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Wylie Writes

Reviews

Bodied

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…

Reviews

Science Fair

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…

Reviews

The Other Side of the Wind

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.

Reviews

Mid90s

By: Jessica Goddard Mid90s is a coming-of-age period piece, chronicling how a mild 13-year-old boy finds acceptance and belonging with a reckless crowd of skateboarders.  Our pint-sized protagonist, Stevie (Sunny Suljic), perfectly captures the in-the-middleness suggested by the title – we can’t help but see a child when he’s next to his older (taller) friends, but the mischief he gets up to makes him feel much more adult than we’re comfortable with.

Reviews

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man

By: Trevor Chartrand On the internet, rumors and stories spread wildly, and most people are logical and cautious enough to question everything they read online.  Folks often dismiss fantastical, source-less narratives because, come on, that never could have happened, right?  Well, maybe not.  A new documentary titled The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man examines one of these online rumors and proves that there’s some validity here – so maybe we…

Reviews

An Hour to Kill

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.

Reviews

Maria by Callas

Directed by Tom Volf, Maria by Callas examines the life and art of one of the twentieth century’s greatest opera singers, Maria Callas.  Through archival footage of Callas on stage, her personal correspondence to friends, and interviews with the singer recorder at various points throughout her career, the film attempts to show the personal, intimate side of a woman that was the subject of much media attention during her lifetime.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2018: ‘Extracurricular’, ‘Lifechanger’, ‘Nightmare Cinema’, and ‘You Might Be the Killer’

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…

Reviews

Mid90s

By: Trevor Chartrand Apatow-comedy veteran Jonah Hill has diversified his career path considerably in recent years, taking on darker and more intense roles.  Now he’s taken another step into new territory, this time helming a film from behind the camera: Mid90s is Hill’s directorial debut, and it’s chock-full of surprises.