TIFF ’22: The Fabelmans

I have been a Spielberg fan for as long as I can remember. The first film he saw was The Greatest Show On Earth, which affected him. Mine was Jaws, and I can say the same thing. Over the decades I have followed him on his storytelling journey, embracing each new film that came along,…

TIFF ’22: On the Come Up

Sanaa Lathan delivers a powerful and emotional directorial debut with On the Come Up. Based on the novel by Angie Thomas, who also penned the powerful The Hate U Give, On the Come Up is a powerhouse coming of age featuring a strong leading performance by Jamila C. Gray who shines as Bri. Growing up…

Empire of the Sun (1987) – Steven Spielberg

Spielberg’s next project was an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s memoir of his time as a boy growing up in Japanese occupied China during World War II. Christian Bale, in one of his earliest roles, plays young Jamie Graham, an arrogant young English boy who is fascinated by planes, and whose life is upended in the…

1883 (2021) – Blu-Ray Review

It has been a while since I was utterly gobsmacked and left wordless following a television show, but 1883, an origin story for the hugely popular Yellowstone series (which I’ve yet to start) did that. It is available today on Blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Pictures. Written and created by Taylor Sheridan, who also created…

Purple Rain (1984) – Albert Magnoli

Prince was an icon on the verge and his film Purple Rain catapulted him to legend. Using his own life as the basis for the film, the story features electrical musical performances, sometimes subpar to adequate acting, and an engaging tale that highlights everything that he was capable of. Prince plays the Kid who tries…

Battle Royale (2000) – Kinji Fukasaku

It’s been over a decade since I last watched this iconic action film. And while I didn’t remember all of the characters and details of the film I knew it was a kick-ass film and was eager to take a look at it. Wrapped in blood and violence the film is a harsh coming of…

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) – Stephen Hopkins

Stephen Hopkins slips into the director’s chair for the fifth installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Despite having vanquished him in the previous film, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) is back and Alice (Lisa Wilcox) doesn’t know how to stop because she doesn’t understand how he can be back. The viewer puts it together…

Gwendy’s Button Box (2017) – Richard Chizmar, and Stephen King

I’m always delighted to dig into a Stephen King story. Equally so when it takes me back to Castle Rock (not sure I’d want to visit Derry anytime soon). He pairs up with author Richard Chizmarto to deliver a unique coming-of-age tale. Gwendy Peterson is a young girl who encounters the enigmatic and vaguely unnerving…

Hanna (2011) – Joe Wright

Saorise Ronan headlines this coming of age action film from director Joe Wright. Not your typical action film, the story may feel familiar, but with Ronan and Wright, the film becomes something more. Joining Ronan are Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, and with a strong cast like that, you know this is going to be…