Friday, 30 January 2015

RED ARMY - Review By Greg Klymkiw - American Doc on Soviet Hockey Ignores Canada

Red Army (2014)
Dir. Gabe Polsky

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Gabe Polsky’s feature length documentary Red Army is as much about the propaganda machine (of Cold War Russia/Soviet Union) as it is pure propaganda unto itself, by placing undue emphasis upon the rivalry between America and the Soviet Union on the blood-spattered battleground of ice hockey competition. Polsky has fashioned a downright spellbinding history of the Red Army hockey team, which eventually became a near-juggernaut of Soviet skill and superiority in the world.

In spite of this, many Canadians will call the film a total crock-and-bull story.

I wholeheartedly admit, however, the bias of growing up intimately within the universe of world competition hockey. My own father, Julian Klymkiw, played goal for Canada’s national team in the 1960s, a team that was managed by Chas Maddin (filmmaker Guy Maddin’s father). Guy and I eventually became the respective director-producer team behind Tales from the Gimli Hospital, Archangel and Careful. Maddin went on to immortalise a ‘non-professional’ team from the wintry Canadian prairies in the Jody Shapiro-produced My Winnipeg. Maddin even featured a beefy lookalike of yours-truly wearing a uniform emblazoned with the name ‘Julian Klymberger’ (the surname being one of my own nicknames in years past and to represent my Dad).

To say Maddin and I were both well aware of the true rivalry in international hockey would be an understatement.

But one didn’t need to actually grow up in hockey families intimately involved with various Team Canada hockey leagues to realise that the United States was a blip on the Soviet rivalry-radar. The only famous match-up between the Soviets and America happened during the 1980 Olympics, when a team of veritable untested ‘kids’ hammered the Soviets (immortalised as the 2004 Walt Disney Studios feature film Miracle starring Kurt Russell).

Polsky’s film uses this match as the film’s primary structural tent pole, and completely ignores the historic 1972 Canada-USSR Summit Series, which has gone down in most histories (save, perhaps, for America’s) as the greatest display of hockey war of all time. His film also ignores, though pays passing lip service, to the fact that the real rivalry throughout the 1970s and 1980s had virtually nothing to do with America and everything to do with Canada and Russia.

I know this all too well.

My own father eventually became the Carling O’Keefe Breweries marketing guru who brokered huge swaths of promotional sponsorship to Team Canada over 15-or-so years and, in fact, worked closely with hockey agent/manager/promoter and Team Canada’s mastermind Alan Eagleson. Dad not only spoke a variety of Slavic languages fluently, but his decades as an amateur and pro hockey player all contributed to making him an invaluable ally to both administrators and players of Team Canada. To the latter, famed Canadian sports reporter Hal Sigurdson reported, ‘Big Julie [Klymkiw] often rolled up his sleeves and got his hands dirty behind the Canadian bench.’

I’m not, by the way, arguing the absence of my Dad in this film – he did his thing, promoting beer to promote hockey and hockey to promote beer, which allowed him to travel the world and be with all the hockey players he loved – but what I’m shocked about is how Red Army can ignore my Dad’s old pal and colleague. The film includes ONE – count ’em – ONE off-camera sound bite from Alan Eagleson.

Polsky appears to have made no effort to even interview the man himself or include the reams of historic interview footage of Eagleson that fills a multitude of archives to over-flowing. Eagleson, for all the scandals that eventually brought him down, including imprisonment for fraud and embezzlement convictions, was the game’s most important individual on the North American side to make Soviet match-ups in the Western world a reality, and to allow professional North American players to go head-to-head with the Soviets. (Though Eagleson went down in flames, my Dad always remarked straight-facedly, ‘The “Eagle” never screwed me.’)

How, then, can a documentary about Soviet hockey so wilfully mute this supremely important Canadian angle to the tale? Where are the interviews (new or archival) with such hockey superstars as Gordie Howe (including sons Mark and Marty), Bobby Hull, Bobby Orr, Marc Tardif and all the others who battled the Soviets on-ice? Why are there only mere blips of Wayne (‘The Great One’) Gretzky, most notably a clip in which he sadly refers to the Soviets’ unstoppable qualities? Why are there not more pointed interview bites with the former Soviet players discussing the strength of Canadian players? It’s not like archival footage of this doesn’t exist.

