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Reviews

Demonic

By: Trevor Chartrand Demonic is the most recent directorial effort from District 9’s Neill Blomkamp, and it’s a film that takes a fresh look at an otherwise tired and stale genre – the exorcism movie.  Set in a contemporary world, Demonic would seamlessly fit into the Black Mirror series as an ominous cautionary tale of technology and its potential terrors.  Rather than robotic military dogs or contact lens cameras though, the dangerous tech in this film…

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The Protégé

An impressive cast, an experienced screenwriter, a respectable director, and an amazing fight choreographer have collaborated to make the staggeringly dull revenge thriller The Protégé, a film that is reminiscent of so many indulgent knockoffs of Quentin Tarantino’s work.

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Roller Squad

By: Trevor Chartrand Despite the promise of a wacky premise, Roller Squad disappoints.  Its ambition and potential is overshadowed by a weak execution overall.  In fairness, Berty Cadilhac’s movie may appeal to pre-teens looking up to some “rad skaters” and, I suppose, makes a good jumping-off point for young imaginations to build a world around.  But as for the film itself, this series of goofy events featuring bumbling characters is ultimately a dud.

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The Final Ride

Mikey McMurran’s long-awaited sophomore effort The Final Ride reunites the filmmaker with headliners from his former horror flick Secret Santa.  Watching this reunion made me nostalgic for Secret Santa;  the humble “lil’ slasher that could” catching on through word-of-mouth and becoming a hot commodity at 2015’s Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival – midnight screenings were either sold-out or close to selling out.  The Final Ride has that same Midnight Madness appeal, but it’s a…

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The Exchange

The Exchange is pitched as a film by Borat co-writer Dan Mazer.  The ad campaign conveniently omits Mazer’s more recent effort Dirty Grandpa, a hard-R gross-out comedy that was dragged by critics and audiences alike although I feel like those reactions were over-the-top and unnecessary.  This exclusion, though, may not be because of Dirty Grandpa’s negative reception, but because The Exchange has more in common with Borat – to an extent.

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Pig

Michael Sarnoski’s feature-length directorial debut Pig is about a recluse truffle hunter (Rob played by Nicolas Cage) who is need of answers after his truffle-finding pig is stolen – the John Wick comparisons are unavoidable.  Both movies feature an actor-turn-cult icon playing an enigmatic strong-but-silent type who has the main motivation of reuniting with their animal companion.  It’s already been clarified by audiences who have embraced Pig that Sarnoski’s movie couldn’t be more different, with…

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For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close

In the late 1980’s, Del Close set out to write his autobiography, Wasteland, for DC comics. In Wasteland, the actor and comedian, who mentored comedy legends from John Belushi to Tina Fey but found little material success in his own career, presented a fictionalized and darkly surreal version of his life story. In director Heather Ross’ semi-experimental documentary, For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close, Wasteland serves as a frame for a deeper examination…

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Creation Stories

Not very often do audiences receive a biopic as pointless and embarrassing as Creation Stories.  Then again, the filmmaker  could still benefit from a turkey like this.  If they believe their biopic holds valuable nostalgia or fan service, ham-fisted qualities can be forgiven by movie goers, allowing the movie to even win Oscars.  It worked for Bohemian Rhapsody.