• whiplash01

    REVIEW: Whiplash [2014]

    “I belong here” And here I naively thought the dinner sequence from The Riot Club would end up proving my favorite scene of the year despite the film itself leaving a lot to be desired. It just goes to show that you can never be sure until every prospective entry is counted because the final […]

  • interstellar01

    REVIEW: Interstellar [2014]

    “Who’s they?” Say what you will about Christopher Nolan, the man knows how to make resonate blockbusters. He knows movies—plain and simple. There has always been a power in cinema that hits us at an emotionally deep level, a window into our souls through the characters onscreen we have learned to cherish as though extensions […]

  • clockworkorange01

    REVIEW: A Clockwork Orange [1971]

    “No time for the old in-out, love, I’ve just come to read the meter.” It didn’t take long for the theatrical experience to prove essential when watching A Clockwork Orange on the big screen. As Henry Purcell‘s March from “Funeral Music for Queen Mary” plays, the frame is filled with a solid bright orange so […]

  • birdman01

    REVIEW: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [2014]

    “The truth is always interesting” It’s true what the film’s Times‘ theater critic (Lindsay Duncan) says: an artist should bleed for his craft. Physically, spiritually, metaphorically—blood must be spilt so the world knows he was here, selflessly (selfishly?) making us laugh, cry, and reflect on lives well lived and squandered. This is why those who […]

  • gonewiththewind01

    REVIEW: Gone with the Wind [1939]

    “All we’ve got is cotton and slaves and … arrogance” For years I’ve thought Gone with the Wind some grand, epic romance. How else could anyone take its smoldering poster of Clark Gable ready to ravish Vivien Leigh as her dress falls helplessly from her shoulders? This advert proves as manipulative as the woman positioned […]



film reviews

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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 […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Ejecta [2014]

“Something came to me” Many might take my comparing Ejecta to The Fourth Kind as a slight, but I actually enjoy that film a lot. While Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele‘s science fiction horror doesn’t pretend it’s real, the crosscutting between time and styles similarly keeps us off-balance enough to buy into the escalating danger […]

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REVIEW: Whisper [2014]

“I wanna be an astronaut” I receive a lot of unsolicited films from artists looking for reviews to help gauge audience acceptance, but Damien Kazan‘s short Whisper has to be the first from a director calling himself an “aspiring filmmaker”. It’s a small thing, but one steeped in modesty and excitement that I can’t stop […]

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REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy [2014]

“I don’t learn” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best Marvel film to date would be one without a single recognizable character to anyone not already a fan. Guardians of the Galaxy has been around since 1969, but it’s the 2008 iteration by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning which struck the studio’s fancy […]

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REVIEW: Boyhood [2014]

“Life don’t give you bumpers” It’s almost impossible not to consider Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood one of the year’s best films on the surface. I don’t think any version of reality has the Academy neglecting to vote it onto the Oscar ballot because it’s a cinematic feat unlike few others. To fathom the number of moving […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Time Lapse [2014]

“I believe I’ve seen my death” While ultimately a flawed film, Time Lapse does do what every memorable sci-fi brainteaser should: it makes you blind to the obvious. Well, I should rephrase that and say it made me blind because I don’t have a magical camera to capture the future and your reaction post-viewing. I […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: The Infinite Man [2014]

“Sexual congress in five” There are some great science fiction films that deal with time travel in a way blockbusters like The Terminator simply cannot due to scale and want for mass appeal. To fans of that series a movie like Primer may be too technically oppressive and intellectual while Timecrimes too dark and finite. […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: The Harvest [2014]

“God doesn’t think he’s a doctor” I can see why director John McNaughton chose Stephen Lancellotti‘s script The Harvest to be his first feature length film in thirteen years, but I’m not sure it was worth the effort. There are some cool aspects to the horror thriller that may have worked better if its 104-minute […]

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FANTASIA14 REVIEW: Cheatin’ [2014]

“Ella Heart Jake” Inspired by the works of James M. Cain such as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, iconic animator Bill Plympton‘s Kickstarted feature film Cheatin’ is all about sex, lust, love, magic, and sex. His seventh feature film makes its Canadian debut at the Fantasia Film Festival a year and a […]

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REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes [2014]

“Ape no kill ape” The hype is spot-on with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. A more focused film than Rise of the Planet of the Apes—which served as an emotive origin tale possessing little unique conflict beyond a fight scene showing off computer effects more than propelling storyline—you should still acknowledge that predecessor […]

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REVIEW: The Purge: Anarchy [2014]

“We’ve lost our souls to attain this peace” I enjoyed last year’s suspense horror The Purge a lot—despite high expectations for the premise actually going where it needed to prove more than another generic home invasion flick. Writer/director James DeMonaco gave us the graphic brutality its conceit promised through its claustrophobically bottled skirmish between malicious […]

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REVIEW: And So It Goes [2014]

“Too much noise! Too much noise!” Who wondered what The Magic of Belle Isle would be if Morgan Freeman‘s surly alcoholic was forced to warm his heart and soul to a young child that was his granddaughter rather than a neighbor? I think Rob Reiner did or else I’m not sure why he’d choose a […]

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REVIEW: Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011]

“These people invest in results. Not dreams.” How did the apes from Pierre Boulle‘s Planet of the Apes gain control of Earth? The 1968 film adaptation shows human/ape hybrids walking, talking, and living in civilizations—a great sci-fi conceit making us believe in a distant planet where evolution took a different turn than what happened here. […]

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REVIEW: Wish I Was Here [2014]

“You’re going to have sex with the swear jar?” It’s impossible to talk about Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here without first addressing the elephant in the room: Kickstarter. Whether you’re against his method of crowdsourcing because you believe a celebrity of his stature shouldn’t need extra funding to finance a film or steadfast in […]