There’s only one reason for any of these errors of omission: all the aforementioned personages and angles are Canadian. Ignoring the World Hockey Association’s (WHA) bouts with the USSR is ludicrous enough, but by focusing on the 1980 Olympic tourney and placing emphasis on the National Hockey League (NHL), the latter of which is optically seen as a solely AMERICAN interest, Red Army is clearly not the definitive documentary about the Soviet players that its director and, most probably American fans and pundits, assume it is.

America? HAH! Canada! YEAH!
As a sidenote, there's an excellent series of DVDs produced by the visionary Canadian producer-distributor Jonathan Gross and available through his company Video Services Corp. (VSC). The titles include Canada Cup ‘76, Team Canada 1974: The Lost Series, The WHA Chronicles, Canada Cup '84 and Canada Cup ‘87 and they ALL address this important aspect of Soviet-Canadian Hockey. I wonder if Polsky bothered to watch any of them? Only his hairdresser, or rather, conscience would know for sure. Full ordering info on the titles below review.

Even if one were to argue that the story Polsky was interested in telling didn’t allow for angling Canadian involvement more vigorously, ‘one’ would be wrong. The story of Soviet hockey supremacy has everything to do with Canada – a country that provided their only consistent and serious adversary, a country that embraced hockey as intensely as the USSR and a country, by virtue of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s official policy of Canadian multiculturalism, that reflected the vast number of Canuck players who had Eastern European blood and culture coursing through them.

It’s also strange how Polsky, the son of Soviet Ukrainian immigrants, ignores the fact that a huge majority of great Soviet players were ethnically Ukrainian. I vividly remember meeting so many of those legends as a kid and listening to them talk with my Dad about a day when maybe, just maybe, Ukraine would have its independence and display Ukrainian hockey superiority over the Russians, never mind the rest of the world. (Given the current struggles between Russia and Ukraine, this might have made for a very interesting political cherry-on-the-sundae.)

Ultimately, Red Army is American propaganda, or at the very least, is deeply imbued with American propagandistic elements. Given that it’s about Soviet hockey players, I find this strangely and almost hilariously ironic, which in and of itself, gives the movie big points.

All this kvetching aside, Red Army is still a solid film. Focusing on the historic and political backdrop of Joseph Stalin and those leaders who followed him, all of who built up one of the greatest, if not the greatest series of hockey teams in the world, this is still a supremely entertaining movie. Polsky’s pacing, sense of character and storytelling is slick and electric. The subjects he does focus upon, the greatest line of Soviet players in hockey history, all deliver solid bedrock for a perspective many hockey fans (and even non-hockey fans) know nothing or little about.

Polsky even interviews a former KGB agent who accompanied the Soviet players to North America in order to guard against defection to the West. Here again, though, I’ll kvetch about a funny Canadian perspective. Dad not only played hockey, not only was he a marketing guy, but he even squeezed in a decade of being a damn good cop in Winnipeg, and when Team Canada went to Russia, Dad would go from hotel room to hotel room, find bugs (not the plentiful cockroaches, either) and rip the KGB surveillance devices out of their hiding places for himself, his colleagues, players and administrators from the West.

I’ll also admit to enjoying the interviews with the likes of NHL coach Scotty Bowman and Soviet goalie Vladislav Tretiak; however, the most compelling subject in Polsky’s film is the Soviet defenceman Slava Fetisov, who movingly recounts the early days of his hockey career, his friendship and brotherhood with the other players and his leading role in encouraging Soviet players to defect for the big money of pro hockey in North America. It’s also alternately joyous and heartbreaking to see the juxtaposition between the balletic Soviet styles of play with that of the violent, brutal North American approach.

