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  • Shivers 1975

    Watched 18 Oct, 2014 10

    I tend to give horror movies a pass when it comes to certain issues including the portrayal of women. I don't know why I do this. It probably has to do with the fact that I am quite unfamiliar with the genre, and I expect women to be portrayed as stupid yellers who can't walk or run without falling, dial a telephone number because they are so shaken, or get the hell out of a house because they are too…

  • The House of the Devil 2009

    ★★★★ Watched 03 Oct, 2014 4

    I'm kicking myself. I didn't review this immediately after watching and I forgot to write down notes. I am particularly angry about this because I adored this film. I loved everything about it. It is exactly what I like in a suspenseful horror film, because it is more about what could happen than what does happen. The entire first half has our young woman babysitting an elderly lady (or at least thinking that is what she is doing) and hearing…

  • Bedevilled 2010

    ★★★ Watched 07 Oct, 2014 2

    It is exactly at the 58 minute mark that an event occurs which is the impetus for the revenge part of the film. 58 minutes. Before that the film is a drama, melodrama really, establishing the relationships between Kim Bok-nam (played brilliantly by Seo Yeong-Hie) and the various locals on the remote island that don't play nice with her and her daughter.

    In fact, it is easy to stop the film at the 30 minute mark, which we did. Those…

  • Tu dors Nicole 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Sep, 2014

    tiff2014 film #14

    Remember when you had the house all to yourself? You didn't have to party or do anything special, really. Just knowing you were going to have the run of the place lifted some sort of weight off your shoulders, a weight you didn't know existed until that day. All of a sudden you felt free. Free to do everything. Free to do absolutely nothing.

    22 year old Nicole has the run of the house when her parents…

  • The War Zone 1999

    ★★★ Watched 27 Sep, 2014 2

    There is something about this film that doesn't sit right with me. It isn't the pacing, because I'm all for slow. It isn't the story, because that was interesting enough, if a bit bizarre. I think it has to do with the filler scenes. There are some fantastic gripping scenes in this film, but I couldn't help but think that there were too many scenes that just filled up the time in between those great ones. It is like an…

  • The Drop 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Sep, 2014

    tiff 2014 film #18

    Never again will I have to ask who Tom Hardy is. The Drop is his film. Most might see it because it was Gandolfini's last film, and he was very good in it, but this is Tom Hardy's film through and through.

    Tom Hardy's bartender Bob seems a bit slow, a bit naive, very puppy-dog like to Gandolfini's assuredness. That plays to Bob's mystique and adds much suspense to the film. One can't help but wonder…

  • A Most Wanted Man 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Sep, 2014 10

    Anton Corbijn, that's 2 for 2 now. The American and A Most Wanted Man are some of my favourite films. I love how Corbijn tells a story. Slow. Detailed. Never hurried. Both films were utterly captivating from the first frame to the last.

    I would have given this one extra 1/2 star, but the issue with the accents was a tad bothersome. It was never enough to disengage from the story, and if I'm being honest I don't think I…

  • Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 12 Sep, 2014 7

    tiff 2014 film #17

    I had a fantastic string of great 'Hollywood' pictures at tiff this year. 99 Homes, The Drop and Nightcrawler all had me giddy with amazement. If this is an indication of what is to come when Hollywood gives pictures to foreign or indie directors then by all means keep doing it. Please. Pretty please.

    Out of all of them Nightcrawler was the one with the most bang. There were two scenes very near the end that…

  • Wild 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 12 Sep, 2014 19

    tiff 2014 film #16

    My guess is that Wild will never get the audience it deserves. Why? Because we've already seen Into the Wild and 127 hours and we might be tired of films about young folk who have the luxury of going on high risk adventures and end up paying the price. It is why I didn't pick Wild as a film I wanted to see at TIFF. I can't say for sure what changed my mind*, but I'm…

  • Rosewater 2014

    ★★ Watched 08 Sep, 2014

    tiff 2014 film #8

    The timing of Rosewater could not have been worse.

    The news is filled with stories of journalists and aid workers being beheaded publicly after years of imprisonment, and along comes Rosewater, asking us to sympathize with a reporter who was jailed for a 4 months in Iran and released physically unharmed in time for his child's birth.

    I suppose I am being unfair. Just because other journalists suffered worse conditions and much more dire consequences it…

  • Clouds of Sils Maria 2014

    ★★★ Watched 04 Sep, 2014 1

    tiff 2014 film #1

    Clouds of Sils Maria should have been great. Its main characters are strong women. Its setting in the Swiss Alps is majestic. It explores the complexities that abound with the self-realization that age changes you, when you become acutely aware that the world and its opportunities begin to shrink the older you get, and that you must negotiate a balance between your being-in-the world and its acceptance of you.

    When Maria Enders (Binoche) is asked to…

  • The Crow's Egg 2014

    ★★ Watched 06 Sep, 2014 2

    tiff 2014 film #4

    The Crow's Egg (Kaakkaa Muttai) was part of the Discovery programme at TIFF 2014, which, as their description goes, means "Directors to watch. The future of World Cinema". First time director M. Manikandan fits that bill.

    The film is very small, which is why I was interested in seeing it. Two young boys living in the slum see a pizza commercial on tv and want to try it. A pizza place has just opened nearby and…