Saturday, March 14, 2020

film review: Hope Gap

Directed by William Nicholson

Written by William Nicholson

ChinoKino score: B-

Review by Allan Tong

Hope Gap captures the end of a 29-year marriage of an English couple, well-played by Annette Benning and Bill Nighy. Their millennial son, played by Josh O'Connor (known for The Crown) is caught in the middle of this painful break-up, playing messenger for both his parents. Nighy's Edward admits their marriage was a doomed mismatch from the start, something he's learned after falling for the parent of one his students at the school where he teaches. We never see the Other Woman, which avoids one cliche, but robs the film of potential conflict. Meanwhile, Benning's Grace stubbornly clings to the hope (or delusion) that their marriage still has life and isn't terminal.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

film review: The Jesus Rolls

Directed by John Turturro

Written by John Turturro

ChinoKino score: D

Review by Allan Tong

Die-hard fans of the cult comedy, The Big Lebowski, have been salivating for a sequel for over 20 years. Sadly, only die-hard fans will seek out The Jesus Rolls, and many will come away disappointed.

The Jesus Rolls is a misguided mess from start to finish. On the surface, the film looks promising. Writer-director John Turturro is a fine comedic and dramatic actor, not to mention sensitive filmmaker. Plus, he's working with an established character that he shaped, The Jesus. So, what could go wrong with this new story about The Jesus? In this film, Jesus gets out of prison and hooks up with his old buddy, Petey (Bobby Cannavale) and together they embark on a road trip marked with criminal escapades: stealing a car, beating up folks and firing a stolen gun. Along the way, they pick up a ditzy shampooist named Marie (Audrey Tautou, best known for Amelie).

Friday, January 17, 2020

IDS opens strong, celebrating all things design

Story and photos by Allan Tong
The 22nd annual Interior Design Show (IDS) launched last night with its annual bash in the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. Frigid temperatures didn't keep away 5,500 design fans who sipped Prosecco and devoured oysters as they surveyed the latest in home furnishings, from bathtubs to sofas and kitchen suites. January 17 is industry day, but the public is welcome this weekend though January 19 (10am-6pm), offering the public nearly 300 exhibitors and talks with renown designers including Brian Gluckstein, Lynda Reeves, Paul Austerberry and Jonathan Adler. Here are some cool, futuristic and eye-catching highlights:

Puzzled by Modern Sense Furniture?

Hollis and Morris can brighten a room and catch your eye

Need bricks?

The Void Bench with a, um, void by New Rose Studio

Ard Outdoor will leave you pondering your patio this summer (above and below).

Please write on me, begs the Renwil chair

Giant pillows from the appropriately named Fatboy

The Quiet Room marries soundproof and fine design

Division 9 enlivens your home with pop culture
 Franz Veigener presents the bathroom of the future
Some objects and ideas for the home from Objects & Ideas
Only $19,000 for this cool glass dining table from Estate Interiors

The most comfortable chair with magnificent lumbar support by B+H Architects

Above, Caesarstone captures centrestage again this year with its large, (literally) eye-catching display of furnishings. Below, Caesarstone presents their yearly dance floor. 

What would a party be without fine food, like these Sage and rapini sliders by La Vecchia (above) or smooth 10-year scotch by Glengoyne (below) or Bellound DJs spinning tunes (turntable below)?

For dessert, macrons by Anet Gesualdi
Who says finger food is bad for you? Mad Radish present vegan salad.

Kudos to New Zealand's Left Field for serving their fine wines in compostable cups.