Author: Trista DeVries

Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

Over the past 10 years, Laika has created some of the most stunning animation ever committed to screen. Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. For their 10 year anniversary, they have released Kubo and the Two Strings, the story of a young man who lives a quiet life with this mother on a hillside. His mother spends her days in a catatonic state, and her nights telling stories she can’t quite remember. When Kubo (Art Parkinson) is out after dark one night, he is attacked, setting in motion a journey. Aided by Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), Kubo...

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Hot Docs 2016 Review: The Slippers

If you’re alive and over the age of 25, you have probably seen — and fallen in love with — The Wizard of Oz. And if you’ve seen it, you have also fallen in love with Dorothy’s ruby slippers. In fact, it seems everyone is in love with the ruby slippers. The Slippers, a documentary by local director Morgan White, looks at the creation of the ruby slippers, how they were saved from obscurity by an intrepid costumer named Kent Warner, and how they have become some of the most coveted objects in movie memorabilia. The Slippers is part...

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Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The Huntsman: Winter’s War expands on the story of Eric the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) in two parts. The story begins as Ravena, the evil Queen from Snow White and the Huntsman (Charlize Theron), warns her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) that she is pregnant by a man who is promised to another woman. When Freya’s baby is born, the father plays a trick that ends in the death of her child, turning her heart cold and unleashing the power to control ice and snow. Freya departs to take over much of the kingdom, capturing her subject’s children to raise as...

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Review: Victor Frankenstein

When a young man (Daniel Radcliffe) is rescued from the circus (and subsequently healed of his “humpback” and hunch) by a rich, eccentric benefactor called Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy), he becomes embroiled in Frankenstein’s unholy project of reanimating corpses. It’s Frankenstein. You know the story. The problem with Paul McGuigan films is that while they are meticulously crafted, and often star incredibly talented people, the resulting films are always somehow hollow and half-baked. Victor Frankenstein is no different. It seems as though the film may have been conceived with the sole purpose of giving audiences exactly what they want:...

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How the internet killed film criticism

Film criticism is dead. At least that’s what traditionalists would have you believe. If education and experience in the field of writing no longer carry the same gravitas as previously, what are the criteria? The Internet swept in and levelled the playing field, giving anyone with an opinion a voice, creating a conundrum for those whose job it is to render an informed one. Of all the major advancements brought about by the Internet, blogging is the one that has, arguably, had the largest impact on film criticism. Since everyone has an opinion, and blogs and social media allow...

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Review: The Walk

In the month leading up to the completion of World Trade Centre (WTC) South Tower in 1974, wire-walker Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) snuck a crew into both the North and South Towers and walked between them. The stunt, called “the artistic crime of the century,” was both fascinating and illegal. The Walk tells the story of Petit’s life and his journey to complete this infamous stunt. The Walk is a truly spectacular film. While many will find the first person framing device (Petit stands beside the flame of the Statue of Liberty and tells us his story in flamboyant...

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Review: Fantastic Four

Reed Richards (Miles Teller) is a young science prodigy, but no one thinks so. After inventing a teleporter in his garage with his friend Ben (Jamie Bell), he is recruited to a young adult think tank school called the Baxter Institute to continue his work on the machine, which seems to be transporting items and sand between dimensions. Meeting up with similar child prodigies Sue Storm, her brother Johnny Storm and the ominous Victor von Doom, together they create a machine that can transport people and things across the dimensional barrier. Once successful, the project is being handed over to...

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