TWYCN: Inspired to Ride (2015)

I remember being so proud of myself on the day when me, my sister and my cousin rode our bikes from Toronto to Darlington Provincial Park. It was about a 38 kilometer bike ride, (that’s about 24 miles) and it took us just about 4 hours. It was a phenomenal feat of human endurance. A great story that I tell to this day as one of my greatest accomplishments in life. And it was a great accomplishment! Those were the times when biking a few blocks felt like an epic journey to Mount Doom. But after learning about the sport of cycling, I came to realize that 38 kilometers is child’s play for some of these athletes. My cousin who took up the sport of Cycling asked me to drive him to one of his runs. I was shocked when I found out how far he had to bike. From Toronto, I drove him up north to Barrie where he would power himself back to Toronto with his bike. That’s about 113 kilometers or 70 miles. That’s about 3 times longer than my bike ride to Darlington – and I remember not wanting to be on a bike after that ordeal.

Inspired to Ride (2015)  directed by Mike Dion takes us on one of the most gruelling races in the sport of cycling. Everyone has heard of the Tour De France which consists of 21 day long segments that covers 3500 kilometres or 2200 miles, but the Trans Am Bike Race seems to be unknown to the general public, even though that race can arguably be more difficult than the Tour de France. The Trans Am Bike Race is a 6800 kilometre (4200 miles) self supported bike race which starts in Astoria Oregon and ends in Yorkshire Virginia. Not only is it longer, but there are no support vans that help out the cyclists. You can bike it as fast or as slow as you want. There are no checkpoints – it’s pretty much every man/woman for themselves.

Dion’s Inspired to Ride (2015)  was definitely a cool way to see how a documentary was made. Unlike many documentaries where the filmmaker tries to hide the fact that it was a film, Dion made it blatantly obvious that he was behind the camera – the filmmakers were a huge part of the narrative. It wasn’t as if the filmmakers were purely their to document the race, they were also accompanying the riders in their journey. It was interesting to see the people they’d bump into while travelling through the Trans Am Bike trail. You get a little glimpse of the lifestyle of people that live in the many different towns across the United States.

Going on this journey with the cyclists, you begin to understand what truly motivates people. Some of the riders did the Trans Am for the competition, while others did it as a means to escape. No matter what the reason was, the finish line ended up being the same for everyone. There was no one waiting for the winner with a trophy and a bottle of champagne. The glory came from within. It came from the knowledge that you accomplished something you set out to do. So the next time you feel like giving up, just remember how great it will feel when you finally achieve your dreams.

Inspired to Ride (2015) a GOOD watch that takes you across the United States. If you take my advice and watch the film or have already watched it, let me know! Please comment below. 

Watch the Trailer here:

TWYCN: The Lunchbox (2013)

If you’ve ever taken public transit in Toronto than you’ll know that Torontonians tend to keep to themselves. In fact, I’m willing to bet that most people that live in a big city are inclined to worry about their own life and their own problems without caring about the person who inconveniently asked them to move their bag so they can sit down on an extremely packed bus. And why should we care? Individuality is cherished in our society – which is a great thing. I would hate to live in a world where everybody is the same. That would be extremely uninspiring. But of course there is a downside to individuality. We fail to recognize that we live in a community – full of people just like ourselves going through each day with their own stories and conflicts.

The Lunchbox (2013)   is an Indian romantic film written and directed by Ritesh Batra. It follows the lives of Saajan and Ila whose destinies are intertwined by a lunchbox. One of the joys of watching foreign films is being able to learn about a country’s ways without having to buy a plane ticket. How many times have we gone to work with our lunches still in the fridge? If you’re a ‘forget-head’ like me, than you probably leave your lunch behind every other day. Thanks to the ‘dabbwala’ system, people in Mumbai do not have to deal with such a problem. Imagine getting your lunch delivered to you everyday right to your desk! That’s VIP service right there.

Food brings people together. Everyone has heard that phrase. Batra’s 104 minute film plays with that concept. You can probably picture in your head the amount of people there are in India – especially in a city like Mumbai. So it might be no surprise that someone’s lunch might be delivered to the wrong person. But the film constantly reminds us that this can’t be the case because the ‘dabbwalla’ system has been studied by Harvard as making zero mistakes – the lunch deliverers can’t comprehend the fact that maybe Ila’s lunchbox has been delivered to the wrong person. They just go about their business and continue to do the same thing every single day. Everybody in the film seems to be just going through the motions, not noticing what is going on around them.

