Film Category

It was tricky for me to choose a movie to review this month. I wanted to mix it up a bit for you, the reader, but I also wanted to watch something I would enjoy as a viewer. So, I pored over IMDB and Rotten Tomato ratings and a number of reviews before ultimately selecting The Accountant. The basic premise of the movie is that the accountant, Christian Wolff, played by the stoic Ben Affleck, is an autistic savant. He’s brilliant at math and puzzles, but has trouble socializing andRead More
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a delightfully adventurous, witty, and poignant story with equal parts of beautiful cinematography, clever lines, touching characters, and hijinks. Written and directed by Taika Waititi (based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump), the film has a delightful lineup including Julian Dennison as Ricky Baker, Sam Neill as his “Uncle” Hector (Hec) and Rima Te Wiata as “Aunt” Bella. The film opens with foster-child and delinquent Ricky being dropped off with a new foster family in the New Zealand wilderness. TheRead More
Kubo and the Two Strings is an animated masterpiece that is visually mesmerizing from beginning to end. The most recent passion project of studio Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls), Kubo is a stop-motion animation (with computer generated enhancements) that truly dazzles. In the words of director and CEO Travis Knight, “At its core, Kubo is a stop-motion samurai film.” And then it piles all sorts of layers on top of that. It is an ambitious project to say the least and I admire the studio for taking risks andRead More
Before I introduce the main event (Finding Dory), I must first honour the creative and artistic geniuses behind the Pixar animated short, “Piper”. This delightful vignette tells the story of a hungry sandpiper hatchling who must venture out of the nest for the first time to dig for her own food along the shoreline. Her timing is a bit off and she gets buffeted about by the water’s frothy edge before triumphantly enjoying her first catch. The animation is so incredibly realistic, I wasn’t even sure if I was watchingRead More
I’ll be honest, I didn’t got to the theatre last Saturday to watch the new Ghostbusters movie. My roommate was driving me crazy and my house was hot and I was escaping to the air conditioned movie theatre to see the hopefully lighthearted and heartwarming Finding Dory. Except when I got to the theatre, the show times at the box office didn’t match the ones I looked up on their website earlier. And so that’s how I ended up seeing the new, revamped, sex-reversed Ghostbusters. In case you’ve been campingRead More

Posted On June 17, 2016By Parvati MagazineIn Film, July 2016 - Be Present

Film: Sing Street

Flying under the radar this spring was Sing Street, a brilliant coming-of-age piece by John Carney (Once, Begin Again) set in 1980s recession-era Dublin. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo plays the teenaged Conor, pulled out of private school when his parents hit tough financial times. He quickly finds himself bullied in a rowdy, hostile school. His muse arrives in the form of the mysterious Raphina (Lucy Boynton), an older girl who looks like a hairsprayed vision straight out of a John Hughes film. Conor tells her he’s in a band and asks herRead More
At first glance, the 1993 movie “Little Buddha” seems too far-fetched to succeed. Razzie-nominated rock musician turned actor Chris Isaac as the father of a tulku (a child believed to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama), and Keanu Reeves (closer at that time to his “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” than his “Matrix” days) as Buddha? Whoa, dude. But by the time the closing credits roll to an orchestral setting of the Heart Sutra, something beautiful and inspiring has taken place in this movie. “Little Buddha” weaves together twoRead More
During a recent trip to Hollywood to meet with radio execs, I had some downtime with family and went to see “The Jungle Book”. I did not have great expectations of this movie because the trailer had made it seem aggressive and a bit like Jurassic Park. I was initially only attracted to it due to the effects. But I was pleasantly surprised by its spirit and how true it was compared to the original 1967 Disney movie. The pacing had changed to reflect our sped-up times, but the storyRead More
Joseph Campbell’s influence on the original Star Wars trilogy was palpable. George Lucas brought forward a cohesive and compelling narrative informed by Campbell’s archetypal hero’s journey. The wisdom exemplified in the Jedi teachings resonates at a soul level. As such, the original trilogy wasn’t just an amazing space adventure with daring chase scenes and hugely impressive puppetry for its era. It was soul food. It helped the reader believe in deeper meaning and power. Fans put off by the cheap dialogue, questionable plot, and excessive use of Jar-Jar Binks inRead More

Posted On January 2, 2016By Parvati MagazineIn Film, January 2016 - Wisdom

Film: Room, by Pranada Devi

  For a film to take as its starting point the years-long forced confinement and rape of a young woman and make it beautiful without disconnecting or becoming saccharine, is a tall order. By some accounts, the likely Oscar nominee Room manages. But not everyone agrees. The premise of the story is that five-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay), born to his mother as the result of ongoing rapes by her captor, has lived his entire life in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot room (a heavily reinforced and soundproofed garden shed) and has no ideaRead More