Month: November 2014

Dear White People Review

Dear White People (2014)

Dir: Justin Simien

Are we living in a post-racial (North) America? Or does such a thing even exist? And what does it mean to retain your identity against a sea of otherness? (more…)

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Frank Review

Frank (2014)

Dir: Lenny Abrahamson

The concept for Frank sounds like an unbearably quirky indie movie: an experimental rock group retreats to the wilds of Ireland to record their magnum opus with a new keyboardist in tow – hijinks ensue and lessons are learned. Oh yeah, and the band is fronted by an enigmatic genius who never (he has a certificate!) removes his giant paper-mâché head. (more…)

A Most Wanted Man Review

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Dir: Anton Corbijn

The 9/11 attacks were partially planned in the port city of Hamburg, Germany. Since then the city’s been on high alert, with government agents assigned to monitor and stop any potential terrorism. This is the setup for A Most Wanted Man, adapted from a John le Carré novel by Anton Corbijn. (more…)

Foxcatcher (TIFF 2014 Review)

Foxcatcher (2014)

Steve Carell steps out of the office and into the dark mind of John du Pont in Bennett Miller’s gripping drama Foxcatcher. Bolstered by a trio of awards-worthy performances and heavy on the verisimilitude, it’s an exceedingly dark tale of classism, corruption, and how the strong prey on the weak. Returning to the true crime genre that he so successfully mined in his debut feature Capote, Miller’s Foxcatcher takes its time in its portrayal of a distinctly American tragedy and says a lot about the country that spawned it, much of it unflinching and bleak. (more…)

Interstellar Review

Interstellar (2014)

Dir: Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan’s latest opus is an imaginative science fiction yarn married to a familial narrative about fatherhood, human ambition, and the propagation of the species. Remarkable visual effects and breathtaking action brush up against groan-worthy dialogue to create a whiplash experience, where one moment a parent teacher conference devolves into a literal examination of The American Dream, followed by a thrilling representation of that bootstrapping spirit as a spaceship rockets into space to save all of mankind. Despite occasionally great turns of phrase (“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”), Nolan works best when he shows instead of tells. (more…)

John Wick Review

John Wick (2014)

Dirs: David Leitch, Chad Stahelski

Do you like Keanu Reeves? Do you like him in full-on action mode, kicking all sorts of ass in a hyper-stylized revenge pic? Do you like movies that create a fully formed world and populate it with insane avatars of violence, all portrayed by well known character actors? Does the idea of a downtown New York hotel that caters exclusively to world class assassins – with its own hierarchy and internal rules – sound cool to you? If you answered yes to any of the above, then John Wick‘s for you. (more…)

Force Majeure Review

Force Majeure (2014)

Dir: Ruben Östlund

Force Majeure hinges on a single moment. A man is confronted with an impossible situation and, given no time to think, his autonomous fight-or-flight response kicks in. The rest of the movie deals with the fallout of that act, as we watch the slow dissolution of a family and wonder if there’s any chance for redemption. Swedish writer/director Ruben Östlund brings an exquisite tension and keen eye for detail to this forceful family drama of consequences, and leavens it with a wicked streak of black humour. (more…)