The lunchbox serves as an escape for both Saajan and Ila. They look forward to reading the letters that they write to each other. Their lives begin to have some meaning and excitement in a world that just doesn’t seem to care. The city of Mumbai becomes a character itself. With all the distractions that occur in our mind like how we’re going to pay for all the bills or what we’re going to prepare for dinner, we become preoccupied with ourselves – not noticing the changes that are going on in our environment and the problems of our neighbours.   Maybe the next time someone asks you to move your bag so they can have a seat, don't kiss your teeth but instead, give them a smile and remember that they are an individual just like yourself.

The Lunchbox (2013)  rating a GOOD watch plain and simple .  If you take my advice and watch the film or have already watched it, let me know! Please comment below.  

Watch the Trailer Here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWYCN: The Mask You Live In (2015)

What does it mean to be masculine? Do you need to be able to lift a certain amount of weight? Or do you have to be good at sports? Does hooking up with a lot of women make you more of a man than a guy who doesn’t? Personally, I don’t consider myself a ‘masculine’ man. Sure I love my occasional binge drinking, pumping iron at the gym and playing basketball with the boys, but I love my romantic comedies and don’t care too much for UFC. My iPod is a nice hot pink and I order the vegetarian dish while my girlfriend gets the steak. Does that make me less of a man? I was very fortunate to have a father that influenced me to be different. Growing up, my dad wasn’t like other dads. He wasn’t totally into sports and he sat in the passenger seat while my mom drove. It was… different. Because of that I realized that a boy doesn’t need to wear blue to be a boy – he’s a boy no matter what color.

The Mask You Live In (2015)  directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom investigates the psychological pressures that young boys have to deal with to become ‘men’ in Western society. You might be wondering what men have to complain about? They get the higher paying jobs, higher status and relatively more respect in our communities. Men have it pretty easy. Well, Newsom’s 97 minute documentary says otherwise. It makes the argument that our definition of ‘a man’ in our culture is totally wrong.

If you’re a guy you probably heard someone tell you to ‘not be a pu**y’ about a million times in your life. If you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I’m totally guilty of saying that as well. Our culture sets up masculinity as a rejection of femininity. Men need to be dominant all the time. They’re the ones that need to initiate the move when asking a girl to go out on a date. We can’t show any emotion or we might be ostracized by our peers as being a ‘homo.’ Take a look at all the films you have watched. How are the lead male characters? They’re probably built like a tank, cool and domineering. The athletes that we look up to are the same. Newsom’s documentary disputes that you don’t need to be in control and emotionally detached to be a man. In fact it goes as far as saying that it’s because of these pressures to ‘man up’ that gave rise to the problems in our society. If masculinity is a rejection of femininity, than how do we expect men to look at women as equals?

The biggest thing that I probably took away from The Mask You Live in (2015)  is that as men, we are encouraged to hide our emotions. The rise of gun violence in the United States has risen in the past few years. Why are men usually the ones committing the crime? Is it because of our higher testosterone levels? Newsom argues that it’s because men are depressed. When men get depressed, they get violent. Why are they depressed? Well it’s because of the fact that men tend to keep their emotions in. We aren’t allowed to talk about our true feelings. We are supposed to be cool and collected all the time – just like our heroes in the movies.

The Mask You Live in (2015) rating a GOOD watch if you feel like you aren’t ‘manly enough.’  If you take my advice and watch the film or have already watched it, let me know! Please comment below.  

Watch the Trailer Here:

TWYCN: Look Who's Back (2015)

 

When the U.S. votes for their next President – everybody watches. The decision of those 322,762,018 Americans affects the whole world both politically and economically. In short, the U.S. Presidential Election is sort of a big deal. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has taken it to the next level. His downright outrageous statements has made the Presidential election must watch television. Not because it’s important to be up to date with the world of politics, but because it’s so entertaining. People want to know what Trump is going to say next. Everyday on Facebook there is always a random post about Trump.

The rise of social media has had a huge impact on how we absorb information. We no longer have to rely on major television networks and their hidden agendas to supply us with the news. Because of the internet, we have a choice on what to believe and what not to believe. Everybody and anybody has an opinion on everything, and they are more than happy to share those thoughts and ideas on online.

