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Monday, November 24, 2008

/* Rachel - I heard you got married - congratulation */ - Rachel Getting Married - sisters are doing it for themselves

Rachel Getting Married debuted at the TIFF 08 in the gala portion which seems quite contrarian to the movie's presentation. The glamorous Anne Hathaway on the red carpet totally undercuts her depiction of Kim - the sister of Rachel who is getting married.

Jonathan Demme, director of Silence of the Lambs, gets down to the nitty gritty of sisterhood and being family compounded by the attendant pressures of the impending marriage and accompanying farfula and intertwining of both sides of the wedding.

The entire film rings with honest truth as the family deals with Anne Hathaway's harrowing past through self destruction, addiction and rehabilitation as it slowly comes to light.

Taking place during a wedding brings together a huge assortment of characters - family members, best man, maid of honour, friends of family, musicians - [ even one Robyn Hitchcock who plays in performance at the wedding ] - far too many characters to keep track of which really drags out too many scenes too long - and the transition of scenes is far from smooth as scenes play out then tail off.

The movie continually focuses back on Anne Hathaway - even as she tries to stay in the background and listen to the testimonials from friends and family to the upcoming newlyweds the camera records her emotional dissatisfaction. She finally has to grab the spotlight and the microphone and tries to make amends to her sister as part of the twelve step programme as the rest of the room fidgets uncomfortably.

Hathaway should be a deserving subject of award season nomination for best actress - for a persona so far removed from Princess Diaries or Devil Wears Prada.

/... more

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Inspirational genius in Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen is back to the sharp clever banter that was the trademark of those classic films a la Annie Hall or Manhattan.

This movie is a delightful romp in the sunny clime of Barcelona where two American girls go for a vacation - each with different traits and personalities- the seemingly straight laced dark haired girl and the stunningly attractive blonde live for the moment and easily romanced.

Friday, September 12, 2008

DAY 9 - /* Just you and me and the deadgirl */ - Deadgirl is a tromatic affair

At TIFF we actively seek those little teen ensemble movies that mark the coming of age - in the past it's been movies such as Little Athens, Mysterious Skin, 2:37, 11:14.

This year it's Deadgirl and one of our definite favourites of this year's fest.

DAY 9 - /* There's no reason to screw the computers */ - Control Alt Delete

Those three familiar words of the PC lexicon either define you as computer geek or normal everyday guy.

Control Alt Delete is definitely not normal - does it get any weirder than having sex with your computer ? If it does we do not want to know you.

The movie sets itself a month away from the eve of the Y2K crisis - a period defined where the missing two digits in front of a year as stored in computer data records which held only the last two digits [ i.e. anyone born in 1953 would have 53 in the YY but with the Y2k the years 00 could mean either century ] marked a potential conflict between the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and the end of civilization as we know it unless the problem could be fixed - usually by endless bouts of programming. Which brings us to the setting of the story - the offices where the computer programmers and techs work.

However, the good thing about the movie is the hot Laura Bertram [from Ready or Not or Trance Gemini on Andromeda] being seen naked on the screen for the first time in bed with boyfriend played by Tyler Labine.

What's number 3?

/* Did you just throw water at me */

So the big fat loud guy with the glasses in the last row of the theatre asked me "Did you just throw water at me?" and I said "Yeah, I am trying not to hear you!"

Of course it was entirely justified - he was in loud discussion with someone about the TIFF movies that had seen or about to see - and movies that we were still hoping to see or had seen and spouting off loud obnoxious opinions that we disagreed with but we were well contemplating doing another Viggo Mortensen episode a la A History of Violence- he's always the guy who laughs too loud too and eats popcorn with his mouth open - they're allowed to shoot horses, don't they? so why not obnoxious moviegoers?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 8 - /* Where do we go from here? We just keep on going */ - Uncertainty does a double riposte with Revanche

The theme of the night of Day 8 at the Festival was uncertain futures and even more uncertain ends.

In fact both movie's three endings were more of no ends - Uncertainty was more acceptable but Revanche clearly in line with La Haine a la Charbol - after almost two hours of gruelling tolerance Revanche - a German spoken Austrian movie with a French title - utterly failed to justify its hype. A couple secretly in love, a girl from the Ukraine trying to make a go of it in Vienna - and working at a brothel run by a powerful fat slob [ not totally unlike the guy who got water thrown at ] - she being Tamara in her hooker heels and he is Alex, the boss of the brothel's grunt labour. Nothing can go wrong with a plan, he says, as he figures a way out of their situation at the brothel - a plan that comprises a bank robbery. A chain of events is set in motion that leads to more than two hours of endurance by the audience.

More palatable was the couple of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins in Uncertainty who after a toss of a coin at the bridge run in two separate directions and thrust into two distinctive and dense plotlines - the crux of each being a decision and "will it be the right decision?"

Two more days of TIFF08 to go. O joy.

/* Never do an armour truck */ - Life is a slammer in What Doesn't Kill You

One day at a time. Living life.

Another story set in the gritty world of Southie - South Boston. The true story of Brian [ as played by Mark Ruffalo ]

< ... more to come >

One week of TIFF08 behind us. Can it get any better?

DAY 7 - /* I'm a Jew you're a Nazi - game over */ - Viggo Mortensen is GOOD

Good based on the stageplay by the RDA in England at its best is provocative, at its lullpoints merely good.

Viggo Mortensen is a university professor John Halder of literature in Berlin during the 1930s whose book has come to the attention of the new to power Nazi party. The subject of the book is on the right to life, or merciful ending. He is told that the Fuhrer himself has read the book and it seems the party is about to embrace its ideal - to which Halder clearly shocked says, "It is a work of fiction."

But in stages, the university professor is co-opted into joining the Nazi party and rises in scholarly rank and wage, much to the dismay of his friend Maurice [ Jason Isaacs who is also a co-producer and maybe more familiar in his Harry Potter film role ] who is Jewish. Maurice pleads with Halder to save his life and get him a visa out of the country. However, Halder despite rank is forced to take the cowardly way out in front of youth comrades of the party and switches the destination of his ticket from Paris to Brandenburg where his ailing mother lives.

By always trying to do the good thing [for the country or for himself], and always seeming to make the wrong choice but pressured otherwise, Halder is a victim of his decisions, each marked by a bout of music [Mahler] - he writes a paper for the Party, he forsakes his marriage for a younger university girl attracted to him - by the end, Halder is in full Nazi officer uniform. "Call me Professor."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From Finland after Three Wise Men - merry christmas!

Mika Kaurismäki's Three Wise Men debuted at TIFF back on the second day of TIFF08 on Friday, Sept 5. We had to investigate that club and found out online that the club for the karaoke scene is very much real so an email was sent. This is their reply.

thankyou for mail.
i am happy you can see finnish film about finnish 3 friends on chritmas
party which was some part of film filmed in swengi night club.
hello to everybody.
you welcome again to helsinki.
Best wishes!
Mr.Bakar Manager.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

/* An unwritten life */ - The Brothers Bloom takes you along for the ride

From the director of Brick comes this next setpiece The Brothers Bloom making its world premiere to an ardent crowd at Ryerson. With an amusing intro and antics by director and the three leads in the cast and the director's cousin? on guitar the audience was primed. In the hands of two professionals Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo, the story of the Brothers Bloom as two conmen is worth the emotional investment. When their final *mark* is the fetching Rachel Weisz, Is that worth a wow?

