Legend Review

0d21e23b-5de1-43a3-839f-693a9d0c1689-1020x612Seriously, how could two Tom Hardy’s go wrong? The actor behind the Mad Max revival, or the ridiculously fun role of Bane on The Dark Knight Rises, and he was absolutely perfect in Nicolas Winding Refn’s early masterpiece, Bronson. Joining with writer/director Brian Helgeland, Hardy has crafted two performances behind the supposedly legendary Kray Brothers, two siblings that ran the criminal underworld in Britain throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s. What is immediately apparent, is that these men may have been interesting back then, but their story has become derivative and the performances don’t fare much better. Continue reading

The Walk Review

TheWalk1

For roughly twenty minutes after seeing The Walk in IMAX 3D, my breathing was irregular. My fear of falling (not heights) had been toyed with too many times over the course of the final act of the film. I could feel the doubts in Philippe Petit’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) head, but was able to recognize when I should be scared and when I should be smiling. Even in a vanilla 2D screening, I can still safely say that The Walk is an enjoyable experience – though without IMAX 3D, it’s less of a spectacle.

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story Of The National Lampoon Review | VIFF 2015

Saturday Night Live has constantly been graced as the place where comedy is found and grown upon. You either live or die on that stage, but the writing has to carry you through. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead wants to show you where the first generation of SNL came from and where they started. While the National Lampoon magazine was the source of what may be considered as the most taboo mainstream magazine to have ever been made, director Douglas Tirola carries the viewer on a journey of where National Lampoon started, and right where it died; no more, no less.

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The Program Review | TIFF 2015

Ben Foster in The Program

When it was discovered that Lance Armstrong had been taking performance-enhancing drugs when he won his several Tour de France medals, there must have been some exterior impact on people in his life. Or even an impact upon himself. Stephen Frears’s The Program is not about any of that. Lacking humanity for its main character, the film plays as a hatefully written overview of Armstrong’s career minus all the portions of his life that would make him look decent.

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Black Mass Review

Gangster films will never die. From 1932’s Scarface to this year’s Black Mass, outlaws have reigned on the silver screen, and in recent years, the small screen too. Breaking Bad became one of television’s highly praised TV series and that’s because of the rise of the anti-hero. There probably hasn’t been a better time to bring a monumental figure of real life crime to the big screen. Most audiences would know James “Whitey” Bulger from Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of a mobster that resembled “Whitey”, in The Departed. And thankfully, Johnny Depp brings something different to the role; unfortunately, it’s not complimented by the majority of the work in Black Mass.

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Spotlight Review | TIFF 2015

Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight

As print journalism continues to die off, and investigative reporting as it used to be known continues to be minimal in existence, Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight focuses on a specific point in journalism history. The subject that the film tackles is one that makes a case for why investigative journalism should be more important to newspapers, and shines an unflattering light on the news, judicial systems, and the church. It is never completely scathing of any system – it wants to expose the flaws in all of them, but also wants to retain recognition of their importance.

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The Conjuring is a Haunted House of Horror Classics

The Conjuring Theatrical Poster

The Conjuring Theatrical Poster

TitleThe Conjuring
Genre(s)Biography, Horror, Thriller
Director(s)James Wan
Release Year2013

Every moment in The Conjuring felt like it had been done before. That’s not a bad thing though, as James Wan has managed to masterfully amalgamate many of the staples of horror films while still making the film feel genuinely creepy. And best of all, he uses the expectations set up from other horror films to great effect. What would typically end up as a jump scare, winds up as nothing at all, but adds to the tension and eerie mood of the film. Relying heavily on atmosphere, Wan uses his great cast to create a horror movie that will stand up to the rest this year as an example of how to make a film that does not necessarily do anything original, but wears its familiarity proudly.

The protagonists Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively), are probably news to a lot of passersby, but to others they are legends among the supernatural and paranormal community. Having worked on several cases dealing with possessions and spirits in real life, the two have finally been incorporated successfully into an exceptionally well done horror film. The two are experts on the paranormal, and when Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) visits them at a lecture to tell them of the crazy things happening in her family’s newly-purchased house, they are brought in on a case that is filled to the brim with creepy occurrences. And Wan pulls every element of his favourite horror films into one massive haunted house film. From creepy children, to exorcisms, to crows, to the intrigue in the unknown sounds coming from the basement; there are very few breaths taken within the film to alleviate the tension, especially in the final climax of the film.

Read the Rest of the Review After the Jump.