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Room 237

By: Addison Wylie Rodney Ascher’s analytical documentary about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is fascinating through and through. The narrated ideas and theories provided by featured fans range from being thought-provoking to farfetched over stretches; but the impassion behind each deconstruction cannot be faked.  Some of the points are built on flimsy foundations, but because these committed fans of Kubrick’s adaptation have put a lot of time and work into proving their meanings (including freeze frames,…

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The Brass Teapot

By: Addison Wylie The Brass Teapot wants to be a rags-to-riches fairytale with an offbeat, darker tone.  Director Ramaa Mosley along with Tim Macy’s screenplay, however, don’t want to fully commit to a twisted vicinity for fear they’ll lose their quirky image and potential likability.  Even though the film doesn’t take huge risks, it still manages to find a way to be consistently appealing. Alice and John (played by Juno Temple and Michael Angarano) are…

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Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

By: Addison Wylie The fact that the Jackass crew would like to broaden their big screen horizons is gratifying.  However, the idea of expanding their weakest sketch to feature length is enough to make even the biggest Jackass fan hesitantly put their guard up. The good news, however, is Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa works.  It shouldn’t work as well as it does for the reasons stated above, but the slapstick Stanleys at Dickhouse Productions and…

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The Disappeared

By: Addison Wylie I didn’t like The Disappeared, but I can at least compliment its opening shots.  Director Shandi Mitchell quickly establishes the nothingness that exists around a crew of lost men at sea.  Mitchell generates an instantaneous sense of fear and hopelessness as the vagueness in their whereabouts and time of day effects the audience greatly. Then, someone speaks.  And, more people speak.  It’s not so much speaking as it is projecting and emphasizing…

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Dallas Buyers Club

By: Addison Wylie It’s undoubtable that Matthew McConaughey is going to win acting accolades with his incredible portrayal of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic Texan who tests positive for the HIV virus. It’s a performance that’s unstoppable with McConaughey’s conviction and brute honesty, as well as an unwillingness to show Woodroof as flawless. The man held firm beliefs against those who were different than him and his buddies down at the factory. But, when Woodroof is given…

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Wylie Writes at Toronto After Dark ’13: Pitch Black Laughs

Sitting in the theatre on the last night of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival is bittersweet. While one week is the perfect duration for a genre festival that pushes the wee hours of the night, it’s still tough to say “goodbye” to an event that almost always delivered on quality. The last day of the festival ended with the dark comedy Cheap Thrills and acclaimed thriller Big Bad Wolves – which also happens to…

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30 Ghosts

By: Addison Wylie Filmmaker Sean Cisterna and executive producer Avi Federgreen reunite after their likeable road trip romp Moon Point to collaborate in new territory. With 30 Ghosts, Cisterna trails the paranormal investigating life of Kim Hadfield and the rest of her Halton Paranormal Group.  The troupe head out on night long trips to capture suspicious spiritual activity hidden away in the looming shadows.  When she’s not hitting up abandoned houses and taking video proof…

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Wylie Writes at Toronto After Dark ’13: Finding Disturbed Love

If you’ve been keeping up with my writing at Film Army, you would’ve been more than acquainted with our coverage of this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The festival which focuses on bringing hardcore genre films (short and feature length) to eager audiences has been stronger than last year but still hit-and-miss. While gems like We Are What We Are and Big Ass Spider! had audiences glued, other horrors like Silent Retreat and Septic…

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

By: Addison Wylie If you thought the big screen world of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs couldn’t get any stranger, you obviously haven’t visited a world full of live, hybrid leftovers. Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn (the latter having some involvement with the film’s predecessor) are fully aware as to how Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs won audiences over with its wild visuals and bizarre sense of humour.  That’s why there’s even…

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Bastards

By: Addison Wylie The latest film from french filmmaker Claire Denis deals with people grieving and coping.  The situations are bleak and only become more sullen.  It’s particularly unsettling due to Denis taking a very close look into these troubled lives, adding a very personal vibe to the dreariness. This confidential approach serves Bastards well when Denis and her actors can gel on the same intimate level.  Scenes involving drawn out foreplay and sex between…