Only Pixar could find a way to reevaluate quirky comic relief as a poignant study on mental and physical disabilities. Academy Award winning writer/director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL·E) along with co-director/writer Angus MacLane (in her feature-length debut after developing her filmmaking through Toy Story short films) have developed a faithful sequel while also identifying a message that has been treaded cautiously in the past.
Like a near-death experience, I can recall the exact moment when I first watched the trailer for Underdogs. The shabby preview – exchanging comedic pacing and intelligence for celebrity vocals that didn’t match the animation and a stupid premise – almost eclipsed the train wreck that followed it (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2).
Sometime after Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and before Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen was at a crossroads with his comedy: does he expose more social experiments with wry satire or does he stick with outrageous nastiness?
There’s not much that can be said about recurring themes in Nicolas Winding Refn’s films that hasn’t been said before, but here’s a recap: self-indulgent, hyper violent, misogynist, pretentious, shallow.
9 Days with Cambria is sold as an experiment in character development and storytelling. It tells the story of a young woman by the name of Cambria, who was once raped by her boyfriend-at-the-time which led to their breakup and her worsened mental state. In more competent hands, this could have been an inquisitive work, but in the hands of directors Mike Klassen (Abolition) and Jason Armstrong, the final product is at best inconsequential and at…
Free State of Jones is inspired by real events that took place in Jones County, Mississippi following the United States’ civil war. As expected, Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club) is impressive as Newton Knight, a former army medic who lead an armed rebellion against the confederate army. The film also features strong performances by Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a freedwoman named Rachel, and Mahershala Ali as a former slave named Moses who joins Knight’s movement.
Look Again has an interesting concept, but stops at its moral dilemma. It even feels like it begins fifteen minutes into its own story, not giving audiences a fair chance to bite into any leading characters. The film is filled with ideas and questions and confrontations that are better suited for a stage show developed by a flavourful improv troupe.
Being a film critic, you witness certain – shall I say – ebbs and flows; usually reflecting on what mainstream audiences are demanding or what studios are labelling “hot”. I usually understand trends in popularity, but the volume of Canadian productions dabbling in supernatural quirky comedies is stunning.
After losing both of her parents to cancer, Megan Murphy decided to express her grief by flying to Ireland and travelling across 14 of its counties on her family’s revered Peugeot bicycle.
For a career that spans nearly 5 decades, Brian De Palma’s style and subject as a filmmaker remains strikingly consistent. Unlike his New Hollywood contemporaries (Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola), De Palma has never strayed far from his generic comfort zone.