Contrast is, of course, an important element of any storytelling, but in a visual medium like film, it’s especially vital. It’s what provides the necessary conflict. With Red Army, however, the conflict is extremely selective. It is, after all, an American movie, and as it proves, if Americans do anything really well, it’s propaganda. Us Canucks here in the colonies can only stew in our green-with-envy pot of inferiority. We know we’re the best, but we have no idea how to tell this to the rest of the world, and least of all, to ourselves.

Kudos to Polsky and America are unreservedly owed.

They show us all how it’s done.


Red Army is currently in theatrical release via Mongrel Media in Toronto and Vancouver, followed by a February 27 release in Montreal and a rollout in the rest of Canada later in the year. It previously screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF 2014).

To read a full version of my essay Canada vs. America: The Politics and Propaganda of Sports in Gabe Polsky's RED ARMY and Bennett Miller's FOXCATCHER, feel free to visit my column: Greg Klymkiw's COLONIAL REPORT (on cinema) from the DOMINION OF CANADA at the ultra-cool UK-based magazine electric sheep - a deviant view of cinema by clicking HERE.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM: ***** Review By Greg Klymkiw - Take a bath with Guy Maddin at the Sundance Film Festival '15 or @ the Forum during Berlin International Film Festival '15

Marv (Louis Negin) teaches you how to take a bath in THE FORBIDDEN ROOM
The Forbidden Room (2015)
Dir. Guy Maddin
Co-Dir. Evan Johnson
Scr. Maddin, Johnson, Robert Kotyk
Addl. Writ. John Ashbery, Kim Morgan
Edit. John Gurdebeke
Prod.Design Galen Johnson
Cinematog. Stephanie Anne Weber Biron and Ben Kasulke
Prod. Co. PHI Films, The National Film Board of Canada, Buffalo Gal
Starring: Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Céline Bonnier, Karine Vanasse, Caroline Dhavernas, Paul Ahmarani, Mathieu Amalric, Udo Kier, Maria de Medeiros, Charlotte Rampling, Géraldine Chaplin, Marie Brassard, Sophie Desmarais, Ariane Labed, Amira Casar, Luce Vigo, Gregory Hlady, Romano Orzari, Lewis Furey, Angela La Muse Senyshyn, Kimmi Melnychuk, Kim Morgan, Darcy Fehr, Jean-François Stévenin, Judith Baribeau, Graham Ashmore

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to take a bath with Guy Maddin in his closet of tantalizing shame, his forbidden room. God knows I have partaken on occasions too multitudinous to enumerate. So please, allow me to assure you, bathing with Maddin is a most gratifying and sensual treat for the mind, body and most of all, your very soul.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT - Review By Greg Klymkiw - How can a Spaghetti Noir Vampire Chick in Iran NOT be cool? Stunning directorial debut from Kino Lorber, opens TIFF Bell Lightbox, The Royal Cinema via VSC (Video Services Corp)

This is what you could meet in lovely Iran.
Iranian Bloodsucker in a Chador
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014)
Dir. Ana Lily Amirpour
Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi,
Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains

Review By Greg Klymkiw

There aren't too many vampire movies these days like A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. In fact, there aren't any at all, but now that this one exists, we can all repress the stench of the abominable Twilight series. What we've got here pretty much blows all recent blood-sucker extravaganzas away.

It's not only a genuinely terrific picture, but it's all in Farsi, the language of Iran, where, incidentally the movie is set (though, amazingly, it was shot in southern California). The movie is staggeringly original, yet at the same time, owes a debt of gratitude to Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch, Sergio Leone, Guy Maddin and James Whale.

Decent bedfellows all, especially for the film's director, a young Iranian-American lassie who makes her feature length debut with this moving picture graphic novel that could well have sprung from the loins of Frank Miller if he was a woman from Iran and wasn't a misogynist.

Nothing sexier than the scent of a jugular vein
The movie itself is light on plot, which is really no matter. Besides, story is more than one plot-point after another. When narrative can be imbued with the poetic qualities of cinema, so often neglected, forgotten or simply not attainable, then story takes on a richness that all the Robert-McKee-influenced product, machine-tooled by hacks, can never, nor will ever, attain. This is a narrative driven by style, theme, mood, character and setting.

