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Month in Review: July 2011

by on 2011/07/31

Our second annual survey of CanCon (Canadian content) taught me two very important personal lessons.

1. We are spoiled for choice in the movies (and TV) of Canada. It’s easy to complain or dismiss or — perhaps worst of all — despair. But between two bargain bin rummagers, we discovered an embarrassment of overlooked riches.

2. There are not enough hours in the day — or for that matter, days in the month — to cover as much as we’d like. Even narrowing down selections didn’t even help all that much in the end. Too many promising videos got left in the “to review” stacks.

There were times this month when I wondered whether this focus could be sustained full-time. It was an exceedingly difficult group to pare down, with many worthy contenders coming so close, and far too many getting cut.

I nearly changed the usual list to one of favourites only. But in the interest of consistency, here are my standard five: favourites, surprises, disappointments, least-liked, and hoping to be shown by our resident lady of the northwest.

Happy Canada Month!


Favourite:
One Week (2008) on 2011/07/19

* * * * *

“One Week demonstrates why low-budget independents remain vital. Compelling characters, interesting tales, and original approaches to their telling can compete with big budget blockbusters any time.”



Surprise:
C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) on 2011/07/10

* * * * *

“Experiences like C.R.A.Z.Y. keep me watching and writing reviews. It’s an unconventional epic, but an epic nonetheless, the portrait of an outsider in the pre-It-Gets-Better days. Everybody’s Fine remixed by The Buddha of Suburbia.”



Disappointment:
Exotica (1994) on 2011/07/12

* * *

“No doubt, Exotica’s very well made, complex yet elegant, realistic and fantastic, but it didn’t get through to me. It didn’t affect, edify, educate, or entertain me, though I wish I could say that it had.”



Least-Liked:
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) on 2011/07/08

* *

“I’m not convinced the good outweighs the bad. It’s a matter of sound and fury, of art for art’s sake, of self-pleasure. Of course, Hobo is self-evident exploitation, but I still felt it went overboard.”



Show Me:
Ginger Snaps Back (2004) on 2011/07/07

* * * *

“Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning sets the Gingerified werewolf formula in a National Film Board-esque study of voyageurs, the Northern fur trade and forming of our great icy nation. The result is a fur-and-talons prequel delight.”


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