TIFF Review: Solomon Kane

British director Michael J. Bassett brings to the screen Solomon Kane, the graphic novel penned by Robert E. Howard  (who also created Conan the Barbarian) with all due seriousness and gravity, as apparently befits the character. I have not read the books, so this was my first exposure. And while certainly not a perfect film, […]

TIFF Review: Air Doll

Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda has written and directed some of the most sublime, strange and touching films to come out of his home country in recent years, including After Life and Nobody Knows.  Unfortunately his most recent film, Air Doll, is not as original or interesting. A sex doll comes to life while her owner […]

TIFF Review: The Loved Ones

People who insist that small towns are better places for raising children than cities always amaze me.  The typical arguments are that people are friendlier, there are fewer places for kids to get drugs, wide-open spaces for them to run around in, and that you can always know where your child is.  These people need […]

TIFF Review: Solomon Kane

With only a few middle-of-the-road horror films to his name, Brit filmmaker Michael J. Bassett tackles sword and sorcery with his third directorial effort, Solomon Kane.  Adapted from the short stories and poems of Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian), Solomon Kane tells the tale of the eponymous 17th century mercenary and thief.  […]

TIFF Review: Bright Star

Just because a film is set more than a few decades ago, doesn’t mean it’s a period film.  And just because events happened in a particular kind of society 200 years ago, doesn’t mean they are not relevant today.  Jane Campion made that clean with her feature The Piano, and she has returned to these […]

TIFF Review: Fish Tank

15 year-old Mia’s life is claustrophobic.  The council estate flat that she shares with her mother and sister is tiny. The corridors are tiny, and filled with young people who swear in ways that would make Mickey Rourke blush.  Her mother seems to care little for her; in fact, there doesn’t seem to be anyone […]

TIFF Review: Defendor

Think Gotham City is the only city with a monopoly on costumed vigilantes?  Think again.  Hamilton, Ontario has its own guardian of the night: Defendor, a well meaning citizen hero bent on cleaning up the streets of The Hammer, or at least trying to. Defendor is the first feature film from Canadian actor Peter Stebbings, […]

TIFF Review: The Vintner’s Luck

The Vintner’s Luck is Niki Caro’s fourth feature, and it is as mixed as film as the wine and angels on her screen.  It is a sumptuous film, one that engages the senses beyond sight and sound.  While it is gorgeous to look at, its moments of exchange between story and viewer are too few […]

TIFF Review: Les Herbes Folles

If Les Herbes Folles were directed by a newcomer, you would call it an extraordinary, quirky, thoroughly French look at the strange happenstance of love, the objects that lead us there, and what would happen if we said out loud the often strange things we were thinking.  But the film is directed by the great […]

TIFF Review: The Road

If you saw director John Hillcoat’s last film The Proposition, then you know that he is perhaps the only man suited to adapt Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road.  The world as we know it has been utterly destroyed: Society no longer functions and every bit of infrastructure is gone.  A father and son struggle to […]

TIFF Blog: Noah’s Film Festival Experience (Part 1?)

I can’t speak for the rest of this town’s cinema lovers, but one of the best parts of our film festival for me has always been the surprises.  Not knowing which films I’m going to end up seeing, who’s going to be at the screenings, and which ones I will like. My priorities when choosing […]

Toronto After Dark Review:
The Forbidden Door

The Forbidden Door‘s protagonist is not a starving artist, but a prosperous one learning that success can be just as torturous.  The film opens on him sipping champagne while denying an art collector one of his gallery pieces, as it has already sold.  The first few shots inside the art gallery give an initial impression […]

Toronto After Dark Review: Strigoi

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival wrapped up this past Friday, the fest played some of the best genre films from around the world.  One film in particular seems poised to become the sleeper hit of the fest: Strigoi, the debut film from director Faye Jackson.  An eccentric and extremely black comedy, Strigoi is set […]

Inglourious Basterds Review

Inglourious Basterds is the latest film from Quentin Tarantino.  On the surface, you would think that Tarantino’s filmmaking sensibilities wouldn’t fit with a period setting, but surprisingly they do.  The movie has been advertised as a “men on a mission” movie, which it is, in part.  But the trailers and commercials don’t reveal what the […]

Toronto After Dark: Highlights So Far

The 2009 Toronto After Dark Film Festival is in full swing at the Bloor Cinema.  This year’s fest has it all: Horror, action, science fiction and thrillers are all represented.  It all kicked off on August 14th with Black Dynamite and ends on the 21st, this Friday, with the zombie-baby flick Grace.  Here is a […]