Look Who’s Back (2015) is a German Comedy film based on the novel by Timur Vermes. Directed by David Wnendt, this 116 minute film asks what would happen if Adolf Hitler suddenly found himself in the year 2014. At first, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s amusing to see how Hitler deals with a world that has drastically changed after WWII. The film put a permanent smile to my face. Creatively crafted by David Wnendt, the film looks at how our society is easily influenced by social media (mainly YouTube), and you can see that in the way Wnendt filmed it – it felt like I was watching a YouTube video. His way of shooting through the eyes of Hitler made you feel for a man who has been immortalized as the epitome of evil. You can easily see how the Germans could’ve easily put a man like that into power. Hitler uses the tools of social media for his propaganda to make himself a celebrity icon in Germany. Everybody loves him and is hanging on to his every word. It shows how we as a society are obsessed with the outrageous. Take a look at Trump for example. Personally, I think a man like that should have never been allowed to run for office, but because of the way our society has sensationalized him, we know more about him than the other candidates. Let’s not let history repeat itself, and let’s receive every piece of information from the media with a grain of salt.

Look Who’s Back (2015): a PLEASE WATCH. If you take my advice and watch the film or have already watched, let me know! Please comment below.  

Watch the Trailer Here:

TWYCN: The Summit (2012)

Mountains have always been glorified in human history. There’s just something about them that commands respect. Many religions from around the world have viewed mountains as the home of the Gods. The most iconic structures in the ancient world – the Pyramids of Gaza – resembles the shape of a mountain which the Egyptians believed were gateways to the afterlife. The allure of the mountain can be seen in film throughout history. Didn’t you want to climb a mountain right after you saw Rocky Balboa do it during his badass training scene in Rocky IV (1985)? It’s the perfect symbol of an individual conquering their greatest obstacle. Just ask Miley Cyrus (link to the climb)

We should all know that climbing a mountain isn’t as easy as Sylvester made it look like in Rocky IV (1985). Cliffhanger (1993) – a film that also stars Mr. Stallone – was a huge contribution towards the popularization of the sport of Mountaineering. We can probably all agree that Cliffhanger (1993) wasn’t supposed to be a realistic portrayal of the sport. In fact, most movies that I have watched that deals with the subject of mountain climbing has been unrealistic. Vertical Limit (2000) – directed by Martin Campbell – just like Cliffhanger (1993) before it sets up a story between man vs nature, but oddly their perils do not seem to come from the mountain itself, instead it comes from human intervention. It’s as if they’re trying to say that people can always overcome nature.

Everest (2015) directed by Baltasar Kormakur and starring Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhall, Sam Worthington and Keira Knightly (I know, I haven’t heard it before too. Crazy) was probably the only movie that got me afraid of mountain climbing. The problems that the characters had to face in that film were intense. Not only were they facing incredible challenges physically, they were also faced with very hard moral decisions. No matter what the characters did, the mountain always conquered. After watching Everest (2015) I researched all the articles about mountaineering that I can find on Google. I gotta say, it was a pretty humbling experience. My dreams of conquering Everest has just been shattered because of a film.

The Summit (2012) directed by Nick Ryan is a documentary with the same plot as Kormakur’s Everest (2015). It tells the story of the 2008 K2 expedition where 11 climbers died trying to descend from the mountain after reaching the summit. With interviews from people involved in the expedition, it is a first person account of how dangerous mountaineering really is. The way that Ryan mixed filmed re-enactments with the real footage caught on the expedition was great. At some points I couldn’t figure out what scenes were staged and what were authentic. It puts into perspective what we’re really willing to go through to get what we want. These climbers are pretty much killing themselves when they climb these mountains – all for just a couple minutes on the summit. Is it really worth it? The film also questions are humanity. Are you able to risk your own life for someone else’s? I’d like to think that I would play the hero if I saw someone getting raped in an alleyway, but I might have to reconsider if the person I was trying to save was trapped on the side of a mountain.

The Summit (2011) rating: a GOOD watch if you ever wanted to climb a mountain.  If you happen to take my advice and watch the film, or already have watched it, let me know what you think.  Please Comment below! 

Watch the trailer Here:

TYWCN: Ip Man (2008)

The Big Boss (1971) starring Bruce Lee paved the way for Kung Fu movies to explode in Hollywood.  Rush Hour (1998), Ong Bak (1993) and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) are just a few of the many titles that have profited from the emergence of the Hong Kong Action Cinema in the 1970s. The influence of these films can be seen throughout many of Hollywood’s big productions. Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003) directed by Quentin Tarantino has stated that he is not only a fan of Hong Kong Action Cinema, he is a student of it. Just think about how different the Matrix trilogy would’ve been if Neo hadn’t learned Kung Fu.