/* Un nuit de chien */ - DAY 6 - Nuit de chien is a night of chaos

Werner Schroeter Un nuit de chien [ called Tonight internationally ] is a monumental travesty of a film - this was the type of film we were trying to avoid after being somehow drawn to see Peter Greenaway's Nightwatch at last year's TIFF. A puzzling movie, Un nuit de chien is ,ore of an art piece than a piece of entertainment that one could keep praying would end any moment. Devoid of any realism, and having pieces of popular classical music such as Air on a G String pitched at high volumes it really begins to tax the patience and the nerves. Very Kafkaesque in its puzzlement at what is going on, a German director with a French cast fighting a Spanish war, a Fellini clown selling balloons at night - the movie only really begins to pick up after the lead Ossorio encounters a young Victoria - the daughter of his comrade Barcala which turns the film into The Professional.

It is odd this movie had the highest ratings on the sites devoted to TIFF reviews because no one came out of this movie seemingly to like it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

/* War is a drug */ - Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker a searing indictment of war

War is hell - it's a phrase worth repeating over and over again. Kathryn Bigelow's movie with its North American premiere at Ryerson on Monday evening is based upon the stories of an embedded reporter in Iraq. If these stories are any indication, then the war can only be viewed as pointless or unwinnable. Iraq is really a warzone fought in the streets with its mazes of streets and hidden bombs which B Company have to defuse.

DAY 5 - /* Heights, the dark, public nudity */ - all of Zooey Deschanel's fears realized in Gigantic

Gigantic with its world premiere at Isabel Bader theatre on a rainy Monday night is a very odd, quirky and off-balanced movie but that is a good thing. As Paul Dano's quiet character is about to take a gigantic leap into the unknown all the strangest things surround him or come at him out of the blue. First it might be a homeless deranged man out to get him with an iron pipe, then it might be a study of suicidal rats by his scientist friend, or his eccentric father or brothers - but the weirdest thing to enter his life is the holly-go-lightish Happy character of Zooey Deschanel who really knows how to play directionless.

DAY 4 - /* I'm so scared I can't run away anymore */ - Burning Plain erupts in flame of passion

Saturday, September 06, 2008

/* Who do you want to be ? / - Just Katia's sister

From the makers of Bluebird comes this grim bout of art imitating life.

With a one camera intimacy the movie dwells on the young unnamed girl in the movie who when asked by her teacher what she wants to be in life replies: "Just". The teacher continues "Just what?" "Just Katia's sister."

Katia is the young beautiful and vivacious sister who has fallen in love with an Italian by the name of Giac. But the movie always constantly follows Katia's sister - there is no definitive plot - it just follows the course of the night and day in her life - that one glimpse of her drawing in class at the beginning of the movie is the only scene with other pupils.

Otherwise, the movie shows her solitary life in the apartment while the mother is out working, and Katia is out. Or the movie follows Katia's sister outside as she socializes with her grandma. The story's background comes out in small dribs and drabs through memories and old pictures. The daughters do not even share the same father. Things are not all peachy keen - given the mother's trade in life and Katia yearning to join her boyfriend in Pisa, Italy. Katia's sister clearly loves Katia and the feeling is mutual. But things deteriorate as Katia in her bid to gather money quickly joins her friend in a stripclub which clearly does not please the mother and arguments abound. Katia's way of coping is to keep colouring on paper or when left alone she has imaginary conversations with her mother and with Katia in an idealized world.

As things move towards their denouement, the ending is revelatory.

/* Where's Fluffy? */ - DAY 3- world premiere of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in high fidelity

/* Play ball ! */ -DAY 3 - Un été sans point ni coup sûr hits a homerun


Un été sans point ni coup sû
3 pm
Scotiabank 4

The first year of the Expos in Montreal and how it affects a baseball crazed boy and his friends and family

Mother says youth does not realize how lucky it is to be so carefree.

A baseball team is forever.

DAY 3 - /* No Music No Dream */ - It might get loud in Detroit Metal City

Day 3 is what TIFF is all about

Detroit Metal City absolutely rock'd - No Hit No Run Summer [ French Canadian movie set during the first year of the Montreal Expos in Montreal ] - the crowd went absolutely wild for the world premiere of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - it's not totally unlike a certain high fidelity [ which is still a good thing ] but weirderdifferent - and the last movie was Katia's Sister which was Dutch

Detroit Metal City can be blistering loud yet tempered with the Trendy with Tetrapod Melon Tea

With al its death and references to the underworld DETROIT METAL CITY is amazingly funny

Friday, September 05, 2008

/* Sorry Lucy */ = Michelle Williams is a treat to behold in the quiet of Wendy and Lucy


7:45 pm

A girl and her dog on a road trip - stuck in Oregon on the way to Alaska.

Which basically sums up Kelly Reichardt's little movie Wendy and Lucy starring a wistful Michelle Williams - a girl on the road travelling with her dog - with no safety net of her own and no direction home, she is heading away from native Illinois for a better life and financial future in the promiseland of Alaska. But while passing through somewhere in Oregon, the car breaks down leading to a string of misfortune which we will leave you to find out for yourself for now

Reichardt indicated the movie is a reflection of post-Katrina America where the poor and misfortunate are still looked down upon and almost seen to be responsible for their own fates - a post Katrina America where the politicians assume those American people are supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps - but what bootstraps? And where is the financial aid?

Wendy meets a kindly older security guard who watches over the parking lot at Walgreen and they in a way befriend each other. But in the town she meets people without a heart. Michelle Williams as Wendy takes it all in with a quiet stoicism, mingled with a certain despair yet still buoyed by a hope for the best imparted by her new friend - it is only her determination which keeps her moving forward. When she stops her life gasps for air. By the end she is on the road again - on the road to nowhere? but moving on.

Day 2 - Merry Christmas ≈karaoke √ Mika Kaurismaki's Three Wise Men sing



5:30 pm

After a very tough pair of movies on Opening Day of TIFF08 over at Ryerson, it was time to sample the debut of the AMC to the festival. Last year this spot was still a hole in the ground and the fences were featured in the Incredible Hulk movie of the summer.

We had already sampled many movies before at the new AMC and noted its comfy seats and legroom. However, TIFF took things to a different level - it seems TIFF insists on trying to pack every theatre to the gills, so there is actually someone sitting beside you! and on both sides!

