Rating: B-/ I know I’m in the minority in finding this feel-good Kiwi drama a little over-rated; it’s perfectly charming and watchable, yes, but also perfectly formulaic. It’s the kind of movie you can watch and go “Yeah, I enjoyed that,” but it’s predictability makes it hard for it to make much of a lasting impression on you. That said, the actors here are a standout. There’s clearly so much underrated dramatic talent on display here, and they successfully maneuver The Dark Horse through it’s moments where it is just ‘blah’ at best, frustratingly cliche and pat at worst. Continue reading Movie Review: The Dark Horse (2014)
Rating: B/ There are some people who come unexpectedly into your life and, for better or for worse, change it forever. This is the case for Joey Starrett (Brandon De Wilde,) the young son of homesteaders Joey Sr. (Van Heflin) and Marian (Jean Arthur,) who is blown away by the arrival of a mysterious gunfighter and drifter, Shane (Alan Ladd.) Shane embodies all the qualities that Joey Jr. is endlessly impressed by and wants to emulate, and Shane changes the lives of the entire family as well as the community at large when he butts heads with some landowners who are trying to get rid of the homesteaders by any means necessary, led by lead baddie Rufus Ryker (Emile Mayer.) Continue reading Movie Review: Shane (1953)
Rating: B+/ Under supervised and curiously cold in temperament, nine-year-old Ted Henley (Jared Breeze) is the son of a depressed father (David Morse) who is the proprietor of a shabby roadside hotel nestled within the mountains of the American West. Left pretty much to do his own thing throughout the interminable days and nights, Ted lets his freak flag fly, and sociopathic urges slowly raise their ugly head. The impulses are exacerbated by the arrival of a shifty type (Rainn Wilson) who is on the run from the police, with whom Ted forms an unlikely (and short-lived) friendship. Continue reading Movie Review: The Boy (2015)
Rating: D-/ Why the hell is this categorized as a ‘romance’ on Imdb?!!
To say that Wedding Trough, also aptly known as The Pig Fucking Movie, is not for everyone would be the understatement of the millennium. This dialogue-free, Belgian art-house film tells the charming story of a man (Dominique Garny) who appears to be somewhat lacking in mental faculties who rapes and miraculously (!) impregnates his pet pig. That’s pretty much the extent of the plot, excluding a couple of grisly spoilers, should you be brave (or crazy) enough to look up the entirety of this film online. Continue reading Movie Review: Wedding Trough (1974)
Rating: D-/ Flowers is a very strange film, and not in a good, Eraserhead way as much as a ‘why-the-fuck-am-I-watching-this’ way. Although it is almost entirely devoid of redeeming qualities, I enjoyed watching it, the reason being that I got three of my best friends over to watch it and we kept up a running commentary of it’s pointlessly self-indulgent ridiculousness. I’m thankful for my friends and their crazy senses of humor for making this even watchable. Continue reading Movie Review: Flowers (2015)
Rating: D/ A failure on almost every conceivable level, #Horror has one of the most confused scripts I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering. It’s a woeful movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be; a slasher movie? a meaningful teen flick about cyberbullying? A satire? The movie just kind of drags on until it becomes stagnant and features a group of loathsome characters that do nothing to arouse our curiosity or engage our sympathy. Yes, in this movie, I wished bloody homicide on a group of twelve-year-old girls. Thirty minutes in, I wanted everybody dead, and fast. Continue reading Movie Review: #Horror (2015)
Rating: B/ This ain’t the vision of Rio di Janeiro you see on travel brochures! Told in a nonlinear style somewhat akin to Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, City of God tells the disturbing story of a Brazilian gangster named Lil’ Ze (Leandro Firmino) living in the crime-ridden ‘city of God’ who really wants to make a name for himself, and climbs up to the top of the food chain amid the senseless slaughter of hundreds of unfortunates.
Continue reading Movie Review: City of God (2003)
Rating: A-/ Raw and heartfelt, XXY is a film about sex and gender identity that might be a little too weird for some people, but filmmaker Lucia Puenzo somehow makes a story with the utmost potential for awkwardness work and tells it in a very natural, unforced way. Fifteen-year-old Alex (Ines Efron) has a secret; she is intersexed, born with both male and female genitals (the more common term, but less tactful one, is ‘hermaphrodite’) and her parents (Ricardo Darin and Valeria Bertuccelli) have revolved their lives around keeping her gender identity a secret from the people in the small seaside Argentinean town in which they live. Continue reading Movie Review: XXY (2007)
Rating: B/ This is the kind of movie you sort of have to be in the mood for; a slow-paced, low-key period piece with a vivid sense of time and place. The love story at the center of the film is endearing if nothing spectacular, but the excellent acting and instantly empathizeable heroine make it an enjoyable experience. It’s like a slice of life from days long since past. Continue reading Movie Review: Brooklyn (2015)
Rating: B+/ Bittersweet; funny but with a truly sinister edge, The Truman Show is a true original. In a rare serious role, Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, an affable insurance salesman who- unbeknownst to him- is the star of a 24/7 reality program broadcasting the minutia of his life to the world. The director of the show, Kristoff (Ed Harris) tips us off right off the bat to Truman’s situation. The public, tired of actors getting paid to display phony emotions to the camera, positively gets off on watching Truman’s unwitting participation in the show. All of Truman’s ‘friends’ and ‘loved ones’ are actors paid to rattle off lines and pretend they like him, even his beer-chugging bestie (Noah Emmerich) is reading off a script. Continue reading Movie Review: The Truman Show (1998)