Movie Review: Glassland (2014)

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Rating: A/ From the title I thought this movie was about methamphetamine, since ‘glass’ is a synonym for crystal meth. It turned out to be about a young man’s mother with a pretty serious alcohol problem. In fact, Jean (Toni Collette) has hit the bottle so hard that she’s slowly killing herself, and her ever-faithful son John (Jack Reynor) both tirelessly cares for her and enables her. Continue reading Movie Review: Glassland (2014)

Movie Review: Tallulah (2016)

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Rating: A-/Just more evidence of Netflix’s growing legitimacy as a original film and television distributor. She might have her share of naysayers, but I’ve always liked Ellen Page, ever since she made a lasting impression in the Oscar-nominated but divisive indie comedy-drama Juno (which I thought was an excellent movie; there, I said it. Go ahead and start telling me how stupid and wrong I am, come at me bro!) Continue reading Movie Review: Tallulah (2016)

Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

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Rating: B/ I guess I’ll start of by saying I have no particular affinity with the 1967 animated  version of this movie; I’m not even sure I ever saw it, though I suspect I must have at some point. Having no memory of the animated film and having never read the book by Rudyard Kipling, I had no sentimental bias holding me back from liking this CGI-filled, celebrity voice actor- starring remake. It’s sometimes hard to let go of your nostalgic feelings for an original, but I had none of those going into this film. I think that’s very important; obviously this is going to be a very different animal from the animated original, and if you go in with hard feelings towards this movie and remakes in general you’re not going to enjoy it much. Continue reading Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

Book Review: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

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Rating: B/ The Sword of Shannara is my dad’s favorite book, and I decided to read it instead of continuing with the awful television series, The Shannara Chronicles. Even if The Sword of Shannara was utterly forgettable and a shameless rip-off of Lord of the Rings like some of the less charitable critics believed it to be, it had to be better than watching Will Ohmsford and his pube-stache try unsuccessfully to act, hadn’t it (who thought it was a good idea to get stupid Slade from Arrow to play Allanon, anyway?) Continue reading Book Review: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Movie Review: Duel (1971)

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Rating: B/ Steven Spielberg’s feature film debut is a high concept thriller focusing on the world’s worst case of road rage leaving a man fighting for his life. Essentially two people (one almost entirely unseen throughout the entire film) and one long car chase, with a few intermittent breaks for the introduction of a few new minor settings or characters, Duel is the mostly compelling story of the worst day of a man’s life. It doesn’t have a huge budget, and you don’t entirely care what happens to the smug protagonist, but the use of clever cinematography and Weaver’s tense performance cut past the budget restraints and the viewer’s lack of sympathy for the main character. Continue reading Movie Review: Duel (1971)

Movie Review: The Invitation (2016)

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Rating: C+/ Why don’t they just leave? That was the question plaguing my mind as I watched The Invitation, a indie thriller sporting a scant premise that goes on at least twenty minutes longer than it should. When a guest at the dinner party from hell finally tries to get the fuck out of there, I idly wondered why someone didn’t get that exact same idea like half an hour ago. The cringe factor is high, but the film itself is a little bit dull and the payoff unrewarding, despite some great performances from the little-known cast of talented actors. Continue reading Movie Review: The Invitation (2016)

Movie Review: Blue Velvet (1986)

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Rating: C+/ I honestly don’t know if Lynch has created a profound work of art or an extended rape/bondage fetish fantasy on film. Blue Velvet is a movie where nobody behaves like a human being should, characters go on long, bizarre tangents for interminable lengths of time, and the lead female is treated as a hysterical piece of sex meat. Yet there is a kind of an artistry here, in the haunting nature of the imagery and the bizarre atmosphere Lynch invokes that lurks behind a picturesque suburban community. I can’t claim to understand this movie, but there is a genuinely sinister vibe and a beautiful visual element. Continue reading Movie Review: Blue Velvet (1986)

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