• Top Gun: Maverick

    Top Gun: Maverick

    There’s little reason why an unironically reactionary, Reagan-era, Cold-War artifact like the Tony Scott-directed Top Gun, the equivalent of a propagandistic recruiting video for the U.S. Navy and its pilot program, would have anything like the pop-cultural cachet it’s retained for almost four decades except one: Tom Cruise. A movie star’s movie star — and likely the last of his kind — Cruise has made a veritable meal out of playing “best of the best,” elite professionals who risk life…

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era

    Downton Abbey: A New Era

    If you thought sound disrupted the silent era, wait until you see modernity invade British aristocracy. Downton Abbey: A New Era sees the beloved franchise return in grand fashion. Change is in the air at Downton Abbey as social attitudes become fresher and cultural moors loosen. Downton Abbey: A New Era probably won’t win any new enthusiasts, but the second film follow-up to Julian Fellowes’ hit soap arguably delivers much for fans to love. For a series that jumped the…

  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

    Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

    I was a Rescue Rangers diehard as a kid and even I wasn’t asking for a follow-up. But after hearing about the film’s cast, and premise I was all on board.

    Rescue Rangers is an inventive reboot that takes the series in a bold new direction. It leaves behind the afternoon kids’ show premise for a hardboiled (albeit PG) detective story set in the real world. Think Chinatown meets Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Chip and Dale have new voices, deeper…

  • A Tear in the Sky

    A Tear in the Sky

    The public’s perception of UFOs shifted in 2017 after a New York Times article revealed a secret Pentagon UFO investigation program. The Times’ revelations may have improved ufology’s credibility, but the subject has yet to shed its association with conspiracy theorists and crackpots.

    Writer-director Caroline Cory’s new documentary A Tear in the Sky builds a case for the existence of UFOs by steering clear of ufology’s fringe topics like crop circles and ancient aliens. Instead, Cory uses the U.S. Navy’s…

  • This Is Endometriosis

    This Is Endometriosis

    An image of a shadow on a wall—moving slowly with the light across the room—speaks deeply to a feeling of lost hours and days that most, if not all, those suffering from endometriosis can relate to. I know I do.

    Short film This is Endometriosis, playing as a part of this year’s Hot Docs slate, chronicles co-director Georgie Wileman’s medical journey from the first time she felt pain at the age of thirteen to the present day. Memories from Christmas…

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is well into the fourth phase of its major storytelling arc and though we’ve seen him in a multitude of films since his introduction in 2016, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is only the second chapter devoted to the master of the mystic arts.

    His first foray was positively received by both audiences and critics alike and, with the recent success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the expectations for this new film were sky…

  • The Northman

    The Northman

    Just seven years ago, a little-known filmmaker named Robert Eggers debuted his brilliant feature-length debut, The Witch—an extraordinary exploration of 17th-century religious hysteria, familial dysfunction, and folk horror. The unqualified critical praise that followed its Sundance premiere was more than justified. Four years later, Eggers returned with The Lighthouse, an equally brilliant 19th-century dissection of isolation, madness, and mermaids. His second effort all but confirmed his status as a world-class talent working in or out of the art-horror sub-genre. Only…

  • Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.

    Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.

    As I watched Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. with my 62-year-old father, who has never heard nor heard of the titular band in question, it became evident that age, in particular the process of aging, would play a serious factor in our viewing experience.

    Throughout the film’s breezy 82 minute runtime, Pops kept mentioning, aloud and incredulously, how young the band—vocalist/shredder extraordinaire J Mascis, bassist/vocalist Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph—looked in early photos and footage, and how old they…

  • The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

    Full disclosure: I am the person that requests that the local library buys every new Nicolas Cage feature and adds it to their catalog. I watch Face/Off every time it’s on cable. I quote Matchstick Men to no one in particular. Renfield was added to my Letterboxd watchlist as soon as outlets announced Nicolas Cage would star as Dracula. So the target audience for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is me, and I loved it. More importantly, you will…

  • Paris, 13th District

    Paris, 13th District

    Don’t you love Paris when it sizzles? Paris, 13th District whisks audiences to a corner of the 13th arrondissement for three tales of young love. Director Jacques Audiard (Dheepan, Rust & Bone) creates a film of invigorating vitality. Working with screenwriters Céline Sciamma (Petite Maman) and Léa Mysius (Ava), Audiard adapts three stories from the graphic novels of Adriane Tomine. These are very hot, very French tales of Millennial love told with spot-on messiness. Paris, 13th District might be the work of a veteran master, but the artist truly appreciates and understands his subjects.

    Pat Mullen's full review: thatshelf.com/paris-13th-district-review-banlieue-and-chill/

  • Islands

    Islands

    Joshua (Rogelio Balagtas) is a shy middle-aged man drifting through life.

    He never fulfilled his potential after immigrating to Canada from the Philippines. Joshua abandoned a promising dentistry career to work as a janitor in Toronto and take care of his elderly parents Alma (Vangie Alcasid) and Reynaldo (Esteban Comilang).

    Joshua prays for a life like his brother Paolo’s (Pablo S.J. Quiogue). Paolo lives life to the fullest, with a wife, child, and career. But despite sharing DNA, the two…

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

    The third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, comes to us four years after its predecessor. The overall series has become tainted by J.K. Rowling’s transphobic comments and the Johnny Depp domestic abuse allegations, but even if you manage to separate the art from the artists and go in as a pure fan of the Potter world, you’ll find this latest entry has been drained of the majority of its magic.

    For Marriska Ferrnandes' full review head here: thatshelf.com/fantastic-beasts-the-secrets-of-dumbledore-review/