April 18, 2019

BINGE | Youssef Wrestles with Islam – 'Ramy'

"Once you have sex, you just care about plot."
Ramy Youssef | Ramy Hulu

There are plenty of millennial stories about the children of immigrants struggling to adopt their own identities while often abandoning the ancestral ideals of their families' homelands. However, comedian Ramy Youssef dramatizes his own life experiences firmly trying to maintain his Egyptian-Muslim roots while growing up in post-9/11 New Jersey as a second-generation Arab-American.

April 15, 2019

SCREEN | Donald Glover Dives into 'Guava Island'

"America is a concept."
Donald Glover Ruhanna Hiro Murai | Childish Gambino | Guava Island | Amazon Prime Video

Guava Island is another energetic work of art and pan-African identity from multi-talented artist Donald Glover and his close collaborators, director Hiro Murai and brother/writer Stephen Glover. Filmed in Cuba and set on the eponymous fictional tropical locale, the film repurposes various Childish Gambino songs for an extended music video meets short narrative concert film performance hybrid with a clear anti-capitalist bent.

April 11, 2019

GRUB | Moderne Burger x New Burgerette x Fairview Slopes

Moderne Burger Burgerette | Fairvew Slopes, Vancouver

Fairview Slopes—The beloved Moderne Burger finally reopened in its new counter-service "Burgerette" location on West Broadway after the long-serving, original Kitsilano spot shuttered last year—leaving seventeen years of history due to dreaded redevelopment.

April 8, 2019

CABLE | Solving 'Wyatt Cenac's Problems Areas' on HBO

"Aunt Becky's already gotten her moment in the sun."
Wyatt Cenac's Problems Areas | HBO

Comedian Wyatt Cenac's dryly satirical comic sensibilities lend well to the serious but easily overlooked social issues he explores in his weekly late night public television style HBO docu-series, Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas. As the title suggests, Cenac and his talented team of producers take an educational approach to their cultural commentary in breaking down different complex topical subjects.

April 4, 2019

GENRE | Robert Pattinson Reaches for 'High Life'

"We’ll be bone and dust while they're still hurtling through space."
Robert Pattinson Claire Denis | High-Life

French auteur Claire Denis' first English-language arthouse feature is an extremely challenging prison drama about the internal forces of human nature and alienation set in space. High Life uses a wondrous, mostly isolated performance from star Robert Pattinson to tell an elliptically contemplative odyssey that builds to a history of sexual violence told in a void.

April 3, 2019

SCREEN | Dancing on Her Own – Elle Fanning Feels Like 'Teen Spirit'

Elle Fanning Max Minghella | Teen Spirit

Actor turned first-time writer/director Max Minghella, son of the late, celebrated filmmaker Anthony Minghella, has crafted his own contemporary version of the familiar tale of a young, aspiring singer from a small town dreaming of making it big. Teen Spirit feels very much like an indie movie version of A Star is Born with shades of Vox Lux's dark overtones.

April 2, 2019

CABLE | 'What We Do in the Shadows' Mocks Vampire Life on FX

"Being a vampire's familiar is like being a best friend who's also a slave."
Kayvan Novak Matt Berry Harvey Guillen Jemaine Clement Taika Waititi | What We Do in the Shadows FX

New Zealand filmmakers Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi have successfully recreated the high comic charm of their 2014 vampire mockumentary film, What We Do in the Shadows, adapted for the new FX series of the same name. Acting as a spin-off or parallel follow-up, the show transplants the story to Staten Island from Wellington with new characters using the same acerbic wit and sophisticated deadpan humour to mock vampire life.

April 1, 2019

FEAST | Québécois Cuisine x St. Lawrence Restaurant x Railtown

St. Lawrence Restaurant | Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Railtown—After being named one of Canada's best new restaurants by various outlets including enRoute Magazine last year, I recently finally got around to dining at the much ballyhooed, award-winning St. Lawrence Restaurant to sample some of their fine French-Canadian cuisine from Chef J.C. Poirier and the team behind Ask for Luigi for myself.

March 28, 2019

CINEMA | Zachary Levi Powers 'Shazam!' Fun

"I choose you as champion!"
Zachary Levi Mark Strong David F. Sandberg | DC Shazam!

Shazam!, the goofy Fawcett Comics golden age story with its own complicated history, tells the tale of a runaway foster kid emboldened with the magical powers of an ancient wizard when he shouts his name. Its joyous film adaptation proves to be a surprisingly entertaining and original take on the contemporary superhero genre told with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, the speed of Mercury.