Category Archives: Portfolio

The Lobster (2016) Movie Review

In The Lobster, David (Colin Farrell), upon being abandoned by his wife for another man, attends a hotel in which he must fall in love in 45 days or else be turned into an animal of his choosing. The movie is as surreal as the premise sounds, but it is also something beyond the mere surreal, which is an alleyway that can quickly lead to becoming a gimmick.

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Director Yorgos Lanthimos’ usual brand of awkward yet matter-of-fact line readings dominate The Lobster. Characters present so much on their face while still concealing Continue reading The Lobster (2016) Movie Review

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The Philosophy of Birdman: The Icarus Complex

Caution: This is an in-depth analysis article. As such, spoilers for Birdman ahead. If you want to purchase Birdman, you can find it on Amazon Video here.

Note: The page links are a bit hidden at the bottom of this page. Just to be clear, there are five pages to this article, you might just have to scroll a bit to find the correct buttons.

 

Icarus, son of Daedalus, is the famed tragic figure of myth who wore wax wings and flew too close to the sun, failing to heed his father’s warning in his aerial jubilation.

 

I. “Birdman is Like Icarus”

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In Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 2014 film Birdman, we just so happen to have a similar icon as Icarus in the eponymous winged superhero. In an early scene of the film we hear Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) mention briefly that Continue reading The Philosophy of Birdman: The Icarus Complex

The Witch (2016) Movie Review

The Witch follows the trials of a 17th century New England family banished from society to a home on the outskirts of a threatening woods. They struggle to survive: the crops die, the hunting traps bear no food, the chicken’s eggs bear stillborn chicks. But what is to blame for the family’s misfortune? For the Puritanical family, their misfortune becomes a hysteria over religious heathenism.

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The film is marked by quiet. At the film’s outset, we get a flurry of Continue reading The Witch (2016) Movie Review

Hail Caesar! (2016) Movie Review

In Hail Caesar!, the latest from the Coen Brothers, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) is an actor during the Golden Age of Hollywood. He is introduced on-screen in a meta framing—a screening within a screening—portraying a Roman leader in a historical epic a la Spartacus. During filming of this movie, Whitlock is drugged and kidnapped.

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Hail Caesar! is the Coen Brothers’ love letter to classical Hollywood cinema. The standard genres of the period are represented: Westerns, historical epics, Broadway musical adaptations, bourgeois romance, etc.

The structural issue of this love letter is that Continue reading Hail Caesar! (2016) Movie Review

Taxi (2015) Movie Review

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi begins on an extended POV take of a taxi picking up passengers in Tehran. These passengers engage in a long debate over the ethics of execution as a deterrent of crime. It is a strangely humorous meditation in the poetic form of bickering.

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Taxi is a series of vignettes told exclusively from Continue reading Taxi (2015) Movie Review

Breaking Down the 2016 Oscar Best Picture Race

2016 is proving to be a hard year to predict the Academy Award Best Picture race. The seeming frontrunners going into the Golden Globes were Spotlight and The RevenantThe Revenant came out of the Globes on top, while also picking up awards for Best Director and Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio (this appears to finally be his year for the Oscar, barring something crazy happening at the SAG awards, but that is an entirely different article).

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The first wrench thrown at the Oscar race came during the Producers Guild Awards, where  Continue reading Breaking Down the 2016 Oscar Best Picture Race

The Revenant (2015) Movie Review

The Revenant has the viscera of a Braveheart or a Gangs of New York, with the now familiar touch of director Alejandro G. Inarritu. His style shows through with an even stronger flourish than that of his previous film Birdman, as it links itself more naturally with the thematic elements that are in play in the film.

The film centers on Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a hunter on a fur trading expedition who seeks vengeance after becoming severely wounded and left for dead in the 19th century wilderness.

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The only true way to describe this film is to call it  Continue reading The Revenant (2015) Movie Review