Best Actor – Josh MacDonald, Atlantic Film Festival, 1994
A taut, brittle thriller…Thoughtful writing, phenomenally restrained performances – Nolden is captivating – and gorgeous cinematography make Nicolaou's perfectly paced feature one of the best Canadian films I've seen in years.
Sarah Liss, NOW Toronto, May 19, 2005
It’s well-paced, and the actors all give ’er, particularly [Katharine] Isabelle…
Adam Nayman, EYE Weekly, August 18, 2005
What happens is f***ing amazing as far as performances go, as far as twists and turns in human behavior, as far as entertainment, as far as a great f***ing movie!
Shane Ryan, Alter Ego Cinema
It’s war when a “full body” massage-parlor owner hires a new manager in Soo Lyu’s breezy directorial bow, Rub & Tug. Shot on digital video, this smart, funny movie transcends its technical limitations with an offbeat, witty story and a quartet of sharp performances…a comedy that is sometimes absurd, but grounded in a sense of reality. It's an impressive first effort, a welcome new addition to Canadian cinema.
Pam Grady, Reel.com
I can see this becoming a great cult classic along the lines of Mall Rats and Dogma.
Sheila, Girlposse.com, September 2002
Editor, Post-Production Supervisor (uncredited)
The film contains many excellent battle scenes, shown as flashbacks as the men visit the various sites where they fought. The film is able to keep the viewer’s interest as we gradually learn what these men went through during their time “in country” leading up to the revelation of what actually happened on the day that their fellow marines were killed. Overall, an excellent and enjoyable war film told in an interesting and rather unusual way.
The Greatest War Movies
Editor, Post-Production Supervisor
Detention provides a great, fun ride. Definitely recommended.
Gregory Conley, Yourvideostoreshelf.com
Editor, Second Unit Direction and Photography (inserts)
Direct Action manages to deliver more of a punch than one might expect.
Kage Alan, Modamag.com
Director, Editor, Cinematographer
The last major bonus feature is an insightful ten-minute documentary on the making of the music. It is a brilliant accompaniment to the film.
Eric Profancik, DVD Verdict.com
Audio Commentary Producer, Video Introduction Producer
The DVD extras are awesome: a new half-hour direct-address rant by Watkins himself...and commentaries by Watkins scholars.
Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice, December 6, 2005
The special features for the DVD are quite extensive and valuable. Prior to the film is a 28-minute introduction by Peter Watkins … [and] the film contains a great audio commentary by, perhaps, Watkins' biggest supporter, film scholar Joseph A Gomez. Gomez’s commentary is full of insights, both into the significance of the film and into the context of Watkins’ entire career.
James Emanuel Shapiro, Reel.com
Dr. Joseph Gomez’s audio commentary is quite insightful, pointing out such great tidbits as the fact that the flag destination in the park is filmed with the flag flying to the left due to wind problems, with the directional placement actually being in opposition to the standard right-facing manner.
Chris Sikich, Entertainment Insiders, December 1, 2005
Audio Commentary Producer
Dr. Joseph Gomez, director of North Carolina State’s film program, provides another outstanding audio commentary for the film. Before beginning his observations of the film and Watkins’ visual style, he gives a 20-minute background on the director. Gomez’s commentary is full of astute insights, most interestingly when he compares this film to Rollerball and The Running Man. All three share very similar themes, but Gomez holds The Gladiators above those because it refuses to depict stylized violence for mere entertainment, and refuses to celebrate the Hollywood idea of a happy ending with an individual triumphing over an oppressive government.
James Emanuel Shapiro, Reel.com
Film-to-Video Transfer Supervision
After a shaky start that yielded some botched, hasty transfers, New Yorker has lately found its footing, as Chronicle and another recent release, Mai Zetterling’s overlooked 1964 Swedish film, Loving Couples, spectacularly attest.
Dave Kehr, The New York Times, December 20, 2005
Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor
Degrees serves as an excellent showcase for the partnership’s considerable talents; it is also one of those low-budget projects in which limited resources actually improve the final work. There’s a beauty in the short’s simplicity, a self-consciousness reminiscent of Robert Altman’s cycle of stage-to-screen adaptations or even Jonathan Demme’s filmic incarnation of Spalding Gray’s performance piece, Swimming to Cambodia.
Matthew Hays, Montreal Mirror, March 1995
A wire-taut short film…a stunning 30-minute verbal and visual assault. See it and rejoice in the style and intensity two talents can bring to the screen.
John Griffin, Montreal Gazette, March 1995
A classic…mercilessly observant.
Halifax Chronicle Herald, September 1994
Creative, fast paced…its passionate execution is infectious.
Montreal Hour, March 1995
A thrill ride.
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