And what a setting!

Bad City is practically a ghost town smack in the middle of some desolate plain in Iran, surrounded by endless rows of unmanned oil pumps seesawing ceaselessly and deeply into the flat, dusty earth. In the distance, desolate factories belch clouds of smoke into the atmosphere, the sunny skies blotted out by the filth of pollution.

A lone whore wanders aimlessly on the streets at night, hoping ever-so desperately that someone, anyone will drive by or walk up to her for a cheap fuck or blow job, anything, no matter how degrading will do to avoid being beaten to a pulp by her pimp for not turning enough tricks.

Daylight is murky, nighttime is murkier still, pools of light from high pressure sodium street lamps cast their eerie glow upon the forlorn streets, flanked by dollops of pitch black shadow. If anything, the subtext of the film is found within the shades of grey. Black and white are the pillars holding it all up, but the depth resides twixt those visual support beams of light and darkness.

Somewhere in Bad City is a vampire.

Not that anyone would notice or even care. Life is cheap. Bodies appear, then disappear. Corpses are tossed casually just outside of town into a ditch. The men are (mostly) pigs, the women are invisible and/or abused. The brutish sex in Bad City are pimps, pushers, addicts, drunks, unemployed, slave-class labourers and/or all of the above. Homes appear squalid, their interiors are even more squalid. There's little to do and pretty much nowhere to go. The one nightclub is full of ecstasy-popping babes and scumbags.

At times, we feel like we're in a dreamscape that could only exist in the movies. Of course, I never have a problem with that, but as the film progresses, we're creepily affected by a world that feels as real as it is fantastical. This is a country of waste, repression, rape of the land, rape of the soul and the clear suppression, or rape, if you will, of women's rights. Oil, the ever-present oil being pumped, seems to be the only life or at least, vigorous movement, in this somnambulistic, backward, backyard of despair.

Escape seems to be the only way to avoid death, or at least, a living death, but everyone seems too beaten down to even bother thinking about it. Flight at the end of a needle or the lip of a bottle or whatever can be popped down the gullet, all seem to be the easiest way to dull the pain and, perhaps, allow Bad City's denizens to imagine a better world.

Arash (Arash Varandi) is a hardworking young (and almost ludicrously handsome) jack-of-all-trades who lives with his drug addict father Hossein (Marshall Manesh). The lad's prize possession is a pristine T-Bird which is snatched from him by Saeed (Dominic Rains), a foul pimp/dealer/loan-shark who takes it as a payment he's owed for a debt incurred by Dad.

Pops once had something resembling class, but now he's an addled bum, obsessed with the whore Atti (Mozhan Marnò) who reminds him of his late wife, but who, in turn, refuses to acknowledge his pathetic existence unless he's got money to buy her grudging attention and/or respect.

There is, however, a mysterious, exotic and gorgeous young woman (Sheila Vand) who slowly creeps about the streets at night in a full traditional chador.

She's no whore. She's a vampire on the prowl for blood. Her tastes, however, appear limited to exploitative misogynistic men.

Luckily for Arash, he's a sensitive lad, not deserving of having his throat torn out by her fangs, but one of the vampire's victims conveniently opens an opportunity for our hero to secure wads of dough, scads of drugs and the return of his beloved Ford T-Bird coupe.

SHEILA VAND is pretty HOT too!!!
Even more pleasingly, the vampire takes a liking to Arash (in one of the most perverse meet-cutes, like, EVER) and he, of course, to her.

Why not? They're young, smoulderingly intense and, uh, HOT! So what if she's the walking dead? Living in Bad City with a drug addicted father makes him just as undead. Mais non?

Will love conquer all?

Will escape be a viable option?

Will Bad City become a distant memory?

The answers to these questions will all be found in this compulsively engrossing, gorgeously photographed (in beautiful monochrome) and yes, often creepy and scary immersion into the delectable depths of feminist revenge fantasy with a to-die-for soundtrack and a pace so hypnotic that filmmaker Amirpour might well be more than a mere artist.

