Movie Review: A Bigger Splash (2016)

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s English-language debut entitled A Bigger Splash takes place in a specifically chosen setting at a villa hillside getaway on Pantelleria, a volcanic island that’s suspended between Italy and Tunisia on the Strait of Sicily. Conceived as an overt homage if not a complete replication of Jacques Deray’s stylish romantic thriller La … Continue reading

Movie Review: Sicario (2015)

As Sicario opens with its ominous tone, we’re introduced to the arcane title and its appropriate definitions. The first alludes to a group of Jewish Zealots, who hunted Roman invaders under cover of shadows during the Jewish-Roman war in A.D. 70. The second definition–a straight-to-the-point and poignant one, for the film’s purposes–means “hitman” or “assassin” … Continue reading

Movie Review: Black Mass (2015)

Director Scott Cooper is clearly a devout student of cinema, most notably to the cynical and foreboding decade known as the 70s, where political unrest, post-war uncertainty, and an overall discouraged mentality plagued these United States. Since his first feature Crazy Heart paved the way for Jeff Bridges’ unwarranted Academy Award win, Cooper, the unremarkable … Continue reading

Movie Review: A Most Violent Year (2014)

An eternal dualistic question towards the essence of human nature could be stated as, “Is it man who corrupts society or is it society that corrupts man?” The latter concept was part of Rousseau’s romantic fallacy that society corrupts man’s original content state, which is an erroneous and flattering viewpoint of potential godly enlightenment when … Continue reading

Movie Review: Selma (2014)

When it comes to movies about the complexities of race, the politics of repression, or representations of the brave pioneers who paved the way for progress, Hollywood has an incurable eagerness to exploit race and self-promote their effortless hindsight position of being on what is deemed “the right side of history.” Through morally dubious and … Continue reading

Movie Review: Into the Woods (2014)

Devout fans of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1987 original musical Into the Woods know that it isn’t merely a clever revisionist twist on blending some of Grimm’s most notable fairy tales (which it is), but it’s also an ingenious use of setting that transcends physical space into a psychological plain as the darkened woods … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

There’s something truly exceptional at the heart of what Peter Jackson has accomplished this past decade with his undeniable love for the works of J.R.R Tolkien, mostly in how he has masterfully and flawlessly created a known, palpable, and fully realized fantasy world that rivals the best of the epic Universe builders including Cecil B. … Continue reading

Movie Review: American Sniper (2014)

Though there’s plenty political framing, moral posturing, and opportunistic grandstanding on war there always seems to be a missing emphasis on the soldier’s experience, or rather an acknowledgment and understanding on what war means to a soldier, how it effects a soldier, and what can be done in the aftermath for a soldier. First-hand confessions … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Gambler (2014)

As it is with all unsuspecting remakes not many people will really recall the original 1974 The Gambler; a sort of existentialist exercise of carefree bravado in the world of high stakes gambling written in autobiographical context by the great James Toback, directed with unrelenting grittiness by Karel Reisz, and featuring a charismatic performance from James … Continue reading

Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

In response to the incessant whining from proselytizing atheists on their minority religious opinion not being recognized or heard, agnostic and rabid non-believing comedian Marc Maron said, “because it’s shrill and annoying and no one really wants to hear it.” Self-righteous atheist evangelicals are very real whether they’re the four horseman of the non-apocalypse—Richard Dawkins, … Continue reading