Death Note Review

There are plenty of people out there who can more authoritatively and comprehensively address the issue of whitewashing in this adaptation of a uniquely Japanese story. But as a fan of both the manga and the anime on which this film is based, I believe that Death Note offers the chance to explore elements of modern America rarely touched on.

In this context, to deal with the smirking certainty of a teenager who remotely doles out vengeance by his own distorted moral code is to get into the mindset of the internet’s own ugly habits of anonymous trolling, abuse, and doxxing. Continue reading →

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David Lynch’s Best Soundtrack Moments

Music is a big part of David Lynch’s work, from the eerie soundscapes of his early films to his own studio releases. As his career continued and full length feature films became a rarer sight, he began to make his own music—and now has five albums and a record label to his name.

Twin Peaks‘ season 3 revival looks to include more music than ever, with appearances by Trent Reznor, Sky Ferreira, Eddie Vedder, Sharon Van Etten as well as Lynch alumni Rebekah Del Rio and Julee Cruise. Continue reading →

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Review

Ayesha, High Priestess of The Sovereign sits on an opulent throne, boasting of the perfect evolutionary state reached by her species. The Sovereign are covered in gold, from their clothing and skin all the way down to their eyes.

In sharp contrast to the supercilious society and their conceited leader stands the Guardians of the Galaxy, a damaged group of misfits barely keeping it together. It’s one thing to create an ensemble as engaging as this, but it’s another to know where to place them.

Lucky for us, James Gunn knows exactly what he’s doing. Continue reading →

“If I Fight You Fight”: Rocky on his 40th Anniversary

When I was growing up, I knew about Rocky. That’s to say – I knew of Rocky. I’d seen the poster, I knew that Sylvester Stallone was a movie star, I knew that at some point he shouted “Adrian!” Like most that haven’t sat down and watched any of the Rocky series, I felt like I already knew the story – and in a way, I did. It is a fairly straightforward underdog story in a lot of ways, which makes it hard to convince non-believers of its worth. The language that Rocky himself uses is simplistic, but the melodrama of the series’ middle casts a shadow over what is otherwise a nuanced, delicate character study.

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Marie Antoinette 10th Anniversary Retrospective

If you ask anyone what they know about Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France, most will quote “Let them eat cake”. As a response to the starving poor of the country she reigns over, it’s the clearest expression of either privileged ignorance or a facetious disregard of the lower classes. It’s worth noting then, that her most famous quote wasn’t said by her at all. The phrase originally appeared in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Les Confessions, where he speaks of a “great princess” who made the remark. Whether or not it really happened, the writing date precedes Marie Antoinette’s arrival in France. In fact, she was nine years old in a different country. Regardless, it’s what she continues to be remembered for. The Queen became increasingly unpopular leading up to the French Revolution, and her extravagant spending lead her to be called “Madame Déficit.” She was further maligned, partly for her gender and Austrian birth, ultimately becoming a symbol of excess and an callous monarchy. I suppose it may be fitting, then, that Sofia Coppola’s 2006 biopic Marie Antoinette is also misunderstood, and as far as I’m concerned, one of the most underrated films of this century.

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Manhunter 30th Anniversary Retrospective

One of the biggest injustices of pop culture is that Michael Mann’s Manhunter has been lost in the shadow of the (admittedly brilliant) Silence of the Lambs, as well as the film’s 2002 remake Red Dragon. While I can understand people choosing Silence as their favourite of the series, for me Manhunter stands tall as the best these adaptations have to offer.

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