Movie Review: The Revenant (2015)

The tabula rasa quality of nature brings with it numerous interpretive contradictions that are often times difficult to decipher. It’s a plain of undeniable physical beauty, yet horridly cruel in its impending indifference; it can grant some spiritual tranquility, yet also act as an unforgiving tormentor; and for some it’s proof of the divine, yet … Continue reading

Movie Review: Youth (2015)

Over the course of his relatively short feature film career, Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino has done his part in revitalizing the lost art of experimentally thought-provoking and amorously lush cinema that defined the olden European greats. As a devotee to both the surrealism of Federico Fellini and to the romanticism of Bernardo Bertolluci, Sorrentino creates lyrical … Continue reading

Movie Review: Macbeth (2015)

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth might very well be his most potentially cinematic of plays, or “visually superb” as the great Shakespearean translator and actor Laurence Olivier once remarked. Ingrained within the Bard’s ruthlessly swift, diabolically intriguing, and theatrically murderous text are grand themes with complimentary visual possibilities: monstrous ambition amidst desolate scarcity; a guilty paranoid descent … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Danish Girl (2015)

There’s something strangely amiss about director Tom Hooper’s Jazz Age transgender portrait, The Danish Girl. By all accounts the film seems as though it would be initially considered as a monumental achievement for its controversial subject matter alone, not to mention its established pedigree of Academy-Award winning talent behind and in front of the camera. … Continue reading

Movie Review: Creed (2015)

Sylvester “Sly” Stallone’s original Rocky (1976) was a full embodiment and genre pioneer of the inspirational sports drama; a blend of iconic imagery, underdog truisms, and a piercing populist charm to the heart that has always made for a rousing crowd-pleaser of a film. On and off the screen it was a tale of unwavering … Continue reading

Movie Review: Legend (2015)

The myths, tales, and legends (sorry, it had to be done) about criminality, thuggery, and all out gangsterdom have regularly been glossed over with an elegant shine of corrupt romanticism. Even the most vehemently critical of films have adopted a fascination for the gangster’s achievement of an opulent lifestyle—filled with refined sleekness, venomous power, and … Continue reading

Movie Review: Carol (2015)

On the surface, all of Todd Haynes filmography, including his latest film Carol, share all the same defining characteristics. His films—which include his suburban alienation study in Safe (1995), his gravitated portrayal of anguish in Mildred Pierce (2011), and his Douglas Sirk melodrama homage in Far From Heaven (2002)—are all stylish, delicate, and precise period pieces … Continue reading

Movie Review: By the Sea (2015)

Angelina Jolie Pitt’s directorial career could already be summed up by saying all of her projects are guided with the aspiration of good intentions; good intentions that for all intents and purposes fall flat due to a lack of substance found in her usually superficial storytelling. Her first feature In the Land of Blood and … Continue reading

Movie Review: Spectre (2015)

There’s no denying that the chapters of the James Bond canon, featuring the narrow-faced, steely-blue-eyed Daniel Craig, have been a drastic deviation from the tone, themes, and portrait of the Bond of yore. While previous Bonds—embodied with varying degrees of charm in Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan—have come fully … Continue reading

Movie Review: Trumbo (2015)

In the realm of Hollywood, journalism, and first-amendment pioneer circles, Dalton Trumbo—one of the infamous Hollywood ten brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 for communist affiliations—has been canonized as some sort of civil liberties saint. Creating a heroic mythos of a man blacklisted from being able to create does a disservice to … Continue reading