Review: Disappearance at Clifton Hill

The third feature from writer/director Albert Shin, “Disappearance on Clifton Hill”, takes viewers on a moody Niagara Falls mystery that offers a great atmosphere, but a lacklustre conspiracy story. The film follows Abby (Tuppence Middleton), a woman returning to her hometown of Niagara Falls to settle an inheritance she gains from her late mother. Although she’s been away for quite some time, Abby is still haunted by a memory from her childhood of her seeing a young boy with one eye being kidnapped. So, when she makes new connections to the boy’s disappearance, she begins to investigate the town’s history and meets some interesting discoveries that unveil an elaborate conspiracy. With her checkered past rearing its ugly head and her investigation gaining some unwanted attention, Abby must uncover the truth before she’s completely silenced.

Review: First Cow

Writer/director Kelly Reichardt has gained quite some notoriety over her career, so much so that Bong Joon-Ho even denotes her as one of his heroes, and her latest film, “First Cow”, gives audiences a unique Western adventure filled with friendship, character, and a cow. Set in Oregon during the 19th Century, the film follows two scavengers – a skilled but secluded cook named Cookie (John Magaro) and an opportunistic Chinese man named King Lu (Orion Lee). Although they meet on strange terms, the two grow a special friendship as they look to make a name for themselves. However, when an incredibly wealthy man named Chief Factor (Toby Jones) purchases and brings the first cow to the area, the two see an opportunity to gain a wealth of their own. So, as they sneakily steal milk from under Factor’s nose, Cookie and Lu make a name for themselves by cooking baked goods that eventually gets them unwanted attention.

Review: Come to Daddy

Horror genre cinema has been making a lot of impact in the indie circles this past decade. With upcoming filmmakers from all over the world like Julia Ducournau, Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, Coralie Fargeat and others; it is an exciting time to be a filmgoer. But there is one man that has not only starred in great genre pieces, but has helped produced many of them as well. That man is Elijah Wood. Best known for his work in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, he has acted in interesting projects that took him out of the blockbuster luster. While there were films that did not succeed so well eg. "Green Street"; there were films that shocked audiences due to his change in image like "Maniac" (2012) and "Sin City" (2005). Since then, he has worked on more genre films like "Grand Piano" until he started his own production company (with Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller) called Spectrevision; which produced fantastic films like "Mandy", "The Greasy Strangler" and "Colour Out of Space".

Review: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and Q&A with Céline Sciamma

“It’s done,” Céline Sciamma said through laughter, “I don’t need your approval!” Ten minutes earlier, a lengthy applause break punctuated the film screening and Sciamma was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. Sitting in a folding director’s chair on-stage in the sold-out Music Box Theater in Chicago, IL, Sciamma shared insights on the filmmaking process during a question and answer session with the audience. The early pre-screening of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019) was part of a press tour preceding the films wide release in the United States.

Les Miserables (2019) Review

With his feature debut, “Les Miserables”, writer/director Ladj Ly creates narrative that’s boiling with tension as it displays the slow rise of rebellion and anarchy in a French city. Now, I know what you’re thinking, is this another adaptation of the iconic novel by Victor Hugo or the musical – it’s not. Ly’s film is more of a modern take on the rebellious nature of the story and is inspired by 2005 riots that took place in Paris suburbs and across France. It has viewers follow the perspective of Stephane Ruiz (Damien Bonnard), a new officer that comes from a small province and transfers to a suburb of Paris called Montfermeil.

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 14: The Farewell

In 2000, we learned that my grandfather had cancer. He went through chemotherapy, and my mother and I went up to help him and get him to doctor’s appointments as he ended up in assisted living. I was there the day he received his terminal diagnosis, and 7 of the next 10 weeks were spent trying to comfort him, and get things prepared for after the inevitable happened. It finally did in late July. I was very close to him- he was like another parent to me. It was devastating. Those months come to the forefront of my mind in contemplating Lulu Wang’s beautiful dramatic comedy, “The Farewell.” Inspired by her own life, Wang tells the story of her family whom, when they find out the worst about their beloved Nai Nai, they do what is unthinkable to most of us- they don’t tell her.

Netflix Review: Now is the Time to Watch “Schitt’s Creek”

We are just a couple of months away from the beginning of the end. The Canadian comedy, “Schitt’s Creek” became a hit thanks to the audience Netflix brought. If you have not watched the show yet, now is the time to get started. The show follows the Rose family. Johnny (Eugene Levy) is the patriarch of the family. He obtained his wealth through video stores. Moira (Catherine O’Hara) is the matriarch, who starred on notable soap operas and is a C-list actress. Their children David (Daniel Levy – and Eugene’s own son) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) have never worked a day in their lives. One day, it is learned that the Rose family has lost everything after being defrauded by their business manager. But they do have one asset (no, Moira, not the children) – a small town called Schitt’s Creek that Johnny bought.

Review: Frozen 2

Six years after asking, “Do you want to build a snowman?” Elsa and Anna return in Disney’s "Frozen 2", this time facing change and the fear of uncertainty. That’s a more philosophical antagonist for the sisters of Frozen, which earned $1.3 billion worldwide, and a journey that doesn’t entirely feel necessary or without plot holes. But credit director Chris Buck and writer-director Jennifer Lee with crafting an ultimately satisfying story of more mature themes for an audience that’s grown out of the dress-up stage.

Sex and Living- Death in Thirst

2019 was the year that Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest seized the zeitgeist with full gusto. The Fleabag character had people all over the world fanning themselves to avoid a case of the vapours, with his actual name remaining a mystery. He was merely the latest - one of the most libidinously triumphant – in a line of on-screen hot priests. Others include Father Brian Finn in “Keeping the Faith”, Father Grandier in “The Devils”, Father Andrew Kiernan in “Stigmata”, Reverend Adam Smallbone in “Rev” and, perhaps most obviously, Friar Fuck in “Sex and the City”. One of the finest men of the faith was given to us by Park Chan-wook in his 2009 vampire romantic-horror, “Thirst”.

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