• 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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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 […]

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REVIEW: Wild Wild West [1999]

“Never drum on a white lady’s boobies at a big redneck dance” Let’s just say that Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise dodged a bullet by backing out of Wild Wild West during its seven-year gestation. Its script probably wasn’t nearly as off-the-wall goofy at the start considering their clout as actors, but I highly doubt […]

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REVIEW: A Most Wanted Man [2014]

“You can’t undo what’s done” You wouldn’t be wrong to assume a lot of what’s happening during the course of A Most Wanted Man are red herrings steering us away from the truth it’s suspense thriller hides, but you would be mistaken. What I love about John le Carré—admittedly removed from his text in my […]

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REVIEW: The Hundred-Foot Journey [2014]

“You cook to make ghosts” With Chocolat and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen under his belt, The Hundred-Foot Journey isn’t anything approaching new territory for director Lasse Hallström. But if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Honestly, if he can continue making feel good tales like this—bona fide crowd-pleasers—we should all be happy since […]

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REVIEW: Half of a Yellow Sun [2014]

“Go and tell your fellow witches you did not see my son” For writer/director Biyi Bandele, adapting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s acclaimed novel Half of a Yellow Sun was more than simply a job. He read her very personal account—the revolutionary at its center is based heavily on her father while each additional character and event […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Preservation [2014]

“The bear went over the mountain” When Christopher Denham‘s Preservation shows recently discharged vet Sean Neary (Pablo Schreiber) telling sister-in-law Wit (Wrenn Schmidt) about how playing war as a kid allowed him to be killed and still find his way home when the game ended, I couldn’t help think of underrated Canadian film I Declare […]