Enhanced (DIR. James Mark) The idea of a low budget superhero film is an undeniably commendable one. Superheroes are incredibly generic, and there is nothing that necessitates the bloated budgets that they tend to cost, so the idea of telling those stories with less waste should be celebrated. Unfortunately, the films that come out of this practice tend to be underwhelming. Case in point: James Mark’s Enhanced.
After making a decent impression with her unsettling segment in the horror anthology XX, Canadian filmmaker Jovanka Vuckovic takes a swing at directing a feature-length story with Riot Girls.
You don’t so much watch Freaks as you do discover it. As the writers and directors of this terrific flick, Zach Lipovsky (co-producer of Afflicted) and Adam Stein do a good job building anticipation in their sci-fi/thriller. Each scene contains clues, and it’s up to the audience to piece the film’s premise together up until the somewhat typical finale.
If you prefer science fiction to be grim, perhaps Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja’s Aniara will be your “thing”. Although I can’t comment on the film’s faithfulness to its source material (Harry Martinson’s Nobel prize winning poem of the same name), Aniara is very good in terms of riveting near-future sci-fi, but it’s definitely for a specific crowd.
I’m arriving to the Replicas party late. The room is empty, the snacks have been picked over, and there’s an exhausted Keanu Reeves in the kitchen asking me if I could stick around and help with the dishes.
Wylie Writes’ Short Film Showcase acknowledges exclusive screenings of short films across Canada. Short-form filmmaking is sometimes overshadowed by larger projects or, worse, ignored completely. With this showcase, Wylie Writes wishes to not only provide a unique opinion for filmmakers, but to also spread awareness of these special screenings for our loyal readers.
A Breath Away emerges in the midst of a growing number of films dedicated to portraying the horrors of environmental disaster. Timely as it is horrifying, A Breath Away is an emotionally-charged thriller that broadly follows the algorithmic pattern set by previous disaster films, and has little to say ideologically about its central issues.
Baby Driver’s Ansel Elgort plays the title character in Bill Oliver’s Jonathan, a sci-fi tale that benefits from its modesty yet is hampered by its lack of ambition.
YouTube has attempted to revive interest in YA franchises with their original film series The Thinning. In The Thinning: New World Order, the first sequel in the series, the plot thickens as a country-wide intelligence test is further examined in a futuristic dystopia. The annual quiz, which is supposed to be moderating America’s steep population by eliminating the lowest-scoring students, is revealed to have a bias that’s connected to the country’s presidential election.
A J.J. Abrams production is like the latest hipster eatery: they take a lot of effort to put together and people apparently like them, but once you have experienced one, it becomes apparent just how incredibly overrated they are. This is why I’m always so wary of these productions, and why his latest produced feature has been such a surprise – Overlord, directed by Julius Avery, is actually enjoyable!