Browsing: Reviews

Fantastic Fest 2014 thetribe_1-1

The foundation of The Tribe will intimidate and shock audiences. The film is shot with an all-deaf cast with no acting experience and there are no subtitles to tell you what they’re saying. Accept the premise and the content as a challenge to enhance your love of cinema. It would be reckless to dismiss this as a gimmick. The Tribe works because of the skillful direction of Miroslav…

Fantastic Fest 2014 cub_1-1

Belgian director Jonas Govaerts makes his feature-length debut with Cub, a tale about a group of boy scouts and their leaders who go on a trip into the woods and get more than they bargained for in the form of a mean-spirited being. The buildup in the first act is great, with Govaerts creating a dark brooding atmosphere and showing us characters that are more than his biggest…

Reviews Lilting-other-films-014

Writer/director Hong Khaou’s debut film Lilting examines the painful aftermath of a Chinese Cambodian boy’s death. Kai came to London from China because his mother wanted to give him a better, freer life. Kai is a soft, kind boy who’s lightly charming, fairly fashionable, and somewhat beautiful looking. He’s fairly ordinary, but …

Reviews Frontera-movie-stills-2

The “issue drama” is a difficult thing to pull off properly. Usually, when a film exists to “bring to light” an injustice or to lay out a new viewpoint on an old controversy, it tends to forget to be a good movie in the process. Its principles may be in the right place, but it’s a rare film politically potent enough to paper over

Reviews 140917-001

The gangster film is one of the most lasting and widely adapted of American exports. Every country has their own take on the story of course, either remixing elements from the standard stories, or adding cultural specificity to make something unique. Every country has its own gangsters, after all, and the particular ways …

Fantastic Fest 2014 kfe_1-1

Kung Fu Elliot is about a man with illusions of grandeur. He tells the camera that he’s going to be Canada’s first action star. Perhaps he isn’t familiar with Keanu Reeves or Ryan Reynolds, both Canadian actors that have starred in high profile action films. The subject is Elliot Scott, a man who boasts throughout the film that he’s a Canadian martial arts champion. He tells…

Fantastic Fest 2014 _1JW7056.NEF

John Wick is a refreshing take on a familiar story. The film opens with a broken John Wick (Keanu Reeves) after the loss of his wife due to illness. To help him cope with his loss, her final gift is a puppy to keep him company. The opening fifteen minutes are largely unspoken. The audience learns that Wick is a cold man with little regard for the dog at first. He drives a kickass ’69 Ford…

Reviews thisiswhereileaveyou

Every family feels dysfunctional from the inside. Everybody has their tics, their tendencies, their tiny imperfections that are magnified a million times by constant proximity. People, even people you like, are hard to live with, and people you love can be the hardest. Perhaps that is why the subgenre of films about …

Film Festival guidance_1-1

Guidance (2014), writer-director-actor Pat Mills’ escapist comedy about identity and self-debasement is a fearless portrayal of insecurity and incommunicability in the 21st century. In a world run by images and slogans, it is not uncommon that someone who is different from how the media presents life or how society dictates it will choose to mask their inner qualities as a manner…

Reviews PHOTOESSAY_SPR14_Rushin1

There are directors who convey their stylistic vision to the screen with such single-mindedness that as a viewer you are almost predisposed to like or dislike the finished film prior to actually experiencing it; the key element being experience. Terry Gilliam is one such filmmaker, a creative force of such striking aesthetic …

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