TIFF13 REVIEW: Begin Again [Can a Song Save Your Life?] [2014]

“Yeah. I just phased out my cassettes.” To answer the title’s question—Can a Song Save Your Life?—writer/director John Carney says, “Yes.” A song can save someone from jumping off a subway platform and someone else from the searing emotional pain of being scorned in love. Music in general is an art form that can move us to tears with one simple chord or touchingly real lyric. It alters us in a way that can’t be explained; the same song telling a person there is purpose while the guy standing a…

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REVIEW: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [2005]

“So long and thanks for all the fish” It took a quarter century for Douglas Adams‘ seminal work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to hit the big screen, but it was worth the wait. Well, I’m probably not the authoritative word on such a statement considering the book series has rested unread on my shelf for the better part of ten years. As someone with no frame of reference to either it or the original radio play, though, I can say it’s a ton of British satirical fun showcasing…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: I’m Still Here [2010]

“I don’t want to be the Joaquin character anymore” I think director Casey Affleck’s letter to the audience attending the Toronto International Film Festival screening of his (faux?) documentary I’m Still Here stated the type of polarizing effect it has on the entertainment obsessed public best. “Because of the premiere in LA, I couldn’t make it before the screening and I didn’t want to be there after it,” going on to say that he will address the media’s burning questions about the validity of what he filmed in due time.…

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REVIEW: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party [2005]

“Turn off the radio” It is very refreshing to see a Michel Gondry film with hardly any descriptive marks to tell you he made it. Besides the opening titles being drawn in bright colors on the fence behind Dave Chappelle and the one instance where we hear Gondry’s French accent ask Jill Scott a question, this could be any old concert film. Well, I shouldn’t say that…Block Party is definitely a one of a kind, behind the scenes look at a bunch of people giving back to the community and…

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REVIEW: Be Kind Rewind [2008]

“To all the films with heart, and soul” Thankfully, Michel Gondry has once again taken his warped mind and melded together a piece of work that is personal and touching, without ever going too far into sentimentality. For all of you who saw the trailer and think that either it will take a one-note joke and beat it to the ground or be out-loud funny at all turns, don’t bother watching because it is neither. I only wish I could have told the four 16-year old girls in front of…

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REVIEW: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby [2006]

“Shake and Bake” If Talladega Nights did anything for me, it confirmed my previous bias that racecar driving is boring to watch. While filled with some great, random one-liners, and some really good performances, Ricky Bobby’s ballad crawls along at a sluggish pace. What’s weird about this outlook is that the slowest talking character, played hilariously by Sacha Baron Cohen, was actually a part that moved the scenes forward. It was flashy, fast-talking, yet ultimately uninteresting. I will admit to not being much of a Will Ferrell fan. I find…

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