RSS feed for Joseph
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 18 Nov, 2014

    Make no mistake; the games are over and the war has officially begun. Well, the events leading up to the actual war between the districts and the Capital have started more or less; they’re saving the actual war for the finale. As a result, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 plays out like a prelude to a more monumental moment that is always just out of reach. And while it does leave you longing for more, which is partly the…

  • Interstellar 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Nov, 2014

    I will begin by stating that INTERSTELLAR, Christopher Nolan’s latest science fiction opus, is a cinematic feast of epic proportion. It is nearly three hours of stunning visuals, often gripping action and sound and music unlike almost anything I’ve ever seen or heard before. On the one hand, it is a glorious film experience, something that Nolan is particularly skilled at crafting. On the other hand though, INTERSTELLAR is also an overinflated, plodding journey that is weighed down, not by…

  • Citizenfour 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 05 Nov, 2014

    I’m not sure I feel all that comfortable writing this review. Having seen CITIZENFOUR, I now know that they’re watching me right now. They’re always watching. Well, they’re not watching me specifically, but they’re watching basically everybody all at once in a variety of different ways and they are therefore watching me by extension. Also, I essentially knew this already but was conveniently ignoring the larger implications of where unsupervised, worldwide surveillance can lead. In all fairness though, this is…

  • Big Hero 6 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Oct, 2014

    In BIG HERO 6, a group of unexpected and unlikely characters come together to combine their powers and fight for justice in the world. Wait. Haven’t I seen this movie already in some variation or another already this year? (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY?) I’m sure I’ve at least seen something similar to this in recent history. (THE AVENGERS? Any X-MEN movie?) Sure every one of these types of misfit superhero films adds its own distinct spin to the lore, and…

  • Dear White People 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Oct, 2014

    Dear film goers, please stop whatever it is you’re doing and go see Dear White People, the delightful yet still insightful new film by first time feature filmmaker, Justin Simien. The winner of this year’s Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Dear White People explores modern day racism at a predominantly white, Ivy League college in a supposedly post-racism America. Simien makes his very important point with style and wit to spare, and in doing so, announces himself…

  • Birdman 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 02 Oct, 2014

    I will be the first to admit that I did not think BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) would work at all when I first heard about it. An absurdist comedy from the man responsible for some of the most bleak, yet beautiful dramas I had ever seen (BABEL, BIUTIFUL) did not seem like a smart idea to me. Not only has Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu succeeded in his ambitious endeavour though, but he has actually made what is arguably…

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Oct, 2014

    I am not myself married. Nor have I ever been. And perhaps, now that I’ve seen David Fincher’s GONE GIRL, I may choose never to be. If this is the state of the modern marriage, it is a miracle anyone still chooses to embark upon the journey to begin with. GONE GIRL is a bleak, twisted account of the lengths we will go to in order to get away from the one’s we love, or at least once did. It…

  • The Boxtrolls 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    WTF. I apologize for being so crass but seriously, THE BOXTROLLS, what the F was that? Leave it to the folks at Laika, the stop motion animation company behind darker family fare, like CORALINE and PARANORMAN, to unleash a film this bizarre upon the impressionable minds of today’s youth. This isn't to say that it isn’t enjoyable; as bewildering as it is, THE BOXTROLLS is a captivating experience that is both devious and delightful. It’s just so weird, in a…

  • This Is Where I Leave You 2014

    ★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2014

    The Altman family is a relatively large one. There’s a mother, a father and four siblings who vary in age and closeness. When the father dies, the mother (as played here by a loving and buxom, Jane Fonda) hosts all of the children as they come home for the funeral. With them, they bring one wife, one fiancé, one husband, one child and a whole lot of baggage and history. It is a crowded house to say the least and,…

  • I Killed My Mother 2009

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 28 Sep, 2014

    The first time I ever saw Xavier Dolan’s debut feature, I KILLED MY MOTHER (J’ai tué ma mere, en francais), was on an airplane. Even within the confines of that tiny little screen embedded on the seat ahead of me, the film still shook me to my core. I was awoken to a new voice, a new talent that, at the time was exploding with promise, and who now, only five short years later, has proved beyond any doubt that…

  • Love Is Strange 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    Yes, love is strange, but I’m not so sure it is as strange as this latest film by Ira Sachs (KEEP THE LIGHTS ON). With LOVE IS STRANGE, Sachs paints his picture of a long time couple who have been separated by circumstance with all the right strokes, but the story itself is never fully realized all the same. The acting, the pacing, the tone, everything is on point, but the story itself is either too New York-centric or simply…

  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2014

    THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM is basically the disappearance of almost all of the elements that made this film’s original incarnation so great. If you’re not already familiar with this film’s history, it was initially two films, HIM and HER. Both films told the same story about the same couple dealing with the dissolution of their 7-year relationship and marriage. One was told from his prospective and one was told from hers. These two films have now been amalgamated…