She's a Class-A mesmerist and as such, watching the movie is to fall under her spell of magic and to emerge pumped, enriched and convinced you've seen one of the most original movies in years.


A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night from Kino Lorber is in theatrical release across Canada via VSC (Video Services Corp) with Toronto playdates at TIFF Bell Lightbox and The Royal Cinema. Keep your eyes peeled. You won't want to miss this for anything.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

THE PALM BEACH STORY - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Screwball Sturges Hijinx via Criterion


Imagine if you will, watching a battered film print of The Palm Beach Story in the 1980s, projected with a Kodak Pageant 16mm projector on the apartment wall belonging to old pal Professor Wm. Steve Snyder of the University of Manitoba film programme, stopping every 30 minutes or so in order to changeover from one reel of film to the next. Fair enough. But soon the print will return to wherever it came from. As this is a film that bears repeat viewing, whatever will be done?

Imagine if you will, Prof. Snyder recording the film off his wall with a Panasonic PK300, but needing to cut all three reels together, he must copy the tape to an old 3/4" deck and dub the separate reels into one seamless recording to another 3/4" deck and THEN copy it back to a VHS tape which, like psychopaths, we watch again and again because it's such a great movie and because a select few of us, including future filmmaker Guy Maddin and his roommate and future producer (ME), are huge fans of fruity tenor Rudy Vallee, who is not only in the picture, but, with a full orchestra, croons the immortal love ditty "Goodnight Sweetheart" under Claudette Colbert's window.

It's thirty years later.

Imagine, if you will that we no longer need a battered 3rd or 4th generation 16mm print, shot off a wall on VHS, duped to 3/4", then duped back to another 3/4", then duped down to VHS. This is because the Criterion Collection has released a gorgeous Blu-Ray with a full 4K digital restoration.

"Goodnight Sweetheart", indeed!

The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Dir. Preston Sturges
Starring: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea,
Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee, Robert Dudley, Sig Arno, Franklin Pangborn

Review By Greg Klymkiw
"I did all my directing when I wrote the screenplay. It was probably harder for a regular director. He probably had to read the script the night before shooting started." - Writer/Director Preston Sturges
Preston Sturges, arguably one of the greatest writer-directors in the history of cinema, wasn't always in the movie business. In fact, he didn't start writing until he was 30. Prior to a glorious career as the first writing-directing auteur of Hollywood's "talkie" period, Sturges lived in the lap of privilege and luxury.

Born into a hugely wealthy American family, he was bitten by the show business bug in childhood as a valued assistant to his Mom's best friend, the famed Isadora Duncan, for whom he helped mount numerous productions for the stage. His early adult life was spent serving his country in the signal corps during World War I and upon his return to civilian life, he joined his mother's posh design firm Maison Desti. It was the company's line of scarves which Isadora accidentally choked upon (I find this incredibly hilarious for some perverse reason) and where his first great success as - yes, an inventor - was a shade of lipstick that didn't leave whopping scarlet kiss marks on the flesh.

Sturges might well have had a charmed life, but he brought to his writing a wealth of life experience and once he started writing and directing his own pictures, he created a legacy that is all his own and uniquely American. He was neither above nor below mixing manic hijinx, pratfalls, ludicrous narratives and brilliant rapid-paced dialogue and delivery, but all the while, he generated material that was as rooted in humanity as it was designed to offer huge, knee-slapping laughs.

There was no one like him, nor will there ever be anyone as dazzlingly original.

The Palm Beach Story is one of his greatest achievements. Joel McCrea plays Tom Jeffers, a hardworking visionary inventor who just can't seem to get a break. He's madly in love with his beautiful wife Gerry (Claudette Colbert at her funniest and sexiest) and she with him.

Unfortunately, their financial situation is dire - so dire that Gerry, thinking that marriage is dragging hubby down, runs into a prospective new tenant for their Manhattan digs, played by the delightfully cantankerous Robert Dudley and Sturges-monickered as the Wienie King (I'm not kidding).

