A Fairly Busy Friday

sin-city-2-dame-kill-for-jessica-albaYeah, great, we just put next week’s TIFF preview package to bed. But I’m still running back and forth to screenings, so you’ll have to settle for six-word reviews again this week.

Are You Here: I was there. It was awful.

Coldwater: Young offender meets older, worse offenders. [And hey, the link works now!]

Finding Fela: Half stage show, half documentary. Meh.

The F Word: A really charming romantic comedy. Honest.

I Dream of Wires: Let us all praise modular synthesizers. [Jose]

If I Stay: Chloe Grace Moretz sighs in limbo.

The One I Love: Mark Duplass, Elizabeth Olsen, a twist. [Susan]

Rich Hill: This is real life. It’s grim. [Glenn]

Senoritas: Local filmmaker Lina Rodriguez steps out. [Rad]

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For: More monochrome mendacity from Frank Miller. [Rad]

To Be Takei: He was Sulu. Now he’s more. [Glenn]

When the Game Stands Tall: God does influence football games, kinda. [Andy]

And there you have it! Oh, and there’s this one other thing — I had the honor of being invited to dinner at my new neighbor Corey Mintz’ place, and he wrote about the evening in this week’s Fed column. It’s my third appearance in the Toronto Star this year … and yes, it feels weird. Anyway, enjoy it.

The Boy Who Loves

Radcliffe coverIn this week’s NOW, I talk to Daniel Radcliffe about growing up and kissing girls in The F Word, a charming romantic comedy which finally opens in Canada tomorrow, nearly a year after premiering at TIFF.

I also talked to Radcliffe’s co-star Zoe Kazan and their director Michael Dowse, because I am thorough. And here is a sidebar of outtakes from the Radcliffe interview, because the guy just gives you so much great stuff.

Really, I have the best job.

Hello Gorgeous

Barbra-Streisand-Fanny-BriceIt is, once again, a Wednesday, and you know the drill: Time to meet me down at Harbourfront for a free movie!

This week, it’s Funny Girl, William Wyler’s 1968 biopic of Fanny Brice, which earned Barbra Streisand an Oscar for Best Actress and pretty much made her a movie star overnight. (Said stardom was very nearly revoked after Hello Dolly! the following year, but she eventually found her equilibrium.)

The feature is a little on the long side, so we’re starting around 8:15 pm; you’ll want to be on time to ensure you get a decent seat, and to see my special guest Virginia Hatfield, who is an actual professional singing person and who will have many things to say about Streisand, musicals and stuff along those lines.

Do come down; they say the rain will blow out well before dark.

What Kind Of God Would Allow This?

letsbecops02Over a slow weekend, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Uncanny Valley held onto the top spot at the North American box office, earning another $28.4 million while Guardians of the Galaxy was close on its heels in second place with $24.7 million.

But when you look at how the week’s new releases fared, well, that gets interesting.

The Expendables III, which everyone would figured would make money even though its core audience has almost certainly seen it by now, opened in fourth place with $16.2 million — beaten by Let’s Be Cops, of all things. The disposable, no-budget premise comedy made $17.7 million to place third, beating both Stallone and the gang and the apparently highly anticipated YA adaptation The Giver, which took fifth place with a downright piddly $12.8 million.

So, bottom line: A movie with two-fifths of the New Girls (neither of whom is the Girl) made more than the movie starring every single male actor who picked up a flamethrower in the 1980s. What does that mean, man? What does that mean?

46

2014-08-06 14.47.37This year marks the 25th anniversary of my first trip to the Toronto International Film Festival as an accredited journalist – not that big a deal, really, since other journalists have been covering it far longer — but the TFCA asked me to write something about my years covering the festival and how it’s changed, for better or worse.

Here you go.

Fun fact: The original title of the piece was “This Stupid Thing I Do: A Quarter-Century of Talking to Famous People”. But I thought that was maybe a bit much.

Your Friday Movie Roundup

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in Camogli, ItalyAs I’m already tilting into TIFF, we’re going to have to settle for six-word reviews this week. I trust you understand.

The Dog: Dog Day Afternoon: The True Story. [Glenn]

The Expendables III: So, like, everybody’s in this one.

Frank: Jon Ronson lets his freak flag fly.

The Giver: YA fiction classic, disappointing movie adaptation. [Rad]

It Was You Charlie: Well, it looks great. And, um …

Let’s Be Cops: Nick Miller and Coach fight crime! (Technically opened on Wednesday, but there was no press screening.)

Mood Indigo: Michel Gondry has got to stop.

The Trip to Italy: Coogan and Brydon, still at it.

Yves Saint Laurent: Fashion should never be this dull.

And there you have it! Now, I’m off to two TIFF screenings and at least one interview. Pray for me.

Hoping for a Little Peace

In a World … - starring Lake BellIt’s supposed to be cooler today. Calmer. Not as humid. The kind of night you want to spend at the waterfront watching a movie, maybe, and hoping no one else dies before the damn thing’s over.

I can help you with that! Tonight at Harbourfront I’ll be presenting Lake Bell’s terrific first feature In a World … at about 9pm. Come on down, forget about your troubles and watch one of the decade’s finest comic casts play out a romantic comedy with a brain as big as its heart. Also, prizes.

Oh, and do you need something to read today? Here’s NOW’s latest Top 5, an accounting of foodie films to which I contributed a few morsels  – oh, and MSN put up a buttload of my stuff last week, including conversations with Dom Hemingway‘s Richard Shepard, Twin Peaks veteran Kimmy Robertson, Noah creature fabricator Adrien Morot,  Rio 2 director Carlos Saldanha and Jodorowsky’s Dune  documentarian Frank Pavich.

Also, there’s this Q&A with the Muppets. Conducted over e-mail, but one of my favorite things this year just the same. Almost enough to make one believe in a good and just universe, really.

Let’s go with that, huh?

My other other gig.