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Wylie Writes

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Gravity

By: Addison Wylie Your preconceived notions that Gravity will make your heart leap out of your chest and your stomach lurch are right on the money. The disorienting sci-fi separates the weak from the willing with its prolonged, wandering introduction to the team aboard the Explorer.  We see mission specialist Dr. Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock) hard at work while astronaut/commander Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney) supervises. The operation is going as planned…

Reviews

Room 237

By: Addison Wylie Rodney Ascher’s analytical documentary about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is fascinating through and through. The narrated ideas and theories provided by featured fans range from being thought-provoking to farfetched over stretches; but the impassion behind each deconstruction cannot be faked.  Some of the points are built on flimsy foundations, but because these committed fans of Kubrick’s adaptation have put a lot of time and work into proving their meanings (including freeze frames,…

Reviews

The Brass Teapot

By: Addison Wylie The Brass Teapot wants to be a rags-to-riches fairytale with an offbeat, darker tone.  Director Ramaa Mosley along with Tim Macy’s screenplay, however, don’t want to fully commit to a twisted vicinity for fear they’ll lose their quirky image and potential likability.  Even though the film doesn’t take huge risks, it still manages to find a way to be consistently appealing. Alice and John (played by Juno Temple and Michael Angarano) are…

Reviews

Wylie Writes at Toronto After Dark ’13: Pitch Black Laughs

Sitting in the theatre on the last night of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival is bittersweet. While one week is the perfect duration for a genre festival that pushes the wee hours of the night, it’s still tough to say “goodbye” to an event that almost always delivered on quality. The last day of the festival ended with the dark comedy Cheap Thrills and acclaimed thriller Big Bad Wolves – which also happens to…

Reviews

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

By: Addison Wylie If you thought the big screen world of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs couldn’t get any stranger, you obviously haven’t visited a world full of live, hybrid leftovers. Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn (the latter having some involvement with the film’s predecessor) are fully aware as to how Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs won audiences over with its wild visuals and bizarre sense of humour.  That’s why there’s even…

Reviews

Bastards

By: Addison Wylie The latest film from french filmmaker Claire Denis deals with people grieving and coping.  The situations are bleak and only become more sullen.  It’s particularly unsettling due to Denis taking a very close look into these troubled lives, adding a very personal vibe to the dreariness. This confidential approach serves Bastards well when Denis and her actors can gel on the same intimate level.  Scenes involving drawn out foreplay and sex between…

Reviews

15 Reasons To Live

By: Addison Wylie Alan Zweig won top honours at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September for his documentary filmmaking with When Jews Were Funny – but, I needed more convincing. When Jews Were Funny – a doc on how a Judaic approach to comedy made its way into our funny bones – had appropriate subjects to interview, a proper conversational vibe about it, but its scope was too narrow.  Zweig didn’t have enough…

Reviews

Parkland

By: Addison Wylie Is Parkland respectful towards its source material and depiction of the assassination of John F. Kennedy?  Yes.  Is it accurate to its time period?  Sure is.  Are the performances worthwhile?  You betcha. However, even though Peter Landesman’s film has plenty of good things going for it, I felt detached from the movie most of time.  I couldn’t fully invest my feelings into it, which is troublesome seeing as the film is an…

Reviews

The Dirties

By: Addison Wylie What do I say about The Dirties?  A film that shook me up and has hung around with me days after I’ve seen it. Matt Johnson’s courageous and ambitious feature film debut is a tough film to recommend to a wide audience because of its timely, controversial material handled with a sense of humour.  You definitely have to be in a specific mood for its darker approach to school shootings and the…

Articles

TIFF 2013 ENCORE: A One-On-One With Music Composer Taylor Stewart

The Newton Brothers have ears for music and a drive like no other.  Not only has the duo – who is made up by Andy Grush (right) and Taylor Stewart (left) – dabbled in many different genres, but the pair have taken on a hefty load producing musical scores for seven films in eight months. Grush and Stewart attended TIFF earlier this month to support three films they were apart of.  Oculus directed by Mike…