The Mixed Grill

Professor Professorsen? Is that you?It’s a relatively quiet week, release-wise, with a couple major-studio pictures courting different audiences and a handful of indie titles batting cleanup. Shall we breeze through the selection?

American: The Bill Hicks Story“: Not exactly the barn-burning doc you’d hope for about the revolutionary stand-up, whose death from pancreatic cancer at age 32 made him a legend in comic circles, but there’s some great footage in its second half.

“Daydream Nation”: Michael Goldbach’s teenage-wasteland drama was one of the bigger buzz films at TIFF last year, though some of that buzz did dissipate after its first screening. Susan liked it, though, and likes it still.

Good Food, Bad Food“: Coline Serreau’s documentary on the merits of sustainable farming as opposed to corporate food production is earnest and relevant … and, unfortunately, dull as the dirt Serreau so lovingly photographs. That’s a problem.

“In a Better World”: Susanne Bier’s issue drama tackles school bullying and humanitarianism, and supports my theory that the Oscar voters always pick the foreign-languge film with the most upbeat title. Sure, Susan liked it, but really? This over “Dogtooth” and/or “Incendies”?

“Rio”: The creators of “Ice Age” try something a little warmer with this fish-out-of-water adventure about a domesticated macaw (Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg!) who meets a potential mate (Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway!) in beautiful Brazil. Also, I think I read something about wacky poachers.

Scream 4“: Reboots are the new remakes, so Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson put the band back together for … another sequel. You can’t blame Bob Weinstein for wanting to milk one of his strongest properties, but it’s all downhill after Alison Brie makes her exit.

There, that’s everything. Oh, except for this: “Speed Racer” is tonight’s Defending the Indefensible selection at the Toronto Underground Cinema, with Adam Nayman prosecuting and Peter Kuplowsky promoting. You may recall my position on the film; I’m curious to hear Peter’s.