Category Archives: Long Reviews (>400 Words)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Movie Review

“High Octane” is seen being forcibly tattooed onto the back of Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) in an early scene of Mad Max: Fury Road as part of his new label as a slave “blood bag.” The same tattoo may as well be stamped across the entire film. This fourth Mad Max installment is essentially a nonstop car chase across the post-apocalyptic desert wasteland. There is only a handful of chances to breathe, during the four or five fade-to-black ellipses, before we are thrust back into the merciless, saturated orange of the barren landscape.

 

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Amid the onslaught of cars ripping other cars to shreds and drug-fueled white-painted grunts pitching themselves at other cars with explosive sticks, Continue reading Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) Movie Review

Irreversible (2002) Movie Review

Caution: Minor Plot Spoilers Ahead.

 

Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible is not easy to watch. Midway through the film, the camera remains a static, unflinching observer to Monica Bellucci’s Alex as she is violently raped in a stark blood-red tunnel by a stranger (Jo Prestia). The camera, and thus the viewer by proxy, is a voyeur, a peeping tom viewing the proceedings of the night with cold nihilism.

 

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Viewing the film in this way, it is understandable why someone could Continue reading Irreversible (2002) Movie Review

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (2015) Movie Review

In Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, self-deprecating loner teen Greg (Thomas Mann) begrudgingly befriends Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate who has been recently diagnosed with stage four leukemia. Throughout the course of his senior year, the somewhat selfish and self-absorbed youth grows to care for the titular dying girl.

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The film, coming off the heels of last year’s The Fault In Our StarsMe & Earl & the Dying Girl is cashing in on the young-adult terminal-illness tearjerker novel adaptation genre. It also utilizes Continue reading Me & Earl & the Dying Girl (2015) Movie Review

The Purge: Anarchy (2014) Movie Review

In the horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy, a group of innocent people get caught outside during “The Purge:” a period of 24 hours where all crime in the United States is legal. A mother and daughter, a couple in a tumultuous relationship, and a rogue man with some unclear mission find themselves banding together, running from an army of armored men in trucks and a gang of masked outlaws (and later a third group of murderers).

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From premise alone, this film is superior to its predecessor. Where the first Purge film took place largely inside one home, Anarchy  Continue reading The Purge: Anarchy (2014) Movie Review

Bad Words (2014) Movie Review

In comedian/actor Jason Bateman’s feature length directorial debut Bad Words, Guy Trilby (Bateman), a grumpy competitive adult, takes on a room full of children in the national spelling bee, having found a loophole in which anyone who has not completed 8th grade by the cut-off date can compete. Meanwhile, Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), Guy’s journalist sponsor, tries to get his story out of him for her online newspaper. Guy is a tough shell to crack, telling us that Jenny will get her scoop once the climax comes.

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Guy and Jenny also engage in an unnecessarily strained and awkward sexual relationship, a Continue reading Bad Words (2014) Movie Review

It Follows (2015) Movie Review

In David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) and her new boyfriend Hugh (Jake Weary) share an intimate moment in the back of Hugh’s car following a date. When the deed is done, Hugh goes to retrieve something from the trunk while Jay monologizes about how strange it is to no longer be a child. She is then promptly chloroformed by Hugh.

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Hugh later informs her, when she comes to tied to a wheelchair, that he has regretfully passed on to her a terrible curse. It may take the form of a complete stranger or a close loved one, but it will always follow, painfully slow, until it Continue reading It Follows (2015) Movie Review

House of Cards (2015) S03E04 Recap/Review

Caution: major spoilers for this episode follow, as well as possible spoilers from episodes prior.

 

Episode four of this political drama opens on a Supreme Court hearing, the same hearing that the President was ignoring earlier in the season in his jumbled attempt to get his America Works project off the ground. The hearing surrounds a drone strike that apparently killed innocent civilians.

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While this is going on, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is attending the funeral of three soldiers. In the Supreme Court hearing, we hear that he has given authorization to the Solicitor General Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) to effectively put full responsibility on the government for the attack that caused innocent deaths, arguing that the strike killed its criminal target and was legal and justified. The cross-cutting with the funeral tells us that Continue reading House of Cards (2015) S03E04 Recap/Review