Posts by Phil Brown

The Campaign Review

The Campaign tries to strike a balance between R-rated raunch comedy and political satire and it comes surprisingly close to pulling it off. Ultimately, it’s more about the baby punching and wife-banging, but more than enough of those gags land to make it worth your money and laughter.

Searching for Sugar Man Review

A must see even for those who don't adore music documentaries, Searching for Sugar Man is far more than a lovingly fan-crafted piece of hero worship, but also fascinatingly human tale of the inexplicable power of art and unexpected redemption.

Compliance Review

Based on a shockingly true story, the controversial, low key thriller Compliance will leave viewers' stomachs in knots whether they like it or not.

2 Days in New York Review

While not as great as the Paris set original, actress Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York offers some nice late summer fluff and a return to form for co-star Chris Rock.

Interview: Compliance Director Craig Zobel

We talked to Craig Zobel, one of the co-creators of Homestar Runner, about his decidedly different and vastly darker new film Compliance and the film's astonishing and shocking real life basis.

The New Old: Not-So-Teenage Wasteland

This week's archival DVD column takes a look at various people of different backgrounds struggling to find themselves, as we look at Martin Scorsese's debut, Mean Streets, a pair of films from Whit Stillman, the first season of the UK TV show The Inbetweeners, and Jim Jarmusch's Down By Law

Interview: Kirby Dick

We talk to documentarian Kirby Dick about his latest incendiary work, The Invisible War, which looks at the American military's desire to cover up the in service rape of thousands of men and women.

Ruby Sparks Review

Though it might start out as a standard quirky rom-com, Ruby Sparks is actually a charming, nuanced, funny, bittersweet, and wholly satisfying enterprise designed to take the manic pixie dream girl cliche down from the inside.

Celeste and Jesse Forever Review

While it sticks to more rom-com cliches than it would care to admit, the indie comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever succeeds largely thanks to great performances from Andy Samberg and the film's writer, Rashida Jones

The Watch Review

Featuring a lineup of comedic heavyweights in-front of and behind the camera, the very hard R sci-fi buddy comedy The Watch works thanks largely thanks to the individual strengths of the cast and crew.

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance Review

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance is one of those boilerplate hero worship documentaries that lionizes a subject through interviews with adoring friends, fans and colleagues. It does show why Joffrey was important to the craft, and even the fleeting glimpses of archival footage of his company in action are enough to gain an appreciation for the tremendous influence he had on the art form, but it’s a little ironic and very unfortunate that the doc is so pedestrian in terms of filmmaking craft when compared to the style of dance the movie’s subject shunned throughout his career.

Step Up Revolution Review

Somehow the dance franchise Step Up has made it to four movies. Don’t ask how, it’s not worth the inevitable brain strain that would go along with trying to answer such a question. Dance movies have somehow become a viable genre once again and we get a few per year. Step Up Revolution is just as ludicrously plotted and boasts the same brand of ridiculous dialogue that we’ve come to expect from the series, and yet it’s also easily one of the most watchable titles in the whole cycle.

Trishna Review

A loose re-imagining of Thomas Hardy’s Tess Of The D’Urbervilles shoved into modern day India, highly prolific director Michael Winterbottom's Trishna has individual moments and images that showcase the filmmaker at his best, but overall it has the rushed and half baked qualities of his most tossed off efforts.

Moving Day Review

Trailer Park Boys creator Mike Clattenburg returns to the big screen with Moving Day, a slight, but affable working class comedy that showcases the creator's adeptness at comedy and his awkwardness around sentimental material.

Interview: Moving Day Director Mike Clattenburg

With the Canadian comedy Moving Day opening up in Toronto and Halifax this weekend, we got a chance to chat with director Mike Clattenburg about bringing TV stars to Halifax, a possible return of his greatest creation, The Trailer Park Boys, and the challenges of having a character chug 2L Pepsi bottles on the big screen.

Boy Review

Arriving in Toronto a few years after becoming New Zealand’s highest grossing film production of all time, Boy is a pleasant little surprise that finds just the right balance between stylized quirk and heartfelt emotion.

Collaborator Review

Actor Martin Donovan's directorial debut Collaborator is a subtle, desperately dry dark comedy with thriller elements, a surprising amount of insight, and entertainment borne out of trapping two unique characters in a room together and watching them talk.