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.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘Bad Genius’ is a slick caper film
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.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful
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.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘A Fantastic Woman’ is a beautiful, important movie
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.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘Borg vs. McEnroe’ is frustratingly not quite good (but Shia LaBeouf is great in it)
The rivalry between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe was one of the ages, and their match at the 1980 Wimbledon Championship is probably one of the greatest matches in the history of tennis. Borg, on track to win his fifth consecutive title had a reputation as being cool and graceful under pressure. McEnroe, the new comer at the beginning of his ascendancy had a reputation as a hot head who regularly threw tantrums on the court and argued with umpires. Even their styles of play were opposite with Borg playing from the baseline and McEnroe rushing to the net. Literally everything about this match makes it ripe for a great movie which is why it’s so frustrating that it isn’t one.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘God’s Own Country’ is quietly great
People are going to compare God’s Own Country to Brokeback Mountain. It’s inevitable because they cover much of the same ground: two men spending time away from the world and looking after a herd of sheep form a relationship. That isn’t completely unfair because the basics are remarkably similar but also because they’re both great movies.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘The Green Fog’ with Kronos Quartet playing live was something else.
Guy Maddin makes weird films. This isn’t a complaint, it’s a compliment of the highest order. In a world where studios are making only the safest of choices on a daily basis weird, experimental film is always some of the most important film around. The Green Fog is no exception: it re-imagines Hitchcock’s Vertigo using clips from other films (new and old) and television from the 70s and 80s –all also shot in San Francisco–, and only one single shot from the film itself.
It’s something else and the fact that Kronos Quartet were there to play the original score live made it truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘The Hidden Sword’ is a muddled mess with some awesome martial arts action
Have you ever watched a scene in a foreign film and thought “something must have been lost in translation”? The Hidden Sword is an entire movie like that.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on Review: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is as good as the original.
The original Blade Runner is held up by many as the gold standard of dystopian existential science fiction films. It asks questions about the nature of humanity and what it means to truly live while at the same time painting a picture of a world that seems to have broken under the weight of more people being alive than ever before. It’s an acknowledged masterpiece –even if it took a decade or two and two different directors cuts to get to that status– and that’s a lot to live up to.
And I’m here to tell you that it does. I’m also here to tell you that you should probably go into it as cold as possible, so maybe bookmark this and come back to it after you’ve seen the film to see if you agree with me. I’m not going to say any major spoilers but regardless, this is your warning.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: Penelope Cruz can’t save ‘The Queen of Spain’
I really like movies about making movies. I think they’re a fun way to explore and poke fun at the film making business. I also like period set comedies, in particular those set in the late 40s and 50s. I like the design sensibilities and I feel like the feel good image of that era that still lingers today is one ripe for subversion. Also also, I really like Penelope Cruz. I think she’s a dynamic and interesting screen presence.
The Queen of Spain then is a movie that should be right up my alley: it’s a period set comedy about making a movie starring Penelope Cruz. Turns out it’s not though.
Games, Reviews / Comments Off on Review: Uncharted – The Lost Legacy
Truck? What truck?
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘In The Fade’ will net Diane Kruger all the award nominations
Fascism is on the rise in the world. It’s easy living on this continent to forget that it’s happening elsewhere. In The Fade isn’t directly about the resurgence of Nazism, but those themes never the less play an important part in this story of family, justice, and revenge.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘Meditation Park’ is just lovely
Director Mina Shum is back, people. Meditation Park is the latest film from the Vancouver director and the latest to explore the immigrant experience with a woman finding empowerment. You know what? It’s a damn delight, too.
Games, Reviews / Comments Off on FIFA 18 on Switch is a Revelation
The first complete, portable football game that gives an almost perfect experience – just as long as you don’t want to play online with friends.
Movies, Reviews / Comments Off on VIFF Review: ‘Breathe’; Andrew Garfield & Claire Foy are great in this OK film.
Andrew Garfield has a marvellous gift: when he smiles he does so with his entire face, including his eyes. This may sound like a weird thing to start a review with but when you’re talking about a film where he has to lay completely motionless save for his face it kind of becomes a big deal.