Author: Adam Sidsworth

Review: Rules Don’t Apply

Where has Warren Beatty been? Even for Beatty, who often has long gaps between films, 15 years is a long time since his last on-screen appearance (Town and Country). But with his newest cinematic effort, Rules Don’t Apply, Beatty is back to old form, writing, producing and directing a film in which he again places himself in the central role. Set in 1958, Rules Don’t Apply follows Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), a young aspiring actor placed under contract by eccentric businessman and film producer Howard Hughes (Beatty). When she arrives in Hollywood with her mother (Annette Bening), she is escorted by limo driver...

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EUFF 2016 Review: Home Care

Czech director Slavek Horak makes his feature-length debut with Home Care, a depressing tale about a middle-aged woman in small-town Czech Republic holding it together after a grim medical diagnosis. Home Care follows nurse Vlasta (Alena Mihulova), a home-care nurse who, as we see in the film, visits patients in their homes, doing rather unglamorous work, including bathing elderly and obese patients, taking them to hospital appointments and acting as a friend. She goes out of her way to care for her patients for little pay, much to the dismay of her husband (Bolek Polivka), who miserably points out...

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Reel Asian 2016 Review: The Bacchus Lady

The Bacchus Lady requires a bit of context for a Toronto audience. A bacchus lady, typically an older woman in her 50s and 60s, and even up into her 80s, frequents parks where elderly men gather to socialize and play chess. There, the bacchus ladies sell men bacchus, a Korean energy drink, and typically also offer sexual favours for a price. In traditional Korean society, families readily embraced the responsibility of caring for their elderly parents, but because of the rapid modernization in Korea in recent decades, the Korean welfare system has failed to effectively embrace the care of elderly...

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Review: An Eye for an Eye

It’s been fifteen years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The coordinated actions of 19 men–largely Afghani and Muslim–killed nearly 3,000 people, injured 6,000 others and caused $3 trillion in damages. As a result, the United States simutaneously invaded two countries in a decade-plus fight on terrorism. But time has a funny way to warp and erase memories. Although it’s easy to recall where you were and what you were doing during the attacks, it may be harder to remember the paranoia and black-and-white thinking that happened in the weeks and months following the attacks. Psychologically,...

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Review: Trolls

You may know the Troll dolls, diminutive action figures that resemble elves with a wild bush of hair on their heads. Invented by Danish fisherman Thomas Dam in 1959, they were a fad in the mid-1960s and have had resurgences of popularity since. In 2013 DreamWorks bought the doll brand with the intention of releasing an animated 3D feature film; the resulting film from director Mike Mitchell and co-director Walt Dohrn, appropriately named Trolls, has now arrived. The diminutive Trolls are perpetually happy, singing, dancing and having fun. Unfortunately for the Trolls, the ogre-like Bergens, a much larger people...

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Review: Middle School: The Worst Years of My LIfe

Writing film reviews for Toronto Film Scene, I have watched films I would normally not see. And for the most part it’s been a good experience, allowing me to develop my film palette. But all good experiences come to an end. Enter Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, a comedy aimed at 10- to 12-year-old kids. Based on a James Patterson kids’ book of the same name, the movie focuses on Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck), a creative middle-school student who is never without his sketch book, in which he doodles cartoon characters. He lives with his younger sister,...

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Review: Motley’s Law

Five years after graduating from law school, Kimberly Motley first went to US-occupied Afghanistan as part of the American effort to help the Afghanis set up their own legal system. Challenged by a male-dominated and corrupt legal system, for almost ten years Motley returned for six-month stints, representing the poor, women, children and foreigners caught up in the nightmare of the Afghani war and legal system. And she did it despite having a family of three kids in Wisconsin. It’s clear from the first scenes of Motley’s Law, that Motley is a strong woman who doesn’t mix words. Nor...

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