REVIEW: Le meraviglie [The Wonders] [2014]

“When he’s not here we can breathe, right?” The running joke throughout Alice Rohrwacher’s Le meraviglie [The Wonders] is that eldest daughter Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lingu) is in charge of the family. It’s a cutely simple way in which parents Wolfgang (Sam Louwyck) and Angelica (Alba Rohrwacher) can disarm outsiders threatening their livelihood. The family is struggling so it’s easy to position a child as the honey business’ face because Dad’s anything but warm and inviting. But Gelsomina is of the age where quiet acquiesce has become impossible despite truly…

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REVIEW: Spectre [2015]

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond” Remember that badass organization known as Quantum the deliciously vile Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) ran to terrorize James Bond (Daniel Craig) for two films? How about rogue former 00-program pledge Silva (Javier Bardem) wreaking havoc throughout London due a personal vendetta against MI6? They both made for entertaining villains in this rebooted saga with a grittier Bond—each helping bridge the cheese of its predecessors and the new-look superhero darkness Hollywood had embraced at the start of this century. What reason would…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Ville-Marie [2016]

“It’s like you never do the right thing” It may only be his second feature length fictional narrative, but writer/director Guy Édoin‘s Ville-Marie is something special. The title is named after the Montreal hospital where the majority of the film takes place. From an unforgettable opening that violently shakes us awake to prepare for the sprawling yet meticulously constructed plot extending out of its devastation, Édoin and cowriter Jean-Simon DesRochers grab us with a disorienting amount of seemingly disparate avenues. Two automobile accidents will give each character a reason to…

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REVIEW: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice [2010]

“Are you familiar with the grey wolf?” Considering the story goes that Nicolas Cage was the catalyst for getting The Sorcerer’s Apprentice off the ground—he really wanted to do a movie where he had magical powers—and how well-suited his over-the-top theatrics are to family film fare, it’s surprising he hasn’t made a point of doing more this past half decade. All those direct-to-DVD entries can’t be paying him that much money. He did make a run with the two National Treasure movies, coincidentally hatched by the same team of producer…

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REVIEW: Shoot ‘Em Up [2007]

“You know what I hate?” Talk about action packed. Straight from the get go, Shoot ‘Em Up puts the pedal to the floor and never lets up. The opening sequence is quite the setpiece for ushering the audience directly into the film, enhanced beautifully by Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief”. Our hero Smith is sitting on a park bench, eating a carrot, when he sees a pregnant woman being chased down the street by a murderous gentleman. Smith begrudgingly follows to be of help and unwittingly becomes involved in a…

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REVIEW: Hostel [2005]

“Elite Hunting” I have to applaud writer/director Eli Roth for what he has created in Hostel. To me this film is not as much a horror flick as a thriller told with all the gruesome brutality intact. There are no scares, no haunting music crescendoing, and no jump in your seat moments that we expect from the genre. Yes, we get blood and gore and uncut severing of body parts, the film is definitely not for the squeamish, however, Roth tells it in such a way that we as an…

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