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TIFF reviews: day one

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It never fails, once a year I become extremely jealous of those who live in Toronto. Normally I’m hard pressed to envy a city of that size, containing that many people, all with the go-go east coast attitude. Not to mention their hockey team is actually worse then ours… (seriously Leafs, trading Brian McCabe because he costs to much but singing Jeff Finger to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million a season??!!??)

However, west coast hipster jokes aside, I wish I was in Toronto right now. TIFF is in full swing and the closest I can get to it is reading reviews on various blogs around the net. As a result I figured I should give you all a one stop shop for TIFF reviews. Here is the round up of day one:

The Brothers Bloom (review by Cinematical): Long awaited in the wake of his 2005 debut Brick, Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom is a magic trick of a film; the second it’s over, you want to see it again so you can try to catch how you were tricked, but you also want to see it again so you can return to the joy and wonder of being wrapped up in the nimble, deck-shuffling hands of a born showman …more…

Rachel Getting Married (review by Cinematical): Rachel Getting Married is a terse, smart, funny and tough family drama about forgiveness and failure written by Jenny Lumet; it’s also a loose, smart, broad and bright film about family and love directed by Jonathan Demme. When these two things are in sync, the end result is something truly impressive …more…

Ghost Town (review by /film): In about 6 seconds, I will lose a lot of geek cred… 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… I’m not a fan of Ricky Gervais. There, I said it. Also, I have yet to get into either the British or American versions of The Office. ::gasp:: I know, a travesty. That said, I caught David Koepp’s Ghost Town at the Toronto Film Festival, and I didn’t hate it. I also didn’t love it either …more…

JCVD (review by Twitch Films): If the goal with the self reflective JCVD was to recreate the public image of aging action star Jean Claude Van Damme, then you may consider that mission a success. If the goal was to announce to the world that sophomore feature director Mabrouk El Mechri is a truly world class talent, then you may also consider that mission a success …more…

Cold Lunch (Lonsj) (review by Twitch Films): A note to aspiring film makers: films populated entirely with horrible people are not generally a good time to sit through, no matter how well made they may be. Sure, there are exceptions, films with characters so bad that you get the vicarious thrill of living through them or films that pack a serious emotional catharsis generally, but for the most part it’s a pretty tough road to walk …more…

RocknRolla (review by Twitch Films): Well, glory be, Guy Ritchie is back and back in a big way. His debut film, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, branded Ritchie the brash young wunderkind of Brit film; Snatch, for its part, confirmed his place as the patron of the punters and thugs. His films were bold, stylish, hyper-violent sned ups of UK crime culture, painting a vivid picture of a world where everyone was on the take, where everybody had an angle …more…

Vinyan (review by Twitch Films): Without any doubt at all Fabrice du Welz’s Vinyan has been one of the most anticipated films of the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival amongst genre film fans. Du Welz has a proven track record as a director with a compellingly unique viewpoint, a man not afraid to challenge and punish his audience, and with a cast as strong as he has here with a premise as compelling, it has been hard to imagine him going too far wrong …more…

Not Quite Hollywood (review by Twitch Films): My friends, we have forgotten our own history. The cult of Italian giallo film is alive and well. The eighties American grinders? We are well versed in those. From Euro-cult to Hong Kong Cat III fare it seems every bit of the cult film world is well represented with hosts of knowledgable fans but there is one glaring area of oversight …more…

Flame and Citron (review by Twitch Films): Historically speaking the World War II film has been all but over run by the holocaust. This is not necessarily a bad thing and certainly not a criticism, there are important stories to tell there and lots of them. It does mean, however, that a good number of other stories, all of them important in their own ways, have generally been pushed to the side …more…

I could continue on as there are endless films playing right now, so much so that it would be daunting to try and deliver you with all of the reviews. As a result I have put up a couple of films I have high interest in, as well as some films that are highly anticipated (Ghost Town, Rachel Getting Married, The Brothers Bloom, etc). Make sure to get your tickets to films you are interested in as soon as possible, these films sell out fast. I’ll be here attempting to contain my jealousy…

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  1. […] on September 9th, 2008 TIFF marches on and reviews keep flowing in. As mentioned in a previous blog post I am not in Toronto (sadly) and will not have the opportunity to view many of these films myself, […]


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