• Bowling for Columbine

    Bowling for Columbine

    ★★★★

    As a film, Bowling for Columbine is more than a little scattered, hopping between tangentially related ideas without a strong overarching framework, but in doing so it accurately depicts the complex, systemic, intersectional nature of the problems that plague the American way of life. What is clear is that Michael Moore is eminently talented at crafting powerful rhetoric via the documentary medium.

  • Crash

    Crash

    ★★

    What in the flying fuck was that

  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

    ★★★★

    Surprisingly engaging. Minimalism can be hit or miss to me, but Akerman shows just how powerful the less-is-more approach can be. With wide, extended, static shots, the focus is placed on patterns of behaviour. Small character beats are littered throughout Jeanne Dielman that an attentive viewer can pick up on, details that reveal a great deal about the titular Jeanne and her son. Jeanne's routine is also so well established, that when she breaks her pattern in the smallest of…

  • Seconds

    Seconds

    ★★★★½

    Dark, haunting, and startlingly modern. Like an extended Twilight Zone episode, with questions that probe deep into the metaphysics of Western society. Where it loses points in its uneven pacing, it makes up for it through stellar presentation, from the innovative angles, to the experimental editing, and the chilling score. Also, maybe my new favourite Saul Bass title sequence.

  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    ★★★★★

    A perfect movie, what’s new?

  • Paddington 2

    Paddington 2

    ★★★★½

    Protect this bear at all cost.

  • Weekend

    Weekend

    ★★★½

    Feels very low budget and even student film in presentation, but Weekend makes up for it with strong writing and performances.

  • Paddington

    Paddington

    ★★★★½

    An infectiously sweet movie, of course, but I think Paddington is also significant as a showcase of truly inventive and thoughtful filmmaking for younger audiences. This is an extremely well shot film, from the camera moves, to the tasteful handheld shots, to the variety of lenses used. Colour, set design, time lapses, jump cuts, visual gags, all tools that are put to great use in an intelligent, but accessible way. A film that inspires awe in me, both as an aspiring filmmaker and child at heart.

  • Divergent

    Divergent

    Some of the most lazy and bland production design and world building ever put to film.

  • Secrets & Lies

    Secrets & Lies

    ★★★★½

    Exceptional performances and directing. Modern TV shows have desensitized viewers to expect an obscene amount of coverage and constant cutting in dialogue, and so it is truly thrilling to see extended scenes with multiple characters moving and interacting in single, unbroken wide shots. Mike Leigh understands that watching human behaviour is just as engaging as any dialogue.

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    At once influential and forward-thinking, while also certainly a relic of its time. The filmmaking ranges from genuinely effective to completely incoherent (I rewound the truck business at the beginning 3 times and still couldn't make out what happened), but the story is so minimal that the film is still functional. What I'm trying to express is that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was sort of a mixed bag for me. The section in the middle with Leatherface picking off…

  • Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Had the pleasure of seeing this at the Cinematheque in Vancouver with a sizable crowd. A patient, cold, challenging film which held my interest through strong compositions and strange interactions. A film that seems to take a rather bleak view of modernity and urbanization. People constantly congregate close together in large empty spaces, sometimes unnaturally, as if drawn in by magnetism. Yet, these characters also don't acknowledge each other, wrapped up in the business of watching a movie, eating snacks,…