After TIFF, the Deluge

When it rains, it pours. In the last 48 hours I’ve replaced one computer, rebuilt another and tried to stay on top of a constantly shifting media landscape. On the upside, “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” returned last night, so that buoyed my spirits a little.

What’s that, you say? It’s Friday and there are, like, a jillion movies opening? Yeah, yeah, I’ve got you covered.

“Abduction”: Taylor Lautner, the shirtless werewolf boy from the “Twilight” movies, gets his shot at action-movie stardom with this teen spin on “The Bourne Identity”. No press screenings, which does not bode well for that whole not-sucking thing.

Afghan Luke“: I hated this movie like poison. That’s pretty much all you need to know right there.

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame“: Andy Lau gets his Holmes on in Tsui Hark’s 7th century mystery-adventure, which is a little on the busy side but features a couple of spectacular action sequences. All hail the hail of arrows!

“Dolphin Tale”: The true story of an injured dolphin and the prosthetic tail that let him swim again becomes what sounds like an awfully calculated family adventure in the hands of Charles Martin Smith. Andy is unimpressed.

“Higher Ground”: Vera Farmiga, whom I’ll watch in pretty much anything, makes her directorial debut with this drama about a family coping with the limits of fundamentalism. I was neck-deep in TIFF when it screened, but Susan really liked it, so it’s on my catch-up list.

“Killer Elite”: An action movie that pits Jason Statham and Clive Owen against each other — with the fate of Robert De Niro hanging in the balance — sounds like a pretty fine idea. Unfortunately, Rad has seen it, and says it ain`t.

Limelight“: Billy Corben looks at the rise and fall of Manhattan club king Peter Gatien, whose made Limelight and the Tunnel two of the city’s hottest spots in the ’80s and ’90s. Fun fact: I was at the Tunnel once, for the “Twelve Monkeys” premiere party in December 1995. So were Jon Stewart and David Spade. It’s a small, weird world.

Moneyball“: Is it churlish if I wonder whether Steven Soderbergh would have done something more interesting with Michael Lewis’ book about Billy Beane’s stats-based reinvention of the Oakland A’s than director Bennett Miller, who’s delivered an enjoyable but utterly bog-standard baseball movie? Well, then I am churlish. But Brad Pitt’s still great.

“Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles”: A group of obsessives tries to suss out the meaning of some street art in Jon Foy`s tiny documentary, which did not impress Rad much at all.

There, that’s everything. Don’t you feel up to speed?

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