Wylie Writes

Reviews

Sunflower Hour

By: Addison Wylie There’s a craft to making dirty words and sexual innuendos funny that Sunflower Hour never masters.  Aaron Houston’s mockumentary gathers a decent amount of giggles when its playing up pathetic characters in cleverly clean ways, but the comedy would much rather have those dolts exclaim expletives, or call things “gay”. The film centres around puppeteers competing for an open slot on ‘Sunflower Hour’, a supposedly successful – albeit cheaply made – children’s…

Reviews

The Market

By: Addison Wylie The Market offers a rare look at an issue through generic eyes.  Filmmaker Rama Rau shouldn’t worry though.  I’m still recommending her transfixing film about kidney trafficking and the butterfly effect these risky surgeries cause. Rau’s doc handles two different perspectives: life in an Indian slum, and the apprehensive idling of someone awaiting a kidney transplant in Canada. Both views are packed with a lot of emotion as well as unforgettable talks…

Reviews

Muppets Most Wanted

By: Addison Wylie How do the Muppets follow up their 2011 crowd pleasing resurgence?  With a song titled We’re Doing a Sequel including a lyric admitting that the second film in a series isn’t nearly as good as the first.  Not so fast, guys.  Muppets Most Wanted actually ends up being more memorable and more clever than its predecessor. Picking up where The Muppets left off, the cheerful fleet of felt eye an upcoming tour as…

Reviews

STRANGE PARADISE: Year of the Horse

By: Addison Wylie Wylie Writes’ coverage of TIFF’s Jim Jarmusch retrospective began with a mixed bag of shorts, and ends with a mixed bag of concert cutouts and behind-the-scenes glimpses. It’s undoubtable Jarmusch captures a raw vision of Neil Young and Crazy Horse with his scattershot Year of the Horse.  The filmmaker catalogues footage from unique perspectives;  the performances are especially visceral if occasionally obscured.  He switches between different film stocks (16mm, Hi-8 video, and Super 8)…

Reviews

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

By: Addison Wylie For the past month, intrepid comedic actor Will Arnett has been promoting the bejesus out of his latest flick Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a hyperactive reboot of the original heroes in a half shell.  He fearlessly sells his character (news cameraman Vernon Fenwick), the action sequences, and the New York City setting with utmost grit and spirited enthusiasm.  If Tommy Boy’s Tom Callahan could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in…

Reviews

The Grand Budapest Hotel

By: Addison Wylie Audiences can witness Wes Anderson going through filmmaking periods.  We’re not exactly sure what’s triggering these changes of pace, but those willing to follow the whimsical auteur don’t regret the trip. As of late, Anderson has been wearing his French influences on his sleeve – or, rather across his forehead.  He made the transition with The Fantastic Mr. Fox and then went full-tilt Français with his highly acclaimed Moonrise Kingdom; nodding towards…

Reviews

STRANGE PARADISE: Dead Man

By: Addison Wylie In Dead Man, Johnny Depp plays William Blake, an accountant removed from society twice over.  The loss of his parents has his mind aimlessly wandering and a new job in the West has Blake feeling further alienated.  Then again, it would take a lot of adjusting to fit in with Machine’s homely, rugged community. After meeting a local woman and then meeting her beau, Blake is pitted and pinned to a murder…

Reviews

The F Word

By: Addison Wylie “If a movie does nothing wrong, does that make it a movie that does everything right?” I asked myself that during The F Word, and afterwards when I was developing my overall feelings towards Michael Dowse’s Toronto bound romantic comedy. The F Word does the trick, and goes through the hoops it needs to in order to please its general audience.  We have two likeable leads (Wallace and Chantey played by Daniel…

Reviews

Let’s Be Cops

By: Addison Wylie Let’s Be Cops is one of those comedies that’s hard to get behind.  You want to go with it, you want to laugh along, but you can’t help but be put off by the film’s sense of plausibility. Director Luke Greenfield co-wrote this screenplay with Nicholas Thomas, and it’s a script that does more harm than good.  The story starts off well enough with two schlubs (Ryan and Justin played by Jake…

Reviews

STRANGE PARADISE: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

By: Addison Wylie My feelings for Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai follow in the same vein as some sceptics felt about Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive – a whole lot of style and not much else. I could see what Jarmusch was trying to do with Ghost Dog.  It was the same thing we later saw Refn carry out with Drive, except Refn executed his film much better.  Jarmusch was wanting to…