After some brief introductory remarks from Kaurismaki himself [ whose brother is Aki by the way ] - he's a very humourous man he is - with a Christmas setting replete with the ham and the Declaration of the Christmas Peace which is the tradition in Finland this could have been a light-hearted film filled with good cheer. There is a lot of cheer, of the liquid time, but the material becomes quite dense with pieces of dialogue verging on Bergman and the situations brimming with danger and irony [ and irony in the correct sense - not the American interpretation of irony as bitter and caustic ]. Santa Claus in Helsinki.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

/* You mustn't forget */ - Plus Tard, Tu Comprendras - Opening Day of TIFF08 ! Jeanne Moreau is a gift


6 pm

The opening day of TIFF was warmly cheered by the audience as TIFF CEO Piers Handling took the stage to welcome all aboard.

And it was back to same as it ever was - night vision goggles, anti-piracy argh ! and some clever and some not go good promo clips for motoreel and the Cadillac People's Choice Awards.

Seeing legend Jeanne Moreau on the screen of Ryerson during TIFF is a gift indeed - and Piers Handling welcomed back Amos Gitai onstage to some introductory remarks for his newest presentation [albeit not his own idea] of Plus Tard, Tu Comprendras. Two years ago we saw his presented by Atom Egoyan before the showing of Free Zone which featured a trio of gifted actresses including Natalie Portman.

Toronto International Film Festival is a presentation ground of tough material - Day One devoted to holocaust and genocide and massacre - but presented in varied and intrestingly lyrical ways.

The compositions within Plus Tard, Tu Comprendras are gorgeous in the tight apartment situations and the acting so sharp and precise with Jeanne Moreau as the commanding mother in her latter years, presiding over her son who is brooding and trying to get to the bottom of a piece of family history that is tied in with the Second World War.

The son gets more wound up and depressed as he tries to pry the story out of his mother about the past which leads his understanding wife to sympathize, saying that the best he can do is "You cannot change the past, you cannot undo history. You mustn't forget."

<... more to come>

/* 26 dogs */ - time is fleeting in Waltz with Bashir on Day ONE of TIFF08

Thursday Sept 4, 2008

9 pm

Ari Folman is the director of his own personal story of life during wartime doing the Lebanon in 1982 - but the story is universal - this could be any soldier's story - only an animated movie could encompass the wide range of memory loss, the transience of memory, the insanity of war, the pain of lost love, and coming to terms - Waltz with Bashir is therapy. The movie is both funny and poignant but war like life is like that. The music albeit loud in the Ryerson theatre [hopefully they can fix that] scored by Max Richter lends the soignee and melancholy and pulse and drive of the movie. The vibrant Enola Gay adds that 80s touch aboard the "Love Boat", and PIL's This Is Not A Love Song is perfect heartbreak music for a soldier's loss of his girlfriend. This movie whose genesis was back in the Hot Docs competition 3 years ago at TIFF, is slated for release by Seville.

/* Don't panic ! */ - The Hitchhiker's Guide to TIFF08

I'm sick, you're tired
let's dance dance dance

- Metric, Calculation Theme

After your head has exploded after trying to figure out your final schedule - your work has paid off.

The festival is on!

Quick survival tips:
No matter what, bring a light jacket for the times when the sky is dark.
Coffee Crisp makes a nice light snack.
And above all:
Always feel free to kick, throw coffee at or severely injure anyone who tries to talk about a movie you have not seen yet.
Don't forget your towel.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

/* Overture dim the lights this is it */ - TIFF starts today !

We're already feeling nervous again.

There's nothing like first day to set the tone. Last year we were already in our first star sighting with Jodie Foster in black at Ryerson for The Brave One. But no luck in scheduling Persepolis. Two strange movies to start us off this year at Ryerson: Amos Gitai's Plus Tard Tu Comprendras followed by the animated Waltzing with Bashir.

This should be a good day. (But of course we have to survive the daything first).

TIFF08 minus 1 day ! /* Mirror mirror on the wall show me where the bombs will fall */

With a certain hesitation and regard we await the opening day of TIFF08

Surely there will be gems amongst your choices - and no matter of catty comments or nasty asides should spoil your TIFF experience. Even those terse reviews in your local paper or entertainment weekly should not detract from your ultimate enjoyment.

After all, this is your Toronto International Film Festival.

all the words will lose their meaning

- Arcade Fire Black Mirror

But just in case you forgot why you want to see movies first at TIFF

8/19/2008| Toronto International Film Festival Announces Over 500 Guests For 2008 Event

Toronto - The 33rd Toronto International Film Festival welcomes over 500 international stars and special guests. These filmmakers, actors, and industry insiders, connected to Festival films and other Festival programming, represent the finest in film talent from around the world.

The following guests are expected to attend the Toronto International Film Festival:

