INSECTS TRAPPED IN AMBER: A Guillermo del Toro Directorial Retrospective.

INSECTS TRAPPED IN AMBER: A Guillermo del Toro Directorial Retrospective.

October 31, 2015  |  2015, Bold Cinema, Directors, Feature  |  No Comments

Rummaging through Guillermo del Toro‘s filmography is like opening Christmas presents from your favorite uncle. The one whose affinity for the absurd and welcoming of the weird makes him the coolest uncle ever. Except it’s not Christmas with del Toro, is it? It’s most definitely Halloween, a time when the love of the spooky and the monstrous becomes a contagion, and – more religiously – the past is remembered through the dead and the hallowed. Gross, funny, action-packed, heartfelt and scary in varying spurts, del Toro’s directorial oeuvre (to say nothing of his 30-odd produced films) is consistent in one obvious way: visual depth. With little interest in layered profundities and intricate camera-work, del Toro’s stories pave the way for the production design, cinematography, and special effects to take centre stage (his background is, after all, in special effects). But through these visuals lies a bottomless love affair with outcasts of all types, Mother Nature’s little creatures, and big monsters with big purposes, making his storytelling relentlessly compelling through theme as much as image. The key word in that last sentence isn’t “monsters” or “creatures,” by the way; it’s “love.”

Blade II, New Line Cinema

“Blade II,” New Line Cinema

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April Fool’s Edition: 11 Timeless & Entertaining Movie Fools.

April 1, 2015  |  2015, Feature  |  No Comments

Seven Samurai

It’s April Fool’s Day! The day when all anyone wants to do is find a way to dupe and delude their loved ones. Well, you won’t find any of that here, but I figured it would be neat to salute a harmless & fun tradition by quickly listing some of the most entertaining fools I’ve had the pleasure of re-watching endlessly. The landscape of cinema can evolve a dozen times over, and, like cockroaches after a nuclear disaster, these fools will live on. But first, a bit of catch-up.

The Film Grapevine has been a little M.I.A. recently, due to my busy times with some festival coverage and features on The Playlist and Way Too Indie. You’ll pardon the plug I’m sure, but those interested to stay up to date with my latest coverage, the latest stuff includes and isn’t limited to: great dog films, Kornel Mundruczo, original horror scores, fantastic new films from up-and-comers, and my latest analysis of the latest & greatest family drama on the small screen.

Today’s a good a day as any to resuscitate the blog with some harmless fun and list 11 (because round numbers are too square, amirite) timelessly entertaining fools who are immune to being mundane. Read on, and don’t trust anything anyone tells you today! (Except this article. Trust me, these fools are hella entertaining).

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Oscars 2015: Predictions, Predilections, and the Unjustifiably Ignored.

February 20, 2015  |  2015, Awards  |  No Comments

OscarsPredicting Oscar winners is a fool’s errand, but never a dull one. For a gamut of reasons, I’ve absconded from much of the Oscar talk after the new year kicked in. Mainly because I lose interest once the narrative shifts into that ludicrous last stretch of the race, when months’ worth of predictions, forecasts, and desires, collide to dismantle every major participant down to their minutest details and flaws. The narrative shifts away from the actual films to the politics of the race, what it all means, why is it those two in particular, the lack of gender and race equality for the sake of gender and race equality, etc. Yawn.

That said, Andrew O’Hehir’s latest analysis on is a must-read for Oscar fans. He gets the meaninglessness of it all, and explains how it’s that very notion the Academy Awards are now battling with, among other factors. Also, The Hollywood Reporter has been publishing some juicy insider reasoning from actual Oscar voters (who remain anonymous, partly because they can trash whatever they want, partly to secure whatever is left of their careers) all of which are no doubt meant to stir up controversy and fuel fiery debates. In other words, they’re super fun reads.

The ceremony will be aired this Sunday, on February 22nd, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (a natural choice that I’m sincerely hoping won’t disappoint), so seeing as how Oscars are an unavoidable and fun evil, I’m throwing my predictions out there, in classic “Will Win/Should Win” fashion. Additionally, I’m including a third category for the horrendously omitted, where it applies. (Ignorance isn’t always a virtue, Bird-Man!)

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