In the Country of Bad Ideas

Sure, the city’s full to bursting with documentaries, but there’s a world outside the festival, man. Or at least there would be if anything good was opening. Let’s get to it.

Becoming Redwood: Documentarian Jesse James Miller makes his feature debut with this tale of a kid (Ryan Grantham) who dreams of becoming a golfer. John is not impressed.

The Big Wedding: I wasn’t able to see Justin Zackham’s long-delayed wedding comedy, but the response from my colleagues suggests I dodged a bullet. (Also, who’d cast Robin Williams as a priest after the horror that was License to Wed?)

The Colony: A new ice age yields some rather familiar terrors in this Canadian post-apocalyptic thriller, which Rad finds serviceable but not exactly distinguished.

The Company You Keep: Robert Redford’s thriller looks back fondly on the good old days of radicalism, when you could justify your actions against the state  (Nixon, man!) and terrorists only killed people by accident. Susan liked it more than I did.

Pain & Gain: Who says Michael Bay isn’t an auteur? He’s made two movies now where the action stops dead so the camera can gawk at a corpse’s silicone-enhanced breasts. Christ, what an asshole.

Tai Chi Hero: The second chapter of Stephen Fung’s gonzo kung-fu epic (which began last fall with Tai Chi Zero) doubles down on villainy and whackadoo action sequences — but after more than three hours of manic intensity, I think I’m good.

Upside Down: Juan Solanas’ insipid fantasy romance employs one of the silliest metaphors you’ll ever see, and then beats it to death right before your eyes. Also, I think I hate Jim Sturgess now.

And if you aren’t yet sick of Hot Docs stuff, check out this week’s NOW podcast in which Glenn, Susan, John and I dissect the festival and offer shout-outs to our favourite entries. You’ve got 20 minutes to spare, right?

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