BB King – The Life of Riley: Not so much a profile as a Ken Burns-style exploration of the context in which King became a legend. Liked it at NXNE, still like it now.
The Bling Ring: Sofia Coppola does her usual spy-in-the-house-of-privilege thing with the true story of some Southern California teens who broke into celebrity homes for a quick thrill (and some expensive souvenirs), but this time the result is less than the sum of its parts.
Fill the Void: I seem to be the outlier on Rama Burshtein’s simplistic domestic drama, but maybe that’s because I’ve seen Ushpezin, Silent Light and Of Gods and Men, all of which do so much more with the notion of a story playing out within a cloistered society.
Frances Ha: Glenn loved Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s new collaboration, which wowed audiences at TIFF and which I still haven’t been able to see. I trust his judgment.
Hannah Arendt: Margarethe Von Trotta and Barbara Sukowa — who made the dour Vision a couple of years ago — reunite for another tale of a woman whose world-view led to a supposed revelation. I missed it at TIFF, but Susan likes it.
ill Manors: The directorial debut of Ben Drew, aka Plan B, is an ambitious, occasionally impressive multi-character thriller that never quite transcends its chosen genre. But I’m keen to see what he does next.
Monsters University: I’ll be honest, I was dreading this after Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. But Pixar gets this one right, changing gears entirely for a campus comedy starring younger, bouncier versions of its beloved monsters. And the production design is stunning; I could have spent hours finding all the teeth hidden in the architecture.
No One Lives: Ryuhei Kitamura brings some style to WWE Studios’ latest exercise in grotty sadism, but it ain’t enough.
The Sheepdogs Have at It: John calls bullshit on the documentary about the band that won the contest to be on the cover of the magazine. I’m not even sure I’ve heard a single one of their songs.
Which Way to the Front Line from Here? The Life & Time of Tim Hetherington: Sebastian Junger memorializes a comrade and friend in this decent documentary, which I first saw at Hot Docs. Not sure why the new review isn’t online, but it should be soon.
World War Z: If you’ve read Max Brooks’ fantastic book, you’ll be shocked at how many great ideas were dumped in favour of the repetitive action beats and banal characterizations that made it to the screen. Brad Pitt should have known better.
And there you go! I’m off to shoot some promotional thing for my Harbourfront Free Flicks series on a very hot and sunny day, so that should be … interesting.