REVIEW: Tommy’s Honour [2017]

“A man’s got to use every club he has” I’ve never been one for golf—playing or watching. I know many who feel the same and many of those who found themselves becoming fans during Tiger Woods’ heyday anyway. You can’t blame them for it either. Celebrity, national pride, and the excitement surrounding both are tough to combat. The draw therefore became peoples’ desire to see what Tiger did: which tournaments he won, who he beat, and by what margin. Golf became secondary to this hero’s allure like many other sports…

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REVIEW: Top of the Lake, Parts 1-3 [2013]

“You know, you were my first kiss. Was I yours?” A young boy on a bus—this is the indelible mark left by the first three episodes of Jane Campion and Gerard Lee‘s miniseries Top of the Lake and it sticks less than five minutes in. Anonymous throughout these three hours of crime drama, this boy is the only one who seems to care about twelve-year old Tui (Jacqueline Joe) after she walks into their small New Zealand town’s cursed lake. His text “R U OK” goes answered as she is…

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REVIEW: Welcome to the Punch [2013]

“Does she now? You look like Kenny Rogers.” Bolstered by a script ranking number three on the 2010 Brit List—a film industry tabulation of the best unproduced British screenplays—Eran Creevy‘s Welcome to the Punch goes a long way to putting the writer/director on our cinematic map. The guy has worked behind the scenes on projects with Danny Boyle, Woody Allen, Neil Jordan, and Matthew Vaughn, the latter appearing to be who’s style he most closely resembles. Shooting a ton of music videos and commercials alongside his debut feature Shifty, Creevy…

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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 stage play earlier this year, the title deceives as far as explaining the true subject of the work. While we follow Joey the horse from birth to the savage conditions of the Great War, he…

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TIFF10: Day Three Recap

Day Three at TIFF was by far our craziest of the year—seeing five films back-to-back from 11AM to 2:30AM. The late start allowed for a bit of sleeping in for preparation, as well as a semi-lengthy breakfast at Timmy Ho’s, both of which probably kept us from falling asleep during the marathon sittings. And while the last two of the night finally saw a bit of humor infused into the otherwise heavy schedule of dramas that do take something out of you, the morning opened with what could have been…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: Neds [2010]

“Marcus is in the garden, but … shhh” Young John McGill’s Aunt Beth, played by Marianna Palka, tells the boy, “your dreams are gonna come true, ya know”. It’s a telling statement once you watch Peter Mullan’s very Scottish—to the point it had English subtitles for an English language film—Neds. Sitting through the World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, I began to wonder if an adolescent in 1972 Glasgow could dream, let alone think it would become reality. The title is an acronym/abbreviation of the common Scottish detrimental…

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TIFF10 PREVIEW: 4 Days, 16 Films, 200 Miles …

September is once more synonymous with four words: Toronto International Film Festival. Fellow Spree’er Christopher Schobert and I will again travel north for a weekend of what could be the top candidates for Oscar gold come next winter. Of course, they could also be films that may hit theater screens within the next two to three years depending on distribution deals. It’s another jam-packed schedule of sixteen films in less than four days. Daunting for sure, but a challenge we rise toward with excitement. Sadly, the most coveted title of…

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REVIEW: Boy A [2008]

“Evil comes of age” Time to catch up on the indie releases that I missed in 2008, those films that decided to bypass Buffalo on their limited theatrical runs. Boy A has been on that list for a while now, ever since I saw the trailer, one that captivated me completely. That short advertisement didn’t lie as the film is definitely a winner and worth seeing for fans of dark and emotionally gripping dramas. Centered around a young man, just released from prison for killing a young child—when he himself…

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REVIEW: Children of Men [2006]

“Very odd, what happens in a world without children’s voices” Alfonso Cuarón has been a must-see director for me since his Spanish-language Y tu mamá también. Following that gem with the best Harry Potter film yet, I couldn’t wait until he delved into adult material again. I got my wish this year with the dystopic drama Children of Men. Although I have been waiting months to see the film based on its trailer, I couldn’t help but be disappointed by how much that tease gave away. I remember that no…

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