Kristen Holden-reid

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K-19: The Widowmaker Review


Good
K-19: The Widowmaker is based on a true story about a Russian submarine sent to test a nuclear missile at the height of the Cold War. The boat is ill-equipped for its task, and Capitan Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson) loses his command by insisting that the sub won't be ready in time for its scheduled launch. Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) is given control of the ship, and his stern demeanor and commitment to military efficiency soon make him enemies onboard.

He runs the crew through relentless drills, offers little encouragement, and seems to take unnecessary chances. We soon learn that Polenin -- who remains aboard the sub -- is a father figure to the sailors, while Vostrikov aims to inspire fear. These opposing command styles lead to power clashes throughout the movie, a la Crimson Tide.

Continue reading: K-19: The Widowmaker Review

Touch of Pink Review


Weak
The infiltration of pop culture nostalgia into every square inch of our entertainment landscape is, depressingly, a foregone conclusion. And Touch of Pink, Ian Iqbal Rashid's pleasant but conventional dramedy about a South Asian gay man hiding his homosexual lifestyle from his traditional Muslim mother, is yet another entry in the burgeoning canon of wistful film-referential movies that think it's clever to drop obvious, pointless allusions to stars of bygone eras. You see, Rashid's film isn't just about a guy trying to hide his true colors from his sure-to-be-disapproving mother; it's a film about a guy trying to hide his true colors from his sure-to-be-disapproving mother with the help of his loyal, dapper imaginary friend Cary Grant. Cue incessant eye-rolling... now.

Alim (Jimi Mistry, of last year's The Guru) has abandoned his widowed mother and stultifying old life in Toronto for the swinging sexual freedom of London, where he currently works as a film-set photographer and lives with his handsome UNICEF economist boyfriend Giles (Kristen Holden-Reid). All is great in Alim's life, except that he desperately wishes he could share his good fortune with his conservative Muslim family. This loneliness drives Alim to Cary Grant, who as personified by Kyle MacLachlan (affecting a decent replica of the actor's distinctive voice while simultaneously parodying his suave mannerisms) is a dashing gentleman always ready to boost Alim's confidence with advice, compliments, or a pithy quotation from The Philadelphia Story or Gunga Din. Meanwhile, Alim's mother Nura (Suleka Mathew) is woefully jealous of her sister, who is staging a lavish wedding for her son (who has sexual issues of his own), and tries to persuade Alim to leave London - a place that holds shameful secrets for Nura - and return home to fulfill his duties as a good son by getting married and producing grandchildren.

Continue reading: Touch of Pink Review

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