June 11, 2021

KAFFE | French Café x Marché Mon Pitou x Fairview Slopes

"Savoir vivre."
Marché Mon Pitou Café & Bakery | Fairview Slopes, Vancouver

Fairview Slopes—Thanks to the return of indoor dining in British Columbia, I was able to enjoy a very pleasant mid-afternoon weekday brunch inside the still newish and very charming French-style neighbourhood cafe, Marché Mon Pitou.

June 10, 2021

CINEMA | Anthony Ramos Reaches for 'In the Heights'

"We are not powerless. We are powerful."
Anthony Ramos Corey Hawkins Gregory Diaz IV Lin-Manuel Miranda Jon M. Chu | In the Heights
Warner Bros. Pictures
Director Jon M. Chu adapts Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda's first big hit stage musical for cinematic audiences. Set in the titular Dominican neighbourhood of Manhattan, the joyous film version of In the Heights is a euphoric and electrifying spectacle bringing the Broadway experience of Washington Heights' vibrant immigrant community successfully onto the big screen.

June 7, 2021

CABLE | 'Bo Burnham: Inside' Isolates Comedy on Netflix

"It's a beautiful day to stay inside."
Bo Burnham: Inside | Netflix Comedy Special
Attic Bedroom Corp.
Comedian turned filmmaker Bo Burnham captures the true essence of our internet age of constant social interaction during a period of little actual human interaction. Over the course of the past year, Burnham has crafted a masterful encapsulation of the trauma of self-isolation during the pandemic. Entirely performed, written, shot, directed, edited, and composed by him from a single room in his guesthouse during quarantine, Inside is truly a singular time capsule of artistic struggle and crippling sadness in ninety minutes.

June 3, 2021

CINEMA | Silent Thrills – Emily Blunt Finds 'A Quiet Place Part II'

"You can't stay."
Emily Blunt Millicent Simmonds John Krasinski | A Quiet Place Part II
Paramount Pictures / Platinum Dunes
Originally scheduled to be released theatrically in March of last year, actor/director John Krasinski follows up his surprise 2018 silent horror hit with a worthy enough (if substantially rehashed) sequel trying to recreate the same tense thrills on screen in A Quiet Place Part II. Once again, Krasinski's both real-life and on-screen wife Emily Blunt is the main draw with her visceral, maternal, and towering emotional performance.

May 31, 2021

WEEKENDER | Cocktail Hour x H Tasting Lounge x Westin Bayshore

H Tasting Lounge | The Westin Bayshore Hotel | Coal Harbour, Vancouver

Coal Harbour—Over the course of its short four years of existence, the fanciful H Tasting Lounge (originally known as HJU:Z for some reason) has become one of my preferred cocktail bars in the city with its somewhat hidden oasis quality despite a very much prime location inside the legendary Westin Bayshore hotel near the tail end of the Vancouver Waterfront strip just before the entrance to Stanley Park.

May 27, 2021

CABLE | 'Master of None' Season 3 Captures 'Moments in Love'

"I never realized… how good I had it."
Lena Waithe Naomi Ackie Aziz Ansari Alan Yang | Master of None Presents: Moments in Love | Netflix
Universal Television
Season three of Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang's acclaimed romantic series Master of None returns after a four-year hiatus with a much starker, decidedly more devastatingly dramatic refocus on a singular (semi-tragic) love story told throughout different relationship phases. Titled Moments in Love, things shift focus onto Lena Waithe's previously supporting character of Denise as the show follows her and wife Alicia (an astonishing Naomi Ackie) as newlyweds, set a remote upstate New York cottage setting, struggling to maintain the ups and downs of their marriage.

May 24, 2021

SCREEN | Middling Despair – Marrying 'The Killing of Two Lovers'

"You need to fight for us."
Clayne Crawford Sepideh Moafi Robert Machoian | The Killing of Two Lovers
Neon / Elevation Pictures
Writer/director Robert Machoian's riveting psychological drama is one of the more creative uses of a film's title in eliciting dramatic tension possibly ever. The meticulously brooding The Killing of Two Lovers is irresistibly taut and thrilling despite its mostly very ordinary domestic material about marital strife and a desperate man struggling to keep his family together.

May 20, 2021

SCREEN | Zack Snyder Awakens the 'Army of the Dead'

"This should be a simple in and out."
Nora Arnezeder Zack Snyder | Army of the Dead | Netflix
The Stone Quarry
Machismo director Zack Snyder returns to contemporary zombie spectacle after making his feature debut with the impressive 2004 remake of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. In Army of the Dead, he switches from a contained mall setting to an abandoned and dilapidated Las Vegas for his ultraviolent casino heist version of the horror staple with a "men on a mission" meets undead genre remix.

May 17, 2021

SCREEN | Questlove Remembers 'Summer of Soul' x DOXA 2021

"They call it freedom music, because it's what freedom feels like."
The 5th Dimension Amir 'Questlove' Thompson | Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) | DOXA 2021
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
The Roots drummer Questlove (aka Amir Thompson) makes his directorial debut remembering the landmark Harlem Cultural Festival, often called "Black Woodstock" because it took place the same summer in 1969 as the iconic music festival some hundred miles away, in the joyful music documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).