TIFF19 REVIEW: The Report [2019]

“It’s based on science” It matters that Diane Feinstein and other Senators (John McCain included) fought to make the Intelligence Committee’s report on “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” public because it held information the American people needed to know about how the CIA conducted itself after 9/11. While many would say the fact nobody has been prosecuted […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Harpiks [Resin] [2019]

“They ruin everything” Published in 2015, Ane Riel’s novel Harpiks [Resin] found itself the winner of four major Scandinavian literary awards on its way to international bestseller status. It’s no wonder then that it would be optioned as a film so soon afterwards by fellow Danes Daniel Borgman (director) and Bo Hr. Hansen (screenwriter). A […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Marian paratiisi [Maria’s Paradise] [2019]

“God will punish you” At twelve years old, Maria Åkerblom heard the voice of an angel. It came in a dream and she spoke its words to those around her as though in a trance. She became a traveling sensation as soon as the pious caught on going city to city to tell God-fearing Finnish […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Knuckle City [2019]

“I doubt your cries will reach Heaven” It’s 1994 and young Dudu and Duke have little in the way of inspiring role models to build lives for themselves in Mdantsane, South Africa. Apartheid is over and Nelson Mandela is president, but they’re taking notes from a father (Zolosa Xaluva‘s Art Nyakama) raving about how “real […]

TIFF19 REVIEW: Clifton Hill [2019]

“We grew up there” Every lie told takes us one step closer to burying the truth forever. While this often applies to current events like with Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” wherein a community is numbed to a boy’s warnings enough to let a tragedy occur under their noses, director Albert Shin and […]

REVIEW: The Nightingale [2019]

“You’re my life” After giving grief and survivor’s guilt physical form by way of a violent monster known as The Babadook, writer/director Jennifer Kent turns her sights on trauma and the ways our bodies, minds, and souls react to unimaginable and unprovoked pain endured at the hands of mankind’s superiority complexes born from delusions of […]

REVIEW: Dogman [2018]

“You’ve got to solve your own problem” Would anyone miss Simone (Edoardo Pesce) if he disappeared? No. He’s a heavy that possesses no positive impact on the impoverished Italian community in which he resides. Addicted to cocaine and wielding a temper that always keeps fresh cuts and bruises on his face despite everyone knowing you […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: 우상 [Woo-sang] [Idol] [2019]

“You take the fault” Two fathers and two sons are embroiled in the aftermath of a cover-up wherein one boy winds up dead and the other imprisoned. Su-jin Lee could have spun his tale with little else since the perpetrator’s (Jo Byeong-gyu‘s Yo-han was behind the wheel, drunk and speeding down a quiet service street) […]

REVIEW: Murder! [1930]

“You can’t run the world on sentiment” A lot needs to go wrong for Alfred Hitchcock‘s Murder! to go right. I say this because Diana Baring (Norah Baring) would never have been arrested in a perfect world. Why? For all the reasons Sir John Menier (Herbert Marshall) lays out about two-thirds of the way through. […]

REVIEW: Blackmail [1929]

“I don’t like waiting about for you” Originally green-lit as a silent film, I’ve read differing accounts as far as Alfred Hitchcock‘s feelings about his producer deciding to shift gears and make Blackmail Europe’s first successful “talkie.” Some say he hated the idea and thus the silent cut (Hitchcock finished two versions of the film […]

REVIEW: Moonrise [1948]

“Anyone can make a mistake” Danny Hawkins (Dane Clark) kills a man. This is indisputable. Was it self-defense? Maybe. While his victim (Lloyd Bridges‘ Jerry Sykes) picked up the rock that would be his own demise first, it’s Danny who restarts what was a fair fight after already being soundly defeated. So while Jerry raised […]