But to be completely honest with you, I am not a big fan of action movies. Most action films I watch tend to focus on big explosions and epic action sequences which I feel are tools to distract the audience from their mediocre storyline. Ip Man (2008) is a 108 minute film directed by Wilson Yip. The first part of Ip Man (2008) felt like any other Kung Fu movie; a simple plot with epic fighting sequences. It begins in the town of Foshan, which is reknowned for it’s prowess in martial arts. Many schools opened in Foshan, teaching students the deadly art of martial arts. Naturally, there was competition amongst the schools. Challenges between the masters were common; with the winner getting a huge boost in his reputation, while the loser gets a huge blow to theirs. The Ip Man – our protaganist played by Donnie Yen – shows no interest in building his own school. Even though he is clearly the best martial artist in town; as a wealthy man, he feels no need in accepting any students but rather spends his time training, meeting friends and spending time with his family. At first, there seemed to be no conflict in the movie. Donnie Yen’s character seemed to be unstoppable, protecting the town and its schools from challengers around the country. But after a long, LONG while, the real conflict begins after the Japanese Invasion in 1937.

Yip clearly divided the film into two parts – pre invasion and post invasion – with the film taking more of a darker tone post invasion. The Tarantino-esque humor that was present pre invasion has been replaced with a more serious atmosphere. I didn’t understand at first why Yip decided to make it this way. Both parts did deal with the same issue (outsiders = evil) but I couldn’t grasp the sudden shift in the feel of the film until the very end when I found out that the Ip Man was supposed to be Bruce Lee’s master, Wing Chun.

Prior to that revelation, I was relatively disappointed in the film. I felt like Yip tried to do too much with his 108 minutes, adding subplots that were unnecessary. But when I found out that the film was a bio pic about Bruce Lee’s master, I grew to appreciate Yip’s film for what it is; a history of Hong Kong Action Cinema told through the story of the man who started it all.  Sort of like a Chinese version of Scorsese’s Hugo (2011)

Ip Man (2008) rating: a GOOD watch if you like kung fu. If you happened to take my advice and watch the film, or have already watched it, let me know what you think. Please Comment Below.

Watch the Trailer here:

TWYCN: The Source (2011)

A couple of weeks ago the BNP Paribas Open chief executive and tournament director Steve Simon said some things that might have angered a lot of women. He was quoted in saying that the top-level women players were riding on the ‘coattails of the men’ and that they were ‘very, very lucky’ to earn equal prize money. If that wasn’t upsetting enough, he goes as far as saying that if he was a lady player, he would go down on his hands and knees and thank God for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for being born because they have carried this sport. With all the ideological advancements that has dawned in our society within the past few decades, I find it difficult to understand how this is still a topic of conversation. If they are doing the same job, then people should get paid equal; no matter what gender, race or ideology. Living in North America, we are blessed to live in a free and independent society. The disparity that women have to face here in Canada are trivial compared to what women have to go through in countries like Afghanistan, Sudan and Guatemala. Will this ever change? Can we ever live in a world where women are seen in the same level as men?

The Source (2011) – a french-drama comedy directed by Radu Mihaileanu – is an optimistic film that tells us that we can change our society. Set in a remote village in North Africa, the story starts off with a group of women collecting water from a distant well. On their way back, one of the women slips and falls causing her unborn baby to die in in her womb. Seeing as this is an on going problem between the women of the village, our protagonist Leila – played beautifully by Leila Bekhti – demands they hold a sex strike to convince the men to help out with the collection of water. Of course, the men had a huge problem with this causing a huge divide between the two sexes.

Watching this film, you’ll be surprised to see the conversations between these women. It is refreshing to see Islamic women be so open about their sexuality. And why shouldn’t they be? I guess being a Catholic, I have become accustomed to the Western representations of Islamic women. Milhaileanu made it clear from the first minutes of the film that these women are different, and that not all Islamic states are Extreme.

The sense of community is a central theme in Mihaileanu’s film and it’s expressed in the shot techniques used in the scenes. By having the camera move freely within the space, effortlessly switching from character to character without cuts, Milhaileanu illustrates that everybody within this community is interconnected. A revolution does not come from one individual alone, instead it is the result of a collective change within society. If we truly want to destroy inequality once and for all, than it has to come from within us. That includes you Steve.

