Smile (2022) – Parker Finn

Paramount Pictures’ latest theatrical release is an unnerving look parable for what happens with trauma when we just simply grin and bear it, instead of speaking of it openly, freely and dealing with it when it happens. Doctor Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) works as a psychologist in the emergency department of a major hospital. She’s…

Quantum Leap: The Wall (1994) – Ashley McConnell

Ashley McConnell turns in another Quantum Leap novel, and except for a quick moment when we are given another limbo moment for Sam between leaps it is a really powerful tale about domestic abuse, alcoholism and breaking the cycle. Sam leaps into Missy, a six-year-old girl (something that couldn’t have been pulled off believably in…

House (1985) – Steven Miner

Directed by Steve Miner, who gave us Friday the 13th Parts 2 and 3, and Sean S. Cunningham who gave us the first film, and was the producer for its sequels, gives us a different kind of horror (tinged with comedy) starring William Katt and George Wendt, and while there’s an interesting concept here, a…

The Prisoner (1967) – Checkmate, and Hammer Into Anvil

Number Six (Patrick McGoohan) squares off against Number Two (this time played by Peter Wyngarde) in a layered scheme in Checkmate. Written by Gerald Kelsey, this episode first debuted on 24 November, 1967. Inspired by a life-sized chess game, Six begins canvassing his own pieces, fellow prisoners, as he’s reasoned out how to tell the…

M*A*S*H (1980) – Goodbye, Cruel World, Dreams, and War Co-Respondent

Klinger (Jamie Farr) has enough, and almost makes a disastrous mistake while one of Hawkeye’s (Alan Alda) patients, Michael Yee (Clyde Kusatsu) is having some serious issues, and attempts to take his own life, necessitating a visit from Sidney (Allan Arbus) in Goodbye, Cruel World. Written by Thad Mumford and Dan Wilcox, this episode first…

The Three Body Problem (2008) – Liu Cixin

Wang Miao and Ye Wenjie are the central characters in a vast cast in this epic Chinese novel that is the first in a trilogy, also known as The Three Body Problem. Treating its subject matter with intelligence, and pouring on the science, the story takes us through the first steps of contact with an…

TIFF 2021: Dear Evan Hansen dir. Stephen Chbosky

Mental health. Suicide. Depression. Loss. Grief. Loneliness. These issues are usually trapped in the individual, and though a number of us share in these things, it’s never a shared experience. We are held in the prison of our issues, in a society where social media presentation, the illusion of life being better than it is…

The Midnight Library (2020) – Matt Haig

Matt Haig has been very outspoken about mental health and depression throughout his career in both his fiction and non-fiction writing. Suffering from these issues myself, I really didn’t want to read any of his works, because I just didn’t need the reminders, and yay for him for finding something that works for him, but…

The Diamond Queen of Singapore (2020) – Ian Hamilton

Somehow, with all the wackiness that was happening last year, I missed the House of Anansi Press’ release of the next Ava Lee novel by Ian Hamilton. Of course, that just meant I could catch up on it now, and I won’t have quite as long a wait (theoretically) for the next one. This time…

The Sniper (2021) – Chang Kuo-Li

Taiwanese author Chang Kou-Li delivers an action thriller this week. With its North American debut, The Sniper, is available now from House of Anansi Press, features a translation by Roddy Flagg and reads like the best of Hong Kong cinema. There are action beats, police investigations, involving characters and a weaving story that takes you…