REVIEW: Last Night [1998]

Would it hurt you to play along just once? The cause might be unnamed, but the fact it’s still sunny at midnight guarantees the giant star at the center of our solar system is going supernova (whether or not physics deems it possible). Because all life on Earth will cease in a predetermined instant, you can bet the entire world thought about where they’ll be and what they’ll do when it happens. Maybe a newscaster takes it upon himself to stay on-air and guide viewers while your local DJ compiles…

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REVIEW: Still Alice [2014]

“I knew I shouldn’t have had that champagne” There’s little scarier in this world than a debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s. You may initially feel a sentiment as shared by the titular Alice (Julianne Moore) in Still Alice to be hyperbolic, but the thought that cancer could be a better option is an extreme worth considering. We’d all hope to never have either effect ourselves or our families, but the prospect of losing health does in a certain way seem more appealing than losing one’s self. Because that’s what Alzheimer’s does:…

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REVIEW: Stories We Tell [2012]

“Love is so short; forgetting is so long” I remember seeing posters for Sarah Polley‘s newest work Stories We Tell affixed to storefront windows while walking down the streets of Toronto at last September’s 2012 Film Festival. It struck me as weird since she had just completed Take This Waltz the year before, itself five years after her critically acclaimed drama Away From Her. Knowing little of its content, I began gleaning details: it was a documentary, a personal story, and something one woman I overheard say would never play…

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Top 25 Films of 2012

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching ~140 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: End of Watch directed by David Ayer #24: Amour directed by Michael Haneke #23: Moonrise Kingdom directed by Wes Anderson #22: How to Survive a Plague directed by David France. #21: Prometheus directed by Ridley Scott. #20: Antiviral directed byBrandon Cronenberg #19: Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes. #18: Wreck-It Ralph directed by Rich Moore. #17: The Best ExoticMarigold Hotel directed by…

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VIFF11 REVIEW: Take This Waltz [2012]

“August 15, 2040, 2pm” Films dealing with break-ups have the trouble of easily falling into two camps. Either the work is genuine and emotionally devastating like a Blue Valentine or faux romantic and absolutely trite like The Break-Up. Having already wowed the world with her debut feature of complete authenticity dealing with Alzheimer’s destructive power on love, Away From Her, I hoped Sarah Polley had her finger on the pulse of heartache and would carry it through to her sophomore work, Take This Waltz. Unfortunately, although it is brilliantly acted…

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REVIEW: Splice [2010]

“I guess we’ll find out from the autopsy” If you play with science you might get burned. Or is that fire? I guess the former is just as appropriate, especially when concerning a sci-fi horror flick such as Splice. Science can be very dangerous and absolutely uncontrollable like the flame scorching all in its path. Vincenzo Natali’s film may on the surface appear to be a message-driven story dealing with the moral quandaries of genetic manipulation, but it’s truthfully more a psychological study in growing up within captivity and what…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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REVIEW: My Life Without Me [2003]

“There’s no such thing as normal people” It may be clichéd to use the phrase, “if you look ‘blank’ up in the dictionary, you will see a photo of ‘blank’”, but sometimes it is appropriate. Sarah Polley, for instance, epitomizes the words underrated and underused. I know she has evolved her state in the film industry by becoming an auteur behind the camera of late, but it truly is a joy to go back and watch her early work in front of it. Finally catching The Sweet Hereafter a short…

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REVIEW: The Sweet Hereafter [1997]

“Wiggle your noses and have fun” **spoilers** How much money is your child worth? Is that a question you could ever fathom yourself asking? Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter broaches the subject with devastating results, showing the many ways in which one could lose their offspring and the pain and suffering it causes. But can that pain be tempered by a monetary settlement or a name being punished with a slap on the wrist? No, of course not. Vengeance will only feed your lust for blood; it will only make…

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Top 25 Films of 2007

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 114 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Away From Her directed by Sarah Polley . #24: Cassandra’s Dream directed by Woody Allen . #23: The Cake Eaters directed by Mary Stuart Masterson #22: Grindhouse directed by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez #21: Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn . . #20: Reign Over Me directed by Mike Binder . . #19: El Orfanato [The Orphanage] directed by J.A. Bayona…

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REVIEW: Away From Her [2007]

“Something delicious in oblivion” Canadian actress Sarah Polley has crafted a tale about love in the midst of great adversity by adapting a short story into her new film Away From Her. I have been a fan of hers, acting-wise, for a few years now since Go, and was pleasantly surprised to see that she had written and directed a film garnering a lot of good buzz. What she tells here is a story about an older couple grappling with the wife’s slow deterioration from Alzheimer’s. Although there is little…

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