The All-Seeing I's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Edge of Isolation
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Jeff Houkal directs Edge of Isolation, a really well-conceived lost in nature play.

The film's premise and its themes evoke other isolation-driven film stalwarts: Deliverance comes to mind more than once, and the underrated The Village is present as well in this film's DNA.

Ultimately, this is great indie filmmaking. It succeeds in its intent to be highly unsettling and consistently creepy, and despite taking place out in the proverbial middle of nowhere, Houkal manages an impressive air of claustrophobia throughout. An impressive combination of story, casting, and execution. Recommended.

This Is Where I Leave You
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

In a day and age when the mere presence of a single great actor seems to trigger positive reviews from their sycophants, it's amazing that this star-studded cast hasn't elevated This Is Where I Leave You to critically bulletproof status.

It's a bit inexplicable, as there's something for everyone beyond the generational casting feat itself. It's intelligently funny as hell. Every familial character has an individually compelling storyline that seamlessly weaves itself into the story of the collective family itself. And because of the diversity of character sketches, one would think the film would have an appeal that reached out to almost everyone within the American family demographic.

Yet despite all that, the film got traction, but didn't get entrenched. What a shame, as it's Really Rather Wonderful. Will streaming allow it to become a residual classic over time? It could happen. There are certainly less deserving films.

Time Simply Passes
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Ty Flowers deftly delivers the dark side of the human condition in his carefully-crafted and historically critical documentary Time Simply Passes.

It is said that the worst thing a parent can experience is the death of a child. Yet James Richardson experienced the death of seven children -- they died from poisoning -- and was subsequently blamed by the state for their deaths. Through poor legal representation and the relentless railroading of an unjust justice system, Richardson was made guilty in verdict if not by deed, and forced to endure two decades of incarceration and torment. Only through advocates who went to war on his behalf did Richardson finally rediscover his freedom, though one wonders the extent to which a socially victimized and now-childless father can truly absorb the wounds inflicted upon him.

The story itself is sad. The film which tells it is excellent, and continues to be all-too-timely. We'd like to be able to watch Time Simply Passes as if it were a thing relegated to our past, yet these stories continue to surface in our modern era and remind us that we're not at all where we need to be. Flowers' storytelling reveals the dignity of a father in the undignified, insurmountably brutal ecosystem that is our justice system, particularly so for those of color and limited means. You've unfortunately heard similar accounts before, and will again. It's just that few will take the shape of a truly wonderful and thoughtfully executed film to the extent that its director achieves here. Heavily, heavily recommended.

Earthrise (2014)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Full disclosure: (1) I loved Event Horizon; (2) In general, I think sci-fi is a great landing space for low-budget indie. If you're with me on both counts, then Glenn Payne's Earthrise is likely to be right in your wheelhouse.

Here we're presented with the crew of a spacecraft in the midst of a creeping communal psychosis. The root cause of this inward collapse -- and the nature of the mission itself -- are unknowns. But this is The Movies, and it's a simple but elegant plot point such as that which keeps us glued to the screen.

Payne leverages minimalism to terrific effect. Sci fi genre junkies will applaud the plot line and the devolving states of our main characters. In the end, Earthrise triumphs in being as well-executed as it is well-conceived.

All I Want
All I Want (2018)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

West Liang is at the helm of "All I Want," directing an ensemble cast through the full gamut of relationship-driven dynamics in a film that's as thought-provoking as it is enjoyable.

As Mel, Melissa Center is the film's female lead, and she anchors things down in a complicated role performed with terrific aplomb. We soon find her at a party held on her behalf, as she's celebrating a 10-year anniversary with husband Drew. Some news drops at the party, and this serves as the driver for the film's storyline progression.

This is a great cast. They hold their own individually, and demonstrate cohesion as a group. Liang's story is real and allows her cast to breathe and find space in the film. It's not action or the proverbial great reveal that drives "All I Want." It's the convincing nature of its cast of characters living believable and interesting lives within the confines of a hugely believable film.