Tag Archives: TIFF

Loveless (2017) Movie Review

Loveless, Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s follow up to the Oscar-nominated Leviathan, truly lives up to its name. Bleak in both style and tone, the epic drama follows the disappearance of a young boy (Matvey Novikov) and the effect it has on his mother Zhenya (Maryana Spivak), his father Boris (Aleksey Rozin), and their respective lovers.

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The film implicates its audience in its social commentary—the gratuity of the film’s elongated final shot makes that pretty clear. But it is Zvyagintsev’s sense of Continue reading Loveless (2017) Movie Review

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Kodachrome (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

In Kodachrome, Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) is an arrogant, childish talent agent for musicians. When he loses one of his premiere acts, he finds himself on the verge of losing his job. Lying his way through a conversation with his boss, he buys himself a week to book a major up-and-coming act.

He can get a meeting with this act in Chicago, but only if he accompanies his dying, irate, and estranged father Ben (Ed Harris) to Continue reading Kodachrome (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

At the world premiere of Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary—a sequel to Super Size Me, the film that put him on the map—Spurlock dialed the PR knob to 11 by providing the audience with a free meal from his new restaurant venture “Holy Chicken.”

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The food truck outside of the venue served fried chicken sandwiches that looked somewhat grotesque and felt slimy to the touch. There were side choices that included fried green beans, which the charming young woman behind the counter referred to affectionately as simply “greens.” They offered soda and water (the water was dubbed “Holy Water,” perhaps because it was the closest thing to a healthy option on the menu).

Why would the man who injured his body by eating McDonald’s for 30 days straight decide to open a fast food chain? Could it be a statement on Continue reading Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

Valley of Shadows (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

Like Andrey Zvyaginstev’s Loveless, which also had a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s Valley of Shadows is a bleak-looking and picturesque look at a small boy lost in the woods. Both use imagery of isolated forests to setup its ominous, gloomy case. With Loveless, it is barren trees hanging dead over a creek.

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In the case of Valley of Shadows, it is a massive green forest flowing against the wind like waves waiting to crash down on the two kids who look on in curiosity over the Continue reading Valley of Shadows (2017) Movie Review (TIFF 2017)

Great Choice (2017) Short Film Review (TIFF 2017)

The IMDb summary of Robin Comisar’s latest short film reads simply: “A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial.” At the the recent Toronto International Film Festival screening of the short, aired prior to the world premiere of Brian Taylor’s Mom and Dad, Comisar commented that Red Lobster is not too happy about his film.

Intriguing enough. What is Great Choice all about?

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Well, to speak a word is to divulge a spoiler, so I will be brief. Comisar’s seven minute film is a VHS-homage commercial about a shrimp deal at Red Lobster. Then, it is a Continue reading Great Choice (2017) Short Film Review (TIFF 2017)