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2020

Reviews

We Are Many

By: Jolie Featherstone We Are Many offers an inspiring – dare I say celebratory – look at the organization and outcomes of the largest protest in human history.  Indeed, an estimated 30 million people (many of whom had never attended a protest before) in over 800 cities across the entire globe collectively protested the US’ war in Iraq on February 15, 2003.

Reviews

Tesla

Tesla, written and directed by Michael Almereyda (Hamlet [2000], Majorie Prime), explores the famous Serbian inventor with an ostensible inventiveness in both narrative and form.  While the experimentation is welcome and even appropriate, its application is uneven and questionable, and leads to an uncertain overall thesis.

Reviews

The King of Staten Island

The King of Staten Island is another win for director Judd Apatow, who last left movie goers with his career-best work in Trainwreck.  It appears, though, that the filmmaker was preparing for The King of Staten Island with Trainwreck.  Just as he gave comedienne Amy Schumer a platform to expand on her own stand-up about her self-consciousness with the opposite sex, he gives SNL comic Pete Davidson this movie to explore his upbringing in this,…

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Blackbird

By: Jessica Goddard Despite its inexplicable first-rate cast, Blackbird is an eye-rollingly disappointing take on the terminal illness drama from director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, My Cousin Rachel).  Screenwriter Christian Torpe paints with a bland palette of stock characters to slap together a narrative infested with clichés and unnatural one-liners, leading nowhere of interest.

Reviews

DTF

What begins as an attempt to record a widowed, middle-aged pilot’s efforts to find true love on the dating app Tinder quickly morphs into something much darker and chaotic in director Al Bailey’s documentary DTF.  As the pilot in question, an old friend of Bailey’s identified only by the pseudonym “Christian”, reveals increasingly outlandish and destructive behavior, the original premise of the film is abandoned in favour of an exploration of the toxic, hard-partying world…

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Nadia, Butterfly

Pascal Plante’s Nadia, Butterfly eerily takes place at the now-cancelled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and follows a French Canadian Olympian swimmer as she participates in her final event as a professional athlete.  Lovingly directed yet glacially paced, Nadia, Butterfly boasts some excellent performances and cinematography, but struggles to overcome its vague characterizations and meandering screenplay.

Reviews

The Broken Hearts Gallery

In a romantic movie, a relationship’s break-up is simply used as a story device – a stepping stone towards the rising action.  But, writer/director Natalie Krinsky uses this turning point as the main focus in her rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery, a conventional film with a few good laughs and character-driven surprises along the way.

Reviews

The Tax Collector

Filmmakers like to carve out their niche.  For instance, George A. Romero had the horror genre and, more importantly, he clung on to zombie culture.  He was always experimenting with the undead.  If his ideas didn’t pan out, he moved on to the next project with more ambition than before.  In a similar vein, writer/director David Ayer (Suicide Squad, Bright) likes the action genre and, more importantly, he’s clung on to gang culture and its…

Reviews

Ravage

Ravage is essentially a campfire story for mature audiences: there’s a lot of build up, an unsettling suggestion of what could happen, and then a freaky follow through.  What we learn throughout the film, however, is that writer/director Teddy Grennan and the film’s nincompoop producers are incapable of closing their set-ups.  This is demonstrated by some earlier mini murders, making us apprehensive about its grand finale when a ludicrous torture chamber is invented and utterly…