Birthday post: Time capsule 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 1.08.34 AM

Here’s the fourth consecutive instalment of these birthday time capsule things I’ve been doing. You can read 2011, 2012 and 2013by clicking on each year (come on, you know how hyperlinks work). I’m starting to convince myself this isn’t merely a vanity project, but a nice way to keep track of changes in the world. When I die, which, given my eating habits and sedentary lifestyle, is likely to…

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Film review: Xavier Dolan’s Mommy

Just published! Film review: Xavier Dolan’s Mommy

Xavier Dolan Mommy

Quebec cinema wunderkind Xavier Dolan’s fifth feature Mommy is his best by far.

In hindsight, Mommy is also Dolan’s first masterpiece. This isn’t a knock to his debut, J’ai tué ma mère, or the lush Laurence Anyways, or even the Hitchcockian Tom à la ferme, but none of his previous films are nearly as moving, captivating or artistically assured as Mommy is. Knowing what he can do now with Mommy,…

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Emmys 2014: If I could vote

NEW POST! #Emmys2014: If I could vote

Emmys on NBC Aug. 25 8 p.m.

The Emmys are on a Monday? In August? Yeah.

It happens when the network airing the awards show – NBC this year – doesn’t want to devote a Sunday in September to an awards show where it might leave empty-handed (can The Voice repeat a win in the reality-competition program category?) when it could air a ratings juggernaut like Sunday Night Football. The host networks also pimp out their own…

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Film review: The Hundred-Foot Journey


Director Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred-Foot Journey is like a dessert: sweet, but too much of it is a bad idea.

Car trouble leads the Kadam family, Indian expats travelling from London – where the “vegetables have no soul,” according to the family’s gifted cook/middle son Hassan (Manish Dayal) – to spend a night in the small town of Saint-Antonin in the South of France. Out on a stroll and…

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Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

Science fiction has already had a great year at the movies – the warped Snowpiercer, the excellent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America 2, and the critically-acclaimed-yet-to-be-seen-by-this-writer-who-hangs-his-head-in-shame Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch, Jonathan Glazer film Under the SkinGodzilla reboot, and Tom Cruise vehicle Edge of Tomorrow. With Marvel’s Guardians of…

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Film review: Boyhood

BOYHOOD - 2014 FILM STILL - Ellar Coltrane

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has been wowing critics and audiences since its première at Sundance in January. The acclaim is universal, boisterous and very enthusiastic. (The film has a score of 99 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 9.4/10)

Boyhoodfollows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from age 5 to age 18 as he goes to school, plays video games, goes to college, and everything in…

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Seven reasons you have to see Life Itself, the Steve James documentary about Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert Life Itself

Any fan of cinema owes it to him or herself to see Life Itself, which premièred in Montreal on July 11 and is screening exclusively at Cinéma du Parc. (It’s not available on-demand in Canada yet.) The most famous film critic of all time died at the age of 70 in April 2013, but he leaves a rich legacy behind, to say nothing of all the people he’s inspired and turned on to cinema. Life Itselfis a…

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Film review: Snowpiercer


Like the train that is the film’s namesake, Snowpiercer is in constant motion.

The Korean production by Joon-ho Bong (The HostMother) stars an international cast that includes Chris Evans in the lead role, with Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Octavia Spencer, Alison Pill, Kang-ho Song, Ah-sung Ko, Luke Pasqualino in roles of varying importance. It’s Tilda Swinton, though, who steals the show. In her…

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Film review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The most surprising thing about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is that Andy Serkis’s incredible motion-captured performance is only the third best thing about the Matt Reeves film.

Surprising because Serkis’s Caesar, an ape born of a chimp who received experimental Alzheimer’s medication, was the centrepiece of the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which successfully rebooted the series…

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Film review: Begin Again

Begin Again Keira Knightley Mark Ruffalo

Like a great song, Begin Again is all about the build-up.

It’s a long road of meh, though, until the electrifying, invigorating, chill-inducing third act, which almost makes up for a choppy beginning and sometimes dull middle bit. Keira Knightley stars as Greta, a Londoner in New York with her beau, next-big-thing-in-music Dave Kohl (a surprising Adam Levine). She writes songs with him,…

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