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NY Export: Opus Jazz

By: Addison Wylie I’m all for art taking different forms.  Art doesn’t necessarily always have to contain deeper meanings.  In the case of NY Export: Opus Jazz, having the intentions of emulating a classier time of musical cinema in a modern world is perfectly fine. However, when the featured silenced dancers show this much talent and capability as they do in NY Export: Opus Jazz, it’s hard not to expect something more than “just dancing”…

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Machete Kills

By: Addison Wylie It’s always a bad sign while watching a movie when you realize the first three minutes are probably going to be the best moments the film can offer. Machete Kills kicks off with a trashy trailer for a third Machete film – appropriately titled Machete Kills Again…In Space.  The insane trailer shows audiences which characters have returned and what battles ensue, essentially giving away spoilers about the film you’re about to watch….

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Epic

By: Addison Wylie There’s no other way to put it: Epic is uninteresting.  It’s attractive, but very dry.  Almost everything about it amounts to a sigh as the audience waits for Chris Wedge’s animation to go through the usual family friendly motions. I didn’t find the film’s eco-friendly message to be clamouring, but its ability to tell an inventive story is seriously lacking.  Especially when the film is visually brimming with imagination. James V. Hart,…

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World War Z

By: Addison Wylie A catastrophic zombie outbreak occurs and its up to a former member of the UN to protect his family, re-team with past coworkers and zealous fighters, and travel to different destinations in order to figure out the origin of this deadly attack and figure out a way to an end to the madness.  Somewhere in there he takes a nap. Brad Pitt plays the good doing husband in World War Z and…

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Muscle Shoals

By: Addison Wylie There’s a lot of talk about “magic” in Muscle Shoals, a documentary about the influentially groundbreaking music that was produced in a small Southern city in Alabama. It’s understandable as to why one would think “magic” was in the air during recording sessions with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and The Rolling Stones. There was an essence that lingered within the walls of studios FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound that…

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15 Reasons To Live

By: Addison Wylie Alan Zweig won top honours at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September for his documentary filmmaking with When Jews Were Funny – but, I needed more convincing. When Jews Were Funny – a doc on how a Judaic approach to comedy made its way into our funny bones – had appropriate subjects to interview, a proper conversational vibe about it, but its scope was too narrow.  Zweig didn’t have enough…

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Parkland

By: Addison Wylie Is Parkland respectful towards its source material and depiction of the assassination of John F. Kennedy?  Yes.  Is it accurate to its time period?  Sure is.  Are the performances worthwhile?  You betcha. However, even though Peter Landesman’s film has plenty of good things going for it, I felt detached from the movie most of time.  I couldn’t fully invest my feelings into it, which is troublesome seeing as the film is an…

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The Frozen Ground

By: Addison Wylie The Frozen Ground tells a harrowing true story in a plain Jane conventional way.  The emotional weight and stress in the hunt for a notorious Alaskan serial killer rings, but its narrative formatting is determined to make it unmemorable, placing Scott Walker’s film awash in a homicidal sea with other generic crime thrillers. The Frozen Ground feels dialled back regarding its aggressiveness towards the audience and its lead performance from Nicolas Cage…

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The Dirties

By: Addison Wylie What do I say about The Dirties?  A film that shook me up and has hung around with me days after I’ve seen it. Matt Johnson’s courageous and ambitious feature film debut is a tough film to recommend to a wide audience because of its timely, controversial material handled with a sense of humour.  You definitely have to be in a specific mood for its darker approach to school shootings and the…

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Now You See Me

By: Addison Wylie Suitably enough, Now You See Me knows how to handle an audience that’s skeptical to its tricks.  But the production has to admit, when you pitch “bank robbing magicians”, it’s hard for audiences not to hide an eye roll. Director Louis Leterrier, however, pulls off a movie that knows how to disarm movie goers of cynicism and delight us with boxes full of double crosses and twists.  Unlock one of the hidden…