Vortex Media

Reviews

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…

Reviews

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…

Reviews

Doors

By: Trevor Chartrand Doors is an anthology-style sci-fi film from the producers of V/H/S, featuring four short stories all set in the same universe.  Each story or segment is helmed by its own filmmaker, giving us a variety of perspectives and approaches to one shared idea.  Without a doubt, the film is an interesting experiment and a great way to showcase the uniqueness of the creative mind.  Given the same premise, each filmmaker turns in a…

Reviews

Cowboys

Jillian Bell (Office Christmas Party) and Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman) play against their comedic type in Cowboys, a solid family drama that could also be interpreted as an unconventional buddy western between Zahn and young breakout Sasha Knight.

Reviews

Phobic

By: Jolie Featherstone When second-generation homicide detective Riley Sanders (Jacque Gray) returns to work after a traumatic experience, she’s partnered with the idealistic and stoic Paul Carr (Devin Liljenquist).  When Paul brings Riley up to speed on current cases, they realize that two of the crimes are very similar: the victims were bound in enclosed spaces and died of heart attacks.  Their investigation leads them to find that the killer is targeting people with clinically-diagnosed…

Reviews

Stars Fell on Alabama

The most interesting scene in Stars Fell on Alabama involves the lead couple participating in a complicated line dance to a country cover of “Gives You Hell” by the All American Rejects while they squabble over hurt feelings.  The scene is vaguely surreal and doesn’t make a lick of sense, but at least its absurdity is moderately compelling to watch, which is more than I can say for the rest of this bland and charmless…

Reviews

Beyond the Woods

By: Jolie Featherstone Brayden DeMorest-Purdy’s feature film debut, Beyond the Woods, is a mind-bending, slow-burning crime drama where lost and troubled individuals burn like smoking flames flickering against the bitter-cold, snow-capped landscape that threatens to consume them.