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Sample: Title; rating (out of 4); principal setting; year of release; international co-producer (if any); cast; description; scriptwriter; director; content warning; running time.
LE FABULEUX VOYAGE DE L'ANGE
* 1/2 setting: P.Q.
(1991) Daniel Lavoie, Genevieve Grandbois, Marcel Sabourin, Sylvie Marie Gagnon, Francois Chenier, Tsukasa Yoshinaka.....Taxi driver (Lavoie) who also writes SF comic strips, feeling alienated from his daughter, trys to deal with his problems through a comic strip reality. Cute, surreal idea never amounts to more than an insubstantial film, thanks to characters that never become more than set pieces and a sense of magic and wonder that never materializes. Singer/songwriter Lavoie scored the film. English title: The Fabulous Voyage of the Angel. sc: Norman Desjardins, Jean Pierre Lefebvre. dir: Jean Pierre Lefebvre. - sexual content.- 101 min.
The Fabulous Riverboat, one of Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld books, was part of the inspiration for the movie Riverworld.
THE FABULOUS VOYAGE OF THE ANGEL see Le fabuleux voyage de l'ange
FACE OFF *
* setting: Ont.
(1972) Trudy Young, Art Hindle, Frank Moore, John Vernon, George Armstrong.....Story of the difficult relationship between a rough hockey player (Hindle) and a pacifistic folk singer (Young). Unconvincing romance starts out O.K. but becomes pretty incomprehensible near the end thanks to the poor development of Young's character. The Toronto Maple Leafs play themselves. sc: George Robertson. dir: George McCowan. 106 min.
FACES IN THE CROWD
* * 1/2 setting: USA.
(2011) (/France/U.S.) Milla Jovovich, Julian McMahon, David Atrakchi, Sarah Wayne Callies, Michael Shanks, Marianne Faithful.....American woman (American Jovovich) witnesses a serial killer, but receives a head injury that leaves her with prosopagnosia -- "face-blindness" (an inability to recognize faces, even of friends) -- which not only creates upheavals in her life...but means the killer can stalk her with impunity. Okay thriller is slickly stylish and well acted, and with some clever scenes involving the heroine's disability. But the thriller plot is fairly basic (chances are, you'll guess the killer early) and at times, you might be unsure whether this is a thriller using the twist of the face-blindness (reminiscent, in its way, of the earlier film "Blink")...or an earnest Disease-of-the-week drama jazzed up as a thriller. With its stabs at character bits and thematic undercurrents, it's a feature-film that definitely wants to be more than just a movie-of-the-week-like thriller...without quite developing those aspects fully to make that leap (particularly the obligatory relationship between Jovovich and Aussie-American McMahon as the lead detective). A strange use -- or misuse -- of a cast, with Jovovich and McMahon (and maybe Atrakchi as his partner) getting most of the screen time, while even prominently billed Callies and Shanks mainly just dub various actors who appear (to the heroine's eyes) as their characters -- although, conversely, there is a fun in watching a parade of familiar Canadian faces adopt the roles for a scene or two, including Anthony Lemke, Rosemary Dunsmore, Adam Harrington, Krista Bridges, Sandrine Holt, and others. sc./dir: Julien Magnat.- violence, sexual content.- 103 min.
(2006-2007) * * * Steve Byers ("Jason Tanner"), Jennifer Kydd ("Paige Bradshaw"), Devon Weigel ("Tanya Shedden"), Ephraim Ellis ("Danny Ellis"), Melissa Elias ("Erin Haddad"), Morgan Kelly ("Lane Bradshaw"), with Allison Hossack ("Ginny Bradshaw"), Ted Whittall ("Trevor Bradshaw"), Lynda Boyd ("Darlene Shedden"), Jill Teed ("Peggy Tanner"), Peter Mooney ("Dr. Adrian Keeper"), others.....Drama/soap about a summer resort town in Manitoba and the various teens/young adults and their parents who inhabit it. Many such series either follow the characters year round or have the season follow the characters for the school year (when the series actually airs), then go on summer hiatus at the same time the characters go on summer holidays. This series, being a set at a summer resort, inverts that, as the seasons take place during the summer holidays...then breaks when the characters go off to school.
