TIFF19 REVIEW: Blackbird [2020]

To wonderful life. It’s not everyday that an international remake retains the same screenwriter, but that’s the case with Christian Torpe and his script for the Danish film Silent Heart moving to director Roger Michell‘s hands as Blackbird. I haven’t seen the original, but the subject’s universality has me thinking very little besides cultural changes were necessary in the translation. Assisted suicide is a hot-button issue in many countries and a family’s ability to get on-board a member’s decision to go through with one is tough no matter where they…

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REVIEW: The Meg [2018]

Discover and then destroy. An adaptation of Steve Alten‘s Navy deep-sea diver/paleobiologist Jonas Taylor-led series of novels has been in the works pretty much since the first installment was published back in 1997. There have been six literary sequels written since then as the property changed hands from Disney to Warner Bros. and directors from Jan de Bont to Eli Roth to Jon Turteltaub. That second name is interesting because Alten’s book is described as a science-fiction horror. So to read that Roth left over “creative differences” can’t help but…

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REVIEW: Army of One [2016]

“They don’t call me the psychic wizard for nothing” To hear about Gary Faulkner is to know the meaning of the phrase “stranger than fiction.” This is a Chatty Cathy of a Colorado handyman who was visited by God one afternoon while receiving dialysis and given a mission. Of everyone on planet Earth, Gary was the one personally selected by his Lord and Savior to capture Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and bring him to the United States for “justice and stuff.” Not the Marines. Not mercenaries or Al-Qaeda power…

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REVIEW: Galaxy Quest [1999]

“Never give up. Never surrender.” What would happen if William Shatner were beamed into space for real—tracked down by a group of aliens indecipherable from the litany of cosplaying fans clamoring for his autograph at one of the infinite Comic Cons held around the nation? This is the question stuck in screenwriter David Howard‘s head as he put Galaxy Quest to paper in order to imagine the possibilities. A lush with a bigger head than when the titular show was on air, Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) encourages fans with a…

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REVIEW: Super [2010]

“Now you have no legs!” Writer/director James Gunn definitely has a unique sensibility. His debut feature, Slither, was a comedic horror than crossed the line into farce often while still retaining a great eye for gore and violence, appealing to both genres equally. So, when I heard his newest film, Super, was a look into the world of a down-on-his-luck sadsack who decides to become a superhero avenger, recruiting a young female sidekick along the way, I couldn’t help think it was the perfect setting to let Gunn’s imagination run…

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TIFF07 REVIEW: Juno [2007]

“It all started with a chair” It’s a good feeling when you can walk out of your very first Toronto Film Festival showing thinking, “Wow, that was great.” The screening was for Juno, the sophomore effort from director Jason Reitman. Let’s just say that the proverbial slump is nowhere to be seen. I enjoyed Thank You For Smoking immensely, however, the ending couldn’t hold the tone he had set up from the start. With Juno, I kept waiting for the same pitfall, but thankfully it never showed face. As Reitman…

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