Aaron Poole, Aaron Woodley, Abraham Ravett, Adam Del Deo, Adam Garnet Jones, Adolfo Alix Jr., Adria Petty, Adrian Sitaru, Adrien Brody, Agnès Varda, Aida Begic, Akin Omotoso, Akshay Kumar, Alan Alda, Albert Serra, Alec Baldwin, Alessandro Nivola, Alex Flores, Alexander Sebastien Lee, Alexis Alexiou, Alicia Keys, Amariah Faulkner, Amos Gitaï, Amos Kollek, Andrea Zambelli, Andreas Dresen, Anees Bazmee, Angèle Coutu, Ann Marie Fleming, Anna Boden, Anne Anglin, Anne Fontaine, Anne Hathaway, Annie Bradley, Anthony Arnove, Anthony Fabian, Anthony Mackie, Anthony Wong, Antoine L'Écuyer, Anton Yelchin, Antonio Banderas, Antti-Jussi Annila, Ari Folman, Arnaud des Pallières, Arnaud Desplechin, Arne Glimcher, Arsinée Khanjian, Assane Kheiro, Astra Taylor, Astrid Ofner, Atom Egoyan, Augustus Prew, Avital Ronell, Baayork Lee, Babz Chula, Baltasar Kormákur, Barbet Schroeder, Barmak Akram, Barry Jenkins, Beatriz Rico, Ben Barnes, Ben Kempas, Ben Kingsley, Benicio Del Toro, Bent Hamer, Bill Maher, Bill Sales, Bob Martin, Bohdan Sláma, Brad Pitt, Breno Silveira, Brian Goodman, Brian Stockton, Brianna Scarfone, Brigitte Pogonat, Brillante Ma. Mendoza, Brittany Allen, Bruce McDonald, Bruno Barreto, Bryan Brown, Bryce Dallas Howard, Cameron Labine, Camille Sullivan, Candice Day, Carina Caputo, Carl B. Dorvil, Carl Bessai, Carlos Sorín, Carly Pope, Caroline Dhavernas, Carolyne Eisenberg, Caroline Link, Casey Manderson, Chai Vasarhelyi, Charles Martin Smith, Charles Officer, Charlie Cox, Charlie Kaufman, Charlize Theron, Charlotte Legault, Chi McBride, Chick Reid, Chris Chong Chan Fui, Chris Evans, Chris Gehman, Chris McCarroll, Chris Moore, Christian Petzold, Christina Collins, Christine Brubaker, Christophe Barratier, Christopher Walken, Chus Gutiérrez, Claire Danes, Claire Denis, Clark Johnson, Claudel Poirier, Clive Holden, Clovis Cornillac, Colin Farrell, Colin Firth, Constant Mentzas, Cornel West, Costa Tavaroniski, Craig Alan Edwards, Cynthia Nixon, Cyrus Nowrasteh, Dakota Fanning, Dan Popa, Dan Stone, Dana Nachman, Daniel Brière, Daniel Brühl, Daniel Burman, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Daniel Hendler, Daniel J. Gordon, Daniela Thomas, Danny Boyle, Darren Aronofsky, David Gatten, David Huband, David Koepp, David Ludwig, David Oyelowo, David Schwimmer, David Siegel, David Weaver, David Woroner, Davis Guggenheim, Debra Winger, Declan McCarthy, Deepa Mehta, Delphine Chuillot, Denis Villeneuve, Derek Luke, Derick Martini, Des Walsh, Don Hardy, Don McKellar, Donna McKechnie, Dorothee Wenner, Douglas Goodwin, Duane Hopkins, Duraid Munajim, Dylan Everett, Dylan Moran, Ed Harris, Eddie Cahill, Edward Norton, Elena Hudgins Lyle, Elizabeth Banks, Elizabeth Lazebnik, Ella Lemhagen, Emmanuelle Beart, Emmanuelle Devos, Eric Schlosser, Erika Loic, Eriko Sonoda, Ethan Coen, Ethan Hawke, Eva Amurri, Eva Sørhaug, Evan Rachel Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Fabrice Du Welz, Fabrice Luchini, Federico Veiroj, Félicité Wouassi, Félix Beaulieu-Duchesneau, Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Fernando Meirelles, Ferzan Ozpetek, Fien Troch, Frances McDormand, Francesco Munzi, Francis Ducharme, Francis Leclerc, Franck Vestiel, François Dupeyron, François Girard, François Velle, François Verster, Frank Erl, Gabor Csupo, Gabriel Medina,Gbrielle Néron, Gabrielle Rose, Gadi Harel, Gael García Bernal, Gavin O'Connor, Gaylen Ross, Geetika Sharma, Geneviève Ouellon, Geoffrey Rush, Geordie Dobson, Georgina Reilly, Gerard Butler, Gerardo Naranjo, Gick Grewal, Gil Bellows, Gilles Bourdos, Gina Prince- Bythewood, Gina Sylvester, Glenn Ligon, Götz Spielmann, Gracie Otto, Greg Kinnear, Guillermo Arriaga, Guka Omarova, Guy Édoin, Guy Ritchie, Haile Gerima, Hajime Kadoi, Hal Hedley, Hans Steinbichler, Haoua Abakar, Helen Lee, Hélène Loiselle, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Hollman Morris, Howard Zinn, Hrant Alianak, Ian FitzGibbon, Iannis Smaragdis, Inés Efron, Ing K, Ingrid Veninger, Isabelle Blais, Isabelle Huppert, J.T. Petty, Jack White, Jacob Switzer, Jacques-Rémy Girard, James Benning, James D. Stern, James Downing, James McBride, Jamie Jay Johnson, Jamie M. Dagg, Jan Troell, Jason Issacs, Jason Jones, Jason Phin, Javier Cámara, Javor Gardev, Jay Baruchel, Jean-Francois Richet, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Jean-Marc Barr, Jeanne Moreau, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Jeff Goldblum, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Goldberg, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Reeves, Jeremy Irons, Jeremy Northam, Jeremy Piven, Jeremy Renner, Jerry Zaks, Jerzy Skolimowski, Jessica Biel, Jessica Booker, Jessica Haines, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Jia Zhang-ke, Jija Yanin Vismitananda, Jill Hennessy, Jim Jennings, Jim Sturgess, Jimmy Page, Joan Dupont, Joan Richards, Joana Hadjithomas, Jodie Markell, Jodie Whittaker, Joe Balass, Joe Dinicol, Joel Coen, Joel Thomas Hynes, John Breglio, John Crowley, John Malkovich, John Stockwell, Jon Abrahams, Jon Hart, Jon Hewitt, Jonathan Demme, Jordan Canning, Jorge Luis González, Josef Bierbichler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Joshua Jackson, Josué Méndez, Juan José Lozano, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Julia Ormond, Julianne Moore, Julie McCarthy, Jung Woo-sung, Juraj Lehotský, Justin Chatwin, Justin Simms, Karen LeBlanc, Karen Oganesyan, Kari Skogland, Karim Dridi, Karin Lernbeiss, Karl Geary, Karl Lemieux, Karoline Herfurth, Kat Dennings, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Mara, Kathryn Bigelow, Katrina Kaif, Kazik Radwanski, K.C. Collins, Keb' Mo', Keira Knightley, Kelly O'Neill, Kelly Reichardt, Kenichi Matsuyama, Kenneth Ward, Keven McAlester, Kevin Papatie, Kevin Rafferty, Kevin Smith, Kevin Zegers, Khalil Joreige, Khayar Oumar Defallah, Kieran Culkin, Kieran Kennedy, Kim Jee-woon, Kiran Bedi, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Kornél Mundruczó, Kristen Thomson, Kristian Levring, Kristin Scott Thomas, Kristin Trembinski, Kristine Cofsky, Kristopher Belman, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Lakis Lazopoulos, Lance Daly, Larry Charles, Laura Linney, Lauren Graham, Laurence Carbonneau, Laurent Delbecque, Laytrel McMullen, Laz Alonso, Léa Pool, LeBron James, Lee Byung-hun, Leon Geller, Leonardo de Armas, Liam Neeson, Liane Balaban, Lichuan Yin, Lina Roessler, Lisa Houle, Lisandro Alonso, Liu Fendou, Louise Bourgoin, Luc Bourdon, Luc Dardenne, Lyne Charlebois, Lynn Collins, Mabrouk El Mechri, Macarena Gomez, Macarena Gomez, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Malcolm Rogge, Malgoska Szumowska, Marc Abraham, Marc Bendavid, Marcel Sarmiento, Marco Kreuzpaintner, Marco Pontecorvo, Marcus Vetter, Margaux Williamson, Maria Deschamps, Maria Govan, Maria Heiskanen, Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Marisa Tomei, Mark Doherty, Mark Hartley, Mark Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Mark Van de Ven, Martha Burns, Martha Nussbaum, Martin Provost, Martina Gusman, Marty Montgomery, Mathew Kaufman, Mathieu Bourguet, Matt Aselton, Matt Damon, Matt Dillon, Matt Gordon, Matt Hopkins, Matt Tyrnauer, Matteo Garrone, Matthew Newton, Matthew Rankin, Max Färberböck, Meadow Wells-goudie, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Megan Doneman, Megan Jones, Melanie Schnell, Meredith Bailey, Meredith Cheesbrough, Michael Cera, Michael Ealy, Michael Fassbender, Michael McGowan, Michael Peña, Michael Winterbottom, Michel Gomes, Mickey Rourke, Miguel Martí, Mijke de Jong, Mika Kaurismäki, Mikael Persbrandt, Mike Beaver, Mike Leigh, Mike Maryniuk, Mohammad Bakri, Mozhan Marnò, Nakhee Sung, Nandita Das, Nate Parker, Nathalie Richard, Nathan MacIntosh, Nathaniel Dorsky, Nati Baratz, Neil Burger, Neil Burns, Neil Fraser, Nicholas Pye, Nick Ashdon, Nick McKinlay, Nick Oceano, Nicolas Brault, Nigel Cole, Nik Fackler, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Noah Segan, Noam Jenkins, Ole Christian Madsen, Olivier Assayas, Omar Benson Miller, Oscar Martínez, Pablo Agüero, Pablo Larrain, Pablo Trapero, Pamela Farrauto, Paolo Sorrentino, Pascal Laugier, Pat Mills, Patrice Dubois, Patrick Gambuti, Patrick Gazé, Patrick Goyette, Paul Bettany, Paul Cronin, Paul Dano, Paul Gross, Paul Schrader, Peace Anyiam- Fiberesima, Perla Haney-Jardine, Peter O'Toole, Peter Singer, Peter Sollett, Phawat Panangkasiri, Philip Haas, Philippe Claudel, Philippe Falardeau, Pierfrancesco Favino, Prachya Pinkaew, Prakash Raj, Preity Zinta, Priyadarshan, Queen Latifah, Rachal Blanchard, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Rafaël Ouellet, Ralph Fiennes, Ram Bergman, Ramin Bahrani, Randall Cole, Randall Okita, Randy Quaid, Rashid Masharawi, Rebecca Baron, Réjean Lefrançois, Renee Zellweger, Rian Johnson, Richard Eyre, Richard Linklater, Richard Parry, Ricky Gervais, Rinko Kikuchi, Rithy Panh, Robert Carlyle, Robert Joy, Robert Kenner, Robert King, Robert Koehler, Robert Randolph, Robert Todd, Rod Lurie, Rodrigo Santoro, Rodrigue Jean, Romain Duris, Rory Culkin, Roschdi Zem, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ruth Williamson, Ryan Fleck, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, Sabrina Grdevich, Safy Nebbou, Sam Neill, Samantha Bee, Sami Khan, Samira Makhmalbaf, Samuel Chow, Sara St. Onge, Sarah Fortin, Saul Dibb, Scott Campbell, Scott McGehee, Scott Speedman, Scott Wills, Semi Chellas, Semih Kaplanoglu, Sergey Dvortsevoy, Sergi Lopez, Sheila Heti, Sheila Pye, Sherry White, Sherry White, Shiloh Fernandez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Sholem Krishtalka, Sima Urale, Simon Reynolds, Sir Michael Caine, So Yong Kim, Soledad Porta, Solongo Galbadrakh, Song Kang-ho, Sonja Bennett, Sook-Yin Lee, Sophia Bush, Sophie Okonedo, Spike Lee, Srinivas Krishna, Stefania Hristea, Stefanie Eby, Stephan Elliott, Stephen Belber, Stephen McHattie, Steve Jacobs, Steve McQueen, Steve Zahn, Steven Soderbergh, Sudz Sutherland, Suhail Abdul Hussein, Susan Coyne, Susan Sarandon, Suzanne Clément, Suzie LeBlanc, Sylvie Drapeau, T. Marie, TaeinPark, Tantoo Cardinal, Tatia Rosenthal, Tea Leoni, Tenzin Zopa, Terence Davies, Terry Miles, Thandie Newton, The Edge, Thomas Borch Nielsen, Thomas Woschitz, Thure Lindhardt, Tiffany Lyndall Knight, Tilda Swinton, Tim Braddock, Tim Dowler, Tim Hamilton, Tim Robbins, Tim Roth, Timo Torikka, Timothy Hutton, Tinsel Kovey, Toa Fraser, Tom McCamus, Tom Shu-Yu Lin, Tom Wilkinson, Tony Massil, Toshio Lee, Tracey Heggins, Tracy Wright, Tristan Wilds, Tygh Runyan, Tyler Labine, Uberto Pasolini, Uros Stojanovic, Valdís Óskarsdóttir, Valentina Cervi, Vanessa O'Neill, Vansh Bhardwaj, Vera Farmiga, Vicente Amorim, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Vincent D'Onofrio, Warren P. Sonoda, Werner Schroeter, Willa Holland, William Forrest, Wong Kar Wai, Wyatt Cenac, Yanna McIntosh, Yesim Ustaoglu, Yolande Moreau, Young-seok Noh, Youssou Ndour, Youssouf Djaoro, Yu Lik-wai, Yulene Olaizola, Zac Efron, Zooey Deschanel.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

