Category Archives: movie review

The Matrix Preloaded: World on a Wire

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TIFF’s been doing a retrospective on the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. A prodigious wunderkind of the seventies German New Wave, he died of a drug overdose at 37, leaving behind over 40 features and television mini-series made in a brief 15-year career. (Cocaine is a powerful drug in the right nose.) In that burgeoning output, Fassbinder made only one science fiction film. World on a Wire appeared in 1973, a made-for-TV two-parter that virtually disappeared soon after its release. Steeped in a 1970s futurist aesthetic, the film is both wildly dated and amazingly anticipatory, a speculative plunge into the world of virtual reality fully 36 years ahead of The Matrix. Turns out Neo wasn’t the only one popping pills to see what’s really going on.

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Here’s What’s Fantastic About “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Throw on some jazz, pour a glass of Giggle Water, and curl up with your favorite bowtruckle, we’re talking Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, on this spoiler-free review.

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RIC: A Shift in the Landscape

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Simone Estrin’s 26-minute documentary, A Shift in the Landscape, is now playing at the Ryerson Image Centre’s (RIC) Student Gallery. As soon as the house lights dim, the colossal abstract sculptures of Richard Serra flood the screen. It is an immediate meditation on art and how it inhabits the environment.

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The Mixed Sense: Stylish Lavender clings to the familiar with creepy amnesiac tale

Ed Gass-Donnelly’s got style and atmosphere to burn, that’s for sure. In the opening moments of his new elegiac horror-thriller Lavender, we track into a frozen tableau of police investigating a grim crime scene in a rustic farmhouse. The cops hover like statues over sheet-draped bodies as the camera glides between them, coming to rest on a petrified girl slumped against a bedroom wall, clutching a bloody razor. As she stares blankly into us, we wonder, is this girl a killer? Why would she do such terrible things?

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31 Days Of Horror 2016: The First Time I Stayed At A “Hostel”

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My knowledge of Eli Roth’s film career is fairly limited. That said, I loved 2002’s Cabin Fever (just watched it a few years ago) and thought Roth was great in both that and in 2009’s Inglourious Basterds. So I was looking forward to seeing what Hostel had to offer.

When the condescending label “torture porn” was being thrown at films like Saw and Hostel back in the early years of the new millennium, I was unable to weigh in on it, as I had not seen either film. Saw is a cleverly plotted thriller that transcends such restrictive and unimaginative criticisms; would Hostel be equally, if not more, intriguing?
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31 Days of Horror 2016: Bone Tomahawk

Well we’re deep into the spooky season with Halloween just a few days away. You’ve watched Friday the 13th and The Exorcist. You were beaten senseless by The Walking Dead’s latest round of audience trolling. Maybe it’s time to mix it up, head off the well-trodden path and get a little weird with your scary. So I give you a few words to roll around in anticipation. Kurt Russell. Western. Cannibal troglodytes. Piqued your curiosity? Then saddle up, hoss. We’re gonna ride and have a jaw about Bone Tomahawk.

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31 Days of Horror 2016: Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek

It’s the horror film that will actually make you want to turn off the lights. On today’s installment of “31 Days of Horror,” it’s the short, Japanese animated film, Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek.  

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31 Days of Horror 2016: What We Do in the Shadows

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I love horror, but my favorite character has always been the vampire. Those little blood suckers have gone through a wide range of metamorphosis starting with the first time I set eyes on them, which was at the tender age of seven. I am a child of the creature double feature generation and the movies offered a wide variety of horror every Saturday afternoon. I was a loyal fan to the undead ever since I watched Bela Lugosi play Dracula in a movie theatre with my mom and siblings while on vacation in Atlantic City.

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My love of bloodsuckers continued up with a major crush on Eric Northman (played by Alexander Skarsgard on the HBO series) a character from the Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire Series called True Blood. I even have vampires as some of the main characters in my Roof Oasis Series. I thought I had seen all there was to see about vampires, but I was wrong. I had yet to watch vampires star on a reality show. What We Do In The Shadows is definitely different, but did I like the film? Sharpen those fangs for my review. Read the rest of this entry

The Lovers and the Despot

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A mad dictator obsessed with film kidnaps the best director and actress of a rival country, so that his nation can make its movies world-class. In two years, the captive pair churn out seventeen movies, before escaping to freedom. Oh, and they’re married. That’s not the ludicrous pitch to the next Coen Brothers flick. It’s actually a true story. In a limited theatrical run and just released to iTunes today, The Lovers and the Despot lays out the ludicrous details in a fascinating, strange documentary.

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TIFF 2016 Review: La La Land an exhilarating People’s Choice Award winner

The big Hollywood musical is alive and well. Sure, it’s an endangered species, but Damien Chazelle’s vibrant La La Land is about as fine a specimen as you can find. Chosen by Toronto’s filmgoing horde as the best film at TIFF this year, La La Land is a throwback tour de force.

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