• overnighters01

    REVIEW: The Overnighters [2014]

    “Just because you tough enough” The easiest thing I could say about The Overnighters is that director Jesse Moss got lucky. He looked to tell the story about a pastor doing God’s will against his congregation’s trepidation to house over a thousand strangers arrived in Williston, ND seeking employment within the area’s oil boom. Through […]

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    INTERVIEW: John Ridley, writer/director of Jimi: All Is By My Side

    After all the talk from last year’s TIFF centered around the eventually Oscar-winning Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, you can’t blame yourself for forgetting its Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley brought another film he both wrote and directed. Jimi: All Is By My Side flew under the radar and was mired by a media blitz […]

  • calvary01

    REVIEW: Calvary [2014]

    “I’ve always found forgiveness to be underrated” I’m not a religious man—hell, I’m barely agnostic. I’m also not sure if that truth helps my finding John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary as powerful as I believe it to be or simply evidence of it’s universality for both churchgoers and not. A reflection on faith, God, and ourselves […]

  • spring01

    TIFF14 REVIEW: Spring [??]

    “I’m not drunk enough to sleep in your mother’s deathbed” The first words in Colin Geddes’ TIFF description for Vanguard selection Spring are, “Before Sunrise gets a supernatural twist.” You read that as a cinephile and you push everything aside to check out what it could mean. A horror romance co-director Aaron Moorhead described in […]

  • samba01

    TIFF14 REVIEW: Samba [2014]

    “Red paper. Then … no more.” Every movie should have a score by Ludovico Einaudi and it’s comforting to see Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano agree. After using his haunting music on the brilliant Intouchables, the duo take a few tracks from his album In a Time Lapse to enhance their latest work Samba. Another […]



film reviews

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TIFF14 REVIEW: Mynarski chute mortelle [Mynarski Death Plummet] [2014]

“Save yourself” Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski is a bit of a legend in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba and it would appear his country of Canada as well. The last World War II airman recipient of the Victorian Cross—the British and Commonwealth forces’ most prestigious award for bravery—this hero valiantly attempted to save the life […]

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TIFF14 REVIEW: Ma Moulton et Moi [Me and My Moulton] [2014]

“We’ll think about it” An Oscar-winner for Best Animated Short in 2007 with The Danish Poet and nominated in 2000 for My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts, writer/director Torill Kove returns to the medium with Ma Moulton et Moi [Me and My Moulton]. It’s a brightly colored line drawing cartoon about a young girl and […]

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REVIEW: 20,000 Days on Earth [2014]

“And if that doesn’t do it—you shoot the clown” I must have been nineteen or twenty when I was first introduced to Nick Cave‘s music. As a college kid trying to broaden my horizons cinematically with “classics” from foreign auteurs, I popped in Wim Wenders‘ Wings of Desire for reasons I no longer recall. While […]

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REVIEW: Cam2Cam [2014]

“r u alone?” This year’s most tonally out-of-place ending goes to Cam2Cam. A horror/thriller pitting the murderer of a young American in Bangkok against the victim’s sister for either vengeance or a smart getaway somehow finds itself culminating in a weirdly romantic vibe of lost loves sending gifts via post to remember the lovely time […]

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REVIEW: Overboard [1987]

“I’m not bored. I’m quite happy. Everyone wants to be me.” It’s really kind of crazy that a movie like Overboard could have ever come to fruition. Just look at the premise: a white trash carpenter kidnaps a wealthy debutante with amnesia to seek revenge by making her his housewife for her not paying him […]

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REVIEW: Big Trouble in Little China [1986]

“What does that mean: ‘China is here’?” Box office returns aside, John Carpenter made the correct choice deciding to helm supernatural comedy adventure Big Trouble in Little China rather than supernatural comedy adventure The Golden Child back in the mid-80s. While both had similar twenty-five million dollar budgets, it’s hard to believe watching today that […]

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REVIEW: Metro Manila [2013]

“Sometimes the only thing left to hold onto is the blade of a knife” The impetus for Sean Ellis‘ Metro Manila could have simply been an intriguing anecdote to tell people upon returning to England from a trip visiting a friend in the Philippines and for most it would have. Unable to shake the disquieting […]

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REVIEW: If I Stay [2014]

“True love’s a bitch” I am not a proponent of stories that hinge the possibility of undying live between teenagers on an unspeakable tragedy. This was my biggest issue with the overwrought sequels to Twilight and their brazen desire to show how star-crossed lovers would commit suicide before ever imagining a world outside the other’s […]

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REVIEW: The Golden Child [1986]

“Hey Bird – Did you just see a little Hare-Krishna midget in the tree, floatin’?… Or is it me?” Only in the 80s could a film like The Golden Child be born. And that goes for the comedy it became and the supernatural drama screenwriter Dennis Feldman originally wrote it as with Mel Gibson in […]

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REVIEW: First Night [2014]

“You should just call the cops” Writer/director Philippe Bourret‘s short film First Night takes a very scary look at society’s implicit trust in our police force roaming the streets with loaded weapons and a slice of carte blanche if only they chose to wield it. Just look at the stereotypical recruit: a former jock with […]

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REVIEW: Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan [2006]

“This is definitely the wrong way to do this” Had I watched writer/director Mike Flanagan‘s short Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan when it was released in 2006, I might have found myself reacting much differently. Being eight years later and a world post Sinister and The Conjuring success, however, I can’t […]

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REVIEW: I Origins [2014]

“You’re not going to regret this in the morning are you?” Faith is a powerful, impossible thing. By definition it’s something we cannot know with certainty. However, just as those of scientific minds demean believers of God for taking the easy road towards fairy tale, one could say similar sentiments about them for refusing to […]

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REVIEW: Into the Storm [2014]

“Me and the planet go way back. So …” We need to talk about Into the Storm‘s unsung hero: Lucas. Played by Lee Whittaker, most won’t think twice about his character standing on the sidelines with camera in-hand to document this natural disaster later edited together for our enjoyment. (Can we go meta and pretend […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: The One I Love [2014]

“It’ll give you a chance to reset the reset button” My plan is to not share any huge spoilers where The One I Love is concerned, but just saying that pretty much provides one by admitting there are spoilers to be had. So, like I said with another sci-fi gem this year entitled Coherence, don’t […]

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REVIEW: A Knight’s Tale [2001]

“We walk in the garden of his turbulence” There was always one reason I didn’t watch A Knight’s Tale: Heath Ledger. I eventually turned around on him as an actor after The Brothers Grimm and of course his Oscar nominated role in Brokeback Mountain, but in 2001 he was just that heartthrob all the girls […]