A Festival in Every Auditorium

Everybody's talking, and no one says a word ...Wow, check it out. Not only do we have movies from the last three editions of TIFF coming out this week, but we’ve got Canadian Music Week and After Dark premieres, too. Kinda fabulous, really. Shall we get into it?

Conviction“: Hilary Swank gets her Brockovich on in this true-life story of Betty Anne Waters, who put herself through law school to help her brother beat a murder rap. It’s a great story, but not when Tony Goldwyn’s treating it like a pre-fab Lifetime movie. Sam Rockwell’s terrific as the brother, though.

Hereafter“: I love Clint Eastwood, I really do, but I’m finding it harder and harder to make excuses for the lazy, distracted product he’s churning out these days. This exercise in everybody-hurts muzziness isn’t as risible as “Gran Torino” or as banal as “Invictus” … but neither is it entertaining or interesting. And even a director as tolerant as Eastwood shouldn’t be printing takes when an actor flubs a line.

“I Spit on Your Grave”: The second most repugnant American exploitation film of the 1970s (after “Bloodsucking Freaks”, and we will not be debating this, thank you very much) gets upgraded for the age of sado-porn. Andrew has the most positive take on it I’ve yet encountered.

“Jackass 3D”: Once again, Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of idiots attempt to maim themselves for life — and this time, it’s in stereo-vision! You know, the diminished luminance might make some of the more vomity sequences easier to sit through …

“Lovely, Still”: Susan absolutely loved this Martin Landau-Ellen Burstyn romance when she saw it at the 2008 edition of TIFF; Jason, not so much. I shall wait for the DVD, which can’t be long in coming.

Nowhere Boy“: The young days of John Lennon are fictionalized in Sam Taylor-Wood’s piercing character study and propelled by unimpeachable performances from Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff. Screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh also wrote the Ian Curtis biopic “Control”, so that should give you a sense of what to expect.

RED“: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, Karl Urban and Mary-Louise Parker all in the same movie? And they’re all packing heat? Where do I line up? Oh, wait, I already did … and it was totally worth it .

Stone“: In a perfect world, Edward Norton’s feature-length impersonation of Bubbles from “The Wire” would make audiences howl with laughter, leading them to shun John Curran’s insipid prison drama for the risible fraud that it is. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so some people are taking this seriously. Their loss, I guess.

“Tales from the Golden Age”: Okay, technically this Romanian anthology — which Andrew rather liked — opened at the Lightbox yesterday, but you can watch it on Netflix right now, so I was waiting until this piece about that went up on NOW Daily.

And now you know … the rest of the story.

5 thoughts on “A Festival in Every Auditorium”

  1. Is RED another hopeful sign that studios may have realized that middle aged people actually go to movie theaters once in a while and want to see characters their age kick ass (or fall in love, or follow their dreams, etc., depending on the movie)? Kind of like we’re the ones who still sometimes buy CDs? Young people seem to be spectactularly adept at downloading their movies and music illegally. Should they really be a demographic that gets catered to?

    There…the middle aged person has now finished grumbling.

  2. I think it has more to do with studios snapping up every comic book and graphic novel in sight in an attempt to get the next “Iron Man” or “Dark Knight”, but sure, that’s a totally valid argument.

  3. So, what’s your take on Netflix? It’s been slammed a little since launch up here, but I’m quite happy with it so far. Picture quality is decent (at least on my 720p 1080i set) and there seems to be some thought to their catalogue. Right now, it’s like an excellent video store for when I’m too lazy to walk over to Film Buff on Roncy. Would be nice if the tv content got a little stronger, but that’s an ongoing issue in our market.

  4. @ Nathan – I think there are clearly some things Netflix can offer that no other service does (as seen in Mongrel’s deal announcement, and the TV library), but I haven’t got around to subscribing because I don’t have time to watch more stuff just yet. The icon that magically appeared in my PS3’s video menu earlier this month is bound to tempt me eventually, though …

  5. I didnt realize “BloodSucking Freaks” was that popular a movie. It made quite an impression on me. I don’t understand how you could debate ANYTHING is more repugnant than that movie. Hilarious – but repugnant.

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