September Opening Movies, Part One – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

rory kennedy vietnam1Rory Kennedy’s Last Days in Vietnam tops movie openers in early September, along with Rocks in My Pockets, a soul-searching animation by feminist filmmaker Signe Baumane, and two deeply affecting dramas — My Old Lady and Sharon Greytak’s Archaeology of a Woman — about women coping with age and aging. There are also some very scary femme-centric horror flicks. All in all, a good September start for women in film. Read more>>

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HONEYMOON – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Very effective in creating an unsettling mood, but its horrific, fantastic speculation ends, frustratingly, just when it could have gotten really intriguing. Read more>>

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THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM –Review by Kristy Puchko

disappearanceWriter-director Ned Benson makes his feature film debut in a dizzying manner, spinning one story into three films: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: HimThe Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them. The first two screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 as works in progress. The third premiered at Cannes earlier this year. But watching The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, it’s confounding to imagine that two more films could be cobbled out of such a paper-thin plot.  Read more.>>

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THE SKELETON TWINS –Review by Kristy Puchko

skeletontwinsComing off Saturday Night Live, a string of actors have strived to follow in the footsteps of Bill Murray, who can effortlessly leap from quirky comedies like Groundhog Day to tender dramas like Lost In Translationor Broken Flowers. But not all SNL alums are lucky enough to land projects with helmers like Sofia Coppola or Jim Jarmusch. With The Skeleton Twins, comedic performers Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader rein in their manic antics to tap into the maudlin tale of estranged siblings in desperate need of each other. Under the hand of helmer Craig Johnson, the results are uneven, but not uninteresting. Read more.>>

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DOLPHIN TALE 2 –Review by Kristy Puchko

dolphintale2You’d be hard pressed to find a movie more wholesome and well intentioned than Dolphin Tale 2. The story of Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail, is given a new chapter wherein kids are offered some life lessons about change and determination. Peppered with plucky animals, sweet-faced heroes, and earnest but by no means devastating drama, Dolphin Tale 2 is sure to please the 10 and under set, though it’s hard to imagine it impressing beyond that.

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DOLPHIN TALE 2 – Review by Susan Granger

Returning to Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium, this inspired-by-actual-events sequel reunites the original cast, headed by Nathan Gamble and Winter, the severely injured bottleneck dolphin who lost her tail after being entangled in a crab trap and now -with the help of resourceful Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman) – swims with a flexible prosthetic tail. Read on…

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DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD –Review by Kristy Puchko

DeadSnow2Nazi Zombies. Those were the two words that sold me on watching Tommy Wirkola’s 2009 breakthrough bit of carnage Dead Snow. In 2013, he unleashed his dream project, an R-rated and gore-dripping fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. (An undervalued gem in my opinion.) Between these two, you might have gathered that the Norwegian writer-director doesn’t concern himself with making good movies. His mission is to make movies that are unrepentantly mad and wildly entertaining. On these counts, Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead is his best yet. Read more.>>

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PRIDE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

Pride, Affiche

One of the rare movies that gets absolutely everything right, bursting with happy-tears emotion about solidarity, friendship, and smashing bigotry. Read more>>

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Jennifer Baichwal On Working With Edward Byrtynsky – Jennifer Merin interviews

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Before she was approached to make a documentary about the work of Edward Burtynsky, filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal had known of and followed the landscape photographer’s work for years. The collaboration between the two visual artists resulted in the widely acclaimed Manufactured Landscapes, distributed by Zeitgeist Films, and lead to a second collaboration, Watermark. This interview focuses primarily on the making of Manufactured Landscapes, one of my favorite documentaries. Read more…

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@ TIFF 2014: Tribute to Ten Canadian Women in Film

Ten Canadian women directors and actors who have had an outstanding year are being honored at TIFF 2014 on September 18 with the Birks Diamond Tribute, presented by Telefilm Canada and Birks (a Canadian jeweler). The honorees have been selected by a pan-Canadian jury of journalists specializing in the arts, culture and entertainment. Who are they and what have they accomplished? Read on…

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