TV series (which kicked off as a TV movie in 2005) is an attempt by Canadians to emulate the Hollywood formula of teen night time dramas, particularly the more recent formula of "The OC" and the (comedy/drama) "The Gilmore Girls" and others in that some focus is given to the parents and their trials n' tribs, in an effort to make this seem more than just a "teen-aimed" program. And surprise surprise...they actually pull it off! Tightly paced scenes and multiple plot threads keep it from getting boring; melodramatic story lines (drug dealers, teen pregnancy) mix with the more grounded (divorcing parents), plus, of course, the on again/off again romances, keeps it nicely pulpy and entertaining, with a generally decent cast (anchored by Kydd among the teen/young adult characters). Slick enough to be genuinely compelling while watching an hour...though, other than Kydd and Hossack's characters, some of the other characters/actors aren't as compelling. Still, definitely worth a look. Created by Shannon Farr and John Murray. One season of hour long episodes, shown in Canada on CanWest-Global.
FALCON'S GOLD *
1/2 setting: other
(1982) (/U.S.) John Marley, Simon MacCorkindale, Louise Vallance, George Touliatos, Blanca Guerra.....Reporter (MacCorkindale) agrees to head a safari (for Marley) into the Mexican jungle in search of a volatile treasure -- with baddies close on their heels. Limp action-adventure flick, ala "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (though occasionally with more racy material) and others, was the first film to be made for Pay-TV. Uninspired and pretty boring...even with Guerra's nude scenes. a.k.a. Robbers Of The Sacred Mountain. sc: Olaf Pooley, Walter Bell. dir: Bob Schulz. - partial female nudity, sexual content.- 90 min.
FALLEN KNIGHT *
1/2 setting: USA/other
(1998) Dolph Lundgren, Francoise Robertson, Roc LaFortune, David Nerman, Don Francks, Michael Greyeyes, Allen Altman, Jean Marc Bisson.....A lady archaeologist's (Robertson) excavation in New York City on the eve of the millennium accidentally unearths an ancient key that can free Satan -- drawing a member of a secret Templar Knights order (Lundgren) and a demon that can possess dead bodies. Action flick boasts glossy film stock, and isn't particularly gory (for a straight-to-video action pic), and has an intriguing premise -- too bad the results aren't very good. During the clumsy action scenes, you can't wait for the characters to start talking, then during the long-winded, repetative, and not altogether coherent talky scenes you wish they'd just shut up and start fighting. sc: Matt Roe, Ripley Highsmith. dir: Jean-Marc Piche. - violence.- 96 min.
* * setting: CDN.
(2003) Miranda Richardson, Callum Keith Rennie, Katharine Isabelle, Kristin Adams, Monte Gagne, Mark McKinney, Kett Tutton, Ingrid Nilson.....Story of three different sisters growing up in a dysfunctional family in the 1960s, with their troubled, invalid mom (British actress Richardson) and their alcoholic, volatile dad (Rennie). Drama is quirky (as one character remarks: "I've never met someone with their own bomb shelter before"), boasts a nice visual style, crackerjack performances all around, and some very good -- if overly -- deliberate scenes. But the whole starts to sag under its own weight, as the disparate plot threads seem kind of undeveloped and disjointed, lurching from one vignette to another, rather than flowing inexorably from one scene to the next -- building to a shaggy dog ending. And the action is too much at arm's length, as you wait for a character, or a plot thread, to emerge as the central focus -- but none really does (though Gagne woorks best as the bespectacled Norma). sc: Esta Spalding (from the novel by Barabara Gowdy). dir: Scott Smith. - sexual content.- 104 min.
