Category Archives: Reactions

March 23

CFF 2017: Broken Mile

Waking up after a night of booze and drugs, Shaun (Francesco Filice) discovers that the girl he had been partying with the night before is dead. Fearful that he will be implicated in her death, and worried about his best friend Kenny’s (Patrick McFadden) reaction, since he was dating the deceased, Shaun does the only […]

March 21

The Settlers

Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and NYU Professor of Political Cinema Shimon Dotan brings us a powerful, and occasionally disconcerting, documentary chronicling the daily lives of those living in Jewish settlements along the West Bank. If you don’t know much about the history of the region other than simply “It’s pretty tense over there, isn’t it?”, don’t worry. […]

March 14

New to Blu-ray: Fences

Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Viola Davis’s win for Best Supporting Actress, Denzel Washington’s directorial effort Fence arrives on Blu-ray and Digital HD combo today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution. Adapted from August Wilson’s renowned play of the same name, the film is an intimate look at a family unraveling at the hands […]

March 11

Kong: Skull Island

In a brilliant piece of marketing, Kong: Skull Island strategically aligned itself in the same vein as the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now. Those looking for a blockbuster take on Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film should temper their expectations. While Apocalypse’s influences can be felt from a stylistic standpoint, the South Pacific sun looms as […]

March 10

Shadow Girl

“Going blind is a fear of darkness when you can see. Darkness has a different meaning when you are born blind” states filmmaker Maria Teresa Larrain at one point in her moving documentary Shadow Girl. For Larrain, going blind has been both a source of fear and inspiration. After years of working in the visual […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: Handsome Devil

Writer-director John Butler’s Handsome Devil favorably compares to other boarding school coming-of-age dramas like School Ties and Dead Poet’s Society. Butler’s film packs more irreverence than those films, and has a kind of tongue-in-cheek sensibility, but a lot of the elements are the same. Much of the drama is focuses on a pair of roommates, […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: Here Lies Mrs. Higgins

Daniel Holmwood’s black comedy Here Lies Mrs. Higgins follows two brothers from Ballyfeely as they try to move on with their lives after the death of their mother. Despite sharing similar physical features, the two men could not be more different. Tony (Kevin Buckley, who also co-wrote the film with Holmwood) is the older of […]

March 05

TIRFF 2017: The Flag

Declan Recks The Flag has aspirations of being a broad heist comedy, but never seems to get past its sitcom style premise. Returning to Ireland to bury his father, Harry Hambridge (Pat Shortt) discovers a letter from his late grandfather claiming a moment of heroics not normally associated with the family name. Believing his granddad […]

March 04

TIRFF 2017: How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story

Directed by Des Henderson and narrated by Liam Neeson, How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story is an effective documentary focusing on the Project Children charity. The charity was founded in 1975 by an Irish immigrant bomb squad policeman named Denis Mulcahy, with the intent of bringing Irish children to live with host […]

March 04

TIRFF 2017: The Nation Holds Its Breath

A short film from writer-director Kev Cahill, The Nation Holds Its Breath, brilliantly captures the vibe of anticipation in parallel moments: 1.) the most important football match in Irish history, the 1990 World Cup elimination match against Romania, and 2.) the tumultuous birth of the main character’s child. The wonderful juxtaposition of the countrywide hullabaloo […]

March 03

Table 19

The experience of watching Table 19 is, fittingly enough, much like attending a wedding by yourself in which you classify the bride and groom as “acquaintances.” It is awkward, features occasional moments of fun, and ultimately leaves you wondering if it was worth getting all dressed up for. Jeffrey Blitz’s latest film revolves around a […]

March 01

Galaxy of Horrors

Little Terrors Short Film Festival is a monthly showcase of shorts started in 2011 by CEO of Unstable Grounds Productions Justin McConnell, who is also a Toronto-based producer-director-editor extraordinaire. Co-presented with Rue Morgue Magazine, it’s a time to celebrate short films that pack punch, and many a horror fan is often hungry for these bit-sized […]

February 28

New to Blu-ray: Allied

By all accounts, Allied had all the makings of a great film. A grand wartime romance, featuring two luminous stars in the lead roles, it is easy to get swept up in the old Hollywood feel that the film evokes. Therein lies the problem. The film tries so hard to mimic the glamorous look and […]

February 27

Get Out

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out wastes no time in establishing both its sense of dread and its social subtext. Opening with an unnamed black man walking in a predominantly white suburb at night, it is immediately evident that no good can come of this. The man himself knows this as he nervously attempts to […]

February 26

My Scientology Movie

My Scientology Movie is infuriating, terrifying, and bizarre and I’m still coming down from it. This is nowhere near the first documentary on the subject of Scientology, but somehow it’s the first I’ve seen. Director John Dower and presenter Louis Theroux seem realize that they’d better come up with a new spin on the Scientology […]

February 24

I Am Not Your Negro

“What is going to happen to this country?” Novelist James Baldwin believes this the real question that should be considered, while appearing on The Dick Cavett Show, rather than the one he has been asked regarding why black people are not jovial about their better life. Of course Baldwin, and those taking in Raoul Peck’s […]

February 24

A United Kingdom

Amma Asante’s latest film, A United Kingdom, tells the real-life story of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a prince who nearly lost his throne and country simply because he wanted to follow his heart. A member of the royal family in his native Bechuanaland (now known as Botswana), Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth […]

February 22

The Lego Batman Movie

It is no secret that I detested The Lego Movie. Its cluttered action sequences, which make the chaotic fight scenes in the Transformers franchise look graceful by comparison, and inane humour never clicked with me. Despite seeing the film numerous times, it was at one point a staple in my five-year-old’s viewing rotation before he […]

February 20

Politics, Love, and Music at TBFF17

In its fifth year, the Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) has established a stable foundation for future generations to build on. Smartly taking place during Black History month, the festival not only strives to showcase stories and filmmakers that highlight the black experience in cinema, but also helps to facilitate professional growth for those looking […]

February 19

League of Exotique Dancers

The Burlesque Hall of Fame celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Located on Fremont Street, the Burlesque Hall of Fame is in the heart of old Las Vegas, which is fitting as many of its inductees likely performed on Fremont Street a half-century ago. The fact that the Hall of Fame marked its past by […]