Film Review

VIFF Review: Beeba Boys

Posted by Matthew on October 02, 2015
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VIFF Beeba Boys

Turns out crime doesnt pay. who knew?

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VIFF Review: Brooklyn

Posted by Matthew on September 27, 2015
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VIFF Brooklyn

Turns our if you cast charming people in a charming story you’ll end up with a charming movie. Who knew?

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Review: The Visit

Posted by Matthew on September 21, 2015
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The Visit

M. Night Shyamalan made a decent movie, what a twist!

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Catch Up Reviews: ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ + ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Posted by Matthew on September 20, 2015
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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Straight Outta Compton

Two summer movies that I saw! Hooray!

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Review: American Ultra

Posted by Simon on August 21, 2015
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Improbable as it may seem,  it’s not Jessie Eisenburgs’ transformation from anxiety-stricken stoner to peerless fighting machine that causes American Ultra to stumble. In fact, the choreography of the fight scenes make his activation as covert CIA agent all the more brutal and believable. Where the film falls down is that it succeeds where so many other have failed: it creates a stoner couple who are not only bearable, but actually extremely likeable. Unfortunately, past the midway mark the movie squanders that gift and limps to a total damp squib of a finale.

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Quick Reviews: ‘Shaun the Sheep’ and ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’

Posted by Matthew on August 16, 2015
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I saw two movies this weekend! And I’m actually writing about them! Huzzah!

Shaun the Sheep

Would you like to have a delightful time at the movies? Then you should totally see Shaun the Sheep. In 90 minutes of beautifully stop-motion animation by Aardman –the folks behind Wallace and Gromit (among other things)– Shaun the clever sheep leads a flock of sheep on an adventure to the big city. It’s funny, sweet, and emotional and despite having no dialogue manages to have a pretty menacing villain, a pretty great central story, and a delightful musical number in the middle.

Sure, it’s a kids movie, but it’s a great kids movie and you should totally see it.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Would you like to be bored at the movies? Really? Why would you want that? To each their own I suppose. In that case you should totally check out The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Guy Ritchie’s update of the 1960s TV show. It’s not outright bad but it’s all style and no substance. Shallow is the word and since the main characters never feel like they’re in any real danger it’s hard to get excited during otherwise fairly well executed action sequences.

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer don’t really have that much in the way of chemistry which is a problem too. Cavill in particular didn’t really work for me. Hos character is supposed to be cool as ice and aloof but many of his one-liners fell flat for me since he came off so detached. Hugh Grant is in it too but he’s famous enough that when he shows up in a seemingly innocuous role it’s easy to predict what’s going to happen next. His best one liner is spoiled in the damn trailer, and then at the end when they finally form U.N.C.L.E. he just says it and the screen goes black. It’s annoying because this movie really felt like it could have been a lot better but as is it’s just a sloppily handled bore.

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Catchup Reviews: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Big Hero 6, Dear White People, The F Word, and Horns

Posted by Matthew on December 08, 2014
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The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay

It’s December which means I have pretty much exactly no time to do anything lately but that hasn’t stopped me from seeing a couple of movies, just from writing them up in a timely manner.

But since I’ve seen so many you’re gonna get the shortest version of each of these reviews that I can muster.

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Review: The Theory of Everything

Posted by Matthew on November 14, 2014
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Felicity Jones + Eddie Redmayne / The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything has all the right ingredients to be a major award contender. It’s a period set drama that has happened within our lifetimes, it has some great talent in the main roles, and it’s about a world-famous scientist who everyone loves. Sometimes a film comes together to be more than the sum of its ingredients. Other times, like this time, it doesn’t.

The Theory of Everything isn’t bad though, it’s just that it suffers from all the problems that biopics tend to suffer from and the two great central performances aren’t quite enough to elevate the film above that.

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Quick Review: Interstellar

Posted by Matthew on November 11, 2014
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Interstellar

Interstellar is probably the most ambitious film I’ve seen all year. It aims high in terms of scientific accuracy, storytelling, and cinematic scope, and it very nearly succeeds. But not quite. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie, but I was hoping for a great movie and this is just a good one.

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Catch Up Reviews: Dracula Untold, Kill The Messenger, John Wick, and Nightcrawler

Posted by Matthew on November 03, 2014
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Dracula Untold Kill The Messenger John WickJake Gyllenhaal / Nightcrawler

I’ve been on hiatus so here’s me catching up on the movies I’ve seen.

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VIFF Review: The Face of an Angel

Posted by Matthew on October 04, 2014
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VIFF 2014

The Face of an Angel / Daniel Bruhl

A few years ago a young British woman was murdered in Sienna, Italy. The case gained worldwide attention as the girls American roommate and friend was accused, tried, and convicted of the crime and then later acquitted on appeal.

The Face of an Angel is a fictionalization of this case. Sort of. Rather than going for the true crime, based on a true story type film director Michael Winterbottom and writer Paul Viragh instead opt to tell the story of a washed up film director in Sienna trying to find a story among the city, the massive media presence, and local characters during the appeal trial.

Yes, we’re basically talking about a director making a film about a director trying to make a film about a real life story. And also using Dante’s Inferno as a frame for the story. Yeah. It’s a bit weird. Not what I’d call bad, but definitely weird.

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VIFF Review: Foxcatcher

Posted by Matthew on October 03, 2014
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VIFF 2014

Foxcatcher / Steve Carell

Bennett Miller has a pretty good track record. His last two films, Capote and Moneyball were both nominated for best picture, for both he was nominated for best director, and for both his main actors were nominated for acting awards. Looks like he’s going to keep the streak alive with Foxcatcher, which is a superbly directed, superbly acted, superbly compelling film.

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VIFF Review: Mr. Turner

Posted by Matthew on October 03, 2014
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VIFF 2014

Mr. Turner

I’ve said before that one of the things I love about movies is those few occasions when I get to witness one of the great performances of our time; when an actor disappears into a roll completely and I can forget even the most familiar of faces as belonging to an actor I’ve seen before and instead see the character that they are playing.

This doesn’t happen quite as often as you might think but it happened today when I saw Mr. Turner in which Timothy Spall played famed British painter J.M.W. Turner.

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VIFF Review: Black Fly

Posted by Matthew on October 02, 2014
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VIFF 2014

Black Fly

When writer director Jason Bourque was a boy his family moved to St. John, New Brunswick. The move to a rural area was meant to be a peaceful one but as it turns out their new neighbour was a serial killer.

The Bourques didn’t suffer any losses at his hands but Jason, now based in Vancouver, has turned that experience into a taut thriller called Black Fly.

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VIFF Review: Pulp

Posted by Matthew on October 01, 2014
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VIFF 2014

Pulp

Pulp is an easy film to recommend. If you’re a fan of the band then you should definitely want to check out the story of the bands final concert –played in their hometown of Sheffield– and if you’re not a fan of the band then you should check out the story of a band winding down, getting ready to stop playing, and wanting on last great night of rock and roll before they go.

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