Reviews

Irrational-Man-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Irrational Man’ Is An Odd Woody Allen Film

Film: Irrational Man
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone
Directed by: Woody Allen

Caught between the woman he should love and the one who will be his ruin, a man finds himself discovering the reason for his existence in Woody Allen’s Irrational Man.

Coming off the lukewarm, albeit whimsically nihilistic Magic In The Moonlight, Woody Allen has delivered the latest in his one-a-year film series. It’s neither the highlight of Woody’s later years, nor the low mark on a storied career that has experienced more peaks and valleys than the great Rocky Mountains. It’s a witty, entirely Woody …

Southpaw-movie-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Southpaw’ Can’t Land A Punch

Film: Southpaw
Starring: Jake Gyllenhall
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Despite two incredible fights that serve as bookends to the story, Southpaw is a messy boxing film that never quite finds its groove.

There are very few story elements at play in Southpaw that you haven’t seen at least a few times before, typically in other films about boxing. It’s the story of a one-time sports hero, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), who loses himself in a world of depression and rage following the loss of his wife (Rachel McAdams) in the film’s first act. As his spiral continues, the lavish lifestyle …

One-Direction-Drag-Me-Down-Review

SINGLE REVIEW: One Direction – “Drag Me Down”

Artist: One Direction
Track: “Drag Me Down”
Album: TBA

A year after “Steal My Girl” ushered in an era where the members of One Direction were focused on songs built for stadiums, “Drag Me Down” has arrived to flip the script once more.

It’s all about the energy. From the moment “Drag Me Down” kicks in there is a thick bass line guiding the entire voyage that demands your legs prepare to dance. It’s a ticking time bomb of pop sensibilities that quickly builds from the infectious first verse to a pre-chorus that pulls you in to the …

foreign tongues fragile as said before

REVIEW: Foreign Tongues – ‘Fragile, As Said Before’

Artist: Foreign Tongues
Album: Fragile, As Said Before
Label: No Sleep
Genre: Indie, Sadness

A catalyst for somber emotive imagery and tenderness felt, the best way to experience Foreign Tongues‘ debut record is by imagining a simple, empty white room, being sure to give this space enough room to bloom. A room to be filled with vast amounts of sound, pain, beauty, demure and efflorescence, as the band masterfully performs to you an album of heartfelt honesty, pain and sensation. “Fill me up, oh you fill me up.”

Fragile, As Said Before may be one of the strongest debuts …

pixels-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Pixels’ Is A Disaster In Every Way

Film: Pixels
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James
Directed by: Chris Columbus

Adam Sandler has official hit rock bottom, and he’s dragging your childhood heroes, as well as the great Peter Dinklage, down with him.

Pixels is exactly what we fear seeing when we pay to go to the movies. From beginning to end the film, which plays like an extended version of the spoiler heavy trailer with needless exposition added to extend its running time, is a complete waste of everything needed to make movies. The cast—while talented—folds completely under the pressure to make something memorable out of what I …

unexpected-review-2015

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Unexpected’ Is A Wonderfully Simple Indie Gem

Film: Unexpected
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean
Directed by: Kris Swanberg

Unless you’re planning for it, the news that you’re about to have a baby can be both an exciting and terrifying experience in someone’s life. For Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders), there was probably no good time for the news that she would soon give birth to her first child to arrive. It’s not that she never wanted children, but she always planned to have them at some unknown point in the future when her life was a bit more settled. Unfortunately for Samantha, life rarely cares about the plans …

Paul-Rudd-Ant-Man-Movie

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Ant-Man’ Is One Of Marvel’s Best

Film: Ant-Man
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly
Directed by: Peyton Reed

Fear not, everyone. The reign of Marvel as the leader in modern summer entertainment is far from over.

Everyone knew from the very beginning that the third phase of Marvel’s beloved cinematic universe would need to undergo a serious evolution in order to keep moviegoers engaged, and in response to that demand the studio has pulled off something just short of magical with Ant-Man. Not quite as serious as the Avengers films, but also not so light-hearted that it overlooks the key emotional beats needed to make superhero …

wolfpack-documentary-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Wolfpack’ Must Be Seen To Be Believed

Film: The Wolfpack
Starring: The Angulo Brothers
Directed By: Crystal Moselle

I don’t know that I have ever felt about a documentary the way I do for Crystal Moselle’s directorial debut, The Wolfpack. It’s a deeply moving look at the human experience as viewed through the eyes of a Lower Manhattan family whose only working knowledge of the world around them has been informed by their love of film. Despite what they lack on the surface however, they share an unbreakable bond that lifts their collective spirits above the immediate surroundings.

It’s not as bleak as you may think, …

The-Gallows-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Gallows’ Might Be The Worst Film Of Summer 2015

Film: The Gallows
Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown
Directed by: Travis Cluff, Chris Lofing

2015 may be the year I finally stop defending found footage/POV storytelling in cinema. It’s been a good run, more or less, but after witnessing the hundredth-plus remix of the same twelve ideas presented with little to no original twist whatsoever in The Gallows I’m starting to believe my faith in shaky-cam storytelling has officially been depleted.

The year is 1993, and through the lens of a shoulder-mounted home video camera perched between two parents who don’t know when to shut up, we bare witness to …

Minions-movie-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Minions’ Is Cute, But Empty

Film: Minions
Starring: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock
Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

Two years after Despicable Me 2 became one of the biggest animated films ever, Universal is trying to maximize franchise revenue with the funny, yet emotionally empty prequel, Minions.

Yes, the tiny yellow creatures that won over the hearts of children everywhere while simultaneously annoying parents with their unique, Sims-like language have been given their own adventure, and it takes place several years before the events of the first Despicable Me film. In fact, the story actually begins at the dawn of time, when …

big-game-movie-review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Big Game’ Is The Original Action Film Summer 2015 Needs

Film: Big Game
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila
Directed By: Jalmari Helander

In a summer overrun with sequels and visually impressive, yet predictable action epics, Finnish director Jalmari Helander has found a way to make adventure films feel new once again.

There is a long-running tradition amongst the people in Finland where, upon reaching a certain age, boys are tasked with proving their manhood by hunting alone in the woods. Oskari (Onni Tommila), a young man with dreams of being as great a hunter as his father, is about to embark on that very same mission when Big Game

Creep-Movie-Review

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Creep’ Is Incredibly Unsettling

Film: Creep
Starring: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Directed By: Patrick Brice

I have never seen a found footage film quite like Creep, but I always wanted to. It’s a combination of horror, drama, and comedy that is so tightly wound that you never know what to expect from one moment to the next. Credit for this is owed as much to the script as it is to the cast, which consists of just two people, and even though I know it’s still a bit early in 2015 to say such things, I must admit I walked away from Patrick …