Capitalism: A Love Story

There’s a very telling scene towards the end of Moore’s latest screed: he’s photographed causing trouble again, wrapping crime scene tape around the buildings of Wall Street, yelling through a bright red megaphone about the injustice of the bailout. In a tired voice, he admits via voiceover that he’s getting tired of having to do […]

White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)

Haneke’s films are usually quiet ruminations about character interactions followed by explosions of violence and terror. With White Ribbon, he has crafted an almost dreamlike tale, a throwback to an older, slower, more literary cinematic form. Shot in a stunning black and white palate, this is a poetic, elegiac film without the usual pretension or […]

The Road

How does one rate a film that’s terrifically produced, well shot and directed, with great acting, yet it all seems somehow… hollow? The Road, based on the celebrated novel by Cormack McCarthy, is a cerebral, haunting tale of post-apocalyptic misery. However, through no explicit fault of the film, it all seems so straight forward, so […]

Accident (Yi Ngoi)

A film that’s in desperate need of a (better) remake, Johnny To-produced Accident manages to completely ruin a terrific start. The opening sequence is downright delightful – a group stages murders for hire, making them seem random occurrences. These “McGyvers of murder” are set loose, with the victim subtly pushed towards his doom using normal […]

Daybreakers

Yup, another Vampire flick. But this one is different – it’s smart, witty, gory, supremely well shot and produced. It has an epic feel, has noir overtones, and some fabulous performances by the likes of Willem Dafoe, Sam Neil and Ethan Hawke. It’s a world where humans are farmed for blood, but the source is […]

Under the Mountain

Last at TIFF for Midnight Madness fun “Black Sheep”, director Jonathan King has crafted a well made, post-Harry Potter teen flick with enough spooky mood and moments to keep even the most jaded genre fan happy. Improbably, the fate of the world rests in the hands of a pair of adolescent, precocious teens in Wellington, […]

The Ape

A man wakes up in a pool of blood. Quickly realizing that it’s not his own, he washes up, stumbling out the door to his job as a driver’s instructor. This opening speaks volumes of this work – little details are provided from the outset, but as the story unfolds, we are given glimpses of […]

The Informant!

Soderbergh has crafted a period piece of the weirdest kind, meshing early 90s fashion with a sublime throwback soundtrack by Marvin Hamlisch. It’s surely no coincidence that the music echose the soundtrack for the “Sting”, a film where the plans of the con are meticulously presented, each obfuscation a careful build upon the one before. […]

The Hole

Joe Dante is back, this time with another teen fright fest. Goonies fans, beware! A big selling point of this film has been its 3D projection – let me state firmly that the 3D does nothing to add to this film, as it’s used as little more than a gimmick (look, I’m throwing a ball […]

Jennifer’s Body

Riding the success of her Oscar turn with Juno and the recent bloodlust for all things vampiric, writer Diablo Cody turned her eye towards the 80s horror genre. Megan Fox is Jennifer, the curvy, bitchy pretty thing at her high school, with her best friend Amanda Seifreid. Things go awry when an out of town […]

Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus

In the end, then, go see this as a modern triumph from Mr. Terry G, not merely in order to placate the posthumous fascination that one may feel for the departed Heath. This is the type of film that they simply don’t make often anymore, and if it was in Spanish and directed by some guy named Del Toro, it’d immediately jump to the top of any cineaste list.

City of Life and Death (Nanjing Nanjing)

Wildly exceeding my expectations, this Chinese produced film is an accessible, nuanced tale about the Japanese occupation of Nanjing just before the beginning of the Second World War. Shot in glorious black and white, the film has a sweeping, epic feel. Production design is impeccable, and the recreation of the action sequences is the equal […]

The Men Who Stare At Goats

A story too weird to not be true – in the 80s, the US army amassed a band of psychic warriors after the Vietnam debacle, harnessing the hippy ethic in order to hug the enemy into submission (before, if needed, slitting their throats). As part of their training of these so-called “Jedi”, goats were brought […]

Creation

The opening gala of this year’s fest, this film promised to be a sweeping love story about Darwin and his wife as he struggled to write his masterpiece. Instead, what we get is a pedestrian period drama, an overly long “I see dead people” flick where Darwin, tormented by the death of his daughter, is […]

Agora

Rachael Weisz as a hottie, end-of-Empire Philosopher/Astroner chick? What’s not to like? Set in Alexandria at a time of great historic tumolt, Amenábar’s film juggles lots of chaos. The rise of Christianity versus the “pagan”, previously dominant Roman religion, the divide between faith and science, heck even the stone throwing Jews show up for an […]

Antichrist

Lars von Trier’s latest is a film certain to divide audiences, some no doubt dismissing it as mere exploitational trash. Written during what he describes as a time of bleak despair, this film is a bleak, at times maddening and depressing onslaught. Yet, at its core, it’s a psychological thriller that owes much to Kubrick’s […]

A Serious Man

Kabbalah, existential rabbinical analysis and quantum physics, with a Yidisshe theatre opening act – what’s not to love from this latest work of brilliance by the Coen boys? Broadly, this is a film about mystery, about whether there is or isn’t cause for suffering, injustice, bad luck. It’s a film resolutely free of answers yet […]