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Vortex Media

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Defining Moments

Every so often, an overly confident filmmaker comes along to lighten the mood around taboos.  There was Josh Lawson’s comedic approach to bizarre sexual fetishes in The Little Death, then Dave Schultz’s tasteless handling of suicide and death in Considering Love & Other Magic, and now Stephen Wallis with Defining Moments, an exhausting flume of individual stories dealing with heavy subject matter (like mental health) and the writer/director’s unbearably quirky perspective.

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Between Waves

By: Trevor Chartrand Canadian filmmaker Virginia Abramovich makes her feature film debut with Between Waves, a captivating (albeit heavy-handed) exploration of mental illness and grief, framed through the sci-fi lens of inter-dimensional travel.

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For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close

In the late 1980’s, Del Close set out to write his autobiography, Wasteland, for DC comics. In Wasteland, the actor and comedian, who mentored comedy legends from John Belushi to Tina Fey but found little material success in his own career, presented a fictionalized and darkly surreal version of his life story. In director Heather Ross’ semi-experimental documentary, For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close, Wasteland serves as a frame for a deeper examination…

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The Outside Story

By: Trevor Chartrand A brilliant slice-of-life comedy, The Outside Story is a charming and lighthearted little film.  This day-in-the-life movie tells the story of Charles Young (Hotel Artemis’ Brian Tyree Henry), an introverted video editor who’s down in the dumps after splitting up with his ex.  After accidentally locking himself out of his apartment, this homebody is forced to stop and smell the roses in his neighbourhood for the first time since he moved in.  While…

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The Marijuana Conspiracy

The Marijuana Conspiracy, simply put, has no buzz.  Unlike The Stanford Prison Experiment, a similar movie about impressionable and intelligent young minds involved in an important study, writer/director Craig Pryce has made a loosely-biographical bore that fails to captivate audiences with substance and style.  The film does pride itself on costumes and make-up, and the design artists involved deserve their Canadian Screen Award nominations for their work.  But, the film’s effort doesn’t exceed beyond its period…