Little Bird Pâtisserie & Café earns its wings

With its vintage warehouse appearance and cozy, eclectic vibe, it would be completely excusable to confuse Little Bird Patisserie & Café with the loft apartment of a European artist — that is, if the artist also happened to specialize in the baking of mouth-watering French pastries.

12 Years a Slave is a difficult, superb film

Certain movies go beyond entertainment and capture a story that leaves a lasting impression on its audience. Directed by Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave is one of those movies.

Bioshock Infinite takes to the heavens

Bioshock Infinite is an incredible thrill ride of a game that transcends expectations and contains some of the most memorable environments and characters to date. It needs to be experienced firsthand to be believed.

Gaming under the radar: Dear Esther

“Dear Esther. The morning after I was washed ashore, salt in my ears, sand in my mouth and the waves always at my ankles, I felt as though everything had conspired to this one last shipwreck. I remembered nothing but water, stones in my belly and my shoes threatening to drag me under to where only the most listless of creatures swim.” Do you remember what happened to Esther, Donnelly, Paul and Jakobson on the road to Damascus? Because I sure don't, and I've finished the game. The real question is, have I failed a puzzle or have I simply “played” a digital poem? Dear Esther poses these questions and more while, in a smooth English accent, sweetly declining to answer any of them.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is tedious psychological horror

Sometimes directors and actors work at cross purposes, causing a film to be disjointed and aimless, regardless of a clever scene here or a good performance there. Unfortunately, such cross purposes plague We Need to Talk About Kevin and are likely responsible for much of its failure as a film. We Need to Talk About Kevin is a celebrated psychological horror drama that follows Eva Khatachadourian, a reluctant mother, as she deals with her demon-seed son Kevin and the aftermath of his horrific actions at school.

Rick Miller does Shakespeare as The Simpsons in MacHomer

A kind of MTV-generation thinking pervades MacHomer. It’s thinking that says to make classic art (like the plays of Shakespeare) relatable to modern audiences, you should throw in some pop-culture references and, voila, you have an easily digestible version ready for the masses to consume. It seems that Canadian comedian and stage performer Rick Miller subscribes to this sort of thinking, and he really runs with it in MacHomer, a shortened version of Macbeth in which every character is performed as a member of The Simpsons.

Woody Harrelson is the ultimate bad cop in Rampart

Is it possible for a man to be entirely evil? In many ways this is the question that director Oren Moverman poses in Rampart. It is a question that I still find myself unable to answer. Woody Harrelson’s intense portrayal of corrupt LAPD officer and Vietnam War veteran David Brown does not make it easy to come up with an answer.

Intense snowboarding series SSX carves back onto your console

SSX, one of the most renowned arcade snowboarding games of all time, returns to your console with plenty of speed, frustration and a ton of dubstep. The SSX series flourished over the previous decade amid a gaming environment with an intense over-saturation of extreme sports games. That time has passed and EA has revived the series with some pretty strong results.

Silent Best Picture winner The Artist will charm your socks off

After all the hoopla and awards handed out to The Artist, it’s worth asking, “Is the film any good?” Yes, it is, and while it may lack the dramatic weight that we expect in a Best Picture winner, The Artist is certainly a dazzling film. In the truest sense, The Artist is a comedy. Winner of Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards, the film is light, it’s charming, its story ends happily and by the time the final credits roll, we’re completely wrapped up in the whole enterprise.

The lessons of Monsieur Lazhar: French-Canadian Oscar nominee explores how children handle grief

It is very tricky to properly portray children on film. They usually come across as either miniature adults or irritating idiots — both inaccurate portrayals of real-life kids. It takes a film as sensitive and observant as Monsieur Lazhar to portray children as they really are. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards and based on a one-person play by Évelyne de la Chenelière, Philippe Felardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar is a French-Canadian film exploring grief, education and how teachers influence the lives of their students.

Persephone Theatre’s spy comedy The 39 Steps, based on the Hitchcock film, is a laugh riot

Some people find it impossible to take spy thrillers from the ’30s seriously. Apparently playwright Patrick Barlow is one such person. Barlow’s latest play The 39 Steps is a comedic take on the 1915 spy novel by John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, who was the 15th Governor General of Canada. His novel was adapted into the popular movie by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935. The novel and film were thrillers, meant to captivate the reader or viewer with their classic wrong-man plot and devious German villains. Barlow’s play may keep the exact plot of the film, but his goal isn’t to thrill the audience. It’s to make them laugh.