The Cinephiliac
Twenty-something film reviewer, social critic, and cultural analyst searching for a place in the sun.

No Good Deed (2014); And Why It’s Not That Bad

No Good Deed (2014); And Why It’s Not That Bad. AVOID IT, unless you’re into cheesy thrillers and Idris Elba.

no_good_deedNo Good Deedgot released under an air of controversy and apprehension. If the trailer alone didn’t scream “straight-to-video intended release,” then Sony Screen Gems’ refusal to issue an advanced screening before the film’s actual release date became a warning sign to movie goers of its potential lousiness. Yet, despite the initial lack of reviews, audiences flocked to the theaters allowing it…

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Teenage (2013); And Reflections of Being a Teenager


The teenage years: for most people it was overall some of the best of times while for others it was the worst. That delicate age between adolescence and adulthood is a roller coaster ride of hormones, awkward spaz moments, love, self-exploration, and decadence. My teenage years began with embarrassing moments of getting torn apart by the gnashing tongues of my peers muddled with a constant need…

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(Source: mommalupis333, via nativevixen)

Anatomy of a Pair of Auteurs and their Debut Films: Badlands (1973) and Hard Eight (1996)

Anatomy of a Pair of Auteurs and their Debut Films : Badlands (1973) and Hard Eight (1996)


Hard_eightbetterposterCoincidentally, by no fault of my own, I watched two debut films of prominent auteurs currently working in Hollywood. I’ve known of Terrence Malik’s Badlands the way I’ve known of David Lean’s Laurence of Arabia, a celebrated work of cinema that never quite intersected paths with me. On the other hand, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Hard Eightwas vacant from ever even crossing into my consciousness.…

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Five Travel Films for the Solo Tripper

Five Travel Films for the Solo Tripper

There comes a moment in nearly every person’s life when they become suffocated by the feeling mental stress and anxiety brought on from work, social relationships, or obligations to if others, if not all three. This feeling can manifest itself into physical symptoms that include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, lack of sleep, general malaise, and agitation emerging when faced with…

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Guest Spot: Gaslight (1944)

Guest Spot: Gaslight (1944)

Jesse Lobb is an aspiring critic and fan of The Cinephiliac. He sent over this great review for the 1944 gem Gaslight for me to feature, and so I shall! I have yet to see the film for myself (currently on my list to watch), but judging from his review, I am in for treat! *plot summary may contain spoilers*


Forget Casablanca! Ingrid Bergman gives what might be the finest performance of her…

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This is me in a past life before my cocaine overdose.

This is me in a past life before my cocaine overdose.

(Source: beatnikdaddio)

Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood (2014): SEE IT. And revel in it’s admirable attempts to simply capture life.

boyhoodposterRichard Linklater tends to create films that embody a passion for life, love, and cinema. Through carefully strategic shots and perfectly compatible on screen chemistry, Linklater seems impervious to creating trite, stock characters. Usually rich with depth and brevity, Linklater’s film are studies of everyday life and love that go beyond the good and bad. Years ago, Linklater stole my heart when…

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Costume inspirations: Tamara Desni, 1937.


Costume inspirations: Tamara Desni, 1937.

(via beatnikdaddio)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014); And Why I’m on the Fence with It

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014); And Why I’m on the Fence with It.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy...Milano..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014 Reviewing Guardians of the Galaxy has proven rather difficult for me. Though my experience watching it resulted in sagged shoulders while huffing and puffing at what I was seeing, I’m aware of how beloved and praised it is among its audience. Seemingly somewhere in the noosphere, Armond White’s critical mind connected with my own and every aspect of Guardians of the Galaxy irked me due to its…

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WUSA (1970)

wusa_xlgPaul Newman wears the crown of exalted actors in my book. It all began when I spotted those piercing blue eyes as Brick in Richard Brooks’ steamy drama, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I have long respected the passionate performances of Orson Wells, the rough candor of Spencer Tracy, the everyman purity in James Stewart, and the crooked exterior of James Cagney; but of all the classic actors to stake…

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Under the Skin (2014)

Under the Skin (2014): I want to say avoid it, but its intentions are admirable enough to SEE IT.

Under the skin poster_thumb[2]Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a patient film. Complete with dawdling takes, minuscule dialogue, and an array of symbolic shots, Under the Skin is an art house thriller for those with patience on their side. I am not a patient person. For me, Under the Skinis a meaningless hodgepodge of images and moments that gives no clarity or reason to what takes place on screen. Be advised: I “got it”…

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Joe (2013)

Joe (2013): SEE IT. It’s a rare oddity of a film that shines with an illuminating realism and humor.


There’s a current certain trend in independent cinema that has been prevalent for the past five or so years. Sharing a similar aesthetic, these specific films are a concoction of nefarious thriller with coming of age drama that centers on a youth living in unforgiving, harsh existences. Beginning with  began with 2010’s Winter’s Bone, the trend continued on to include MudBeasts of the Southern…

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

how-to-train-your-dragon-2-poster-fullSequels rarely surpass the original material in both style and substance, particularly if that sequel is bred from the confines of DreamWorks Studios. My conception of DreamWorks is that they are the poor man’s Pixar. Although DreamWorks has created their share of impressive stories told through cinematically stark animation, their films simply don’t possess the same majestic pizzazz of cinematic…

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