REVIEW: Toy Story of Terror [2013]

“And if something does happen to the potato—I don’t want to miss it!” While Disney/Pixar has dove into children’s television with Cars-centric offerings and a Buzz Lightyear spin-off, it’s surprising it’s taken this long to craft a primetime special. With what used to be a flawless feature film enterprise bolstered by award-winning shorts, perhaps they […]

TIFF13 REVIEW: 2013 Short Cuts Canada Programmes

Programme 1 A far cry from the documentary short Joda—a visual letter to Jafar Panahi—that was included in the TIFF Short Cuts Canada Programme last year, graphic designer turned filmmaker Theodore Ushev’s Gloria Victoria is all about the visceral and aural capabilities of film without something as unnecessary as words. Full of sumptuous textured layers […]

REVIEW: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters [2013]

“Dead camper walking” Much like he did on Harry Potter, director Chris Columbus ushered Rick Riordan‘s young adult world of demigods to film with sure-handed exposition and a fun flair for the fantastical—if not necessarily visual excitement. The Lightning Thief introduced its hero Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) just as he became aware of his true […]

REVIEW: Planes [2013]

“I fly for truth” What should be an auspicious occasion for DisneyToons Studios earning its first theatrical release since 2005’s Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, the Cars spin-off Planes sadly does little to affirm the decision. Actually, the fact Disney supposedly decided to upgrade its status because of how impressive early scenes looked only makes things appear […]

REVIEW: Despicable Me 2 [2013]

“Do not do your business on the petunias” When we last saw super villain Gru (Steve Carell) in Despicable Me he had just returned the moon to its rightful place in the sky, retired from evil, and become a father to the three sweetest little girls ever: Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes […]

REVIEW: Monsters University [2013]

“Technically I caught the pig” I entered the theatre with low expectations and a willingness to be surprised, curious towards Monsters University’s trailers lacking plot description besides a generalized notion of witnessing Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and Jimmy “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) becoming best friends. What would first-time Pixar feature-film director Dan Scanlon and co-writers […]

REVIEW: The Blue Umbrella [2013]

The biggest impediment to Pixar’s short film The Blue Umbrella is how close its release is to that of sister studio Disney’s Paperman last year. Its story set in an evening downpour depicts the love at first site of the titular colored parasol and his red counterpart bobbing over a city sidewalk. With an unspoken […]

REVIEW: Monsters, Inc. [2001]

“Kitty!” If there is one film type where a laundry list of screenwriters can actually help the finished product, it’s the animated feature. Sparked by the simple idea of “Let’s make a movie about monsters”, Pete Doctor’s directorial debut evolved immensely from its brainstorming lunch origins in 1994. What would ultimately become Pixar Studios’ second […]

REVIEW: Tiger Eyes [2013]

“I wonder what it’s like to be dead?” Venerable young adult fiction novelist Judy Blume published her first book in 1969 and despite iconic titles like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, only a failed television series based on her character Fudge found its way to the […]

REVIEW: Epic [2013]

“Moist is what we do” Children’s author—and Academy Award winning animated short film director—William Joyce continues to make his rounds throughout the industry’s ever-expanding studio ranks with an adaptation of his book The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs with Blue Sky. Having already seen his work turned into feature length films with Pixar […]

REVIEW: Oz the Great and Powerful [2013]

“What’s the third up?” I have to reevaluate my distaste for everything Oz not existing inside the mind of Dorothy Gale now that I’ve discovered Victor Fleming’s seminal work The Wizard of Oz wasn’t as faithful to its source material as I once assumed. I could never ignore how the simple attempt to craft a […]