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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.

Sharkwater Extinction: A matter of death, and life, for the Stewarts

Movies: Sharkwater Extinction Shattered by their son Rob’s death in a diving accident, Sandy and Brian Stewart found inspiration in his message and turned pain into positive action by completing the film he died trying to make. By Katherine Monk VANCOUVER — “There was no way this movie was not going to be made.” The very statement is an act of defiant optimism in a world where the majority of endeavours fail to even reach production, let alone completion. For Brian and Sandy Stewart, however, defiant optimism was the very essence of their son’s message, which is why they dedicated the last 20 months of their heartbroken lives bringing Sharkwater Extinction to fruition. The movie isn’t just a tribute to their late son, Rob, 37, who died in a diving accident off the Florida Keys in January 2017. “It’s the continuation of his mission,” says Brian Stewart, sitting with his wife Sandy on the eve of Sharkwater Extinction’s western premiere at the Vancouver ...
3Score

Goosebumps 2 almost too scary

Movie review: Goosebumps 2 - Haunted Halloween Jack Black returns as R.L. Stine and turns Goosebumps’ Haunted Halloween into a meta horror movie for young adults, but with an evil ventriloquist dummy as the villain and a scene that compromises Mom’s goodness, even grown-ups may get the shivers.
3Score

First Man makes small steps, fails giant leap

Movie review: First Man Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to La La Land fragments into a stream of dramatic particles orbiting around central star, Ryan Gosling.
4Score

22 July appeals to rule of law, not emotion

Movie Review: 22 July - New on Netflix Paul Greengrass’s restrained vérité treatment of the July 22 massacre at a Norwegian kids camp lassos truth of tragedy by showing us the banal face of evil and the chilling effect of fear.

Still time to VIFF and get avay from it all

Movies:  #VIFF18 The Vancouver International Film Festival enters final stretch with enough twists and turns to recalibrate your personal GPS
3.5Score

Venom pits Tom Hardy against an oily Zeitgeist

Movie Review: Venom Ruben Fleischer’s movie about supervillain Venom fails to sink its fangs into genre, leaving Tom Hardy to wrestle a dark alien force that’s colonized his DNA. It’s a perfect metaphor for the times, but can filmmakers capitalize on the moment when they’re working in the Marvel universe?
3Score

A Star is Born is a gassy giant, indeed

Movie review: A Star is Born Bradley Cooper writes, directs and stars in this latest revamp of a seminal Hollywood yarn that proves the nexus of progressive America remains completely conservative when it comes to its own story. On the bright side, Cooper and Lady Gaga use their first-timer adrenaline to fuel this bumpy rocket ride, creating great spectacle -- if not deep drama.

#VIFF2018: A big fattie of a film festival that will alter perception

Movies: Vancouver International Film Festival, #VIFF2018 Boasting more than 216 feature films from 55 countries, The Vancouver International Film Festival is one of the beefiest film smorgasbords on the circuit. It can all be a little overwhelming, but veteran critic Katherine Monk offers five vetted bets to get your cinema season started.

At #TIFF18, it’s all about the music

Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival The soundtrack of movies can leave you with the exhilaration of the dance floor, or bring you down into the existential angst of neo-noir By Jay Stone (September 8, 2018) TORONTO — There was a great moment at the movies this morning, near the end of Gloria Bell, Sebastian Lelio’s English-language remake of his own 2013 drama Gloria. Julianne Moore, replacing Chilean actress Paulina Garcia in the original, stars as a 50ish divorcee — are they still called that? — who has a productive but somewhat lonely life that she spices up by going to dance clubs and letting herself get lost in the candy sounds of disco. A romance with a divorced man (John Turturro), who seems not quite totally divorced, disrupts her balance, but in the final scene, we see Moore back on the dance floor, raising her arms and swaying from side to side as Laura Branigan sings the old hit Gloria. You can sometimes forget the importance of music in ...

#TIFF2018: Skipping the lineups

Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival Our correspondent finds ways to see all the Donald Trump-themed films he wants, and with no waiting required By Jay Stone (September 8, 2018) TORONTO — Today we invoked another Toronto film festival rule for the retired critic, which is that we don’t stand in line for anything. This is partly because life is too short, and partly because you might not get in anyway and so you’ve used up some of your precious remaining minutes idly shifting from one leg to the other, indulging in the futile hope of getting a seat that will probably be in the front row, and standing behind people who talk in bored nasal voices about their film festival experiences. One tries not to listen, but one is human, after all, and one is in danger of grinding away all the remaining enamel on one’s teeth. The downside of this guideline is that one doesn’t get to see a lot of movies that everyone else is dying to see, which is perhaps not ...