The New Normal

Put your hand inside the puppet head, put your hand inside the puppet head ...Movies! Lots of movies! Opening today! And I … um … am no longer required to have an opinion on all of them!

It’s weird, only being asked to cover a portion of the week’s openings. And a really small portion, at that; I am reviewing precisely one of the four films opening in Toronto today. I’ve seen one

The Bank Job“: Roger Donaldson’s strangely joyless heist picture stars Jason Statham and a gaggle of eccentric character actors in the mostly true story of the Lloyd’s Bank robbery of 1971. How very odd that the “Italian Job” remake should still be Statham’s best heist picture. Check that one out again; it’s terribly underrated.

“College Road Trip”: A harried, overprotective father drives his independent-minded teenage daughter to visit a bunch of colleges, and guess what? They learn stuff from each other! I guess the story about Martin Lawrence fighting Robin Williams for Steve Martin’s rejected scripts is true after all.

“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”: I like Frances McDormand. I like Amy Adams. But I’m also fairly confident that I can wait for the DVD on this one.

“10,000 B.C.”: I take back every bad thing I said about “Apocalypto”. Mel Gibson may be a batshit-crazy torture fetishist — okay, so there’s no “maybe” about it — but he’s a born filmmaker, and his movie looks like a D.W. Griffith epic compared to Roland Emmerich’s bone-headed epochal epic, which is only interesting for the ten minutes in the fourth reel when it looks like Roland Emmerich has tricked Fox into making a “Stargate” prequel. He has not. But we now know that mammoths built the Pyramids. Adam has more.

And that’s it for the week. I feel strangely underutilized. But then, it’s early March, and you know what that means … the Images and Hot Docs screeners will start piling up before we know it!

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