Science Fiction’s Forget-Me-Not

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

Like Lucifer, only without the theological trappings of sin, Joseph Kosinski set out to bring some light into the normally dimly-lit visions of Hollywood science fiction. It’s a logical step. His work on Tron: Legacy was entirely rooted in the play of light on dark in an agile, design-driven cinematography of contrast.

Oz the Mostly Great and, Surprisingly, Powerful

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

A review of Oz the Great and Powerful. I cannot say…that the renewed interest in the land of munchkins and yellow bricks road did anything to revise my rather lukewarm relationship to anything Oz-related.

Les Miserables: Victory Over Revenge

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

I never did get the chance to see the theatrical production of Les Miserables; such are the vagaries of the calendar. Fortunately, there is this magnificent film from the director of the superlative crowd-pleaser, The King’s Speech.

The Day a Cowboy Legend Ended in a Crash

Ross HawkinsA&E, Film

A little old lady was being interviewed by the host. Seems that when she was an aspiring actress in the 1920s, one of her earliest assignments had been to ride double with the famed cowboy Tom Mix when he performed a stunt at a hotel in Santa Monica. She rode behind Mix while his horse actually climbed four flights of stairs, to the top of the hotel, and then he – they? – plunged into…

An Unexpected Pleasure

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

Review of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' – Time has passed since Jackson first materialized Middle Earth in a trilogy of films that made pure fantasy fashionable again, although I’ll stick with the Harry Potter films as the superior accomplishment. My opinion of Tolkien’s work hasn’t changed – imagination and exhaustive attention to detail put to the service of a dull and shallow narrative – yet I’ve come to appreciate that imagination and detail through Jackson’s breathtaking rendition of Tolkien’s universe.

The Lorax: Seuss, Speech, Marketing, and Orange as the New Green

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

The Lorax is not a great film, nor is it the best adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s book that one might envision. It is, however, as gently entertaining as it is unapologetic in its stance; a colourful, silly, melancholy, hopeful, stinging and, ultimately, accessible film.

W.E. Won’t Rock You

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

It’s not a good sign when you suspect filmmakers are lying to you. W.E.’s credits list Abbie Cornish in the role of a maritally distraught New Yorker obsessed with the scandalous love affair between the Once and Never More King of England, Edward VIII, and American Wallis Simpson. But throughout the film I wondered what Charlize Theron was doing slumming around in the glassy lead role when surely there was a better film elsewhere for her to inhabit.

You Should Go See ‘Hugo’

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

The big picture of it all is that Hugo is, in detail and scope, a beautiful piece of filmmaking that illustrates in craft what it can only hint at through dialogue. Scorsese delivers so many details to please the cinephile – from a small but benevolent role for the ever-charismatic Christopher Lee, to a humane and top-form performance from Ben Kingsley that reminds us why he’s such a pleasure to watch, to period costumes and locations that dare the audience to resist the urge to crawl into the picture frame – that the film itself becomes testament to why we love letting the movies, and rhetoric about the movies, carry us away.

The Muppets: A Fresh Serving of Muppetational Spectacle

Frédérik SisaA&E, Film

Just as hate might find the source of its progression in fear, despair might find its roots in nostalgia. No wonder, then, that Hollywood finds such a powerful figure in the aging star wilting without the sunlight of celebrity.