TIFF08 minus 2 days - /* it's too quiet Jim */

As of 7 am on the other side of midnight the rest of the festival is released to the outside world as the individual tickets go on sale.

These are the other tickets the pass holders could not get their hands on - so it is now or never to get that movie you want to see. Mind you those individual tickets are on the order of 25$, and the Gala tickets are $44 [ more or less ]. We used to stand in that line for the three or four hours winding around College Park or going up and down the stairs at the Eaton Centre 2 below. It was simpler back then when all you wanted to see was maybe one or two movies - and even 10 if you could afford it. Then one year we made it all the way up to 13 movies - and this was standing in rush lines outside the Uptown to try to buy tickets for Personal Velocity or Heaven or Secretary, or standing on the last night of the festival outside the Varsity hoping for such exciting titles as being introduced to Vince Gallo's Trouble Every Day, (then later going on to discover Buffalo 66 and the hit of the festival The Brown Bunny on our first fullblown Festival 50 coupon pass). It all starts so simply, then you are hooked. There has to be some reason why we all endure the line-ups that TIFF subjects us to, and besides, they want the line-ups. And we endure because Toronto just loves their movies.

Monday, September 01, 2008

TIFF07 lives on

While Toronto looks forward to and braces itself for the pending Toronto International Film Festival 2008, last year's 2007 version still lives on in the theatres.

While it may be a pleasurable experience to see a director or a star present at your film of choice at the festival itself, sometimes if you wait long enough the films will come back.

Even now at AMC Yonge and Dundas Boy A from last year is playing along with Up The Yangtze and Mongol and at other repertory theatres such as the Regent The Counterfeiters, Le Balon Rouge which we were delighted with last year with the fabulous Juliette Binoche and of course over at the Carlton where films go to die last year's TIFF sexsation and the PControversial Young People F*(**** [ in YPF it was people acting with their clothes off and a much better viewing than the year before that Shortbus ].

While Hellboy 2 itself was not a TIFF selection, the film continued the strong visual and artistic style that is Guillermo del Toro's present in Pan's Labyrnth.

And if you wait long enough - you might even see an indie movie such as Blindness actually make it to a movie theatre! Imagine that! The trailer for Blindness is already on The Tracey Fragments DVD with the awesome Ellen Page that we are watching to get back into the swing of TIFF while we are wearing out TIFF06 cap - it was either that or Juno again. [And fans of Regenesis should note Showcase is back in the season one Ellen Page Lilith episodes].

