Tag: Movies

2012, Movies

Call Me Kuchu (2012, Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall)

This is an absolutely devastating documentary about the situation for LGBTQ people in Uganda and the fight to make homosexuality legal again (as it wasn’t illegal until 1984 for me and 2000 for women). SPOILERS (though that’s obviously a relatively silly thing to say for a documentary about something you can just google)

1999, Movies

Notting Hill (1999, Roger Michell)

I have avoided this movie for nearly decades simply because I figured it was a typical romantic comedy. I made the decision that I had no interest in romantic comedies sometime in my teens. I’ve since come to realize that was maybe a little unfair to some of these movies, but I’m kind of amazed …

2010, Movies

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010, Craig McCall)

Cameraman is a fascinating but idiosyncratic look at one of the first technicolor cameramen in film, the first person to be awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar for cinematography.

2014, Movies

The Calling (2014, Jason Stone)

I do not believe in god but I recognize that a lot of people still do. And I recognize that there is a broad appeal in movies with explicit or implicit religious content. Despite my lack of belief I do occasionally find religious horror films and thrillers quite effective, in part because the rich traditions …

2006, Movies

Il caimano (2006, Nanni Moretti)

This is an amusing and clever satire about a hacky low-budget producer attempting to make a film that he initially doesn’t realize is about Silvio Berlusconi. But, for me, the film is somewhat weakened by its farcical nature and particularly the ridiculous behaviour of its central character, who rubs me the wrong way like so many …

2003, Movies

Café Lumière (2003, Hsiao-Hsien Hou)

This is the first film of Hsiao-Hsien’s I’ve ever seen but I have seen a few of Ozu’s, and this film is a tribute to Ozu. I don’t always love Ozu – apparently my ADD is too much for him much of the – so I think that my feelings towards Ozu’s type of filmmaking …

2011, Movies

Cafe de Flore (2011, Jean-Marc Vallee

This is one of those maddening movies that eschew conventional narratives but lack the visuals, editing or other techniques to make the lack of story compelling. That’s not to say there isn’t a narrative here – there are two – but it’s fractured to bits and the hooks the audience are given are character development …

2017, Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, Rian Johnson)

When this movie came out, I read in various places that it was perhaps the best Star Wars movie ever made. That would be a tall order, I guess, if I actually enjoyed Star Wars as an adult. The thing is, I don’t. I keep watching these movies and whatever it was that compelled me to really …

2017, Movies

Alien: Covenant (2017, Ridley Scott)

It’s been so long since I saw the latter Alien sequels that I do not remember if they cared much about mythology, but I feel like they must have, at least a little bit. But Prometheus, which was only sort of a prequel – depending upon who you spoke to – really introduced mythology to the series, …

1987, Movies

Cry Wilderness (1987, Jay Schlossberg-Cohen)

This is one of those low-budget movies that thinks that location can substitute for a lack of a good story, coherent character motivations, good acting and competent filmmaking techniques. Specifically, these people got permission to film in a couple beautiful parks in California and apparently decided that this was enough to make a good family …

1999, Movies

10 Things I Hate About You (1999, Gil Junger)

I joined IMDB at age 16, if I remember correctly, rating anything and everything. For much of my late teens and into my early twenties, I would even rate movies I had only seen a scene or two of. I would watch part of a movie on TV (not necessarily the beginning), decide it was …

2012, Movies

Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan)

This is a fascinating revisionist vampire film that takes a different approach to an over-done genre in more than one way. It’s not a great movie, necessarily, but it’s a neat twist on a tired genre and it’s worth watching if you are interested in vampire films that don’t follow the tired old movie formulas …

2013, Movies

Buying Sex (2013, Teresa MacInnes, Kent Nason)

This documentary about prostitution in Canada is a little brief, a little low-budget, and a little too reliant on talking heads, but overall it is extremely nuanced and well worth your time if you are interested in laws and policies about prostitution, or about gender equality.

1961, Music

Reptilicus [American Version] (1961, Sidney W. Pink)

Note: I watched this as a Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode so I technically didn’t watch the whole movie. Note 2: There are at least three different versions of this movie. I believe I watched the second American version but I’m not 100% sure.

2017, Music

Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World (2017, Barry Avrich)

This is an engaging, thought-provoking documentary about the state of the art world in the 21st century (especially post Great Recession) that is perhaps a little too hyper-stylized for its own good.

2017, Movies, TV

Crooked House (2017, Gilles Paquet-Brenner)

This is an atmospheric adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel with an all-star cast that does a very good job aesthetically, even though it gets a little over-the-top, but I’m not entirely sure the source material is quite as strong as it needs to be. SPOILERS

2013, Movies

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013, Lee Daniels)

Yes, seriously, Lee Daniels’ The Butler is the name of this movie. Even though this movie is ostensibly “based on a true story,” the director is responsible for it. The title is actually a clue: the filmmakers have so altered the story as to completely alter it. This is, in effect, the Black Forrest Gump.

2002, Movies

Ônibus 174 (2002, José Padilha, Felipe Lacerda)

Bus 174 is a low-budget, overlong documentary about a bizarre hostage-taking incident in Brazil that was watched by the country on the news. The story itself is compelling in many ways but the actual film about the incident is kind of a mess. We might call it “completist” as it’s a 2.5 hour movie about …

2007, Movies

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007, Yves Simoneau)

My country was founded in genocide, as was our neighbour to the south. This is a fact that we still haven’t dealt with as evidenced by how many Canadians and Americans would find my initial statement controversial – even offensive – despite its truth. I was born in the last fifth of the 20th century …

2009, Movies

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country (2009, Anders Ostergaard)

Burma VJ is one of those journalism-as-documentary films that is out of date pretty quickly after it is made – the military regime that is depicted in this film has fallen and a new, less repressive and supposedly democratic regime has taken its place. But just because things have happened since this film was made, …

2013, Movies, TV

Horici ker [Burning Bush] (2013, Agnieszka Holland)

Burning Bush is a 21st century version of those unaccountably good European TV mini series which are released in North America as films (often in abridged form). Though we have been living in a golden age of television in North America since right before the beginning of this century, it wasn’t always like that here. …

2017, Movies

Wonder Woman (2017, Patty Jenkins)

Wonder Woman is yet another super hero origin story. It is obviously different from most feature comic book super hero origin stories we’ve seen before for a very obvious reason – the character is a woman – but, otherwise, I found the movie reminiscent of a number of previous super hero films, one in particular. …

1980, Movies

New Year’s Evil (1980, Emmett Alston)

I live tweet this one, though I didn’t do a very good job. I was kind of hoping more people would be doing the same, but only 5 people were into it, it seems. Anyway: as far as I know, this is the only New Year’s Eve horror film. It was the only one we …

2017, Movies

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017, DJ Caruso)

If I saw the first xXx film, I don’t remember enough of it, beyond that terrible CGI snow, to know whether this film is significantly worse. But it sure feels like it. Much like the Fast and the Furious franchise, this film feels like a very calculated attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator of movie …