TIFF 2010
13 Assassins Review

Takashi Miike is not known for his subtlety. When his film Ichi the Killer premiered, the audience were given vomit bags (several of which, apparently, were used.) He is also one of Japan’s most prolific filmmakers, often churning out more than one film a year. It is not often, though, that he focuses on true […]

TIFF 2010
Bunraku Review

Probably more than any other program at TIFF, the Midnight Madness section is set apart by films that are heavy on style. As many of them are genre films, the style weighs heavily in conveying the themes and subject matter to the audience. Unfortunately, often films that rely upon or engage too much of their […]

TIFF 2010
Easy Money Review

Easy Money (Snabba Cash) is easy viewing for anyone who likes a good crime story that examines the relationship between gangs, drugs and big business. Set in Stockholm where organized crime is still relatively young, the film follows three very different protagonists who all become vested in one big drug shipment. Jorge is a recently […]

TIFF 2010
Strange Case of Angelica Review

Through its static nature, photography indulges in a nanosecond of time. An object or a person is timeless in the single moment of the camera’s shutter click. Is it possible to fall in love with a perfect yet still person, especially when they are dead? Not only dead in the continuing present, but in the […]

TIFF 2010
Let Me In Review

I really don’t like remakes. Like many film fans, I believe that they should be avoided at all costs, particularly when they are Hollywood remakes of excellent foreign films. However, Hollywood being what it is, remakes are inevitable. So when I heard that there were plans to remake the excellent Swedish film Let The Right […]

TIFF 2010
Biutiful Review

The films of Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Babel) have never quite sat right with me. Although he has the ability to weave together multiple storylines and characters in seamless and intimate ways, his need to create the absolute worst possible scenario at almost every turn leaves me incredibly frustrated. Perhaps this has been because […]

TIFF 2010
SUPER Review

There have been a number of films made in recent years that are use the concept of average people becoming costumed vigilantes. From last year’s ambitious Watchmen adaptation, to the Canadian indie flick Defendor, and more recently the big screen version of Mark Millar’s ultraviolent Kick-Ass, normal people putting on tights and bashing criminals in […]

TIFF 2010
Windfall Review

Windfall is filmmaker Laura Israel’s look at how a small Upstate New York town is nearly torn apart over a proposed wind farm development. The film is not an exposé on the wind power industry, but rather an examination of the effects wind farms can have on small, desperate communities The community of Meredith, NY […]

TIFF 2010
Inside Job Review

The causes of the current global economic crisis are incredibly confusing to anyone without advanced degrees in economics or intimate knowledge of business and finance (and even to those with expertise.) It is little surprise, then, that the crisis continues to persist as so few have the expertise to question those responsible for it — […]

TIFF 2010
Balada Triste Review

In the immediate Post-Franco era, Spanish film set out to explore and perhaps heal the trauma of the near-half century of fascist rule. In the 1990s, though, a new crop of filmmakers began to move away from social realism and explore the contemporary Spanish character, in particular through the fantastic genres (horror, sci-fi and fantasy.) […]

The Social Network Review

The Social Network is a movie that shouldn’t work. It’s a story about a socially challenged, bitterly abrasive geek and how he created a high-traffic website. Hardly the stuff of Oscars or summer blockbusters. Thing is, in spite of this, the movie plays out just like the typical Facebook experience – hard to see what all the hype is about from the outside, quickly captivating at first, then totally engrossing from within.

Machete Review

Move over Stallone, there’s an even older, buffer action star on-screen this summer, and this one’s connected enough to get Steven Seagal in his movie. At 66, Danny Trejo has two years on Sly and has appeared in almost four times as many films. Despite having one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, this […]

Book Shelf
Under the Dome Review

Last November I was privileged enough to witness a rare meeting of the minds and report on it for Dork Shelf. Cronenberg looks under King’s Dome detailed the filmmaker’s interview with Stephen King in front of a giddy audience at Toronto’s Canon Theatre. Although they covered many subjects it was primarily a promotional event for […]

TADFF 2010
The Last Exorcism Review

Classics do a lot of good, but that good is typically exhausted in one fell swoop. Plus that bit of good is usually exclusive to the classic itself. This reigns especially true in horror, where one good thing leads to endless, terrible others. The Exorcist is regarded as one of the most effective and poignant […]

TADFF 2010
Heartless Review

British artist Philip Ridley has only directed three feature films in his career. I must confess that I am not familiar with his first two films, The Reflecting Skin and The Passion of Darkly Noon, but everyone I’ve talked to says they are strange and disturbing experiences. With that in mind, I went into Ridley’s […]