Apres TIFF, le Deluge

More than a dozen films open today. This is too many. You can’t possibly expect one person to stay on top of all of these, can you? Even if I saw a couple of them at TIFF?

Dredd“: Karl Urban’s jaw exhibits some terrific comic timing in Alex Garland and Pete Travis’ ultraviolent reclamation of the “2000 AD” character; fans of the Sylvester Stallone version are advised to stay away. Both of you.

End of Watch“: David Ayer’s found-footage police procedural thinks it’s “The Hurt Locker” crossed with a few third-season episodes of “Breaking Bad”. What it actually is, is one of the worst films I saw at TIFF 2012. Seriously, who keeps programming him?

“Head Games”: “Hoop Dreams” legend Steve James returns to sports for a documentary about concussions, using the book by former football player Chris Nowinski as a jumping-off point. Susan finds it a commendable effort.

“House at the End of the Street”: What are Oscar nominees Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue doing in a horror movie? I have no idea, because I haven’t seen it. But the review embargo makes me think they aren’t going to be doing much. UPDATE: Phil‘s review¬†confirms my suspicions.

“Laurence Anyways”: I couldn’t find time for Xavier Dolan’s epic tale of a decade in the lives of two friends — one of whom transitions from male to female during that period — at the festival, but Susan assures me it’s excellent. It’s on my to-do list, I swear.

Legend of a Warrior“: Corey Lee’s documentary — one of the stronger Canadian titles at Hot Docs 2012 — gets a theatrical run at the Bloor. It’s a family story, with scissor kicks.

The Master“: Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest is fascinating and enthralling. But I do not think it is, how you say, entirely successful. Joaquin Phoenix is amazing, though, and the homoeroticism bubbling under his scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman is very powerful. Are we sure they’re just talking?

“Rebelle”: Fresh from TIFF and just confirmed as our official submission for this year’s Foreign-Language Oscar, Kim Nguyen’s African war allegory is guaranteed to be at the forefront of any Canadian film conversation for the rest of the calendar year. But is it any good? Rad has reservations.

“Roller Town”: The comedy troupe Picnicface sends up roller-disco movies in this award-winning feature, which Glenn mostly enjoyed. I will catch up to it on disc, I’m sure.

“Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky”: Having examined the lives of Lew Wasserman and Harvey Weinstein, Barry Avrich turns his gaze upon Canada’s most controversial impresario in another star-studded profile. Glenn¬†approves.

Tabu“: I usually like Miguel Gomes — I was on the jury that gave “Our Beloved Month of August” the FIPRESCI prize at Vienna, in fact — but I couldn’t really get into his latest, a B&W semi-silent post-modernist trifle.

Trouble with the Curve“: Also trouble with the script, trouble with the direction, trouble with the actors … basically, this movie sucks a rosin bag. Do not give it your money, even if you really want to see Clint Eastwood kick an empty chair.

“Wagner & Me”: Stephen Fry tackles the paradox of Wagner in Patrick McGrady’s documentary. Glenn‘s review isn’t exactly a rave, but it makes me really want to see the film. I shall have to do something about that.

There, that’s everything. Oh, except for the first chunk of Mark Cousins’ 15-hour documentary “The Story of Film: An Odyssey“, which begins its seven-week run at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema Sunday. And yes, this requires something of a commitment, but you’ll have no problem making one.

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