The Source (2011) rating: a GOOD WATCH plain and simple.  If you happen to take my advice and watch the film, or already have watched, let me know what you think.  Please Comment Below.

 

Watch the Trailer Here:

TYWCN: Creep (2014)

The success of the Blair Witch Project (1999) paved the way for the ‘POV’ movie to explode in Hollywood – especially in the horror genre. Not only is it a cost effective way to make a film – who hasn’t made their own Blair Witch Project, I know I did  – it is a great technique to create and intensify suspense. Even though we all know that it's a bad idea for them to enter the abandoned cabin, as a viewer, we are stuck with that characters decision and the consequences of their actions. A great ‘POV’ film needs to have logical reasons to why the camera is recording. Someone turning on a camera as they are running away for their lives will quickly disconnect a viewer from the believability of the movie. If a guy is coming at me with a chainsaw, I don’t think a selfie would be on my priority list.

Creep (2014) is an independent ‘POV’ horror film written and directed by Patrick Brice. I decided to watch the film because the movie was about a freelance videographer (Aaron - played by Brice himself) willing to tackle any job to make ends meet. As a freelance videographer myself, I thought I would be able relate and appreciate the story that Brice’s film had to offer. Sadly that wasn’t the case as I found myself questioning the characters actions, and more irritably why he was recording some of the things he was recording. Brice’s hold on some shots in the film did create some great suspense to set you up for a pop scare, but that was it. Remember those videos back in the day where it instructed you to turn up the volume just so they can destroy your eardrums with a loud scream while having a demonic face burst on screen? Well, Creep (2014) does a great job in recreating that experience in its 78 minute runtime.

If there was one thing that I enjoyed in the film, it would be Josef (played by Mark Duplass) the antagonist. The fact that he gets stranger and weirder each time he enters the frame gets you interested in what he’s going to do next. Strangely, I was excited to see how Josef was going to end up killing Aaron. Was the ending worth the wait? I’ll leave that up to you.

Creep (2014) rating: a good watch if you have absolutely nothing else to do. If you have watched the film, let me know what you think. Please leave a comment below.

Watch the Trailer Here:

 

 

 

TYWCN: Kung Fury (2015)

Taking Film Studies at York University gave me an annoying habit to analyze movies in a way that would seem like overkill. For most of you, movies are a form of entertainment. A great way to turn off your mind and enjoy a narrative on the big screen. Every movie that I watch, I naturally try to find meanings to things that might not have any meaning at all. In other words, I am probably someone you wouldn’t want to watch a movie with. Why did the cinematographer shoot it like that? Why was it edited so strangely? What’s with the green tint? These are all questions that arise in my mind when I watch a movie, preventing me from ever being 100% immersed in the film. So when movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) or Sharknado (2013) gets released, I instantly gravitate towards those movies. Most B – List movies are films that don’t take themselves too seriously. They are a parody of the mainstream, and often times great ways to learn new and creative ways to portray a story on the Silver Screen.

Kung Fury (2015) written and directed by David Sandberg is probably one of the best films that I watched this year. If you’re contempating on which movie you should take my advice on, I suggest you start with this one because this short 30 minute film will get you laughing throughout it’s entirety. Just take a look at the description given to the film on Netflix, “A Miami detective imbued with ninja superpowers travels back in time to kill Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in an arcade game-style war.” Now who wouldn’t want to watch that. It sounds super awesome already and believe me, it is!

 

When I first watched Kung Fury (2015) I remember myself quickly checking to see if I chose the right movie. The movie is clearly stated to be produced in 2015, but the movie does not look it at all. In fact, it doesn’t even seem like a movie, but more like a cop show you would see in the 70s. The way Sandberg put it all together was nothing short of genius. Remember those old VHS tapes that your parents used to have of old  recorded movies and television shows? Well, Sandberg’s film will remind you of those times. It was his way of producing a low budget film without it having to look low budget.

You simply cannot compete with Hollywood when it comes to CGI and Special Effects. How can you? Their budgets are immense, which is why Sandberg’s ‘low budget’ animation worked so well with the film. You forget you are watching a movie from 2015, and appreciate the movie for what it is; a totally outrageous and exaggerated film that parody’s 70s cop shows and human history.
 

