Movies

Review – A Quiet Place

Posted by Simon on April 04, 2018
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There’s a section in the second act of A Quiet Place where everyone I could see in the cinema had their hands clamped over their mouth. It’s a strange thing to be in a room full of people sat in total silence, straining to watch a movie that is desperate in its own absolute quiet. This is A Quiet Place, John Krasinski’s directorial debut, at its very best – tension gnawing through the screen, audience in the palm of its hand, waiting for the inevitable snap.

And snap it does.

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Review: Annihilation

Posted by Simon on March 03, 2018
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Oscar winner.

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Awesome: Marvel is Finally Making a Black Widow Movie

Posted by Matthew on January 10, 2018
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Good news everyone! Marvel is finally developing that movie we’ve all known for years they should probably make!

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Matt’s Favourite Dozen Films of 2017

Posted by Matthew on January 01, 2018
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Another year, another list of favourites. 2017 has been a … turbulent year in the real world but a stellar one for film. You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately, VIFF coverage aside, but I have been gong to the movies. As of this writing I watched 323 movies in 2017, 70 of which were 2017 releases. Not too shabby considering that I only go to one festival.

Before we get to my dozen favourites there are a few things worth sharing. First, a few that I haven’t seen yet:

  • Call Me By Your Name (wr. James Ivory, dir. Luca Guadagnino)
  • The Florida Project (wr. Chris Bergoch & Sean Baker, dir. Sean Baker)
  • I, Tonya (wr. Steven Rogers, dir. Craig Gillespie)
  • The Post (wr. Josh Singer & Liz Hannah, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Phantom Thread (wr & dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • Professor Marston and The Wonder Women (wr. & dir. Angela Robinson)

Some of these were due to scheduling on my part (I have a day job!) and some on the films part (Neither The Post nor I, Tonya are out here yet), but all of them seem like exactly the kind of movies that would end up near the top of my list.

Second, these choices are presented in alphabetical order except my favourite which will come last. There are a variety of reasons for this but mostly it comes down the fact that they are all good movies that I have a hard time grading relative to each other because they are all so different. Consider also that some of them I have seen multiple times and others just once and that second viewings are often where I end up solidifying an opinion and you end up with a list that looks like this.

Third, don’t have any honourable mentions but I will probably write some further thoughts on 2017 in a separate post.

So without any further ado, here are my favourite dozen

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Simon’s Games And Movies Of 2017

Posted by Simon on December 20, 2017
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It’s been a hell of a year, to put it mildly. Thankfully, we’ve had a great twelve months of games and movies to take our minds off the world slowing falling into a Trump-shaped festering sinkhole.

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Awesome: David Ehrlich’s 25 Best Movies of 2017 Video Countdown

Posted by Matthew on December 04, 2017
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December is list making season and the highlight for me every year is IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehrlich’s 25 best of the year video countdown. Let’s get right to it.

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Review: Thor Ragnarok

Posted by Simon on November 10, 2017
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I really miss the sci-fi movies of my childhood. Big, colourful, often funny, always exhilarating; so much fuel for imaginary spaceship battles around my bedroom. I’m sure much of this comes from older eyes and wearier brains, but I find sci-fi these days to be too bland, too unwilling to risk shapes and ideas. The resurgence of Star Wars has taken big steps back to the fantasy side of sci-fi, and Guardians Of The Galaxy got close with its amazing ship design and snappy script, but I often felt myself seeking more of the fun.

Well, not any more. We’ve known for a while that Thor Ragnarok would be colourful and funny – director Taika Waititi’s What We Do In The Shadows is one of my all-time favourite comedies – but what I was not prepared for was Ragnarok having so much more. Far from being all-out comedy, it’s a meaty, gorgeous slice of sci-fi bliss.

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Disney’s new ‘Lion King’ film gets a stellar cast

Posted by Matthew on November 02, 2017
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The live action Disney remakes have been a bit of a mixed bag for me but this announcement should be enough to get anyone hyped.

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…And Here’s The Last Jedi’s Poster

Posted by Simon on November 01, 2017
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Because it’s gorgeous.

I have to say, the continued red theme is really doing it for me. December 15th.

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Stop What You Are Doing And Watch The Last Jedi’s International Trailer

Posted by Simon on November 01, 2017
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Like, now. Whatever it is, it can wait.

I was quite excited. Then very excited. And now I’m standing and clapping. STAR WARS.

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VIFF Review: ‘Wonderstruck’ is a magical, moving tale for all ages

Posted by Matthew on October 15, 2017
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Todd Haynes movies, love ’em or … not? Wait, does anyone not love Todd Haynes movies? Anyway, the point is that the man is a consummate visual storyteller, and in that regard Wonderstruck might be his magnum opus. There two main stories, one set in the 1970s and another in the 1920s, each with a child protagonist and each moving in their own ways. If you’re thinking that they might be connected, yes, of course they are both to each other and a third story told later in the film.

It would have been easy to adapt this story, a kids novel, for kids but Wonderstruck is a moving tale for all ages.

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VIFF Review: ‘Bad Genius’ is a slick caper film

Posted by Matthew on October 15, 2017
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How far would you go to get an A in school? Bad Genius tells the story of a group of kids who want (or need) to get high marks but don’t want to put in the work, and it tells that story both slickly and hilariously.

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VIFF Review: ‘Columbus’ is one of the years best

Posted by Matthew on October 15, 2017
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It’s easy to say that Columbus is architecture porn for one good reason: it is architecture porn. Video essayist Kogonada’s feature film début frame buildings in ways that I can’t recall seeing them framed before: not only in just the right light and at just the right angle, but with just the right context. This is why it’s misleading to say that it is architecture porn: because it’s so much more than that.

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VIFF Review: ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful

Posted by Matthew on October 14, 2017
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Lipstick Under My Burkha is a hilarious movie that explores the daily lives of women in India. It’s also a heartbreaking movie that explores the daily lives of women in India. It’s a movie that has to be hilarious because if it wasn’t, it would just be heartbreaking, and it’s important that this story end with some hope.

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VIFF Review: ‘A Fantastic Woman’ is a beautiful, important movie

Posted by Matthew on October 12, 2017
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An older man, Orlando, spends a day at a spa and then heads to a night club to see a woman sing. She is his girlfriend Marina, and they are very much in love. After the performance he takes her to dinner, and later at home they make love against the floor to ceiling windows of their shared apartment. Later that night he falls ill and they rush to a hospital where he dies and she is immediately treated like a criminal. Not, however because of the bruises on his torso and the impact wound on his head he obtained from falling down the stairs on their way to the car, but because she is transgendered.

The rest of A Fantastic Woman follows Marina as she copes with not only losing the love of her life but also coping with the prejudices of the the doctors, the police, and the bulk of her lovers family. It’s not the easiest watch but it’s vital one.

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