Gone Girl

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Love is blind. So is hatred. There’s no denying the beauty of romance. But when the flowers begin to die and the moon rises high in the night, slowly we start to see the ugly side of love: the lies, the selfishness, the need to control. Thing is, sometimes we want to remain blind to these things, so we dress it up to maintain the fiction of our lives. Director David Fincher understands this perhaps even better than most relationship counselors do. Gone Girl is a frighteningly accurate depiction of a love that’s self-sustaining in its self-destruction, a film that captures what it means for two people to truly deserve each other, where both are out to tear each other’s throats. It’s a film about marriage. Continue reading

X-Men: Days of Future Past

With a trilogy, two spin-off films, and a reboot, the X-Men franchise has already established sure footing in our collective imaginations, though it has taken quite a while for the series to hit a comfortable stride. It peaked with X2, fell to a critical low with The Last Stand, and hit rock bottom with Origins: Wolverine. Then, it began its successful ascent with First Class, the reboot it sorely needed, followed by a worthy standalone Wolverine movie that re-directed the narrative of both the character and the franchise. Days of Future Past is the culmination of everything that has come before it. The film acknowledges the choices and mistakes of previous entries and re-purposes them into an epic blockbuster with plenty of sci-fi intrigue to spare. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the film boasts an A-list cast who light up the screen with charm and wit, all while embracing the wonderful 70’s vibe. This isn’t just the best X-Men film to date. This is one of the year’s best films by far. Continue reading

2013: The Year of Paramore

Earlier this week, Alternative Press released a list of this year’s ten essential albums. Paramore’s self-titled effort was among the select few (number 2, in fact) and I couldn’t agree more. Though the album was released in April, I didn’t get a chance to review it, mostly because I’ve been rocking to it nonstop. So, to commemorate a well-deserved spot on a list dedicated to all things rock, I thought I’d finally give my take on my personal favorite album of 2013. Here’s my review of Paramore.

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A Place Where Films Rarely Take You

Place Beyond The Pines - Luke Glanton

Legacy, in its broadest sense, is what we leave behind. It’s what we pass on to our children and so forth. The choices we make, the sins we commit, or perhaps the conflicts we leave unresolved; the things we do in our lifetime can echo across generations. The Place Beyond The Pines takes the notion of legacy and reveals its devastating impact on the lives that follow one another down a disastrous road. Using a three-part structure, writer and director Derek Cianfrance tells the story of two separate fathers, and how a small coincidence has huge repercussions for their respective sons. Think twice before seeing this film. This is not for the hopeful. Pines will take you to a place filled with guilt, tragedy, and no easy answers. It will leave you broken.

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The Conjuring

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Fear is a funny thing. When it’s coursing through your veins, the sudden creak of an open door becomes your worst nightmare. You tell yourself it’s nothing. It’s just the wind. But you can’t know for sure. So you go towards it, hoping to prove you were right all along. And slowly, you venture into the unknown, unaware that there are forces at work beyond your control. The Conjuring is one of the rare horror films that actually understands fear and the things we do because of it. So while you may be screaming inside your head, “Don’t do it! The witch is there! She wants you to go into the cellar!” you have to remember that these characters don’t want to believe it as much as they know it might be true. Before we see something, it’s still an unknown. Whether something is truly there all depends on you seeing it for yourself. Unfortunately, the Perron family are never let off the hook. Not only do they experience the horror, they also endure the psychological trauma that follows. “Hey, do you wanna play?” a voice asks, lurking in the dark. Carolyn Perron reaches for a match, desperately trying to prove that nothing’s there. A small fire burns away the shadows. All seems well. Then, a pair of clapping hands comes forth to engulf her in darkness. Fear is such a cruel thing.

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