• 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: Pandorum [2009]

“Where are the stars?” I’ve got to give it to director Christian Alvart and writer Travis Milloy for delivering the goods with their horror/thriller Pandorum. Admittedly, I’d go see anything with Ben Foster in the cast, but there was also something in the trailer that piqued my interest despite the very easy chance of the […]

REVIEW: The Princess and the Frog [2009]

“Freedom takes green” Two-dimensional animation is back in the Mouse House, but for how long? The Princess and the Frog is the first hand drawn feature length to be released theatrically since a string of failures at the hands of Disney studios, before they bought Pixar and began distributing Studio Ghibli work. I have no […]

REVIEW: Nine [2009]

“Imagination is God’s garden” Being the film version of a Broadway musical based on the Fellini film 8 1/2, it interested me to find out what the title meant. The Italian director’s odd half integer was in regards to the fact that he made a few short films, so the work was its number in […]

REVIEW: Anvil! The Story of Anvil [2009]

“The music lasts forever, and maybe the debt does too” Initially told that Anvil! The Story of Anvil was like a true life This is Spinal Tap!, it didn’t take long to discover the comparison misleading. Anvil is not a bunch of hacks that no one likes; they aren’t a joke of the metal industry. […]

REVIEW: 8 1/2 [1963]

“Because he doesn’t know how to love” With the soon to be released Nine on its way, I had to finally dust off my Criterion DVD of Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 for a viewing since that new musical is based off it. Besides all the praise lauded on it, I really had no idea what […]

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 […]