• moonlight01

    TIFF16 REVIEW: Moonlight [2016]

    “Chiron and trouble always found a way” What’s it like to be a young boy on the drug-filled streets of Miami: without friends, without family, without hope? As cliques begin to feign superiority by ganging up on the weak to prove themselves hard enough for what’s coming, Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert)—or “Little” as they call […]

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    REVIEW: Hell or High Water [2016]

    “I ain’t speeding” It wasn’t long after his run as above-board Deputy Chief David Hale on “Sons of Anarchy” that Taylor Sheridan would find himself caught in awards season platitudes with Sicario, a film earning three Oscar nominations despite his screenplay not quite making the cut. Well he has a second change this January as […]

  • touchofzen01

    REVIEW: 俠女 [Xia nü] [A Touch of Zen] [1971]

    “One should rather believe in ghosts than not” It’s enlightening to read writer/director King Hu‘s press notes that accompanied the Cannes premiere of his then newly-cut 俠女 [Xia nü] [A Touch of Zen]. 1975 was four years removed from the film’s original release—as two parts, a format his producers demanded to try recouping some of […]

  • eyesofmymother01

    FANTASIA16 REVIEW: The Eyes of My Mother [2016]

    “Why would I kill you? You’re my only friend.” This is isolation, suffering. It’s also normal. We on the outside see Nicolas Pesce‘s debut feature The Eyes of My Mother as the former, young Francisca (Olivia Bond) swimming in a pool of abject dread as death proves a natural evolution for all living things. For […]

  • huntforthewilderpeople01

    REVIEW: Hunt for the Wilderpeople [2016]

    “Find water. Go to high ground. And don’t get naked.” A Māori boy and a Pākehā man go forth into the New Zealand bush. It sounds like the start to a joke. But while Taika Waititi‘s latest Hunt for the Wilderpeople is hilarious, it’s far from being a trivial lark. There’s some weighty emotion involved […]



film reviews

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REVIEW: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World [2016]

“Did you get the ‘G’?” Documentarian Werner Herzog‘s latest film Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World peers into the longer than expected history of our uncontrollable phenomenon known as the internet. The word uncontrollable doesn’t, however, allude to this network having created an artificial intelligence—although, as one subject states, who’s to say an […]

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REVIEW: Romance [2013]

“Aim low and you won’t be disappointed” With the impending cinematic adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk‘s Lullaby about to swing into pre-production once its Kickstarter campaign finishes, it became time to look into its director Andy Mingo. His filmography includes one independent feature film and a few shorts—the obvious standout on paper being Romance, based upon […]

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REVIEW: Bulldog [2016]

“Who does drugs in their own home?” It can get tiresome watching movie upon movie projecting supposedly authentic glimpses of life’s complexities progress towards having its troubled central character find love, clarity, or redemption with a bow on top. So tiresome in fact that we find ourselves waiting for the moment to come as a […]

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REVIEW: Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise [2015]

“The cherry blossom and the sharp sword. Humility and arrogance.” Director Mark Cousins leaves us with a quote at the end of his experimental documentary composed solely of archival video and audio entitled Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise. It’s by W.G. Sebald and reads: “We gaze at it in wonder, which in itself is […]

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REVIEW: Warcraft [2016]

“From light comes darkness and from darkness light” As of a year ago I didn’t know what MMO meant (massively multiplayer online) and only an hour ago learned “World of Warcraft” didn’t always exist as one. Warcraft has actually been around since 1994 as a real-time strategy game without avatars and networking. There was a […]

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REVIEW: The Conjuring 2 [2016]

“This is the closest to Hell I ever want to go” When a formula succeeds as well as that of James Wan‘s The Conjuring and its real life subjects have as extensive a Rolodex of haunting investigations as Ed and Lorraine Warren, the prospect of a sequel arrives as both inevitability and an initial pause. […]

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REVIEW: The Lobster [2015]

“That is none of your concern” Writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ English language debut The Lobster is a dystopian sci-fi romance depicting a world where Paula Abdul doesn’t exist. If these mechanical creatures devoid of emotion heard her 1988 single “Opposites Attract” their woes of the heart might be eased. I say this because while life is […]

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REVIEW: Les demoiselles de Rochefort [The Young Girls of Rochefort] [1967]

“The illusion of love is only love unseen” The fair is in town and love is in the air. Welcome to Rochefort—a little seaside navy town in France full of sumptuously bright colors and plenty of light-footed citizens ready to dance accompaniment for anyone willing to belt their hearts out in song. It’s a harbinger […]

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REVIEW: Dark [2016]

“I didn’t like what I saw” It’s summer 2003 and the entire Northeast is about to go Dark. I lost seeing Radiohead as a result of that blackout—my tickets for the weekend’s Toronto show postponed a few months later to an exam night the next semester. Some people had it better with nothing going awry […]

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REVIEW: A Bigger Splash [2015]

“Try not to frighten the horses” More than loosely based upon Alain Page‘s 1969 French script La Piscine, Luca Guadagnino finally follows up his magnificent I Am Love with A Bigger Splash, his first narrative fiction since. It tells the story of a rockstar legend (Tilda Swinton‘s Marianne Lane channeling Ziggy Stardust) and her long-term […]

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REVIEW: Careful What You Wish For [2016]

“This guy looks like he’d hit a child” The real mystery is how Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum‘s Careful What You Wish For got itself a theatrical release in the first place—no matter how limited. I’m not surprised Starz Digital is handling distribution, though, since it feels exactly like a late night pay cable ticket sanitized to […]

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REVIEW: Honeyglue [2016]

“I meant stay” It’s a story about a dragonfly and the princess bee—a girl with terminal cancer and the boy to which she falls love with only three months left to live respectively. Their love exists in a sort of vacuum beyond time, a reality of the now regardless of future or past before them. […]

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REVIEW: Love & Friendship [2016]

“We don’t live. We visit.” We should all be thanking whomever recommended Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey to Whit Stillman because the edition he read just happened to include the author’s novella “Lady Susan”—a short epistolary romance subverted to conjure the filmmaker’s own specific tone. If we didn’t know the Austen connection we’d think Stillman created […]

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REVIEW: Approaching the Unknown [2016]

“That planet is calling for us” While the mission is one thing, your reason for performing it could be drastically different. For Captain William Stanaforth (Mark Strong) the two barely overlap except for a common destination: Mars. He will be the first man to ever step foot on the Red Planet with another astronaut (Sanaa […]

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REVIEW: X-Men: Apocalypse [2016]

“And from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one” At a certain point Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) understands his pupils need more than just help controlling their powers in the X-Men universe. They must also learn to fight. He and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) had no choice but to battle forces of […]