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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sean Kelly

Fantasia 2017: 78/52

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Hot Docs 2017

The shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is broken down and analyzed in 78/52. Created with 78 set-ups and 52 shots, the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho has become one of the most iconic sequences of film history. With its use of quick cuts and suggested nudity and violence, the scene broke many taboos from the time. Multiple individuals, ranging from editor Walter Murch to Elijah Wood, watch the shower scene and break down the individual moments that make it so iconic.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sean Kelly

Fantasia 2017: Game of Death

A group of friends play a board game that literally blows their minds in Game of Death. While gathered together for a party, Tom (Samuel Earle), Beth (Victoria Diamond), Ashley (Emelia Hellman), Mary-ann (Catherine Saindon), Tyler (Erniel Baez Duenas), Kenny (Nick Serino), and Matthew (Thomas Vallieres) find an begin playing a mysterious board game called "Game of Death." According to the rules of the game, 24 people have to be killed, with one of the players being executed if they fail to commit a murder before time runs out. The friends initially laugh off the rules of the game, though things become deadly serious when one of the groups' head suddenly explodes. It is still or be killed as the remaining friends try to survive the Game of Death.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Sean Kelly

Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

The sentient apes prepare for a last stand against the remaining humans in War for the Planet of the Apes. It has now been fifteen years since the apes lead by 
Caesar (Andy Serkis) gained intelligence and began a life for themselves in the Muir Woods outside of San Francisco. Thanks to the previous actions of deceased ape Koba (Toby Kebbell), the apes are now in the midst of all out war with the surviving humans, lead by a sadistic Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Following an attack by The Colonel leaving tragic casualties, Caesar vows vengeance and goes off to confront the leader, accompanied only by his closest advisers Maurice (Karin Konoval), Rocket (Terry Notary), and Luca (Michael Adamthwaite). Along the way, Caesar finds a mute human girl named Nova (Amiah Miller) and former zoo ape Bad Ape (Steve Zahn), the latter of whom acts as a guide to The Colonel's base.

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Sean Kelly

Fantasia 2017....from the comfort of home

The 2017 edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival is currently underway. I was unable to make it into Montreal for the film festival this year, but I am still going to be doing some coverage of the festival remotely from here in Toronto. While it probably won't be as in-depth as my previous coverage, keep an eye out for a number of Fantasia reviews to be posted over the course of the next couple weeks.

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Sean Kelly

R.I.P. George A. Romero

We lost one of the undisputed masters of horror this past weekend, as George A. Romero passed away from cancer at age 77. Romero is probably best known for creating the modern depiction of zombies in 1968's Night of the Living Dead and its multiple follow-ups that includes 1978's Dawn of the Dead, 1985's Day of the Dead, 2005's Land of the Dead, 2007's Diary of the Dead, and 2009's Survival of the Dead. In addition to his many zombie film, George A. Romero made a number of other contributions to the horror genre, including 1973's The Crazies, 1982's Creepshow, and 1988's Monkey Shines. There will probably never be another horror filmmaker like George A. Romero and he will most definitely be missed.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Sean Kelly

Review: The Big Sick

This review may contain SPOILERS

A Pakistani comedian learns to deal with cultural differences as he bonds with his sick girlfriend's family in The Big Sick. Aspiring comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) has an awkward relationship with his Pakistani parents Azmat and Sharmeen (Anupam Kher and Zenobia Shroff), who are always introducing Kumail to possible arranged spouses. Meanwhile, Kumail meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one his shows and they quickly fall for each other. However, when Emily finds out that Kumail is afraid their interracial relationship will shame his family, she decides to leave him. Soon afterwards, Kumail receives a call saying that Emily is sick in the hospital with a mysterious infection. As the doctors try to figure out what's wrong, Kumail meets and gets to know Emily's parents Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano).

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sean Kelly

Review: Tickling Giants

At doctor turned political satirist receives backlash from the Egyptian regime in Tickling Giants. In the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring, Egyptian heart surgeon Bassem Youssef decided to respond to biased media coverage of the uprising by creating his own satirical news program in the style of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. Beginning as YouTube videos, Al-Bernameg (The Show) quickly became a TV hit, as Youssef spoke out against both ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and his successor Mohamed Morsi. However, when Bassem Youssef's satire moved towards the popular General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, both the media and general public began to turn against the satirist.

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