By: Trevor Chartrand Director Mani Nasry has made a very personal film with We, and it’s certainly commendable, brave even, to see how transparent this young director has been in making the film – I suspect we’re getting a deep look into his mind, his personal philosophies and hardships. Nasry and his crew deserve a lot of respect for what their film is trying to do – however the finished product is far from flawless.
By: Trevor Chartrand Written and directed by Jon Keeyes, The Harrowing is a supernatural thriller that lacks nail-biting tension and edge that would keep viewers hanging on every word. Despite some decent visual effects and cinematography, the film fails to truly inspire fear from its audience.
By: Trevor Chartrand Director Ethan Hawke’s country music biopic Blaze leaves a lot to be desired – with a lot of atmosphere and not much narrative, this film is meandering and weak. To some, the film could perhaps be considered an abstract poem, akin to the music stylings of the late Blaze Foley, which I suppose should be commendable. However, given the more obscure nature of this film’s subject, the storytelling gaps will leave audiences…
By: Trevor Chartrand On the internet, rumors and stories spread wildly, and most people are logical and cautious enough to question everything they read online. Folks often dismiss fantastical, source-less narratives because, come on, that never could have happened, right? Well, maybe not. A new documentary titled The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man examines one of these online rumors and proves that there’s some validity here – so maybe we…
By: Trevor Chartrand Apatow-comedy veteran Jonah Hill has diversified his career path considerably in recent years, taking on darker and more intense roles. Now he’s taken another step into new territory, this time helming a film from behind the camera: Mid90s is Hill’s directorial debut, and it’s chock-full of surprises.
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.