Tag: Movies

2021, Movies

Taming the Garden (2021, Salomé Jashi)

You know that scene in Fitzcarraldo when Herzog drags a boat over a mountain the rainforest to show the hubris and folly of man? Well, combine that theme with Mega Movers and a really great eye and you have some idea of this amazing documentary about a man buying up the great trees of Georgia …

2021, Movies

Dirty Tricks (2021, Daniel Sivan)

This is an entertaining and fairly even-handed documentary about a bridge cheating scandal back in 2015. It’s a fascinating story reminiscent of that recent poker scandal where the player claimed to be using his intuition and those who accused him claimed he couldn’t be so lucky.

2021, Movies

El Silencio del Topo (2021, Anaïs Taracena)

This is an artfully made documentary about a journalist-turned-government-press-secretary, which reveals a lot of about a terrible time in Guatemala’s history that I just knew nothing about. It’s a little short on context despite the fact that it clearly assumes a lack of knowledge about Guatemalan history, but it is still a fascinating attempt to …

2021, Movies

Dead Man’s Switch: a crypto mystery (2021, Sheona McDonald)

This is a hyper-stylized documentary about Quadriga, at one point Canada’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange. Somehow I completely missed this story as it happened, which is a little weird because I do pay some attention to tech stories and especially scams.

2021, Movies

Jobs for All (2021, Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aertryck)

This is a short film which is basically a satire of the idea of “full employment” as a solution to our problems, as opposed to UBI or welfare. It’s not actually a documentary, as it is very much a satire and an advocacy film.

2013, Movies

The Last Pogo Jumps Again (2013, Colin Brunton, Kire Paputts)

This is an exhaustive documentary about the Toronto punk scene in the late 1970s. It is nearly 3 and a half hours long -supposedly cut down form 5 hours – which means that it is probably only for people interested in the scene or in the history of Toronto. But if you’re interested in punk …

2006, Movies

Muffins for Granny (2006, Nadia McLaren)

This is an artsy, dare I say ambitious, documentary about the survivors of Canada’s residential school system which desperately needs a bigger budget and a surer hand to achieve its goals. And that’s unfortunate, because it’s a story that definitely needs to be heard. I hope that someone has made something more successful since. (If …

2010, Movies

In the Name of the Family (2010, Shelley Saywell)

This is an episodic and workmanlike documentary about girls killed by their family members, ostensibly because they are not behaving correctly. It feels a little like it was made for TV but that could also just be the budget.

1981, Movies

My Bloody Valentine (1981, George Mihalka)

I had suspect tastes when I was younger and cannot, for the life of me, figure out why I rated My Bloody Valentine 3D 5/10. Because, though this movie is bad – and it’s quite bad – I have a hard time believing it is worse than its remake, which I somehow rated 5/10. Does …

2019, Movies

Booksmart (2019, Olivia Wilde)

The “high school graduation party” movie has been done more than a few times. So has the “trying to find the big high school party” movie. And they’ve been combined, as they are in this film. But this movie has a new twist to the format: it’s girls, instead of guys, and they’re smart, and …

2007, Movies

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007, Cristian Mungiu)

This is an extraordinarily bleak film. You probably know it as the “Romanian abortion movie”. It’s a pretty extraordinary film despite its bleakness and is very close to being a masterpiece, in my opinion. If you haven’t seen it yet – it took me nearly 14 years for some reason – I would recommend it …

2006, Movies

Private Fears in Public Places aka Coeurs (2006, Alain Renais)

This is an incredibly stagey French adaptation of a British play. I’m not familiar with the playwright but I can’t imagine getting excited about seeing one of his plays, if this is faithful.

1989, Movies

Steel Magnolias (1989, directed by Herbert Ross)

This is one of those “women’s movies” that I avoided like the plague when I was younger. (Not entirely true – when I was in my teens I would catch 10 minutes of one on TV and rate it without watching it, inevitably giving it a ridiculously low rating.) One of the many things I …

2012, Movies

Coast Modern (2012, Mike Bernard, Gavin Froome)

This is a pretty but quite brief documentary about modernist domestic architecture on the West Coast of North America. If you like The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes or similar shows, you may like this. This is a lot more philosophical, as you might expect, but there are similar amounts of house porn.

1978, Movies

Death on the Nile (1978, John Guillermin)

This is a goofy – at times almost campy – adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel which benefits from location shooting but perhaps suffers just a little bit from the characterizations of its excellent cast, a few of whom feel like they are just reveling in their roles.

2010, Movies

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (2010, Alex Gibney)

This is a fascinating documentary about former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s sex scandal and New York State and American political corruption in general. I must admit I didn’t pay much attention to the scandal at the time – I don’t care much about American gubernatorial politics – and assumed he’d done things a …

2018, Movies

Slay Belles (2018, Dan Walker)

Slay Belles, not to be confused with the Ru Paul album of the same name, is a no-budget Christmas “horror comedy” that is not remotely scary, though it made me laugh. Twice. (I think it was twice. It might have been three times.) Like so many of these movies, there is more wrong with it …

1989, Movies

Heathers (1989, Michael Lehmann)

At some point when I was younger, I told myself I had watched Heathers though I either confused it with some other ’80s movie featuring Christian Slater and/or Wynona Ryder or I saw five minutes of it and decided that counted. Anyway, I had definitely not seen Heathers.