by Ty Landis

by Ty Landis Film

The Witch | Robert Eggers

February 29, 2016
The Witch (2016)

Robert Eggers’s debut film arrives prepackaged with the usual hype garnered by a Sundance homerun. Now a year removed from that successful premiere, however, assessments of The Witch have somewhat shifted into a less relevant realm concerning whether horror movies have to be really scary to be effective, or to leave a lasting impression. A portrait of paranoia circa 1630s New England—just five decades before the Salem witch trials—Eggers’s chilly tale of a Puritan family driven mad by satanic forces and familial discord mostly…

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by Ty Landis Film

James White | Josh Mond

December 17, 2015
James White (2015)

A stain of blood remains on a shower window after a night of debauchery, a son miles away from home tells his mother, “I love you” on the phone in a subtle register that suggests a history of tenderness and an immediate obligation of proximity between the two. The blood and the phone call can be read as mostly unrelated moments but they exist as remnants of lived-in experience rather than broad strokes, each aiding in our understanding of the…

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by Ty Landis Film

Unbroken | Angelina Jolie

December 29, 2014
Unbroken

Comparable to reading a biography with informative chunks ripped out, leaving gaping holes aplenty in the narrative, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is little more than an incomplete and wholly misguided rendering of the fight of the human spirit. Chronicling the life of Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II, Jolie’s second directorial effort following the forgettable In the Land of Blood Honey is a broad, dull, one-note treatment of potentially…

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by Ty Landis Film

The Babdook | Jennifer Kent

November 28, 2014
The Babadook

In only her first feature, writer-director Jennifer Kent shows a scary assurance and maturity in plunging headfirst into the chaotic realm of psychological hysteria with The Babadook. Inspired by her short film, Monster, this particular Australian surprise not only stands out in a year full of underwhelming genre offerings, but offers proof that precision and patience can go a long way in elevating even the most potentially familiar of horror yarns. At its center — and fully embodying the film’s themes…

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by Ty Landis Film

Actress | Robert Greene

November 7, 2014
Actress-2014

Opening with a tableau of a woman dressed in red, standing over her kitchen sink with her back to the camera, Robert Greene’s (Kati with an I, Fake It So Real) latest documentary, Actress, almost immediately establishes itself as a dizzying non-fiction force to be reckoned with. The woman in question is Brandy Burre, the subject of Actress, who stands still with the water running, while also clumsily toying with a glass in her right hand. Brandy’s voiceover narration in…

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by Ty Landis Film

The Equalizer | Antoine Fuqua

September 29, 2014
equalizer

The last time director Antoine Fuqua and actor Denzel Washington teamed up, back in 2001, Washington ended up scoring a Best Actor Oscar trophy for delivering some of his best work as a manipulative and smooth-talking crooked cop in the urban thriller Training Day. Though Washington has continued to turn in solid-to-great performances since then, Fuqua has not been nearly as lucky professionally, becoming…

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