TIFF 2021: The Devil’s Drivers dir. Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty

Shot over the course of eight years, The Devil’s Drivers is a fascinating documentary that ends up feeling incomplete. Revving and running between the borders of Palestine and Israel, the film feels constrained by its 90 minute time. Brushing gently against the political and religious situations that permeate the area, the narrative elects to follow…

TIFF 2021: Belfast dir. Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh delivers a stand out event at TIFF with his beautifully and lovingly made, Belfast. Featuring a gorgeous score by Van Morrison, this cinematic jewel is something to behold. Equally awash in nostalgia as it is with the realities of the time, Belfast guides us to a little street that is the midst of…

TIFF 2021: Encounter dir. Michael Pearce

From the beginning of the film, thanks to the way the film is told, and the willing suspension of disbelief that is inherent with cinema, we believe Malik (Riz Ahmed) and his conviction that a microscopic parasitic alien organism has come to the planet and is slowly taking over, manipulating people to their own end….

Tell Me My Name (2020) – Erin Ruddy

Dundurn Press keeps my reading pile high, and full of thrills. This week, I dug into Tell Me My Name by Erin Ruddy, a tightly-paced thriller that makes me rethink about wanting to visit cottage country, and re-examining all my past interactions with everyone around me. Ellie and Neil were going to have some time…

Full Metal Jacket (1987) – Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s look at the Vietnam War isn’t only a commentary on the war itself, but the dissolution of the self, and the soul of humanity to be replaced by an animal nature that restrains us a species and diminishes who we are. From the introduction to the Marine Corps on Parris Island, South Carolina,…

Parable of the Sower (1993) – Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction tale, that follows a young woman of colour on her quest to understand herself, the ideas of god, and the destiny of humanity. Within pages of this novel, I was completely swept up in Butler’s storytelling style, her characters, and the world she created. And here’s the thing, the world…

The X-Files (1998) – Chinga, and Kill Switch

This week’s instalment features episodes written by two guest writers. First up is Chinga which was written by Stephen King and given an X-files polish by series creator Chris Carter. The episode first debuted on 8 February, 1998. Predominantly a Scully (Gillian Anderson) story, with a bored Mulder (David Duchovny) popping up every now and…

The Man From Barbarossa (1991) – John Gardner

James Bond is back in John Gardner’s eleventh outing with the secret agent. And it was going to happen sooner or later. I just couldn’t get into this one. While I love the idea of tying Bond in with the real political landscape of the early 90s with events that would lead up to the…

The X-Files (1997) – Leonard Betts, and Never Again

Both episodes this week are important to Dana Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) arc for the season, and the series. First up is Leonard Betts, written by John Shiban, Frant Spotnitz, and Vince Gilligan, which first aired on 26 January, 1997. Leonard Betts (Paul McCrane) is a superior EMT, he has a unique gift of diagnosing patients…

Doomsday (2008) – Neil Marshall

Writer/director Neil Marshall pays homage to Snake Plissken and Mad Max with his actioner, Doomsday, which, as I rewatched it, had an opening that seems incredibly relevant as a pandemic sweeps the UK, and as the virus spreads there are lockdowns, quarantines, and curfews – until the infected are all locked away in Scotland, a…

The X-Files (1996) – Quagmire, and Wetwired

Kim Newton takes on one of my favourite subjects in this week’s X-files, the episode features some additional work by Darin Morgan and brings lake monsters into the realm of our two FBI agents, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson). The episode first debuted on 3 May, 1996, and featured the final appearance of…

Nobody Lives For Ever (1986) – John Gardner

Ian Fleming’s 007 James Bond is back in action in this 1986 thriller penned by John Gardner who carried on the series for the Fleming estate and updated the secret agent by retconning his early adventures into the late 60s and 70s allowing his Bond, slightly older, to prowl and protect the world of the…