* * 1/2
(1998) Christopher Shyer, Nicole Oliver, Rob Lee, John Cassini, Mike Kopsa.....A relationship between a man (Shyer) and a woman (Oliver) is disrupted by her possibly psychotic ex-husband (Lee) -- told "Roshomon"-style from each of thhe three characters' rather differing perspectives. Intriguing, generally effective drama-suspenser, particularly once you realize not everything is what it seems or can be taken at face value. Though the whole thing is under-lit. It may be intended for artistic effect, but too many scenes have you squinting just to figure out what's going on! Good performances. sc./dir: Raul Sanchez Inglis (story by Simon Barry and Inglis). - partial female nudity, sexual content, violence.- 95 min.
FALLING FOR YOU *
(1995) (/U.S.) Jennie Garth, Billy Dee Williams, Currie Graham, Costas Mandylor, Peter Outerbridge, Eugene Clark, Helen Shaver, Kimberly Huie.....Story of a young woman (Garth) suffering from partial amnesia after being attacked by a serial killer, unaware he's moved into her apartment building, and of the cop (Williams) who's investigating. Sluggish, tensionless made-for-TV suspenser is pretty uninteresting and even sillily directed at times. Shaver appears in just one scene. sc: Tim Kring, Paul Eric Myers (from the play "Last Tag" by Mitch Giannunzio). dir: Eric Till. - violence.- 92 min.
FALLING FROM THE SKY: Flight 174
* * * setting: CDN.
(1995) (/U.S.) William Devane, Scott Hylands, Winston Rekert, Shelley Hack, Kevin McNulty, Gwynyth Walsh, Gloria Carlin, Suzy Joachim, Mariette Hartley, John Turturro, Philip Granger.....True story of the 1983 near-disaster when a cross-Canada passenger air-plane ran out of fuel...in mid-air. Good little suspense-drama benefits from nicely understated performances, and is a relief from so many made-for-TV true stories which are about serial killers and child molesters. The pic's chief weakness is that, true or not, it plays like a dozen other air disaster films, though better than many. Bob Pearson, the real-life pilot, has a cameo at the beginning as an instructor. sc: Lionel Chetwynd (from the book Freefall by William & Marilyn Hoffer). dir: Jorge Montesi. 91 min.
FALLING OVER BACKWARDS
* * setting: P.Q.
(1990) Saul Rubinek, Paul Soles, Julie St.Pierre, Helen Hughes, Carolyn Scott, Monte Stethem, Rose-Andree Michaud.....Middle-aged divorcee (Rubinek), depressed with relationships, has his crotchety father (Soles) move in with him and is attracted to his landlady (St.Pierre). Comedy is amusing but not exactly funny, and it wants to be thoughtful, but isn't particularly. The actors, particularly Rubinek, have trouble raising their characters above their assorted foibles, neurosis, and obnoxiousness. Nice use of old-style music. sc./dir: Mort Ransen. - partial female nudity.- 105 min.
FALLING THROUGH *
* setting: other
(2000) (/France/Luxembourg) Gordon Currie, Ekaterina Rednikova (a.k.a. Yekaterina Rednikova), Roy Scheider, Peter Weller, Nadia Cameron, Vernon Dobtcheff.....American security expert (Currie) arrives at the U.S. embassy in France and uncovers evidence of a passport forging ring implicating his superior and friend (Weller). Suspenser starts out good looking with a good cast, but ultimately seems all dressed up with nowhere to go. It wants to be murky and oblique, full of grey shade morality, but ends up more confused and inconsistent (even seeming unable to decide if Currie is an everyman, out of his depth, or a James Bond clone given to daring leaps from buildings). Muddy sound, and dialogue lost in accents and mumbling, doesn't make anything clearer. Unusual for this kind of film, star Currie is actually a Canadian actor (maybe the only Canadian in the cast), but the movie's hyper-active attempts to shoehorn in American references (so we won't realize it's a Canada-France-Luxembourg co-production) is actually distracting. The real warning sign, though, is the sex scene 20 minutes into it. Seeing lovely Rednikova without her top is hardly cause for complaint, but supposedly the common wisdom among B-movie producers is that there must be a sex scene 20 minutes into a film. Seeing that "theory" brought so brazenly to life (particularly as the scene is barely even alluded to later, as if it was literally inserted at the last minute) leads one to infer this was a movie that wasn't so much made, as it was manufactured. sc: Ian Corson, Nick Villiers (from a story by J.C. Thomas). dir: Colin Bucksey. - partial female nudity, sexual content, violence.- 95 min.
