Maximum Capacity

Ron Sexsmith was always a weird kid ...TIFF’s right around the corner, but for some reason that just enables our distrbutors to throw more than a dozen movies onto Toronto’s screens. That’s insane, and yet I’m expected to let you all know what’s what, so here goes …

“Conan the Barbarian”: Marcus Nispel, who gave us the bonehead burly bloodbath that was “Pathfinder”, tackles the original loincloth warrior in a spurtfest that, according to Andrew, does an effective job of crushing its enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women.

“The Corner Shop”: Upinder Raisauda’s homegrown hybrid is, supposedly, both a heist film and a generational comedy — and according to Rad, it makes “Clerks” look polished and self-assured. So, um, no thanks.

Fright Night“: Craig Gillespie’s 3D remake/update isn’t perfect — it throws out the original’s ingenious premise far too soon, and doesn’t really replace it with anything better — but damn if Colin Farrell isn’t good, and double damn if David Tennant isn’t great. So, yeah.

Griff the Invisible“: “True Blood” man-candy Ryan Kwanten goes all Defendor in Leon Ford’s ordinary-superhero comedy, which is different from all the other ordinary superhero comedies by being Australian and also being kinda twee. Strong cast, though.

“One Day”: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess are ideal partners who spend 20 years getting ready to fall in love, or something. Glenn ain’t buying it.

Sarah’s Key“: You know the respectable Oscar-bait movies Miramax used to make about the Holocaust? Well, here is another one, and this one has Kristin Scott-Thomas in it.

“Senna”: Ten years after impressing no one with the stylish but empty thriller “The Warrior”, Asif Kapadia reinvents himself as a crackling documentarian with this study of doomed racecar driver Ayrton Senna. Rad finds it a mean machine indeed.

“Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstacy”: I’m not entirely sure any sex comedy needs to be experienced in 3D, let alone a remake of a pretty broad 1991 Hong Kong venture that kicked off a prurient franchise. And yet, here it is.

“Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World”: The first two “Spy Kids” movies were a lot of fun, but Robert Rodriguez’ kiddie films have grown awfully simplistic and self-indulgent since then. This one’s in 3D and smell-o-vision, and it wasn’t screened for the press, so I’m in no hurry, you know?

Terri“: Most movies about awkward teenagers shy away from the creepy, icky reality of adolescence. Azazel Jacobs’ considered character study does not — and it’s also really funny, with John C. Reilly doing some of his finest work in years as an unreadable guidance counsellor. Go and see.

“Trollhunter”: Andre Ovredal’s found-footage creeper follows three college students stalking a rural myth who discover they’re on the trail of something very real and very dangerous. Yeah, it owes a great deal to “The Blair Witch Project” — for the first five minutes, anyway. And then it goes sprinting off down its own goony path. Andy likes it as much as I do.

Whirligig“: Who keeps giving Chaz Thorne money? Is there no one else on the East Coast who might be more deserving? Because this wincingly stiff comedy about a maladjusted young man trying to bang his parents’ neighbour is an awful, awful film, and we really don’t need any more of those than we already have.

You Are Here“: Playful, provocative and entirely unique, Daniel Cockburn’s meta-detective project finally gets a Toronto theatrical release at the Lightbox. I’ll be doing a Q&A with Daniel after the 7:30pm screening tonight, so, um, that’d probably be the best show to catch.

Oh, and I may not have time to mention it, but the Lightbox is also hosting a Saturday matinee screening of “The Rocketeer” this weekend. As it is unlikely to ever play a local theatre again, I would highly recommend you go.

6 thoughts on “Maximum Capacity”

  1. There’s also a film called The Little Traitor opening at the Cumberland. It stars Alfred Molina. Have you heard anything about this?

  2. The Little Traitor is also at the Sheppard.

    And South Korean film Quick opens at the downtown AMC.

    And there’s three or four screenings each of Caterpillar and United Red Army at the Projection Booth.

    When it rains it pours …

  3. You’re not kidding. I covered the Wakamatsu films in my NOW web column, but didn’t know about the other two films … seriously, did everyone decide this week would be a distributor’s graveyard?

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