The Simpson’s annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween Special had it’s 31st edition this year, one year shy of the 32 years that the series has been running. It has produced some of the best episodes of the entire series and over the years let the writers and performers explore stories that they couldn’t get away with during the regular season.
As any child of the 90s, I watched many of these episodes as a child but gave up sometime around the end of the so-called “golden age” of the series. This year I am stuck indoors though, and 29 of the 31 episodes are on Disney+, so I spent the last few weeks watching (or re-watching) every Treehouse of Horror they have made, including the 31st edition which aired this past Sunday and ranked all 93 segments, from my least favourite to my most favourite.
Continue reading “All 93 Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Segments, Ranked”
Every relationship has that point where you are so comfortable that you become uncomfortable. In these moments we can either behave rationally, or we can freak out, or we can do anything in between.
With On The Rocks, Sophia Coppola tells a story about a successful Manhattan couple who have reached this point, where despite all their success and comfort, something doesn’t feel quite right. Rashida Jones plays Laura, a successful author and mother of two who is stuck in this rut but. She begins to think there is more going on when her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) stumbles home from a work trip one night and begins a passionate embrace, only to then seem like maybe she was someone else.
Her suspicions are not without cause, her father Felix (Bill Murray) cheated on her mother and in later life has become a serial philanderer. Laura can’t help wondering if every man is like her father. Felix assumes that every man is exactly like him, and so the adventure begins.
Continue reading “Review: ‘On The Rocks’ has Bill Murray and Rashida Jones exploring how the comfort of a relationship can sometimes be the problem”
I don’t think it’s a secret that Star Trek is my favourite thing. I grew up watching both Captain Kirk’s Enterprise in re-runs and Captain Picard’s Enterprise as it aired. I have seen every episode of television and every film at least twice, and probably more. I’m not telling you this so much to brag as I am to establish my bonafides. I love Star Trek, but I also know Star Trek.
So when I tell you that Star Trek: Lower Decks is a both a good show and good Star Trek, you can believe me when I say it.
Continue reading “‘StarTrek: Lower Decks’ is an excellent show and excellent Star Trek”
We all make mistakes when we are young. That shouldn’t be news to anyone who isn’t a teenager now, because we’ve all been teenagers. Many pressures in life feel like the end of the world when you are eighteen, and many that can knock your whole world off track.
Tess is an 18-year-old whose whole world has been knocked off track. She lives in a tiny town in Newfoundland, in a house she technically owns as she inherited it when her mother passed away. The only person she has in the world is her mother’s boyfriend, who is moving on with his life and moving them both in with his new girlfriend.
She has become so desperate for some escape from her life that she has become stuck in it, until one day she finds a man in her kitchen. The man is Danny, the son of the woman she now shares a home with, and ne’er do well folk singer who ghosted the town twenty years prior.
The attraction that forms is, in a word, problematic. Partly this is due to the age difference, but also it’s because Tess latches on to him as the one person who seems to have escaped the life she feels trapped in.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Body and Bones’ charts a painful coming of age story against a Newfoundland backdrop”
It’s hard to properly capture how amazing it is to slip into Oculus Quest 2’s alternative dimension. I’ve owned and play a plethora of VR headsets over the years – from the second iteration of the Oculus Rift years ago at an expo, where the blurry Godzilla-style city smashing game made me sick to my stomach in seconds, through to my own Gear VR, Oculus Go, and PSVR. Each has dangled the promise of VR immersion, but with enough caveats (overheating, low resolution, screen door effect, clunky setups) to stop them from realising the medium’s potential.
So it’s with a mixture of triumph and trepidation that I can tell you, after two days with the newly-released Oculus Quest 2, the dream is finally here. Triumph, because it not only removes those lingering issues but its cable-free, high framerate/resolution experience exceeds even your highest expectations. The store is packed with great games and experiences. Digital delivery is quick and easy.
But trepidation because this is very much a Facebook machine, in ways you maybe hadn’t anticipated, which could very well outweigh its incredible potential.
Continue reading “Oculus Quest 2 is an incredible leap into an untethered VR future, but at what cost?”
The story of the American space program of the 1960s and 1970s is one of the most well-told stories in recent history. This new adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff joins 1983s film adaptation, HBO’s 1998 mini-series From The Earth to the Moon, and 2016’s Hidden Figures, and that’s just if we are talking about the Mercury program.
