• Dallas Buyers Club

    Dallas Buyers Club

    ★★★½

    Dallas Buyers Club thrives not through it's excellent examination of the origins, aftermaths and hardships of the AIDS virus, but finds success by focusing on the lifestyles of the lower-class population that is seemingly most susceptible to it. The gritty, raw feel of each frame creates a frightening sense of familiarity, and in turn the film acknowledges the everyday realities of AIDS. Alongside strong performances, worthy character motivation and adequate storytelling techniques, DBC uses fear through realism to compel it's audience into a deep state of recognition.

  • The Lego Movie

    The Lego Movie

    ★★★★

    Toy Story, Wall-e, Wreck-It Ralph -- The LEGO Movie joins the ranks of my favourite animated movies of all time. What do all of these films have in common? The ability to emotionally connect with the audience more indicatively than most live action features. These films are not only heartwarming, but inspiring, as they not only consist of engaging adventures and innovative storytelling techniques, but also life lessons and themes applicable to all.

    LEGO condemns consumer society, conformism, and capitalist…

  • Her

    Her

    ★★★★½

    her is not only one of the best films of 2013, but something film fanatics will appreciate for decades to come. Spike Jonze has created a beautifully organic masterpiece that will slide perfectly into his ensemble of 'for-all-time' films (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich). As her takes a post-postmodernism approach on relationships, Jonze emphasizes themes of human interaction, love, and most of all, the ability to connect. It is a futuristic depiction/prediction of things to come, but in many ways it…

  • Detachment

    Detachment

    ★★★½

    A brutally honest depiction of inner-city high-school teachers looking for answers more desperately than their students.. Where most films of this nature serve to analyze the challenges, hardships and adversity that students face, Detachment examines the difficulties teachers face in their everyday profession. Although the film does look at the problems students encounter, it's main focus is deconstruct the psychological effects/damages that teachers put themselves through. Getting no thank-you's, no appreciation, and no respect: the life of an inner-city high…

  • Runner Runner

    Runner Runner

    ★½

    An instantly forgettable thriller(?) that fails to resinate whatsoever. Thankfully it was rather short.

  • Everything Must Go

    Everything Must Go

    ★★★

    A very refreshing role for Ferrell, who attempts to display a more serious side of himself. Not a home run hit, but a fairly enjoyable film.

  • Synecdoche, New York

    Synecdoche, New York

    ★★★★★

    1) Charlie Kaufman is the king of metafiction.
    2) Synecdoche, New York could not have been made by anyone else.
    3) It is one of the boldest, most ambitious films ever made.
    4) It is the definition of sublime.
    5) No one will ever truly, or fully, comprehend it.

  • American Hustle

    American Hustle

    ★★★★

    "Who is the master? The Painter, or the forger?

    American Hustle is a 70's 'hunt-for-the-American-dream' dramedy that builds it's theme around an age-old Platonic concept: the truth is obscure, we only know what we think we perceive. Director David O. Russell plays with the idea that people believe what they want to believe; what they can see and what they can feel.

    Plato's (Socrates') 'Theory of the Forms' asserts that non-material abstract forms (ideas), not the material world known and…

  • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

    Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

    ★★½

    Overacted, over-improvised and overrated, the much awaited comedic sequel leaves much to be desired. Not that I didn't get a few cheap laughs, but I couldn't help but feel like they were forced. However, despite my view of Anchorman 2, the audience around me responded quite well. Additionally, the film seems to have succeeded both critically and economically, so it appears as if a sequel was justified.

    Note: To be fair, I saw this film the night after I saw…

  • The Master

    The Master

    ★★★★½

    I allowed myself plenty of time before I attempted to re-watch The Master, and I have to say, it was extremely rewarding. I feel like I'm not alone in saying that a first time viewing of this film is extremely difficult, but the second time helped me to deconstruct it's ambiguous plot, themes, and conceptualizations.

    Paul Thomas Anderson is a boss. His film is structured around Freudian psychology, and the humane attempt to repress one's natural urges, or one's 'id'.…

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street

    ★★★★½

    "If anyone is going to fuck my cousin, it's going to be me." -- Donny

    The Wolf of Wall Street is the perfect definition of a 'comedy': good things happening to bad people. Martin Scorsese not only delivers the funniest film of 2013, but an instant cult classic for the ages.

    When we consider The Wolf of Wall Street amongst Scorsese's previous 3 Hollywood releases (The Departed, Shutter Island, Hugo), one word comes to mind: diversity. He shifts from a…

  • Oldboy

    Oldboy

    ★★★

    Spike Lee's Oldboy takes strides to separate itself from Park Chan-wook's original, but through his efforts to produce something fresh he fails to create a coherent film. Lee's choices are entertaining, but the result is a somewhat sloppy re-imagining that doesn't feel plausible. Park Chan-wook's version took proper time and steps to unravel itself, where Lee's film feels rushed and rather un-compelling. I was excited about the cast in place here but, with the exception of Brolin, none are overly…