She gratefully accepts his charity after spilling her sob story, abandons her beloved, hops on a train to Florida (hoping to eventually meet herself a rich husband in Palm Beach), loses all her luggage upon plunging into the insane antics of the Ale and Quail hunting club (an irrepressibly jovial, albeit benevolent group of gloriously drunk old reprobates) and finally, as luck would have it, meets the filthy rich John D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee) during the long chug-a-lugging north-south steam engine ride from NYC to FLA.


Tom, also the recipient of Wienie King charity (double I kid you not), follows Gerry. Not wanting to scuttle her plans of marrying the rich Hackensacker, our heroine has introduced Tom as her brother, whom she preposterously names as "Captain McGlue". Hubby becomes the prospective romantic interest of Hackensacker's sister, Maud (Mary Astor), AKA the Princess Centimillia, who makes a play for Tom whilst her whining lap-dog lover Toto (Sig Arno) crazily continues to follow her around.

Tom has a great idea to invent an airport in the sky. Hackensacker and the Wienie King are both thrilled by the investment prospects. Is it possible for things to turn around? Given the nonsensically harebrained proceedings, anything is possible.

Have I, for instance, mentioned there are identical twins in the mix? No? Good. Suffice to say it has something to do with a ludicrous wedding scene scored to the William Tell Overture and the copious melange of nuttiness in this tin of comedic comestibles which, is so infectious, you'll be desperately longing for the world, invented by the inadvertent strangler of Isadora Duncan to exist - for real.

Nobody made movies like Sturges. Thank God. There could only, really and truly be just one. And I steadfastly guarantee that your jaw will be agape from beginning to end - either in utter incredulousness and/or because howls of laughter will be spewing forth. Make sure you're not chewing on nuts.

You might choke on them.


The Palm Beach Story is available on a gorgeously transferred 4K Blu-Ray disc with wonderful uncompressed mono from The Criterion Collection and includes a solid array of extra features including an all new interview with film historian James Harvey who focuses on Preston Sturges, a terrific interview with the great comic actor Bill Hader about Sturges's influence, a delightfully ridiculous 1941 World War II propaganda short written by Sturges, a magnificent Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation, an essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek and delicious new colourful caricatured cover illustration by Maurice Vellekoop.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

HONEYMOON - DVD/BLU-RAY Review By Greg Klymkiw - Sicko Shocker on VSC & Magnolia

Honorary Canadian Chiller
Canadian women are making the best horror films in the world right now. One just needs to look in the direction of the Soska Sisters, Audrey Cummings, Karen Lam and Jovanka Vuckovic and know this to be true.

Filmmaker Leigh Janiak is NOT Canadian, but she might as well be.

Her first feature HONEYMOON is set in the wilds of Canada and prior to learning that this twisted, uber-talented Cleveland lassie actually vacationed with her folks as a child in their Canuck cottage every summer, my first two helpings of the movie convinced me she HAD to be a Canuck.

Monday, 19 January 2015

ALYCE KILLS - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Jade Dornfeld rocks Repulsion-inspired thriller

A girl and her Louisville slugger
A girl and her garburator
Alyce Kills (2011)
Dir. Jay Lee
Starring: Jade Dornfeld

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Twentysomething Alyce (Dornfeld) toils in a thankless office job, but one evening the offbeat beauty ingests copious amounts of drugs, booze and crazily shakes her booty with a best-best-bestie at a nearby dance club. The lassies end up at Alyce's, continuing their revelry on the picturesque apartment building's rooftop. Alas, Alyce "accidentally" pushes her pal off the roof.


Alyce skedaddles back to her room. When the cops come calling, she opines that her BFF, depressed about her boyfriend, wanted to spend some soothing alone-time on the roof and, Oopsie, guess she decided to end it all. At this point we're wondering if the death was intentional or truly an accident. Who knows, right? Get a couple of ladies together on a roof, all hopped up on ecstasy and a few gallons of booze and it's anybody's guess at this point.

