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Jay Stone and Katherine Monk movie reviews and profiles. Movies new to streaming / DVD.
Reviews of Canadian movies and filmmaker profiles by Katherine Monk and Jay Stone.

TIFF Opens with an Overhead Smash

Movies: #TIFF17 Festival's opening movie, Borg/McEnroe captures, an epic battle at Wimbledon and the two contrasting personalities — the emotional American and the cool Swede — who fought it out By Jay Stone TORONTO — A magazine called Screen has a special edition at the Toronto film festival, and it runs capsule reviews of some of the movies showing that day. Wednesday’s edition included a review of Miracle, a Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production, in which “the owner of a struggling post-Soviet pig farm finds a surprising benefactor in a visiting American investor, whose ‘good’ intentions upend the gentle rhythms of small-town life.”And that’s the film festival for you: it might be a warm and wonderful comedy, or it could be what you might later describe as the best Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production of the month. You can’t tell without actually going to watch it, and who has time for that?As it happens, I was reading this while seated next to ...

Jay Stone’s Top TIFF Picks for 2017

Movies: #TIFF17 The Toronto International Film Festival hits middle-age with an entourage of famous faces and a long history of cinematic conquests that seems destined to continue with a slate of intriguing titles from the world's best filmmakers By Jay Stone TORONTO — The Toronto film festival turns 42 this year, which is a dangerous age: if it was a man, it would probably buy a fancy red sports car that was entirely unsuitable to Canada’s roads or its climate and leave its perfectly serviceable wife for a doctoral student — studying something impractical, one imagines, having to do with postmodern cultural analysis — young enough to be its daughter.The festival hasn’t exactly done that, although one notes that it has lost some of its older friends — 81-year-old auteur Woody Allen, for instance, is taking his new film Wonder Wheel to the New York festival, bypassing Toronto — in favour of younger, more with-it voices. And while festival director Piers Handling ...

There Is Power in a Union Movie

Movies: Top Ten Movies About Labour Issues In a world where the salaried worker is becoming an endangered species and the income gap is now the Grand Canyon, the only place to find solace may be on the silver screen -- where workers of the world can still win By Rod Mickleburgh (September 4, 2017) I had fun doing this a few years ago, compiling a list of my top ten films for Labour Day viewing. This was in 2014, when BC teachers, instead of heading back to school, were still on strike from the previous June. They would have several more weeks to go, before the longest province-wide teachers strike in BC history was over. And, just like in some of these movies, there was a happy ending. Last November, the teachers won a resounding victory in the Supreme Court of Canada, restoring classroom limits and other staffing measures the BC Liberals (remember them?) had illegally stripped from their contracts way back in 2002 (Jean Chretien was still Prime Minister!) The result has been the ...
3.5Score

Patti Cake$ Bakes Familiar But Tasty Formula

Movie Review: Patti Cake$ Geremy Jasper cooks up Hollywood's sweetest formula in his debut feature about a young woman from New Jersey who craves to make it big in the rap game
2.5Score

Only Living Boy in New York Feels Like Woody Allen Lite

Movie Review: The Only Living Boy in New York Marc Webb returns to the world of oddball romance in an underwhelming Woody Allen wannabe that features a dependable A-list cast including Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon and Kate Beckinsale
3.5Score

Good Time Bares Pattinson’s Thespian Teeth

Movie Review: Good Time Robert Pattinson doesn't need fangs to sink his teeth into the role of a perpetual loser trying to be his brother's keeper in Josh and Benny Safdie's gritty indie that keeps you guessing

Menashe: Ultra-Orthodox Ubermensch

Movies: Interview with Joshua Z. Weinstein A documentary filmmaker explores the closed world of New York's Hasidic community in his first narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with amateur actors and a leading man who'd never set foot in a cinema By Katherine Monk There are approximately 330,000 Hasidic and Ultra-Orthodox Jews living in New York City, yet, the community remains largely closed and somewhat mysterious to outsiders. Filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein wanted to know more, so he focused his documentary skills on the world at his doorstep in the boroughs and neighbourhoods of his native New York City.The result is Menashe, a narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with an amateur cast of community members — some of whom had never set foot in a theatre until the film’s debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.Weinstein says the experience was rich and memorable, but it’s not something he’ll do again — if only because as a director, he’d like ...

Birks Diamond Tribute: Women in Film’s Best Friend

News: Birks Diamond Tribute to Women in Film It's not about square cut or pear-shaped, the Birks Diamond Tribute honours the unsung contributions of women in Canadian film, where the female sex is still grossly under-represented By Katherine Monk It started with a tribute to two actors in 2012: Emily Hampshire and Sarah Gadon. This year, the Birks Diamond Tribute will honour a full dozen women in Canadian film, including actors, directors and screenwriters.Slated for celebration at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival are directors Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ashley McKenzie, Catherine Bainbridge, Chloé Leriche, and Mina Shum; actors Amanda Brugel, Ellen Wong, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Mylène Mackay, and Shailyn Pierre-Dixon; and screenwriters Joanne Arseneau and Sherry White.With a few exceptions, such as Vancouver’s Mina Shum (Double Happiness) and newcomer Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf), they are not household names — yet. The whole point of the Birks  ...
3.5Score

Ingrid Goes West — and South — in Search for Self

Movie Review: Ingrid Goes West Aubrey Plaza brings pathos, humour and cringe-worthy authenticity to Matt Spicer's movie about a young woman seeking personal validation from social media
2Score

Hitman’s Bodyguard More Meh than Mayhem

Movie Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson exchange character clichés in a lazy thriller that misses the mark, aiming for moral high ground under a stack of corpses