By: Trevor Chartrand Part romance, part crime-drama, The Old Man & the Gun is the gripping, yet low-key, story of notorious bank robber Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford). Based on the true story of a life-long criminal and prison escape artist, the film examines Tucker as a unique breed of villain. Always calm and in control – but not in the suave, Ocean’s 11 type of way. When Tucker robs a bank, he’s simply courteous, polite,…
By: Trevor Chartrand First-time director Bing Liu shows some real promise with his highly personal and reflective documentary, Minding the Gap. Viewers watching may find themselves concerned early on, especially since the film appears to focus on a group of skater burn-outs and their quest to get drunk. However, the doc challenges those expectations and quickly proves to be a profound examination of their troubled lives.
By: Trevor Chartrand There are some unforgettable vast desert vistas in Jirga, a philosophical study of redemption and forgiveness screening at this year’s festival. I had a chance to talk with director Benjamin Gilmour and star Sam Smith to discuss their experience making the film, but I just had to ask about those landscapes.
By: Trevor Chartrand Based on a play of the same name, Thom Fitzgerald’s Splinters would have been better off staying on stage. While a perfectly fine motion picture, the film is essentially an adequate and frankly mediocre entry into this year’s TIFF line-up.
By: Trevor Chartrand Sparse and atmospheric, writer/director Benjamin Gilmour’s Jirga is a visually stunning entry in this year’s TIFF lineup.
By: Trevor Chartrand When a documentary filmmaker invests years of their life studying one subject, it goes without saying that this is a subject they have a lot of passion for. However, the real trick is to take this topic – whatever it may be – and get an audience equally invested. As much as the filmmaker may love the subject matter, the viewers need to care too. This is where The Coolest Guy Movie…
By: Trevor Chartrand The Happytime Gang is here! Directed by the son of Muppets creator Jim Henson, Brian Henson brings us The Happytime Murders, a comedy that takes fun and lovable puppets into some dark new territory.
By: Trevor Chartrand By no means a masterpiece, Puzzle is a dramatic character study with some great performances – a quiet, nuanced beauty. Moving at a slow yet even pace, this film assembles the puzzle of these characters’ lives, only to tear it apart – piece by piece.
By: Trevor Chartrand Helmed by Finnish filmmaker Teemu Nikki, Euthanizer is one moody, atmospheric and, frankly, zany thriller. Between overlapping tones and strategic musical cues, this movie blends genres in a way that just shouldn’t work, but somehow does – it’s like combining the sweetest strawberries with jalapenos and raw sewage. Euthanizer somehow creates a sweet, yet spicy, story that will leave a bad taste in your mouth (in a good way).
By: Trevor Chartrand Boots Riley’s directorial debut is undoubtedly a memorable satiric comedy, despite being uneven in some places. Sorry to Bother You is a tad ambitious – with plenty of high-concept ideas crammed into its runtime, the overall pacing and consistency of the film suffers a bit as a result. But then again, it’s nice to see a film with too much to say, rather than something so vapid that it says nothing.