• 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 […]

  • johnridley-interview01

    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

REVIEW: Silent Night, Deadly Night [1984]

“Santa Claus will punish you!” Move over It’s a Wonderful Life, there is a new kid on the Christmas holiday block and his name is Silent Night, Deadly Night. Billy Chapman witnessed the atrocious murder of his parents on the side of the road at the hand of Santa himself and has never been the […]

REVIEW: The Young Victoria [2009]

“You are confusing stubbornness for strength” When I had heard that the closing night film for the 2009 Toronto Film Festival was to be The Young Victoria, I admittedly scratched my head. Why would they choose some run-of-the-mill historical period drama when they could tap a new, exciting experiment instead, closing it in style? Well, […]

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes [2009]

“All it’s missing is a ginger midget” We all knew that Sherlock Holmes would be a Guy Ritchie film, the trailers made sure about that. The question remained, however, whether the detective tale would have anything to do with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation besides the title. Well, it begins by showing the hybrid of […]

REVIEW: The Messenger [2009]

“No such thing as a satisfied customer” Most times I feel that the story of a soldier’s return home is more interesting than anything that might have happened while overseas in battle. I think it has a lot to do with my enjoyment in a good story told with riveting performances, and what subject matter […]

REVIEW: Avatar [2009]

“I see you” I have one major problem with Avatar and that is what it means for the future of my home entertainment system. How can I ever replicate the visceral spectacle I experienced with a five-story screen, digital sound blaring, and 3D technology that is so beyond any I’ve seen before that nothing short […]

REVIEW: Did You Hear About the Morgans? [2009]

“You may kiss the bride” Why do I put myself through it? Every once in a while, those trailers for derivative romantic comedies hide behind them a diamond in the rough. Sometimes you can look at your date for the evening and genuinely say you enjoyed the film, and not just to put a smile […]

REVIEW: It’s Complicated [2009]

“You’ve gone native” I think I totally got Nancy Meyers and Nora Ephron confused when going into the former’s newly Golden Globe nominated film It’s Complicated. Meyers’ filmography has actually been well received, both what she’s written and directed, while Ephron’s, besides her latest, a gem in Julie & Julia, is lackluster for my taste, […]

REVIEW: Elf [2003]

“You sit on a throne of lies” The exercise of revisiting films can have a happy ending. Looking back, I think I may have disregarded Elf more for the fact I was in an “I hate Will Ferrell” mood, than because it was a poorly made movie. It’s not like my idea of Ferrell has […]

REVIEW: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day [2009]

“Who ordered the whoop-ass fajitas?” I really didn’t think it would ever happen. Maybe, somehow, Troy Duffy would have finished a script for the oft-rumored The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, but no way no how would he be directing it. After his well documented exercise in bridge-burning—Overnight—I’m surprised he was even able to […]

REVIEW: Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire [2009]

“A Day at the Shore” About halfway through watching Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire I started to think about another dark and dismal drama about abuse. The comparison to Requiem for a Dream was very hard to remove from my consciousness, both with the subject matter and the stylish way in which […]

REVIEW: I Shot Jesse James [1949]

“Tell ‘em I’m gonna be a farmer” Back in 2007, the film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford made my initial top ten list with its spectacle and grandeur. It was my introduction into the myth and legend of James as well as Ford, a name I was not familiar with […]

REVIEW: Invictus [2009]

“The Rainbow Nation starts here” Now here is a sports film I can get behind. I’ll say that a little trepidation set in when going to see Clint Eastwood’s new film Invictus as it was a hybrid of my two least favorite genres—the biopic and the sports uplifter. The biography aspect actually had me intrigued […]

REVIEW: Los abrazos rotos [Broken Embraces] [2009]

“Living one life was not enough” There was only one thing on TV growing up that I thought was even more amateurish and unprofessional then soap operas and it was the Spanish variety. These actors played the parts so over-the-top that I had to wonder if it was all done intentionally. No way were these […]

fantasticmrfox01

REVIEW: Fantastic Mr. Fox [2009]

“Never look a beagle in the eye” When I heard that Wes Anderson was going to direct a stop-motion adaptation of a Roald Dahl children’s story I was shocked, perplexed, and very worried. Not only had he stumbled—not fallen—with The Life Aquatic, but he was now also putting his talent behind a multi-year project. He […]

REVIEW: A Serious Man [2009]

“Did he tell you about the Goy’s teeth?” Despite the prevalent use of Hebrew without translation and, I’m sure, many instances of Jewish culture that I am unfamiliar with, I really enjoyed the new Coen Brothers film A Serious Man. The film, while a bit odd and seemingly schizophrenic in tone, is vintage Coen, harkening […]