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The book contains the history of Magizoology and describes 85 magical species found around the world. To get into the spirit of Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts (not shown in the film), provides the Foreword and explains the purpose of the special edition of this book (the Comic Relief charity). At the end, he tells the reader, “…The amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you.” He repeats the Hogwarts motto: “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus”, Latin for “Never tickle a sleeping dragon”.
Directed by Téchiné with a script he wrote in collaboration with Céline Sciamma, the film follows the romantic and sexual awakening of two seventeen year old boys as their initial animosity, expressed in violence, morphs into love. For the not-so French literate, Being 17 borrows its title from the second half-line of the first verse of Roman, (1870) by Arthur Rimbaud: On n’est pas sérieux quand on a dix-sept ans.
Israeli filmmaker Ilan Ziv’s (SIX DAYS IN JUNE) documentary tells the story of death row inmate Mark Stroman and the friendship he forges with one of his surviving victims Rais Bhuiyan, who set about to save Stroman from death row as part of his Muslim faith beliefs.
The protagonist of the piece is a successful Los Angeles arts gallery owner and designer by the name of Susan (Amy Adams). Susan often has sleepless nights and could thus be classified as a nocturnal animal. Her ex-husband Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal) has recently completed a book titled NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, about three redneck thugs who prey on a family after carjacking them. Tony sends Susan a copy of his manuscript to read as a privileged reader.
Tengu: Birdman of the Mountains, is a film that will delight you with its symbology, its imagery and it’s excellent fight sequences, but it goes far beyond that. This film represents of genre-hybrid that should be welcomed into cinema with open arms. It is highly commendable thing to be able to successfully blend genres together, and this film is able to do that. With effortless ease a viewer can watch this film and find something in it to enjoy even if they are not conventionally a viewer of action.
Subtle and steamy, with mounting tension in every scene, The Trap is a suspense film, turned mystery film, turned action film. Cleverly designed with red-herrings and hidden details, there must be a special nod of appreciation to the film’s editor.
This film makes nods to several well established cult classics, such as Pulp Fiction to name one of many. The unreliable narrator, the highly subjective non-lateral plot and the avant-garde supernatural air, make the film a cultural cinematic work of art. Think Wes Anderson, if Wes Anderson was dark and perturbed and less whimsical.
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The new Dreamworks animation released by 20th Century Fox, TROLLS is a happy enough 3D computer-animated musical buddy comedy film based on the dolls of the same name created by Dane Thomas Dam way back in 1959.
The Marvel superhero DOCTOR STRANGE gets his first debut on the big screen complete with 3D. Though the character has appeared in a TV movie and animated film before, he is given a fresh treatment which is a good thing considering that there are already too many super hero action movies each year.
After about a decade absence from the director’s chair (his last film was the misunderstood APOCALYPTO in 2006), the director of BRAVEHEART and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST returns in top form as if redeem in himself of all the bad press he had garnered since he said and did some foolish things. It’s another situation in this 21st century social media era where the outside events of the director “tarnish” the actual film itself. Think “Birth of the Nation”. Two films that should potentially receive multiple Oscar nominations. But will they? And should they?
The film tackles quite a few issues. At the film start, David listens and calls a rival radio show in which an Anita Byrant type woman, June Hendley (Jordan Baker) makes her stance against homosexuals. She is against gay marriage, gay sex and almost everything gay just like the original Byrant. An easy target no doubt, David through his show gets the better of her. David then meets his new technician Chris (Guy Adkins) who pines for him.
THE VIOLIN TEACHER, which opens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, serves both as an art house film and a crowd pleaser. From the film’s very first frame, the audience sees the protagonist, a talented but tortured soul named Laerte (Lazaro Ramos) unable to fulfil his promise during an important violin audition for the famous São Paulo Symphonic Orchestra.
This poetic fantasy action film, hailing from the United Kingdom and coming to us from director Samuel Smith, is a study in genre splicing. Tengu: Birdman of the Mountains has the poetic elements of a romance, the luxurious visuals of a fantasy, the tension and suspense of a thriller, and the fight scenes of a high-concept action film. Told through the eyes of a child, our hero watches as his highly skilled father, endowed with supernatural natural strength from his Chi, fights off terrifying bird-like villains from this family’s mountain home. Packed with stunning fight sequences that highlight the filmmakers’ excellent technical skills, this piece is a must-see for anyone who enjoys action.
The crime mystery science-fiction short Barrow, coming to us from Australia courtesy director Wade Savage, is a powerful, efficient, masterful piece of cinema. It makes nods to a wide variety of genre motifs including mystery, crime, science fiction and horror, among others, and integrates them seamlessly. The story is rich and engaging, following the story of a young forensic scientist on her quest to understand the mystery forces that saved her life during a brutal and horrifying attack on her family years before.
Blackwell Summers Mystery, a 12 minute American short from director Emily Dell, focuses on Grace Blackwell and Raven Summers, two sexy detectives with their own private investigation company in the heart of the 1970s. Smart, cunning and sexy, both ladies use their strengths and skills to take down the villain while leaving space for the audience to laugh the whole time.
Rich in symbology and complex layering, Motel Motel this crime mystery film by Belgian director Ellen J. Babeliowsky. It follows our hero, Hjalmar, finds himself sharing an old motel room with an unpleasant partner- a severed human ear. This ear disturbs him, erodes him, and ultimately drives him to act by reaching the motel’s owner to change his room. Curiously, no one believes his story- that his room is occupied by a human ear.
In a few years time, you can argue, no one will even remember Ron Howard’s INFERNO, based on Dan Brown’s 2013 novel of the same name. It will open around the world, make a little money for the studios and talent, and then it will just disappear.
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