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Wylie Writes

Reviews

Words and Pictures

By: Addison Wylie “Is this really happening?” Get used to those four words, people.  You’ll be asking yourself that a lot during Words and Pictures, a big letdown that wavers between an overplayed drama, an awkward romantic comedy, and hokey classroom schmaltz. Despite that harsh statement, Words and Pictures isn’t flat-out bad.  We at least have watchable performances by Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.  Their roles as teachers who butt heads (Binoche being the more…

Reviews

Borgman

By: Addison Wylie A film can tell you nothing for no good reason, having you frustrated until the final frame.  Sometimes, a movie can keep everything a secret and get away with it because of how intriguing it is.  Alex van Warmerdam’s haunting Borgman is a magnificent example of the latter. Borgman is a weird flick, but daring because of that.  The skillful filmmaker has set up his plan masterfully, and has the average movie…

Reviews

Manakamana

By: Addison Wylie This weekend, a form of torture…er…a “spellbinding” new documentary called Manakamana (pronounced Mana-Ka-Mana as suggested by the film’s poster) will be released upon the public.  Those moviegoers should buckle up for a stinker, and maybe bring a pillow while they’re at it. To be honest, I’m surprised I’m writing a review.  About halfway through this aggravating experience, I was predicting I would be curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and…

Festival Coverage

LEFT’s Horror Fest is the Right Choice

By: Addison Wylie It’s terrific news to report that Lost Episode Festival Toronto (or, LEFT) is back! Some of you who have been following me since my time at Film Army may have seen my coverage of the weekend-long festival last year.  It was a neat experience and certainly a film festival unlike any I’ve attended. For those who need a brief introduction, LEFT is a film festival run by fearless leader Johnny Larocque.  It…

Reviews

The Case Against 8

By: Addison Wylie The Case Against 8 takes you right to the very beginning of the scandalous, distressing times involving California’s passing of Proposition 8. Watching clips of Prop 8 propaganda and observing professionals talking in all seriousness about the benefits of the amendment is like falling through the looking glass.  It’s hard to believe that this period existed and that 18,000 couples with different sexual orientations were told their marriages were voided. Shooting and…

Reviews

Me and You

By: Addison Wylie Me and You marks the return of Bernardo Bertolucci as he cozies his way back into the director’s chair.  After all, it’s been a decade since audiences caught Bertolucci’s controversial, NC-17 drama The Dreamers. The filmmaker has toned matters down for Me and You compared to the graphic content in The Dreamers, but his latest is unique in its own way. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Me and You’s…

Reviews

Winter’s Tale

By: Addison Wylie There should be entertainment in watching something as expensive and clueless as Winter’s Tale foul up as bad as it does.  To do so, there has to be peculiar performances or unusual story elements to keep us guiltily hooked.  Winter’s Tale has these, but it’s empty core covers any unintentional laughs.  It’s a film serviced by a writer/director who can’t fully comprehend the source material he’s adapting. Akiva Goldsman has been a producer on…

Movie Lists

Wylie Writes’ 2014 Mid-Year Report

By: Addison Wylie As much as I would like to believe that 2014 has proven to be a great year for movies so far, I can only instantly recall the films that have underwhelmed or flunked altogether. There’s been a steady flow of mediocrity, which isn’t exactly something to celebrate.  I suppose matters could be much worse, but those flatlining flicks have left me in a state of trapped befuddlement while I watched them.  These…

Reviews

Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie

By: Addison Wylie My admiration for Kevin Smith comes and goes.  If there’s one trait of his that I’ll always appreciate, it’s his choice to help up-and-comers in the film industry.  Smith helping out Matt Johnson with his incomparable indie The Dirties is an excellent example of his compassion towards a new generation of storytellers.  Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is another one of these projects. Smith has stated that Jay and…

Reviews

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

By: Addison Wylie When audiences aren’t following the documentary’s main court case involving 83-year-old jewel thief Doris Payne, Payne is telling us about her wild history.  It’s during these stretches where The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne has all the snazziness of a grand scale heist movie bundled up within a teeny, tiny doc. We get great amusement watching Payne recollect about past “jobs” and how she got away with it.  However, it looks…