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Zodiac Review

Zodiac is a 2007 crime thriller written by James Vanderbilt and directed by David Fincher. The film is based off the real life account of Robert Graysmith, a newspaper cartoonist who independently attempted to solve the Zodiac murders.

Story
The story is focused on the infamous unsolved Zodiac murders that occurred between the 60s and 70s in California. In particular, it focuses on two characters obsessed with the investigation: Graysmith, our previously mentioned cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Dave Toschi, a homicide detective (Mark Ruffalo).

The pacing for the movie is a bit weird. Since the actual events of the Zodiac murders happened over a period of almost a decade there's a lot of time jumping to get get to certain, important events in the process of the investigation. This results in the movie not really feeling like it has a proper structure. I mean, it has a beginning, middle and end, but the the middle is entirely comprised of following lead after lead of the case which…

Don't Breathe Review

Don't Breathe is a 2016 horror thriller written by Fede Álvarez/Rodo Sayagues and also directed by Fede Álvarez. The film was one of the most talked about films of last year and garnered a large amount of critical praise.

Story
A group of poor Detroit kids make a living for themselves by robbing the houses of wealthier people in order to raise enough money to move out of the city. At long last, they find a mark that might allow them to do that: the house of an old blind man who has a large amount of cash stashed inside his house and since he's blind they could hypothetically sneak around the house with him inside without him knowing they're even there. The problem is that this man is a retired war veteran whose knowledge of the layout of his house and expert combat training make him a dangerous threat to the would be robbers. Now, they just need to survive the night and get the hell out of the guy's house.

The set up is ingenious. It's the kind of thing Hitchcock hi…

Matchstick Men Review

Matchstick Men is a 2003 caper drama written by Nicholas and Ted Griffin and directed by Ridley Scott. For the first time I have nothing interesting to say about this one. It wasn't nominated for any major awards, it wasn't culturally influential in any way. It was critically praised, but what Ridley Scott film isn't? It just kind of came and went like an inconsequential fart on a windy day.

Story
Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage) is an OCD conman whose life is interrupted by the appearance of his previously unknown daughter Angela (Alison Lohman). Desperate to bond with her, he invites her to help with his latest scheme involving swindling thousands of dollars off of a rich businessman.

When you hear this set up, you might think that this is some kind of quirky crime comedy/ father-daughter bonding film. That's what I thought going into it, at least. However, without giving too much away, that's the film's ingenious trick. Making you think it's one thing and making…

Things Film Nerds Like That I Don't

If the world of cinema entertainment was a high school cafeteria I wouldn't be allowed at the cool kids table, where everybody is gathered around a Quentin Tarantino shrine chanting lines from The Departed. This is mostly because I don't like a lot of things that the general film nerd inteligencia seems to be obsessed with. It's not that I don't understand how somebody could like these things (well with a few exceptions at least), it's just that I myself don't find them very enjoyable for various reasons. My only hope for listing these reasons and explaining why is that you might find this interesting and hopefully I can find out that I'm not alone in my dislike of what many film nerds consider to be the holy grails of cinema. Mind you, this will also include some TV shows because more often than not a fondness for film goes hand in hand with a fondness for television. You may not agree with me, but this isn't your list.

Quentin Tarantino (except Pulp Fi…

Wind River Review

Wind River is a 2017 investigative crime drama written and directed by Taylor Sheridan with his big screen directorial debut. Sheridan previously wrote both the excellent Sicario from 2015 and the critically acclaimed Best Picture nominee Hell or High Water from last year.

Story
In the impoverished Indian Reservation of Wind River Wyoming, Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is called into hunt and kill a family of mountain lions that have been eating the residents' livestock. However, during his tracking expedition he discovers the dead body of a Native girl miles away from any from any sign of civilization in the freezing cold woods. Because this reflects the similarly mysterious death of his daughter, Lambert joins the posse which includes an inexperienced FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) in order to hunt down the killer and get some long overdue closure for the unavenged death of his daughter.

The themes of the film are interesting, but bleak as hell. I like that one…

Chinatown Review

Chinatown is a 1974 noir film written by Robert Towne and directed by Roman Polanski. It was nominated for several Oscars in 1975 and won Best Original Screenplay. The screenplay has become regarded as one of the best of all time and is used in several screenwriting classes.

Story
Private Detective JJ Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired to solve the murder of the head of the California water department. However, he discovers that there is more than murder afoot, including a conspiracy involving the deceased man's widow (Faye Dunaway) and her father, who ran the department with his son in law.

I've shaved a lot off of that synopsis, because there are a lot of really good, unexpected twists that I don't want to spoil for you. The story is complex, but in a good way. It forces you to pay attention to all the little details that form the bigger picture. It's also enjoyable to watch this small mystery unfurl into something much bigger in scope, as shocking twists are revealed a…

Hush Review

Hush is a 2016 horror/thriller written/directed by Mike Flanagan and co-written by Kate Siegle, who also stars in the film as the lead. The film has received mixed responses since its release. On the one hand, critics have praised it as an excellent exercise in tense film making, while audiences have been less forgiving, giving it only a 66% on IMDB.

Story
A young writer (Kate Siegle), who is both deaf and mute, lives in a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods. One night, she is set upon by a mysterious psychopath, who wants to do nothing more than play a sadistic little game with her before murdering her. She can't hear him or call for help. All she can do is hope to survive until day light.

The set up is genius in regards to horror and tension-filled possibilities. With her disabilities it makes it easier for our villain to sneak up on her multiple times and while she doesn't know he's behind her, the audience does which makes us extremely tense. There are also severa…