Author: Nicole Frangos

Review: Standing Tall

Catherine Deneuve plays Florence Blaque, a juvenile judge who is overseeing the case of a young delinquent, Malony (Rod Paradot), in Standing Tall. Malony was briefly abandoned by his mother as a toddler, and is stuck in a self-destructive life of thievery and violence. At only 15-years-old, and with a growing list of offences, he is provided a counsellor (Benoît Magimel) who, along with Blaque, wants to help save the delinquent from himself before its too late. Deneuve is the powerhouse star in this film, a legend of French cinema for over 50 years. She is wonderful in the...

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Harsh beauty: interview with Edge of Winter director Rob Connolly

Rob Connolly is no stranger to film. He has a long history of work behind the camera – he’s worked as a grip, gaffer, camera operator and cinematographer. In Edge of Winter, his first full-length film in the director’s chair, he has created a slightly sinister thriller set in a stark, wintry landscape. Speaking over the phone, Connolly revealed that he immediately gravitated to the film, which was pitched to him by writer Kyle Mann. Connolly was intrigued by Mann’s first draft of the film, and he knew immediately what he wanted to do with it. The final piece,...

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Review: Ben-Hur

Hollywood has a remake problem. Whether it’s a lack of imagination, laziness, or the desire to milk the cash cow (the latter being the most likely reason), studios are pumping out remakes, reboots, sequels and re-imaginings at an alarming rate. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a disaster. Especially tricky territory is remaking a beloved classic, since it is exactly that. In the case of Ben-Hur, filmmakers had an even harder task at hand. The 1959 version of the film – which is in fact a remake of the 1925 film – still holds the most Oscar wins for...

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Review: Edge of Winter

What begins as a tentative reunion trip between a father (Joel Kinnaman) and his two sons quickly turns into something sinister in Edge of Winter. Brad (Tom Holland) and Caleb (Percy Hynes White) are dropped off at their father’s house, after not seeing him for quite some time, by their mother who is going on a trip with her new husband. The father takes the boys on a hunting trip up north. After a few moments of uneasy bonding, the trio’s car gets stuck in the snow and they become stranded at a remote cabin. As their father slowly...

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Late great movies: Citytv and the Baby Blue Movies

If you were in Toronto during the ‘70s or ‘90s, you may have graciously encountered that Holy Grail of the broadcasting industry: free softcore porn. That softcore porn came courtesy of Citytv’s Baby Blue Movies, a late-night weekend program brought to Toronto thanks to producer Robert Lantos and Citytv’s former owner/co-founder Moses Znaimer. The Baby Blue Movies were a series of occasionally ridiculous, always titillating, softcore pornos that started around 12 am on Friday night – and were the delight of pubescent boys who were used to making do with the fuzzy pornos that were typically available on pay-per-view...

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Review: Bad Moms

Amy (Mila Kunis) is a young mother. She’s pretty stressed out: she has a lazy husband, two pre-adolescent kids of varying underachieving and overachieving tendencies (but who are both equally annoying), a demanding boss who stresses her out, and a PTA president who’s out to get her. In trying to do it all, she inevitably drops all the balls she’s juggling and experiences a mini breakdown. Overworked and exhausted, she bonds with two other young mothers who can relate (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn). The three mothers make a pact to embrace their titles as “bad moms” and embark on an occasionally...

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Media Impact: Death Becomes Her and the currency of youth

It’s easy to dismiss Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her (1992) as an example of the absurdity of ‘90s movies. After all, the premise is sufficiently whack: Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn play frenemies who, in their war over a sniveling mortician – Ernest, played by Bruce Willis – drink a magic potion that provides eternal youth. At first glance, the movie is a slapstick vehicle that allows Streep and Hawn to highlight their dark comedy skills (Streep spends a chunk of the movie with her head twisted backward and Hawn walks around with a giant hole in her stomach)....

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