September 2008
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TIFF Recap: Day 10

Films seen Saturday, September 13th …

The Wrestler
While maybe not offering up anything as stunning or innovative as his earlier work, the latest from Darren Aronofsky is a very solid and enjoyable film. You get really invested in Mickey Rourke’s character, and despite his obvious failings you want to root for him. A sad, touching, [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 9

Films seen Friday, September 12th …

Gory, disturbing, and thoroughly messed up … as advertised. But it was entertaining from the get-go.

Tokyo Sonata
I’m still having a hard time judging this one. It was an interesting story of dysfunctional family members dealing with their own issues, but something seemed off with how the story turns [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 8

Films seen Thursday, September 11th …

Explores the many reaches of an organized crime syndicate. The film was engaging, but there wasn’t much of an overall plot … just a bunch of stuff that happened, albeit often violent and tragic and worth the viewing.

The Brothers Bloom
A fun movie, but mostly memorable for the excellent cast [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 7

Films seen Wednesday, September 10th …

Ashes of Time Redux
Not the film to see when you’re sleepy and can’t pay attention. I couldn’t keep track of who the brothers and sisters were, or the romantic connections. Nodding off here and there, I completely lots track of the story. Will have to re-evaluate this [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 6

Films seen Tuesday, September 9th …

Maman est chez le coiffeur
Completed my trifecta of French-Canadian coming of age stories set in the 60s, each with different approaches and styles. This one was more family-focused and grounded/realistic, but not without many moments of humor. The three children of the film’s family each had their own issues to [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 5

I’m pretty behind on these recaps as there just hasn’t been much down time to tackle them. So what I’m going to do is cut down a bit on the comments to just some essential notes; the longer I go without writing something then the more likely it is I’ll forgot what I watched!

Films seen [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 4

Films seen Sunday, September 7th …

Lost Song
A sad and moving story of a family adjusting to life with a newborn baby and living away from the urban environment they are accustomed to. This was a late addition to my schedule; I had the slot open and I saw a few very good reviews for this [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 3

Films seen Saturday, September 6th …

Edison & Leo
This is my biggest disappointment so far. The film is much more lighthearted than I anticipated and the character animation was poor to the extent of distracting. I can understand that in the tedious world of stop-motion that human mouths must be a real chore; it [...]

A Plus for TLS; No Zack & Miri

One positive for the AMC as a venue … or rather, for Toronto Life Square in which it is located. I’m currently in the food court and there is free wi-fi; this particular network is named “Futureshop”, but there were others available. There are also power outlets to use in strategic locations.

Now, I’m [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 2

Films seen Friday, September 5th …

The Sky Crawlers
Anytime the characters take to the skies, this film is just gorgeous. The aircraft look amazingly realistic, and when they engage in dogfights the action is intense and thrilling. Now, I didn’t expect the movie to be all action, but the shift in pace outside the cockpits really [...]

TIFF Recap: Day 1

Films seen Thursday, September 4th …

An interesting mix of characters populate this gritty story covering all the sweet spots: crime, sex, revenge, betrayal. Key parts of the story are somewhat predictable, but the time-shifting structure and the great visual look keep things moving along nicely. I was surprised to hear this was the director’s first [...]

Some Early Notes from TIFF

Some disappointment with the AMC as a venue: there is one lineup outside for all films, starting at the corner of Dundas-Victoria and then extending along Victoria. I hadn’t been here before, so I was hoping it would be like Scotiabank where you can wait indoors (particularly important on those rainy days). Once it’s time [...]

TIFF 08 – Chasing the Buzz

Each year, Toronto Star movie critic Pete Howell takes a poll of critics, programmers and regular film buffs to see what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s Film Festival. And for the third year, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in this! Check it out. Also on the panel is [...]

TIFF 08 – Updated Selections

The results of the advance draw didn’t turn out too badly, after all. I received my confirmation email at about 11:30am on Sunday and got 30 of my 37 selections. As expected, some of the more recognizable titles didn’t make it (Zack and Miri, Synecdoche, Adoration, Pontypool). It seems that earlier screenings, [...]