A Good Friday, Not a Great Friday

Aw, mom, the documentarians are looking!Happy holiday weekend, everybody! I’ve been on Hot Docs duty for the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t seen too many of this week’s theatrical releases. But if nothing appeals to you, the revival of “Chungking Express” down at the Lightbox is reason enough to go to the movies today.

African Cats“: With apologies to Glenn Kenny: LOOKA THE GIANT KITTIES! See them bumble about all adorable-like! Watch them mature into confident killing machines! And, um, don’t ask for anything more than a glorified episode of “The Wonderful World of Disney”. But still, LOOKA THE GIANT KITTIES!

“Bill Cunningham New York”: Glenn feels that Richard Press’ documentary about the eccentric New York Times style photographer doesn’t quite deliver on its promise. I agree, but that’s because the filmmaker is as flumoxed by his impenetrable subject as we are. The result is still worth seeing, though.

The High Cost of Living“: Deborah Chow’s inexplicably acclaimed melodrama is too forced, story-wise, to recommend, but Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais do their very best to create three-dimensional characters within it. And that’s probably how it ended up landing on Canada’s Top Ten.

“Lost Journey”: Ant Horasanli’s drama about the Iranian immigrant experience in Toronto gets an unenthusiastic reception from Glenn, who finds it formulaic and preachy.

“La Rafle”: Rose Bosch’s Holocaust drama casts Jean Reno, Melanie Laurent and Gad Elmaleh as French citizens caught up in the horror of the Velodrome internment. Susan reviewed it, found it sort of okay.

“Repeaters”: Canadian filmmaker Carl Bessai tries his hand at the “Groundhog Day” thing with this study of three addicts whose recovery is complicated when they’re trapped in a time loop that finds them repeating the ninth step ad infinitum. Andrew was unimpressed.

“Textuality”: Warren P. Sonoda, director of the sharp comedies “Ham & Cheese” and “Coopers’ Camera”, returns with a contemporary rom-com about two people (Jason Lewis and Carly Pope) trying to disentangle various relationships when they fall for one another. I’m hoping to catch up to it over the weekend.

“Tyler Perry’s Madea’s One Big Happy Family”: Yup, him/her again. Not screened for press. Can’t say I’m terribly bothered about that.

“The Warring States”: I know next to nothing about Chen Jin’s martial epic, but I take comfort in the fact that no one else seems to, either.

“Water for Elephants”: Francis Lawrence takes a break from the effects-fests of “Constantine” and “I am Legend” with this period love triangle starring Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon. Andrew liked the animal actors better.

There, that should do it. Check in when you can, and try not to gorge on chocolate eggs and Peeps. Moderation in all things, folks!

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