Reviews - The Devil Inside to the Italian Music Program

Published 18, Feb, 2012

Do not waste a penny or two hours of your life you can never get back on this film even if you have made a bet to see every horror movie made. Pay up on the bet.

The Devil Inside- Should have stayed Inside

Do not waste a penny or two hours of your life you can never get back on this film, even if you have made a bet to see every horror movie made. Pay up on the bet.

Yours in spending time wisely,

The Grey- Another Wolf Bites Man Story

I guess I have just seen too many plane crash in the wilderness survival stories to get excited about this one. It is realistic enough - meaning cold enough and desperate enough, and the acting is fine,especially Dennis McDermott, well disguised as a geeky guy with bad glasses and a fear of heights. Ultimately it was too predictable and the aha moments didn't resonate for me. Other critics have liked it better. Maybe I just respect wolves too much.

Yours in animal loving,

A Separation - Not for world weary cynics like me

This film is well crafted, credible, well acted and a cautionary tale of substance. For all that, I found it annoying and didn't like any of the characters much except the daughter trying to choose between two equally unpalatable parents. Everyone I have spoken to about this film disagrees with me and accuses me of deep cynicism. This is no doubt correct. I have travelled extensively, including much travel to "resource poor settings", previously called "The Third World." I have seen this kind of situation played out in many cultures, in many religions and in many languages. In the end, the outcome is the same.

The men behave badly, childishly; out of something they call "honour" but smells more like insecurity and the need for power and control. The women and children are the scapegoats and pay the price emotionally, physically, economically and socially. They are often so steeped in the norms that harm them that they are complicit in the damage done.

Maybe there are those who still need to see this portrayed on screen. I don't. It is too close to the bone for me.I find it hard to watch art imitating life when I can read and see the real thing every day in the newspapers, online and on screens. If you don't get enough of the moral of this tale from those sources, see this movie for an extra dose. It was an overdose for me.

Yours in recovery,

Live: Art of Time Ensemble: Italian Music Programme

I have been a fan of the Art of Time Ensemble led by Andrew Baraschko for some years now. They generally put on an interesting and provocative evening of music and song. The Italian music night was no exception. Juxtaposing operatic and salon music with modern Italian folk and rock music was great fun. The musicians did a great job and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves.

The star of the show for me was Dominque Mancuso, a wild looking Sicilian folk/rock singer and musician who has won world music awards in the past, most notably in 2010. I have never heard of him before but thoroughly enjoyed our time together and I'm sure he did too.

If you missed this and want to check out the Art of Time Ensemble they are performing a Brazilian Night in three weeks at Koerner Hall and then back to the Enwave Theatre at Harbourfront in April for  Russia in Exile programme. Check it out.

Yours for cultural diversity,

Oscar Shorts: Live Action

TIFF Bell Lightbox is showing the Oscar Shorts, both Live Action and Animated. I saw the Live Action, 5 short films from Ireland(2), Norway, India/Germany and the U.S.A. These are the film equivalent of short stories, and very juicy. They were all worth seeing. I look for creativity, completeness, good acting and direction. For me, the Norwegian film, Tuba Atlantic, about end of life, was the clear winner in all categories. The Indian/German coproduction was next, about the moral dilemma of a German couple who go to India to adopt a young boy, only to find out he has been kidnapped, his parents still alive in Calcutta. What will they do - return him or take him to Germany where he will get a "better" life? The two Irish films were a pleasure to watch and cleverly constructed but not very deep in theme. The U.S. entry, Time Freak, was also slick and creative, but not about much of significance. Lots of fun to watch. Let's see what the Academy likes in short films.

Yours for Oscar madness,