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Hot Docs 2013: Alias Chokes at the Mic

By: Addison Wylie Alias made me frustrated.  Watching Michelle Latimer’s documentary provoked me in a way that pushed me to talk back to the screen – something I rarely do. Alias focuses on a small handful of Toronto rappers trying to be heard and to please an audience with their music and lyrics.  According to the synopsis, Latimer’s doc “digs deeper than the usual portrait of the rap world as glamour, guns and swagger.”  I…

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It’s A Disaster!

By: Addison Wylie Todd Berger’s ill-timed and ill-titled comedy is being released at a perilous time – which isn’t the filmmaker nor the movie’s fault.  However, It’s A Disaster! is too small and vague to be deemed as controversial or hateful, but it’s theatrical run is so quiet that it runs the risk of not becoming a blip on the average moviegoer’s radar.  It’s unfortunate because Berger’s comedy of manners is pretty good and sophisticatedly…

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He’s Way More Famous Than You

By: Addison Wylie The premise for He’s Way More Famous Than You is risky for its main actress Halley Feiffer – who plays an exaggerated version of herself in the film. The comedy about a hopeful actress wanting to gain more recognition long after her “star-making” performance in 2005’s The Squid and the Whale can go two ways.  It can be a sharply written satire about self-obsession and the Hollywood machine.  It can be about…

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To the Wonder

By: Addison Wylie Fresh off his enigmatic Oscar nominated The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick hits theatres (and VOD in the USA) with To the Wonder, a character study of sorts – but even I have a hard time calling it a straight “character study”. The film is a character study in the sense that Malick’s film has a loose story and a small ensemble portraying fictional people written by the complex director, but To…

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation

By: Addison Wylie The bass was booming with each explosion, the walls shook with every bullet fired, yet my ears weren’t ringing during my screening of G.I. Joe: Retaliation. On the other hand, my head was throbbing from trying to keep up with the sequel’s needlessly convoluted screenplay. Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick have joined forces to make a simple enough concept as untraceable as Roadblock’s small troupe of Joe’s. Dwayne Johnson plays Roadblock while…

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The Host

By: Addison Wylie Hollywood has been trying to fill a void with a young adult audience that the Twilight films left when it wrapped up its saga last year. A number of releases this year will attempt to carry the baton including Andrew Niccol’s The Host, a sci-fi endeavour based on a novel written by Twilight’s Stephenie Meyer. Most outspoken moviegoers were glad to see Twilight pack up their sparkles and leave. These patrons dismissed…

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InAPPropriate Comedy

By: Addison Wylie Do you like having spare time, but find that you have TOO much of it? What do you do with it? How do you use it? Hi! It’s Addison with a brand new product for you called InAPPropriate Comedy, brought to you by director/co-writer Vince Offer. When he’s not selling ShamWOWs, Slap Chops, or Schtickies, he’s making movies. With InAPPropriate Comedy, he hopes to break down racial and sexual barriers to have…

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The Resurrection of Tony Gitone

By: Addison Wylie The Resurrection of Tony Gitone is a drama abut traditions, family, and friends – that is, if you can make it out over the yelling and excessive upstaging. Ultimately, that’s what makes Jerry Ciccoritti’s film a particularly annoying watch. Riding high off of a new gig as a leading male in a popular director’s upcoming movie and clutching an attractive big name actress, Nino (played by Fab Filippo) and his date Vanessa Luna…

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The Croods

By: Addison Wylie TV spots for the Dreamworks/20th Century Fox collaboration entitled The Croods describe the prehistoric family as “the first modern family” – I suppose, trying to connect this new animated family to a current popular commodity. It shouldn’t stoop that low because The Croods is a good film and has every right to stand on its own. Grugg (voiced by Nicolas Cage who sounds as if he’s been longing for an animated role)…

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Spring Breakers

By: Addison Wylie Spring Breakers works in more ways than one. First of all, you can take Harmony Korine’s film at face value and perceive it as a lurid fever dream with a loose story integrating elements of the crime genre with a trippy punk rock attitude. The four roles played by Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Korine’s wife Rachel Korine are charismatic enough in an entertaining train wreck sort of way as…