"Where crime and action films are concerned, there are few better directors than Michael Mann. Besides creating stories in the genre that are successful exercises in character, plot, and action, he manages to fill even his less-acclaimed films with enough rewarding scenes and details that they ultimately prove rewarding. However, every great artist eventually plays things safe and releases a “Greatest Hits Playlist” – a piece that borrows heavily from everything else they have done, but never quite elevates to…
"It almost seems unfair to saddle a movie with being a sign of the times. It’s weighing-down the artistic effort with outside influences that are out of the artist’s control, and muddying the discussion with personal politics. It stops being about whether or not the film is good and more about what it says about our world. However, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. By design or dumb luck, a film becomes a microcosm for society today, and becomes a totem for a bigger conversation.
What’s wild is when a sign of the times is a portrayal of times gone by..."
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/selma/
"...It’s not enough anymore just to say “War is Hell”. We have reached a point where we want to learn more about those who make the descent, and – dare we dream – the hellions they meet while they are down there. UNBROKEN has so many elements that could make it a great film in defter hands; ultimately though, it’s just a shallow reminder of other great films in defter hands."
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/unbroken/
"In the late going of INHERENT VICE, we are taught the meaning of the title. It’s a reference to goods that can be damaged in transit just because of their nature. Glass breaks, chocolate melts,…that sort of thing. In that category, I offer that you could qualify “convoluted plot doesn’t add up”. It’s just the way of things when you’re wandering through the woods behind an antihero.
Sometimes, you’re just gonna get lost..."
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/inherentvice/
"Any artistic outlet that one chooses to study begins the very same way – you learn the fundamentals. It feels boring, repetitious, and stodgy but the point is always the same. The point is that every artistic medium has rules, rules that have been carved into stone, and rules that will define whether your contribution to the art can keep up, let alone matter. It’s only by learning these rules that one can figure out which ones can be bent,…
The key to THE IMITATION GAME arrives at about its halfway point. While being interrogated by the police, Alan Turing explains a theory he’s working on and how it is built around a game. The game is to determine whether the person you converse with is being truthful, or telling great deceits; whether they are “man or machine”. What it underlines is that in order to keep a secret, one has to be a good liar. It then begs the question, what great good could possibly require such duplicity…and should we wonder about those who are good liars?
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/imitationgame/
We forget sometimes that some very funny people have found a higher level of success by “going legit”. They dial down the goofy, dial down the raunch, and follow a script. If it works, entire generations will see them as a weightier talent than the fans who were drawn to them as loveable goofballs. So many, for instance never think of Emma Thompson’s time with Footlights. Scores forget about Tom Hanks’ run on “Bosom Buddies”. Even Bill Murray has refined…
"Isolation is a strange sensation. It can creep into our psyche despite being in a room with over one hundred people…or living in a city of millions. Something about our make-up or our situation leaves us thinking that nobody is there for us…nobody understands us. Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it’s only our body’s chemistry misfiring. No matter what the reasoning, such loneliness is wickedly suffocating.
It’s almost enough to make one pack a bag and just start walking..."
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/wild/
They say that to get the full scope of something, you need to step back. When we stand too close, we become one with whatever it is we are considering and find ourselves caught up in minutiae. When we get some distance, we are able to get the full picture – for better and for worse. It’s often with space and distance that we can really understand things as they really are, and how they affect truly us.
INTERSTELLAR wants us to step way back...
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/interstellar/
"We like to tell ourselves that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. We paint the media as a pack of jackals that feed on the blood and bodies of our weak and sell it to us as a public service. We like to believe that in an age of GoPros and camera phones that we are being more invasive than we ever have. We forget though, that we used to kill people in town squares. We…
"Sometimes film offers us a glimpse of something other. Not something other than ourselves or our lives, but something other than what it has decided to be. That glimpse can often do more harm than good, since it gets us thinking about possibilities…but we can hardly be blamed for thinking these thoughts.
For instance “What if there was a better way?”…or “What if this scene was the whole movie?”."
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/fury/
"There’s something to be said for being unaware. Human beings like getting from point A to point B without thinking about the route, the schedule, the mechanics of taking the steps. Often when we lose that unawareness, we begin to over think things. We become hyper-critical of ourselves and our world and find it hard to think about anything else. Does knowing too much about something breed contempt? Does seeing how the magic trick is performed ruin the illusion? Is there, in fact, virtue in ignorance?..."
Full review @ www.thematinee.ca/birdman/