The F8 of a Franchise

I went to the bathroom during this movie (and I never do that). I usually get pissed off when I see other people leave the theater before the lights come up, but watching Fate of the Furious, I had no problem stepping out for a minute. The kicker is that I wasn’t in a hurry — I walked calmly to and from the restroom and even stopped to fix my hair on the way out. For reference, when I drank a little too much ICEE during my second viewing of The Force Awakens, I flat out sprinted to the bathroom and didn’t stop to wash my hands. When I returned from my lengthy restroom excursion, my friend informed me that I hadn’t missed much — ”just some gushy stuff.” By “gushy stuff” I mean anything other than fast cars being driven aggressively, which I maintain should be the only thing on screen at all times.

your name

Another Take: Japan’s Smash Hit “Your Name” Lives Up to the Hype

On the date I’m writing this — April 7, 2017 — two animated films were just released in US cinemas. One of them was Smurfs: The Lost Village, the reboot from Sony that’s trying to cover up their last disastrous reboot from 2011, a film that I will have to see some time this weekend. The other was Your Name. Boy, am I glad I chose to see Your Name today! The release honestly took me by surprise.

Big Brother: 1984 at Cornell Cinema

So, I had never seen Michael Radford’s 1984, and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. And, boy did I have an interesting time. In light of recent political events, select cinemas across America, as well as one in Canada, showed the 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 to protest Donald Trump on April 4 (the date the film starts). Originally written as a protest against London’s unjust system during the Cold War against communism, do the ideas still apply today? Are the extremes and ideals even relevant?


Raw: What Are You Hungry For?

I should have known what I was getting into the second I bought my ticket to see Raw. The Cinemapolis employee handed my friend and I customized Raw barf bags and band-aids. Yikes.

I decided to see Raw without knowing much about it. As someone who is a borderline hypochondriac and easily freaks myself out at times, I do not often (ever, really) see horror movies.


Do Not Read This Review of Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name

For some reason, movie critics like to use the descriptor “the new Miyazaki” to refer to Makoto Shinkai, director of the blockbuster anime hit Your Name (titled Kimi no Na wa in Japanese). All questions of the quality of Shinkai’s movies aside, this is a completely bizarre comparison because there is very little in common between the work of these two men, besides the fact that they both direct animated Japanese films. Shinkai does introspective romantic drama, while Miyazaki (very, very broadly) does fantasy coming-of-age. Regardless, a combination of the enduring comparisons to Hayao Miyazaki and the film’s own runaway success has led the easily-embarrassed Shinkai to say, “I don’t think any more people should see [Your Name],” in a Japan Times article.  Perhaps Shinkai was glad that, despite its massive commercial and critical success, Your Name wasn’t nominated for an Oscar after all. The premise of Your Name is a body swap scenario: two teenagers, one a boy, Taki, living in the Tokyo metropolis and the other a girl, Mitsuha, living in the countryside, begin to inhabit each other’s bodies during their dreams, creating plenty of opportunities for romantic and comedic hijinks.


Alec Baldwin is “The Boss Baby” — And That’s About It

Imagine sitting down for your favorite meal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe just some homemade mac and cheese. Sounds good, right? Now, imagine sitting down for your favorite meal, but it comes with sides of ketchup, soy sauce and malt vinegar, while a clown casts candy sprinkles all over your food and a mariachi band plays trumpets into your ear. You may like some of those elements, but I’m willing to bet that it may be a bit overwhelming when you just want your dinner.


A Shack, a Sermon and a Film Critic

I am going to be honest: I scour movie reviews obsessively. If a movie receives a bad review, or say a rotten tomatoes score of less than 50 or 60%, the chances of me seeing it are absurdly low.
The Shack is ranked with an extremely low 21% on the “Tomatometer,” but the audience gave it 85%. So, I did something a little crazy. I went to go see The Shack


A Matter of Life and Death

From the moment it was announced, Life was immediately accused of being an Alien derivative, albeit with a bigger budget and more diverse cast. The trailers, which consisted of astronauts screaming aboard a space station while a hostile extraterrestrial entity hunted for them, coupled with eerie and frightening music, did nothing to assuage those claims. Though Life unashamedly borrows much of its plot points and retreads themes from Ridley Scott’s magnum opus, it distinguishes itself from the Xenomorph frenzy by way of a realistic, believable setting. The stakes feel very real, and in vein with similar films like Arrival and Gravity, Life is concerned with matters here and now, employing a cautionary tale of the dangers of careless curiosity. Though the film plays on formulaic conventions, it does provide creative, blood curdling horror and impressive visuals. Yet, Life’s visual effects and thematic concerns cannot overcome character shortcomings and its tonal inconsistency.


Kedi: I Need a Cat on My Lap Right Now

Today, we live in a nation that has become obsessed with cats. From cat videos to cat-related DIYs, cats are everywhere and have become the epitome of snarky cuddles and companionship. However, in Istanbul, Turkey, cats are much more than that. The city is teeming with cats and the residents care for some of them, but none of the cats have a master. Kedi follows seven cats’ journeys throughout the city and demonstrates that while they rely on everyone’s kindness for sustenance, they’re still beings with healing powers beyond our comprehension.

Beauty and the Beast

There’s Definitely Something There: Beauty and the Beast is a Success

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is considered a tale as old as time — at least, since 1991. Having earned several Academy Awards and Golden Globe awards and nominations, this legendary Disney film went on to Broadway, where it was wildly successful. Now, over two decades later, this famous story is back in cinemas in live-action, and once again, breaks box office records and blows its audience away. Beauty and the Beast is not simply a rendition of the old animated feature; it reimagines the legendary story, modernizing for a new society. The story of Beauty and the Beast is nothing new; it’s the hackneyed, but still important, idea that true beauty is found within.