Boy, there’s a lot of stuff opening this week. It’s almost as though the other distributors have decided that Gatsby movie might not appeal to everyone after all.
At Any Price: Rad is one of the few people who had any patience for Ramin Bahrani’s generational drama at TIFF, though he still has reservations. Apparently Dennis Quaid is quite good. I dunno, I’ll catch up to it on disc.
Blackbird: On the other hand, Rad did not much like Jason Buxton’s broody drama about a teenager (Connor Jessup) whose idle threats lead him into a Kafkaesque nightmare of persecution and shame … but neither did I, for that matter. And yes, I know it won Best First Feature at TIFF last year, but so did Antiviral, so come on.
The Good Lie: Nobody director Shawn Linden is back with another ensemble thriller about buried secrets and old grudges. Susan took it, for which I am grateful.
Graceland: Susan found more to love in Ron Morales’ Filipino thriller, which sounds an awful lot like High & Low from the chauffeur’s point of view. And that sounds interesting, if you ask me.
The Great Gatsby: Leonardo DiCaprio glares, Carey Mulligan stares, Tobey Maguire shares and nobody — nobody – cares. I wish I’d thought of “Baz Luhrmann beats off ceaselessly” last week instead of yesterday, because NOW would totally have let me use it.
I Declare War: Another Canadian film about kids and violence, Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson’s surreal action exercise was frequently discussed in tandem with Blackbird at TIFF, and now it’s opening in Toronto on the same day. Rad finds a little more to like in this one.
The Manor: After its triumphant premiere at Hot Docs, Shawney Cohen’s documentary gets a commercial run at the Bloor. You probably haven’t seen it yet, so get on that.
Room 237: John insists that Rodney Ascher’s study of Shining analysis is a documentary, but I’m not so sure — there are points when it feels like a subversive attempt to blow up the very art of cinema from the inside. And it feels like a pretty worthy goal, in the moment.
Skull World: Justin McConnell’s doc about an eccentric Ontario metalhead’s quest to become a TV star on the back of a truly ridiculous idea might find favor with the same audience that loves FUBAR and Beauty Day, but I’m really tired of people shouting into a handheld camera. Something has to happen for me to care, man.
Slaughter Nick for President: There are few things stranger than the star of a syndicated ’90s detective series finding out he helped topple an Eastern European regime. But that’s the story Rob Stewart is telling, and it’s surprisingly credible.
Tyler Perry Presents Peeples: Kiva holds this meet-the-parents comedy — starring David Alan Grier and Craig Robinson as De Niro and Stiller, respectively — in more contempt than most critics hold the movies Perry actually directs. Ouch.
There, that’s everything. Or you could just see Iron Man Three again.