Category Archives: Movies

Working It

… yeah, there’s just too much opening this week. Let’s get through it as quickly as we can.

BPM (Beats Per Minute): AIDS in France: The Early Years. [Paul]

The Florida Project: Kids in America. Well, Florida anyway. [Rad]

The Foreigner: Jackie Chan, please call your agent. [Rad]

Goodbye Christopher Robin: Bollocks to this tosh, Milne. Seriously.

Happy Death DayGroundhog Day meets Scream. Audience wins.

The Limehouse Golem: Nobody wins with this one, sorry.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House: Liam Neeson is Deep Throat. Snore. [Susan]

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected): Noah Baumbach is back capturing pain.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women: From a complex love, an Amazon!

78/52: Is Psycho‘s shower scene brilliant? Why, yes.

Oh, and I also wrote a thing about the new Netflix series Mindhunters. Meh.

October Activity

In this week’s NOW, I try to help people through the nightmare of the October microfestival season with a handy guide to the next couple of weeks.

(There was more to recommend than would fit into the space available,  so keep an eye on my Twitter feed for further recommendations.)

And online, you’ll find my Q&A with writer-director Angela Robinson, whose Professor Marston and the Wonder Women was one of TIFF’s nicer surprises last month.

I mean, the world is awful and we’re all gonna die, but at least we can distract ourselves with a decent love story.

Electric Sheep, Dreaming

It’s always like this after TIFF. You think you can catch your breath, but a dozen movies open every week and only some of them were at the festival. Here we go again …

Bad Grandmas: Pam Grier! Florence Henderson! Judge Reinhold?

Blade Runner 2049: Gorgeous, thoughtful, moody,  a little long.

Great Great Great: Sarah Kolasky owns this movie. Seriously.

Losing Our Religion: Documentary. It’s on CBC next week.

Loving Vincent: Van Gogh’s art speaks for itself. [Rad]

Lucky: Rest in power, Harry Dean Stanton.

The Mountain Between Us: Elba! Winslet! Get a better script!

My Little Pony: The Movie: Wait, Emily Blunt is in this?

Rebel in the Rye: J.D. Salinger would call this phony.

School Life: Educational documentary, aka In Loco Parentis.

Unarmed Verses: Knockout Toronto documentary from Charles Officer. [Rad]

Oh, and the 2017 edition of Cinefranco starts up at the Carlton tonight; I wrote a web piece about it, and I’ll add the link as soon as it goes live. Stand by!

The Warmest Place to Hide

So I was at the Calgary Film Festival over the weekend to do a fun Wynonna Earp thing — which was really, really fun, as you’ll see when the festival posts the whole panel on YouTube next week — but now I’m back and returning to my Toronto-based engagements.

Like what? Well, tonight I’m introducing this month’s NOW Free Flick at The Royal, and it’s a goodie: We’re in a Halloween frame of mind, so we’re screening John Carpenter’s The Thing.

You know the movie. But if you need a refresher, check out Kat Angus’ episode of Someone Else’s Movie from earlier this summer; it’s a goodie too.

Screening-wise, it’s the same deal as always: Doors open at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm. The first hundred guests get free popcorn, and everybody gets a free movie. How can you turn this down?

Honestly, you can’t. I’ll see you there.

Up in the Air

I’m flying to Calgary for a thing today, but there are still movies opening and you will be wanting to know about them and here we go.

American Made: Tom Cruise and Doug Liman trade the near-future of Edge of Tomorrow for the recent past with a tale of high-flying Iran-Contra hijinx that is not quite as good as it would like to be. But Cruise is great.

Do Donkeys Act?: David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s look at donkey sanctuaries — with poetic narration read by Willem Dafoe — is a different sort of documentary, and a really lovely one.

Don’t Talk to Irene: Pat Mills’ high-school misfit comedy is a modest charmer, particularly if you’ve already accepted Geena Davis into your heart. Trust me.