TIFF08 minus 3 days - /* 03:24:18 */

Monday, Sept 1, 2008

Can it be September already?

Usually there is some movie at TIFF where some time of day is in the title that portends something ominous or climactic. Instances include the great movie 11:14 [which never saw the light of day in theatre but in the compact comfiness of the Uptown Bloor 2 everyone in the place was just laughing at the sheer bizarreness of all the antics onscreen - and the comely Rachael Leigh Cook as well - and Hilary Swank ! post Boys Don't Cry ] , or there is the melodramatic high school Australian movie 2:18 [ check title later ] which was a worthy follow-up to the likes of Gus Van Sant's Elephant [ who actually mentored the director ] .

So this year we had our own version of 03:24:18 - the total time from start to finish from when we landed at the end of the line-up to pick up the tickets for TIFF08 to the time we made the last switch of tickets and coupons and resolved all time conflicts and double scheduling and said to ourselves at the food court tables outside the Toronto Life Box Office that at last ! our schedule was done.

Our Final Schedule /* ha ! */

So here is the schedule we have shaped with much sweat and blood and furrowed brow and hope for the best - and we actually look forward to this. Note of course that not everything was possible to attain or schedule - being in Box 50 did not helpMany thanks to the great site TOFilmfiest which is devoted to getting out the TIFF schedule every year along with star ratings and reviews in advance to make the selection process just that little bit easier.

Just to rewind for a second and first things first: the Festival Lite pass is good for 30 tickets outside the galas - big change from last year - the Festival Lite pass itself is a change from last year when it was not there at all - so it was 50 or 10. So we bought the Festival 50 last year and took the whole festival off from the outside world. However, this year is different - outside world by day - festival by night. This is not going to be pleasant. Nonetheless, we are going to enjoy TIFF08 to our utmost. Sleep? who needs it.

Plus Tard, Tu Comprendras THU 9/4/08 06:00pm Ryerson

Waltz with Bashir THU 9/4/08 09:00pm Ryerson

Three Wise Men FRI 9/5/08 05:30pm AMC 6

Wendy and Lucy FRI 9/5/08 07:45pm AMC 7

Zift SAT 9/6/08 09:15am Scotiabank 3

Detroit Metal City SAT 9/6/08 12:00pm Scotiabank 2

Un Ete Sans Point Ni Coup Sur SAT 9/6/08 03:00pm Scotiabank 4

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist SAT 9/6/08 06:00pm Ryerson

Katia's Sister SAT 9/6/08 08:45pm AMC 4

35 Rhums SUN 9/7/08 09:15am Scotiabank 4

The Burning Plain SUN 9/7/08 09:45am Scotiabank 2

La Fille de Monaco SUN 9/7/08 12:15pm Scotiabank 1

Is There Anybody There SUN 9/7/08 03:00pm Ryerson

Le Silence de Lorna SUN 9/7/08 06:00pm Scotiabank 1

Genova SUN 9/7/08 08:30pm Wintergarden

The Hurt Locker MON 9/8/08 06:00pm Ryerson

Gigantic MON 9/8/08 09:45pm Isabel Bader

Nuit de Chien TUE 9/9/08 06:15pm Scotiabank 2

The Brothers Bloom TUE 9/9/08 09:00pm Ryerson

What Doesn't Kill You WED 9/10/08 06:30pm Ryerson

Good WED 9/10/08 09:15pm Ryerson

Uncertainty THU 9/11/08 06:30pm AMC 6

Revanche THU 9/11/08 08:45pm AMC 5

Control Alt Delete FRI 9/12/08 06:00pm AMC 1

Deadgirl FRI 9/12/08 09:00pm AMC 6

The Wrestler SAT 9/13/08 09:00am Ryerson

It Might Get Loud SAT 9/13/08 12:00pm AMC 6

Martyrs SAT 9/13/08 04:00pm AMC 3

Once Upon a Time in Rio SAT 9/13/08 07:00pm AMC 3

The Other Man SAT 9/13/08 09:30pm Isabel Bader

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just in from TIFF - Sunday night and back to the drawing board

Our Schedule (click here) from TIFF came in this weekend - and we were not entirely pleased. 27 out of 30 with 3 duplicate films, 2 time conflicts and 3 coupons to redeem.

Waltz with Bashir THU 9/4/08 09:00pm

Three Wise Men FRI 9/5/08 05:30pm

Wendy and Lucy FRI 9/5/08 07:45pm

Detroit Metal City SAT 9/6/08 12:00pm

Nick and Norah's Infinite... SAT 9/6/08 06:00pm

Katia's Sister SAT 9/6/08 08:45pm

Nick and Norah's Infinite... SUN 9/7/08 09:30am

The Burning Plain SUN 9/7/08 09:45am

La Fille de Monaco SUN 9/7/08 12:15pm

Wendy and Lucy SUN 9/7/08 12:45pm

Le Silence de Lorna SUN 9/7/08 06:00pm

Genova SUN 9/7/08 08:30pm

The Hurt Locker MON 9/8/08 06:00pm

Gigantic MON 9/8/08 09:45pm

Nuit de Chien TUE 9/9/08 06:15pm

The Brothers Bloom TUE 9/9/08 09:00pm

What Doesn't Kill You WED 9/10/08 06:30pm

Good WED 9/10/08 09:15pm

Uncertainty THU 9/11/08 06:30pm

Revanche THU 9/11/08 08:45pm

Control Alt Delete FRI 9/12/08 06:00pm

Deadgirl FRI 9/12/08 09:00pm

The Wrestler SAT 9/13/08 09:00am

Genova SAT 9/13/08 12:00pm

Martyrs SAT 9/13/08 04:00pm

Once Upon a Time in Rio SAT 9/13/08 07:00pm

The Other Man SAT 9/13/08 09:30pm

TIFF08 minus 5 days - shock

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

In rehearsal mode for TIFF, descended back into the world of the AMC 24 at Yonge and Future Shop and it was not totally unpleasant. Comfortable seats - good sound system for sure - pristine prints - the downside was the presence of other sapiens sitting in the theatre as well and acting as if they expected to stay here too. This is not the regular home theatre experience - so girls in short skirts and flipflops propping their feet on the chairs ahead of them munching on popcorn which is another thing - some people know how to chew popcorn quietly and others are just plain rude about it.

And the final shock - trailers! trailers for movies that were about to open and we were planning to see at TIFF08 ! Burn After Reading ! An indie Coen brothers movie ! Really ? a movie that would be individually 45 $ for one ticket or one of the 8 for $350 Gala pass ! Appaloosa ! An Ed Harris movie with a trailer ! This was going into shellshock territory. And movie posters ! Rocknrolla ! a gala movie denied to anyone without the Gala pas. The Day The Earth Stood Still ! And finally Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist - the next Michael Cera movie everyone is falling upon as the next Juno for some reason - a movie we picked three times for our TIFF list and hoping for the best. And if you read the freebie magazine you would find out that Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a P*rno would actually be in a movie theatre in October !

