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Wylie Writes

Reviews

A Master Builder

By: Addison Wylie Last year, I caught a humbling documentary called André Gregory: Before and After Dinner.  Cindy Kleine’s candid look at Gregory’s life and multi-talented career stole my heart and made me very interested in what the artist had to offer for the future. In the doc, Gregory and his close collaborator Wallace Shawn are working on their latest work – an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder.  You may remember Shawn for his…

Reviews

They Came Together

By: Addison Wylie I bet if we scoured filmmaker David Wain’s DVD collection, we would find romantic comedies.  A lot of them.  It takes a certain kind of guilty affection to lampoon a genre this immaculately. That’s what the absurdist has done with fellow writing cohort Michael Showalter.  The two collaborated on the cult hit Wet Hot American Summer – which took the piss out of camp movies – and now they go for the…

Reviews

Bird Co. Media

By: Addison Wylie What partly hurts Bird Co. Media is its insistence to make people believe it’s a documentary.  Actions in the movie may have been inspired by real life events, but once you see how the film is formatted, you’ll have all the reason to doubt.  For instance, cameras follow our leads and then freely cut around them – including on the other sides of doors.  Those are some nimble cameramen. Bird Co. Media…

Reviews

Life Itself

By: Addison Wylie Life Itself has the sympathetic appeal and gravitas of a rightfully great documentary about an unbreakable legacy.  It’s the type of film Roger Ebert would’ve liked, even if it wasn’t chronicling the late film critic’s life and times. Ebert’s “thumbs up/thumbs down” signature alongside buddying rival Gene Siskel left more than just an imprint on the film industry.  Their clashing opinions and exuberance for winning movies had readers and viewers alike riveted….

CrowdFUNding

CrowdFUNding: Forbidden Films’ ‘Headless’ Horror

By: Addison Wylie My most anticipated movie of 2014 is one I’ve already seen, but has yet to make a widespread appearance in theatres or on DVD/VOD.  I want to recommend this excellent indie as soon as it shows its bloody face. Found screened for horror hounds at last year’s Toronto After Dark.  It left the audience – particularly me – shaken and disturbed.  The low budget flick about a sibling who discovers his stoic,…

Reviews

No Clue

By: Addison Wylie Comedy comes naturally for Brent Butt.  Say what you want about his clean-cut deadpan performances and how “it doesn’t work for you”.  But, six seasons of a highly popular footnote in Canadian television is nothing to ignore. Myself – along with a large cult fan base – find the Saskatchewan born comic to be hilarious and in tune with all the components it takes to make people laugh: delivery, timing, and content….

Reviews

Words and Pictures

By: Addison Wylie “Is this really happening?” Get used to those four words, people.  You’ll be asking yourself that a lot during Words and Pictures, a big letdown that wavers between an overplayed drama, an awkward romantic comedy, and hokey classroom schmaltz. Despite that harsh statement, Words and Pictures isn’t flat-out bad.  We at least have watchable performances by Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.  Their roles as teachers who butt heads (Binoche being the more…

Reviews

Borgman

By: Addison Wylie A film can tell you nothing for no good reason, having you frustrated until the final frame.  Sometimes, a movie can keep everything a secret and get away with it because of how intriguing it is.  Alex van Warmerdam’s haunting Borgman is a magnificent example of the latter. Borgman is a weird flick, but daring because of that.  The skillful filmmaker has set up his plan masterfully, and has the average movie…

Reviews

Manakamana

By: Addison Wylie This weekend, a form of torture…er…a “spellbinding” new documentary called Manakamana (pronounced Mana-Ka-Mana as suggested by the film’s poster) will be released upon the public.  Those moviegoers should buckle up for a stinker, and maybe bring a pillow while they’re at it. To be honest, I’m surprised I’m writing a review.  About halfway through this aggravating experience, I was predicting I would be curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and…

Festival Coverage

LEFT’s Horror Fest is the Right Choice

By: Addison Wylie It’s terrific news to report that Lost Episode Festival Toronto (or, LEFT) is back! Some of you who have been following me since my time at Film Army may have seen my coverage of the weekend-long festival last year.  It was a neat experience and certainly a film festival unlike any I’ve attended. For those who need a brief introduction, LEFT is a film festival run by fearless leader Johnny Larocque.  It…