Building A Better Batman

Okay, so now that you’ve all seen how bad Suicide Squad is — well, hopefully, you read my review and decided not to bother — let’s take a couple of hours and check out a really great DC movie.

Specifically, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which I’ll be introducing this evening because it’s this month’s NOW Free Flick at The Royal.

You know the rules: Doors open at 6:30 pm. show starts at 7:30 pm. Free popcorn for the first hundred guests, and everybody gets a free movie featuring the best Joker, a pretty great Batman and the definitive Two-Face. Yeah, I said it. Aaron Eckhart’s amazing in this picture.

Squad Goals

Everybody got out of Suicide Squad‘s way — which may not have been the smartest move, as it turns out — so this is a relatively quiet week for releases. But don’t worry, there’s like a dozen pictures coming next week.

Germans & Jews: Janina Quint’s documentary explores the reconciliation of former enemies and finds some really lovely moments of hope for humanity in general. Which, frankly, we kinda need right now.

How He Fell in Love: Marc Meyers’ low-key drama charts the arc of an affair between a thirtyish man (Matt McGorry) and a fortyish woman (Amy Hargreaves).

Indignation: In his directorial debut, James Schamus seems so intent on capturing the details of Philip Roth’s novel that he forgets to bring the story to life … wasting some good work by Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon and Tracy Letts in the process.

Little Men: Ira Sachs’ latest is an exquisite study of two kids whose friendship is threatened by real estate, pride and culture. You know, Brooklyn in a microcosm. Don’t miss it.

Multiple Maniacs: John Waters’ long-lost second feature returns in a 4K digital restoration that really brings out the sleaze. A total mess, but a glorious one. Check it out.

Nine Lives: Kevin Spacey is a talking cat!?! They didn’t screen it for us, so who knows? (UPDATE: That Rad, what a trouper.)

Suicide Squad:After months of marketing and speculation, David Ayer’s great big DC picture is here, and it’s a mess. Shorter than Tank Bat V Murderman, though, so that’s something. My review will be up later today.

And that’s everything. Oh, except that if you’re a SiriusXM subscriber, you can catch me Saturday afternoon on Sit Down with Alfred and Chris, talking about the DC fanboy pushback against Rotten Tomatoes over Suicide Squad. It’s on Sirius Insight, channel 121; I’m going on around 3:30 pm Eastern time. Listen in! Hear what’s what!

Here Be Dragon

Every year,  I’m amazed at the movies Harbourfront allows me to put in front of people. But tonight’s Free Flick down at the lake is one they themselves suggested: Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.

I was more than happy to take that suggestion, as Michael Schultz’ 1985 curio is a batshit crazy mystical martial-arts picture that plays like The Warriors after a year in a Hong Kong megaplex.

You’d want to see that, wouldn’t you? Come on down to the stage around 8:45 pm, and you will.

Hit It.

You know how I always open Someone Else’s Movie with a nod to the nebulous industry professionals? Well, my guest this week is a little more nebulous than usual, since his sole film credit dates back to the late 1990s. But there’s a fun story to that, and it was a delight to have New York chef (and very old friend) Andrew Carmellini tell it on the show as part of a fairly digressive conversation about The Blues Brothers.

As is customary, you can find the show on iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or download it straight from the site. Enjoy!

And before you ask, no, I can’t get you a table at Lafayette. But they take walk-ins, so you should totally do that.

Hiding In The Past

And so we come to the end of July. Which turns out to be a mixed bag, movie-wise — with one pleasant surprise.

Bad Moms: Mila Kunis, Kristen Ball, Kathryn Hahn and Christina Applegate have a great deal of fun being ridiculous — and owning it — in this unexpectedly rich comedy about women acting out.

Cafe Society: Woody Allen’s latest is awfully feeble, even for him. Not that it’ll make one damn bit of difference. Anyway, I’ve said my piece.

Jason Bourne: It’s been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass got down and dirty, and they would very much like you not to notice. My review will be online later today.

Nerve: From the creators of Catfish (and a couple of Paranormal Activity movies) comes this thriller about teenagers who discover the latest social media fad isn’t just a game, man. Rad liked the first half, anyway.

Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You: Susan had some issues with the perspective of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s celebration of the sitcom icon, but you should check it out just the same.

Phantom Boy: Can a sickly lad use astral projection to help an injured cop save New York City from a lunatic? (Yeah, probably.) The story’s not the greatest, but the new film from the creators of A Cat in Paris is awfully easy to watch.

Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe: Yanked from Tribeca, Andrew Wakefield’s self-serving documentary opens in Toronto this weekend. Glenn has some questions, as you might imagine.

And that’s the lineup. Enjoy the holiday weekend, everyone, and make an extra effort not to burst into flames when you go outside.

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 …

My other other gig.