October 2021

Reviews

Mass

One of the most compelling movies of the year is the minimalist drama Mass, a bottle drama led primarily by its four outstanding leads (Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd, Reed Birney).  The actors portray parents from two families, reeling from a tragedy involving their sons.  After prior detached conversations, they decide to convene at a mutually chosen location – a church basement – while a mediator is stationed outside.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2021: ‘Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break’

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Nick Gillespie’s Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is a hilarious dark comedy that combines 2019’s Joker with 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite – featuring an inept dancing social outcast who plots vigilante justice.  The titular Paul Dood (Tom Meeten) is a troubled man-baby who, despite living with his mother, has aspirations of achieving fame.  On his way to an important career-making audition, Paul is delayed by a series of rude and apathetic citizens,…

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2021: ‘Alien on Stage’

Directed by Lucy Harvey and Danielle Kummer, Alien on Stage is an unexpectedly heartwarming documentary about an amateur theatre group comprised of Dorset bus drivers who set out to produce a stage adaptation of Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi/horror Alien.  Though their initial adaptation is serious, they are given the opportunity to take their show to London’s West End as a comedy.

Reviews

Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills is an ambitious take on a sequel.  While the film picks up where 2018’s Halloween ended, this isn’t a movie about the franchise’s villain Michael Myers or his prime victim Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).  Instead, it’s a movie about Haddonfield and the mournful community who have been living in fear;  being given a tormented reputation by its infamous serial killer.  The locals, having not felt protected by the town’s law enforcement, rally…

Reviews

The Rescue

From the Academy Award winning team who brought you Free Solo comes The Rescue, a documentary that chronicles the 2018 search-and-rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team who were trapped in a flooding cave in Thailand.

Reviews

Defining Moments

Every so often, an overly confident filmmaker comes along to lighten the mood around taboos.  There was Josh Lawson’s comedic approach to bizarre sexual fetishes in The Little Death, then Dave Schultz’s tasteless handling of suicide and death in Considering Love & Other Magic, and now Stephen Wallis with Defining Moments, an exhausting flume of individual stories dealing with heavy subject matter (like mental health) and the writer/director’s unbearably quirky perspective.