However, as writer-director Lee follows Alyce through her Generation Y emptiness, she seems to get ever-nuttier. Becoming a virtual sex slave to a sleazy drug pusher, she eventually dives into serial killer mode. Drugs, sex and killing fuel her and the ennui fades. Things, dare I say it, converge splendidly upon the tall, sharp point on the dunce cap of her existence, allowing her to always look upon the bright side of life.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

DESECRATED - Review By Greg Klymkiw - All those who watch this movie desecrate themselves, though not quite as badly as those poor souls who have to act in it.

"Hi. My name is Haylie Duff. I am Hilary Duff's sister. I play Michael Ironside's daughter in this awful movie. Woe is me!"
Desecrated (2012/2015)
Dir. Rob Garcia
Starring: Haylie Duff, Gonzalo Menendez, Michael Ironside

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Haylie Duff's little sister Hilary never had it this bad. Never! Hilary, of course, was the star of the series and movie Lizzie McGuire and even had an exclusive line of tweenie-bopper clothing called "STUFF by Hilary Duff" at the now-defunct Zeller's department store chain. Haylie, however, has starred in a whole whack of dubious movies and toils as a Food Blogger. She might also be vying as the heir apparent to Sarah Jessica Parker's crown of Equine Princess of Hollywood.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Chilling, original premise, great leading lady buoy Demonic Possession Shocker on Anchor Bay Entertainment BRD/DVD

Anchor Bay BRD blows lid on possession.
The Atticus Institute (2015)
Dir. Chris Sparling
Starring: Rya Kihlstedt, William Mapother, John Rubinstein

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Dr. Henry West (William Mapother) has devoted his career and risked his reputation in the study of paranormal activity. When a promising experiment in telekinesis is exposed as a fraud, his already-underfunded institute faces extinction until a very curious subject is introduced to him. Judith Winstead (Rya Kihlstedt) displays considerable gifts, but as experiments upon her continue, it's clear she's not your everyday garden variety subject in this field.

Spewing viscous goo is always a treat, but
as per usual, it's only the BEGINNING.
Judith is possessed by a demon.

When the evil within threatens both herself and everyone involved at the institute, help from a shady military agency devoted to parapsychology is summoned.

The demon, now under the purview of these bureaucratic automatons, gets stronger and stranger.

Friday, 16 January 2015

HOUSEBOUND - BRD/DVD Review By Greg Klymkiw - Blood-Drenched Kiwi Kitchen Sink Horror Show now available via Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada & Raven Banner

Being the tender tale
of a mother-daughter,
an amiable paranormal

investigator, a creepy Teddy
and a creepier social worker.
One right Royal Kiwi

Kitchen Sink!
Housebound (2014)
Dir. Gerard Johnstone
Starring: Morgana O'Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Ross Harper, Mick Innes, Millen Baird

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Kylie (Morgana O'Reilly) is a nasty piece of work. Since leaving home, the chunky, unkempt, greasy, tattooed and criminally-minded lassie has been through the revolving doors of Kiwi drug rehab clinics and courtrooms more times than she can remember. A not-unsympathetic judge working for Her Majesty's Crown in New Zealand has all the facts at his fingertips. Her latest escapade involved smashing into an ATM for drug money.

Deciding Kylie needs some stability in her life. albeit forced, he orders her to several months under house arrest in the countryside with her dear Mum (Rima Te Wiata) in the old country homestead.

Prison might have been better since the family home was never, ever a place Kylie felt comfortable in.

Friday, 2 January 2015

THE FILM CORNER'S 4TH ANNUAL TOP 10 HEROES OF CANADIAN FILM as selected by your Most Reverend Greg Klymkiw in this, the year of Our Good Lord, 2014 (in alphabetical order, of course)

as selected by the Film Corner's Most Reverend Greg Klymkiw
(in alphabetical order, of course)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

THE FILM CORNER CANADIAN FILM AWARDS 2014 - The very best in Canadian Cinema - Many of these films were first unleashed at such film festivals and venues as TIFF 2014, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Hot Docs 2014, Toronto After Dark 2014, FantAsia 2014, FNC 2014, BITS 2014, NIFF 2014, The Royal Cinema and the Magic Lantern Carlton Cinemas