Release The Hounds

ricki-and-the-flashIt seems like we go through this every year: August is supposed to be quiet so we can focus on TIFF, and then it isn’t, because a dozen freakin’ movies open every week.

(Okay, it’s only eight today, but still. STILL.)

The Cocksure Lads Movie: Fake British Invasion band arrives in Toronto for purposes of comedy, except no comedy ensues. And the songs aren’t that great either, if we’re being honest.

Dark Places: Charlize Theron continues her terrific run of prickly, no-bullshit characters with a strong turn in Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s capable (if undistinguished) thriller.

Diamond Tongues: Pavan Moondi and Brian Robertson’s character study features a terrific performance from first-time actor Leah Goldstein, and some other stuff that’s pretty good too.

Fantastic Four: “Hey, you know that delightful sci-fi superhero property? Let’s drain all the life, colour and joy out of it for no particular reason!” God DAMMIT.

The Gift: Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut is hobbled by a script that pulls itself apart as you’re watching, despite nuanced work from all three of its leads. That’s a shame.

How to Change the World: Jerry Rothwell’s history of the Greenpeace movement — with a special focus on founder Bob Hunter — hits all the right notes for Adria.

Ricki and the Flash: A decade ago, Jonathan Demme cast Meryl Streep as the villain of his Manchurian Candidate remake. Now, they’ve reunited for a slightly less serious project, with Streep as a hard-living rock star forced to face the family she left behind. Susan — as big a Streep fan as anyone — didn’t go for it.

Steak (R)evolution: Franck Ribiere’s investigation of the world of high-end beef is a little too amateurish to be considered good cinema, but as amateurish documentaries go it’s pretty good. And I did learn things about the subject, which is always nice.

Phew. That gets us up to date — and now I have to work on next week’s package, which all has to get squared away before Monday morning, when I leave for … oh, wait, that’s a secret.

Stay tuned …

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