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Articles by Addison Wylie

Reviews

Tótem

Lila Avilés’ Tótem, Mexico’s selection for Best International Feature Film at the 2023’s Academy Awards that didn’t make the cut, offers a unique fly-on-the-wall point-of-view on a typical family drama.  The movie’s perspective commits to a cramped aspect ratio but doesn’t marry itself to a specific identity, giving the audience a true outsider’s view of a personal conflict they’re infringing on.

Reviews

Four Daughters

Tunisia’s harrowing Oscar nominated documentary Four Daughters is a trip in the sense that you never know what to expect from it. It’s a sympathetic filmmaking experiment that aims to work as closure for its subjects but, along the way, rediscovers old family wounds that also need to be addressed.

Reviews

The Underdoggs

“Tacky” and “hacky”. Those are the first words that spring to mind when describing The Underdoggs, an R-rated, pee-wee sports comedy from director Charles Stone III (Mr. 3000, Uncle Drew), and starring rapper Snoop Dogg.  “Tacky” because the humour derives from the stale gag of having adults swearing around, or at, kids.  “Hacky” because Snoop should feel guilty for aiming at such low-hanging comedic fruit.

Reviews

Memory

Evoking the reflective nature of meditative character dramas like Pieces of a Woman and Trouble in the Garden, Memory roots itself in disturbing subject matter only to uncover beautiful and organic growth between two societal outsiders.

Reviews

Trolls Band Together

While Trolls Band Together works as an innocuous piece of children’s entertainment, it’s official that the popular animated series may be finally spinning its wheels and overreaching for ideas.  Resident franchise directors Walt Dohrn (Trolls World Tour) and Tim Heitz (Trolls Holiday in Harmony) return to helm this sequel that does something the other feature-length movies haven’t done: call attention to itself.

Reviews

Lift

Director F. Gary Gray calls back to his days as an acton-thriller filmmaker with Lift, a heist movie that aspires to be an airborne version of Gray’s remake of The Italian Job.  However, that former influence was an entertaining and accessible thrill ride with enough charisma to boot.  Lift , the complete opposite, is an expensive-looking, self-serious knockoff; hampered by a convoluted plot and absent camaraderie among the cast.  The only thing this empty-headed flick…

Reviews

Fallen Leaves

The dedication writer/director Aki Kaurismäki has for the art of deadpan is nothing short of impressive, and he successfully conveys just how well he understands the form of communication with Fallen Leaves.  The issue is Kaurismäki’s movie peaks too early, staying loyal to its consistency but also refusing to evolve from its core strength.