North Bend 2021 Review: ‘Ayar’ is a fascinating experiment

Ayar

Ayar is another entry into the ongoing oeuvre of COVID-19. Taking place mid-pandemic, it follows a young mother trying to reconnect with her daughter. A simple enough premise, but rather than take the straight path to get there, director Floyd Russ new film opts for something more experimental and experiential, to fascinating results.

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Review: ‘Fear Street Part Three: 1666’ is an uneven, but still satisfying, end to the trilogy

Fear Street Part Three: 1666

As with most trilogies, the wrap up can be difficult. In this case, a great many story threads have to be wrapped up from two different time frames, and the film does so by diving into the past and the origin of the curse that haunts Shadyside.

The result is that Part Three: 1666 has the most responsibility of the three films, and strains a little bit under that weight.

Note: This review contains minor spoilers for Fear Street Part One: 1994 and Fear Street Part Two: 1978, both of which you should definitely watch before you watch this. It will also contain what might be considered minor spoilers for this film, so if you want to go in blind, let it be known that while I think this is the weakest of the three films, I still liked it and think you will too.

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North Bend 2021 Review: ‘Ninjababy’ will charm the pants off you

Ninjababy

There are unplanned pregnancies, and then there are unplanned pregnancies. Children turn your whole world upside down enough as it is, not having a plan only flips things further. Rakel (Kristine Thorp) is a twenty-something who is not living her best life. She’s unemployed, dropped out of school, and despite dreams of writing a graphic novel hasn’t made any effort to actually do that beyond occasionally drawing.

A few weeks after hooking up with Mos, an Aikido teacher, based solely on the fact that she thinks he smells good, she begins to feel unwell. A quick pregnancy test supplied by her roommate confirms it, but when she goes to the doctor she finds out that she’s not just pregnant, she’s six months pregnant.

Hilarity, as they say, ensues.

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North Bend 2021 Review: ‘CODE NAME: Nagasaki’ pushes the boundaries of documentary

Code Name Nagasaki

A man and a woman meet, fall in love, and have a baby. They are from different worlds, him from Norway and her from Japan. Things are happy for a time, but eventually, she returns home and severs all contact with her husband and son.

Decades later the son she left behind, Marius Lunde, is on a quest to track her down. There is a multitude of feelings involved, but ultimately he just wants to know his mother. Marius, along with his friend and filmmaking partner Fredrik Hana, set out to not only complete the task but film the whole thing as well.

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Let’s talk about the end of ‘Loki’

Loki

Loki, Marvel’s latest Disney+ television series ended last night with a number of surprises, but perhaps the most surprising thing is that it was a season finale –cliffhanger and all– rather than a the end of a self contained series.

There are a few big revelations, so let’s talk about them and what they might mean and a few thoughts I have on where things might go. Yes, this article will be absolutely riddled with spoilers (and assumes you’ve watched the series).

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Review: ‘Pig’ is not the movie you are expecting, but is one of the best movies of the year

Pig

Nicolas Cage is something of an enigma. I don’t think that it is either surprising or a revelation to say that, but the man is one of the only true movie stars we currently have. He is known for his near-constant output as an actor, and for being willing to appear in just about anything. This volume of work is not always great (though it’s never exactly boring), but the one thing it accomplishes is that as a result we sometimes forget that he’s a really great actor.

In Pig, his latest film, he reminds us. Before I launch into this review, I should say this: Pig is one of my favourite movies of the year so far, and I firmly believe that you should see it as cold as possible.

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The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked, Black Widow Edition

Marvel Studios' BLACK WIDOW

Well, here’s a thing that I haven’t done in quite a while. The last time I wrote out a full ranking of the films in the MCU there were only 14 entries in the franchise. Only. Now, there are 24, plus the three limited series on Disney+, and if that doesn’t sound like a lot? There are ten movies and ten series on deck in the next two years.

If you had any doubts about the Marvel money train slowing down? Think again!

For the purposes of this list I am only looking at the films, and thinking back on how they all work (or not). This list is obviously my opinion, but feel free to agree or disagree with me here or on the social medias.

Without any further ado, here are all the Marvel films ranked from worst to first, according to Matthew.

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Heads Up: North Bend Film Festival is this week!

