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The End of the Tour – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website and Luminary Daily.  James Ponsoldt has quickly evolved into one of the most mature American filmmakers of the 21st century. After breaking out with his challenging romantic drama Smashed, he followed up with the teenage romance The Spectacular Now, which stands as one of… Read more »

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Vacation – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Vacation is a vapid experience. As the fifth film in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series, it feels remarkably devoid of familial connection and spirit; instead, it relies on cruelty and crudeness without a care for developing characters or an enduring narrative. There’s little creativity… Read more »

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Paper Towns – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  John Green’s cinematic adaptations are starting to carve out a wonderful niche in mainstream cinema. After his challenging romance The Fault in Our Stars splashed gracefully onto the big screen last summer, his works began gaining steam in the business, with Paper Towns here and Looking for Alaska (directed by the… Read more »

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Irrational Man – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Irrational Man is a perfectly acceptable film from most filmmakers, but coming from Woody Allen, you expect something more intuitive and less redundant. The film, focusing on a man who faces an existential crisis but finds himself invigorated at the prospect of murdering someone, takes… Read more »

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Pixels – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  The summer of 2015 has brought us some fantastic blockbusters, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Spy, and Inside Out. What they’ve shown us is that…well, not everyone can be winners. But perhaps more importantly, they’ve shown us that striking a balance between strong female and male characters… Read more »

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Ant-Man – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Ant-Man has the smallest world-building of any of Marvel’s films, which is both fitting for its character and decidedly different from the tone set by their previous effort, May’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Maybe that’s a good thing. After hearing for the past year and a… Read more »

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Mr. Holmes – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on Luminary Daily.  Ian McKellen provides a more subtle, less stately Sherlock Holmes in the low-key, quite enjoyable Mr. Holmes. Director Bill Condon’s film navigates the world of the aged detective as if Watson was the catalyst for Holmes’ later years, in that Watson was the primary novelist who told of… Read more »

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Trainwreck – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website. Trainwreck is an emphatic statement to the world that Amy Schumer’s comedic voice needs to be heard. She’s advancing her form as she dives into romantic comedy fare, hellbent on subverting every standard. The film easily establishes both her and Bill Hader as some of the… Read more »

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Self/less – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  Self/less tells a frustratingly familiar story with an intriguing premise. When the overly wealthy individuals in the world feel that their lives are coming to an end, they can posthumously extend their mortality by transferring themselves into a test-tube created vessel. They resemble humans and… Read more »

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Amy – Movie Review

Note: this review is featured on the Phoenix Film Festival’s website.  If I asked the majority of the public who Amy Winehouse was, they’d say she was that British artist who had that song about rehab and died of a drug overdose. Yet that only scratches the surface of the deeply troubled artist. Asif Kapadia’s Amy is the year’s… Read more »