Kung Fury (2015) rating: a PLEASE WATCH. If you happened to take my advice and watch the film, or have watched it, let me know! Please comment below.

Watch the Trailer Below:

 

 

TYWCN: Naked Among Wolves (2015)

If I were to ask you how many movies you can name that are about World War II, you can probably name AT LEAST 5 of them. Without even having to watch a film about it, we probably know the basic gists of it. Unless you were THAT guy who skipped every history class you ever had to take, you know that (ignore the oversimplification) Hitler came to power, invaded some countries and thought it was a good idea to eradicate an entire race of people… It’s the classic story between good and evil, light and dark, right and wrong. People like the idea that good will always triumph over evil – no matter how dark that evil is. World War II movies tend to reflect that theme.

 

In Saving Private Ryan (1998), the Americans tend to be people who are morally right, while the Germans tend to be morally wrong. The one German guy that had a sense of morality ended up killing a likeable character later in the film – in a really cruel way might I add – and had us as a viewer hating the one guy who knew German. A more recent film like Fury (2015) – starring my idol Brad Pitt – did portray a more ‘human’ German, but only humanized the civilian German characters and not the soldiers. And for those of us who did attend our history classes, we all know that the victors write history, so it’s no surprise that the American produced titles that I mentioned above would try to dehumanize the Germans. No one would’ve liked the ending to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) if you knew that Sauron wasn’t such a bad guy after all.

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This next Title You Wouldn’t Consider on Netflix tried to clear up what was going on through the minds of the ‘bad guy.’ Naked Among Wolves (2015), is a German drama film directed by Philipp Kadelbach. The movie is about Buchenwald Concentration Camp, and how a group of prisoners played nice with their German captors to escape from being sent to the ‘chimney’, while at the same time planning a rebellion within the camp that would coincide with the approaching American forces that are liberating Concentration Camps as they make their way towards Berlin. Their plans however takes on huge peril as Hans Pippig – played by Florian Stetter – finds a young Jewish boy in one of the suitcases. Why did someone think it was a good idea to smuggle a three year old kid into a concentration camp?  I don’t know but it posed some huge problems for the characters in the film. Just imagine if you were put into that predicament. After 2 years of sucking up to the SS guards, earning their trust and stealing ammunition for your rebellion, would you be able to protect a child in order to protect yourself? It would be pretty hard to let a kid die so you could live. Some of the SS guards even had a hard time with it; they too also had to deal with their own morals, they weren’t just mindless robots following orders.

 

Naked Among Wolves (2015) challenges us to look at our own humanity. Not only are the protaganists trapped within the confines of the concentration camp, they are trapped within their own morality. The shots that were used in the film seemed to emphasize that sense of hopelessness.  Beautifully shot,  Philipp Kadelbach seemed to stick to close ups and mid shots to literally trap the character within the frame. His excellent use of blocking also seemed to enclose the character within something, further enhancing that that they are prisoners. Kadelbach’s use of WWII footage to show the American advancement was a great way to further the narrative of the film without losing the actual message of it. I also liked the way the film played around with colours to amplify the emotion of the scenes. The scenes in the concentration camp seemed to use more cool and dull colours, while the flashback scenes tend to be warmer. Even as the movie progressed and as the American forces moved closer, the colours of the film seemed to warm up.

 

All together, I give Naked Among Wolves (2015) a GOOD watch if you want to see another side to the World War II story. Though some scenes can be a bit overdramatic – especially Pippig’s story arc – I am confident that this German film will not dissapoint.

Watch the Trailer Here:

TYWCN: The Search for General Tso (2014)

I always had a soft spot for Documentaries. They are a great way to learn about new things, and can spark ideas in your mind that might have not been there before. It has become a median to shed light on things that we don’t understand. Tell me a better way to learn about the world while still being able to munch on some potato chips? I bet you you can’t, so might as well take that big bag of potato chips because you’re going to need it for this Title You wouldn’t Consider on Netflix: The Search for General Tso (2014)

 

As a kid, I remember loving to go to buffets. There’s nothing better than stuffing your face full of Chicken Balls, Beef with Brocolli and General Tao’s chicken. You name it; Mandarin, Starwalk, Super Buffet (RIP), my plate will be full of Chicken Balls, Beef with Brocolli and General Tao’s chicken… General Tao’s chicken… How come every Chinese restaurant serves General Tao chicken? Who is this General Tao, and how did he become such a great chef? Well luckily for me, there were other people curious about the subject  and they decided to make a cute 72 minute documentary of it.

