Marc-andre Grondin

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Goon Review


Excellent
A smart script and vivid characters make this rowdy hockey comedy much more engaging than we expect. But then, director Dowse has a history of turning limited premises into entertaining comedies (see Fubar and It's All Gone Pete Tong).

Nice-guy Doug (Scott) works as a bouncer in Massachusetts, hanging out with his chucklehead pal Pat (Baruchel) and wondering when he'll discover something he's good at, like his doctor brother Ira (Paetku). His parents (Levy and David) don't conceal their disappointment when Doug joins a hockey team as a hard-headed goon whose role is to fight opponents. Then he's picked up by a professional team in Canada, which puts him on a collision course with his idol Ross (Schreiber). And his natural leadership skills strain his friendship with his failing all-star teammate Xavier (Grondin).

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Goon Trailer


Doug Glatt is a pleasant pub bouncer who's a little bit dim. He feels left out in his home life; his brother and father are both doctors. Doug has a best friend, Pat, who seems to spend a lot of his time drunk.

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The First Day of the Rest of Your Life [Le Premier Jour du Reste de Ta Vie] Review


Essential
This exquisitely made French drama traces the life of a family through five key days over 12 years. It's a joy to watch, with vibrant characters, inventive direction and an emotional resonance that's both provocative and deeply moving.

In 1988, Robert and Marie-Jeanne (Gamblin and Breitman) are coming to terms with the fact that their eldest son Albert (Marmai) is moving into his own flat as middle son Raph (Grondin) turns 18. Over the years we also revisit them as rebellious daughter Fleur (Francois) turns 16 and follow relationships with various boys and girls as well as Robert's wine-loving father (Dumas). The family bond is strained and tested, including at least one ongoing feud, and yet there's an irresistible, indefinable connection, and a sense that they are discovering life together.

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Che Review


Weak
Benicio Del Toro dons the insurrectionist garb and machetes his way through jungles and mud as the revolutionary icon Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's massive biographical homage. Del Toro pulls out all the stops in portraying the revolutionary icon and, if anything, Che is a tribute to Del Toro's perseverance. But Soderbergh's version of Che is too good to be true: Movie Che is a towering idealist who just keeps on coming, but he lacks any sense of character. He is heartless, all computer chips and wires inside. He's the Revolutionator.

Soderbergh's relentlessly uncommercial enterprise logs in at 268 minutes and is split into two parts. Part One charts Che's involvement with Fidel Castro in overthrowing Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, concentrating on the popular grassroots campaign that began with 80 peasants. Part Two jumps to Guevara's final revolutionary sprint, the failed uprising in Bolivia, the antithesis of the Cuban campaign, where the Bolivian peasants abandon him and betray him to the Bolivian army. Che is then hunted down like a junkyard dog and murdered.

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C.R.A.Z.Y. Review


Excellent
You wouldn't think that the family struggles of a middle-class Quebecois family in the '70s could ever be depicted as epic, but C.R.A.Z.Y. feels like an absolutely huge film. It's so full of larger-than-life characters, amazing incidents, and period detail that it borders on overwhelming. It will exhaust your eyes, your ears, and your mind.

On Christmas Day 1960, proud mom Laurianne Beaulieu (Danielle Proulx) gives birth to her fourth boy as dad Gervais (Michel Cote) smokes up a storm in the waiting room. As he grows, little Zachary (Emile Vallee) is deemed to be special. His mother is convinced that like Jesus, he has healing powers. Dad, however, is concerned that Zac is a bit of a sissy and not at all like any of his brothers: the troublemaker, the jock, or the egghead. A hardworking man, Gervais is proud of his family and loves to entertain them with his lip-synced Charles Aznavour songs and his Patsy Cline records, but he's also a tough disciplinarian and a worrier.

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