BIFF18 REVIEW: Thunder Road [2018]

“Should we call the manufacturer?” It’s unsurprising to learn the opening one-shot of Jim Cummings‘ SXSW-winning film Thunder Road is itself a revision of the writer/director/star’s Sundance-winning short of the same name. The sequence therefore plays like a mini-movie with its escalation of emotion, honest humor in tragedy, and subtle exposition readying us for the […]

BIFF18 REVIEW: About a Donkey [2018]

“Smaller than a horse” The Owens family is at a nexus point of chaotic emotions, troubles, and fears thanks to the start of new chapters in their respective lives. Mom (Katherine Wessling‘s Ann) has officially accepted what everyone else already had: a battle with depression. Burgh (Ben Kaufman) recently started seeing someone (Sarah Haruko‘s Cassie) […]

REVIEW: Smallfoot [2018]

“True your aim” Would it be hyperbolic to call Smallfoot the most dangerous film of the year? Definitely … and yet it wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Yes there’s a wholesome message at the back of what Karey Kirkpatrick (who co-directed with Jason Reisig and co-wrote with Clare Sera from a previous script that itself was […]

REVIEW: Appropriate Behavior [2015]

“I hate so many things too” It would be easy to minimize the broken relationship at the heart of Desiree Akhavan‘s debut feature Appropriate Behavior to Shirin’s (Akhavan) inability to come out as bisexual to her traditional Iranian parents. This is obviously a factor after watching her ex-girlfriend’s (Rebecca Henderson‘s Maxine) increasing frustrations via flashbacks […]

REVIEW: A Happening of Monumental Proportions [2018]

“Choose, commit, and move” Men have it tough don’t they? I mean they have to worry about married women they’ve engaged in inner-office affairs with ratting them out to the new boss. Some are forced to face the crushing existential crisis that comes with their failed pipe dreams of rock stardom revealing how they’re nothing […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Can You Ever Forgive Me? [2018]

“Do you think they all know?” Do you have a Lee Israel work on your shelf? What should be a matter of owning one of her books or not since she was a notable author of biographies who hit the New York Times Best Sellers list, things get much more complicated when you look closer […]

REVIEW: A Simple Favor [2018]

“Oopsy” You don’t wonder which woman has secrets after meeting Stephanie Smothers (Anna Kendrick) and Emily Nelson (Blake Lively). Instead you wonder which has more. They’re built to be hiding something in their past whether dark or not. The former: a goody two-shoes, little Miss Perfect type who always has the energy to show up […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Mid90s [2018]

“I don’t kiss and tell” The summer between middle school and high school is a formative one for any kid. There’s this sense of moving away from childhood and towards young adulthood—of needing to act older to fit in considering the pecking order has restarted with you down at the bottom. Factor in a sibling […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Cascos Indomables [Helmet Heads] [2018]

“There’s a spot on your face” If Broken Lizard were Central American and deadpan, they might make something akin to Ernesto Villalobos‘ Cascos Indomables [Helmet Heads]. Think an extremely droll Super Troopers meets Office Space starring a sextet of bike messengers desperately trying to break the monotony of their stagnant lives while also staying afloat […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Kingsway [2018]

“I’ve been on speaker?” Love and suicide. Those are the words director Bruce Sweeney says inspired him to write Kingsway and are very much at the forefront of his dramedy about the dysfunctional Horvat family. And both are treated with humor despite never in a way that belittles their respective import. It’s not about laughing […]

REVIEW: Chasing the Blues [2018]

“How badly do you still want it?” The rarest of items can claim a collector’s soul if he/she isn’t careful. When that item—something thought to be merely myth—is held in your hands, you never know what you might do to ensure it stays there. Some collect for the thrill of the chase, others for the […]