NEXT GOAL WINS – Review by Nadine Whitney

The best one can say about Next Goal Wins is it’s cute. The worst would require a complete breakdown of where Taika Waititi is stumbling as an artist. Too many jokes far too often that many of them just fail to land. There is some great writing, some wonderful performances, but Next Goal Wins is a cluttered mess which could have benefitted from slowing its madcap pace. It certainly isn’t the worst thing either Waititi or Michael Fassbender have done, but it is also far from the best. Waititi has scored his own goal by being remarkably repetitive. Next Goal Wins is not a winner.

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Cameron Bailey and Anita Lee talk TIFF 2023 – Liz Braun interviews (Exclusive)

Cameron Bailey wants to make this clear: The Toronto International Film Festival is happening this year. The 48th annual TIFF is set to run September 7 – 17, despite the labour action that could potentially affect who shows up and what films are shown. The festival has been in recovery mode after two years of COVID, so it was a bold and welcome statement from CEO Cameron Bailey some weeks ago that TIFF would return to being fully in-person this year for the first time since 2019.

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RESERVATION DOGS – Review by Diane Carson

Teenage driven narratives stretch back to earliest films and television dramas. But, to its immense credit, the two season series Reservation Dogs breaks new, extraordinary ground. Set on an Oklahoma Indian reservation, and there are many in Oklahoma, we’ll learn four young men and women face what they consider bleak futures on the rez and envision better lives elsewhere. Typical, eh? But several unique elements elevate and recommend Reservation Dogs above what certainly could be formulaic struggles.

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THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER – Review by Brandy McDonnell

A lavish space Viking feast of a movie, Thor: Love and Thunder is delightfully laden with Oscar-winning talent, scene-stealing screaming goats, kaleidoscopic color schemes, 1980s iconography, A-list cameos, the Guardians of the Galaxy, thunderous action sequences, witty one-liners, a diverse horde of mythological gods and a bombastic soundtrack featuring Guns N’ Roses, along with Dio, ABBA and Enya. Academy Award-winning writer/director Taika Waititi’s second cinematic serving in the apparently endless banquet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a deliciously over-the-top treat that’s sometimes refreshingly bittersweet.

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THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Thor: Love and Thunder has the verve of a glam-rock musical, full of Guns N’ Roses riffs, bursts of lightning, and technicolor travels along the Rainbow Bridge. But its core is the tender idea that we all crave and need love, even if it hurts to lose it. Taika Waititi, who blasted new energy and humor into the staid superhero with 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, returns at the helm of this often-loopy vessel and still loves absurdity. Yet the humor works better here.

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LIGHTYEAR – Review by Susan Granger

It’s rare that Disney/Pixar movies incite controversy but Lightyear, a Toy Story origin story, certainly has. The great kerfuffle revolves around a brief, same-gender kiss that was removed and then reinstated when Pixar employees said Disney was censoring “overtly gay affection” as Disney CEO Bob Chapek reacted to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.

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LIGHTYEAR – Review by T.J. Callahan

Lightyear: Come with a Buzz and you’ll leave with a smile. Lightyear is a prequel, of sorts, to Toy Story. Think of it as the movie Andy watched that made Buzz Lightyear his hero and inspired hia favorite doll. This is NOT a Toy Story movie. Even though they are animated, the characters in the film aren’t toys, but Space Rangers trying to get back to their planet after a mission mishap that took them to infinity and beyond.

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FREE GUY – Review by Susan Granger

If you missed Ryan Reynolds’ adventure/comedy Free Guy at theaters, it’s streaming on Disney+. Reynolds plays Guy, a mild-mannered bank teller who discovers he’s actually a background player in a popular, mayhem-filled video game called ‘Free City.’ When he falls in love with Molotov Girl, a spunky, sunglass-wearing, leather-clad biker-chick, he faces an existential crisis and decides to reinvent himself as a hero.

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