So there it is in a nutshell - a movie that you pick at TIFF may actually be seeable in the near future

Friday, August 29, 2008

TIFF08 minus 6 days

How did it come to all this madness - with its maddening lineups, its maddening scheduling riddled with spacing and conflicts, the maddening days of too little sleep nights, the maddening realization at 3 in the morning that the selections have to be handed in the morning and the realization that those last few picks and desired movies will just not fit or the decision on what those are in the first place ? And because the decision was made to not skip the employment and instead see TIFF at night during weekdays and weekends and purchase the Festival *Lite* package of 30 tickets. Yet it ends up going into work late so that you could [ and see below ] anyway end up on this final day to get the selections in before the 1 p.m. deadline, racing downtown in the morning on The Better Way [ knows as take the car to all the propagandists ] to the box office gives an appreciation to what it is to not to have to make that daily commute downtown. And still the necessity to buy that one more cup of A&W coffee in the Eaton Centre Food Court and open up the advanced schedule book to make the final markings of first and second choice and still taking another hour to complete the book with yellow first choice and green second choice and end up making way too many yellow markings and hoping for the best that the conflicts will play themselves out to a model daily schedule of movie watching perfection then to get to the Toronto Life Building across the scrambled crosswalk and fly past the volunteer pointing up to the escalator to the final destination - only to see another lineup just to drop off the envelope into the dropbox - and to be floored by the sight of people huddling at steel tables in the food area still poring over pieces of paper and now you know the rest of the story.

[ The lineup - at the end of it was a table of more TIFF volunteers to meet and have them ask if any last minute help was needed in going over the book to which the reply was what could possibly go wrong now - and then the envelope is handed over and being told that it is going into Box 50 ]

[ Then the race to get back north up the TTC way to the place that pays for all this movie mania in the first place. Fun? Wow ]

This just in from TIFF - oh oh

Aug 29 - Box #9 has been selected as the first to be processed in the Advance Order Procedure. There were 78 boxes in the draw. Completed orders can be picked up only at our Festival Box Office at Toronto Life Square, starting Monday, September, 1 at 10am.

Lucky 50

The lucky box is number 50 at 10 am

It has to be

( song of the moment - Joy Division Disorder )

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Lucky Ones

It seems the lucky ones to see
The Lucky Ones will be the gala types after all.

This is a reversal of procedure from last year - it seems only the elite few who can shell out the $45 for the gala ticket can enter the Elgin now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

/* Here's looking at you kid */ - Casablanca bringing the crowd together at Toronto Life Square

August 26, 2008

On a perfect cool summer evening in Toronto but still with fashionable strappies and shorts in abundance - and the feel of real downtown - Toronto International Film Festival 2008 opened up for serious business - today was the first day to pick up the big programming books and the schedule is online - and now comes the pondering and the grr-ing as we head towards that Friday at 1 p.m deadline. The evening was jacket and sweater type of cool in Toronto - and down at Toronto Life Square in the outdoors it was a perfect night - standing under the big lit advertising signs - holding the TIFF bag full of all the programming goodies - including chocolates, Starbucks coffee and a box of TARDIS filled with a Stella Artois glass - and a marker pen and a penlight - and the programming book - and the just out Best Buy exclusive Heroes box complete with season 2 and a Kensei helmet ! [ we had to buy that separately - that's not part of TIFF ]

But we digress - for this summer eve was devoted to Summer Romance - on the theatre screen in on the stage at Toronto Life Square - amidst the hubbub of Toronto's busiest tourist intersection that is Yonge and Dundas and the glare and the glow of the overhead billboards lighting the evening - especially one touting the Traveling Pants 2 and the Sisterhood looking so fetch - the screen sprang to life with the story of German couriers in Africa during the Second World War carrying two exit visas - and three people.

It was a perfect day and night - chill in the air - sitting on the ground on a carpet or lucky enough to bring a chair - the people sitting under the stars drawn together by the chemistry of the stars and the on screen magic that is movies.

Have a great Festival !

music of the moment = Trembling Blue Stars Sometimes I Still Feel the Bruise

The schedule is up !


It's the final countdown

The schedule is online now and out to the world !

Now begins the most hectic 75 hours of your life - trying to juggle all your movie choices into the precious little time that is ten days and nights - and make that schedule.

Good luck!

[ ... more to come ]

Friday, August 22, 2008

/* Are you in or you out? I'm in */

I'll go pack my stuff

It's that time of year to dive again into the heady world of Toronto International Film Festival - the 08 edition.

Somehow the thought of those undeserving dimwits at E! Canada et al [ nice guy al but a dimwit ] covering the red carpets while we remained at home just did not sit well in the tummy. Even though it might not be possible this year due to the outside world to attend all 50 tickets on the Festival pass - we still have to be there.

First things first. Where do you buy the pases this year and where do you pick it up?

What are the top 20 fun movies to see for now ? Feel free to let us know - and drop by TOfilmfest '08 - a good place to be.

For relaxing times make it Suntory time

Friday, August 15, 2008

/* Oh Max */ - Would you believe Get Smart is smart fun

The new 2000s Get Smart movie delivers the spirit of the original television show of the incomparable Don Adams role Maxwell Smart without the original chaos or KAOS. At best Steve Carrell [ from The Office and Little Miss Sunshine amongst other things ] channels the mannerisms of Don Adams without strictly imitating his iconic gestures and Anne Hathaway embodies the independent strength of Barbara Feldon's 99 and is smoking hot to boot. And even she gets to deliver her trademark "Oh Max."

Aside from all that notwithstanding the moving nods to its predecessor, the movie Get Smart really bears little resemblance to a Get Smart episode but gets by on sheer fun and personality. Some new nuances are the duo of Heroes Hiro and a super bad virgin. The Chief's sidekick Larabee was never this annoying or bumbling - played as a Vince Vaughn type wannabee by David Koechner. And Fang was a mutt. The quick backstory is Maxwell Smart is a field analyst in CONTROL who yearns to be an agent in the field - and the day finally comes where he is promoted to Agent 86. There are obviously elements that harken the show: the Cone of Silence is de rigeur and Agent 13 jammed in some tiny nook or cranny - and the passageway of the doors - and that great theme song. Alan Arkin is the put-upon Chief who suffers the slings and arrows of misfortune - sorry about that Chief - but he is no Edward Platt [ yes he of Rebel Without A Cause ] .

Just sit back and enjoy the ride - and follow the development of the chemistry between 86 and 99 onwards to see Get Smart again?

Smart People - smart and witty viewing

Ellen Page as the arch conservative Republican with the arch wit fits in well with this small ensemble cast of Dennis Quaid who delivers a very curmudgeonly professorial persona which given the circumstances fits him to a T.

/* Unfortunately she drank too much and passed out */ - My Sassy Girl - Elisha Cuthbert sassy to the end

Write well.

The tale of an accidental prone relationship between Charlie Bellows and Jordan Roark [ with two syllables ] told in narrative by the boyfriend looking back upon his first love.

