REVIEW: Jurassic Park III [2001]

“No force on Earth or Heaven could get me on that island” It’s almost ironic to discover David Koepp—screenwriter of the franchise’s previous two installments—was the one to think up the “simpler” story concept that Peter Buchman (with revisions by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor) ultimately built upon for Jurassic Park III. The man responsible […]

REVIEW: The Commuter [2018]

“One little thing” If the timeline is to be believed, the fourth meet-up between director Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson entitled The Commuter was the result of the latter rather than the former. Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi‘s story went through the hands of at least two other stewards as well as a rewrite […]

REVIEW: Sweet Country [2018]

“What chance have we got?” Director Warwick Thornton immediately connected to childhood friend and co-writer David Tranter‘s (with Steven McGregor) script because it provided an authentic context for the historical treatment of their indigenous Central Australian tribes. Based on stories passed down by Tranter’s grandfather as well as Wilaberta Jack’s true life 1920s self-defense killing […]

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 […]

REVIEW: Hunt for the Wilderpeople [2016]

“Find water. Go to high ground. And don’t get naked.” A Māori boy and a Pākehā man go forth into the New Zealand bush. It sounds like the start to a joke. But while Taika Waititi‘s latest Hunt for the Wilderpeople is hilarious, it’s far from being a trivial lark. There’s some weighty emotion involved […]

REVIEW: Possession [1981]

“There is nothing to fear except God. Whatever that means to you.” It’s the early 1980s in West Berlin and graffiti everywhere screams for the wall to be taken down. Mysterious figures linger on the other side not quite hidden from view, watching with binoculars and always seemingly looking directly in our direction. Tensions are […]

REVIEW: The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box [2014]

“Faithfulness will be your shield” There will never be a lack of literary fantasy adventures for ages 12 and up to transfer from page to screen. The question becomes whether the property is given access to a wealthy studio’s clout or one more reliant on word-of-mouth and existing fanbase to ease the transition. For Entertainment […]

REVIEW: Jurassic Park [1993]

“Spared no expense” Dinosaurs have captivated us for centuries—their bones dug up and reassembled in museums and theories about whether they’re descendants of reptiles or birds ebbing and flowing with technological improvement and scientific expansion. So it’s no surprise techno-thriller author Michael Crichton eventually put them at the center of one of his novels, using […]

TIFF11 INTERVIEW: Willem Dafoe (actor) and Daniel Nettheim (director), of The Hunter

On press duty for their new film The Hunter at the Toronto International Film Festival, director Daniel Nettheim and Willem Dafoe have been discussing Tasmania, Julia Leigh’s source material, and their cinematic sensibilities. It’s a character-driven piece that showcases its star’s craft while also the exotic environment his job of capturing the last Tasmanian tiger […]

TIFF11 REVIEW: The Hunter [2011]

“GO HOME GREENIE” The Australian takeover in cineplexes worldwide continues at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011. With more and more work finding distribution to travel off the island, one woman is writing her chapter in the movement. A novelist of two acclaimed works, Julia Leigh has already found her way into Cannes with […]

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. […]