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Reviews

Win It All

Life can fluctuate, and I believe that’s the point Win It All is trying to make.  Then again, filmmaker Joe Swanberg may have just set out to make a straightforward character study, in which case that works too.

Reviews

Menorca

Movies can be delicious, such as this year’s rom-com Bakery in Brooklyn.  Despite the fresh food, the charming chemistry between the two leading women is what made the film buoyant.  On the other end of the scale, you have Menorca, which is deliciously bad.  This film feeds us so much camp, we’re begging for more when the movie begins to clam up.

Reviews

Ovum

In Ovum, the audience is quickly introduced to the wonderfully named Calpurnia Dylan, an actor who is going through the motions of frustrating auditions and occasionally dealing with stuck-up filmmakers when she isn’t running late for class.

Reviews

Chokeslam

Following the ubiquitous trend of safe and eccentric Canadian indies, Robert Cuffley’s dramedy features quirky characters in a small town anticipating an event that’s larger than life to them, but would be a modest footnote to anyone outside of their community.

Reviews

Hello Destroyer

Kevan Funk’s Hello Destroyer, a complicated and clinical disclosure of the underlying traumas associated with hockey, was well-received at TIFF last year for a good reason: there aren’t many films brave enough to de-mythologize Canada’s national sport.

Reviews

Dark Night

After a tragedy, a countdown subtly begins as to when a filmmaker will try to document the event’s emotions and peril in a movie.  The act of making a movie about Aurora, Colorado’s massacre during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises never occurred to me.  Then again, I also didn’t expect Patriot’s Day, a film about the Boston Marathon bombing released four years after the attack.

Reviews

The Red Maple Leaf

In Frank D’Angelo’s The Red Maple Leaf, special agent Alfonso Palermo (D’Angelo) asks potential suspects to “indulge him” during interrogations.  I’ve heard some describe D’Angelo’s filmmaking as indulgent, which is why I smirked whenever Palermo asked this.  Whether this was a cheeky wink toward critics is a mystery, and will probably remain unanswered.