The movie's charm relies on the cute as a button Elisha Cuthbert - the love at first glance with a sassy spirit and a penchant for aggressive behaviour as she starts drinking too much which is part of her zest for living. Charlie played quite affably by Jesse Bradford who is once caught up in the net of an attractive girl a la Swimfan.

Studious Charlie is trying to follow in his father's footsteps trying to move ahead in the company - only this time by going through college and moving forward through management ranks. But one day in the subway and trying to be gallant and noble, he saves the drunken girl from mishap and the course of his life is changed.

I wish you a story with a happy ending.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mad Detective

Mad Detective seen at TIFF 2007 is making a slow release in the US at the moment.

A bizarre film of a detective with an unconventional method of "profiling" - without giving the whole story - he gets inside people's heads. Recommended if you have the patience for letting the movie unravel and getting through the plotline and subtitles. The lead is not the nicest character on the block so give the story time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Let the TIFF madness begin at midnight

Like whatever

It's been the best of times the worst of times during Midnight Madness at TIFF in the past - from lining up in the frozen cold of September for the *midnight* showing of Underworld - but the good part was having Kate Beckinsale to look at in person. Mickey Rourke "you're the man!" showing up for Spun at the late Uptown Bloor cinema

And now onto 2008 and the recent announcement without further ado:

Down-and-out action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, movies featuring a handful of heroic kids and more than two dozen avant-garde films and videos are among the latest additions to the Toronto International Film Festival bill.

Organizers announced on Wednesday the lineups for three programs: the popular Midnight Madness, the challenging and artistic Wavelengths and the family-friendly Sprockets.

The action- and horror-focused Midnight Madness opens with JCVD (France/Luxembourg/Belgium), starring Van Damme as himself. In director Mabrouk El Mechri's film, Hollywood's faded "Muscles from Brussels" must deal with being an ordinary Joe when caught in the middle of a real-life heist.

The late-night lineup will also include:

The Burrowers (USA) - A recovery troop searching for settlers who have mysteriously disappeared falls prey to the unexpected culprits.
Deadgirl (USA) - The discovery of a naked, presumably dead girl in an abandoned asylum tests the friendship of two teens.
Sexykiller (Spain) - A medical school's attempt to uncover the bloody serial killer within the community leads to victims returning to life.
Detroit Metal City (Japan) - Based on the popular manga, the film follows a bubbly pop musician trying to maintain his own life and woo the girl of his dreams, while maintaining his undercover identity as a death metal rocker.
Not Quite Hollywood (USA/Australia) - A documentary about Australia's maverick filmmakers of the 1970s and 1980s.
Acolytes (Australia) - A trio of high schoolers who decide to blackmail a murder suspect see their scheme go awry.
Chocolate (Thailand) - The director and action choreographer of the martial arts hit Ong-Bak reunite for this film, about a female martial arts savant who decides to collect some long-unpaid debts to help her cancer-stricken mother.
Eden (France) - A sci-fi tale that begins with a man finding himself at the bottom of a cave next to a corpse.
Martyrs (France/Canada) - A woman who, as a child, disappeared for a year seeks vengeance on the family she believes responsible.
Wavelengths will feature 26 films and videos by a host of established and emerging artists, separated into six distinct programs:

Films by Nathaniel Dorsky and Jean-Marie Straub
Lost and Found
Horizontal Boundaries
When It Was Blue
Finally, a quartet of kids films making their world premieres will make up the Sprockets lineup:

Krabat (Germany) - A 17th century-set film based on the Otfried Preuler bestseller about a 14-year-old miller's apprentice who discovers his master is an evil sorcerer involved in the dark arts.
Mia et le Migou (France/Italy) - A young heroine's decision to rescue her trapped father from a construction site brings her into contact with the Migou, a mysterious species who protect an important tree threatened on the same construction site.
The Secret of Moonacre (U.K./Hungary/France) - A 13-year-old orphan set to live with relatives happens upon an ancient curse and embarkes on a quest to undo it.
Sunshine Barry & the Disco Worms (Denmark/Germany) - An earthworm living a dull existence decides to become a disco music star.
The Toronto International Film Festival gets under way Sept. 4 and runs through Sept. 13.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

/* Kill the Batman */ - Batman Returns in The Dark Knight

no intentional spoilers

The fully expanded Batman returns in this grim reaper follow-up to the beginning.

In the harsh glory of reality if this is the second of any trilogy this is what George Lucas would call the dark episode.

This movie harkens back to comic conventions - there are definite start and end points of each episode of the movie as if in a graphic novel to keep the audience hanging on - and the descent of the dark knight is grim indeed.

This Gotham City is more realistic - seen in the harsh reality of day.

Director Chris Nolan is afforded the time to let the characters have full conversations on screen - not just the short blurb and keep it moving style of Lucas in his Star Wars - and not just with major characters but between lieutenant and mayor for instance.

Joker is the new nemesis in town seemingly wreaking havoc just for the sake of it making him dangerous and unpredictable. Heath Ledger's in his penultimate role as Joker leaves a lasting impression that beckons the call of award recognition.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Just a slight tinge of the buzz.

Passes are on sale now as you read this - and the prices for the Festival passes have not gone up - and the Festival Lite 30 ticket package is back.

However, gala tickets are going through the roof. Once upon a time to see the films at Roy Thomson Hall were an exorbitant $18 - but this year it seems $43 is the price to see the red carpet and the attending stars. However, you do not have to pay to get in of course if you choose not to. Lining up across the street with the mob is always fun - and did we mention we were in fear for our mortality during the Orlando Bloom walk along the crowd for Elizabethtown while getting crushed against the fence as arms reached across our neck trying to reach out to him? [ he was really pleasant too during Haven] and in full gaze at Kirsten Dunst too?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Canada Day

It might be a bit early but

Happy Canada Day to you all !

It has been a while - seen lots and lots of movies but life gets in the way ...

Many movies from TIFF07 have come and gone lately through Toronto - often showing up in the Carlton for all of a week or two - or sometimes like Le Ballon Rouge or Diving Bell and the Butterfly at the Cumberland - but lately with the arrival of AMC 24 finally at Yonge and Dundas there is a new comfy place to see There Will Be Blood or Ironman orThe Incredible Hulk with digital prints - and that's the future. No more trying to poke above or through the heads ahead of you and substandard sound and scratchy prints after the first day. [ The Incredible Hulk was really incredible this time around and it was fun to see Yonge Street get seriously hulk smashed up - even the fencing covering what would be AMC and Future Shop is in there - and The Big Slice ? Ironman was serious fun.]

It has been a good year for Ellen Page and kudos to her. Even at the exalted MTV Movie Awards where she accepted for Juno she was still the same humble girl who was promoting X-Men The Last Stand at MTV Canada. Showcase is back to her episodes of Regenesis and just finished Trailer Park Boys season 2. And there was that Academy Award nomination ...

Now TIFF 08 is just around the corner and seriously considering staying away this year is an option. But who are we kidding ?

We are getting the TIFF buzz