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

2012 (2009, Roland Emmerich)

Categories: 2009 and Movies.

It’s a testament to the endless credulity of human beings that this film got made as a blockbuster, with the budget that entails and the all-star cast. The Mayan Apocalypse thing was some the worst horse shit I’ve heard the intelligent people I know spew, and it drove me crazy that I knew people who claimed to be open to the possibility of it happening, as if being “open-minded” meant that you had to believe the stupid idea that the Mayans – the fucking Mayans, people – predicted the end of the world. Apparently enough people felt this way – Read More

TIFF 2017: One of Us (2017, Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady)

Categories: 2017 and Movies.

I have seen a few Ewing-Grady documentaries so far and I have always found they tackle fascinating subjects but I have never loved the way in which they tackle them. Though I appreciate their attempts at breaking outside of documentary norms and customs (to a degree) I also sometimes find their attempts to do so a little too flashy, for lack of a better word. (What I am trying to say is that I find that their style often calls attention to itself, which is not always something I like in documentaries.) One of Us definitely contains stylistic flashes that call Read More

TIFF 2017 Racer and the Jailbird (2017, Michaël R. Roskam)

Categories: 2017 and Movies.

This is an entertaining, albeit slight, amalgam of the bank heist genre with one of those romances where the two alpha leads, who do risky things in their professional lives, fall in love with each other, but which is pretty much entirely ruined by an absolutely bonkers left turn (well, a series of left turns) into Crazy with a capital C. MASSIVE SPOILERS! Read More

Tiff 2017: The Death of Stalin (2017, Armando Iannucci)

Categories: 2017 and Movies.

Iannucci’s new film is, as I understand it, a bit of a left turn for him: it’s an adaptation of a graphic novel based upon the real event of the title. Though I had no such fears, one could be understandably trepidacious about Iannucci turning his satirical eye to something historically accurate. Read More

What We Do in the Shadows (2014, Jermaine Clement, Taika Waititi)

Categories: 2014 and Movies.

This is an amusing parody of reality TV disguised as a vampire comedy. It’s pretty slight, however: the plot is basically an extended reality TV episode about what happens when the house gets a new member or two, rather than anything more compelling. But there are enough gags – and the now patented New Zealand style of humour these guys have been spreading around the world for a number of years now – that you mostly are not bothered by the absolute slightness of everything about the film (or its noticeably tiny budget). Read More

Cold in July (2014, Jim Mickle)

Categories: 2014 and Movies.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about this bizarre film that offers a new twist (or several) on the age old “redemption through violence” theme in American cinema. The plot goes a very different way than I would have ever expected which is to the novel’s credit, I guess. But that big left turn (which becomes significantly bigger) is hard for me to reconcile for reasons I cannot quite identify. I often like movies like this, but something about this left turn didn’t sit well with me for the whole film. 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

Passengers (2016, Morten Tyldum)

Categories: 2016 and Movies.

I feel like every single time I watch one of these legendary blockbuster bombs I find myself asking the same question: did I watch the same movie as everyone else? Make no mistake: this is not a good film. But once you’ve been told something is The Worst over and over again, your expectations get so low that you end up seeing positives, I guess. Passengers is a mediocre sci fi film – really it’s two sci fi films stuck together – but it is not the worst movie of the year. If you think it is, I suggest you go Read More

Jason Bourne (2016, Paul Greengrass)

Categories: 2016 and Movies.

Why there’s another Bourne movie I don’t know. This one hits all the marks you’d expect: Bourne is mad at the CIA and is taking some kind of action, there’s someone on inside helping him out (actually 2 people, but whatever). The cast is too good for the material, as is usual with these films, and Greengrass does a good job with a plot that gets dumber and dumber as it goes on. SPOILERS! Read More

High Spirits (1988, Neil Jordan)

Categories: 1988 and Movies.

This is a very, very silly but endearing film, shot in just an incredible-looking castle and half the fun is just ogling the castle. But Peter O’Toole is great and there are some memorable turns by other members of the cast. This is one of those 80s films with rough edges (the script could have used some tightening, among other things) where the charm of the film outweighs its obvious problems. Read More

The Fate of the Furious (2017, F. Gary Gray)

Categories: 2017 and Movies.

It occurred to me after I watched this latest of the Fast franchise films that these movies have the Bond license: back when Sean Connery and then Roger Moore made Bond films, these films could be filled with the most ridiculous nonsense and nobody cared. In fact, people celebrated them. You put that crap in another film and people wouldn’t accept it but in a Bond movie and it’s perfectly okay. Such is the case with the Fast franchise and this steaming pile of garbage that everyone else but me enjoys. I feel like I watch different movies then everyone else who likes these films. Read More