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    #TIFF10 Reviews: Day 9

    Last day for me, and 4 feature day!

    It's Kind of a Funny Story
    Is not a side-splitting comedy. It's one of those comedy / drama things. Katharine had no desire to see it based on the ads portraying it as a comedy, but enjoyed the drama parts. Maybe future ads should focus on the drama part for one part of the audience, and hope that Zach Galifianakis draws the other part. It was Katharine's favourite film of the festival, and I quite enjoyed it as well. It's a great date film. My favorite part was a piano cover of the Pixies' There Goes my Mind.

    Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
    A perfect blend of mystery and Kung Fu. The mystery, despite someone else speaking to the contrary, was well executed. If you paid attention, you could have solved the mystery along with the Detective. The Kung Fu, and the final action scene are quite well done, mainly for emphasizing the importance action to the plot rather than having fight scenes and stunts just for the sake of having fights. Worth a viewing, for sure.

    The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical
    Katharine really wanted to see this film, and the Globe and Mail named it pick of the festival. It's a good documentary about kids in the slums of Mumbai performing songs from the Sound of Music in a high class concert hall, and the fact that the kids, despite struggling to perfect their parts, succeed in performing quite well on performance night, makes for a feel good moment (I wanted to applaud). But I saw a couple of great documentaries, so the execution of this one failed to hook me completely. The story is touching, but the film execution wasn't as good as some other documentaries this year. You should see it, but TMN is a good venue.

    I will gladly rant to you in person about WHY this was my least favourite film of the festival (the main reason being how the film completely botched the payoff scenes near the end of the film, but there were many other issues), but I would have walked out of this film if I wasn't there with Katharine. Highest grossing film in the history of China, but executes horribly in every possible way.

    And that's it. I will try to post some general thoughts on the festival soon.



    #TIFF10 Reviews: Day 1

    TIFF 2010 was a big year for me. Unlike last year, I took the entire week off of work for this event, and was able to see 21 films in total. What follows is my attempt to review these films. I'll probably break the reviews down into groupings of the days of TIFF that I saw them.

    Day 1 involved Kung Fu, comedic musical horror, and mockumentary Canadiana.

    Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
    This was the first film of the festival, and the experience of lining up was very familiar, and it was cool that we were able to get into the Visa Lounge before the film. We were welcomed to day 1 of TIFF and told that our anti-piracy 'arrrs' should be our first and last (they weren't). The film itself was promised to be a return to Bruce Lee's character from Fist of Fury. The opening scene, when Chen Zhen fought Germans in World War I Europe (using Kung Fu) was fantastic, and something I hadn't seen before. The use of the Kato costume later was a nice tribute to Bruce Lee, but the acting, story, dialog and horrible dubbing could not be ignored. Donnie Yen embodied Bruce Lee in Kung Fu, and I want to see a World War I Kung Fu film now, but anything else was not terribly good. Not recommended.

    Fubar II with SCC The Legend of Beaver Dam
    When they announced the World Premiere of FUBAR II at TIFF in Midnight Madness, I was ready to go. FUBAR is probably one of, if the best, Canadian films ever made (or at least the funniest). I didn't know what the Legend of Beaver Dam was going to be about, and was surprised by a short film that was basically a Rock Opera Horror Film that was well suited for Midnight Madness. Quite entertaining. FUBAR II was a great treat too, of course. Entertaining, and easily one of my faves of this TIFF. The main cast coming in character really helped, and their reveal for Q&A afterwards (taking off the wigs) showcased their talent as convincing actors. See this movie when it comes out in October.

    Up next, superheroes!