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Review: Dreamland (2020)

No one in Canada makes movies quite like Bruce McDonald. He dabbles in genre fare, but puts his own unique spin on it. Why? As he said in our interview: the stories have been told, so why not tell them a little differently?

That's my Cliff's Notes version of what he said, by the way.

His latest, Dreamland, is very much an art film disguised as a crime movie. It's got gangsters and hitmen, a morally ambiguous hero who tries to do the right thing, human trafficking... all the makings of a gritty crime tale.

But it also has vampires, takes place in a magical... ish... kingdom, and doesn't make a lot of sense outside the context of the story being told. Oh, and two of the characters look alike, which is a key component to how the story unfolds.

Dreamland is a perfect title for this movie. The whole thing looks, feels and works according to a dream structure. Like I said; it makes perfect sense while watching it. View it as linear, traditional feature film and it doesn't. Your enjoyment hinges on your ability to let go and just take Dreamland in.

I was able to do that, and enjoyed it immensely. This is a great looking ride. Not so much a movie, but an experience. McDonald pulls it off beautifully! And it has one of the best -- and most unexpected -- endings I've seen in a while.

The cast -- which includes McDonald mainstay Stephen McHattie, along with Henry Rollins and Juliette Lewis -- is pitch perfect. I can't remember Lewis ever being this good, and having this much fun. And Tomas Lemarquis is the kookiest vampire I've ever seen. I loved his performance!

Dreamland isn't my usual pint of ale, but I dug it a lot. It's a Good!


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