Denzel, Then And Now

Yesterday morning, TIFF launched its 2016 festival by announcing a crapload of movies, including its opening night gala The Magnificent Seven.

Denzel Washington is in that, looking all easygoing and macho, and that’s great, because (a) he’s an actor who’s much more charismatic when he allows himself to have fun and (b) I just so happen to be screening one of his earlier, funny films, The Mighty Quinn, as tonight’s free flick at Harbourfront!

So come down to the lake, around 8:45ish, for a raffish tale of good cops, goofy criminals and sexy, sexy Denzel Washington. You’ll laugh, you’ll sigh, you’ll think “Robert Townsend never really got his due, did he?”

I mean, that’s how I’ll be handling it.

Chorizo and Eggs

This week on Someone Else’s Movie, I am absolutely goddamn delighted to talk to Enrico Colantoni — the MVP of Galaxy Quest and Veronica Mars, among many, many other things — about Martin Brest’s Midnight Run, that movie where Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin annoy each other across most of America.

Colantoni turned out to be a pretty contemplative guy, and we sort of come at the movie sideways, so this isn’t your usual episode of the show. But it’s still a really good conversation, I hope, with plenty of insight into his process and his perspective as an artist. And yes, Galaxy Quest comes up a couple of times.

As always, you can find the show on iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or download it directly from the website. But surely you’ve already subscribed on the platform of your choice, right?

Retro Cool

AbFabStar Trek, another Ice Age movie … a lot of stuff is coming back around again this week. Some of it even works!

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie: Patsy and Edina return, still want it to be the ’90s. Rad prefers not to indulge them.

The Blackout Experiments: Rick Fox’ “horror documentary” about the patrons of an extreme horror house comes right up to the edge of something interesting, then backs quickly away.

Ice Age: Collision Course: Poor Rad, suffering through the fifth installment of this increasingly irrelevant animated series. But it’ll make money, so what do we know.

Life, Animated: Glenn loved this documentary at Hot Docs earlier this year; if you missed it there, you can catch it at the Bloor Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema What A Stupid Name.

Lights Out: High-concept horror (but not the same high concept as the upcoming Don’t Breathe). Rad thinks it worked better as a short.

Our Little Sister: A week after talking about Hirokazu Kore-eda with Connor Jessup on Someone Else’s Movie, the director’s latest opens in Toronto. Modest in its ambition but massive in virtue. Check it out.

Seoul Searching: You know, “A South Korean John Hughes movie” is a sentence I never thought I’d write.

Star Trek Beyond: Justin Lin steps in for J.J. Abrams and delivers the first New Trek film that really stands on its own — while simultaneously feeling very much like the original series. This is a good thing.

Train to Busan: Writer-director Yeon Sang-ho really should have called this Train to Busan in the Midst of a Zombie Apocalypse, because that is what it is and that it what it delivers. Horror fans, enjoy.

Oh, also I wrote about the incredible third season of BoJack Horseman, which went live on Netflix this morning. There are certainly worse things to do than stay inside and binge that this weekend …

Maritime Fling

Tonight at Harbourfront, our Free Flicks series goes all East Coast with a screening of The Grand Seduction, Don McKellar’s remake of the 2003 Quebec comedy of the same name, which was released in English Canada as Seducing Dr. Lewis.

I know, it’s confusing. But the movie — the English-language one — is sweet and spiky, with fun performances from Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch and Liane Balaban. Come on down and enjoy it!

Also, we have a bit of an early start, so I’ll be going on around 8:40 pm. Should I save you a seat?

Animal Planet

This week on Someone Else’s Movie is the first to be recorded in my shiny new studio … which wasn’t 100% finished at the time. Apologies for the slightly rough audio; the sound should be softer next week.

Still, the conversation is pretty good, as writer-director Trevor Juras (The Interior) brings Werner Herzog’s 2005 documentary Grizzly Man onto the show for a discussion about lifestyle choices, the allure of the wilderness and the risks of surrendering to nature.

Also mauling. We talk about that a lot.

You know where to find it, right? iTunesGoogle Play, Stitcher or straight from the site. So go do that! And thanks for listening.

Fear Not

Ghostbusters might be the only heavy hitter this week, but there’s plenty of other stuff opening in town. Wanna run through the list with me?

Captain Fantastic: Viggo Mortensen and some really talented young actors keep Matt Ross’ ungainly parental allegory going even after the script runs out of gas.

Closet Monster: Connor Jessup, this week’s SEMcast guest, stars in Stephen Dunn’s reasonably audacious queer-panic drama. And Aaron Abrams, one of my very first SEMcast guests, is in it too! Isn’t that cool? Jose caught it for us at TIFF.

The Dark Stranger: Katie Findlay is terrific as a traumatized young woman in writer-director Chris Trebilcock’s horror movie — which would be a lot more satisfying as a straight drama. Not everything can be The Babadook, you know?

Equals: Drake Doremus pairs heavy hitters Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult in a dystopian love story with echoes of THX-1138Rad found it overwhelmed by its concept and production design.

Ghostbusters: Paul Feig reinvents the franchise for a new generation with funny women and smart choices. The words “total protonic reversal” have never sounded so sweet.

How to Build a Time Machine: Jay Cheel’s documentary turns melancholy and regret into a narrative engine, turning the obsessions of two very different men into something powerfully universal. Do check it out.

The Innocents: Susan really likes Anne Fontaine’s period drama, which is doubly interesting because she really hated Fontaine’s last picture. Hmm.

The Missing Ingredient: What Is the Recipe for Success?: You have to go a pretty long way to make a documentary about New York’s restaurant scene that bores me. Michael Sparaga manages it by trying to spin a five-minute story to feature length.

Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite: A father tries to protect his young daughter from a spectral threat in this Russian spin on the likes of Candyman and The Grudge. Literally and figuratively bloodless.

Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story: NC Heikin’s doc takes a pretty safe look at the life of a legend who was not safe at all. But the music is wonderful.

Under the Sun: Vitaly Mansky’s amazing, genuinely daring look behind the North Korean propaganda machine is one of the most thrilling films you’ll see this year. Trust me on this.

And now, back to work in the studio! The perfect workspaces don’t build themselves, you know …

El Capitan

This week’s NOW finds me chatting with Viggo Mortensen about his new film Captain Fantastic, which lets him play the very devoted father of six extremely unconventional children. Sadly, we ran out of time before I could ask him if Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s Horizon was ever likely to get a theatrical run in North America. (He’s in it, and it’s worth seeing on a big screen.)

Oh, also my review of the new Ghostbusters went up early. It’s good! The movie, I mean. Although I think the review is pretty good too.

Small Scale

If it’s Wednesday, it must be time for another Harbourfront Free Flicks screening — so come down and join me by the lake for Alfonso Cuaron’s terrific adaptation of A Little Princess.

It’s one of the very best things to come out of that ’90s wave of kid-lit movies, and I’d be willing to bet you’ve never seen it on a big screen … because, sadly, it just doesn’t get screened these days. Which is why I’m so happy to have been able to program it tonight, and why you should come down and see it.

I know, I know, I sound like a broken record. But these things are a lot more fun with company.

My other other gig.