TIFF18 REVIEW: Where Hands Touch [2018]

I want her to be like everyone else: unremarkable. Now is not the time to make a film romanticizing Nazism or allowing anyone who donned the swastika during World War II a modicum of sympathy. I’d argue there could never be such a time—at least not for those who say they felt bad but still did nothing to stop the nightmare they helped usher into creation. Their cooperation in a genocidal extermination cannot be given a footnote for remorse. They cannot skate by on some notion that they participated unwillingly…

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REVIEW: Limitless [2011]

“I was blind, but now I see” What would you do if you had the means to engage the entirety of your brain? To go from twenty-five percent to a hundred in thirty seconds after taking a tiny, clear pill—it’s a no-brainer, right? Your first taste is from an old friend, your assumption is that the drug is FDA-approved, and the effects are too good to dismiss. So what if you soon find out the manufacturing is done in an illegal kitchen? Who cares if your only connection to the…

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REVIEW: Sucker Punch [2011]

“It will be a deep sacrifice and a perfect victory” If you’re going to make an R-rated film, you better well do so. Zack Snyder is a director who has been given the green-light to go for broke on all his adult-fare, (I exclude Legend of the Guardians from his oeuvre here), towards box office glory. So, when the time came for his passion project, you’d believe the studios would sit back and let him weave his magic. But then came Watchmen’s fiscal failure and questions about the man’s true…

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TIFF09 RECAP: Connecting to Your World … and mine

Every year at the Toronto International Film Festival seems to get better and better. Is that due to the increase in films from six to eleven to fifteen? It very well might be. And I’ll just say now, watching fifteen films in less than four days may not be the healthiest thing in the world. Between the vendor sausage/chicken dogs/nitrates on a bun being easily accessible and a standard meal when going from one film to the next with barely enough time to catch your breath and the sheer fact…

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TIFF09 REVIEW: Bright Star [2009]

“There is a holiness to the heart’s affections” Director Jane Campion has always been one of those names who’s work I just never had the pleasure of viewing. Finally, a few years back, I had the opportunity to see The Piano almost fifteen years after its release. It definitely lived up to expectations and with a couple of her works getting the Criterion DVD treatment recently, the chance to watch her new tale of John Keats and love Fanny Brawne at the Toronto International Film Festival couldn’t be passed up.…

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REVIEW: Stop-Loss [2008]

“Read the cards Shorty” This review contains spoilers Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss is the perfect example of a film that can show whether you like the medium or the stories. I think I can tell myself that I am a true film fanatic after watching this because I thought it was a great piece of work. I’ve come to this conclusion because while I would see it again and recommend it to friends, I cannot condone one iota of it. It is blatantly anti-war, anti-American, and probably the worst thing that…

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REVIEW: Elizabeth: The Golden Age [2007]

“I will live right until the end” Whereas Elizabeth told a tale of royalty and the politics underlying every action to gain power, Elizabeth: The Golden Age weaves the story of how that strength survives. Michael Hirst gets help this time from the capable William Nicholson to explain what happens once the queen has proven her worth. The country has accepted her, yet many Catholic dissenters hide behind Mary Stuart, looking for an overthrow. Outside her kingdom sees Spain reviling her crown, standing against the God they hold dear. King…

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