FALSE PRETENSES *
* 1/2 setting: USA.
(2004) Peta Wilson, Stewart Bick, Melanie Nicholls King, Conrad Pla, Francis-Xavier McCarthy (a.k.a. Francis X. McCarthy), Anthony Lemke, Cas Anvar.....When her wealthy husband commits suicide after losing everything in a scam, an American widow (Wilson), now destitute, takes a job at a Texas diner...only to encounter the swindler (Bick) working his latest con, and she works to ingratiate herself with him in hopes of getting the goods on him. Suspense-drama has some twists, but is too often just workmanlike. Still, squeaks by as an O.K. time-killer. Nice performance from reliable McCarthy, as a good ol' boy investor. Lemke, as the dead hubby, probably deserves a shot at moving up. Import Wilson starred in the Canadian-made Nikita series. sc: Tom Swale. dir: Jason Hreno. - sexual content.- 90 min.
A FAMILY OF COPS
* * 1/2 setting: USA.
(1995) (/U.S.) Charles Bronson, Angela Featherstone, Daniel Baldwin, Sebastian Spence, Barbara Williams, Lesley-Anne Down, Kate Trotter, Caroline Barclay, Simon MacCorkindale, John Vernon, Cynthia Belliveau, Miguel Fernandes, Real Andrews.....Close-knit family of Milwaukee cops (and one defense lawyer), headed by patriarch Bronson, investigates when black sheep daughter (Featherstone) is implicated in a murder. Enjoyable made-for-TV suspense-drama. The mystery-suspense plot is pretty run-of-the-mill, but it's given an added texture by the unusual premise of the family dynamics. Though, at times, the movie can't decided if it's a crime story, or a drama about a family. Nice performances, including a surprisingly sensitive one from Bronson, though prominently billed actors like MacCorkindale, Trotter and Vernon just have bit parts, while actors who have significant roles, like Belliveau (as Baldwin's wife), don't even get billed in the opening credits! Successful enough that it spawned a couple of sequels. sc: Joel Blasberg. dir: Ted Kotcheff. - violence.- 91 min.
FAMILY OF STRANGERS *
* setting: USA./B.C.
(1993) Melissa Gilbert, Patty Duke, William Shatner, Martha Gibson, Gordon Clapp, Chuck Shamata, Eric McCormack, Ashley Rogers.....Needing medical information prior to an operation, an adopted woman (American Gilbert) seeks out her real parents, only to find her mother (American Duke) had been raped and her father one of a handful of suspects. Competent but uninspired made-for-TV drama has some potentially interesting ideas but should've picked one -- adoption, rape, whodunnit -- and stuck with it. Shatner, in a relatively small part, seems too young for his role. "Inspired" by a true story. sc: William Gough, Anna Sandor (from the book Jody by Jerry Hulse). dir: Sheldon Larry. 93 min.
So-so TV series, another try at a U.S.-styled soap opera in Canada, had better production values than the others (Loving Friends and Perfect Couples, Foreign Affairs). But despite an O.K. cast it suffered from awkward delivery (as if the actors lacked rehearsal time), poor dialogue, characters that weren't especially appealing and storylines (despite murder, stalkers, and other dramatic ideas) that never really seemed...interesting. Thomson came across best. This series was even created by Jorge Winther, a German-born veteran of U.S. soaps, and it still fell short of its U.S. inspirers. German title: Macht der Leidenschaft. Half-hour episodes on CTV, though when rerun in 1995, the episodes were put together to make hour-long episodes.
