Reviews

51 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Going Furthur (2016)
9/10
A memorable tribute to the past
20 June 2016
Going Further is not only a wonderful tribute to a long-ago time. It is an adventure story replete with modern-day troubadours who have honoured the past and excited the present.

History was not going to forget the cultural impact of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters but the directors of Going Furthur, not to mention all of the modern-day pranksters and especially Zane Kesey, have assured us all that we are not necessarily doomed to repeat the past, particularly if we do it with love, colour, music and respect.

Well done, Colby, Lindsay and Matt and all of the joyous participants.

It is always a delight to catch a glimpse of Wavy Gravy.

Going Furthur deserves a large audience.
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10/10
Just Watch It: It won't be a waste of your time.
4 November 2014
I have a personal predisposition to cook sufficient extra food that will allow for leftovers. I love leftovers. When I was a meat eater, I always made a large meatloaf and feasted on the remains for days. This stellar quality continued back in the day when I made at least one vegetarian meatloaf (the Vancouver Sun had a great recipe for this made out of walnuts.) My point is, I thought I had a grasp on food waste. My knowledge was sorely lacking. Just Eat It is a frightening film. Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer have captured a world of food waste and food rescue (spoiler alert...I could barely watch the pig slop episode) that should challenge us all to at least examine our food waste ways and hopefully guide us to altering them. (Another spoiler alert...all that hummus...going to waste...a crime.) I personally need to rebuild my relationship with my refrigerator. It's not going to be pretty.
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Black Fly (2014)
7/10
a grim and intense indie thriller
11 October 2014
I saw Black Fly in the Activity Centre Lounge on Denman Island on the evening of October 11, 2014.I went to it primarily because rarely do films also being shown at the Vancouver Film Festival make it to our little outpost especially during the actual festival. A portion of the film was shot on Denman and I assume showing it here was an offering of respect and appreciation for the reception shown during the filming.

Black Fly, directed by Jason Bourque, is a terrific little thriller. It is intense, depressing, (did I say intense?) and dark. Ostensibly based on a series of murders in New Brunswick 30 years ago, it stands on its own as a portrait of rural isolation and the violence which may be simmering just below the surface of all of our souls.

The scenes shot on Denman Island are beautiful as is the cinematography for the entire film. Though not for the faint of heart, I would recommend it to any moviegoer looking for a taste of anguish and angst.
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Heartland (II) (2007– )
8/10
even for a non horse person, this is good story telling
1 November 2009
I confess this show is one of my clearly-no-longer secret pleasures. The stories of Heartland resonate with me in quite a different way then most of the pablum I watch on television. The travails of a multi-generational country family, the mix of urban experience and back to the horse-manure land operation, the western motif and the youthful tales of love, of coming of age, of environmental concern, well I find some comfort and a strong sense of just about lost values in the telling. Above all else, the story of the young horse whisperer is almost mystical. If it borders on trite from time to time, it is easy to forgive this creative slight. A very pleasant TV experience.
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Elijah (2007 TV Movie)
8/10
for a Canadian political film, this is a fun romp
25 May 2008
The Meech Lake debacle was a pivotal event in Canadian political history. The film tells the story of Elijah Harper, a first nations icon fortuitously situated in the Manitoba LegislatureIt is, at once, a serious portrait of the times and a highly entertaining examination of Harpers life and the events which put him at the throat of Canada. The actual politics of the matter were tedious, even for a political junkie like me. This film gave me a new appreciation of the issues,as well as a valuable,and hopefully useful, perspective on aboriginal people and some of their challenging issues. Bottom line, this is a well made film, episodic and clearly designed to use humor to teach history. It should be shown in Canada's classrooms.
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9/10
such a sad film
1 April 2008
This was a powerful indictment of Bulgaria and its failure, indeed the failure of the European Union as well, to devote sufficient resources to the care not only of the children profiled but the adults we briefly glimpse as well. It may be that every country has a host of forgotten children and adults but this portrait is so wrenching, so agonizingly hopeless that one can almost appreciate the failure, almost understand it. "Spoiler alert" The interview with the director seems odd and unclear, seems almost comical in how her responses are so casual and unmeasured. Can she truly not blame the government? Can she truly not accept some modicum of responsibility? Is it really the fault of the staff? A Powerful and incredibly sorrowful film.
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A Hobo's Christmas (1987 TV Movie)
8/10
a gentle story of separation and forgiveness
22 December 2007
I'm not someone who easily embraces Christmas. What I do like are simple, eloquent tales of folks reuniting or connecting at Christmas, examining their lives and making small adjustments. This is a compact little story of a painful past and an attempt at resolution. I found myself choking up here and there as the tale progressed, enjoying wise children, the camaraderie of people of the road and overall, the somewhat washed out images of Salt Lake City. There are plenty of sappy Christmas movies trying desperately to become instant classics. I think this might be a true contender. I enjoyed its message. I won't say what that message is but I suspect most will get it.
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Intelligence (2005–2007)
10/10
brilliant, sleazy, queasy, breezy espionage-crime goulash
10 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There are very few truly alternative universes created for television. INTELLIGENCE weaves a complex, crime ridden solar system unlike any other I have ever viewed. There are palpable layers within layers, shapes and spheres within the dark inner sanctum of international intrigue, drug trafficking, prostitution and ***spoiler alert*** bulk water sales. You are irresistibly compelled to root for the ethical, misunderstood crook and the incredibly unethical lady crime fighter. The shadows are totally noir; the emotions raw and riveting. I understand some USA ripoff of intelligence is being considered, This would be a creative disaster. There is only one higher INTELLIGENCE.
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Highway Patrol: Hostage Copter (1957)
Season 2, Episode 38
7/10
in your face policing from the fifties
24 November 2007
I watched my first two episodes tonight of Highway Patrol...my first viewing since childhood I hasten to add. One episode told the story of a new stretch of highway and driving infractions. I have to say they took speeding seriously then...the car as murder instrument. No kidding around, we could use this sort of training TV these days because clearly something has to be done to help people learn how to drive safely. The second episode involved a robbery and kidnapping. There were lots of good helicopter scenes and the beautiful Barbara Eden was the damsel in distress. And they actually gave you almost a full half hour each. Guess they didn't know the value of commercial overkill in them days.
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9/10
a rich sweaty tapestry of chase and greed and fear
4 October 2007
This film has, over the past ten years, become one of my favourite pseudo noir experiences. The three story-line threads given us by Kazan each have their unique and separate pleasures. The domestic chitchat between Bel Geddes and Widmark, the movement between rooms, the small gestures such as the phone book Barbara places on the chair under her son so he can reach the table, those small intimate exchanges between husband and wife, all are well crafted and natural. More than anything else, I love their porch, that second living room where it is clear they spend much of their summer time. The second thread is the professional relationship between many in the film but especially between Widmark and Douglas' characters. It may not be totally original and does get a bit blustery but all in all, it comes across as real, respectful and efficient. The third thread,the grungy tale of Blackie and his tattered little gang, gets us closest to a dark and frightening noir world.Palance's Blackie is as cold as a block of ice. This self-proclaimed business man, this self made man clearly has a complexity we only briefly tap in to. For me, this film continues to be a completely satisfying experience.
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