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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.


Movie review: Jimmy’s Hall proves haunting

Ken Loach cozies up to the kitchen sink in Jimmy's Hall, a crisply lensed take on a fuzzy chapter in Irish history scarred by friction between communists and the Catholic Church

Amy Winehouse documentary delivers shivers

Asif Kapadia allows his camera to become an emotional confessional to his subjects in the profoundly moving Amy, a documentary portrait of another musical luminary prematurely darkened by a deep love deficit

Movie review: Minions pile up the silliness, but not much else

The supporting actors from Despicable Me get their own movie, and they don't know what to do with it except to run amok in a story that feels haphazard

Movie review: The Wolfpack is a strange tale of isolation and movies

Sundance-winning documentary tells the story of six teenage boys who are isolated by their family, but learn about the world through movies

Movie review: Madame Bovary doesn’t measure up

The latest film adaptation of Flaubert's classic novel presents a petulant heroine who seems to be seeking distraction rather than romance, writes Jay Stone By Jay Stone   Poor old Emma Bovary: lost in dreams of love, dead of grief, adapted into a lot of movies that — like the men who abandoned her — never quite measured up. The latest screen version (and the first directed by a woman) presents Gustave Flaubert’s tragic story as a drama about a woman who is not so much seduced by notions of romanticism as given to adultery and materialism because there’s not much else to do. You suspect that had the Internet been invented in 19th Century France, this Emma would have been content with video games and Amazon.   She’s played by Mia Wasikowska, who can project strength (in Tracks) or exotic abandon (Only Lovers Left Alive) or even lush yearning (Jane Eyre). Here though, under the direction of Sophia Barthes, she’s not much more than a petulant ...

Magic Mike XXL has man-candy but no mojo

Steven Soderbergh's dark horse is turned into a gelding at the hands of director Gregory Jacobs, who squeezes his manly talent too hard, and turns off the ladies with crass crotch grabs and dull conversation, writes Katherine Monk

Movie review: Terminator Genysis back in time

The sci-fi epic returns with a new episode that borrows pieces of the old episodes to create a time-travel adventure that's mostly a waste of two hours    

Rod Mickleburgh toasts Canada Day with a sonic brewski, eh?

Crank up the Clairtone and celebrate Canada's birthday with a selection of songs curated by a discerning music lover indulging his many shades of plaid By Rod Mickleburgh Well, hello there, Canada. Another birthday, eh? Dominion Day is my favourite holiday of the year, a time for us all to set aside those petty differences over just about everything the you-know-who gang does in Ottawa, and celebrate being Canadian. My Canada includes a Prime Minister who loves hockey and gets excited about finding Franklin’s ships up north. It doesn’t include an ugly monument to “victims of communism” beside the Supreme Court of Canada, nor a massive Mother Canada statue scarring Cape Breton’s beautiful Highlands National Park, nor…(fill in 50 blanks here)….but never mind. Happy Dominion Day! What’s that? It’s now called Canada Day, you say? Pity! I usually celebrate Canada Day with a list of good old songs that best exemplify the spirit, history, beauty and character of this ...

Director trades quick-draws for Slow West

First-time feature director John Maclean takes on western archetype and the core ideals of the American ethos in Slow West, his Sundance-winning feature starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee By Katherine Monk It's a genre marked by star-shaped badges and John Wayne’s lanky swagger, an optimistic ode to masculine heroes and horses. Yet, for all the fanatical affection lathered on westerns as a fundamental part of the American identity, historically speaking, most westerns are horse manure. It’s a point John Maclean isn’t all that eager to assert right off the top, given he’s a Scotsman and his debut feature, Slow West, takes the viewer straight back to the open prairie and the romantic vistas revealed in early John Ford movies. “Being Scottish, and tackling such a sacred American genre certainly crossed my mind the first time I watched it with an audience in the U.S.,” says Maclean, shortly after the film’s world premiere at the Sundance film festival, ...

Movie review: Slow West throws an axe at western genre

John Maclean's feature debut offers a crisp, revisionist take on the romantic notion of the Old West thanks to the oddball chemistry between leads Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee, writes Katherine Monk