THE FAMILY REUNION
* * setting: other
(1959) Lloyd Bochner, Katharine Blake, Ann Casson, Charmion King, Powys Thomas, Charles Palmer, Mary Savidge, Josephine Barrington, Gillie Fenwick, Donald Ewer.....An upper crust British family gets together for the matriarch's birthday, but things are disrupted, and some secrets exposed, when the wayward son (Bochner) shows signs of being emotionally disturbed by a recent tragedy. Made for CBC TV version of the T.S. Eliot play has a brooding, shadow-drenched production design, but the play itself is awfully mannered in its dialogue (as befits a play by a poet) and sometimes the actors play it that way, too mannered and self-conscious of the artifice -- though Blake inparticular is quite goood. There's too much of a sense that the themes and sub-text swamp the literal narrative so that, toward the end, when some of the characters remark that they don't understand what's going on...it's easy to sympathize with them. Adapted by Alwyne Whatsley. 89 min.
FAMILY REUNION *
* * 1/2 setting: Ont.
(1988) David Eisner, Rebecca Jenkins, Henry Beckman, Linda Sorensen, Paul Soles, Billy Van, Henry Ramer, Frank Moore, Louise Vallance.....Unemployed inventor (Eisner) breaks up with his fiance just before his family reunion, then meets a free-spirt (Jenkins) and winds up with his family thinking she's his fiance. Becomes more farcical toward the end, but still a winning romantic comedy with lots of sub-plots and characterization. Great performances from all (Jenkins is especially appealing in her film debut). Won Best Script Gemini. sc: Avrum Jacobson. dir: Vic Sarin. - casual female nudity.- app. 100 min.
* * 1/2 setting: Ont.
(1987) David Hemblen, Aidan Tierney, Gabrielle Rose, Arsinee Khanjian, Hrant Alianak.....Story of a dysfunctional family in which the stepmother is having an affair with the son who wants to look after the ailing grandmother who's in a rest home where he meets a woman who makes a living talking dirty over the phone and whose client is the father. Got it? Oh, yeah, an' everyone watches a lot of TV. Egoyan's usual serio-comic beat of family alienation, mixed up with video-TV imagery is O.K. with fair performances. sc./dir: Atom Egoyan. - sexual content, casual male nudity.- 86 min.
FAMOUS DEAD PEOPLE *
1/2 setting: CDN.
(1999) Jason Carter, Caryl McKay.....Two people -- a young, aspiring actor (Carter) and an older woman (McKay) -- become trapped in an elevator over a weekend...and tensions and dark revelations occur. Minamalist drama, filmed on video and in black and white (with some cutaways to flashback montages) is a reasonably interesting idea, but not realized sucessfully. The film seems choppy in spots, not really flowing -- or building -- the way it should, andd despite its short running time, it seems heavily padded. And the characters are sufficiently unpleasant, it's hard to care (instead of having the tensions and conflicts build, the characters are snapping and swearing at each other from the beginning!) It comes across like a student film, despite having backing from The Movie Network. The title refers to a game the characters play to pass the time, of naming dead celebrities. sc: Erin Whalen, Myles Shane, Jason Carter. dir: Erin Whalen. 76 min.
FANCY DANCING *
* 1/2 setting: Ont.
(2000) (/U.K.) Jason Priestley, Tanya Allen, Ewen Bremner, Dave Thomas, Dave Foley, Deborah Odell, Connor Price, Jack Duffy.....Shiftless man (Priestley), with a passion for big band music and old fashioned movie musicals, is forced to take responsibility for his life, and reluctantly takes a job with his uncle's advertising agency. Surprising little flick deliberately wants to evoke old school romantic comedies and nostalgia for a bygone era, and is delightfully in-your-face with its Canadianess (and Scottishness) -- though the references to a Golden Age of Canadian movie musicals is, of course, largely fiction. Unfortunately, it's also a bit meandering as it ambles about amiably. It wants to breeze by on charm, and it has just enough of it to be a decent watch...but not enough to be a great watch. Writer-director Simpson even wrote the solid songs and a few more actual musical numbers might've been nice -- if they're going to do a homage to musical comedies, then maybe they should've done it as an unapologetic musical comedy. sc./dir: Brock Simpson. 90 min.
