Category: Review

Film Reviews

A God from the Machine:

Or, what happens when humans get self-conscious.


Humans are, weird; our egos are inflated and ignorant, and drive us to do stupid things in the act of stroking themselves. We’re the only beings that would deliberately create a sentient lifeform superior to ourselves in the arrogant effort to prove our preeminence over other humans. A famous psychologist once said that man is the only animal who will eat with an enemy but our complex stretches farther than that; man is the only animal that would intentionally create our own mortal enemies.

“Isn’t it strange, to create something that hates you?”

Image from The Movie Network

It is strange. As creatures, we’re curious to a fault, and regardless of the obvious God Complex we exercise off of, we commit a hubris that we know will inevitably lead to our downfall. Our sense for survival is so disconnected that we ignore risk for reward in the face of garnered knowledge. How very, human of us.
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Review – Nine Story Mountain

Whenever I check out a documentary it’s usually about a subject that I’m familiar with and will most likely get depressed from after viewing. Luckily Nine Story Mountain was brought to my attention and was a nice change of pace from films I might normally watch. As the credits rolled I was left in awe after viewing such a stunning and spiritual experience.

Nine-Story Mountain follows three researchers who travel across Tibet to Mount Kailash. One of those researchers is the director of the film, August Thompson, who I had the pleasure of talking to on the Us vs Film Podcast. Check out that interview here. Along their way we get a brief history of some of the beliefs and practices of the people who live there.

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Her: There is room for humanity in the future’s technology

Is Spike Jonze just my favorite director now?

Spike Jonze’s Her takes place in the not-so-distant future of Los Angeles, and is envisioned in a style of ‘what if cell phone companies designed the world’? Everything from the colors to the faux-authentic wood and technologies screams Apple and HTC.

But Her is not interested in showing you some consumer driven wasteland. The future envisioned is almost a utopia of technology bringing people closer together. The film’s aesthetics are light and beautiful and the future tech only helps to emphasize the themes.

Sometimes I fantasize about being a film teacher at a high school, or a professor for the 101 classes, teaching the basics and helping the students to go from film literacy to analysis. Her is one such film that aids my fantasies. As a whole it is extremely cohesive and meticulously put together. There are no glaring leaps and no confusing additions. Her flows smoothly with its constant and intense close ups, use of colors and evocative music.


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Review of Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek

Last week I had the chance to sit in on a screening of Willow Creek, presented by the director himself, Bobcat Goldthwait. Having seen World’s Greatest Dad 2009, and God Bless America 2011, two films that are very different from Willow Creek, I was unsure what to expect from the found footage horror film. Even though Goldthwait has dipped his hands into different genres, all of his films are dark, funny, and pastiche—Willow Creek included. When I asked him about his transcendence of genres, he said all of his films are “thematic” but that he is driven to “make different films,” joking that his paycheck suffers for it. Maybe he should be doing more mainstream stuff, he suggested, to which the audience groaned and assured him not.

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Review: The Conjuring

The first time I saw the original 1979 version of The Amityville Horror I slept with the lights on for three weeks. Granted, I was 12 years old, but still. Nothing hits home quite like a good haunted house film.

Last night I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening of James Wan’s new horror film The Conjuring. For those of you unfamiliar with James Wan he is the man behind Saw, Insidious, and the upcoming Insidious 2. Wan has more than proven himself to be knockout in the horror genre and The Conjuring is no exception.

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