Bodied, TIFF’s people’s choice award winner on 2017’s Midnight Madness circuit, has been produced by self-proclaimed “rap god” Eminem. Considering the film sinks itself into the world of rap battles and diss shakedowns, comparisons to Eminem’s 2002 8 Mile are inevitable and appropriate. But 8 Mile is most certainly a product of its time. The movie isn’t dated per se, but it represented an underground culture of individuals channeling their repression through rhythm and flow. With…
Documentaries about partially quirky niche subjects have to tread carefully unless the narrative has a “stranger than fiction” angle. Science Fair filmmakers Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster set the stage for their tone awfully fast by opening up their doc with the purity and lucrative opportunities that comes with winning “Best in Fair” at the prestigious Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair); giving audiences a taste of the inspiration and the exposure this film…
You’ve heard of a movie “spinning its wheels”, but have you seen a movie that is simply “spinning”? That’s what Orson Welles’ recently recovered The Other Side of the Wind makes its audience feel like – it’s an evening on a sociable, abrasive lazy suzy with Hollywood elites admiring each other just as often as they’re jumping at another’s throat.
An Hour to Kill is a horror-comedy anthology from director Aaron K. Carter, a filmmaker who impressed me with his previous feature Dead Kansas. Dead Kansas was a low-budget zombie flick that would’ve blended into the genre if it wasn’t for Carter’s resourceful qualities as a filmmaker. Whenever directors start to blame a strapped budget or a low-end production for their movie’s flaws, I dig up Dead Kansas as my argument to debunk that claim.
Extracurricular (DIR. Ray Xue) As the Canadian pop-punk band Sum 41 once sang, “motivation, such an aggravation.” That seemed to be Ray Xue’s complaint as well when he was directing Extracurricular, which is the only way to explain why anything in this film happened. Long time readers may recognize the number one rule of TAD: if a film is having its world premiere here, it will be terrible. This is not a knock against any of…
Alopecia, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss of different degrees, is an issue that forces those living with it to be in a constant state of awareness; having to find their own individual way to address it. This self-conscious struggle of those personally effected is the topic at bay in Foxy, a concern that was also hindering co-director/co-writer/star Trista Suke before making this thesis project with co-director/co-writer Ellis Poleyko.
I generally have a problem with documentarians who assume too much from their audience before their movie even begins. The purpose of most documentaries is to pitch ideas to viewers and then supply supported arguments – gradually warming over movie goers. A documentary like this one, Restoring Tomorrow, immediately expects viewers to be just as – if not more – attached to the subject manner than the doc’s own filmmaker, Aaron Wolf.
The Hollow Child is a feature film debut for screenwriter Ben Rollo and director Jeremy Lutter, and it’s an efficient entry-level vehicle for both of them even if this horror feels like a retread.
Out of everyone in Hollywood, I least expected comedian Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project, Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising, Blockers) to write and direct an impassionately-charged social satire that hilariously addresses today’s disturbing political divide.
For a documentary revolving around a death-defying act of athletic spirit and psychological endurance, Free Solo is surprisingly underwhelming but also not without some merit.