TFCA Friday: Week of May 19th, 2017

May 19, 2017

Welcome to TFCA Friday, a weekly round-up of film reviews by TFCA critics.

Opening this Week

Alien: Covenant (dir. Ridley Scott)

A staid act of studio commerce – a familiar franchise that trades storytelling for intellectual property, originality for nostalgia” — BH

Revives a blockbuster franchise that had become lost in space” — PH

A straight-up creature feature with creepy critters galore and plenty of disgusting bloodshed” — Liz Braun

Incoherent and pointlessly complicated” — NW

Will feel like you’ve seen it before (and that’s not a bad thing)” — CK

Ridley Scott at 80 proves he still has the chops” — GS

Feels like a return to familiarity… but assured, confident, and swaggering” — AP

Video: Should you run to see Alien: Covenant? — RS

Video: Come for the Fassbenders, stay for the splatter-rific finale — EG

Alone in Berlin (dir. Vincent Perez)

A master class in tension and intimacy” — NW

At best, a decent episode of Masterpiece Theatre” — AP

Certain Women (dir. Kelly Reichardt)

A quiet masterpiece” — NW

Masterful” — AP

The definition of skillful, aware filmmaking” — KG

Chuck (also known as The Bleeder; dir. Philippe Falardeau)

The GoodFellas of boxing movies” — NW

At the very least, you’re guaranteed never to look at Stallone’s Rocky the same way ever again” — CK

A hard watch of a loser’s redemption” — GS

Heartily satisfies a lot of basic cinematic dietary requirements and leaves viewers full” — AP

The Commune (dir. Thomas Vinterberg)

Has its moments, but it never pulls itself together the way it clearly wants to” — NW

Feature: Dogme has more than a little in common with the 1970s social experiment in collective living — NA

Vinterberg’s most emotional film” — GS

Boasts a good idea, and then wastes it on a completely different, less engaging story” — AP

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (dir. David Bowers)

Delivers the same kind of kid-level laughs and slapstick shenanigans as previous movies” — Linda Barnard

It doesn’t work unless you’ve never seen another film in your life” — AP

Everything, Everything (dir. Stella Meghie)

Clears a low set bar with a great deal of ease and grace” — AP

Somehow more enjoyable than a film about immune-deficiency should be” — LL

Fight for Space (dir. Paul Hildebrandt)

A compelling argument delivered very well, even if Hildebrandt does lean a little too hard on the cheesy musical score” — NW

The Gardener (dir. Sébastien Chabot)

Even those with no horticultural ability whatsoever – okay, I’m talking about myself – can enjoy The Gardener” — NW

Everyone who sees this doc would be inline for tickets to see the fabulous featured garden” — GS

Nicely balances the primal naturalism of gardening and a deeply personal story of one artist’s imagination” — AP

The Lovers (dir. Azazel Jacobs)

Absolutely charming tale about falling in love with your ex” — GS

Winger and Letts are a joy to watch together and apart” — AP

A delicate, deadpan comic fable, as if someone gave Boccaccio a camera and an indie film budget” — JS

Tommy’s Honour (dir. Jason Connery)

A very safe, very respectful film that takes few chances and holds no surprises” — NW

Vancouver: No Fixed Address (dir. Charles Wilkinson)

Articulates a great number of concerns with great empathy and skepticism” — AP

Reviews by: Norman Wilner (NW), Andrew Parker (AP), Gilbert Seah (GS), Johanna Schneller (JS), Chris Knight (CK), Karen Gordon (KG), Barry Hertz (BH), Liz Braun, Linda BarnardPeter Howell (PH), Radheyan Simonpillai (RS), Nathalie Atkinson (NA), Eli Glasner (EG).