The Best of TIFF 2019

Art House Film Wire left for the Great White North on Friday, Sept. 6 to soak up the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival for nine days, and as usual, this massive celluloid celebration did not disappoint.  After drinking lots of coffee, taking copious notes and catching 32 movies, here are our top 10 films! “A Hidden Life” – Franz Jagerstatter (August Diehl) enjoys a beautiful life with his wife Franziska (Valerie Pachner) and their kids in the quiet Austrian village of St. Radegund, but trouble begins when World War II…

‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ earns a sizable pile of silver

“Dora and the Lost City of Gold” – Homeschooling kids has been a modern-day topic in suburban households for years.  Certain families may have the resources and aptitude to teach reading, writing and arithmetic – and throw in sex education and dodgeball for good measure – to their children that may prove as effective as public schools.  The advantage, of course, is a familiar home-environment insulates kids from the disruptions and distractions in the hallways, playgrounds and cafeterias that can cloud learning.  Then again, confronting anxieties – and the people…

Celebrate International Cat Day with ‘Kedi’

Cat owners are joyfully devoted to their four-legged companions, and their felines love them back, sometimes showing affection in their “own way”, on their own terms, of course.  ArtHouseFilmWire celebrates our pets 365 days a year, and let’s take a moment to recognize that August 8th is International Cat Day! So, why not watch a cat-movie?  We recommend the 2016 documentary “Kedi”! Set in Istanbul, director Ceyda Torun interviews residents from all walks of life who help care for the city’s huge stray cat population.   Each person lovingly describes their…

This ‘The Lion King’ remake proudly stands on its own four feet

“The Lion King” – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences first recognized animated feature films at the 2002 Academy Awards with “Shrek” (2001) winning the inaugural top prize.  If the category existed in 1995, most certainly “The Lion King” (1994) (4/4 stars) would’ve won faster than you could say Hakuna Matata.  This Shakespearean story told on the African prairielands, and more specifically Pride Rock, captured the imagination of moviegoers – both young and old – and combined with Elton John’s beautiful soundtrack, “The Lion King” is one of…

‘Stuber’ is short on plot and originality but long on buddy-comedy laughs

“Stuber” – WWE fans have been wildly cheering and feverishly booing Dave Bautista, 50, since 2002, but this pro wrestler became an instant movie star in 2014 with Marvel Studios’ release of “Guardians of the Galaxy”.   His portrayal of Drax the Destroyer offered a combination of massive brawn and perfect comedic timing that made Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Rock household names.  Despite his formidable appearance, Drax flourishes as an accessible character with his frank honesty and nonexistent-awareness of nuanced conversation.  It’s a charismatic concoction that should not be ignored. Kumail…