FAR FROM HOME - The Adventures
of Yellow Dog * * 1/2 setting: CDN.
(1995) (/U.S.) Mimi Rogers, Bruce Davison, Jesse Bradford, Tom Bower, Joel Palmer.....A young teen (Bradford) befriends a stray dog, then the two must struggle for survival when they become shipwrecked and lost on the B.C. coast. Good-looking drama should appeal nicely to kids who won't mind the almost complete lack of freshness or originality. Borsos' last film. sc./dir: Philip Borsos. 81 min.
THE FAR SHORE *
* 1/2 setting: P.Q./Ont.
(1976) Frank Moore, Lawrence Benedict, Celine Lomez, Sean McCann, Charlotte Blunt, Susan Petrie.....Story of a woman (Lomez) in 1919, becoming stifled in her marriage (to Benedict) and finding herself growing attracted to her wealthy husband's poor artist friend (Moore, in a role inspired by Tom Thompson). Extremely low-budget drama is slow and uneven, but sparks just often enough to maintain interest, particularly the connection to the real life Thompson and his mysterious death. The performances grow on you, particularly Moore. Artist/avant garde filmmaker Wieland's only mainstream film. sc: Bryan Barney (story Wieland). dir: Joyce Wieland. - sexual content, brief female nudity.- 105 min.
FARTHER WEST *
* setting: Alt./B.C.
(1991) Lorena Gale, Frank Moore, Daniel Kash, Maria Vacratsis, Nicholas Rice, Sandi Ross.....Story of a prostitute/madame (Gale) in the 1890s and her quest for "self"; a man who becomes obsessed with her (Kash); and the fanatical cop (Moore) determined to get her. Staged-for-TV version of the play is competently done, but this so-so drama fails to find many unexplored nuances in its familiar material and is thin on plot. One of those "important" plays where the character reiterates the metaphorical title by constantly talking about heading "further west" -- does playwright Morrell figure the auudience needs to be hit over the head repeatedly? sc: the play by John Morrell. dir. for the stage: John Cooper, dir. for TV: Eric Till. - sexual content.- 93 min.
FAST COMPANY *
1/2 setting: USA./CDN.
(1977) William Smith, Claudia Jennings, John Saxon, Nicholas Campbell, Don Francks, Cedric Smith, Judy Foster, George Buza, Robert Haley, David Graham.....Aging American drag racer (W. Smith) finds himself continually at odds with his unscrupulous financer (Saxon). For those who have been waiting for a drag racing flick, here it is, but for others...well, forewarned is forearmed. Horrormeister Cronenberg races in real life, perhaps explaining his involvement in what, for him, is an atypical project. sc: Phil Savath, Courtney Smith, and David Cronenberg (story Alan Treen). dir: David Cronenberg. - partial female nudity.- 92 min.
FAST FOOD HIGH *
* 1/2 setting: Ont.
(2003) Alison Pill, Sarah Gadon, Joe Dinicol, Gil Bellows, Sabrina Grdevich, John Kapelos, Vik Sahay, Kevin Tighe.....Teen age girl (Pill), fed up with the sleazy new manager (Bellows) at the fast food chain where she works, struggles to organize a union. Ignoring the title (which makes it sound like a teen comedy), this made for CTV drama is well acted, nicely paced and slickly put together. But it's missing an edge, almost as if it can't decide whether it wants to be a grown up drama (as befitting its 9 PM broadcast and the expletives) or a teen-aimed After School Special. And some of the undercurrents aren't realized fully, like class schisms between the kids (with the heroine a bit elitist until she learns better)...when it's hard to tell the nerds from the cool kids! All the "i"s are dotted...but some of the "t"s aren't crossed properly. A good drama, just not a great one. Although inspired by real incidents, the movie is fictional...making the documentary-like end blurbs, explaining what the heroine did later, disturbingly misleading. And what's with the film's endorsement of underage drinking anyway? sc. Jackie May, Tessie Cameron. dir: Nisha Ganatra. 91 min.
