The Monsters We Defy (2022) – Leslye Penelope

Orbit Books conjures a magical and engaging tale with Leslye Penelope’s The Monsters We Defy. While arguably a supernatural heist story, that descriptor merely scratches the surface of the tale as we are introduced to an array of characters, united by Clara Johnson in the vibrant setting of 1920s Washington, D.C. Clara was born with…

The Mote in God’s Eye (1974) – Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven

I’ve been getting more and more into some classic science fiction books, layering out a lot of the modern science fiction I’ve been finding myself reading, and I recall a friend of mine proclaiming that The Mote in God’s Eye is one of the best first contact books they’d ever read. I trust his opinion…

Ararat (2017) – Christopher Golden

Ararat is a horror novel that moves along at breakneck speed whether you believe in the subject matter or not. And that puts the reader in exactly the same situation that the characters in the book find themselves in. When an avalanche reveals an impossibility on the mountain known as Ararat a pair of adventurers…

M*A*S*H (1981) – No Sweat, Depressing News, and No Laughing Matter

The heat is getting to everybody in No Sweat. Written by John Rappaport, we join the 4077th for a sweltering night. First airing on 2 February, 1981, we find various members of the camp unable to sleep because of the heat, and the things they are doing to occupy their time instead. B.J. (Mike Farrell)…

The Vast of Night (2019) – Andrew Patterson

The Vast of Night is very much my kind of film, part Twilight Zone, part early Spielberg, there’s a vibe to this film that I just totally dig. A lot of the film feels like an homage to old dramas, encouraging the theatre of the mind, but there is a nice payoff at the end…

TAD 2021: The Free Fall dir. Adam Stilwell

Toronto After Dark delivers a gaslighting character thriller with The Free Fall, enjoying its Canadian premiere, and comes in as one of my favorite films of the festival. That being said, I saw the truth of what was going on before everything was revealed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable ride. Sara (Andrea…

TAD 2021: Canadian Shorts

Canada delivers its own Shorts programme for Toronto After Dark, with 9 selections, that like the International Shorts features a variety of styles, sensibilities, and genre mashing. There’s some great work in here, and despite the fact that none of the films were as laugh out loud as the highly enjoyable Shiny New World, there…

The X-Files (2000) – Closure, and X-Cops

This episode tells us, in its opening credits to “believe to understand” instead of the usual “the truth is out there” as we dive into the conclusion of a two-parter which finally gives some resolution to Mulder (David Duchovny) in regards to his sister’s abduction. Written by series creator Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, this…

TIFF 2021: Violet dir. Justine Bateman

With her feature debut, writer/director Justine Bateman delivers an oppressive but ultimately rewarding emotional powerhouse that brings the everyday inner monologue and life struggle that each of us experience to the screen. In this case, it’s Olivia Munn’s Violet, a film producer, who has for too long sacrificed her own wellness, and life to the…

Millennium (1998) – TEOTWAWKI, and Closure

Remember when the Y2K bug felt like a semi-legitimate fear? That’s what the first episode of Millennium is about. Written by Frank Spotnitz and series creator, Chris Carter, this story, which also takes on school shootings, first debuted on 16 October, 1998. Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) settling back in a little further back at the…