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The Beta Test

Jim Cummings proved to be a brilliant performer and an exciting filmmaker with Thunder Road, a film he not only directed but also wrote and starred in.  As that film’s leading character, he commanded the screen with run-on breakdowns that ranged from hysterical highs to desperate lows.  The unforgettable results balanced heavy emotions and dark comedy.

Reviews

Nine Days

Written and directed by Edson Oda, Nine Days is a metaphysical film that follows a lonely man named Will, played by Winston Duke (Black Panther, Us), who is tasked with interviewing human souls and deciding which one will be given a chance to live.  One soul in particular, Emma (Zazie Beetz), is an independent thinker who resists the tasks Will assigns and forces him to examine his own existence.

Reviews

Daisy Productions: ‘#BasicBAEs’ and ‘Thank U, Ex’

The latest efforts from the Toronto-based comedy collective Daisy Productions are two different takes on a fantasy vs. reality theme.  #BasicBAEs, directed by Dennis Alexander Nicholson (Kitty Mammas), is a short film that follows the individual lives of friends who primarily communicate through social media.  Thank U, Ex, a hybrid show directed by Maddie Rose that incorporates theatre with taped segments, chronicles the love life of a hopeless romantic with a chip on their shoulder….

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.