• Son-of-Saul-stalone

    Review: Son of Saul

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

    The Nazi’s weren’t content with the devastation of all their other combined horrors. They also devised a Sonderkommando squad consisting of Jews forced to perform the disposal of bodies and other deplorable tasks related to the executions. Robbing them of their only comfort–that of innocence–the concentration camp commanders granted those in the Sonderkommando meager extras […]

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  • oscars-winners-envelopes

    Best Films and Performances Snubbed By The Academy Awards

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    I concur with many of the eight films nominated for Oscar’s Best Film of the Year. In relative order of preference, Spotlight, Brooklyn, The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, Bridge of Spies, and The Revenant are among my own selections of best films of the year. Since it was an especially good year for […]

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  • 1401x788-068-ANOMALISA-008R

    Review: Anomalisa

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    OK, you want something really different, here you go. You don’t need to know this to enjoy it, but Anomalisa, one of the year’s most creative efforts, throws around Fregoli syndrome like water. Main character Michael Stone (David Thewlis), who’s some kind of retail business guru/writer (“May I Help You Help Them?”) checks into a […]

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  • THE HATEFUL EIGHT

    Review: The Hateful Eight

    Saturday, January 9, 2016

    Sadly, we cannot undo the unconscionable acts propelled by racism and sexism throughout our history. A large part of fixing these problems is coming to grips with what actually occurred. Viscerally experiencing the shameful humiliations is a good start. In The Hateful Eight, Quentin Tarantino, never one to shy away from harsh realities, holds a […]

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  • carol-cannes-film-festival-3

    Review: Carol

    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    Flooded with luminescence, Todd Hayne’s Carol is a rapturous example of what occurs when sumptuous cinematography and art direction meet superlative acting. Rooney Mara is absolutely devastating as Therese, a young aspiring photographer who takes on a job in a department store in the early 1950s. She meets the much older, more talkative and aristocrat-like […]

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  • 21626637065_987e23b3de_o

    Review: The Big Short

    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    Like all superb art about significant political events, The Big Short holds a mirror to human beings caught up in forces beyond their control. Highly entertaining and often comical, the film focuses on several maverick financial rocket scientists who go against the grain, trying to take the upper hand in the way they know best. […]

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  • concussion

    Review: Concussion

    Thursday, December 31, 2015

    It took former NFL players to start killing themselves at an alarming rate for something to finally be done about it. Suffering from the deleterious effects of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) due to repetitive, jarring physical contact, some have shot themselves in the chest rather than the head in order to allow scientists to autopsy […]

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  • The-Danish-Girl-e1441120044697

    Review: The Danish Girl

    Monday, December 14, 2015

    Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina) continues her prolific year as a very impressive actress and Eddie Redmayne follows up his Oscar-winning role in The Theory of Everything with The Danish Girl. Redmayne plays Einar Wegener, a landscape artist in 1926 Copenhagen, who went on to become one of the first recipients of transgender surgery. Redmayne, like the […]

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  • james-white-1-credit-courtesy-of-the-film-arcade

    Review: James White

    Friday, December 4, 2015

    The gut-wrenching, unflinching James White, the inaugural film by Josh Mond, brazenly pulls onto your jacket’s lapels with a sharp array of tight closeup shots and equally closeup feelings. In actor Christopher Abbott, Mond (producer of the excellent Martha Marcy May Marlene) has found a wonder of nature. They provide a character that utterly sticks […]

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  • trumbo-movie-bryan-cranston

    Review: Trumbo

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

      Excluding a “where they are now” segment, Trumbo ends with Dalton Trumbo giving his 1970 WGA Laurel Award acceptance speech. In this speech, Trumbo speaks about the importance of remembering the blacklist, in order to heal. More than anything else, this seems to be the thesis of the movie. There were no heroes or […]

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Recent Articles

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Feb
23

Review: Timbuktu

A woman vehemently refuses to put on gloves (recently required) while selling fish in an outdoor market. A group of young men play fake soccer (recently banned) as they run around with an imaginary soccer ball. A coed group of friends risk playing live music (also recently banned) despite a potentially stringent penalty. The scene? […]

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Feb
17

Review: Kingsman

Director Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) sends his fetish for over-the-top chuckles and mayhem into an orbit of mostly unfunny inanity in the spy-flick send-up Kingsman: The Secret Service. Colin Firth, typically prim and proper and even more properly dressed, makes a valiant attempt to save the material from the abject failure it might have […]

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leviathan
Feb
13

Review: Leviathan

It’s no wonder Kolya (a memorable Alexey Serebryakov), the main character of Leviathan, swigs vodka like it’s water. After witnessing an arbitrary and stiff, motor-mouthed reading of a local court ruling against him, it is no wonder an individual like Kolya comes to feel isolated and utterly powerless. It is not just that the insolent, […]

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FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
Feb
13

Review: 50 Shades of Grey

Dakota Johnson is the best thing about Fifty Shades of Grey yet for all her acting chops here, she doesn’t hold a candle to her mom, Melanie Griffith, in, say, the zany, intense Something Wild. And if you’re trying to get a grip on this “dominant/submissive” thing, this film comes up squeaky clean (and half […]

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Feb
6

A Dance Of A Challenge: Ballet 422 Review

The lights dim, the audience quiets, the curtains lift, and an ensemble of strong, graceful men and women move through the air about the once empty stage in a traditional performance by the New York City Ballet Company. Ballet 422 takes its audience through the theatre wings and into the studio to show the step […]

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Feb
5

Review: Jupiter Ascending

Time is the most precious commodity in the universe, says Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) of the moderately bizarre yet pompously predictable House of Abrasax family, rulers of the world if you will. Ironically, the notion of time–as in wasted time–kept occurring during the screening of this latest offering from Andy and Lana Wachowski, filmmakers once responsible […]

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followers
Feb
4

PFM Sundance – Interview With Tim Marshall (Followers)

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Tim Marshall is a filmmaker who wrote, directed, and edited the short film, Followers. The film tells the story of Lynn, an elderly woman, who feels terribly lonely after her husband’s recent death and finds solace in an apparition of Jesus on a young gay man’s swimming trunks at her adult swimming […]

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saturday
Jan
30

Sundance Reviews: Saturday

On April 15th 1989, thousands of Liverpool supporters traveled to Hillsborough Stadium for what was described as “a fine day for football”, but 96 never came home. Too many fans entered the same sections of the stadium, causing crushing and overcrowding.  The event remains infamous to this day.  However, Saturday, directed by Mike Forshaw, does not follow […]

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thesunlikeabigdarkanimal
Jan
30

Sundance Reviews: The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal

Inspired by the poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik, The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal is an animated short that asks the question, “What does it mean to be in love?”  It tells a story of a machine falling in love with a woman, and having that love torn away. The background music has a soothing […]

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mommy
Jan
30

Review: Mommy

French Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (he made and starred in I Killed My Mother at 19) seriously gets in your face with the extravagantly jarring Mommy. The brutal arguments between tantalizing, violent-prone, just-released-from-juvenile-detention, ADHD 15-year-old Steve (Antoine-Olivier Platt) and his tough yet unconditionally compassionate single mom, Diane (a great Anne Dorval) have to be seen […]

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Philadelphia Film Festival 2015