The ground is well-trodden, but it’s a story we keep coming back to because it’s a story of achievement and a time when the country banded together behind a common cause for the public good. Sure, that goal was beating the Soviets, but the implications of the space program are so far-reaching that maybe that doesn’t even matter. Because the ground is so well-trodden though, each return to it must bring something new whether it’s the visual jazz of First Man or the behind the scenes story of Hidden Figures, something new or extra needs to be brought each time.
Herein lies the issue with this new version of The Right Stuff. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Continue reading “‘The Right Stuff’ tells a story we’ve all heard before”
“I don’t believe in ghosts.” This is the defiant declaration by the future Mrs de Winter as she heads toward her new life. She came to Monte Carlo as a ladies maid and is leaving as the future wife of a wealthy landowner, and her lady has warned her that she will be haunted by the ghost of her fiancés’ first wife. Ghost aren’t real in the literal sense but what she doesn’t realize is that we can be haunted by the departed none the less.
Rebecca is a new adaptation of the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier, which follows a young woman, after she spends a whirlwind summer with her handsome suitor, settling into her new life as Mrs De Winter, the lady of a large estate in 1930s England. While her summer was idyllic her new life quickly turns into something else as the memory of her husband’s first wife permeates every aspect of her new life.
Each day that passes the remembrance by all those around her –new friends, new family, and new staff– haunts her further and drives her slowly toward madness. Is that haunting simply because she was larger than life, or is it something more insidious?
The answer, of course, is something you’ll have to watch the movie to find out and that, dear reader, is something I recommend you do.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Rebecca’ is a sumptuous romantic thriller and a great new adaptation”
The topical period piece is hardly a new phenomenon. Examining our past such that we might examine our present is a function of art, and if executed well a surefire way to be on everyone’s mind come awards season.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells the story of the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. During that event, several groups came to the city to protest the war in Vietnam. Thousands of people protested for days before violence broke out, and the situation devolved into what we now know to be a police riot. The film picks up the following year when eight men, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale are on trial for conspiracy to incite a riot.
Aaron Sorkin has been developing this film for years, but it’s hard to imagine a world where the timing of its release could be better.
Continue reading “Review: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ uses American’s past to hold a mirror up to its present”
We haven’t really talked about Soul since it hasn’t really come up since the website relaunch, but now it has been affected by the ongoing worldwide crisis that is COVID-19.
Continue reading “Pixar’s latest, ‘Soul’ pushed back to Christmas, and to Disney+”
The 39th Vancouver International Film Festival is officially ended! It was a great festival, and well executed given the current state of the world. Before the festival started Thomas from ForReel Movie News & Reviews talked on Zoom about our most anticipated films of the festival, and this week as the festival drew to a close I once again joined him, along with Leanne McLaren of 103.5 QMFM to talk about our festival favourites.
Continue reading “VIFF 2020: Favourites from the festival with Thomas from ForReel Movie Reviews and Leanne from QMFM!”
Citizen Kane is widely regarded as one of the best movies ever made, and the story behind that film is the subject of David Fincher’s latest project. Mank follows the life of Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles co-writer on Citizen Kane, as the project is being written and made.
Continue reading “‘Mank’ teaser: David Fincher’s new film takes a close look at one of the greatest films ever made”
Have you ever watched Scrooged and thought “you know, I’d really like to see The Night the Reindeer Died in real life? I mean, I can’t be the only one.
Anyway, here is the trailer for an upcoming movie called Fatman, which is a real movie and is really happening.
Continue reading “‘Fatman’ is a real movie that is really happening this holiday season”
Here’s a true story. When The Witches came out in 1990, it scared the crap out of me, and I don’t think I have seen it since. That might be something I should rectify now, as Robert Zemeckis has directed a new adaptation of the Roald Dahl story.
Continue reading “‘The Witches’ trailer remakes a classic”
Tom Hanks, aka ‘Americas Dad’, is one of our greatest living actors and while he has starred in films from nearly every time period and tackled almost every subject you can think of, I don’t think he’s never actually made a western.
Until now, that is. Here’s the first trailer for News of the World, the new western from director Paul Greengrass.
Continue reading “‘News of the World’ trailer: Tom Hanks in his first western”