lean, mean, efficient, and wholly focused on attaining its goals and realizing its purpose. It also teeters, occasionally, on the verge of emotional vulnerability. Neither Kane (MMA fighter Gina Carano) nor director Steven Soderbergh are especially willing to … Continue reading

Review: Certified Copy, 2011, dir. Abbas Kiarostami

Review: Certified Copy, 2011, dir. Abbas Kiarostami


It’s difficult to say whether Juliette Binoche or Abbas Kiarostami is the star of the latter’s newest film, Certified Copy. Much comes to rest on Binoche’s delicate shoulders– the nameless character she plays is the only principal character in the film apart from co-star William Shimell– but Kiarostami’s direction, assured yet humble, constitutes bravura filmmaking … Continue reading

2011: Retrospective, Honors, & ACVF’s Top 15 (Pt.2)

2011: Retrospective, Honors, & ACVF’s Top 15 (Pt.2)


We’re almost there– it’s down to the final ten. Starting with: 10) 13 Assassins: “While the plot that subsequently comes together falls within the bailiwick typical to most men-on-a-mission films as Shinzaemon collects his chosen warriors– a motley crew of samurai ranging in age and experience, which eventually also comes to include a hunter (Yusuke … Continue reading