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Drama

Reviews

The Rest of Us

The Rest of Us needs a low triple-digit runtime, but sets up a needless challenge for itself to tell its story in under 80 minutes.  What’s the hurry?  And if filmmaker Aisling Chin-Yee has to compromise the narrative with condensed scenes and sharp edits to win the challenge, what’s the point?

Reviews

The Departure

There is nothing charming, insightful, or engaging about The Departure, writer/director Merland Hoxha’s first foray into feature-ish length cinema (the total runtime is just a little over an hour).

Reviews

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.

Reviews

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…

Reviews

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.

Reviews

Military Wives

Military Wives has been tailor-made to be a crowd-pleaser.  The ingredients are there: the leading characters have an entertaining dynamic that plays on their opposite personalities, they lead a team of underdogs, nostalgic pop tunes are worshipped amongst the film’s kind-hearted humour, a strong patriotic backbone holds up a story that’s been loosely based on real events.  As much as it bugs me that the filmmakers believe they’ve cracked the code to pleasing general audiences…

Reviews

The Roads Not Taken

Sometimes, a filmmaker will come up with a unique, unprecedented concept and turn it into a one-of-a-kind feature.  More often than not, however, the concept confounds the creative;  leading to a muddled mess that disappoints the viewer even more than the average bad effort.  Case in point: The Roads Not Taken.  It’s the latest film from once-celebrated English filmmaker Sally Potter, a woman who once managed to turn the perplexing Orlando into a film, which…