• TIFF19 REVIEW: The Rest of Us [2019]

    “Feels Inside Not Expressed” Despite death being a definitive end, there’s still a chance for new beginnings in the aftermath. Sometimes it’s by necessity and sometimes by choice. In the case of Craig, however, it’s inevitably both thanks to his leaving behind two families: his first and his second. While he left Cami (Heather Graham) […]

  • TIFF19 REVIEW: Knives Out [2019]

    “The cow and the shotgun” No stranger to a good mystery—noir (Brick) or comedy (The Brothers Bloom)—Knives Out sees Rian Johnson getting back to a wholly original property before returning to the world of Star Wars. From the stellar cast to its Clue-esque estate (even he couldn’t resist that joke), this whodunit has looked impeccably […]

  • TIFF19 REVIEW: Sound of Metal [2019]

    “Will it come back?” The film opens with Riz Ahmed‘s Ruben sitting at a drum kit while guitar distortions deafen us. Eventually Olivia Cooke‘s Lou starts screaming as his sticks connect for a steady beat until all hell breaks loose. We’re in this venue with them, the in-close camerawork proving Ahmed’s lessons paid off because […]

  • TIFF19 REVIEW: Håp [Hope] [2019]

    “What do we tell the kids?” Tomas (Stellan Skarsgård) was married with three children when Anja (Andrea Bræin Hovig) met him. She didn’t want to fall in love, but twenty years and three more kids later show that’s exactly what happened. When Anja raised their babies, Tomas worked—a lot. When it was time for her […]

  • TIFF19 REVIEW: Calm with Horses [2020]

    “That’s not you” To cross the Devers family is to earn retribution. This is a known fact to all in the rural Irish town of Glanbeigh. Some strangers arrive and overstep their bounds without knowing (as if getting involved with drug dealers was an act whose danger can be unknown), but most everyone knows everyone […]

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film reviews

REVIEW: Lady in the Water [2006]

“Man has forgotten how to listen” M. Night Shyamalan has really matured as a filmmaker the past few years. After an auspicious beginning with the much-adored Sixth Sense, he followed with a slow, poorly paced Unbreakable and the not quite sure what it wanted to be Signs. At this point I pretty much wrote him […]

REVIEW: Clerks II [2006]

“The Passion of the Clerks” Who would have thought twelve years ago that the small indie film Clerks would be a success, considered a classic, and eventually spawn a sequel? I don’t think even writer/director Kevin Smith would have thought he’d be working in Hollywood let alone having all that occur. Alas, it did. While […]

REVIEW: The Deer Hunter [1978]

“One shot” Michael Cimino’s masterpiece The Deer Hunter is one of the greatest films ever made. Concerning a group of steel worker friends in Pennsylvania, the movie shows us the comradery and good natured fun they enjoy together leading up to their departure for Vietnam. We open on the day of Stevie’s (John Savage) wedding, […]

REVIEW: Waydowntown [2000]

“Sadly I’m Bradley” Waydowntown is Calgary, Alberta’s Gary Burns’ satiric look on the office workplace. While a film like Mike Judge’s Office Space goes for the laughs and absurdity of the daily grind, Burns gives us something more palpable with his take. We are looking in on a group of corporate ants roaming through their […]

REVIEW: A Scanner Darkly [2006]

“I saw death rising from the ground” What if the government turned one of its own into that which it serves to rid society of? If it enlisted anonymous employees for a mission, while necessary, that called for them to turn their recruit into an addict? The only way to infiltrate an illegal operation is […]

REVIEW: The Boondock Saints [1999]

“Evil is the indifference of good men” Why did Troy Duffy need to open his mouth and burn every bridge he had in Hollywood? After making an amazing movie like The Boondock Saints, more so for being his first feature film script and direction, fans are told a sequel, All Saints Day, is planned. Unfortunately […]

REVIEW: Sky High [2005]

“Did I mention she’s not just her twin, but her ‘evil’ twin?” What a nice surprise this movie is. The trailer always piqued my interest, but I just never had Sky High at the top of my movie to see list. I must now do the shameless plug of OnDemand television; it is a great […]

REVIEW: Charade [1963]

“Punch and Judy” After seeing the dismal Jonathan Demme film The Truth About Charlie, I was left aghast. The film had so much going for it. But it was a major letdown besides the surreal New Wave feel of the sequence just before the end credits. I flipped the disc over upon completion to check […]

REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest [2006]

“Hide the rum” Disney hit gold figuratively and literally in 2003 with a successful theme park ride adaptation. (While I loved the movie, please don’t get me started on the whole adding Jack Sparrow to the attractions in Florida and California, thus ruining tradition and memories of childhood…it just hurts too much.) In the world […]

REVIEW: Belle de jour [1967]

French language director Luis Buñuel is a master at cinematic surrealism. After seeing his masterpiece Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie in film history class during college, I had been intrigued to seek out and see more from him. So, when the Sundance Channel recently aired Belle de jour I took the plunge. While at […]

REVIEW: Cars [2006]

I’m not quite sure why people are speaking of Cars as the worst Pixar movie to date, as being the one that had nothing original to bring to the table. I must totally disagree as I found the film to be highly enjoyable. Besides an overly sappy “better-days” flashback scored to a James Taylor led […]

REVIEW: Superman Returns [2006]

“With the planet on his shoulders … Daily” Superman Returns. The name says it all. Our Man of Steel returns to our collective consciousness after almost 20 years. Has he arrived with the big bang all the hype has culled together? Unfortunately, not even close. Bryan Singer leaves his flourishing X-Men saga to helm an […]

REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code [2006]

“O’ Draconian Devil” Finally I can cross The Da Vinci Code off my list of movies to see. While I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I was on the fence when the prospect of going to the theater came up. In the end I realized it needed to be seen on the big screen and I’m […]

REVIEW: House of D [2004]

“I need the Dad face one more time” David Duchovny has crafted a beautifully touching film with House of D. It is a coming-of-age story of sorts as his character narrates what happened to him around his thirteenth birthday. Being that his own son, in France, is now turning into a teenager, he feels that […]

REVIEW: Ice Age 2: The Meltdown [2006]

Ice Age came out in 2002 giving me no real inspiration to go check it out. Of course I finally did and found it to be well voiced and scripted. So, when Ice Age 2: The Meltdown debuted, I had a bit more interest in seeing it, even though the idea of sequels usually doesn’t […]