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Wylie Writes

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Rootwood

What is the point of making a found footage film when it is surrounded by a traditional narrative style?  Not like Cannibal Holocaust, where the traditional style was used as a framing device to present the found footage, but rather a traditional narrative that occasionally cuts to a shot from the point-of-view of a camera with a red record signal in the corner.  With Marcel Walz’s Rootwood, there isn’t even a documentary concept surrounding the whole thing, as…

Reviews

Cave Rescue

Following in the same footsteps as Clint Eastwood’s maligned biopic The 15:17 to Paris, Tom Waller’s Cave Rescue is a dramatic thriller about the 2018 real-life mission to save a team of young Thai soccer players.  Like Eastwood’s movie, it stars some of the actual people who were key players in the recovery.  There isn’t much build up to the incident in Cave Rescue, which separates it from The 15:17 to Paris.  Waller’s movie is…

Reviews

Coffee & Kareem

Director Michael Dowse comes from an eclectic filmography, but he’s becoming the go-to guy for mainstream fare. He recently brought audiences Stuber, which was an efficient buddy comedy but aggressively ordinary. But, following up a bland movie with something so unfunny and foul will make you value mediocrity. That’s *exactly* what happens with Dowse’s Netflix Original Coffee & Kareem, one of the worst movies of the year.

Reviews

It Started As a Joke

By: Trevor Chartrand It Started as a Joke is an emotionally charged documentary that will sort-of sneak up on you.  It’s so sneaky in fact, that the film will try to convince you that you’re watching ‘just another Netflix-style comedy special’ – until you’re suddenly not.  You’ll let your guard down, laughing with the featured comedians, chuckling at their on and off stage antics.  It’s funny, it’s goofy, and it’s a great time… and then…

Reviews

Playmobil: The Movie

Part way through Playmobil: The Movie, I was settling into a marginal recommendation.  As a colourful distraction for young kids who are starting to show interest in action flicks, it’s generic yet harmless entertainment.  But as the story dragged on through shameless attempts to emulate The Lego Movie franchise, Playmobil: The Movie began to pick at my patience.

Reviews

Resistance

Jonathan Jakubowicz’s Resistance comes at a time of surging interest in more action-oriented films relating to the Holocaust, World War II, anti-Semitism, and Nazism.  Unlike recent media like Amazon’s Hunters and HBO’s The Plot Against America, Resistance doesn’t participate in any overt historical or genre revisionism, though it is hard to ignore its slight devotion to the thriller genre.

Reviews

Reel Redemption: The Rise of Christian Cinema

With Reel Redemption: The Rise of Christian Cinema, film critic Tyler Smith searches through the history of cinema to enlighten audiences on the relationship religious filmmakers and movie goers have with Hollywood.  Smith’s thorough research allows the writer/director to cite specific film eras and different secular representations in order to pitch an unbiased visual essay, while his articulate opinions and personable narration give movie goers a degree of comfort towards the film’s guiding hand.

Reviews

The Assent

The possession horror sub-genre has become a formula.  A normal family suddenly starts experiencing disturbing behaviour (usually from a child) that can only be described as otherworldly, cueing a priest or a similar follower of the good word to go through with an exorcism.  It’s the job of the production to rise above this predictability to offer audiences individual strengths (creepy imagery and atmospheric scares, sometimes a scene-stealing performance like Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s in The…

Reviews

To Live To Sing

By: Jolie Featherstone Johnny Ma’s latest feature film,  To Live To Sing, is an ethereal love letter to traditional Sichuan opera troupes and to the indefatigable drive of artists protecting their vision, legacy, and family.

Reviews

Vivarium

Vivarium works as jet-black satire about the pressures of fulfilling roles that have been imposed by a seemingly unanimous understanding of tradition.  It’s existentially dour, but these dissatisfied emotions from director Lorcan Finnegan and screenwriter Garret Shanley are supposed to identify how normalized expectations are not so much a failsafe plan for people, but actually a suffocating framework.