Day: April 7, 2017

Review: Laika’s ‘Kubo the Two Strings’ is Animated Film of the Year

April 7, 2017

“If you must blink, do it now.” Those words told in voiceover kickstart Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest effort from Laika, the stop-motion,animation studio that has brought us Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. They are a production company whose films have blended majestic visuals with thoughtful, heartfelt stories resonating effortlessly with one another to […]

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Zombies, VHS Games, Heists Thrills at Germany’s Fantasy Filmfest

April 7, 2017

Over the past week and a half I’ve been attending a few screenings of films as part of the Fantasy Filmfest in Berlin (where I now live). Inspired by and operated similar to Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX and Fantasia in Montreal, the Fantasy Filmfest is a horror/sci-fi/genre festival in Germany (taking place in multiple […]

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Telluride 2016: Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’ is Musical Perfection

April 7, 2017

“Is this the start of something wonderful? Or one more dream that I cannot make true.” I’m on cloud nine. Damien Chazelle is such a remarkable storyteller and talented filmmaker, and he’s made his masterpiece. La La Land is musical perfection, an exhilarating and emotional voyage through time, deep into music and cinema. This is […]

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Telluride 2016: Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ is Stellar Cinematic Beauty

April 7, 2017

“At some point you gotta decide for yourself who you gunna be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” Barry Jenkins’ new film Moonlight is an intimate portrait of black youth, examining the balance of masculinity and individuality in a community that shuns homosexuality. Writer/director Barry Jenkins has made a masterful film that is […]

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Telluride 2016: Villeneuve’s ‘Arrival’ is Intelligent Sci-Fi for the Times

April 7, 2017

Before returning to our condo and beginning this review, I stopped for a few minutes and stared up at the stars. Here in Telluride you can view them so clearly, but this time I felt a renewed sense of wonder after emerging from one of the most intelligent alien sci-fi movies since Contact. It’s a […]

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TIFF 2016: Fuqua’s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ is Sheer Entertainment

April 7, 2017

Seven outlaws come together to save a helpless town from a greedy tyrant in Antoine Fuqua’s new version of The Magnificent Seven, a remake of the original 1960 film (directed by John Sturges) which in itself was an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai. That’s probably the most confusing thing to be said about […]

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TIFF 2016: Bullets Non-Stop in Ben Wheatley’s Action Film ‘Free Fire’

April 7, 2017

The energy was palpable at the midnight world premiere of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire last Thursday night. The famous Midnight Madness screenings at the Toronto Film Festival are known to be a fun event, with an enthusiastic crowd soaking up the energy of the late night festivities. No one could expect that the film that […]

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TIFF 2016: J.A. Bayona’s ‘A Monster Calls’ is a Rapturous Experience

April 7, 2017

Confronting the real world through imagination is at the heart of the new fantasy film A Monster Calls, the new visual feast from Spanish filmmaker J.A. Bayona (of the films The Orphanage, The Impossible previously). Bayona, along with screenwriter Patrick Ness (adapting his own novel), have taken the fairly mundane story of a child coming-of-age […]

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TIFF 2016: Garth Davis’ ‘Lion’ with Dev Patel is an Emotional Journey

April 7, 2017

The true story of a young Indian boy separated from his impoverished family only to reunite with them 20 years later is told in the emotional new film Lion, directed by Australian filmmaker Garth Davis (“Top of the Lake”), a tale full of heart and perseverance. Some will perhaps find it easy to compare this […]

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Fantastic Fest Review: Villeneuve’s Beautiful, Overwhelming ‘Arrival’

April 7, 2017

We can stop making science fiction films now. Arrival has said it all. Yes, there’s a very healthy dose of hyperbole with that statement, but that doesn’t make the overwhelming feeling the film conveys, directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, any less resonant. Arrival is smart, simple sci-fi that never panders and […]

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Fantastic Fest Review: The Mo Brothers’ Insane and Badass ‘Headshot’

April 7, 2017

The Mo Brothers from Indonesia always deliver. Whether it’s a disturbing slasher movie like Macabre or an intense thriller such as Killers, the directing team comprised of Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto have become a force for genre filmmaking. Their latest film, Headshot, is no exception. A balls-to-the-wall actioner with plenty of insane choreography and […]

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Sundance 2017: Sweaty, Sensual Masterpiece ‘Call Me By Your Name’

April 7, 2017

Have you ever seen a film that is so incredible, so extraordinary in every way, that when it’s over you feel totally drunk on happiness, high on cinema, floating away with huge smile? That’s how I felt walking out of the world premiere of Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name at the Sundance Film […]

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