Reviews

Review: Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey

Review: Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey

Year: 2016 | Rating: Well, I finally got my hands on a copy of Voyage of Time: Life's Journey, and thus I have now seen every feature-length film that Terrence Malick has made during his fifty-year career. To be honest, I kind of wish that I was able to mark the occasion with a film that I enjoyed a little more. This film is generally considered a "full-length" cut of its 45-minute-long companion piece, Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary, but they are actually quite different films in their tone and messages. Yes, they share much of the same footage, but whereas…
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Review: The Black Phone

Review: The Black Phone

Year: 2021 | Rating: As many of you are well aware, I don't generally "do" horror movies, but I had to make an exception for The Black Phone because I just had to see this performance from Ethan Hawke. And generally speaking, he does not disappoint, at least when he's actually on the screen, which -- in following a standard horror flick trope of not giving the big baddie that much screen time -- isn't that often. Make this two films in 2022 now that left me wanting more from Mr. Hawke (the first being The Northman). If we get a Black Phone sequel (and I would think that we would,…
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Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Year: 1982 | Rating: I, as a rule, do not like '80s high school coming-of-age films. The Breakfast Club is one of my least favorite films of all time and I've found that a lot of these "Brat Pack" films do not age well at all and are unrelatable to most audiences who grew up in post-9/11 society, with their outdated social politics, idealism, and tone of wealthy white privilege. I'd always heard that Fast Times at Ridgemont High was an exception to this generalization, but given how often I've been burnt by "beloved" '80s classics, I've always been hesitant to give it a chance. Well, I…
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Review: For a Lost Soldier

Review: For a Lost Soldier

Original title: Voor een verloren soldaatYear: 1992 | Rating: Content Warning: This review mentions pedophilia and the sexual abuse of a child. Moreover, For a Lost Soldier explicitly depicts the grooming and sexual abuse of a child, including a sex scene between an adult and a child. If any of that makes you uncomfortable, I recommend that you do not read this review, nor do I suggest that you watch the film in question. I doubt that many of you reading this have ever heard of For a Lost Soldier, and any of you that have probably already know what it's…
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Review: C’mon C’mon

Review: C’mon C’mon

Year: 2021 | Rating: “Of all the arts, movies are the most powerful aid to empathy, and good ones make us into better people.” These words were written by film critic Roger Ebert in regards to the power that cinema has to enrich the lives of viewers, and in no film that I’ve ever seen has the desire to use empathy to be a better person been as strong of a driving force as in C’mon C’mon. Written and directed by Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon tells the story of Johnny (Joaquin Phoenix), a documentary filmmaker who is given the task of looking after…
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Review: Sing 2

Review: Sing 2

Year: 2021 | Rating: This may be a surprise to some of you, but I was actually looking forward to Sing 2 with cautious optimism. Illumination doesn't have the greatest track record of not making obnoxious movies that appeal to kids more than adults (in fairness, I'm not sure that can be considered a fault of an animation studio), but I rather enjoyed the first installment, so I was at the very least curious to see if director Garth Jennings could deliver the goods for a second time. And you know what? This movie isn't half bad. I know that doesn't sound like the…
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Review: Jerry & Marge Go Large

Review: Jerry & Marge Go Large

Year: 2022 | Rating: After having seen ads on TV for the past couple of weeks, Jerry & Marge Go Large is a movie that I maybe wouldn't normally have been too interested in, especially since it's a Paramount+ exclusive in a time when movies are returning to theaters. It can be a red flag. But the fastest way to get me to see a movie that I'm on the fence about is to cast great actors, and Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening have a consistent track record of being great in everything that they're in, so I decided to give this…
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Review: The Long Day Closes

Review: The Long Day Closes

Year: 1992 | Rating: It had been nearly ten years since I'd seen The Long Day Closes, so I only remembered a few specific fragments of the of actual piece, certain shots and musical cues. This is actually incredibly fitting for this film, though, because while the details may have been fuzzy, one thing that you never forget, whether it be about childhood events or green films, is how they make you feel. The reason that I remembered loving this film has nothing to do with the images on the screen, but rather with the emotions that those images evoked…
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Review: Of Time and the City

Review: Of Time and the City

Year: 2008 | Rating: You know, it's a funny thing: Counting the "Terence Davies trilogy" (1983) as one film, I have now seen four of Terence Davies' films, and they all portray more or less the same story of growing up in Liverpool in the '40s and '50s, struggling with the ever-looming guilt and repression of Catholicism, and coping with being a gay man at a time when it was very socially unacceptable to be homosexual. You would think, then, that by the time Of Time and the City was released in 2008, telling the same story over and over…
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Review: Bad News Bears (2005)

Review: Bad News Bears (2005)

Year: 2005 | Rating: Look, I'm likely the biggest Richard Linklater fan you'll ever meet, and there's a reason why Bad News Bears was the last feature-length narrative film that I hadn't seen from him. I totally get what drew him to this project; he's a lifelong baseball fan, and after the success of School of Rock (2003), I understand the impulse to strike while the iron is hot and go back to that well. And with the writing duo behind Bad Santa (also 2003) teaming back up with Billy Bob Thornton, I can see why on paper this project seemed like a home-run (shameless…
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