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Jay Stone and Katherine Monk movie reviews and profiles. Movies new to streaming / DVD.
Reviews of Canadian movies and filmmaker profiles by Katherine Monk and Jay Stone.

TV refugee finds oasis of hope on One Strange Rock, NASA TV

Television: One Strange Rock and NASA TV Evidence of intelligent life on Earth can be tough to find on the daily trek across the grid, but there’s an alternate universe hidden between the perpetual fireplace and Marie Kondo videos where humility and the human endeavour intersect -- with inspirational results.  
4Score

Never Look Away all about the red, white and blur

Movie review: Never Look Away Oscar winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s latest film is a fictional epic inspired by German painter Gerhard Richter’s early career in the East, but it captures the contours of human truth by pulling us through pigments of pain with a creative brush.  

Welsh movies — yes, and there are a lot of them — come to Ottawa

By Jay Stone   OTTAWA — The most famous Welsh film ever made is probably How Green Was My Valley, the sentimental 1941 portrait of a growing up in coal mining town that was directed by American-born John Ford and starred Walter Pidgeon, the pride of St. John, New Brunswick, and Maureen O’Hara from Dublin. Everyone in the movie spoke English with an Irish accent. It was, however, filmed in Wales.   How Green Was My Valley — which won the Best Picture Oscar that year, beating Citizen Kane — was just one of many movies throughout the years that have been set, or sometimes just filmed, in Wales. Even more have featured Welsh-born actors: the country has contributed a mighty roster of stars to the world cinema, including Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ray Milland and a current Oscar nominee, Christian Bale.   But there’s another Welsh movie industry as well, that tells stories of the country, often in the Welsh language. Those films ...
4Score

Alita: Battle Angel embodies modern socialist ideal

Movie Review - Alita: Battle Angel James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez pull off some careful reprogramming of a Japanese animé heroine by pitting her superior cyborg parts against human selfishness in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Isn’t It Romantic? feels like a rhetorical question

Movie review: Isn’t It Romantic? Rebel Wilson leads a revolutionary effort through the red taffeta jungle of rom-coms, but fails to topple the upper tier of icing-covered couple expectations. And that’s probably just the way we want it. “Somewhere deep down, we crave a fairy tale ending for a relatable character — just as we do for ourselves,” writes movie critic Katherine Monk.
3.5 Score

LEGO Movie 2 misses magical click but still sticks

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie 2  - The Second Part The absurdist edge and creative intelligence that made the first LEGO movie a masterpiece is eclipsed by shallow self-awareness and plastic brick branding, but the Second Part still builds a world of enchantment by piecing together sibling rivalries with heart.
3.5Score

Movie Review: Stan & Ollie finds comic sweetness

Movie Review: Stan & Ollie Jon S. Baird’s pathos-laden take on Laurel and Hardy allow Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly to explore the slow-boiling lunacy that fuelled the comic legends, yet lacks a light and loving touch. 
3Score

Miss Bala is mucha macha feminista, but a bust of thriller

Movie review: Miss Bala Catherine Hardwicke loads the barrel with a strong, smart heroine and a pioneering edge, yet she never achieves a straight arc with Miss Bala, despite a solid, near-omnipresent performance from Rodriguez

Wonders of the Sea 3D chants Give Piscis a Chance

Movie review: Wonders of the Sea 3D The Cousteau family returns to the big screen for a three-dimensional dive that goes deep to reveal the ocean’s mind-bending beauty in minute detail, yet comes up a little shallow when it comes to addressing the human flaws that now define the landscape.

Kidman falls prey to bad hair daze in Destroyer

Movie review: Destroyer By tugging at the fake-looking locks sported by Nicole Kidman in Karyn Kusama’s ode to L.A. Noir, our critic coughs up a tangled knot of endemic sexism, and a latent desire for a little more destruction from downer Destroyer.