‘The Northman’ Review: Valhalla Arises in Robert Eggers’s New Epic

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The third feature film of writer-director Robert Eggers isn’t a horror film much like The Witch or The Lighthouse were, but the way in which Eggers brings you into his worlds whether it be through the usage of old age English or the elaborate sets – when considering the historical settings of his films, is nothing short of impressive. It was easy enough to see that from The Lighthouse onward, Eggers certainly would have found himself growing to become more ambitious as a filmmaker and it’s perhaps best reflected by what you’re seeing in The Northman, which may just as well be his most visually stunning film to date. Yet to Eggers, it’s not simply about mere aesthetic, it’s all about transporting the audience back through time, which I believe he succeeds at beautifully in here.

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‘Before Sunset’ Review: Taking that One Chance That Got Away All Over Again

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When I think of a perfect romance, Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy is the first thing to come to mind, not because of how much they accomplish with so little but because even these little moments signify everything wonderful about what more we can do if we’re given a chance to turn it into something. In Before Sunrise, fate had brought two completely different people from almost opposite backgrounds together, and even with their conflicting philosophies regarding what love can do to a person at different points of their life, another chance reunion comes back in Before Sunset. Over the nine years that Jesse and Celine have spent with not having seen one another, their own outlook on life has changed significantly but with only a little more than an hour’s worth of time left to be able to spend with one another, they’re also put to another test for their own compatibility. Are they still able to make that brief encounter in 1995 every bit as meaningful at this point of their life now that they’re already much older? As the complications of their own newfound beliefs come into light, Before Sunset isn’t only a perfect sequel but it also strikes you like you’re realizing something you’d have been shielded from for so long, too. And as these secrets are uncovered, you wonder to yourself if they were already best under the lid or if they’ll bring you much closer too.

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2018: Another Year of Cinema Come and Gone

This year was a real game changer for a person like myself. To kick things off, it was the first year in which I was able to attend TIFF as a press member rather than as any other audience member. It was a defining moment for myself, though I don’t want to brag a little too much about what happened there. It was just a good year for cinema in general. That’s all I can really say, and I want to bring more attention to the many films that I absolutely loved this year – and so many of them came around this year and so forth. We’re already nearing the end of a decade, and through the good and the bad, the cinema has always been able to provide nothing but the greatest pleasures through and through. Although as we look through the films that have come to define 2018 as a whole, there were many surprises that came along the way just as there were disappointments – all of which came in between the very best and the worst in cinema through the year. So without further ado, let us begin. Continue reading →

First Reformed Review: Finding Peace In a World of Chaos

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When I last watched Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ which was also penned by Paul Schrader, I thought to myself about what it was that Jesus Christ himself had intended with his own teachings that have only been twisted around to perform acts of evil across the globe. I open this review bringing that up, because there was one point of my life in which I was a devoted Roman Catholic, but my life has only been questioning what good has it truly done for me if I cannot ever find myself in a sense of solace. From watching Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, I was only wondering to myself what has it truly felt to devote your own life to something that you would only go on to question over time – it was the spiritual connection that I had not witnessed from a Schrader-penned film in a long while. And from watching this film, I felt that maybe there was still something important to my life that could have been defined by those moments in which I had ever felt myself as being more devoted than I know I really feel that I am. And I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it the moment since I had stepped out from watching First Reformed; but for all I know this may be Paul Schrader’s best directorial effort in quite some time.

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Waking Life – Review

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One of my favourite versions of filmmaker Richard Linklater other than the naturalistic and ever-growing Before trilogy would be his meandering animated experiment Waking Life. But maybe this meandering is the only way that Waking Life can work as perfectly as it does, and it’s another brand of Richard Linklater that I wish I could see more of. It draws back to what he created in his debut film, Slacker, but something about Waking Life makes it feel like a more fully realized project in itself. But it’s a sort of Richard Linklater that I like atop all the rest because of how it feels just like what its title describes it as: a wake-up call for our lives and our minds, and without a doubt one of Linklater’s very best films.

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Before Sunrise – Review

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Richard Linklater starts off a new journey inside of his body of work that would soon go on to span through time with the same characters in Before Sunrise. But for as simple as the idea sounds on paper what came out was nothing short of resonant in the best sense and it only calls out for wonder on every seemingly small turn – for it was also what the Texan filmmaker was best at. There’s an incredible understanding coming about on Richard Linklater’s end as for how romance can allow itself to develop and it was all from something that appeared small but that’s the very least of where such an incredible journey has only found its beginning.

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The Magnificent Seven (2016) – Review

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Antoine Fuqua remakes another remake with The Magnificent Seven, his latest offering thus far. Being a remake of a remake, there’s always room to turn something into one’s own vision and that’s part of what I was hoping for in this new take on the story inspired from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, but something about it also feels empty. What happened to the excitement of watching a group of seven fight for good? Sure, there’s fun to be had within certain moments of the film but perhaps they only work because of how the film presents itself out to be as a result of those involved rather than offering much to stand on its own. Quite surprisingly, that is actually not what bothered me most about this re-imagining of the classic tale. Continue reading →

Dead Poets Society – Review

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Something gives me a feeling that I’m only going to be all the more frustrated by what Dead Poets Society has left out as I think of it more. A part of me that loves Peter Weir and Robin Williams is begging for myself to love it, but in turn my experiences with Dead Poets Society become all the more frustrating. There are many good intentions to be found within such a film but in turn I can’t help but say this is possibly, if not, the one Peter Weir film that I like the least. For how wonderful films like The Truman Show or Picnic at Hanging Rock are, this and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World stuck out to me as the most underwhelming entries from his body of work. As it stands, Dead Poets Society is a film that only managed to accomplish half of its goal. Continue reading →