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It Must Be Heaven

If you like filmmaker Elia Suleiman, you will like It Must Be Heaven.  This may well be an unusual start to a review, but this is not meant for the fans, because they already know what they are getting into.  For the rest of you, how would one go about describing a Suleiman film?  Well, Suleiman is a rare filmmaker: he is a Palestinian who is less concerned with doom and gloom, preferring to speak…

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Survive the Night

This doesn’t happen too often – two films of the same specific sub-genre being released so closely to each other.  In this case, the genre is the “home invasion thriller”.  One’s really good, the other is really bad.  Becky, the really good one, did a great job entertaining audiences with lots of inventive action.  Its comparable evil twin, Survive the Night, takes us to the upside-down.  It’s boring, illogical and its most famous star, Bruce…

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Becky

You have two choices: focus on what’s insufficient in Becky or praise what the production miraculously pulls off.  I would rather lean more towards the latter than the former.  Sure, there are details in Becky that I wish had more time to breathe.  On the other hand, the film is very entertaining, and it’s a career high for one of its actors.

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Last Moment of Clarity

By: Trevor Chartrand The debut film effort from the writer/director team Colin and James Krisel, Last Moment of Clarity is a very good try with plenty of room for improvement.  The Krisel brothers attempt a Hitchcockian thriller akin to Gone Girl, involving a young man named Sam (Zach Avery) who, three years after witnessing his girlfriend’s death, discovers that she is still alive.  Under threat for witnessing mob activity, the girl Sam knew as Georgia…

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Judy & Punch

Punch and Judy are a couple of characters in a traditional British puppet show who are not exactly known for their subtlety.  Punch is placed in charge of taking care of their kids.  He hits the kid, his wife gets mad, he hits his wife, a cop shows up, he hits the cop, and so on and so forth.  As such, it is a bit unusual that someone decided that this story, or rather the…

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The Accompanist

Director, writer, and star Frederick Keeve demonstrates a strong imagination but a weak sense of dramatic ability in his feature The Accompanist, a story about a gay piano accompanist who becomes infatuated with a male ballerina amidst a series of tragedies that befall both men.

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Dreamland

Pontypool is one of my favourite movies, even though I really dislike its post-credit sequence.  It’s a random bit that looks like a deleted scene from Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City series, featuring obscure characters that we haven’t seen before exchanging hard-boiled dialogue – it’s moody nonsense.  It makes as much sense as the entirety of Dreamland, a pseudo-fantasy-noir that has the gall to ride the coattails of Pontypool;  squandering the reunion of its filmmakers and…

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A White, White Day

Fresh off the festival circuit, Hlynur Pálmason’s A White, White Day rapturously yet bleakly explores familiar themes of grief and loss.  Pálmason’s second feature offers a clinical, appropriately distanced character study, while maintaining a coherent sense of the character’s interiority.