Author: Jason Stamp

2017 Inside Out Film Festival Reviews

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It’s time for the 27th edition of the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival and I’m back reviewing a selection of the films screening during this year’s event. This is always a highlight for me among the many film festivals that Toronto hosts throughout the year. It always promises to showcase some of the best offerings in LGBT cinema.

UPDATED: Canadian Film Fest 2016: Jackie Boy

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Jackie Boy will be having a one-week theatrical engagement May 5-11 at The Royal Cinema, 608 College St, Toronto.

There comes a time in most of our lives when we meet someone that will change the course we are on.  Sometimes that person saves us from ourselves at the precise moment we need it.  They can make us examine the path we’ve been on and the consequences of our destructive actions.  Director Cody Campanale’s Jackie Boy examines the cost of paying for past mistakes and being unable to emotionally process the difficult moments in our lives in this rough and gritty debut.

Hot Docs 2017 Reviews

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We are back again for the 2017 edition of the Hot Docs Film Festival reviewing films, and keeping an ear to the ground to see what has audiences buzzing. Last year’s festival screened two of the nominees for the 2017 Best Documentary Feature Oscar including the eventual winner OJ: Made in America, so there’s no doubt that once again the year’s best docs will be on full display.

TADFF2016 Review: In the Valley of Violence

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The Western has enjoyed enduring popularity for decades. Its heyday was probably the 1960s but that hasn’t stopped many directors from continuing to try their hand at the genre. Ti West is the latest director to give it a go, departing from his usual suspense and horror fare that he’s known for. His new film In the Valley of Violence is a classic revenge story starring Ethan Hawke in his second Western of the year. It’s the kind of story that has been done many times so it’s bound to be difficult to find a fresh angle that breathes new life into it. Unfortunately for West, he is unable to find that spark that gives us something fresh and exciting, instead producing something that feels like it has been done before and better.

TADFF 2016 Review: The Stakelander

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One of the best vampire films of the past decade was an indie film called Stake Land. It tied together a gritty, desperate post-apocalyptic world with a solid road trip story of survival and frightening vampires that carried zombie-like tendencies. The film was a great alternative to the more popular Hollywood vampire films such as the Twilight franchise. So when it was announced unexpectedly that a sequel to the hit film had been finished without anyone outside the production team even knowing it was happening, anticipation immediately skyrocketed. Dan Berk and Robert Olsen return us to this world in the follow-up titled The Stakelander. However, while they have put forth a noble effort, this one fails to live up to the incredibly strong original.