Splatterhouse Review

I distinctly remember being very fond of the Splatterhouse series. In high school I generally dug horror, gore, and all manner of spooks, creepers and creatures for no reason other than being ‘out there’. I also liked Sega Genesis and baseless angst, so it was kind of an interesting convergence of loves. I also remember imagining how 'rad' a remake would be. Well, Namco Bandai has decided to revisit the Splatterhouse series, but is this the game I asked for years ago or just a nightmare wrapped in another’s dream?

Kirby’s Epic Yarn Review

In the past, Kirby has tilted and tumbled, pinballed, air rode and whatever the heck dream coursing is. To say Kirby has gone under some heavy reimagining for a new title isn’t exactly out of the ordinary, as history shows that almost every other cute little entry in the series is off the beaten path. The pink, fluffy whatsit is as flexible as he is collapsible. So how does a franchise with a history of reinvention, reinvent itself? Well, the folks at HAL cleverly decided to attack the problem at its roots with Kirby's Epic Yarn, reassembling Kirby’s platforming origins with a radically different approach and changing nearly everything except how ungodly adorable it is. Is this newly knit creation a gorgeous weave? Or will it unravel and alienate fans?

Tim Burton Takes Toronto – Part 2

Part two of Sasha's Tim Burton Takes Toronto examines the director's late 80s and early 90s work: Batman, Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns. From 7 p.m. on Friday, November 26 to some ungodly hour on the morning of Sunday, November 28th, Torontonians were invited to TIFF Bell Lightbox to screen the entirety of Tim Burton’s filmography. This was in celebration of the Burton exhibit coming to town, which was first curated by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. For some, myself included, the prospect of sitting through sixteen feature films by Burton was intriguing — a Burton Blitz of sorts. Others might call it “Hell on Earth”.

Tim Burton Takes Toronto – Part 1

From 7 p.m. on Friday, November 26 to some ungodly hour in the morning on Sunday, November 28th, Torontonians were invited to TIFF Bell Lightbox to screen the entirety of Tim Burton’s filmography (excluding the two shorts Frankenweenie and Vincent). This was in celebration of the Burton exhibit coming to town, which was first curated by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. For some, myself included, the prospect of sitting through sixteen feature films by Burton was intriguing. Others might call it “Hell on Earth”.

Glee-Tarded:
A Glee Episode Review

Our new TV Dork, Kathleen tackles Glee and tackles it hard. No show on TV can make me feel such an array of emotions with a single episode... Anger, embarrassment, disbelief, and nausea to name a few. Let me start off by saying, I get why people enjoy this show. It’s light and it’s fun, the characters are endearing, the musical numbers are interesting, and the guest stars are huge. That being said, this show makes me want to punch a baby.

Vanquish Review

War has always been very popular theme in video games, which makes sense since guns and killing things are also very popular in games. Halo, Call of Duty, Gears of War and Battlefield have found a comfortable niche with their typically melodramatic takes on all sorts of conflict. From the box art alone, Vanquish looks an awful lot like it’s trying to add yet another 'androidgynous' protagonist to the pile, but the truth of the matter is much deeper than that.

Cool It Review

The new documentary Cool It from acclaimed filmmaker Ondi Timoner is a breath of fresh air for anyone sick and tired of the fear-based approach to fighting climate change. With the help of Danish environmentalist Bjørn Lomborg, Timoner’s Cool It acts as a rebuttal of sorts to Al Gore‘s documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Review

The first part of the climax to the Harry Potter series is much different than its predecessors. It features whole new kinds of depression, anxiety and an anger that the previous films simply did not have. In the past books and films, Harry and his crew had to overcome obstacles and that was that, even though they knew something more was coming. There were epic battle scenes, and other scenes that showed Potter striving for some illusive goal. This time around, Harry, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasely are alone and confused in a dark and sinister world.

Sitges 2010
Tucker & Dale vs Evil Review

About 15 minutes into Tucker & Dale, you will think to yourself: why did no one have this brilliant idea before? Maybe if they did, it would not the work of horror comedy genius that this film is. While initially worried that I saw all the best jokes in the trailer, I was amazed at how Craig and Jurgenson kept the entire film fresh and brilliantly funny.

James Bond 007:
Blood Stone Review

As it turns out, there is a lesser-talked-about James Bond game this month. Not directly related to the new Goldeneye, but I guess it must have been convenient to have Daniel Craig in the sound studio. So Bond for all, Wii or otherwise! James Bond 007: Blood Stone is a new, standalone tale for MI6 addicts made by Project Gotham and Geometry Wars creators Bizarre Creations, letting players take the role of Bond as he shoots the bad guys and roughs up luxury cars, but is this a diamond in the rough or just plain fake?

Sitges 2010
Secuestrados Review

Shot in just under 10 very long takes, Vivas’ Secuestrados tells the story of a wealthy family who, having just moved into their new home, are held hostage and robbed by three masked men. No harm seems intended for the victims, until one of the thieves’ psychotic personality starts to show itself, and the father of the family attempts to get help. Then all hell breaks loose.

Sitges 2010
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Review

Our North American, contemporary version of Santa Claus apparently comes from Coca-Cola; the red suit trimmers with white, the beard, the jolly laughing belly. Santa Claus or some version of him has been around for several centuries, of course, but our modern age has skewed the origins quite a lot. In this tale of the man, director and writer Helander conceives not of a jolly person who brings presents to little children, but of a demon buried deep under a mountain, a demon that eats children. And it will take a child to stop him.

Sitges 2010
La Casa Muda Review

La Casa Muda has become fairly well known on the fantastic festival circuit mainly for its modus operandi: it was shot in one long take. And deservedly so: this technique, which frequently incorporates first person perspective, creates one of the most terrifying atmospheres in any horror film I’ve watched.

Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits
Review

Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits 2000 - 2010 brings together all the published issues of Jen Ven Meter's comic and a few colour stories that fill in key moments in the Hopeless Savage family drama. The collection features the art of Christine Norrie, Chynna Clugston Flores, Ross Campbell, Andi Watson, Becky Cloonan and Bryan Lee O’ Malley.

Sitges 2010
Fase 7 Review

A gem of a comedy from Argentina, Fase 7 tries to find the lighter side of disease outbreak. Sounds like a contradiction, but writer and director Nicolás Goldbart focuses on the residents of a small apartment building in order to examine the (humourous) human condition during trying times.