That original ending's gotta be around here somewhereThe first round of voting for the Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2007 awards starts today, which means I get to flex my atrophied Excel spreadsheetery skillz as unofficial ballot secretary.

(Well, more precisely, it means Kate once again builds the spreadsheet and patiently tells me when I’m screwing it up, which is very kind of her.)

It also means that now is the time to make sure my own ballot and Top Ten list are in order, which means I’m going to spend the day second-guessing myself, like, a lot.

But, because it’s a Friday, we still get movies opening:

Alvin and the Chipmunks“: There is a great movie struggling to get out of this dopey CGI-live action kiddie comedy that transforms Ross Bagdasarian’s squeaky novelty characters into an exploited boy band; that movie is “Josie and the Pussycats”, and you can rent it right now instead of wasting twelve bucks on this. DuJour means solidarity!

I am Legend“: The first hour is fantastic. Will Smith is tremendous — affecting, believable, just this side of unbalanced. (The dog is pretty good, too.) And then the whole thing goes so disastrously sideways that you’re just left shattered and pissed off when the end credits roll. I’m really, really disappointed in this film.

Juno“: Jason Reitman’s seriocomical study of a pregnant teenager and the childless couple to whom she promises her baby takes a little getting used to, but once you fall into the rhythms of its spiky, showy dialogue — more importantly, once you realize only two characters are actually talking like that — it’s a hell of a charmer. Ellen Page, welcome to your moment.

The Kite Runner“: I’ll level with you: This is probably the weakest three-star review I’ve ever written. But while Marc Forster’s movie did absolutely nothing for me, I felt it earned the rating for its technical proficiency and the actors’ performances — kinda like Forster’s “Finding Neverland”, actually. This is a decent enough example of middlebrow cinema, particularly when compared to the showy, empty “Atonement” and the lush, moronic “Evening“. So I guess it’s a sliding scale.

Mama’s Boy“: Sucks. No qualifications, no negotiations, no nothing. This is an awful, awful movie. Imagine “Mr. Woodcock” with even worse choices, and here we are. Or rather, here you aren’t. Fortunately, even Warner seems to know how crappy this is, dumping it onto a single screen at the Carlton with virtually no promotional push. Respect their strategy. Don’t bother with this film.

Oh, and that “Dark Knight” trailer? Pretty cool.

One thought on “Vote!”

  1. Oh no really? Bit of a disappointment about I Am Legend. Perhaps I’ll catch it at a later point in time.
    As for Juno. Found it somewhat amusing but mostly annoying and too “quirky”. The dialogue just gave me a headache. Page was ok but I preferred the performances of Jolie and Cotillard this year.
    Alvin and the Chipmunks, the over hyped Atonement and Mama’s boy..pass, pass and pass.

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