Film Review: Get Hard

Film Review: Get Hard

“Get Hard” opens with a very conscious montage of the have and the have-nots, the working class versus the 1%. The opening was an interesting decision by the filmmakers – 30 seconds after this montage, the hope this film might make use smart comedy to make a political statement goes right out the door.

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Film Review: Interstellar

Film Review: Interstellar

I always look forward to Christopher Nolan’s films; his big-budget spectacles are thought-provoking, result in thorough discussion and analysis by viewers, such as the end of “Inception” and the tightly-woven web he created in “The Prestige.” From a review perspective, his films are also difficult to discuss without spoilers, but I’m always up for a challenge, so here is the spoiler-free review of “Interstellar.”

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Film Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Film Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I was a huge fan of Rupert Wyatt’s 2011 film, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” He successfully restarted a franchise that had been lying dormant since Burton’s laughably awful “reimagining” in 2001 of the original film franchise. Wyatt’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” explores the origins of the super-smart primates, the first steps of the demise of the human race, and the rise of hyper-intelligent super apes that will (spoiler alert!) eventually take over the world.

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Film Review: Willow Creek

Film Review: Willow Creek

Note: This film was reviewed in 2013 at its premiere at IFFBoston.

I’m not a fan of found footage movies. In fact, since “The Blair Witch Project,” the only other found footage film I’ve enjoyed was “Cloverfield.” Then along came “Willow Creek,” Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest film, which is certainly a successful departure from his past work.

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IFFBoston ’14 Review: One Cut, One Life

IFFBoston ’14 Review: One Cut, One Life

For many students entering film school, “The Filmmaker’s Handbook” is their first purchase at the bookstore. Essentially a bible for film students, this “The Filmmaker’s Handbook” was co-written by Ed Pincus, the main subject of the movie “One Cut, One Life.” An intimate and personal film, “One Cut, One Life” is filmmaker Lucia Small’s story of herself, and her friend, Ed Pincus, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. [Read more…]

IFFBoston ’14 Review: Dear White People

IFFBoston ’14 Review: Dear White People

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a first feature from a filmmaker and been as impressed as I was with “Dear White People.” Justin Simien’s film has such a tight narrative, woven with deep social commentary and satire, and told by an amazing ensemble of characters.

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IFFBoston ’14 Review: A is for Alex

IFFBoston ’14 Review: A is for Alex

IFFBoston alumn Alex Orr returns to the festival with his latest film, “A is for Alex.” The film, also starring Orr’s wife Katie, tells the story of a couple with a baby on the way. [Read more…]

IFFBoston ’14 Review: The Case Against 8

IFFBoston ’14 Review: The Case Against 8

“The Case Against 8” is a powerful documentary filmed over the course of five years that tells the story of the battle over the rights for gay couples to legally marry in the state of California. It’d be easy for a film like this to get lost in a maze of legalese and court room documents, but like the case itself, it focuses at the two couples at the center of the story, and the love they have for each other.

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IFFBoston ’14 Review: Beneath the Harvest Sky

IFFBoston ’14 Review: Beneath the Harvest Sky

It’s always interesting when Documentary filmmakers shift to narrative film. The first example that comes to mind is Pontecorvo, known for his film “The Battle of Algiers.” There’s always something unique about the decisions they make as filmmakers. With “Algiers,” Pontecorvo used non-actors, individuals that were around or part of the uprising. With “Beneath the Harvest Sky,” directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly went up to the northernmost part of Maine, and built a script around real-life stories they heard from people.

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Film Review: Sabotoge

Film Review: Sabotoge

Most bad movies have some redeemable quality: sometimes it’s a single stand-out performance or character; sometimes it’s that the film embraces its own campiness. But occasionally a movie is so bad that all you can think about is everything they could have done to make it less terrible.

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