Brokeback Mountain (2005, Ang Lee)

Categories: 2005 and Movies.

I think it’s probably hard to discuss Brokeback Mountain without talking about the hype: this film is considered by many to be a landmark either in Hollywood with regard to LGBTQ topics, or in LGBTQ cinema in general. Now, I don’t know much about the history of LGBTQ cinema – just what I got from a documentary I once watched in sociology class and one or two films – but I know that the reception which greeted Schindler’s List was somewhat overblown given the number of films which had already dealt with the holocaust. I suspect the same is probably true with Read More

Coherence (2013, James Ward Byrkit)

Categories: 2013 and Movies.

This is one of those super talky, high concept science fiction films which feels like it was written for the stage. (Many of these have been written for the stage, but this one apparently was not.) There are a lot of these by this point and it’s sort of become its own sub genre. I’m not sure that’s a good thing necessarily. It’s a genre that’s heavy on ideas and a little too weak on much of what most of us love about science fiction (imagining a different future). SPOILERS Read More

Bronson (2008, Nicholas Winding Refn)

Categories: 2008 and Movies.

There are probably two types of people: people who think Winding Refn is a genius and people who think he is ponderous, boring and way too interested in style over substance. You can count me among the latter. Despite all the praise over Valhalla Rising and Drive, I found both movies to be flawed. I wanted to like the former more than I actually did, for example. Anyway, I appreciate someone who is trying to chart their own course, even if I don’t like his aesthetic, so I still watch his movies. And, for once, watching Bronson, I think maybe Read More

The Boys Are Back (2009, Scott Hicks)

Categories: 2009 and Movies.

For much of its run, this feels like a much more authentic version of the ‘widowed single-parent struggling to raise children’ sub-genre. It has a location and a concept that are not typical of the genre and the whole thing feels more naturalistic (despite talking to dead people). However… (spoilers, if this type of film can be said to have a plot point spoiled) Read More

Boy (2010, Taika Waititi)

Categories: 2010 and Movies.

This is an engaging an affecting coming of age story set on a Maori reserve in New Zealand. Though we’ve seen movies like this before, I have definitely never seen a coming of a age story set on a Maori reserve. It’s the kind of film that makes me wonder why we don’t have a similar film set in Canada. (Maybe we do and I’m unaware of it.) Read More

Charlie’s Country (2013, Rolf de Heer)

Categories: 2013 and Movies.

This is an affecting portrait of what life is like for an Aboriginal elder living life on a reserve in the Norther Territory. It is extremely well done and it makes me think that we need its equivalent in Canada. (Excuse my ignorance: if such a movie does exist, please do let me know and I’ll watch it as soon as a I can.) The film does an excellent job of portraying the systemic racism of everyday Australia in a way that humanizes the situation of the aboriginal, rather than portraying this clash as just an “old ways are best” Read More

Bonneville (2006, Christopher N. Rowley)

Categories: 2006 and Movies.

This film is absolutely not for me but I’m glad that such movies exist. This film takes the evil step mother of so many Hollywood films and imagines the loss of the father from her perspective instead, and it feels like that’s been a long time coming. Combine that with a road movie and you have an interesting idea, even if it’s geared at a different gender and age than I am. Read More

Body and Soul (1993)

Categories: 1993 and TV.

I keep a list of movies to watch. There are thousands of movies on the list and I will never watch all of them. I add titles to it all the time. Occasionally, due to laziness, I omit the year a movie was released when I add a movie. I did that with the film noir Body and Soul. So when I reached the “Bo” section of the list I didn’t know which Body and Soul I was looking for. The library had one, and it had Kristin Scott Thomas in it, so I naturally assumed it was the “movie” Read More

Body of Lies (2008 Ridley Scott)

Categories: 2008 and Movies.

I have no idea whether or not this film is accurate as to the day to day actions of CIA operatives in the Middle East – I doubt it, but it is a fictional film – but, for much of its run, it is an effective political thriller with a strong sense of place and grounded in what feels like a realistic portrayal of CIA operations in Iraq and Jordan during the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. Crowe and DeCaprio are both excellent, as is the supporting cast, which makes it easy to like the movie, even while Read More

Broken (2013, Bright Wonder Obasi)

Categories: 2013 and Movies.

Had I not seen other Nollywood movies, I might have been shocked by how awful this film’s production values are. But having seen a number of Nollywood movies now, I know that this is actually above average when it comes to those production values. It’s only the sound that’s really, really awful (and only at times), – this one is actually pretty seemingly competently edited, which is not always the case. Read More

Blue Sky (1994, Tony Richardson)

Categories: 1994 and Movies.

This film means well – it features a powerful performance by Jessica Lange (playing mentally ill as only she can) and, I think, it attempts to tell a strong story of love overcoming mental illness. But the story is just too “Hollywood;” by that I mean that there’s too much of a desperate attempt to impose a plot on what should just be a family drama. MILD SPOILERS Read More