Flatliners: Sequel? Remake? Seemake? Requel? I don’t know, because they didn’t screen it in advance. Such is the mystery of Flatliners 2017.

The Midwife: Martin Provost’s new drama — starring Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot and Olivier Gourmet — was dropped into the release calendar at the last minute. I hope it’s good.

Victoria and Abdul: Glenn has mixed feelings about Stephen Frears’ period drama, which allows Judi Dench to play Queen Victoria once again but doesn’t exactly engage with its potentially loaded subject matter.

White Night: A handful of people wander around Nuit Blanche in this pleasant microbudget affair from five promising Toronto directors. (The location stuff doesn’t work, but the characters do.)

Woodshock: Kirsten Dunst trips hard in the first feature from fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Also unavailable for preview, but I’d still wager it’s better than Flatliners.

Okay, that’s everything. Check back tomorrow for cool Wynonna Earp stuff, if I can make the link work! 

UPDATE: I could not make it work.

Halloween Comes Early

In this week’s NOW, I choose the best of the classic horror (and horror-adjacent) films screening at Jackman Hall and the Lightbox over the next few weeks, tied to the AGO’s new  Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters exhibit.

There’s some great stuff in there. So much, in fact, that I even snuck in an eleventh recommendation when I was supposed to be building a top ten.

Guillermo will understand, I’m sure.

Filling the Void

As always happens the week after TIFF ends, there’s a flood of fall movies clamoring for your attention at the megaplex. Some of them come straight from the festival; others are just seeing an opportunity and going for it. The result? Chaos, and an excuse for the six-word game.

Battle of the Sexes: Carell! Stone! Riseborough! Tennis! It’s fine.

Beach Rats: Closeted in Brooklyn, longing for understanding.

Big Bear: Bachelor party with a hostage! Brah!

Brad’s Status: Hasn’t Ben Stiller done this before?

Friend Request: Not screened for press. Facebook monster?

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: The second one is dumber and noisier.

The Last Dalai Lama?: Religious figurehead considers his succession plan.

The Lego Ninjago Movie: I don’t know what Ninjago is. [Rad]

Let There Be Light: A very human documentary about scientists.

Rat Film: Baltimore’s rodent problem has deep roots.  [Kevin]

Stronger: Well, it’s better than Patriots Day.

The Time of Their Lives: Joan Collins! Pauline Collins! Road trip!

Trophy: Big game hunting doc. Seems grim,

There we go. Oh, and if you’re in Toronto come down to the NOW tent at Word on the Street between 1 and 2 pm on Sunday. I’ll be there! Probably sweating!

Cleaning Up

TIFF is over, and here is my very last piece on the festival for NOW, looking at whether a splashy Toronto premiere helped or hindered the awards chances of certain films. The answers may surprise you! Or maybe they won’t, I dunno, I try not  to pay too much attention to this stuff.

Also, the end of TIFF marks the start of the fall microfestival season, so here’s a thing on the 10th annual Toronto Palestine  Film Festival, which gets underway at the Lightbox tonight. There’s good stuff in there, and plenty of non-cinematic programming too. Check it out, why not?

Let Me Out

Well, we can close the lid on another one. After five weeks of prep, eleven days of festivaling, some 65 features and 40-odd shorts, I am out the other side of TIFF 2017, with the awards roundup to prove it.

Honestly, I’m exhausted. And if you want to hear what I sounded like before I started to catch up on lost sleep, check out today’s episode of the CANADALAND podcast, recorded Friday afternoon. Jesse wanted to talk about TIFF. I’m really curious to hear what came out of my mouth.

Oh, and speaking of podcasts, I forgot to link to this last week, but I did another episode of Jeremy Lalonde’s delightful BLACK HOLE FILMS — this one on Steven Spielberg’s 1941, along with Chris Smets, Warren Sonoda and Marc Winegust. It’s a godawful movie but we had a really good time talking about it, and sometimes that’s enough.