Latest

2015

Reviews

Assassin

By: Addison Wylie The vaguely titled Assassin has the ability to be cool, but instead settles on being “cool”. There are cool shots of hitman Jamie (played by Danny Dyer) on his motorcycle as he zips to a hired job and zooms off to collect his earnings, and I quite like what filmmaker J.K. Amalou can do with the correct lighting.  Then, there are those “cool” moments where popular songs ineffectively crash into a scene while…

Reviews

The Overnight

By: Shannon Page In a lot of ways, Patrick Brice’s The Overnight is a very rare film.  With a small cast and fairly straightforward plot (the entire movie was shot in only twelve days), The Overnight is a sex-comedy about parenthood and relationships that avoids the usual clichéd pit falls. When thirty-something parents Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) move to L.A. and are eager to meet new friends, they jump at a dinner…

Reviews

The Little Death

By: Addison Wylie You’ve got to hand it to Josh Lawson.  He quickly informs movie goers of his invisible boundaries in his dark comedy The Little Death.  There’s no second guessing.  The problem is he sets the tone with a sour scene starring a belle, her beau, and her rape fantasy proposal. The Little Death prominently displays sexual fetishes – some you’ve heard of, some you haven’t heard of, some you wish you never heard of…

Reviews

Fifty Shades of Grey

By: Addison Wylie I didn’t think it was possible for a film to be spoofed, and then be turned back into the po-faced material the parody was making fun of – then, I saw Fifty Shades of Grey.  The movie feels like someone picking up the pieces to a dated romance, and trying to glue them back together to make something even more manipulative.  Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film is so misinformed and shallow, you would think the filmmaker was making…

Reviews

Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman

By: Addison Wylie A familiar rule of thumb states that one should stick to what they know.  Comedian Adam Carolla has used that guidance to establish his filmmaking career.  It’s how he created some big laughs with his cathartic comedy Road Hard, a film featuring Carolla playing a cranky stand-up comic. Fans of the Aceman know that Carolla is also quite knowledgable about cars, racing, and the days of classic Hollywood.  It makes complete and…

Reviews

Deli Man

By: Addison Wylie There have been so many recent films catered to the foodie crowd, you expect Erik Greenberg Anjou’s Deli Man to do the same.  Luckily for audiences wanting something new, this love letter to Jewish delicatessen is more focused on the history behind the food. The film coheres to the logic of its main subject Ziggy Gruber (owner of Houston, Texas’ hot spot Kenny and Ziggy’s), and agrees there’s more to a delicious…

Reviews

Porch Stories

By: Addison Wylie Porch Stories has a good eye and ear for the city;  most notably Toronto, Ontario.  After a parade disperses, the sidewalks are lined with kids hanging out with friends and families enjoying the nice weather.  In the distance, we can almost make out whirring white noise of busy cars and streetlights. Sarah Goodman’s film is black-and-white, and I’m unsure why she signed off on this artistic decision.  On the one hand, she…

Reviews

Hunting Elephants

By: Shannon Page Hunting Elephants certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.  There are a few laughs sprinkled throughout, but don’t go into this film expecting a passive movie going experience. The film boasts an impressive international cast that includes Iraqi-born actor Sasson Gabai (who audiences may recognize, or not, from his role in 1988’s Rambo III), Moni Moshonov of Israel, as well as the incomparable Patrick Stewart as a struggling English actor looking for…

Reviews

Love & Mercy

By: Trevor Jeffery Over the past few decades, the biopic has been more or less perfected and recreated over and over, to the point of boring predictability.  While ultimately Love & Mercy is no exception, the film deviates from the structure enough to make the journey feel like a new, albeit shaky, perspective on the formula. Following Beach Boy Brian Wilson, the film jumps between the 20-something-prodigy Wilson in the 1960s (played by Paul Dano)…

Festival Coverage

Inside Out 2015: On the Pink Carpet with Paul Weitz

By: Shannon Page The 25th annual Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival began May 21 with a screening of Paul Weitz’s film Grandma starring Lily Tomlin, Judy Greer, and Laverne Cox.  The screening and opening gala kick off 11 days of film by and about members of the LGBT community. Grandma, which was featured at the closing gala of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is the obvious choice to open Inside Out.  Writer and director…