THE FAST RUNNER a.k.a. Atanarjuat
FAST TRACK (TV Series)
This TV series, the second Canadian one to be set at a race track (Formula 1), was big, expensive...but ultimately kind of blah. It had muddled ethics and plots that seemed to know the surface of drama, but not the nuts-and-bolts. The series was smart to focus on a doctor, allowing the series to not be too hamstrung by the racetrack-milieu -- in other words, you didn't have to a hardcore racing fanatic to get it -- but movie star Carradine never quite convinced as a roadside Wojeck. Hour-long episodes, including a double-length pilot, aired originally on The Movie Network where it contained cussing, and occasionally brief (usually male) nudity. - brief nudity.-
The Fat Lady with the Thin Face by Connie Gault became Solitude
(1998) C. Thomas Howell, Maxim Roy, see Tales of Intrigue
FATAL ATTRACTION a.k.a. Head On
FATAL MEMORIES *
1/2 setting: USA.
(1992) Shelley Long, David McIlwraith, Dean Stockwell, Helen Shaver, Sara Botsford, Donald MacKay, Robert Wisden.....True story of a U.S. housewife (Long) whose long-suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse leads her to accuse her father of murder. Occasionally moving made-for-TV movie, but more often pretty bad. Confusing and disjointed with unconvincing performances. And how long before Canadian producers run out of American based-on-the-shocking-true-story stories? sc: Audrey Davis Levin. dir: Daryl Duke. 94 min.
* 1/2 setting: USA.
(2006) Amy Jo Johnson, David Haydn-Jones, Paul Popowich, Caol Alt, Lorne Brass.....Young widower (American actress Johnson) moves back to her small American town, and while reconnecting with family and an old beau (Popowich), slowly becomes suspicious of the town's nice guy doctor (Haydn-Jones)...and the rather high mortality rate of his elderly patients. Slow moving suspense drama seems as interested in the human drama of the heroine getting her life together as in the thriller plot...which is only gradually introduced -- but the human drama stuff isn't sufficiently developed (despite the bones of good ideas) to quite work. And though it tries to seem a little well-intentioned -- as though tackling a "social issue" -- it veers too much into schlock territory to be taken that seriously, without really succeeding as a pulpy, edge-of-the-seat thriller. Worse, it's unintentionally funny a few times too often, with some awkward dialogue, delivery, and direction. sc: Andrew Hilton. dir: Philippe Gagnon. - sexual content.- 89 min.
FATHER AND GUNS see De pere en flic
Fathers and Sons, the novel by Ivan Turgenev, was the source for the stage play Nothing Sacred which was, subsequently, filmed for CBC-TV.
THE FAVOURITE GAME *
1/2 setting: P.Q./USA
(2003) JR Bourne, Michele-Barbara Pelletier, Cary Lawrence, Sabine Karsenti, Daniel C. Brochu.....Poet (Bourne) drifts through life, not sticking with anything or anyone, including his romantic relationships (notably to Pelletier), while being fixated on trying to recapture the ideal happiness of his childhood. Pretentious, unpleasant drama has a nice cast, but they're stuck in a pointless story, with the main character inparticular unfathomable and unappealing, spouting "profound" monologues rather than believable dialogue. Even the nudity can't bolster much interest. Liberal use of Leonard Cohen songs on the soundtrack (the movie's based on his novel). sc: Bernar Hebert, N. Antoine, Peter Putka (from the novel by Leonard Cohen). dir: Bernar Hebert. - female nudity, male nudity, sexual content.- 100 min.
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