The Campaign

No game changer – ★★½ With it being election year in America you would have hoped for a little insight or commentary from Hollywood. Instead with two very different films that may actually make people think about political systems and power – Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty – both scheduled for release in December after Obama’s face-off with Romney is decided, it seems like the best we can hope for is... Read More

Killing Them Softly

If looks could kill – ★★★ Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) has teamed up once again with Brad Pitt to present a black comedy State of the Union address. It tells the story of two deadbeats Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) who stick up a card game, having what they think is the perfect fall guy. Unfortunately things don’t go according to plan and when the people in charge call in Jackie Cogan (Brad... Read More

To Rome with Love

Roman Holiday – ★★★ Woody Allen returns to acting in his own film after a six year gap. Was it worth the wait? Eh, sort of. To Rome with Love sees a return to more madcap Allen after the linear, if odd, Midnight in Paris. There are essentially four stories at work here with some small off-shoots. Hayley (Alison Pill) is an American tourist who falls in love with a local while holidaying in Rome. Her father Jerry (Woody Allen) is an ahead of his time/terrible classical... Read More

Premium Rush

Close to a car crash – ★½ At long last we get a movie about cycling! And it’s set in lovely New York! And it’s got trendy hipsters! Who work as thrill-seeking bike couriers! They don’t have brakes because they ride fixies! They might die! Yay! Read More  Read More

TIFF Day 5 – To the Wonder

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. Not quite a tree of life – ★★★½ [TIFF listing] Director: Terrence Malick  //  Country: USA  //  Year: 2012  //  Language: English, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish  //  Runtime: 112 minutes  //  Principal Cast: Javier Bardem, Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams  //  Screenplay: Terrence Malick How the hell do you go about reviewing a Terrence Malick film? That’s actually a serious question. The traditional... Read More

TIFF Day 5 – Sightseers

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. We’re all going on a summer holiday – ★★★★ [TIFF listing] Director: Ben Wheatley  //  Country: United Kingdom  //  Year: 2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime: 89 minutes  //  Rating: 18A  //  Principal Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies, Jonathan Aris, Richard Glover, Monica Dolan  //  Screenplay: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram The latest film from Ben Wheatley (alas no relation) returns to the black-as-night... Read More

TIFF Day 4 – Byzantium

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. Time for new blood – ★★★ [TIFF listing] Director: Neil Jordan  //  Countries: United Kingdom / Ireland  //  Year: 2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime: 118 minutes  //  Principal Cast: Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller, Daniel Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, Kate Ashfield, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Uri Gavriel, Thure Lindhardt  //  Screenplay: Moira Buffini A quick prediction. No review of Byzantium, the... Read More

Anna Karenina

All the world’s a stage – ★★★★ How do you condense a near 1,000 page book into a palatable two hour movie? Well it helps if you have Joe Wright at the helm, Sir Tom Stoppard to adapt the screenplay and stars like Keira Knightley and Domhnall Gleeson on top form. Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” in a paragraph with no spoilers, I think – It commences with Anna (Keira Knightley) going to the aid of her brother Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen)... Read More

TIFF Day 4 – The Sessions

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. The diving bell and the 40-year-old virgin – ★★★½ Director: Ben Lewin  //  Country: USA  //  Year: 2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime: 95 minutes  //  Rating:14A  //  Principal Cast: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy  //  Screenplay: Ben Lewin The Sessions (previously known as The Surrogate, but changed due to similarities with the Bruce Willis action film from a few years ago) is based on the real-life... Read More

TIFF Day 4 – The Central Park Five

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. It does matter if you’re black or white – ★★★★★ [TIFF listing] Directors: Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns  //  Country: USA  //  Year: 2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime: 119 minutes  Ken Burns is best-known as a history documentary-maker and the man who pioneered the method of slowly zooming in on or panning across a photograph or illustration in order to create a sense of movement. For his latest... Read More

TIFF Day 3 – Everyday

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. Every day seems a little a longer… – ★★★★ [TIFF listing] Director: Michael Winterbottom  //  Country: United Kingdom  //  Year:2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime:94 minutes  //  Principal Cast: Shirley Henderson, John Simm, Shaun Kirk, Katrina Kirk, Stephanie Kirk, Robert Kirk  //  Screenplay: Laurence Coriat, Michael Winterbottom Michael Winterbottom’s Everyday is not going to be for everyone.... Read More

TIFF Day 2 – Imogene

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. Kristen Don’t - ★½ [TIFF listing] Directors: Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman  //  Country: USA  //  2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime:103 minutes  //  Principal Cast: Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss, Kristen Wiig Husband and wife team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s fourth directorial feature (American Splendor being the splash-making debut with The Nanny Diaries and The Extra... Read More

TIFF Day 1 – Jason Reitman’s live script reading of “American Beauty”

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. 8 actors and a plastic bag – ★★★★★ While most of the attention of the watching media was focused on the opening gala screening of Looper at Roy Thomson Hall, those of us present in Ryerson University’s theatre were treated to a much more unique evening’s entertainment. Read More  Read More

TIFF 2012 – A look ahead

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here. | o | – It’s TIFF 2012 time!   I finished up at my job at the tail end of July and we all (@dunnez, @oheag2 and previously @parallellevision) moved out of our lovely old house on Toronto’s Davenport Road. Since then I have spent time faffing about with my family, camping in Canada’s wondrous Algonquin Park and travelling around the eastern side of the US. Usually you do all those things and then go back to your... Read More


Brotherly Love – ★★★★½ As far back as I can remember, I always loved gangster movies. Lawless is the latest offering from John Hillcoat, penned by Nick Cave and starring Tom Hardy, Shia LeBeouf and Jessica Chastain. Following the lives of the Bondurant brothers out of Franklin County, Virginia it ticks all the boxes. Prohibition is in full swing and the Bondurant brothers are making plenty of moonshine. Jack (Shia LeBeouf) narrates the tale of how he and his brothers... Read More newsalert!

Museum of the Moving Image (New York City), a museum located in Astoria, Queens. No doubt you’ve all noticed the slight slow-down in posts here at Spooool Towers. Worry not! At the end of July, Nigel, the Toronto-based half of this enterprise finished his job and packed up his bags to visit the United States of America. Part of this jaunt included a week in New York with the Dublin-based spooooler Páraic and instagram-yer-ma @sunburntjets. We had serious craic. Nigel is... Read More

Berberian Sound Studio

The Devil is in the Detail – ★★★★½ People often say Bill Hicks was a comedians comedian who was not fully appreciated by the mainstream, but, for lovers of the craft and those with a passion for the medium, he was untouchable. Peter Strickland the writer/director of Berberian Sound Studio may just have created a film lovers film. Read More  Read More


The circle of life – ★★★★ Samsara is a philosophy within Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga to name but a few religions, pertaining to the belief that the life we are leading is only one of many. Literally meaning “continuous flow”, Ron Fickle’s new film shows this in astounding ways and is the most beautiful film you’ll see all year. Filmed over 25 countries for the best part of five years and on 70mm film, it’s a labour of love from the people... Read More