‘The Witch’ Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes

new-witch-bannerMuch has been said about the baby-snatching witch and the ominous Black Phillip (a goat that may or may not be a stand in for Lucifer), but the most chilling image in The Witch is that of the woods. Having been banished from the village, a family sets out into the wilderness of the unknown. They join hands and pray for a safe journey, unaware that they are embracing the very fear that will soon beset them. A screech of violins looms in the background, infused with the blood-curling moans of sirens as the camera zooms in on the nearby tree-line. We might as well be staring into the gates of Hell. Even more foreboding, perhaps we are.  Continue reading

Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary

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At one point Marty asks Doc, “So how far ahead are you going?” to which Doc replies, “’Bout 30 years. It’s a nice round number.” My has it been that long. I don’t think anyone, not even Doc Brown, could’ve predicted the film’s staying power. Such represents the durability and sheer timelessness of Back to the Future, which is what makes today extra special. Thirty years ago saw to the film’s theatrical release – a number imbued within the fabric of the movie itself. A nice round number indeed. To commemorate this special anniversary, I’ll be revisiting a film that I never got the chance to review. Call this my own time-traveling DeLorean if you will. Without further ado, here’s my review of Back to the Future. Continue reading

Evil Dead

If the point of a horror movie is to instill fear in the audience, then you better not hold back. Otherwise, you’re doing a huge disservice to yourself while robbing the fans of the movie they came to see. And horror fans know exactly what they want. Evil Dead acknowledges the sick, twisted fantasies of its viewers and then proceeds to vomit as much blood in their face as they can stomach. But the violence doesn’t stop there. Not even close. Evil Dead has much and more to offer, and by the gallons. This isn’t your typical horror flick of the week; it’s a gleefully gruesome gore-fest that tests our tolerance as an audience, but never our patience. And while it doesn’t quite live up to its bold tagline, there is something fiendishly promising about this remake that makes it a terrifying experience all on its own.

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Django Unchained

Slavery is bad. We all know that. And yet, America still chooses to overlook its barbaric past in favor of a future rich with culture and diversity. But how can you ignore something as inherently evil as genocide? How do you justify the severe mistreatment of an entire race? Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Django Unchained, chooses not to answer these questions. Instead it asks “why didn’t anyone think slavery was bad?” Set in a hateful world that’s oblivious to its own hatred, Django embraces the sadistic nature of its characters and explores the cruel morality of our world. And it does so with such an explosive style that it’s damn near impossible to turn away. Though it does become overtly excessive and self-indulgent along the way, the film is injected with more than enough violence and humor to transform its touchy subject into a wildly entertaining feature. This is history re-examined and re-told through Tarantino, and it is a bloody good time at the movies.

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Maui Film Festival: ‘Liberal Arts’ Review

When Josh Radnor comes to mind, you think “Ted Mosby, Architect.” I know I do. His role on How I Met Your Mother has cast quite a daunting shadow on the actor’s career. It makes you wonder if he’ll ever make a successful transition to film like his co-stars already have. Alyson Hannigan has starred in the American Pie franchise as our favorite band geek whose unhealthy attachment to her flute made her a comic delight. Jason Segel hit it big as writer and star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and last year’s memorable treat The Muppets. Cobie Smulders is already on the horizon after a sexy and fierce turn as Agent Maria Hill in this year’s must-see-it-more-than-once geek fest The Avengers. And don’t even get me started on Neil Patrick Harris. All that’s left is Josh Radnor. You’d think that maybe he’s just stuck in the boundaries of television. However, after getting the chance to see his new film Liberal Arts at this year’s Maui Film Festival, I think it’s safe to say that Teddy Westside can bring it.

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