Category Archives: Reviews

the-lego-batman-movie 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 […]

by-blood-film 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 […]

2-fists-up February 18

TIFF Next Wave: 2 Fists Up

“They were trying to police how we fight for liberation” states Ayanna Poole, a University of Missouri student and founding member of the school’s Concerned Student 1950 activism group, recounting one particular protest that was designed to get a face-to-face meeting with university president Tim Wolfe. Despite being told to move their protest to the […]

john-wick-2 February 13

John Wick: Chapter 2

Retirement is supposed to be a period of relaxation, a time where one can enjoy life without being beholden to anyone else. For John Wick (Keanu Reeves) the quest for a peaceful retirement is quickly becoming a job in itself. Expanding on the ground work he laid in the original film, Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: […]

blood-dynasty February 10

Blood Dynasty

Chris Alexander has added another chapter in the ghoulish book of Irina, his ethereal but lethal vampire. Her first appearance was in Blood for Irina (2012) as she nears the end of her life, then Queen of Blood (2014) a western where she is reborn. She returns once again in Blood Dynasty (2017), picking up […]

shepherds-and-butchers February 03

Shepherds and Butchers

Oliver Schmitz’s latest work Shepherds and Butchers is a courtroom drama where the verdict is not as important as what led to the crime. From its opening frames, on a rainy night in South Africa in the late eighties, we witness Leon Labuschagne (Garion Dowds), in what initially seems like a momentary fit of rage, […]

carmenjones January 31

Blind Spot: Carmen Jones

Finally taking Carmen Jones off our Blind Spot list.

Fusion x64 TIFF File January 27

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 […]

toni-erdmann January 26

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 […]

jack-reacher-never-go-back January 17

New on Blu-ray: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher does not go looking for trouble, but trouble always seems to find him. If you have ever read one of Lee Child’s novels starring his iconic Jack Reacher character, then it is easy to understand why Tom Cruise would want to portray the character onscreen. A former military officer turned drifter, Reacher leads […]

window-horses January 16

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming)

If we wait long enough everything will change. Our perception of self, love and family will all have greater meaning. Of course, one needs to be open to the notion that life is rarely what it appears to be. It is this inner journey towards understanding that marks the visual splendor of Ann Marie Fleming’s […]

angryinuk_07 January 15

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Angry Inuk

An Inuit community in Canada’s northern territories faces an interesting challenge. How can a culture, that prides itself on a patient and understated expression of anger, make themselves heard when their opponents are famous for a more aggressive approach? Canadian seal hunting has gotten a lot of media attention since the late 1970s thanks to […]

Blind Vaysha January 14

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Blind Vaysha

Blind Vaysha is an allegorical animated short from Theodore Ushev, and it is an absolute triumph. Narrated by Caroline Dhavernas, the film is an adaptation of a 2001 short story by Georgi Gospodinov about a young girl who is born with a peculiar affliction: her left eye sees only the past and her right eye […]

maliglutitsearchers_04 January 13

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival: Maliglutit (Searchers)

The latest film by Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) is another intriguing look at the people and landscapes of the North. While inspired by John Ford’s 1956 western classic The Searchers, it feels wrong to call Maliglutit, which he co-directs with Natar Ungalaaq, a remake. It is much more than that. Kunuk […]

bugs_documentary-2 January 13

Bugs

Imagine going to your favourite restaurant and ordering a dung beetle stew just as easily as you can order a gourmet hamburger. While the notion may seem far fetched to some, Andreas Johnsen’s latest film Bugs makes a convincing argument for insect infused culinary dishes. Embarking on a “gastronomic adventure” with Josh Evans and Ben […]

null January 09

Fences

“You’ve got to take the crooked with the straights” barks Troy Maxson to his son Cory while instructing the young man to quit the football team. The line is not meant to comfort Cory, whose hope of earning a scholarship will be killed as a result of his father’s demands, but rather to remind him […]

a-monster-calls January 06

A Monster Calls

The sight of a tree-like monster uprooting itself from the ground is enough to terrify most children, but not 12-year-old Conor O’Malley. At a stage where he is “too old to be a kid, too young to be a man,” Conor (Lewis MacDougall, who gives a breakout performance) has more pressing things to deal with […]

la-la-land January 05

La La Land

Every few years a movie comes along that tries to reinvent something in Hollywood. The last big reinvention was The Artist, which tried to revive silent films, or at least the concept of silent films and old Hollywood. These novelty films are often lauded for simply that, their novelty. While I HUGELY value originality, I […]

tower December 28

Tower

  On August 1 1966, Charles Whitman, a student at the University of Texas, barricaded himself in the tower of the main building on campus and opened fire on unsuspecting civilians. Armed with a sniper rifle, among other weapon, Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 36 others before he was taken out by police officers. […]

hidden-figures December 25

Hidden Figures

History is often shaped by those who tell it. This is why many will know the tale of John Glen’s historic journey that made him the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, but few will have heard of some of the people that helped him get there. Theodore Melfi’s latest film Hidden Figures aims […]