Tag Archives: Review

November 24

BITS 2017: Paint the Town Red, Itch, Crux: Black Sol Empire

Paint the Town Red Scoring tickets to an ultra upscale night club, Josephine (Ariel Hansen, who co-directs the film with Christopher Andrew Graham) and Andie (Allison Klause who is delightful in the role) are excited to have a girls’ night out on the town. Unlike her oblivious party eager friend, Andie cannot help but notice […]

November 24

BITS 2017: Fake Blood

Low-budget horror filmmakers Rob Grant (director/co-writer) and Mike Kovacs (co-writer) turn the camera on themselves and blur the line between reality in fiction in their latest effort, Fake Blood. When Grant and Kovacs receive a video nitpicking one of the more gruesome scenes in their previous film Mon Ami, they find themselves considering the connection […]

November 23

BITS 2017: Kill Order

James Mark’s Kill Order plays like a throwback to the type of action films that were prevalent in the 90’s. The foot to face martial arts films that helped to make individuals such as Billy Blanks, Cynthia Rothrock and Jalal Merhi international stars. If there is any justice, then Chris Mark will follow suit. An […]

November 23

Expect the Unexpected: The Heroic Trio

Johnnie To’s The Heroic Trio breaks every rule I thought applied to film. From the opening credits it warns me not to take it seriously, with the surprisingly catchy theme song taking me on a trip backwards through time to the 1980’s-ish land that apparently was 1990’s Hong Kong. The introductory scenes quickly establish that […]

November 22

BITS 2017: Red Spring

It is tempting to call Jeff Sinasac’s Red Spring a vampire film for The Walking Dead generation. The film features a group of survivors thrown together in a land ravaged by vampires with only each other to rely on. However, such a simplistic comparison does a disservice to all the things that makes Sinasac’s tale […]

November 21

BITS 2017: Buckout Road

Buckout Road is real, a stretch of road near the New York suburb of White Plains, and over the years a number of urban legends have grown around it. In colonial times, they say, women were burned at the stake as witches there. Others claim that the early nineteenth century, the Buckhout family held albino […]

November 20

EUFF 2017: My Name Is Emily

Mental stability and genius are two edges of a thin piece of wire. Robert (Michael Smiley) is bubbling under the wrong side of the ledger until his daughter Emily (Evanna Lynch) is born. Emily inspires Robert to fully blossoms as a person. He becomes a teacher and is moved to write a book turns into […]

November 19

EUFF 2017: The Citizen

Wilson (Dr. Cake-Baly Marcelo) has been trying to pass the citizenship test for years. He is a political refugee in Hungary having lost his wife, and two daughters who are still missing, in a conflict in his native land Guinea-Bissau. He works as a security guard in a supermarket and lives in an apartment complex […]

November 12

Black Star: Imitation of Life

John M. Stahl’s 1934 version of Imitation of Life may be a product of a certain era, but some of its themes still feel relevant today. It is a film that speaks to all those who, even for a fleeting moment, wished they were born into different circumstances. Adapted from Fannie Hurst’s novel, Stahl’s film […]

November 09

Expect the Unexpected: Justice, My Foot!

In Johnnie To’s 1992 action comedy Justice, My Foot!, justice is far from blind. In fact, it is downright crooked. The convoluted plot centres around Sung Sai-Kit (Stephen Chow) a lawyer in Guangdong who has a track record of winning all of his cases. Part of Sung’s success comes from the fact that he is […]

November 08

Black Star: Carmen Jones

One cannot help but think about what could have been for Dorothy Dandridge while watching Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones. Dandridge was the first African-American actress to ever be nominated for any Academy Award in the best actress category for her work in the iconic musical, but she was never able to cash in on her […]

November 07

Mudbound

Mudbound has been on my mind a lot since I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival a few months ago. In observing the vitriol spewed toward NFL players peacefully invoking their right to protest, my thoughts have turned to one of the common talking points regarding how such protests are a slap in the […]

November 05

THOR: RAGNAROK

At this point in the series, I’m likely talking to devotees when discussing Thor: Ragnarok. There are at a minimum 4 other movies you’d need to have pretty decent knowledge of to understand most of what’s going on here (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron). However, I would […]

November 04

Black Star: 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 […]

November 03

Black Star: In the Heat of the Night

Growing up my mother was not a big fan of movies, but she loved Sidney Poitier. If To Sir, With Love or Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was on, we would be in front of the television. Oddly enough, of the three iconic films Poitier was a part of in 1967, Norman Jewison’s In the […]

October 30

The Square

The standout scene in Ruben Östlund’s latest satire The Square involves a performance artist (Terry Notary) mimicking an ape at a black-tie fundraiser. The guests are amused at first as the muscular figure beats his chest and stares down those in his path. The assertion of dominance quickly descends down a dark path as the […]

October 27

Expect the Unexpected: Election II

Johnnie To’s Election II: Harmony is Virtue is one of those sequels that not only builds on its predecessor, but surpasses it. If the original Election was about the quest to gain power, then this film is about the problems that come with trying to evolve that power in the face of historical legacy. The […]

October 26

Expect the Unexpected: Election

When one thinks of elections images of debates, grand promises and slanderous television advertisements often come to mind. In the criminal underworld where the characters in Johnnie To’s Election reside, campaigning is taken to a whole other level. Bribery and promises of expanded territories are the tactics of choice. If that does not work, you […]

October 24

TADFF 2017: Lowlife

There’s nothing like a good crime caper film to get people excited, and Ryan Prows’ first feature film, Lowlife does just that. Using his Taco restaurant as a front, Teddy ‘Bear’ Haynes (Mark Burnham) is an organ runner and pimp, using illegal immigrants as his main supply. He has El Monstruo (Ricardo Adam Zarate), as […]

October 22

imagineNATIVE 2017: The Road Forward

There’s been a great deal of discussion in recent years about the past and ongoing injustices suffered by the indigenous community. As there should be. From suicide epidemics to systemic racism to the alarming number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women to the over-representation of Aboriginal men in Canadian prisons, the challenges of the First […]