Category archives: Movies

TIFF Trailers: Enough Said

I’m a big fan of Nicole Holofcener’s work. Please Give and Friends With Kids are both enjoyable films, with the latter being the only tolerable Jennifer Aniston role I’ve ever seen. She’s also directed some of my favourite episodes of Parks & Recreation… continue reading »

Dredd aims low, gets the job done

Dredd is a well-executed, if unexceptional, standard action movie. There are obvious similarities to The Raid, but Die Hard is an equally valid touchpoint. Dredd and his psychic partner alternate running, hiding, and shooting in a series of solid but uninspiring action sequences. continue reading

Coming Soon: The Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival is kind of like Christmas if you love watching movies, standing in line, and not sleeping. Here are a few of the things I’m particularly looking forward to. continue reading

Midnight in Paris and the terrible power of nostalgia

Midnight in Paris marks a return to form for Woody Allen, but only partially. It has many of the hallmarks of a great Woody Allen film, but also the flaws of a filmmaker who didn’t bother to fully develop his ideas. Why is it receiving so much praise in spite of its significant flaws? continue reading

The Fake Oscars of 2012

It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point that my tastes rarely line up with the Oscars. I wasn’t offended last year when The King’s Speech won everything, but I was still disappointed that Black Swan was shut out aside from Natalie Portman’s inevitable win.

So before disappointment can set in, here are my picks for the best films & performances of 2011. continue reading

Carnage: The joys of watching people being horrible

If you’re the sort of person who insists on likeable characters in entertainment, Carnage might be the most unpleasant film you’ve ever seen. The characters are dishonest, hypocritical, condescending, arrogant, snide, antagonistic, and insulting. They begin the film with a mask of pleasantries covering their inner ugliness, but by the time the credits roll everyone has been exposed as a tremendous asshole. continue reading

Meek’s Cutoff’s: The wild, stoic, wandering west

It’s hard to say exactly when Meek’s Cutoff grips you, but before you know it a group of 19th-century settlers carefully easing their wagons down a steep hill is one of the most riveting scenes you can imagine. Everyone in the film feels real, and the stakes are impossibly high: If things go any more wrong, or don’t start to go right, people are going to die. continue reading

The Debt: Heroes, lies, guilt, and Nazis

The Debt begins by revealing one of its climactic scenes: A Nazi war criminal escapes from his Israeli captors, brutally assaulting one of them in the process. She recovers just in time to shoot him dead before he escapes into hiding forever. The event makes everyone a hero, as long as none of them talk about what really happened. continue reading

Reasons to be excited for TIFF

Is it possible to die from watching too many movies?

I’ve been pondering that question since I made decision to go to see 50 movies during the Toronto International Film Festival. I originally intended to go to 30, but then the 30 ticket package sold out – because I put it off too long – and I had to make a decision: Can I physically see 50 movies in 11 days? continue reading

Is Harry Potter the Most Useless Protagonist Ever?

Every good hero needs a little help from his friends sometimes. But there’s a fine line between “working well with others” and a pitiable amount of co-dependence, and Harry Potter often slides into the latter. He’s clearly meant to be… continue reading »

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