 

Directed by Ian Cheney, The Search for General Tso (2014), or Tao, Tsau, whatever… tries to unwravel the mystery behind General Tso.  It is a creative look inside the food industry, and it shows how society's perceptions change with the times.  As soon as you begin the movie, you quickly realize who General Tso was. He was a great Military Leader from the Qing Dynasty from 1812-1855, and a powerful leader that grew up in Hunan province. Fortunately for us, he was not the creator of General Tso’s chicken, or it would’ve been a really short documentary. Instead, the documentary focuses on the history of the Chinese in Western Society. The struggle that they had to endure when they decided to leave their home country to live in a new one. How they had to assimilate and evolve in a new environment in order to survive. And that we really have no idea what Chinese Food really tastes like.

 

The Search for General Tso (2014) rating: a GOOD watch with food. (If you happened to take my advice and watch the film, or have watched it, let me know. Please comment below)

TYWCN: Amal (2007)

The rise of the Internet has given us plenty of great things. It has given us an avenue to access information, A LOT of information.

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Kim Kardashian TMI.

But for the most part, it made our lives easier. I remember back to the good old days when you had to record your favourite television show on a VCR. I can’t ever imagine myself going through all that trouble again, just finding a blank tape was a problem. Nowadays, if we ever missed a show on TV, we can stream it and download it literally at our fingertips. You want to watch a movie? No problem, just hope you find a good link. But if you’re like me, and try not to watch movies ‘illegally’, you turn to Netflix. Netflix has hundreds of television programs and movies available to you right in your living room. Popular shows like Daredevil, How to make a Murderer and Narcos are all produced by Netflix.

Now, there are some of you out there that might say that Netflix movie selections are pretty lame, or there outdated, but have you ever tried to watch The Institute, Omar or Wadjda? I’m guessing you haven’t, and if you have, than consider yourself lucky for finding some gems. Now if you’re looking for reviews on Batman Vs Superman (2016) (which was interesting…) or a future review on Captain America: Civil War (2016), than I suggest you stop reading cause I’ll be reviewing *drum roll* the  Titles You might not have considered on Netflix. TYWCN for short.

 

For my first review, I decided to do a movie that I watched years back and I really liked it. It was introduced to me by my sister, and I’m glad I decided to give it a chance cause it was AMAZING!

 

Amal (2007) is a charming Canadian film directed by Mississauga born director Richie Mehta. (He is not related to Deepa in case you were wondering) Filmed on location in the busy streets of New Delhi, Amal is about a humble autorickshaw driver who makes a career transporting people within the city. It starts off with Amal and one of his clients Pooja in the streets of Delhi. A streetgirl (Priya) manages to get a hold of Pooja’s purse and runs off. Amal (being the greatest customer service person ever) chases the girl through the narrow alleyways ending in Priya getting hit by oncoming traffic. Feeling guilty about the girls accident, Amal decides to take care of her while she is at the hospital, working night and day making sure she gets taken care of.

 

While on the job, he meets a crazy old man who gives him a rough ride.  He accuses him of not listening and proceeds to pay for only half the fare. Amal, being the greatest customer service person ever, obliges him and never sees him again. And that’s where the story gets interesting. You see, that old rude man was actually G.K. Jayeram, the owner of a luxurious hotel and a very rich man. He was on the verge of death, but before he passed, decided to rewrite his will and give his inheritance to Amal. GREAT! Problem solved, Amal lives happily ever after. WRONG! G.K. Jayeram has two sons, and they aren't very pleased with their father changing the will. Amal has 30 days to sign the papers, if he doesn’t, the inheritance would go back to Vivek (who looks like Gian Ghomeshi) and Harish. You might be like; Why would the old man do that? Why would he give his inheritance to a complete stranger? This is B*LLSH*T! Well, that is what makes Amal (2007) so deep. It forces us to think about what’s important in our lives. The value of hard work and doing what you love. The idea that you can be happy without having. And if you like twist endings, the ending to Amal (2007) will get you angrier than the ending of Batman Vs Superman (2016), but in a good way of course.

Amal (2007) rating: a PLEASE WATCH (If you happened to take my advice and watch the film or have watched it. Let me know what you think. Comment below)

Watch the Trailer Here: