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    #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.



    #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.



    #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.

    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.



    #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.

    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.



    #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!