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The Outside Story

By: Trevor Chartrand A brilliant slice-of-life comedy, The Outside Story is a charming and lighthearted little film.  This day-in-the-life movie tells the story of Charles Young (Hotel Artemis’ Brian Tyree Henry), an introverted video editor who’s down in the dumps after splitting up with his ex.  After accidentally locking himself out of his apartment, this homebody is forced to stop and smell the roses in his neighbourhood for the first time since he moved in.  While…

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The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs.The Machines is very much cut from the same talented cloth as Sony Pictures Animation’s Oscar-winning hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  The brilliant artists at Sony Pictures Animation, yet again, set a new bar for computer animation;  offering audiences indescribably energetic visuals that astonishingly never lose the film’s lightning-fast pace.  But just like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the story struggles to keep up with the film’s skill.  The movie assuredly commits its general theme to the…

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In the Earth

In the Earth is the first truly effective COVID-era horror/thriller.  Mostly because it doesn’t call attention to the virus, and rather uses its inflections throughout this terrific biological (and supernatural) chiller.

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Tiny Tim: King for a Day

Directed by Johan von Sydow, Tiny Tim: King for a Day is the story of Herbert Khaury.  A social outcast from childhood, Khaury grows up to become Tiny Tim, one of the most unexpected and unusual pop stars of the 1960s.  With long hair, a falsetto voice, and a ukulele, Tiny Tim was seen by many as a freak for defying social norms.  Tiny Tim: King for a Day argues that Tiny Tim’s insistence on…

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The Marijuana Conspiracy

The Marijuana Conspiracy, simply put, has no buzz.  Unlike The Stanford Prison Experiment, a similar movie about impressionable and intelligent young minds involved in an important study, writer/director Craig Pryce has made a loosely-biographical bore that fails to captivate audiences with substance and style.  The film does pride itself on costumes and make-up, and the design artists involved deserve their Canadian Screen Award nominations for their work.  But, the film’s effort doesn’t exceed beyond its period…

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Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie

In the spirit of American Movie and Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie is a fun movie about the indie filmmaking process.  This time, audiences watch aspiring filmmakers Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt, best friends since hitting it off at the Special Olympics as youngsters, as they attempt to cut their teeth making the most outrageous party-horror ever made.  Their dream project is titled…

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Senior Moment

Senior Moment is an unflattering example of what producers and filmmakers believe will connect with an older demographic.  It’s twee and fairly clean, stars familiar and likeable faces, and the plot uses a failsafe story of a has-been getting back on the saddle.  While this formula can hit its stride (Book Club, starring Diane Keaton, being a recent favourite), it can also shamelessly pander towards its audience (And So It Goes, another Keaton vehicle).  Perhaps if…

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398 Days: Hostage

By: Trevor Chartrand Based on a true story, 398 Days: Hostage is the harrowing account of a Danish photographer captured, tortured and held hostage in Syria for over a year.  Young and ambitious, our protagonist Daniel Rye Ottosen (Esben Smed) is an Olympic contender with the Danish gymnastics team, until a knee injury shatters his dreams of pursuing the gold medal.  Short on prospects and in need of work, Daniel starts his career over with…

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Held

If Saw’s Jigsaw Killer received his doctorate in marriage therapy, his counselling would resemble the drawn-out home invasion portrayed in Held, a sanctimonious and straight-up stupid thriller that squanders its potential for big scares in small spaces.