The Aviary Review

We’re in the middle of nowhere with two women who seem to be fleeing somewhere and someone, as quickly as possible. The two women seem to know each other but they’re not particularly close. It’s as if their fates have been entwined because of their circumstances. The older of the two, Jillian (Malin Akerman) has a sense of authority to her. She’s clearly the one who has planned their escape, and is the most prepared and experienced for their journey in the barren landscape of the New Mexico desert. Blair (Lorenzo Izzo) on the other hand, is relying heavily on Jillian, placing all of her trust into the other woman. Quickly, we discover the reason for their night-time flight, they’re fleeing a cult known as “Skylight” which is run by the mysterious and ominous, Seth (Chris Messina). Continue reading The Aviary Review

Film Review: Bubble

Year: 2022 Runtime: 100 Minutes Directors: Tetsuro Araki Writers: Gen Urobuchi, Naoko Sato, Renji Oki Voice Stars: Jun Shison, Riria, Alice Hirose, Mamoru Miyano, Yuki Kaji By Tom Moore The newest film from Wit Studio (“Attack on Titan”) and director Tetsuro Araki (“Death Note”, “Attack on Titan”), “Bubble” (2022), is a flowing fantasy adventure full of visually epic action taking place in a beautifully realized … Continue reading Film Review: Bubble

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Review: Animated April

All due respect to “Big Hero 6” and “Toy Story 3” & “4,” but the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise going 0-3 in the Best Animated Feature category is one of the greatest mistakes in recent Oscar history. Director Dean DeBlois’s trilogy is not only great entertainment, but powerful emotional storytelling about what it means to grow up, and be responsible for others. 2019’s “The Hidden World” brings this franchise’s ideas full-circle, and delivers what might be one of the most satisfying conclusions to a trilogy in movie history. Continue reading How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Review: Animated April

Anastasia Review: Animated April

For this Animated April, I decided to return to a few films that I adored as a child. In the past I have returned to the likes of “Thumbelina”, a film that I realised wasn’t as good as I had remembered it. I’ve always been wary about revisiting some of the other films that played a significant role in my childhood such as “The Little Mermaid” and “The Fox and the Hound” however I’ve decided to rewatch them both. I always felt very wary about re-watching “Anastasia” which had been a real favourite of mine. I really connected with Anya (voiced by Meg Ryan, with singer Liz Callaway doing the songs for Ms. Ryan) who was a spunky, no-nonsense young woman who just so happened to be a princess. I think a lot of girls secretly wish they were royalty even though they try to make out that they’re not ‘girly’. I was one of those types of girls. Continue reading Anastasia Review: Animated April

Klaus Review: Animated April

Wanting to watch something to feel the spirit of Christmas is how I ended up watching “Klaus” (2019) the first time. It ended up being a film that we all loved and deemed eminently re-watchable. This film has all the makings of a new Christmas Classic to be enjoyed by the whole family. It steps away from the traditional tales of how the legend of Santa Claus came to be and creates an entirely new story that still manages to explain the toy-making, the sleigh, the reindeer, the naughty list, the red suit, and, of course, the timeless tradition of Letters to Santa. This film further subverts other Christmas Classics because the central character is not Santa Claus but the new local postman, Jesper (Jason Schwartzman). Continue reading Klaus Review: Animated April

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: How One Movie Revolutionized Animation Again

Since the dawn of movies, animation has been one of storytelling’s most essential mediums, from stitched photography to the first hand-drawn renderings of dwarves and fair women to digitally enhanced visual effects (which are, in effect, an animation unto themselves) to the movements of clay through any number of frames. Animation is even so essential to filmmaking as to render otherwise unfilmable stories accessible to a wide scope of audiences – such was the case with “Flee” (2021) during this past year’s awards season. But not since the days of “Toy Story” (1995) has this filmmaking medium taken such a gigantic leap as in December of 2018, when “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” swung onto silver screens to chronicle the ascent of one Miles Morales from a semi-known comic book/video game character to the throne of all Spider-Man movies.  Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: How One Movie Revolutionized Animation Again

SIFF 2022 Review: 2551.01

Year: 2022 Runtime: 65 minutes Director: Norbert Pfaffenbichler Writer: Norbert Pfaffenbichler Cast: Stefan Erber, David Ionescu By Joan Amenn This film is a strange amalgamation of dystopian horror, Grand Guignol and a homage to Charlie Chaplin. If experimental film is your thing, you may find “2551.01” (2022) a fascinatingly phantasmagoric ride. If not, the film may just frustrate with its hallucinatory images and lack of … Continue reading SIFF 2022 Review: 2551.01

Missing Link Review: Animated April

form of animated project is a labour of love but none more so than stop-motion animation. The studio behind classics such as “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings LAIKA”, is the ultimate Hollywood champion of claymation. But despite their 2019 Golden Globe winning feature “Missing Link” being an exemplary addition to their filmography, it, undeservedly, came and went with little fanfare.  Continue reading Missing Link Review: Animated April

I Lost My Body Review: Animated April

Even for their comparable centrality to daily life, hands are rarely granted the same artistic fascination as eyes in terms of metaphorical and poetic consideration. Proverbs and clichés alike lean on ideas of sight. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Literature and cinema follow the same path, whether it’s horror stories fixating on visions and illusions or the very idea of voyeurism as a touchpoint for artists from Alfred Hitchcock to Gillian Flynn. Sight dominates sensory storytelling, yet it is eschewed in favor of the tactile significance of hands and touches in “I Lost My Body” (2019). Jérémy Clapin’s film offers the parallel narratives of Naoufel (Hakim Faris) as he yearns for Gabrielle (Victoire du Bois), and Naoufel’s hand which embarks on a perilous journey to reunite with its body. Continue reading I Lost My Body Review: Animated April