Hey, remember how things were quiet on the weekly release front? Just a brief lull in the onslaught; this week sees another eleven films landing on Toronto’s screens — though two of them are sharing one venue and another one’s an IMAX movie, so things aren’t as congested as they sound.
“Arthur”: Who would have thought that the Easter Bunny movie would be the better of Russell Brand’s two films this month? Well, anyone who saw the trailers for this new version of Dudley Moore’s oddly beloved wacky-drunk comedy. Andrew fails to see the point.
“Beeswax“: It’s taken two years for Andrew Bujalski’s intimate sibling study to make it to Toronto screens, and it only got here as part of an American indie double-bill at the Royal. Seriously, what’s wrong with the universe? Not that I’d expect this to get plugged into the AMC or anything, but surely it’d thrive at the Bloor.
“The Bend”: Jennifer Kierans’ drama stars Adam Butcher, Sophie Traub and Tommy Lioutas as teenagers trying to come to terms with a recent tragedy. It sounds like a reworking of the long-forgotten Keanu Reeves vehicle “Permanent Record”; Susan ain’t having any of it.
“Born to Be Wild 3D”: The latest IMAX 3D extravaganza plops its giant cameras down at a Borneo rescue facility for orphaned elephants and orangutans. Andrew liked it a lot; I hope it’s a hit, so they can start on “Puppies and Kittens Romping in a Water Park 3D”.
“Hanna”: Joe Wright shifts from literary adaptations to kick-ass action with this tale of a remorseless teen assassin (Saiorse Ronan, embracing her destiny as “that weird-looking girl”) out to avenge her mother’s death. Susan thought it was decent entertainment, but fails to address the crucial issue in her review: Is the kid a robot or a mutant? I vote robot.
“Kaboom“: If Gregg Araki had made “Eyes Wide Shut”, it’d look a lot like this — a flashy, knowingly ridiculous movie about an innocent (Thomas Dekker) who stumbles into a world of sex and mystery. Except he’s not that innocent, and there’s a distinct sense of apocalypse in the air. So, wow, fun.
“Littlerock“: Mike Ott’s tale of linguistic disconnection in a podunk California town forms the other half of the Royal’s double feature. It’s kind of lovely, and I can think of worse things to do on a spring evening than check it out with someone you’d like to talk to afterwards.
“Rubber“: Quentin Dupieux’ absurdist horror comedy is certainly different — and frequently inspired — but there’s a randomness to it that kept me from really plugging into the action. I feel the same way about this as I do about movies like “El Topo”; yes, you’ve made a movie that’s entirely crazy, but what’s the point of it? I am old.
“Son of the Sunshine”: Ryan Ward — star of “Evil Dead: The Musical” — writes, directs and stars in a film about a Tourette’s sufferer who can heal people with his hands, and risks losing that ability for the chance to be normal. (No, seriously.) The producers offered us an online screener, which turned out to be a gargantuan pain in the ass; hopefully, we’ll figure something out today.
“Soul Surfer“: The true story of Bethany Hamilton becomes an INSPIRING TRUE STORY OF FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE in director Sean McNamara’s hands, with AnnaSophia Robb playing the Hawaiian surfer who lost an arm to a shark attack and dedicated herself to getting back out on the water. Of course, I am one of the godless heathens, so I doubt McNamara’s really interested in what I think.
“Your Highness“: No, it’s not the worst movie ever made. (It’s not even the worst movie out this week, based on the hideous word-of-mouth about “Arthur”.) In my opinion, it’s actually sort of charming, with James Franco, Natalie Portman and especially Justin Theroux having a great time brandishing swords and yelling at each other. And Danny McBride is perfectly cast as, well, Danny McBride.
There, that’s everything. Happy now?