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Chloe and Theo

Canada / USA 2015
produced by
Monica Ord, Richard Branson (executive), John Paul DeJoria (executive), Lawrence Winokur (executive), Russell Long (executive), Laura Rister (executive), Cassian Elwes (executive), Melissa Jackson (executive), John Novak (executive) for Arctica Films
directed by Ezna Sands
starring Theo Ikummaq, Dakota Johnson, Ashley Springer, André De Shields, Mira Sorvino, Jessica Anderson, Peter Henry Arnatsiaq, Christopher Backus, Lawrence Ballard, Brandon Boyd, DwVaughn Browne, Michelle Campbell, Quincy Chad, Lori Tan Chinn, Domenico Gelonese, Samuel Apak Immaroitok, Tim Intravia, Eugene Ipkarnak, Melissa Jackson, Ruthie Kaminskas, Larry King, Chris Erric Maddox, Haas Manning, Adrian Martinez, Jonathon Mason, Elizabeth Masucci, Patrick McCarthy, Michael Morana, Jean Victor Nkolo, John Novak, Eric Oram, Herve Paniaq, Natalino Piugattuk, Tracy Reiner, Anthony Quarles (= Grim Reaper Q.), Dion Sapp, Parker Snow, Kevin Witt, Nicole Zeoli, with narration by Michael Stiles
written by Ezna Sands, music by The Newton Brothers

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Inside the Arctic Circle, a tribe of Inuit witness the ice melting more than it ought to, so they send one of theirs, Theo (Theo Ikummaq) down South to talk to the South's "elders" to make them help stop this development. Why Theo? Because he's the only one who speaks at least some English. So Theo, who has never been anywhere South, heads for New York - but his initial search for the elders only leads him to an old people's home, and it's not long before a couple of thugs take him for an easy-to-rob tourist. And they almost succeed, too, but are stopped in the nick of time by homeless Bruce Lee aficionado Chloe (Dakota Johnson), who somehow has taken an innocent liking in Theo and takes him under her wing - and in return, Theo lets her and her friends Tyler (Ashley Springer) and "king of the streets" Mr. Sweet (André De Shields) stay at his tiny apartment - also because he doesn't need all that space anyways. The three soon take an interest in Theo's mission, too, and ultimately figure they have to get him in front of the UN assembly to state his case. Thing is, as lofty as the UN's goals might be, they don't let just anyone talk to the assembly, and when our heroes try to storm the building just for Theo to deliver his message, they all end up arrested instead. But they have attracted the attention of one UN employee, Monica (Mira Sorvino), a disillusioned former surgeon whose fire has been refanned by Theo. So she gets Theo all the necessary sponsors, and gets him a spot before the assembly to state his case after all. Everything sounds to great in fact that tragedy just has to be round the corner ...

 

Now whoever can't see this movie's positive message or flat out denies the film's underlying theme, climate change, is either a lier or a fool - but that said, movies that rely too strongly on their message, however important that message, aren't necessarily good movies, at least not from a narrative point of view. And overgeneralizing here, it gets even worse when these films are "based on a true story", which Chloe and Theo is (in fact, it's a highly fictionalized version of the lead Theo Ikummaq's adventures). And all that said, Chloe and Theo seems to be totally aware of this and chooses an approach that's not preachy but highly entertaining, going not for high drama here but packing things into a fish-out-of-water comedy (actually not unlike - to stay true to the movie's many Bruce Lee allusions here - Bruce Lee's Way of the Dragon) - and the film works quite so well because it's actually really funny, shows heart where it ought to, and keeps its preaching to a bare minimum. And a solid cast and subtle direction also go a long way to make this a fun film wrapped around a serious matter.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD