New Morning Star movie reviewers keep it “reel”

Modern-day Siskel and Ebert, Vernon's Brian Taylor and Peter Howe cover the latest, greatest, and not-so-greatest in their tag-team style.

Vernon’s Brian Taylor

Vernon’s Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are used to seeing things in bright, vivid colour –– high definition  and otherwise.

Both managers at Vernon’s Dulux Paints store,  the men are used to dealing in the latest high-gloss latex-based paint, but they are also ardent movie fans who have been watching films way before Ferris Bueller took that famous day off school.

Taylor and Howe are about to share their knowledge and interest in film as The Morning Star’s new movie reviewers.

Both have big shoes to fill as the replacements for longtime columnist Jason Armstrong who left his post as movie reviewer at The Morning Star after 23 years.

“We met at the store five years ago, and have been friends since despite our different tastes in movies. We also play poker once a month,” said Taylor.

A modern-day Siskel and Ebert, Taylor and Howe agree that by having two reviewers instead of one, particularly of such differing tastes, readers will be presented with the opportunity to appreciate opinions closer to their own.

“Even when we agree, it’s usually for different reasons,” said Taylor, adding that one thing they both have is a sense of humour –– and they plan to inject their columns with a few laughs, when appropriate, but mostly will share honest, impassioned, and knowledgeable reviews.

Howe’s  interest in film goes back since VHS came out in the early 1970s. A native of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, a notoriously damp area on the east coast of the U.K., he spent many Saturday mornings out of the rain watching videos.

“I watched a lot of Danny Kaye, Fred Astaire and B-rated films,” said Howe, now 41. “I also love Jackie Chan’s early films from the early ‘80s. I really like a wide range, including musicals and suspense.”

The father of two daughters, 22 and 17, and a four-year-old son, Howe immigrated to Canada in 2001, and can often be found playing soccer and hockey, the latter on PlayStation.

An admitted film buff, Taylor not only watches films, he makes them. He runs his own independent film production company, En Queue, and is currently working on a horror short called The Bite, and is also shooting a science fiction war film that he says is larger in scope.

His one professional credit is as sound and music editor for the 1992 CHBC documentary, Okanagan Nation.

Born in Freeport, Ill. to an American mother and Canadian father, Taylor moved to Armstrong with his family when he was 12, and says he was always going to films with his family.

“My first film was The Jungle Book,” said the 39 year old. “Then Star Wars changed everything for me.”

Taylor started making films with his friends while a student at Pleasant Valley Secondary School, and also played in a number of bands, which continued long after he graduated.

“I got into music production, working with computers, and then that turned into using computers to make films. I wanted to go to the Vancouver Film School, but ended up staying here to raise a family.”

Life has turned full circle for Taylor, whose one son, 19, now plays in a band.

“I just filmed a live performance they did,” said Taylor, whose other son is 17.

Taylor has also spent most of his adult life writing, and has published three books of social criticism and maintains popular and productive blogs.

Entitled Reel Reviews, Taylor and Howe’s first column will be published in The Morning Star starting Friday.