Posts by Brian Crosby

Hot Docs 2015: Danny Review

Danny is as much a history of Newfoundland as it is a biography. The film explains how the province clawed its way out of poverty and became synonymous with its leader, Premier Danny Williams.

The Newsroom Episode 2.3 Recap

The stories of episode three continue to be removed from the flash-forward mystery conflict seen in the season two premiere of The Newsroom. Much like last week’s episode, the show forces us to ‘...wait for it’ without even knowing what ‘it’ is. That being said, there are still some fun moments.

Interview: Between The Lines and Rob Ford’s War on Graffiti

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has made many confusing policy choices during the first two years of his tenure. But for the filmmakers behind the new doc Between The Lines, it was his ‘war of graffiti’ that made the least sense. In a city with so many other problems, why was the most powerful mayor in Canada declaring war on ‘kids with paint and anger’? Brian Crosby spoke with producer James Meers about the doc (part of the Hot Docs' Docignite Project), graffiti as art, and getting Mayor Ford involved in the film.

The Newsroom Episode 1.2 Recap

After a promising but problematic pilot, the second episode of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom should have brought things together and smoothed out some of the rough edges. Instead, it's very clear that the series is still struggling to find its feet. Worse, it almost squandered what interest we had in the series by repeating itself in just the second episode.

Tower Heist Review

America’s culture of greed has inspired several films in recent years, but Tower Heist decides to take a comic approach. It follows the employees of an upscale condo building who discover that their richest resident — also their accountant — has lost their retirement fund in a Ponzi scheme. The turn comes when the building manager takes personal responsibility for trusting the banker and plots to steal the money back from the banker’s well secured penthouse. It’s like a funny Ocean’s 11. Wait, Ocean’s 11 was already funny. Funnier? No... Hrm.

Captain America: The First Avenger Review

If a man in a giant bat costume can be rationalized – intensely and dramatically – then so too can a man named Captain America. The name alone makes my skin crawl; it’s filled with so much camp and pomp. When I imagined what such a film would feel like I thought of Independence Day. With that as my prejudice, this movie had some challenges to overcome in the battle of authenticity versus believability. However, I am happy to report that Captain America: The First Avenger nailed it.

Horrible Bosses Review

Horrible Bosses does a great job at being good, despite an underwhelming premise. It is one of those films that succeeds by virtue of its casting. Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, and Jason Bateman have made a living playing funny straight men: people who want to be normal but their environment won’t let them. They play three middle aged guys who have a typical complaint: they hate their bosses. These bosses, however, are not just annoying kind, but the life destroying kind.

The Fighter Review

The trailer for this movie is too simple. It makes the film look like every other sports movie: a guy can’t make a living at this sport; his family life is troubled; in the end he wins the big match. However, the movie doesn’t succeed on its plot but on its characters. The Fighter is like Rocky meets The Trailer Park Boys; this family is all kinds of messed up.