Posts by Kirk Haviland

Reel Asian 2014: Blue Bustamante Review

Blue Bustamante Set in the early 90′s, Blue Bustamante stars Joem Bascon as the downtrodden George Bustamante, a man desperate enough to provide for his family that he leaves the Philippines for Japan in search of a job that will pay him better money. Leaving behind his wife and son, George quickly discovers that engineering […]

Reel Asian 2014: Awesome Asian Bad Guys Review

Awesome Asian Bad Guys The concept behind Awesome Asian Bad Guys may not be new, especially in this post Expendables world, but it seems full of possibility. Gather together some of the famous Asian movie henchmen from the 80′s and 90′s, like the unmistakable Al Leong, Yuji Okumoto (the bad guy from Karate Kid 2) […]

TAD 2014: Late Phases Review

Late Phases Nick Damici has been on quite the roll as late with his collaborations with Jim Mickle: Stakeland, We are What we Are and Cold in July. All the films he co-wrote as well as acted in, have had long and successful festival runs and fervent admirers. This time just showcasing his acting ability […]

TAD 2014: The Town That Dreaded Sundown Review

The Town that Dreaded Sundown Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s follow up/reimagining to the 1976 film The Town that Dreaded Sundown came into this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival flying under the radar of most. The hyper stylized film stars Addison Timlin as Jami, a survivor of what appears to be first attack of the masked […]

TAD 2014: Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead Review

Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead Dead Snow 2 has director Tommy Wirkola returning to the property that launched him to international recognition, his Nazi Zombie horror comedy Dead Snow, but this time Wirkola and his co-writers Stig Frode Henrikson and Vegar Hoel aim for a different take on the material. Martin (Hoel) is the […]

RIFF 2014: The Possibilities Are Endless Review

The Possibilities Are Endless After suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins ended up slipping into a coma. After waking, it was discovered quite quickly he had suffered acute aphasia, a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems using language.  Other than yes and no, the only other phrases Edwyn could use were […]

TIFF Short Cuts Canada International Program 5 Review

Featuring gorgeous backdrops and exquisitely framed cityscapes, the final program in the Short Cuts International series is filled with cinematic treats of film and animation, and also includes a unique use of 3D. The 3D technique is used by director Matthu Placek in his sprawling crane shot examination of the then abandoned future home of […]

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts International Program 4 Reviews

The fourth program of TIFF’s International Short Cuts programming brings a focus on some individual narratives that use colorful and inventive techniques to examine such age old motivations as vengeance, humor and isolation. (Null) is a hyper stylized look at the day and evening of a female, all taken from the narrow focus of a […]

TIFF 2014: The Vanished Elephant Review

The Vanished Elephant Discovery Dripping with intrigue and style, the classic film noir inspired Vanished Elephant sees first time feature director Javier Fuentes-León deliver the audience a mind bending mystery that will have audiences guessing up to the very end. Crime novelist and former policeman Edo Celeste (Salvador del Solar) has been mourning his beloved […]

TIFF 2014: I am Here Review

I Am Here TIFF Docs Though intended as a dissection of fame and the idol worshiping youth culture of China, I Am Here fails to elevate its subject matter by coming across as dull and lifeless, packing only a handful of real emotion. Millions clamour to their television sets every week for the staggeringly popular […]

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts International Program 3 Review

The third program of TIFF’s Short Cuts International focuses on the everyday decisions and words we use and how the impact of those decisions and dialogue, or lack of them, can be just a world shaking as the ones we agonize over. In The Tricycle Thief director Maxim Bessmertnyi takes us to Macau and into […]

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts International Program 2 Review

The second program in the Short Cuts International program features films that revolve around desire and the lengths some will go to fulfil them, from looks at forbidden love to the quest for an elusive ice cream cone. Kaveh Ebrahimpour’s debut short from Iran, A Ceremony for a Friend drops us in the middle of […]

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts International Program 1 Review

The first program for the brand new Short Cuts International program this year at TIFF looks largely at the perceived rules and attitudes that we as humans aspire/adhere to within social contexts and how easily that bond can be manipulated. The Warren deals with a nighttime Israeli Defense Force raid into the titular refugee camp, […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Possibilities Are Endless Review

The Possibilities are Endless Next After suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins ended up slipping into a coma. After waking, it was discovered quite quickly he had suffered acute aphasia, a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems using language.  Other than yes and no, the only other phrases Edwyn could […]

Hot Docs 2014: Love Me Review

Love Me Love, Factually Love Me examines the Ukrainian mail-order bride business (which has gotten even more lucrative in the past decade) and the single men willing to risk their money to find companionship. The film follows 6 men of varying backgrounds and motivations and examines their relationship to the industry and the women they […]

Hot Docs 2014: Domino Effect Review

Domino Effect Love, Factually Abkhazia is a mainly unrecognized state on the Black Sea that has claimed independence from Georgia. What used to be a frolicking beach getaway for lucky Soviets now sits in post-Communist ruin. But for Abkhazian Sports Minister Rafael everything appears to be turning around. His new young wife, Russian opera singer […]

Hot Docs 2014: The Basement Satellite Review

The Basement Satellite Next South Korean artist Hojun Song is determined to build the first civilian launched satellite. To accomplish this Hojun establishes the his own organization to fund the program. Sadly though, the only fundraising effort he undertakes is an ill-fated attempt to sell 10,000 T-Shirts with minimal advertising. The inexperienced Song then spends […]