Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is an astonishing film. Visually, it could even be described as a masterpiece. Unfortunately, a formulaic third act and a lack of chemistry between the two leads sink one of the most promising films of the year.
Kumail Nanjiani (played by funnyman Kumail Nanjiani) is a Pakistani-American comedian who meets and falls in love with Emily (Zoe Kazan), a graduate student. Their relationship is already threatened by Kumail’s parents’ insistence that he marry a woman from a Pakistani family, when Emily becomes seriously ill. Written by Nanjiani (usually known for his co-star work in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Life as we Know It, and IFC’s Portlandia) and the actor’s wife Emily V. Gordon, The…
We’re halfway through the year, which means it’s time for Wylie Writes’ recap of the best and the worst films of 2017. Don’t forget to click the coloured titles to read a more detailed write-up about the film!
The Canadian Sport Film Festival sprints to Toronto for its ninth year. This weekend (Friday, June 9 – Sunday, June 11), audiences will be able to watch a diverse selection of feature films, documentaries, and short films about athletic subjects and themes. Wylie Writes’ Shannon Page received a sneak peek of the festival by watching the Emmy-award winning opening night selection Keepers of the Game, along with a haunting doc titled Hillsborough.
Set in 2007, after the official end of the Iraq war had been announced, The Wall follows two American soldiers who investigate the area where civilian workers were attacked during the construction of an oil pipeline. The soldiers find themselves pinned behind a crumbling wall by an enemy sniper and struggling for survival.
Botanist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger guides us through the forests of Vancouver Island, California, Germany, Japan, and Ireland in Jeff McKay’s documentary Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees. Like many ecological documentaries, the film emphasizes the relationship between trees and other organisms that make up complex forest ecosystems as well as how this ecosystem is connected to the earth’s oceans and atmosphere.
Birth of a Family (DIR. Tasha Hubbard) Birth of a Family follows four siblings, three sisters and a brother, who were taken from their mother and placed in separate families during the “sixties scoop” – a period of three decades in Canada that saw tens of thousands of indigenous children removed from their homes and sent to live with non-indigenous families throughout North America. Now middle aged, the siblings meet for the first time and attempt…
Gilbert (DIR. Neil Berkeley) I expected to laugh while watching Gilbert, but I certainly didn’t expect to be misty-eyed and charmed by foul-mouth comic Gilbert Gottfried. Just as Private Parts showed an identifiable side to shock jock Howard Stern, Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert shows Gottfried’s tenderness while staying true to the comedian’s relentlessly profane wheelhouse.
Mermaids (DIR. Ali Weinstein) Mermaids takes on real-life issues and shows the beneficial qualities of becoming a real-life mermaid.
Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan’s previous efforts have earned him recognition in his home country, where he has won nine Israeli Academy Awards for his work as a writer, producer, and director. Though most of his films are narrative-based, the documentary Hot House (2006) earned acclaim when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.