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Reviews

Gods of Egypt

Australian filmmaker Alex Proyas had a terrific output in the 1990’s: the gothic comic book adaptation, The Crow, and the superlative neo-noir/sci-fi film Dark City.  Since then, however, Proyas has made few noteworthy cinematic contributions, and his latest, the 3D fantasy/adventure film Gods of Egypt, is abundant in imagination but lacking in novelty.

Festival Coverage

ReFrame 2016: ‘OutSideIn’

The ReFrame Film Festival couldn’t wait to begin.  On Thursday, January 28, the festival held an exclusive sold-out Ontario premiere of Anne Troake’s OutSideIn, an experimental 3D film that featured choreography in its rawest form from two partially nude performers (Carol Prieur and Bill Coleman).

Reviews

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

By: Addison Wylie I remember describing Paranormal Activity 3 as an innovative horror film.  I remember excitingly telling friends, family, and co-workers about its cunning use of a camera propped on an oscillating fan engine.  The thought of this fearsome manoeuvre making everyone in my packed theatre squirm with anticipation was a memory for the books. With this “final” chapter in the Paranormal Activity series, I sat in a theatre full of unimpressed fans, and…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Love’

By: Mark Barber Love is about reconciling romance with sex;  something its director, French provocateur Gaspar Noé, and the film’s main protagonist, Murphy (Karl Glusman), agree on.  Whether or not Noé is successful in marrying romance and sex (and whether they are even really that diametrically opposed outside of some conceptions of pornography) doesn’t matter.  Love faults in so many other ways, it’s easy to ignore its ambition. Love tells the story of the turbulent…

Reviews

Hercules

 By: Addison Wylie The legend of Hercules has been told time after time.  Heck, earlier this year, movie goers even received another Hercules film.  It didn’t do so hot (both with overall reception and with box office receipts), but maybe I’ll give it a watch down the road to wash away the dingy aftertaste Brett Ratner’s Hercules left behind. When a character as old as Hercules is dusted off and used to make another swords-and-sandels…

Festival Coverage

Wylie Writes @ TIFF KIDS 2014: The House of Magic

By: Addison Wylie The House of Magic is an abundantly likeable film, and will certainly be a memorable pick at this year’s TIFF Kids.  On the surface, the bouncy flick has all the ingredients for a smiling good time at the theatre.  There’s an adorable cat, whimsical magic, and stunning animation paired with incredible use of 3D technology. It’s to be warned that Jérémie Degruson and Ben Stassen’s film isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the first…

Reviews

Pompeii

By: Addison Wylie By definition, Paul W.S. Anderson is a filmmaker.  In my eyes, he’s not a very good filmmaker, but he’s been able to create brainless successes. His latest blunder Pompeii is by definition “mindless entertainment”.  The film follows similar conventions that were used in his Resident Evil adaptations, and he crosses his fingers hoping people will eat it up all the same. It’s expected people will walk out of Pompeii passively shrugging off…

Reviews

Planes

By: Addison Wylie The fine people at Disney usually have a good handle on their films, which is why the occasional slip-up- like Planes or last year’s Cars 2 makes me more sad of its existence than angry at how bad it is. Planes, an animated film taking place in the Cars universe, plays like an undemanding direct-to-DVD time filler.  It’s funny that Planes comes out on DVD/Blu-ray a week after Blockbuster announced their final closings…

Reviews

Gravity

By: Addison Wylie Your preconceived notions that Gravity will make your heart leap out of your chest and your stomach lurch are right on the money. The disorienting sci-fi separates the weak from the willing with its prolonged, wandering introduction to the team aboard the Explorer.  We see mission specialist Dr. Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock) hard at work while astronaut/commander Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney) supervises. The operation is going as planned…

Reviews

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…