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Mother of the Bride

Self-awareness can either make or break a movie.  In 2008, the feature adaptation of Mamma Mia! was considered a crowd-pleaser by those who were swept up in the fun being had on screen.  But, personally, I found the movie to be conceited and distracted by its joy;  so much so that it felt like the movie existed in its own impenetrable bubble for those who either liked the original stage musical or the music of ABBA….

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What Jennifer Did

Documentarian Jenny Popplewell returns to true crime with her latest film, What Jennifer Did.  Finding a comfortable balance between a conventional format (talking heads, unsettling nighttime B-roll) and the resourceful surveillance storytelling she exhibited in Netflix’s American Murder: The Family Next Door, Popplewell recounts the details of a disturbing attempted double murder, while also dissecting its police procedural.

Reviews

Damsel

Though Netflix’s latest female-led action flick was released on International Women’s Day, Damsel makes an unconvincing case to empower anybody.  Especially when the film stops in its tracks to have its heroine Elodie (Stranger Things’  Millie Bobby Brown) denounce the story’s deliberate discriminatory attitude towards young women.  However, if viewers are looking for a fun romp where that same heroine is in a cavernous cat-and-mouse chase from a fire-breathing, angry dragon, Damsel is just the…

Reviews

Lift

Director F. Gary Gray calls back to his days as an acton-thriller filmmaker with Lift, a heist movie that aspires to be an airborne version of Gray’s remake of The Italian Job.  However, that former influence was an entertaining and accessible thrill ride with enough charisma to boot.  Lift , the complete opposite, is an expensive-looking, self-serious knockoff; hampered by a convoluted plot and absent camaraderie among the cast.  The only thing this empty-headed flick…

Reviews

Good Grief

While actor Daniel Levy has proven to be a comic force for loyal viewers of TV’s Schitt’s Creek, I personally find his demeanour suggests that he’s the smartest person in the room. Self-confidence is an admirable trait, but only if it avoids puffing up one’s ego. The idea of a feature film written and directed by Levy had me feeling skeptical, but I was optimistic for a surprise. Fortunately, Levy’s feature filmmaking debut, Good Grief,…

Reviews

Fair Play

In Fair Play, Emily (Phoebe Dynevor of Netflix’s Bridgerton) and Luke (Alden Ehrenreich of Solo: A Star Wars Story and Cocaine Bear) are financial analysts who are discreetly dating but individually on the offence at the workplace.  The hedge fund they work for is highly competitive, but unprofessional when dealing with internal matters.  An open promotion heard through the grapevine makes everyone more sharp and vicious, but it’s Emily who is eyed for the position….