Megan rates:

The Skin I Live In

Our Idiot Brother

My Man Godfrey

Cowboys & Aliens

The Debt

Blue Valentine

Of Gods and Men

Faces in the Crowd

Crazy Stupid Love

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Life in a Day

Tree of Life

Meek's Cutoff

The Future


Dans la Maison

Star Trek: Into Darkness

The East

Hannibal (series)

Tiny Furniture

Room 237


The Wolf of Wall Street

Under the Skin

45 Years

We Are The Best

Eddie the Eagle

My Name is Doris

The Meddler

A Face in the Crowd

The Accountant


The Little Prince

Review by

Gorgeous animation compliments this favourite French tale. And is it ever French! Beautiful.


The Nice Guys

Review by Megan

The trailer left me cold, but I'm telling you, this is a very funny movie. Starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, this period detective buddy picture, with an ararchist bent, delivers the laughs naturally and steadily. It has an edge-- you have to be able to get a chuckle out of random innocent by-standers getting killed hilariously-- but if you can relax and take it on its own terms, you will have fun.



Review by Megan Haliburton

I watched a new movie the other night, which left me disturbed and discombobulated for days. Far North is based on a short story by Sara Maitland, whose specialty is skewing and updating legends and folk tales, looking at them from different points of view than tradition would have it. The story certainly has an ancient/timeless feel, though it is set in the modern-day wilds of the Scandinavian tundra. It stars Michelle Yeoh as an indigenous hunter who's been avoiding human contact (except for her adopted daughter played by Michelle Krusiec) since she was a child. The reason for this life of isolation? Her tribe's shaman had declared her a curse on anyone who gets close to her. As the narrative unfolds, you find yourself wondering if this early assessment formed her personality or if the shaman could divine something of her true nature with his extra-perceptional skills. One day she finds a dying soldier (Sean Bean) on the ice and brings him back to the yurt, thus throwing the balance of the 2 women's lives into chaos. I don't believe in giving away too much plot, so that's as much of the story as I'm willing to tell. I will say, the cinematography is stunning, the acting is convincing, and the ideas are engaging. And the film is very disturbing, dealing with themes of loss and regret for a life of meaningless toil, and a ravaging jealousy and unimaginable loneliness.

As I was watching Far North I got an inkling of a foreboding familiarity, and as I watched I became convinced that I knew exactly where it was going (I was almost right). Then it occurred to me that the feeling I was getting was an echo of what I'd experienced while watching the 1964 Japanese film Onibaba. Named for a Japanese legend, the tale explores how a human being changes into a demon. Through actions, feelings made deed, we can become perversions of ourselves. Though there is no mention of this legend anywhere in the credits of Far North I believe this to be the inspiration.

People have asked me why would I watch such unpleasant movies. In this case, I would say that the material dealt with here is of that primal stuff from which cautionary fairy tales are derived. It hits a core in our souls, not always the most comfortable place to visit. To say you knew what was going to happen does not detract. You know what's going to happen because it is contained within. I, for one, like to be reminded on occasion.

Don't get me wrong, I do think there's value in movies as pure entertainment, but film is a multifaceted medium, and it will and should go to the darker realms. Sometimes you have to go through some discomfort to release pain, fear anger. (As a yoga instructor once said). So, yes, if you've had a hard day and just want to laugh, don’t feel guilty. Just keep in mind, when you feel strong and open, take a chance.

But brace yourself.



Review by Megan


     One of the better films I've seen recently is the latest offering by German director Tom Tykwer, entitled 3.  I am particularly partial to this auteur, whose work I've mostly loved in the past, so I was pleased though not surprised when I liked 3 so well. 

     The plot, loosely, deals with a couple who've been together for 20 years. They both separately meet & connect with a man, a sort of angel of sex, so to speak, who brings new energy into each of their lives. It took me a little while to realize that this is a comedy (German sense of humour?), but throughout I was both amused & surprised.


Of Tykver's previous films:

loved- Heaven, Winter Sleepers;

liked- Run Lola Run, The Princess The Warrior; 

repulsed but intrigued by: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)




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