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,…

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…

The Color Purple (1985) – Steven Spielberg

Was Steven Spielberg the right person to shoot the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s powerful novel? He was an interesting choice for the project, and it definitely wasn’t the dramatic material that he was associated with in the 80s, having delivered a number of blockbusters at that point. And while there were a number of…

Fringe (2010) – The Bishop Revival, and Jacksonville

Glen Whitman and Robert Chiappetta penned The Bishop Revival which first aired on 28 January, 2010. Someone is using a toxin to target specific groups of people and as Olvia (Anna Torv), Peter (Joshua Jackson), and Walter (John Noble) investigate, they realize that it is someone using an old formula. One that was created by…

Insidious (2010) – James Wan

Director James Wan, and writer Leigh Whannell’s Insidious is a fairly solid ghost story, though it took me forever to come around to it. My first experience seeing it was in the theatre, where I couldn’t get over how a couple in front of me was scared by everything that was happening on the screen….

Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) – Brian Gibson

A number of cast and crew (including composer Jerry Goldsmith and visual effects artist Richard Edlund) return for Poltergeist II: The Other Side and while Julian Beck seems truly terrifying as Kane, the film doesn’t have the Spielberg or Hooper magic that made the first film such a hit. The Freeling family, Diane (JoBeth Williams),…

The Incredible Journey (1963) – Fletcher Markle

Based on the novel by Sheila Burnford, Walt Disney brought The Incredible Journey to audiences in 1963, playing like one of their nature films with the occasional foray into the human characters, the tale follows a trio of household pets, Luath, Bodger, and Tao Cat as they head through the wilderness of Ontario, Canada to…

Gwendy’s Magic Feather (2019) – Richard Chizmar

Richard Chizmar takes us back to Castle Rock with Gwendy Peterson in the follow-up to the novella Gwendy’s Button Box. Fellow author Stephen King doesn’t lend a hand this time but gives the story his endorsement and we join Gwendy, now a Congresswoman for Maine as she returns to Castle Rock to see her parents,…

The McPherson Tape (1989) – Dean Alioto

The idea of alien abduction has always gotten under my skin and made me anxious, and occasionally freaked out. Other corners of the horror genre can freak me, but I can usually deal with it easily, processing it and enjoying it for what it is. But there’s something about the concept of an intelligence so…