Nightstream Review: The Greenhouse (2021)

Nightstream Review: The Greenhouse (2021)

The Greenhouse is mostly a lovely drama with sci-fi elements, and some thrills thrown into the third act for good measure. In the film, daughter Beth (Jane Watt) is still grieving over the loss of one of her mothers; toughest for her since she was the one who stayed back in town with them. When her siblings reunite for their mom Ruth’s (Camilla Ah Kin) birthday, Beth also finds the titular greenhouse, an alternate world that let’s her watch old memories and see her late mom.

Nightstream Review: Alien on Stage (2021)

Nightstream Review: Alien on Stage (2021)

Featured image: The alien bows on stage after Alien on Stage. (Courtesy of Alien on Stage.) Directed by Lucy Harvey, Danielle Kummer. Starring (as self) Jason Hill, Lydia Hayward, Jacqui Roe. Runtime 1h 26 min. Alien on Stage had its latest festival stop as part of the Nightstream Film Festival. Some spoilers follow. Alien on Stage [...]

Nightstream Review: Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest (2021)

Nightstream Review: Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest (2021)

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest follows a group of friends who are united by their love of video games and the Bip Bip Bar. They’re also united by the loss of a friend named Thomas who committed suicide some years prior. At the centre of the friend group is our main character, Kim Cannon Arm. A video game legend, Kim is known for playing the 1983 arcade game “Gyruss” for 49 straight hours on one coin. Obviously a very long time, but for further context, the average game of “Gyruss” lasts 3-4 minutes. Even crazier, Kim sets out to be the first person to play an arcade game for 100 hours straight.

Nightstream Review: Hellbender (2021)

Nightstream Review: Hellbender (2021)

Hellbender is one of those films that give a new meaning to a family affair, as there are three common names throughout the credits of this film. And if you’d excuse me going for low-hanging fruit, but, ahem: They're creepy and they're kooky, Mysterious and spooky, They're altogether ooky, The Adams Family! I’m definitely not the first person to do that, and surely won’t be the last. Hellbender is directed, written and featuring the core family of mother Toby Poser, daughter Zelda Adams and father John Adams – where Toby and Zelda play the two leads in the film, while John appears in a supporting role. As well, their other daughter Lulu Adams plays the supporting role of Amber and is involved in the song writing in the film, as well, for the in-band film H6llb6nd6r.

“Bingo Hell” Review + Interviews (interviews with Richard Brake, L. Scott Caldwell, Adriana Barraza, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Shane McKenzie)

“Bingo Hell” Review + Interviews (interviews with Richard Brake, L. Scott Caldwell, Adriana Barraza, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Shane McKenzie)

Featured image: Adriana Barraza as Lupita in Bingo Hell. (Courtesy of Amazon.) Directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero. Written by Shane McKenzie, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Perry Blackshear. Starring Adriana Barraza, Richard Brake, L. Scott Caldwell. Released October 1, 2021. Runtime 1h 25 min. When a film seems to have a slime budget that rivals the blood budget [...]

TIFF 2021 Review: ‘Jockey’

TIFF 2021 Review: ‘Jockey’

There’s nothing quite like a film that completely hooks from its first shot, and that’s the case with Clint Bentley’s Jockey. It opens with a conversation, where aging jockey Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) and fellow jockey Leo (Logan Cormier) discuss a young rookie on the tour named Gabriel (Moises Arias). It’s a standard conversation that hooks because of how it’s shot, shadows in front of a sunset as they watch horses gallop. I must gush about Adolpho Veloso’s cinematography because I can’t remember when I’ve fallen in love so quickly with the look of a film. The bulk of the outdoor scenes are shot at the “golden hour,” highlighting the gorgeous oranges, blues and reds of Phoenix, AZ. In these scenes, the characters could be reciting the dictionary and I’d still be in awe.

TIFF 2021 Review: “All My Puny Sorrows”

TIFF 2021 Review: “All My Puny Sorrows”

In Michael McGowan’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel of the same name, All My Puny Sorrows concerns two sisters: Yoli (Alison Pill), a writer struggling with success, and the other, Elf (Sarah Gadon), a brilliant concert pianist who’s hellbent on ending her own life. The themes in this film are very heavy, as it opens with their father Jake (Donal Logue) waiting for a train and stepping in front of it to end his life. It’s a heartbreaking film that you’ll need a pick-me-up from after watching it, and one that I admittedly was apprehensive that would have the dull, negative melodrama of August: Osage County. However, this is a truly beautiful film. I really enjoyed these characters and getting to learn about the sisters’ relationship, and I was surprised by the story because I figured the sisters would be brought together by their father’s suicide, and not Elf’s own suicide attempt.

TIFF 2021 Review: “Montana Story”

TIFF 2021 Review: “Montana Story”

Besides the characters themselves, this film might as well be a tourism advertisement for the beauty of Montana. Giles Nuttgens’ cinematography is gorgeous, highlighting the landscapes, and it looks beautiful even in simple scenes of Erin riding a horse, Mr. T, with landscapes in the background. The cinematography here definitely has put Montana on my bucket list. The film’s great score complements these visuals so beautifully, too, and some scenes had me in awe.