Toronto 2014 Review: Epic And Austere, ALIVE Depicts Dark Days For Korean Laborers

Incessantly grim and pushing the three-hour mark, indie helmer Park Jung-bum's Alive is about as challenging a sophomore work as anyone could have dreamt up. And this from a man who debuted with the ferociously bleak The Journals of Musan... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS Is Lovingly Reverent Of The Ridiculous

Mark Hartley's unofficial biography of Cannon Films impresarios Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus is equal parts reverent and dumbfounded in its depiction of these maverick Hollywood outsiders. Bottling the same level of ravenous reportage for Cannon's bountiful output as Hartley... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: RUN Finds Thrilling Drama In Fractured Character Study

Ivorian Philippe Lacôte's film Run is a brash fiction debut for this documentarian. The film begins with an off-camera assassination, and through a series of concentric flashback's we're told the story of Run. Part gangster and part activist, Run... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: WILD, A Decent Film

Taking on another true story after his hugely successful Dallas Buyer's Club, Jean-Marc Vallée this time turns his lens onto the story of Cheryl Strayed, a woman with a past who takes it upon herself to hike hundreds of... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Kevin Smith's TUSK Gleefully Plays By Its Own Rules

"Why don't you ask him if he's going to stay? Why don't you ask him if he's going away? Why don't you tell me what's going on?" - TUSK, Fleetwood Mac Kevin Smith is many things to many people... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Winterbottom's THE FACE OF AN ANGEL Is A Meta-Narrative Thriller That Works

It's a dangerous thing to make a movie about making a movie. It's even more dangerous when the movie is about the writing process for the very movie the audience is watching. Not only is the meta-narrative difficult to pull... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE WORLD OF KANAKO, Gloriously Irresponsible Filmmaking

The first two minutes of Nakashima Tetsuya's violent and unrelenting The World of Kanako are a litmus test on whether one should proceed. A frenetic orgy of editing non-sequitors, both assaulting and attention grabbing, occurs right before slamming into a stylized... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: MONSOON Paints A Brash, Beautiful Portrait Of India And Its Storms

There's something primal about our fascination with storms, something connected for even the most urban of city dwellers to the enormous forces that shape our planet. It's no surprise that earlier civilizations named gods after these elements, and that... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE LAST FIVE YEARS Is On-Screen Music Theater Done Right

It's common knowledge that a pure musical takes more than a bit of suspension of disbelief. From the first notes, you kind of have to go with the flow, taking in the abstraction as it comes. On stage, this level... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Celebrates The Messiness Of The Universe, Concisely

James Marsh's eye for documentary is a welcome aspect to this biopic about one of the most recognizable scientists to have ever lived. Stephen Hawking is perhaps known more widely for his physical struggles, synthesized voice and pop culture... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: CHARLIE'S COUNTRY, Wild Vistas, Remarkable Performances, And Assured Direction

When I saw Rolf de Heer's Bad Boy Bubby in an arthouse theatre back in the mid-90s, I was totally unprepared for such raw and nihilistic filmmaking. A violent and dark film, it was clear from that one film... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE EQUALIZER, A Quietly-Assured Thriller For The Masses

Cool and slick -- no, no, let's make that uber-cool and uber-slick -- while also being uber-warm -- yet wistful, kind to strangers and hostile to unrepentant criminals who ignore "stop that, please," Robert McCall is a superhero for the... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: SPRING Is No Sophomore Slump

"You saw me all fucked up and I am still here." So says Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) to his Italian girlfriend, Louise (Nadia Hilker), after discovering that her 'little secret' is well outside his comfort zone. It is this moment, well... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: SONG OF THE SEA Is A Timeless Delight For All Ages

Irish animator Tomm Moore made - to put it mildly - a very large impression with his 2009 feature debut The Secret Of Kells, a gorgeous piece of work with rich storytelling high in adventure and genuine emotion that earned... More »
By Todd Brown   
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE DEAD LANDS, An Epic Yet Intimate Action Journey

As is often the case with a classical heroic journey, what you get out of the quest is often what you bring to it. With some humility and patience, you'll be rewarded; wanting rewards without putting in the work... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: THE CONNECTION Misses Its Mark

The Connection (titled La French in its native county) has the makings of a great film, which is what makes the final product such a disapointment. Drawing upon the same case that was the basis for the William Friedkin... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E03, ROBOT OF SHERWOOD (Or, The Doctor Meets Robin Hood)

Throwing the Doctor and some well-known figure from history or legend together for an episode is hardly a new trick for Doctor Who, although it is somewhat unusual to see our hero so nonplussed by the whole thing.As the title... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Jason Reitman Weaves An Ambitious, Enjoyable Tapestry In MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN

Jason Reitman is having an identity crisis. As one of the most prolific voices in his generation of filmmakers, Reitman has been a model of consistency, pumping out smart and snarky dramedies every two years from Thank You For Smoking... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: BIG GAME, Big Fun That Feels Totally Fresh

It's such a delight to see a film that plays by its own rules, fulfilling the premise that it sets up, and delivering right through to the conclusion. This is especially true for Midnight movies, as often you get... More »
  

Toronto 2014 Review: Stylish And Well Performed, SCARLET INNOCENCE Surprises And Delights

Adapted from a Korean folk tale and starting off as a softly lensed romantic melodrama, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Scarlet Innocence, the latest work from noted visual stylist Yim Pil-sung, must be primed for a local audience. Yet... More »
  
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