Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) – Alejandro G. Inarritu

Micheal Keaton shines in Alejandro Innarritu’s Birdman. He brings a level to his performance that you know is based on personal experience, and delivers an Oscar-nominated virtuoso performance as Riggan Thompson, an actor who walked away from a billion dollar superhero franchise and is now worried about his relevance while being haunted by his past….

Battle Los Angeles (2011) – Jonathan Liebesman

Aaron Eckhart leads a squad of marines in this tale of alien invasion, that owes its pedigree to the likes of War of the Worlds and Independence Day. Is it great? No. But it ends up being fairly solid entertainment, and has a pretty solid cast surrounding Nantz (Eckhart) and his marines, including Michelle Rodriguez,…

Rope (1948) – Alfred Hitchcock

I dig into another classic Hitchcock today, and despite the fact that James Stewart gets top billing, he is almost a supporting role, not really taking centre stage until the final act of the film that was adapted from a stage play by Patrick Hamilton, partially adapted by Hume Cronyn. Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip…

Heat (1995) – Micheal Mann

I continue my time with Ten Bad Dates With De Niro, as I explore a list of Ten Scenes Where Shouty Al Shows Up, and yes, Pacino does yell a lot in this movie, but it is also a masterful epic that, for the first time, saw Al Pacino and Robert De Niro sharing scenes…

The Good Liar (2019) – Blu-Ray Review

Watching Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen dance and weave around one another in The Good Liar, was, for me, a cinematic joy. These two actors share the screen together for the first time, and Warner Brothers brings it home on blu-ray for you today. McKellen plays Roy, a conman who seems to have no scruples…

Star Trek: Vulcan’s Glory (1989) – D.C. Fontana

Space, the final frontier… I dove into another Trek novel from Pocket Books this week, and this was one I wouldn’t have read when I was younger despite the fact that it was penned by one of the writers of The Original Series, D.C. Fontana. In fact this was the only Trek novel she wrote…

V – The Miniseries (1983) – Part One

Writer/director Kenneth Johnson gave us a modern retelling of the Nazi Third Reich in the event mini-series that so impacted me, and countless others, when it first debuted on 1 May, 1983. It was all I talked about in school, finishing up the sixth grade. I didn’t get to see it all when it aired,…

TAD 2018: Robbery (2018) – Corey Stanton

Toronto After Dark, my favorite film festival, playing at the Scotibank Theatre, breaks from the norm this eve, which for them the supernatural, aliens, blood and gore, and goes out on a limb with a Canadian crime drama. And full disclosure, I know some of the folk involved in the film, including my friend Samantha…

Space: 1999 (1975/1976) – Matter of Life and Death, and Earthbound

Doctor Helena Russell’s (Barbara Bain) presumed dead husband, Lee Russell (Richard Johnson) mysteriously appears on a planet christened Terra Nova in this episode penned by Art Wallace and Johnny Byrne. This one first debuted on 27 November, 1975, and honestly, is a bit of a low point for the first season. It’s obvious that Lee…

Fame (1980) – Alan Parker

The next recommendation from the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book following my screening of Grease is the iconic 1980 film Fame. The movie proved so popular that it inspired a television series, as well as a remake, but there is nothing like the classic. The film follows a group of students at…

Star Wars: Phasma (2017) – Delilah S. Dawson

It’s been awhile since I dived into a Star Wars novel, but I got my hands on Phasma, a novel about one of the new characters introduced in the new Star Wars Trilogy and found myself swept up in the canon tale of who she is, what drives her, and how far she is willing…