the-neon-demon September 28

New on Blu-ray & DVD: The Neon Demon

Nicolas Winding Refn’s visually hypnotic The Neon Demon is easily one of the year’s most polarizing films. A dark psychological horror that oozes style in every frame, the film’s observation of our societal obsession with female beauty left some viewers cold. Make no mistake though, The Neon Demon is a gem of a film that […]

mikeanddaveneedweddingdates01 September 28

New on Blu-ray & DVD: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is one of those comedies that relies on the viewer blindly buying into its implausible premise. Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are fun loving brothers who like to party hard. Their drunken antics are legendary and have ruined numerous family gatherings in recent years. With their sister’s […]

mocstill5 September 26

Moments of Clarity

Stev Elam’s Moments of Clarity wants to be many things, a risqué dark comedy, a coming of age road movie and a touching film about grief to name a few. Unfortunately, it plays like a collection of unrealized skits featuring a group of talented actors who all deserve better material. This is especially true for […]

beznessasusual_03 September 23

TIFF 2016: Bezness as Usual

There was a great void within Alex Pitstra that consumed much of his youth. Raised by his mother Anneke, Alex longed to know more about his estranged father Mohsen. So when he was finally old enough to venture off on his own from Holland to Tunisia, to visit Mohsen and his current family, he did […]

kicks_02 September 22

Kicks

Back in February, I was struck by the sight of 40 or so individuals camped out on the frigid streets of Toronto. Huddled in their sleeping bags, and layered in clothing that still did not seem warm enough for the biting nighttime wind, they patiently waited for the opening of a Nike pop up store […]

Changing Reels September 20

Changing Reels: Episode 2 – The Caveman’s Valentine

In episode 2 of Changing Reels, Andrew Hathaway and I take a look at Kasi Lemmons’ thriller The Caveman’s Valentine. The film stars Samuel L. Jackson as Romulus, a schizophrenic homeless man living in a cave in a New York City park. When a frozen body appears outside his cave, Romulus turns amateur detective in […]

Loving September 19

TIFF 2016: Loving

Jeff Nichols latest film Loving follows the decade long fight to overturn the Virginian laws that prohibit interracial marriage. The most fascinating thing about the film is that the couple at the core did not set out to change the constitution, their goals where much smaller. They simply wanted to live a quiet life together, […]

weddingparty_01 September 19

TIFF 2016: The Wedding Party

Kemi Adetiba’s film The Wedding Party is one of those romantic comedies that has cross-generational appeal. It is a film that takes a well-travelled trope, of two different families attempting to find common ground during a wedding, and infuses just the right amount of humour and charm. Dunni (Adesua Etomi) has done what no other […]

colossal September 19

TIFF 2016: Colossal

Think all monster movies need to be big budget special effects heavy spectacles? Nacho Vigalondo’s latest film Colossal proves that the key to a good creature feature is not the monster, but the humans behind it. Gloria (Anne Hathaway) lives her life one reckless drunken night after another. Fed up with his girlfriend’s constant lies […]

93days_01 September 19

TIFF 2016: 93 Days

In his ripped from the headlines thriller 93 Days, director Steve Gukas takes audiences on a harrowing tale of courage in the face of tragedy. Documenting how the recent Ebola outbreak impacted Nigeria, Gukas’ film manages to bring weight to the events while still keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. The story kicks […]

tonierdmann_02-1 September 19

TIFF 2016: Toni Erdmann

At this point what more can be said about Maren Ade’s sensational comedy Toni Erdmann? Ever since it debuted at Cannes, the film has been a hit on the festival circuit and it is easy to see why. Few films capture the awkwardness of family in such a hilarious, and at times absurd, way like […]

greenwhitegreen_01 September 19

TIFF 2016: Green White Green

In a city as large and culturally diverse as Lagos it is easy to feel as if one’s voice is not being heard. This is especially true for the youth who are caught between the traditions that have been the foundation for the people for decades, and the modern world that keep the city moving […]

katikati_01 September 19

TIFF 2016: Kati Kati

It may be unclear what happens to us when we die, but I would like to think that my soul will end up on a lush resort like the one in Mbithi Masaya’s Kati Kati. Offering an interesting meditation on life and death, the film takes a novel premise and weaves it into a rather […]

manchesterbythesea_01 September 18

TIFF 2016: Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan is a master when it comes to intricate character studies. He has an uncanny ability to convey both mundane and awkward moments in life in an emotionally honest way. This is especially true in times when certain conversations desperately need to be had, but the deep rooted scars are just too great for […]

jesus_06 September 18

TIFF 2016: Jesús

After his group loses a local talent show, Jesús (Nicolás Durán) and his friends revert to their old standby for comfort: getting drunk, watching narco snuff porn and causing trouble. Stuck in this rut for quite some time, Jesús lacks any real sense of direction. He mismanages his money, routinely lies to his frustrated father […]

redturtle_01 September 18

TIFF 2016: The Red Turtle

In his feature film debut, The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge), Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit conjures up a gorgeous story exalting the wondrous complexity of nature and where humans fit in that picture. This dialogue-free film uses the archetypal story of a man surviving on a deserted island, but adds interesting twists to […]

ARRIVAL September 17

TIFF 2016: Arrival

Twelve alien ships land around the globe without warning. It is unclear what they want or where they came from. All that is obvious is that they are waiting for something. As countries race to communicate with these extraterrestrial visitors, the U.S. military led by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) enlist the help of linguistics expert […]

okaforslaw_01 September 17

TIFF 2016: Okafor’s Law

Terminator (Blossom Chukwujekwu) is a man who has left a trail of broken hearts a mile long. The envy of his friends Fox (Ken Erics) and Baptist (Gabriel Afolayan), Terminator lives his life according to the principles of “Okafor’s Law.” A myth that proclaims once a man has bedded a woman, he is allowed to […]

abacussmallenoughtojail_02 September 17

TIFF 2016: ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail

Thomas Sung owns and operates Abacus Federal Savings Bank in New York’s Chinatown. The bank, with his daughters Jill (President & CEO) and Vera (Director), serves a clientele composed primarily of local small-business owners of Chinese descent, many first-generation Americans or direct immigrants. Hence, Abacus is an important part of this community, as it gives […]

jeanofthejoneses_01 September 17

TIFF 2016: Jean of the Joneses

Do not be fooled by the jazzy New York vibe of Stella Meghie’s multigenerational comedy Jean of the Joneses. While it is reminiscent of the works of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman, Meghie’s film has its own wonderfully distinct voice. The film follows the mishaps of Jean (Taylour Paige), a promising young writer who is […]