TIFF13 REVIEW: Canopy [2014]

“The sunshine of summer time belongs to us all” It’s September 9th, 1942 and the Japanese have already invaded Singapore three years before the first atomic bomb will shake them with devastating force and ultimately close out one of the ugliest chapters in Earth’s history. Through an alliance that has held strong even today—this film […]

REVIEW: Black Gold [Day of the Falcon] [2011]

“God hates what we do in his name” The “new” film Day of the Falcon has had an odd trajectory to American theatres. Originally titled Black Gold, Jean-Jacques Annaud‘s contemporary epic in sand debuted at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Qatar and released in the director’s homeland of France way back in 2011. Kicked […]

REVIEW: Zero Dark Thirty [2012]

“Some hummus, tabouli—I don’t know what that is—some figs” I have a very clear recollection of the day Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan because I was having dinner in India when a friend Facebook messaged me from America with the news. With no fanfare or announcement, Hindi reporters on TV were my only […]

REVIEW: Allegiance [Recalled] [2012]

“Which diagnosis do you believe?” Not all short films should be given the feature length treatment. What works on a small, concise scale often finds itself expanded beyond its capabilities, not necessarily failing because the additions don’t fit the central conceit but because they ruin the original impact through superfluity. I haven’t seen Michael Connors‘ […]

REVIEW: Белый тигр [White Tiger] [2012]

“Even I’m not old enough to know what happened” It’s a unique treat any time a film depicting World War II doesn’t center on the Holocaust or American forces storming the beaches of Normandy. Honestly, these are the two subjects we in the United States learn during our public school education because we frankly don’t […]

TIFF12 REVIEW: لما شفتك [When I Saw You] [2013]

“You’re suffocating me” Leave it to writer/director Annemarie Jacir to make an American more or less indoctrinated to side with the Israelis in the war for the Holy Land see her people’s freedom fighters (fadayee) in a sympathetic light. The first ever female Palestinian director—her debut feature Salt of This Sea was the region’s 2008 […]

REVIEW: Act of Valor [2012]

“You’re always trying to get home” Asked by the Navy to create a film to honor the fallen Seals since 9-11 who gave their lives to protect our country, Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh took six months to gain the active team’s trust and begin to understand exactly what they do on a day-to-day basis. […]

REVIEW: War Horse [2011]

“There are big days and there are small days” Thirteen years since Saving Private Ryan and six since his last ‘serious’ work in Munich, Steven Spielberg pulls out all the stops for his newest WWI epic War Horse. Based on the 1982 children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo that was recently adapted into a Tony Award-winning […]

REVIEW: Oorlogswinter [Winter in Wartime] [2008]

“Rule one in wartime: keep your mouth shut” War has a way of involving even the most unsuspecting child thought to be safe from the pain of death and destruction left in its wake. It has a way of hardening the most innocent of souls, quickening the pace towards adulthood by exposing all to hard […]

REVIEW: Captain America: The First Avenger [2011]

“Star-spangled man with a plan” Not having been someone who read comics as a kid, I am definitely in the dark on the inner-workings of the Marvel universe. Everyone has a cursory knowledge of DC’s greats and I’m not quite sure why that is. Batman and Superman are household names, their powers and origin tales […]

NYAFF11 REVIEW: 手塚治虫のブッダ-赤い砂漠よ!美しく [Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha: The Great Departure] [2011]

“He who has attained his goal” This year’s New York Asian Film Festival was graced with the North American premiere of a film almost three decades in the making. The critically acclaimed and three-time Eisner Award winning manga, Buddha, from Osamu Tezuka, the “Godfather of Anime”, has been given the big screen treatment from animation […]