Milk [Blu-ray]

Gus Van Sant's Milk is a story that needed to be told, and it's filled with so much effort, love and care that to praise just one aspect of it would be naïve because it certainly is the sum of its parts. Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black – both winners of Oscar gold – deserve all the accolades they're now receiving.

Frozen River

In Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, two struggling mothers are put to the ultimate test when forced to answer the question, “How far will you go for your children?”

Vicky Cristina Barcelona [Blu-ray]

There’s no denying that Annie Hall and Manhattan are masterpieces, but his worthwhile efforts are getting fewer and further between as he ages. Luckily for 2008, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is his best work in a decade, only rivaled by 2005’s Match Point.

Appaloosa [Blu-ray]

While Appaloosa may not be a film for everyone, it will certainly appeal to fans of the western genre and even those who simply enjoy a well told story – one that takes its time, savoring its characters, setting, and overall implications. In the end, it’s a very satisfying story about a friendship that, despite heavy tribulations, not only refuses to break down...

Max Payne [Unrated Blu-ray]

Turning video games into movies just doesn’t work, but don’t try and tell that to anyone in Hollywood. Hitman, In the Name of the King, Doom, Silent Hill and the whole Resident Evil series are failures that only hardcore gamers defend. Yet the attempts keep coming, and you have to think that eventually, somebody will get it right.

Iron Man [Blu-ray]

Iron Man is a film that comic book junkies will no doubt love, but it also appeals to those who generally shy away from the superhero genre because it retains a relevance to the world we live in today. War, weapons and terrorism are all hot-button issues surging through the daily news, and Iron Man definitely has a contribution to make to that discussion.

CJ7 [Blu-ray]

Before I begin my review, I have a confession to make – I hadn’t seen a Stephen Chow film prior to viewing CJ7, and actually, I’d never even been mildly interested in seeing the likes of Shaolin Soccer or Kung Fu Hustle. With that in mind, I must say that I found CJ7 cute, refreshing, a little bit strange, surprisingly emotional and if nothing else, proof that it was a mistake to ignore Stephen Chow.

There Will Be Blood [Blu-ray]

There Will Be Blood is certainly not an easy film to watch, nor is it a particularly enjoyable experience. But it’s an immensely powerful movie that’s also darkly humorous, poignant, emotional, violent and ultimately, quite tragic. It’s a perversely compelling story about a man who’s torn to shreds by a world not fit enough for his madness, hatred, and stark self loathing.

The Golden Compass [Blu-ray]

The Golden Compass is an entertaining film, but mainly because it looks good, boasts great acting, and is so ridiculously short that nobody can ever legitimately call it boring. In the end, it’s a film that can only be described as disappointing. It’s one of those movies you walk out of saying, “Wow, wasn’t the girl who played Lyra great!” or, “Those visuals were awesome!” – but then the next day, you’ve already forgotten what it was actually about.

Into the Wild (2-Disc Special Edition)

Touching, gripping, emotional, meaningful, beautiful, poetic and ultimately heart-breaking, Into the Wild is all that and endlessly more. Christopher McCandless had a little bit of everyone in him, which made connecting with him that much easier and the eventual result that much harder to watch. But the film lost nothing because of its supposed anticlimactic conclusion, and it had me along for the adventure every step of the way.

I Am Legend [Blu-ray]

At the very least, I Am Legend offers a great deal more than your average blockbuster, and it’s this deviation from the normal Hollywood schlock that elevates it into a successful mish-mash of the isolation of Cast Away and the post-apocalypticism of 28 Days Later. So if you’re a fan of either one of these films, the genres they put forth, the themes they evince, or even just of Will Smith, then I Am Legend is a film you’ll surely enjoy.

The Brave One [Blu-ray]

What is fear? Is it a reactionary emotion that cultivates and develops in response to extenuating circumstances, or is it a latent monster simply waiting to rear its ugly head? Neil Jordan's The Brave One is a film that touches upon these issues while staring you in the face and boldly asking: "What would you do if somebody killed your loved one(s)?"

Sunshine [Blu-ray]

In his latest film, Sunshine, Boyle channels the energy and wonder of classics like Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey -- all the while keeping his feet firmly planted in his own highly original science fiction creation. It’s a true testament to Boyle as a filmmaker that he’s able to capture the same sheer vastness of space and time as Kubrick and Scott without ripping them off, but he accomplishes it flawlessly

The Invisible

The Invisible is a film that tries to be slick and stylish, using loud atmospheric music and gimmicky direction to convey emotion instead of allowing the characters to present their story. This choice comes off as intrusive and overly stylistic, to the point where we’re acutely aware of the film trying to woo us with style in an attempt hide its faults. Unfortunately for Goyer, his film has far too many weaknesses and he merely compounds his mistakes by becoming so active behind the camera.

28 Weeks Later

As the plot starts to unfold, it quickly becomes evident that rather than the character development, thematic analysis and carefully selected thrills that propel the original, 28 Weeks Later is largely dependant on bold scares and in your face action. There’s very little substance to Fresnadillo’s film, which further underscores its disconnection from Boyle’s commentary on societal decay and human nature.

We Are Marshall

With its footballs slicing through the night air while players with outstretched arms leap in slo-mo anticipation, We Are Marshall’s biggest fault is that it brings nothing new to the sports genre. Instead it has the speeches, the team infighting and subsequent re-bonding, the proverbial familial support for the bewildered coaches and of course, the inevitable dependence on the final lob to the end zone for its climactic finale. How many times do we need to see it before it becomes annoying?

Perfect Stranger

Laughter is defined as an expression of merriment and amusement, and as such is usually a telltale sign of entertainment. If Perfect Stranger is anything (it certainly is NOT a stylish psychological thriller) it is proof that within the realm of film, laughter does not always indicate entertainment. Looking back on this horrible mess of a movie a day after watching it, I can only seem to recall how unintentionally funny it was.

TIFF Review: Afterwards

The best thing about Afterwards was, well, afterwards, when I didn?t have to watch it anymore. At nearly two hours, Gilles Bourdos film is too long and far too heavy handed. Afterwards’ one dimensional message of impending doom is made quite apparent in the first third of the film, thus the rest of it has only one purpose

TIFF Review: Pride And Glory

On the surface, Pride and Glory has all the markings of a run-of-the-mill corrupt cop/thriller that has nothing new or interesting to say, with an inevitably illogical twist at the end.
Perhaps the only real draw for the film is its two leads

TIFF Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Just like an actor taking different roles to avoid being typecast, Danny Boyle continually reinvents himself as a filmmaker. That is of course, precisely why he is such an exciting filmmaker. Each of his films is a total original in its own way, yet they all have that same edgy flare which has come to define his work. The drug laced drama Trainspotting put him on the map

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