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The ABC’s of Death

By: Addison Wylie It’s almost inevitable to go into The ABC’s of Death with leery reservations. The anthology’s premise involves moviegoers sitting through 24 horror short films – each one involving a letter of the alphabet tying itself to the short’s climactic gruesome activity. One immediate question pops to mind upon hearing this pitch: are audience members going to be too distracted from watching the movie by counting down each letter of the alphabet? Will we…

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Dark Skies

By: Addison Wylie Dark Skies wants its moviegoers to leave slightly chilled, but, instead we leave feeling cold. As the credit crawl began and the lights dimmed back on, you could feel the waft from everyone’s shoulders shrugging as they huffed out of the theatre. The unenthused reaction isn’t because Dark Skies is a bad movie, but because we don’t like seeing something that had so much potential settle with being “just ok”. One would…

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Safe Haven

By: Addison Wylie It’s been only a couple of hours since my screening of the latest Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation, and I’m still having difficulty figuring out how to critique it without giving away any spoilers or crucial plot points. Safe Haven may not look like the type of movie that warrants a cautious review, but it’s a twisty film that can be uncovered by the simple slip of a certain character’s name. The first…

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The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

“Do toddlers have standards for entertainment?” I found myself asking that a lot during The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure, as I was watching what the filmmakers behind the film thought they could serve to children. Judging by box office numbers, life-size colourful creatures jiggling around and trying to find magic balloons for a surprise party for their talking pillow proves kids do; as well as parents paying the price of admission. The film…

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The Ambassador

By: Addison Wylie It’s tricky to review The Ambassador, because no matter how many flaws I name, it’ll all seem like small potatoes for Danish journalist/filmmaker Mads Brügger. The doc follows Brügger as he pulls off an enormous and dangerous undercover endeavour – to pose as a Liberian diplomat in order to get his hands on blood diamonds from mines with illegal protocols. The documentary has an unbelievably risky premise and a compelling trailer, but…

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A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

By: Addison Wylie A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III feels like it’s been directed by two people. It hasn’t. Roman Coppola is the lone director, as well as the lone screenwriter. But, it has that feeling because it very much feels like two movies have been fused together – a straight-forward break-up movie with a sitcom mentality and a heartfelt hyperactive ode to art deco and 70’s art and fashion. We start with…

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Warm Bodies

By: Addison Wylie I’ve underestimated filmmaker Jonathan Levine. When he first debuted with The Wackness, he had proven to have a great eye for detail in his mid-90’s settings but nothing else more. I’ll eat my fair share of crow because with 50/50 and now with his zom-com Warm Bodies, he has a resumé that gives plenty of evidence that he realizes how to recognize humanity and what makes us tick. It’s a skill that makes his characters more than just “characters”. He challenges himself with Warm Bodies; what better…

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Identity Thief

By: Addison Wylie I’m sure anything can be made funny in some way. But, I have a hard time fathoming someone making a “howling comedy” about the hilarities of identity theft. Especially, when the film’s featured crook (played gratingly by Melissa McCarthy) is introduced to us as a loud, obnoxious, compulsive liar who is often either drunk or randy. And, she’s our comedy relief, folks. In the hands of a cunning and careful dark comedic…

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A Haunted House

By: Addison Wylie A Haunted House marks the first time, in recent memory, where actor Marlon Wayans has branched independently from his ever-growing-forever-acting family. I suppose he saw a glimmer of spoof-able light in these “found footage” horrors – namely the Paranormal Activity franchise – and decided to strike while the iron was still somewhat warm. It makes sense for Wayans to tackle the spooky, low budget franchise because it screams for the Wayans spoof…

Reviews

Movie 43

By: Addison Wylie Movie 43 is an anthology film with a stacked cast. It’s been pushing its alleged “audacity” and “outrageousness” in order to get YOU in that theatre seat. However, there is something to be said about how much the marketing has pushed that angle in our faces. When a movie is urging moviegoers to focus on an element about the movie (in this case, its sheer outlandishness) instead of the actual movie itself…