Last year, Netflix won big with Alfonso Caron’s Roma. It was a turning point for them and it was just a matter of time before more high profile filmmakers made their way to a streaming service. This year saw just that, a wave of filmmakers walk toward streaming services instead of regular theatrical releases. And Netflix found a film that might just propel them to win big once again at this year’s Oscar ceremony. It might be surprising to see Martin Scorsese creates a film and have it bow on Netflix instead of having the theatrical release one would be accustomed to seeing with a name like his. But after viewing The Irishman it’s easy to see why Netflix was not only the best choice for the film but also the only choice.
Or Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw.
One thing I didn’t expect coming out of this film was the overwhelming sense of boredom that I found in it. It’s cruel to say, I know, but the film runs way too long and for me, past its welcome. The film likes to stop and live and Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) bickering for far too long. The only good thing that comes out of this, is that it reminds me of Statham’s great performance in the underrated Spy.
Identity is something that defines you when you are part of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a question that you wrestle with most of your life and sometimes it takes forever to answer it, sometimes you can never truly become yourself. Maybe that is why Man Made is so touching, so powerful. Because it’s about men finally being themselves, putting themselves out there and being true to themselves. It’s admirable, to say the least, and it’s a subject we don’t talk enough about and is not seen enough in film, fiction or not.
It’s been a few years since we’ve gotten a fairly high caliber anthology horror film. The last one for myself may have been 2012’s VHS, or even its sequel, VHS2. But nothing quite hit the mainstream like Trick ‘R Treat slowly did. A film that once played at Toronto After Dark back in 2009. There are a few things that need to hit in order for an anthology (horror) film works well. It’s to my belief that The Mortuary Collection hits all of them.
Fantasy films are some of my favourites but too often they focus on characters that I can’t connect to or even identify with. Too often the characters feel the same and never feel like I could be one of them. It’s not to say that I can’t enjoy fantasy or film of that genre but it’s not the same. That is why Alice Waddington’s Paradise Hills is such a breath of fresh air, a film that creates such a universe that you can forgive the flaws and story problem. In her directorial debut, Waddington creates a universe that feels complete, bringing a breath of fresh air in this genre that is too often dominated by men and their stories.
As I mentioned briefly before, we were told going into the festival that The Furies was going to be the goriest. They also warned us that The Assent is the scariest film of the festival. From what I’ve seen so far, I definitely agree. I didn’t think I would learn a few things about demonic possession during the film.
Movies that deal with the notion of time travel are either a success or a complete miss. Too often the story gets lost in the explanation of how it is possible. Luckily, James vs His Future Self is able to avoid this by playing smart and actually taking the time of making the time travel a device that drives not only the story forward but also the characters that the world is filled with. By mixing different genres, the film becomes more than just a time-travel film, it is able to create a story that might not be new but it has so much heart that it brings something fresh to the table.
When trying to program a horror (or “genre”) based film festival, you want to make sure you hit all the sweet spots that might be needed. One thing is for sure, The Furies definitely strikes “goriest film” off the checklist, and it’s wonderful.
After what seems to be forever, The Crown is finally coming back to us. With season two having dropped in December 2017, it has been almost two years since the critically acclaimed series was on our screens. But fear not because it is coming back and Netflix just released the first trailer for the upcoming season which arrives on November 17, 2019.