Toronto 2015 Review: HIGH RISE Throws A Lot Of Stuff Off The Ledge

As audience empathy tests go, killing the dog is perhaps the most capital of movie-crimes. Here it is gleefully committed in the opening minutes; a bellwether for the casually curious to beware. Several other canine-murders are peppered throughout the film, each... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Toronto 2015 Review: INTO THE FOREST, A Masterful Portrait Of The Family Bond

What will we all do when the lights turn off? Wait impatiently for them to come back on, trying to maintain a normal existence and the planned future? Begin raiding other people's homes? Go off in search of some semblance... More »

Toronto 2015 Review: LEN AND COMPANY, A Confident Hanging-Out Movie

All men, when they reach a certain age, have a desire to become a hermit - to one degree or another. Maybe it is due to genetic wiring, maybe social conventions. Most ignore it, either lacking the means, or the... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Review: EVEREST Tackles Disaster With Diplomacy At The Top Of The World

Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur tackles his largest Hollywood project to-date, with this epically staged account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in which eight climbers perished on the Himalayan peak in a single day. Featuring a robust ensemble cast and... More »
By James Marsh   

Sidewalk Film Fest 2015 Review: THREE FINGERS, A Powerful Engagement With Trauma

While the average person in the United States might be familiar with the illness known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its prevalence among war veterans, it is arguably an 'invisible' illness (unlike the loss of a limb, for example)... More »

Review: NO ESCAPE Shows Us The Asia That Americans Should Be Afraid Of

Asia is terrifying. With its obscure languages, stifling humidity, tropical foliage, peculiar deities, dubious military regimes, weird food and proximity to historically hazardous war zones, American citizens would be insane to go near any part of it. The only Westerners... More »
By James Marsh   

Review: SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY Puts The Fun In Funny

Peter Bogdanovich's screwball sensibilities thankfully do not get the better of him in the absurd and kinetic She's Funny That Way. The film follows the various dramas, loves and lusts of the players of a theater production in New... More »

Review: THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Targets Style Over Spying

For its big screen reboot of the classic 60s spy series, Warner Brothers is hoping Guy Ritchie can replicate the success of their earlier Sherlock Holmes adaptations, again favouring witty banter and period detail over the material's more action-oriented elements.... More »
By James Marsh   

Review: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, An Artful And Entertaining Musical Biopic

"You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge." So begins the title track of NWA's seminal 1988 album Straight Outta Compton, a hip-hop landmark that almost single-handedly changed the direction of the art form. The making of... More »

Fantasia 2015 Review: Time Travel Is A Bastard In SYNCHRONICITY

I never thought it would happen, but I have finally, personally, hit the wall with indie time travel flicks. Jacob Gentry's Synchronicity is not lacking in smarts or clockwork precision, but abjectly fails to convince in its core ideas of love... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Melbourne 2015 Review: Sebastian Silva Proves He's The NASTY BABY

Based on a true story (very loosely), Silva's latest film Nasty Baby is a completely misdirected comedy drama about a gay hipster couple, artist Freddy (Silva himself) and Mo (Tunde Adebimpe) who reside in Brooklyn and are trying to... More »

Fantasia 2015 Review: DARK PLACES, An Affecting Autopsy Of The 1980s Satanic Panic

1985. In a rural community of Kansas there was a young teenager named Ben Day (Tye Sheridan channelling Ezra Miller) who was very into the punk rock outfit The Misfits. He filled his sketchbooks with black-inked antichrist art, and was accused... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Fantasia 2015 Review: THE INTERIOR Exquisitely Balances Comedy And Horror

Somewhere up there in heaven (or hell) Samuel Beckett and Henry David Thoreau are tipping their coffee cups towards Trevor Juras' The Interior. For a first feature, this film is not only fully realized and confident, but has a deep understanding... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Fantasia 2015 Review: SHE WHO MUST BURN Scorches The Hubris of Human Behavior

The miracle of She Who Must Burn, a film perhaps most efficiently described as Red State for grown-ups, is that it offers three well worn elements - scripture quoting after committing an abhorrent act of violence (and the Ezekiel quote... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Fantasia 2015 Review: CASH ONLY, Both Sharp And Vulnerable

What is colder, Albanian hell or Detroit in winter? Elvis Martini sits rather uncomfortably in the middle of both over the course of a few days where his world spirals out of control. He has the courts breathing down his neck... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   

Review: WAYWARD PINES, The Show That Is Not What It Seems To Be

Halfway through the series Wayward Pines, episode five lands a serious twist, a bold move that might have arrived too soon, yet performs as a mighty cliffhanger and game-changer for the whole show. Wayward Pines is currently running on the... More »
By Martin Kudlac   

Blu-ray Review: The PING PONG Anime Beats All Opponents

(Expect a back-and-forth between me and everyone who claims the film is better...) Last month in the US, Funimation released the DVD and Blu-ray editions of Ping Pong, the anime. And, as I have rather strong feelings about this one,... More »
By Ard Vijn   

Review: TANGERINE Pops With Verve And Vérité

On the streets of Los Angeles sunlight seems to move differently than in most places. It blazes, arching across the sky, like a banshee spreading its wings. From behind the wheel of your car, inching forward in the hellion-marked traffic... More »
By Ben Umstead   

New York Asian 2015 Review: IT'S ALREADY TOMORROW IN HONG KONG, A Charming Romantic Travelogue

Here's the basic plotline of producer and now first-time writer-director Emily Ting's immensely charming romance It's Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, boiled down to its basic essence. A man and a woman meet, and (spoiler alert) fall in love over... More »

Review: TERMINATOR GENISYS, The Embodiment Of Fan Disservice

The fifth instalment of the troubled sci-fi time travel series reveals itself to be a frustrating reboot-sequel hybrid, cherry-picking iconic moments from throughout the franchise and reworking them into a confused and mostly absurd new narrative. The result is a... More »
By James Marsh   
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