Posts by Phil Brown

TIFF 2014: Pasolini Review

Pasolini Special Presentations Pier Paolo Pasolini was one of finest and most outrageous directors during the golden age of Italian cinema. Then his life ended in a sordid murder that wouldn’t have been out of place in one of his own movies. He’s been a figure of fascination amongst film geeks for that very reason […]

TIFF 2014: Top Five Review

Top Five Special Presentations Chris Rock has been appearing in films since the 80s, but they’ve rarely ever managed to capture what it is that makes him special. Much like Richard Pryor before him, Hollywood producers saw a brilliant, honest, and vicious stand-up comic and cast Rock in mugging slapstick roles unsuited to his talents. […]

TIFF 2014: While We’re Young Review

While We’re Young Special Presentations Noah Baumbach’s bitter little filmmaking pill has never been wildly popular, but he’s been surprisingly consistent enough to earn and maintain a healthy cult of support. That small audience of angry people with a sweet tooth for bitter comedy should be quite pleased by the writer/director’s latest effort, particularly after […]

TIFF 2014: Tales of the Grim Sleeper Review

Tales of the Grim Sleeper TIFF Docs By now, the Nick Broomfield documentary formula is set in stone. He picks a subject, heads to where it happened with minimal research, shoots everything, and ends up with a movie that is about his discoveries where even the failures are part of the story. Tales of the […]

TIFF 2014: The Riot Club Review

The Riot Club Gala Hey, you know how there’s some sort of class warfare thing that they do in Britain? Well, so do the people behind The Riot Club and they sure are pissy about it. Perhaps I’m being unkind. It’s not a bad movie by any means. Just one that is very, very on […]

TIFF 2014: The Humbling Review

The Humbling Special Presentations These days, the news that a bunch of grizzled old Hollywood types have gotten together to make a film about aging should be received with a mixture of abject terror and disgust. The world needs another Bucket List or Last Vegas about as much as it needs nuclear warfare. Thankfully, the […]

TIFF 2014: Haemoo Review

Haemoo Gala With Snowpiercer finally out and as beloved as all assumed it would be, the time has come to appreciate Joon-ho Bong’s next movie….kind of. He produced and co-wrote Haemoo, while directing duties fell into the hands of his longtime writing partner Sung-Bo Shim. Bong’s fingerprints remain on the film in its radical tonal […]

TIFF 2014: What We Do in the Shadows Review

What We Do In The Shadows Midnight Madness It’s been a while since Christopher Guest made one of his patented mockumentaries about fringe figures fumbling through fringe culture, so there’s plenty of room for someone to fill the gap. Given that Guest and his gang never would have possibly gotten around to pointing their lens […]

TIFF 2014: The Connection Review

The Connection Gala For those of you who ever saw The French Connection and wondered, “hey whatever happened to the French side of that connection?” then TIFF has a movie for you. The Connection (amusingly, the original title is La French) turns back the clock to a time when the country was one of the […]

TIFF 2014: Maps to the Stars Review

Maps to the Stars Gala From the cold, calculating, and cynical brain of David Cronenberg comes an unexpected Hollywood satire. At first, it’s jarring to see Cronenberg staging a gleefully foul mouthed and filthy comedy amidst a group of drugged up, self-obsessed, La-La-land phonies. The script from Bruce Wagner is not particularly funny, but an […]

TIFF 2014: Over Your Dead Body Review

Over Your Dead Body Vanguard It’s been a while since we’ve seen the side of Takashi Miike that’s on display in Over Your Dead Body. Miike continues to live up to his legend by making multiple films every year and including and least one sequence of toe-curlingly visceral violence. But he hasn’t trotted into the […]

TIFF 2014: Alleluia Review

Alleluia Vanguard Writer/director Fabrice Du Welz established himself a purveyor of deeply disturbing relationship studies that mutate into horror films in the 2000s with Calvaire and Vinyan. After a painfully long seven-year gap, he’s finally returned with a project that very much delivers a new twist on his old themes. Alleluia is based on the […]

Life of Crime Review

The lightweight, but fun Elmore Leonard adaptation Life of Crime should leave fans of the late author happy.

Home Entertainment Review: The Sacrament

Ti West is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the horror genre today, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that his latest feature abandons his greatest gifts as a director for found footage schtick.