Author Archives: Courtney Small

April 28

Hot Docs 2017: About My Liberty, Unrest

Over at In the Seats, I continued my Hot Docs coverage with reviews of About My Liberty and Unrest. I have included the Hot Docs synopsis of both films and links to my reviews below: About My Liberty Hot Docs synopsis: ”A group of millennial students plan protests unlike any Japan has ever seen—loud, well-marketed […]

April 28

Hot Docs 2017: PACmen

If you are still trying to understand how Donald Trump ascended to the highest office in America, then it would be wise to take a closer look at the Republican presidential nominees who were also in the race. In his eye-opening and thoroughly engaging film PACmen, director Luke Walker presents a fly on the wall […]

April 27

Hot Docs 2017: Bee Nation

In a tension filled room, an audience sits on the edge of their seats, gazing at William Kaysaywaysemat III standing on stage. They wait in anticipation for the young man to open his mouth and spell a word into a microphone. Regardless of one’s personal views of such competitions in terms of spectator sports, it […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2017: Mermaids

The myth of the mermaid has been told by the ancient Greeks, Inuit communities, and most famously in children’s fairy tales. Popular culture has also played a key role in perpetuating the allure be it the romantic charm of Disney’s The Little Mermaid or the dark musical fun of Agnieszka Smoczynska’s The Lure, our love […]

April 26

Hot Docs 2017: Gilbert, School Life, Rivolta, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Over at In the Seats, I continued my Hot Docs coverage with reviews of Gilbert, School Life, Rivolta and Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World . I have included the Hot Docs synopsis of both films and links to my reviews below: Gilbert Hot Docs synopsis: ”The bluest jokes and the shrillest whine delivered […]

April 25

Hot Docs 2017: Mama Colonel

Over at In the Seats, I reviewed the captivating film Mama Colonel which plays Hot Docs this weekend. I have included the film’s Hot Docs synopsis and a link to my review below: Mama Colonel Hot Docs synopsis: ”For 15 years, a determined female colonel led a unique brigade against sexual violence in the Democratic […]

April 24

Hot Docs 2017: Last Men in Aleppo

“I swear nobody cares about anybody anymore” expresses a sullen man in one of the many sobering moments in Feras Fayyad’s breathtaking documentary Last Men in Aleppo. The man is one of the White Helmet, volunteers in Syria who serve as rescue workers and fireman, a thankless job whose value to those they save is […]

April 24

Hot Docs 2017: The Grown-Ups

As part of my Hot Docs coverage, I will also be contributing some reviews over at In the Seats. So be sure to visit that site as well to see all of their fine Hot Docs coverage. Today you can read my review of the delightful film The Grown-Ups. I have included the film’s Hot […]

April 21

Changing Reels Ep. 17 – The Wailing

What happens when a cop, a shady shaman, a Japanese stranger and a mysterious woman collide? Well, let’s just say things don’t go well for the village caught in the middle. In this episode of Changing Reels we attempt to decipher the various themes permeating Na Hong-jin’s gloriously disturbing horror film The Wailing. Before jumping […]

April 19

15 Hot Tickets at Hot Docs 2017

The countdown to Hot Docs 2017 has officially begun and we could not be more excited. Running from April 27 to May 7, 2017, Hot Docs is one of the premier documentary film festivals in the world. It is a must for film lovers and those who have a taste for nonfiction. In previous years […]

April 15

The Fate of the Furious

The long and winding road that the Fast & Furious franchise has found itself on has come with many unexpected turns. Now in its eighth film, the series once again finds itself having to figure out how to move forward without one of its main stars. Unlike 2 Fast 2 Furious, which simply tried to […]

April 10

Changing Reels Ep. 16 – Memories of Murder

Two vastly different cops are tasked with trying to solve Korea’s first serial murder case ever in Bong Joon-ho’s 2003 film Memories of Murder. A visually captivating crime drama that festers in one’s mind, the film’s blend of mystery and dark comedy will keep you on the edge of your seats. In discussing the film, […]

April 08

TIFF Kids 2017: Not Without Us!, Jeffrey

The 2017 TIFF Kids International Film Festival opened this weekend bringing a wealth of movies that will educate, inspire and entertain children and adults alike. Celebrating its’ 20th anniversary, and running from April 7 through 23 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, it is the premier festival for children ages 3–13 (and those young at heart) and […]

April 07

I Called Him Morgan

On a frigid and snowy night in 1972 famed jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan was shot while on stage. The shooter was none other than his common-law wife, Helen More, who was by all accounts his biggest supporter. Kasper Collin’s documentary I Called Him Morgan looks back on the couple’s relationship and attempts to piece together […]

April 04

New to Blu-ray: Office Christmas Party

Observing the extended edition of Office Christmas Party feels much like attending a raucous drunken frat party. There are moments of fun, things get ridiculously out of hand, and you most likely will not remember most of it in the morning. Arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo pack today courtesy of Paramount Home […]

March 31

HRWFF 2017: Tickling Giants

Bassem Youssef has been called the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” for his popular brand of political satire. In a country where journalists are routinely jailed, or mysteriously go missing, for exercising free speech, the surgeon turned televised comedian is truly one of a kind. As Youssef points out in Sara Taksler’s charming and poignant documentary Tickling […]

March 30

HRWFF 2017: Fantassút

Filmed at the Greece’s Idomeni refugee camp, the largest informal refugee camp in Europe, Fantassút (Rain on the Borders) is an unflinching look at the refugee crisis through the eyes of those impacted the most. Opening with a shot of the double barbed wire fence that encloses the camp, as angelic choir music plays in […]

March 29

HRWFF 2017: Complicit, Nowhere to Hide

The Toronto edition of The Human Rights Watch Film Festival kicks off today and runs until April 6th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Screening in 20 cities around the world throughout the year, the festival uses the medium of film to highlight human rights violations around the world and those standing up to injustice. Over […]

March 28

New to Blu-ray: Silence

For close to thirty years Martin Scorsese has wanted to bring his passion project, Silence, to the big screen. After years of working on the script, and getting comfortable enough with his own spiritually, he has as succeeded in crafting a gorgeous meditation on the complexities of faith. Arriving on Blu-ray and Digital HD combo […]

March 27

Fast & Furious Franchise’s 8 Most Outlandish Moments

The Fast & Furious series has evolved greatly from its humble beginnings. Over the course of seven films we have watched Dominic Toretto and his crew go from street racing criminals to government sponsored superheroes (or elite task force if you will). While fans can debate the ranking of their favorite films in the series, […]