RSS feed for Ryan
  • Cinderella

    Cinderella 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Mar, 2015

    "There's a warm centre that carries a film that might otherwise feel like a relic. We’re long past the age where we should be teaching little girls that handsome princes will come and rescue them, but it’s not unreasonable to suggest that we might still be in the age to teach little children to feel less entitled. While the stepsisters are clearly cartoons that stem from an age-old tale, if you squint just so you could envision them on “My Super Sweet Sixteen” or tweeting about how their parents bought them the wrong lavish gift."

    Full review @

  • Girlhood

    Girlhood 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 06 Mar, 2015

    "The ultimate moral of GIRLHOOD is that every young girl will be tested as they decide which voices to listen to. Some of the people that surround teenage women will want the best for them, some will want to do them harm. The problem is that the ones with their interest at-heart can sound harsh and distant, and the ones that will steer them wrong can sound so tempting. The toughest test of all comes when a girl like Vic…

  • Jupiter Ascending

    Jupiter Ascending 2015

    ★★★ Watched 07 Feb, 2015

    "JUPITER ASCENDING is a film that wants to bellow its song from the highest balcony. Unfortunately when it gets up there, it develops a case of vertigo and feels the need to get back down. Had it stayed up there though – had it been the viking princess singing aria from the top of a very tall tower – it could have humbled us mere mortals into a state of awe. Our imaginations would have run away with these ideas…

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Jan, 2015

    "Sometimes I feel like we don’t appreciate our own cultural touchstones: The clothes we wear, the music we hear, even the cars we drive. Where it was all once carefully chosen and curated to say something about ourselves, and now it’s just all “there”. One wonders if we might appreciate it more if it were more taboo…more a rebellion. In that case, what might we use to symbolize our lives…or even our deaths?"

    Full review @

  • A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Jan, 2015

    "To the world, Abel and Anna are a typical white-collar couple. he is the outgoing and ambitious businessman, and she is the quiet and supportive spouse. When they sit down at a business dinner, she seldom speaks up, except to underline how forthright they are being. When they’re alone though, things are very different. She pushes him, she challenges him, and she second-guesses him when he is at his most vulnerable. None of it is meant to undermine what he has done, none of it is meant to emasculate him – and this only happens because she always stops herself just shy...."

    Full review @

  • American Sniper

    American Sniper 2014

    Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    "...The film never trusts us enough to see this for ourselves in the scenes with Chris and Taya. It has to spell it out for us with obvious dialogue and playing out the sounds Chris is hearing in his head.

    The truth is that just the sight of Chris staring at a TV set that’s turned off would have been enough. But perhaps AMERICAN SNIPER thinks that is too subtle. Perhaps it forgets that with so many soldiers now back…

  • Blackhat

    Blackhat 2015

    ★★½ Watched 14 Jan, 2015

    "Where crime and action films are concerned, there are few better directors than Michael Mann. Besides creating stories in the genre that are successful exercises in character, plot, and action, he manages to fill even his less-acclaimed films with enough rewarding scenes and details that they ultimately prove rewarding. However, every great artist eventually plays things safe and releases a “Greatest Hits Playlist” – a piece that borrows heavily from everything else they have done, but never quite elevates to…

  • Selma

    Selma 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 10 Dec, 2014

    "It almost seems unfair to saddle a movie with being a sign of the times. It’s weighing-down the artistic effort with outside influences that are out of the artist’s control, and muddying the discussion with personal politics. It stops being about whether or not the film is good and more about what it says about our world. However, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. By design or dumb luck, a film becomes a microcosm for society today, and becomes a totem for a bigger conversation.

    What’s wild is when a sign of the times is a portrayal of times gone by..."

    Full review @

  • Unbroken

    Unbroken 2014

    ★★½ Watched 07 Dec, 2014

    "...It’s not enough anymore just to say “War is Hell”. We have reached a point where we want to learn more about those who make the descent, and – dare we dream – the hellions they meet while they are down there. UNBROKEN has so many elements that could make it a great film in defter hands; ultimately though, it’s just a shallow reminder of other great films in defter hands."

    Full review @

  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 13 Dec, 2014

    "In the late going of INHERENT VICE, we are taught the meaning of the title. It’s a reference to goods that can be damaged in transit just because of their nature. Glass breaks, chocolate melts,…that sort of thing. In that category, I offer that you could qualify “convoluted plot doesn’t add up”. It’s just the way of things when you’re wandering through the woods behind an antihero.

    Sometimes, you’re just gonna get lost..."

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  • Annie

    Annie 2014

    ½ Watched 19 Dec, 2014

    "Any artistic outlet that one chooses to study begins the very same way – you learn the fundamentals. It feels boring, repetitious, and stodgy but the point is always the same. The point is that every artistic medium has rules, rules that have been carved into stone, and rules that will define whether your contribution to the art can keep up, let alone matter. It’s only by learning these rules that one can figure out which ones can be bent,…

  • The Imitation Game

    The Imitation Game 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 12 Dec, 2014

    The key to THE IMITATION GAME arrives at about its halfway point. While being interrogated by the police, Alan Turing explains a theory he’s working on and how it is built around a game. The game is to determine whether the person you converse with is being truthful, or telling great deceits; whether they are “man or machine”. What it underlines is that in order to keep a secret, one has to be a good liar. It then begs the question, what great good could possibly require such duplicity…and should we wonder about those who are good liars?

    Full review @