The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Despite a challenging premise and an overlong runtime, the Hunger Games prequel makes the most of the hand it’s been dealt.
The character of Coriolanus Snow is an odd choice for a Hunger Games hero. In the original books and films, as played by screen giant Donald Sutherland, Snow was a cold-hearted, cruel dictator clearly meant to echo real world fascist leaders. Here, in the prequel story The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (say that five times fast), Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) is just a sensitive, emotional teen dreamboat whose main goal is to provide for his family in the wake of the violent revolution that tore apart Panem, the country formerly known as the United States of America. Continue Reading →
This year's TIFF featured three tales of lost souls forging their own paths -- some of them bloodier than others.
Tales of transformation are the order of the day at this year's TIFF, signposted by a trio of European films acutely concerned with the struggles women and AFAB people undertake to thrive -- or, in many cases, just survive. Take Héléna Klotz's spellbinding second feature, Spirit of Ecstasy, an icy but enthralling coming-of-age story centered around Jeanne Francoeur (Claire Pommet, best known under her French pop star alias Pomme) a non-binary child of a French gendarme who struggles to break through the glass ceiling of the French wealth management firm they work at as a quantitative analyst. Continue Reading →
The Witcher returns for its third season, Henry Cavill’s final run as Geralt of Rivera, Witcher, before Liam Hemsworth steps into the White Wolf’s big boots. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich introduces yet another tonal shift to the series, which has suffered a bit of an identity crisis since its bombastic first season. After the uneven season two and the head-scratching prequel spinoff Blood Origins, Season three takes a step back from intricate political intrigue to deliver a more straightforward narrative. Continue Reading →
Makbul Mubarak’s debut Autobiography delves deep to examine loyalty & family under dictatorship.
(This review is part of our coverage of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival) Continue Reading →
Mike Pondsmith, creator of the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk—which video game studio CD Projekt Red adapted into Cyberpunk 2077 and which in turn led to the creation of Studio TRIGGER (Promare)'s 10-episode anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners—said this: Continue Reading →