phil brown

Movie Review: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Genre: ActionDirector: Hark TsuiStars: Andy Lau, Chao Deng, Carina Lau ***Detective Dee is a massive chopsocky epic/whodunit.International action star Andy Lau stars as the titular detective, assigned by a controversial Empress to investigate a series of spontaneous combustions.Exquisitely...

Friday, September 23, 2011, 12:59 AM

Movie Review: You Are Here

You are HereGenre: DramaDirector: Daniel CockburnStars: Tracy Wright, Shannon Beckner, Richard Clarkin***Toronto video artist Daniel Cockburn transitions into feature filmmaking with a movie designed to tease his audience’s brain with a stream of quandaries, quirks, and ideas. There isn’t much of a...

Friday, August 19, 2011, 11:18 PM

Movie Review: Spy Kids 4D

Spy Kids: All The Time In The World In 4DGenre: ActionDirector: Robert RodriguezStars: Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale*When Alexa Vega, star of the original Spy Kids, pops up on-screen in Spy Kids 4 as a full-fledged adult, it will make you feel old. Yes, it’s been 10 years since the first...

Friday, August 19, 2011, 8:35 PM

Movie Review: Griff The Invisible

Griff the InvisibleGenre: ComedyDirector: Leon FordStars: Ryan Kwanten, Maeve Dermody, Marshall Napier***Griff The Invisible is an Australian indie twist on the DIY superhero movie like Kick Ass. What makes the film unique is that there’s no suggestion that Griff ever has a chance of becoming a...

Thursday, August 18, 2011, 11:25 PM

Movie Review: Sarah's Key

Sarah’s KeyGenre: DramaDirector: Gilles Paquet-BrennerStars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Melusine Mayance**1/2Sarah’s Key is a well-intentioned, muddled, and self-important drama that attempts to spin a feel good story out of a contemporary reporter uncovering a particularly harsh tale of Holocaust...

Friday, August 12, 2011, 8:26 PM

Movie Review: The Last Mountain

The Last Mountain Genre: DocumentaryDirector: Bill Haney Stars: Robert Kennedy Jr.Rating: ***This infuriating nature documentary about the irreparable environmental damage caused by coal mining starts as a micro study of the Coal River Mountain before becoming a general attack on the industry as a...

Friday, July 29, 2011, 3:11 AM

Movie Review: Familiar Grounds

Familiar Grounds Genre: ComedyDirector: Stephane Lafleur Stars: Francis La HayeRating: ***A bizarre deadpan French-Canadian comedy about a mid-30s manchild who still lives with his father, his freshly-traumatized sister, and the roadtrip they share to a cottage in the dead of winter.

Friday, July 29, 2011, 3:05 AM

Movie Review: Another Earth

Another EarthGenre: DramaDirector: Mike CahillStars: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach Rating: ***1/2Science-fiction in setting and indie drama in content, Another Earth opens with the appearance of a second earth populated with duplicates of everyone on our own planet, but...

Friday, July 29, 2011, 2:57 AM

Another Earth: A gamble that paid off

Another Earth was a surprise award-winning success at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, coming out of nowhere as the fiction debut from documentary filmmakers Mark Cahill and Brit Marling (who co-wrote the script with Marling starring and Cahill directing, shooting and editing). Their film is...

Monday, July 25, 2011, 2:52 AM

Movie Review: Eco Pirate: The Paul Watson Story

Eco Pirate: The Paul Watson StoryGenre: DocumentaryDirector: Trish DolmanStars: Paul Watson, Patrick Moore, Rex Weyler Rating: ***1/2Paul Watson doesn’t exactly fit the mold of the all-loving environmentalist. In fact, the early member of Greenpeace left the organization because he disagreed with...

Friday, July 22, 2011, 3:16 AM

Movie Review: Project Nim

Project NimGenre: DocumentaryDirector: James MarshStars: Herbert Terrace, Stephanie LaFarge, Bob IngersollRating: ****The latest documentary from Oscar-winner James Marsh, who specializes in stories that would be impossible to believe if they weren’t true. His latest subject is Nim, the first...

Friday, July 22, 2011, 3:12 AM

Movie Review: Blank City

Blank CityGenre: DocumentaryDirector: Celine DanhierStars: Jim Jarmusch, Deborah Harry, John WatersRating: ***1/2A nostalgic look at the underground filmmaking that emerged from the roach-infested New York of the late ’70s and early ’80s, a time of impoverished artists stealing equipment to make no...

Friday, July 15, 2011, 1:45 AM

Movie Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten DreamsGenre: DocumentaryDirector: Werner HerzogStars: Werner Herzog, Dominique Baffier, Jean ClottesRating: **1⁄2Another hypnotically eerie documentary from Werner Herzog, complete with the director’s signature narration that alternates from philosophical inquiry to sardonic jabs...

Friday, July 8, 2011, 5:30 AM

Herzog goes deep into the Cave

More than 50 films into his career, Werner Herzog is undeniably one of the most masterful filmmakers alive and a rare beast who nimbly jumps from documentaries to fiction. Having recently coaxed a particularly deranged performance out of Nicolas Cage (even by his standards), Herzog returned to non-...

Monday, July 4, 2011, 11:50 PM

Movie Review: Bobby Fischer Against The World

Bobby Fischer Against The World Genre: DocumentaryDirector: Liz Garbus***Documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus takes on the difficult subject of superstar chess champion turned mentally ill recluse Bobby Fischer for a tale of wasted genius. Through countless interviews and a remarkable wealth of...

Friday, May 27, 2011, 10:30 AM

Movie Review: Invisible Eye

Invisible Eye Genre: DramaDirector: Diego Lerman Stars: Julieta Zylberberg, Oscar Nunez, Marta Lubos 8881⁄2A deeply disturbing movie (in the best possible way) about a teacher (Julieta Zylberberg) working at a uptight Argentinean private school. She starts observing the boys to catch misbehaviour,...

Thursday, May 26, 2011, 8:56 PM

Movie Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda 2Genre: AnimationDirector: Jennifer Yuh NelsonStars: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman***1/2There’s no reason for movies about nauseatingly cute CGI animals battling in kung fu to be as entertaining as the Kung Fu Panda series, but Dreamworks Animation has stumbled onto a magic...

Thursday, May 26, 2011, 8:53 PM

Movie Review: A Beautiful Life

A Beautiful Life Genre: DramaDirector: Andrew LauStars: Liu Ye, Shu Qi, Tian Liang***A romantic change of pace for director Andrew Lau, A Beautiful Life tells the story of an honest cop who falls for a damaged woman recently spurned by an affair with a married man. She eventually runs off with most...

Friday, May 20, 2011, 10:27 PM

Movie Review: The First Grader

The First Grader Genre: DramaDirector: Justin ChadwickStars: Naomie Harris, Oliver Litondo, Tony Kgoroge***The First Grader tells the true story of Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge, an 84-year-old illiterate who lost his family during the Mau Mau uprising and was the oldest man in history to start public...

Friday, May 20, 2011, 10:09 PM

Kung Fu Panda 2 a ‘passion project’

For anyone with a place in their hearts for kung fu movies and absurdly cute CGI animals, the release of Kung Fu Panda 2 is cause for giddy excitement. The first film was a critical success that also cleaned up at the box office in 2008 and Dreamworks Animation began work on the sequel shortly...

Friday, May 20, 2011, 6:09 AM