Paradise Lost: The Rise and Fall of Tony Montana in ‘Scarface’ (1983)

This film analysis was written for Flip Screen about one of film world’s most famous anti-heroes. The original post can be found here.

Matthew 16:26 asks the question “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”. Strangely enough, Scarface has the answer.

Scarface has been dubbed a ‘dudebro’ favorite for its iconic dialogue, tropical aesthetic, and excessive ultraviolence. While this reputation intimidates many moviegoers from Brian De Palma’s film, the powerful tale of a man’s rise and fall should not be ignored. De Palma found his inspiration from Howard Hawks’s 1932 version, which originally took place during Prohibition when people turned to organized crime as a way to survive unemployment and applied it to contemporary problems.

De Palma’s adaptation was conceptualized during the Reagan era: a time when the business philosophy assumed that “greed is good” and abundant consumerism was the norm. Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is even warned by Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia), the first drug lord who provides him with work, that he should never “underestimate the other guy’s greed” when making business deals.

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‘Point Break’: The Action Film That Dared to Be More

This film analysis was written for Flip Screen while celebrating the last month of summer. The original post can be read here.

With this year’s releases of John Wick: Chapter 3Always Be My Maybe, and Toy Story 4, along with the long-awaited sequel Bill and Ted Face the Music to be released in late 2020, it’s safe to say that we’re in the middle of a Keanu Reeves renaissance.

Fans are coming from every corner of Twitter to express their appreciation for the movie star while looking back towards his earlier movies and with the end of summer approaching, it has given much focus to Point Break. While Reeves isn’t a stranger to action movies, Point Break has become notable in his filmography, and the genre of action movies in general, for being directed by a woman. (Kathryn Bigelow would later become the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director in 2009 for The Hurt Locker.)

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In My Defense of Beach Party Movies

This film analysis was written for Scratch Cinema as a leisurely watch during the middle of summer. The original post can be found here.

As the end of July approaches, moviegoers are enjoying the earlier summer blockbusters from May and June while anticipating the ones that are still yet to come. While it is easy to associate the box office of these months with superhero movies, particularly those from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that wasn’t always the case.

Even before Star Wars and Jaws, people were pulling into the drive-in theaters to watch beach party movies. This genre achieved its peak during the mid-to-late 1960s, giving great fame to Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Beach party movies would fall out of mainstream popularity until Disney Channel released Teen Beach Movie in 2013.

But are they still worth watching in the modern age?

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Finding Happiness in Their “Desert Hearts”

This film analysis was written for Scratch Cinema for a movie watched towards the end of Pride Month. The original post can be found here.

Pride Month for any cinephile translates to immediately binge-watching any LGBT movies that are within reach. While it’s easy to focus solely on modern films about these relationships, their classic counterparts shouldn’t be ignored because they have their own stories to tell, especially during a time of less acceptance. As Pride Month comes to an end but if you’ve somehow managed to miss out on seeing Donna Deitch’s Desert Hearts, make the time to watch and you won’t regret it.

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‘Saving Face’ in a Heterosexual World: A Review of Alice Wu’s Film

This film analysis was written for Flip Screen as part of showcasing LGBT films during Pride Month. The original post can be found here.

If you’ve ever had the urge to watch a movie from the early 2000s about Chinese lesbians living in New York City, Alice Wu has got you covered.

Saving Face begins with Wilhelmia (Michelle Krusiac), nicknamed by her friends and family as Wil, wearing a face mask in her bathroom. Alice Wu provides a brillant visualization for the film’s namesake and is explained later through dialogue when Raymond’s mother comments that her son and Wil’s face reflects the image of a good marriage. Yet it shouldn’t be simplified as honor or reputation. 

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