September 21, 2021

CINEMA | 'Dear Evan Hansen' Sings and Screams x TIFF 2021

"I have to tell them."
Ben Platt Amandla Stenberg Stephen Chbosky | Dear Evan Hansen | TIFF 2021
Toronto International Film Festival
Novelist turned filmmaker Stephen Chbosky directs Tony-winning star Ben Platt in the film version of the 2016 smash Broadway musical hit. Ostensibly a high school story about a horrible but initially unintentional deception gone awry revolving around depression and suicide, Dear Evan Hansen really feels like a teen musical told out of its time here.

September 20, 2021

SCREEN | St. Vincent Tours 'The Nowhere Inn'

"Your life isn't crazy or interesting enough to make a documentary about."
St. Vincent Carrie Brownstein Dakota Johnson | The Nowhere Inn
IFC Films
Musician Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) and fellow singer/actress Carrie Brownstein, both playing themselves, offer a fictionalized attempt on documenting Clark's career in the Lynchian music mockumentary, The Nowhere Inn. Structured like a typical rock documentary following an artist on tour, the very much scripted film (co-written by the duo) blends together concert footage with fake behind-the-scenes sequences and talking-head interviews as supposedly helmed by Brownstein who stands in as the director of the film-within-a-film.

September 16, 2021

CINEMA | Seeing Through 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye' x TIFF 2021

"I'm so sick from my faith in you!"
Jessica Chastain Andrew Garfield Michael Showalter | The Eyes of Tammy Faye | TIFF 2021
Toronto International Film Festival
The Eyes of Tammy Faye stars Jessica Chastain (also a producer) and Andrew Garfield as controversial televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. It offers an intimate look at the extraordinary rise and fall of the duo through a religious bent of the American dream during the 1970-80s. Their unbelievable story of fraud and redemption encapsulates so much of contemporary religion in politics while also mirroring our obsession with so-called "reality"-based entertainment.

September 13, 2021

GRUB | Trendy Dining x Haven Kitchen + Bar x Langley

Haven Kitchen + Bar | Langley, BC

LangleyHaven Kitchen + Bar markets itself as "modern casual dining", whatever that means to you. Located just off a seemingly random car park somewhere in the suburban depths of the Fraser Valley, the trendy spot feels intimately hip and vibrant with a nice array of dishes and beverages to enjoy.

September 9, 2021

GENRE | Oscar Isaac Goes All In – 'The Card Counter'

"I like anonymous gambling."
Oscar Isaac Paul Schrader | The Card Counter
Focus Features / VVS Films
Veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader has made another brooding crime-based drama about a highly-skilled but detached loner with a checkered past living on the margins of society. The Card Counter presents a straightforward yet mesmerizing character study about a recently released prisoner, a quietly tortured but soulful Oscar Isaac, playing low-level card games to pass the time.

September 6, 2021

GRUB | DownLow Chicken Shack x Opening x UBC

The DownLow Chicken Shack | UBC Campus | Vancouver, BC

UBC—(August 31, 2021) Commercial Drive's now famous Downlow Chicken Shack is set to open its second location—they also serve DownLow Burgers out of The American bar—on campus and just in time for freshman students to enjoy on University Boulevard's stacked restaurant row full of dining options.

September 2, 2021

CINEMA | 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' Fights Back

"I always bet on Asian."
Simu Liu Destin Daniel Cretton | Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios
Japanese-American filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton takes classic Asian cinematic tropes from the martial arts fantasy genre and themes about sons running from their destinies and abusive fathers mixed with wuxia influences in Marvel Studios' latest superhero effort, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Starring magnetic Chinese-Canadian stuntman turned comedic actor Simu Liu of Kim's Convenience fame as the original Master of Kung Fu, the film is a thrilling and action-packed adventure story about fractured families and mystical legends.

August 30, 2021

VIFF 2021 | Auditing Dreams – 'Strawberry Mansion' x Fantasia 2021

"Dream of me and I'll come to you."
Kentucker Audley Albert Birney | Strawberry Mansion | Fantasia International Film Festival 2021
Fantasia/Vancouver International Film Festival
VIFF 2021—Written and directed by sophomore indie filmmaking duo Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley (who also stars), Strawberry Mansion can be best described as a sort of surrealist lo-fi cosmic romance adventure. Set in the year 2035, we follow a tax auditor who must account for fees to be paid on an elderly woman's recorded dreams.

August 26, 2021

GENRE | Social Horror – Tell Everyone About 'Candyman'

"Candyman ain't real, ni**a!"
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Jordan Peele Nia DaCosta | Candyman 2021
Universal Pictures / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Sophomore director Nia DaCosta follows up the 1992 supernatural slasher film of the same name alongside co-writer/producer Jordan Peele in a sleek direct sequel to the original Candyman based on the character created by British playwright Clive Barker. This Candyman is a striking contemporary African-American retelling told through a fresh take on the urban legend where the killer spirit once again appears if you say his name five times in a mirror.