November 28, 2021

CABLE | A Very Marvel Christmas – 'Hawkeye' Hits the Mark

"You saved our city."
Jeremy Renner Jonathan Igla Rhys Thomas | Marvel's Hawkeye on Disney+
Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios' latest miniseries keeps its story refreshingly small-scale and low-stakes for a fun yet relatively grounded six-episode buddy comedy action-adventure set during Christmas in New York. Starring Jeremy Renner as everyone's least favourite Avenger, Clint Barton—the one good at archery without any powersHawkeye's first standalone entry, created by Jonathan Igla, is loosely based on the acclaimed comic book run (Lucky the Pizza Dog!) by Matt Fraction (a consulting producer) and David Aja.

November 25, 2021

CINEMA | Lady Gaga Burns Down A 'House of Gucci' Divided

"Gucci is a rare animal. It must be protected."
Adam Driver Lady Gaga Jared Leto Ridley Scott | House of Gucci
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Universal Studios
Prolific 83-year-old director Ridley Scott brings a glossy, high-class sheen to the very pulpy real-life material surrounding the notorious Gucci family business and Italian luxury fashion brand. House of Gucci is a near-camp tragicomedy with some very hammy performances and even more curious needle drops wrapped in a dumb criminal plotline of murderous folly.

November 22, 2021

GRUB | Nacho Time x The Drive Canteen x Commercial Drive

"Like a 7-Eleven, but better."
The Drive Canteen | Commercial Drive, East Vancouver

Commercial Drive—From the same team behind DownLow Chicken, partners Doug Stephen and Lindsey Mann, alongside Future Grownup founder Zach Wilcox, comes The Drive Canteen—a very East Van take on the convenience store riffing on late night snack food culture.

November 18, 2021

CINEMA | Coaching 'King Richard' – Will Smith Knows Best

"Ain't nothing she can't do."
Saniyya Sidney Will Smith Reinaldo Marcus Green | King Richard
Warner Bros. Pictures / Westbrook Studios
There's nothing like an inspirational sports drama based on a true story to warm your heart. Aging superstar Will Smith turns on the charm and charisma for his soulful portrayal of Richard Williams, the outspoken father/coach of tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams (also executive producers), in the heartwarming King Richard.

November 15, 2021

CINEMA | Jason Reitman Chases 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'

"Don't go chasing ghosts."
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Jason Reitman | Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Sony Pictures / Bron Creative
Filmmaker Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman (still a producer), takes over the supernatural comedy franchise from his father in the nostalgic legacy sequel, Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Consider this direct follow-up a sort of two-hour-long elegiac tribute to both departed co-star/writer Harold Ramis (aka Egon Spengler) and the first two films.

November 11, 2021

CINEMA | Joaquin Phoenix Babysits 'C'mon C'mon'

Joaquin Phoenix Woody Norman Mike Mills | C'mon C'mon A24
A24 Films
Indie filmmaker Mike Mills tells another ambitiously told, but rather small-scale, family dramedy of loveable weirdos living their lives starring Joaquin Phoenix as a single/childless radio journalist (Johnny) babysitting his sweet but offbeat nine-year-old nephew (Woody Norman as Jesse). C'mon C'mon is a thoughtful contemporary black-and-white film about how children relate to adults—shades of "New York Lonely Boy".

November 8, 2021

SCREEN | Lin-Manuel Miranda Stages 'Tick, Tick… Boom!'

"I'm the future of musical theatre."
Andrew Garfield Lin-Manuel Miranda | Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick… Boom! on Netflix
Imagine Entertainment
Successfully writing and composing an original Broadway musical seems very hard. Celebrated Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his directorial debut by adapting the semi-autobiographical Off-Broadway rock musical drama based on the short life of Rent playwright/songwriter Jonathan Larson. Tick, Tick… Boom! stars Andrew Garfield in a towering and very earnest performance as the joyous and talented but tortured soul of a '90s theatre kid pushing thirty on the verge of greatness.

November 4, 2021

CINEMA | Marvel and Chloé Zhao Mythologize the 'Eternals'

"Everyone dies except us."
Kumail Nanjiani Gemma Chan Lia McHugh Chloé Zhao | Marvel's Eternals
Marvel Studios
Reigning best director Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao takes her minimalist direction and blows it up for Marvel Studios' latest superhero team-up blockbuster spectacle. Eternals tells a jam-packed, sprawling mythological epic of immortal god-like aliens living on Earth as protectors who agree not to interfere in human activity.

November 1, 2021

GENRE | Trafficking Chinatown – 'Snakehead' x VAFF 2021

"Chinatown doesn't change for anyone."
Shuya Chang Evan Jackson Leong | Snakehead | VAFF 2021
Vancouver Asian Film Festival
Chinatown crime drama Snakehead, written and directed by Evan Jackson Leong, tackles the less than savoury underbelly of Chinese-American life found somewhere in the back alleys of New York City. Set around restaurants and kitchens, Leong tries to dramatize Southeast Asian gang culture organically but relies too heavily on clunky voiceover narration and dialogue for exposition thus limiting the power of his performances.