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Reviews

Pain and Glory

By: Trevor Chartrand Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory is a well-crafted melodrama;  an emotional piece weighed heavily by its evocation of sadness and regret.  The film stars Antonio Banderas as Salvador Mallo, an aging filmmaker who reflects on his past and the mistakes he’s made – mistakes that seem more clear through older, wiser eyes.  Almodóvar explores themes of life, love, family, regret, and retribution, all through the lens of the classic mantra: ‘hindsight is…

Reviews

The Lighthouse

When Robert Eggers appeared on the cinematic scene with The Witch at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival, he exposed untold new ways to tell horror stories.  So, what can someone who has already reinvented a genre do to follow up such a work?  Eggers decided to use a similar formula—mainly the research of authentic historical documents that went into the screenplay’s creation of horror—to tell a brand-new story.  The results are great.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: A One-On-One with Precious Chong

At this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival (which is currently in full swing at the city’s Scotiabank Theatre), you won’t be able to shake Precious Chong’s wild performance in Zach Gayne’s Homewrecker.  As Linda, Chong channels mousey and maniacal characteristics after she haphazardly kidnaps a new “friend” Michelle (Starry Eyes’ Alex Essoe).  Chong is funny, but she’s careful not to exploit the character;  allowing Essoe’s character to show empathy towards Linda under nerve-racking circumstances.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘The Furies’ and ‘Mutant Blast’

The Furies (DIR. Tony D’Aquino) So, there are these seven women and seven monsters.  The women are tasked with staying alive, while the monsters attempt to kill them.  This plot could either be attached to a self-aware bit of amazing cinematic trash, or it could take itself too seriously and fail.  Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies falls firmly into the latter category.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Blood Machines’ and ‘Homewrecker’

Blood Machines (DIR. Seth Ickerman) The cinema is a visual and narrative medium, but the narrative is often king.  Way too many films will give up on the visuals to tell a story, leading to slightly stagnant results.  As such, it is sometimes oddly refreshing to get a film which will sacrifice narrative cohesion in order to produce a spectacle of light and sound.  Seth Ickerman is such a filmmaker and Blood Machines, a collaboration between…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘Extra Ordinary’

Ghosts are just ordinary people who have died.  Surely, that means they are all around us, right?  Extra Ordinary starts with this quirky concept and adds satanism, post-domestic abuse, and driving school experience to turn the weirdness up to eleven.  The film’s weirdness isn’t its only trick, however, because Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman’s film is roaringly funny despite that.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2019: ‘James vs. His Future Self’ and ‘Making Monsters’

James vs. His Future Self (DIR. Jeremy LaLonde) Jeremy LaLonde’s recent movies have truly owned their genre in a unique way.  The Go-Getters was a gleefully foul play on the traditional buddy formula, and How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town was a charming sex comedy.  With James vs. His Future Self, LaLonde takes a swing at crossing science fiction with a romance – it’s a sweet success.