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    Wednesday
    Sep292010

    Again the CN Tower I will climb: Please sponsor me!

    We interrupt my #TIFF10 reviews for a more exciting post :).

    Last year, I participated in the Uniteed Way CN Tower Stair Climb, and ended up with a decent result.

    This year I will be doing it again, as part of the Genesys corporate team (and part of Alcatel-Lucent, of course) in the United Way CN Tower Stair Climb.  I've done this twice before, and put up a personal best of 23 minutes, 41 seconds.  If you'd like, feel free to donate to cause at this link.  My company will possibly match all donations raised (to a point).  It's going to be a doozy of a climb, and I need all the encouragement that I can get.  And I hope to improve again!

    Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

    L8r
    Paul

    Wednesday
    Sep292010

    #TIFF10 Reviews: Day 5

    Day 5 had a half watched film and ANOTHER documentary.

    Everything Must Go
    The Will-Farrell-is-serious-movie this year. Because it started 40 minutes late, I only saw 45 minutes of it. And those 45 minutes were passable, but forgettable. TMN it. Don't see it in theatres.

    The Game of Death
    I went to see this film because of a brief description about how it was an update to the Milgram experiments, which anyone who has taken Psychology 101 knows is about the influence of authority on an individual. In this French documentary, the study is updated to a game show environment with psychologists and sociologists in place to study the results. It was well presented and an interesting concept, and was well executed. The Q&A with the directors after the film yielded some interesting insights, including that there are additional documentaries being made about this new study. Good to see.

    Up next, a triple movie day, including what I thought was the best of the festival.

    L8r
    Paul

    Tuesday
    Sep282010

    #TIFF10 Reviews: Day 4

    Day 4 had a documentary and Katharine joining me!

    Into the Wind
    ESPN Films has commissioned a number of films directed by athletes, about athletes, and this film is another in that series. Steve Nash is a co-director of this documentary about the athlete he chose: Terry Fox. As a film that attempts to introduce Terry Fox to Americans, and focuses on the athlete that was Terry Fox - he ran a marathon a day - this film succeeds. It has interviews with family and friends, and has all the famous Terry Fox clips that anyone who grew up in Canada has seen numerous times. But that's the problem with the film for a Canadian audience. If you grew up in Canada, you've seen every major Terry Fix clip available: the foot in the Atlantic in St. John's, swimming with the 10 year old boy who also had an amputated leg, the speech after that events, Scarborough Civic Centre, Nathan Phillip's Square, and the incredibly sad announcement he made about his cancer returning. Evaluating the documentary critically, there is little new here for Canadians. There are excerpts from Fox's journals that I hadn't heard from before, which was neat, but I think American's will be a better audience for this film. I recommend it whenappears in TSN / ESPN. Quick note: Steve Nash arrived at the venue - the Isabel Bader Theatre - by walking down the middle of Charles street, shaking hands and signing autographs as a crowd gathered around him. It was awesome.

    Tamara Drewe
    Quote on what this is about from Basil:

    @pgvildys it's about a bunch of old writers and a young, liberated woman.
    Which was quite accurate. This was a film picked by Katharine, and her first film of this year's festival. I enjoyed it. It was funny, with some dark parts, and the story had some weaknesses. But what helps this film is the incredibly strong cast. Every actor in the film was fantastic in his or her role, and that comes across in every scene. The director participated in a Q&A after the film, and his dry wit made for quite entertaining answers. Actually, all the British actors and directors at this festival were more eloquent in their answers than the North American ones. Wait until TMN, but a decent chick flick or date film.

    Next up, the half eaten film, and some pychological experiments.

    L8r
    Paul

    Monday
    Sep272010

    #TIFF10 Reviews: Day 3

    Today marked the first documentary and a film starring a man named, Gackt.

    Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie
    I will say this: David Suzuki is cool. For me, it was cooler that he was in attendance and participated in Q&A after the movie than the movie itself. But the movie is cool too. Quite cool. The film shows excerpts from Suzuki's Legacy Speech (think, 'Last Lecture') and between parts of the speech, information is presented about David Suzuki. The Japanese internments in Canadian history being the most significant moment, but I learned something else from this filme: I think David Suzuki and my father would get along. Suzuki's number one hobby seems to be fishing :). This was also the first of 6 documentaries I would see at TIFF, the most I have seen at a single TIFF. I definitely recommend this film.

    Bunraku
    Over the top CG backdrops with stylized colours and eccentricities. Ron Perlmen was in it, along with Woody Harrelson. There's martial arts and old school fighting too. A Western and Samurai story with no guns. Bright Colours. It's a trippy film, but the bad story, dialog, and with the exception of one scene (a prison fight) bad action. One of the worst films I have seen at TIFF. It was the first time Josh Hartnett had seen the film, and he tried to be nice, but I think he realized it was a bad film. Maybe someone will buy it and ask them to 3Dify the movie. Otherwise this movie will likely bomb horribly. Also, there was a particular gentleman in attendance, but I am still not 100% certain who Gackt is (despite him being more over with the audience than Ron Perlman, Josh Hartnett and Woody Harrelson combined). Avoid this film.

    Next up is documentary 2, and Katharine's first pick of the fest.

    L8r
    Paul

    Sunday
    Sep262010

    #TIFF10 Reviews: Day 2

    Coincidence that the two superhero movies were on the same day? Probably, but maybe not.

    Griff the Invisible
    Picked because it was a superhero film, Griff the Invisible is a film originating from Australia, and starring one of the guys from True Blood. It was dull and boring with a weak story and equally weak acting. The only thing interesting was the comment from one of the characters theorizing about multiple realities where you may die in one, but continue to live on in another at the point if death. Interesting because this random thought has popped into my head on more than one occasion. Don't see this film. Boring.

    SUPER
    I haven't seen Kick-@$$ yet, but having read the comic, SUPER is probably quite similar. Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the Office) plays someone who decides to fight crime and take revenge on evil doers as a superhero. Ellen Page plays a typically not Ellen Page-like character, to humorous (albeit, violent) results. I've learned that IFC Films bought the film at TIFF, so it will probably get distribution. It's worth checking out, but may not be for everyone. I did laugh. Quite a bit.

    Next up, the first documentary of TIFF and Gackt.

    L8r
    Paul