North Bend Film Festival

I’ll be covering the virtual edition of the 2021 North Bend Film Festival this coming weekend (July 15th to 18th)!

This year’s festival is hybrid, with both virtual and in-person screenings. I’ll be covering the virtual edition this year. Unfortunately, being in Washington State, the festival itself is geo-locked America, so Canadian friends, we won’t be able to screen the films directly, but I will be providing Canadian release information wherever I can with reviews.

You can follow festival coverage using the NBFF 2021 tag here on the site and on social media. So follow along; it’s going to be fun!

Canada’s Future of Film Showcase starts this Friday, and here are the films!

2021 Future of Film Showcase

The Future of Film Showcase is a festival of short films featuring Canadian filmmakers under the age of forty. Designed to highlight the, well, future of Canadian film by giving a platform to up and coming artists, it is an exciting chance to take a peek at what is around the corner in Canadian art.

This year the showcase features 11 films, and –for the second year in a row– they will be available virtually via CBC Gem from July 9th to 22nd, for free, to anyone in Canada who wants to watch them. There is a wide variety of styles and intents here, and having had the opportunity to watch them, below follows a list of the films and a brief review of each.

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Review: ‘Fear Street Part Two: 1978’ turns to Friday the 13th for inspiration, is another fun riff on the slasher genre

FEAR STREET PART 2: 1978

If Fear Street Part One: 1994 made it seem like director Leigh Janiak was infatuated with 90s slashers, then Part Two: 1978 should make it clear that’s not the case. Director Leigh Janiak is infatuated with slashers, full stop. Throwing back all the way to Friday the 13th, 1978‘s main story takes place at a summer camp with a plaid jacket wearing brute murdering teens with an axe. And you know what? It might be better than the last one.

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Review: ‘Schmigadoon!’ is hilarious, fun, and clearly made by people who love musicals

Schmigadoon!

Here’s a true fact: I grew up watching musicals. I spent a lot of time at my grandmothers house when I was a kid and she had lots of them on VHS. It is my heartfelt belief that she loved them, but it was probably also that they were super long and could keep us distracted for hours at a time. Anyway, the point is that I have seen a lot of the classic musicals and my appreciation for the musical continues to this day.

So it is easy to see why I really like AppleTV+’s new series Schmigadoon!, which features two modern day characters dropped into the middle of a classic 1940s musical.

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Review: ‘Monsters at Work’ is exactly the continuation this franchise needs

Monsters at Work

Ok, this is where I make a confession: I’ve never really liked Monsters Inc. I get why the people who love it love it, but I never have. I never watched Monsters University because the world doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me.

When I heard about Monsters at Work I thought that television might actually be the perfect place for a franchise like this. A workplace comedy about monsters in the laugh factory is probably the best possible way to explore these characters and this world. It turns out that’s probably true, even if it’s not for me.

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Review: ‘Fear Street Part One: 1994’ is a superfun, 90s inspired teen slasher

FEAR STREET PART 1: 1994

There are many things you could say about movies and media from the 90s, but one thing that can’t be denied is that the teen slasher went through something of a golden age. There are too many to list but suffice to say that if 90s teen horror is your jam, then Fear Street Part One: 1994 was made specifically for you. If you happen to like fun movies, then it was also made for you.

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Review: ‘Black Widow’ is a great, character-driven action-adventure

Black Widow

Marvel Studios has become an unstoppable cultural behemoth. Under normal circumstances, their films routinely make a billion dollars at the box office, the kind of money that every other studio on the planet has been chasing ever since the 2012’s The Avengers proved that the interconnected universe of films is a thing that could work.

It’s a shame that these aren’t normal circumstances then, because with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic pushing Black Widow –the film so many fans have been waiting for for years– into a hybrid release, it probably won’t make a billion dollars at the box office. To be clear: that’s a shame because it’s excellent.

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Review: ‘F9’ is ridiculous, but knows its audience

F9

I feel like writing this review might be a little redundant. This is the tenth film in this franchise, so if you’re not on board with the fambly at this point, I’m not sure you ever will be. The franchise shifted from “people who drive good” to “international super spies” over the last few films, and this one continues the cycle of one-upmanship with a trip to space.

Yes, they go to space in this one, so it’s an apt comparison when I say that this might be their Moonraker moment when they finally abandon all pretence of realism. Please note: I like Moonraker.

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