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Castle in the Ground

As the world struggles under this catastrophic pandemic, it seems prudent to remind us of another epidemic currently ravaging North America: the opioid epidemic.  Consequently, Joey Klein’s timely Castle in the Ground depicts a band of young people struggling with addiction amid the trauma of their personal lives.  While dramatically powerful and compellingly acted, the film has surprisingly little to say about the structural issues surrounding addiction and mental illness.

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Porno

There’s been some really interesting efforts from filmmakers merging horror, comedy, and sex.  There was Mitchell Lichtenstein’s Teeth, a movie that punished hormonal cravings with a violent medical disorder, and David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, a more sobering film about when careless passivity meets vulnerability during intimacy.  Keola Racela’s Porno should be another ambitious example but, instead, it’s rather a raunchy B-movie that has more in common with Piranha 3D and Piranha 3DD – films that use the…

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Dolittle

Dolittle is a wildly incompetent movie showcasing a battle for the crown to be the film’s silliest performer.  So, who wins?  Well, I’m afraid, it’s a 20-way tie shared between scenery-chewing in-person performers and aloof voice actors.

Reviews

The Assistant

The Assistant is a faithful portrayal of workplace harassment. Drawing from her experience as a documentarian (Ukraine Is Not a Brothel), writer/director Kitty Green brings layers of realism which she channels well through her actors. I think Green’s vision is admirable, but I completely understand if audiences feel disregarded watching the movie.

Reviews

Robert the Bruce

Intended as a sequel, of sorts, to Braveheart, Robert the Bruce sees Angus MacFadyen (Braveheart, Alive) reprise his role as the titular Scottish king.  Unfortunately, this is one of those movies with all the right ingredients – but no spark.

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Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary, a horror-comedy from Irish filmmakers Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, is loaded with ideas, concepts, and gags.  But while these bits are funny individually, they don’t collectively contribute to an overarching story.

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The Half of It

Two years ago, I seemed to be on the wrong side of the tracks when discussing Netflix’s bubblegum teen movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Everyone threw their arms around it, except for me who thought teenagers deserved a smarter movie. Excuse my déjà vu as I find myself in the same dilemma. The reviews are in for Netflix’s latest fluffy flick The Half of It and people find it endearing, except for…

Reviews

A Secret Love

Chris Bolan’s documentary A Secret Love is a sweet tearjerker that explores the nearly 70-year relationship between ex-All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Terry Donahue and her loyal partner Pat Henschel.

Reviews

The Song of Names

It was both surprising and unsurprising to find out director François Girard was attached to The Song of Names.  By going into the movie blind, so much of Girard’s film reminded me of the Oscar winning drama The Red Violin.  This discovery that both films were directed by the same person made sense, but I didn’t expect The Song of Names to pale so much in comparison.