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Posts Tagged ‘TIFF 08

VIFF: When Life Was Good

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Tonight I am attending When Life Was Good at VIFF. I mentioned this movie a few times so far, even as recently as yesterday. Needless to say I am quite excited about it. My reasoning has a lot to do with the fact it appears as if someone managed to pull off a great Canadian film (not an easy thing to do) with no budget, no lights, no high end camera, no actors (even harder to do). I am in the process of doing the same thing with my passion project Play With Fire, and its fantastic seeing a film like this get into festivals such as TIFF and VIFF. If you’re in the Vancouver area I suggest you go on over to the VIFF website and get yourself tickets to When Life Was Good. If not for tonight’s showing at the Ridge Theater, then at least for the second screening later in the week.

Make sure to check out the Super U exclusive When Life Was Good VIFF video blog!

Check out the tailer for When Life Was Good 

TIFF 08 awards!

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Considering Super U is the premier site for Canadian short film contests its not much of a stretch to assume that we love award winning films. Well this year at TIFF has proven to be quite a good year for films and the awards have now been announced. The creme of the crop often being the peoples choice award. In years past winners have include Roger & Me, Eastern Promises, and American Beauty. Now that the press release is out it appears that Slumdog Millionaire has walked away with that honor. I must admit this film has not really been on my radar but it keeps popping up online and seems to have quite the buzz around it.

Speaking of award winners, tomorrow we will be announcing the winner of the Our Hero contest on Super U. We’ve had a lot of great entries for this contest, you can check them out here. Keep your eyes on the site because we’ll be announcing some new contests real soon!

TIFF Reviews: Wrestlers, Che, and Kevin Smith’s porno

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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, at least not until the reach major distribution. Thus I bring you the best of the reviews from the web…

CHE (review by Twitch Films) – Steven Soderbergh’s two-part four-hour biopic Che doesn’t have a gorgeous Antonio Banderas complaining about all the howling hysterical sorrow over the death of Eva Peron. Nor will you see Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s band of disaffected youth rambling through Tokyo all wearing the same iconic Che t-shirt …more…

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (review by /film) – I have a theory that Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno is actually just a chronology of Smith’s career so far as a filmmaker. The film starts off much like Clerks, with Seth Rogen trying to wake up for his dreadful job. Minutes later he is walking through the local mall with his roommate and best friend Miri, played by Elizabeth Banks, in a scene that is reminiscent of Mallrats …more…

The Wrestler (review by /film) – Some might say that The Wrestler is a departure from director Darren Aronofsky, while many others may look at it as an evolution. One thing is for sure, it’s very different, and certainly more mature than the filmmaker’s previous work. I’d love to compare it to Paul Thomas Anderson’s transition from films like Boogie Nights and Magnolia to There Will Be Blood. The Wrestler, like TWBB, strips it down to the bones …more…

All three of these films I consider to be ‘must watches’. It has been some years since so many films I am excited about are coming out at one time. The Wrestler, JCVD, CHE, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Flame and Citron, RocknRolla, etc — needless to say this is going to be a busy fall for movie watching…

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…

Got ‘Milk’?

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Over the last couple of weeks I have been hyping up JCVD pretty much every post. As a result I figured I’d give you all a break and talk about something else. However, I do have to mention it premiers tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival during the Midnight Madness program. I hope you have your tickets cause if not you’re going to be hard pressed to find some.

Anyway… It looks like Sean Penn is on his way to another Oscar nod with his latest film, Milk directed by Gus Van Sant, director of Good Will Hunting. Milk is the story of California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

As you can see from the trailer this film has a ton of potential. The story itself has already won an Oscar with the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, and I have no reason to suspect this film will fare any different. While you’re waiting for this film to be released you should check out the Out There contest on Super U for films by and about the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender community. We already have some great films entered and are still accepting submissions, so get out your camera and make your own Milk!

JCVD is coming to VIFF – Appaloosa please come too!

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As stated in my Toronto International Film Festival preview I have been praying that JCVD (Twitch Films Review, Variety Review) comes to the Vancouver International Film Festival. Well it seems someone was listening because looking at the VIFF Sneak Preview released yesterday, JCVD is on its way to Vancouver! Just scroll down a few pages past a list of what appears to be some amazing films and you’ll see ol’ Jean-Claude Van Damme’s haggard face staring back at you.

Now all I need is for Ed Harris’ film Appaloosa to be announced and my VIFF experience will be complete. If you have yet to hear about this film it is a story about two friends (Harris and Viggo Mortensen) hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher who find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow. Check out the trailer:

True action films

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Yesterday I discussed JCVD, which will be appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival. Needless to say I am quite excited about this film and am praying it comes to the Vancouver International Film Festival. With that excitement I decided to take a trip down memory lane and watch the action film that started it all for me… Blood Sport.

I was a mere 5 years old when Blood Sport was released, but thanks to having an older brother I watched it shortly after it was released on VHS. Days later I joined a Karate class and was determined to fight in the Kumite. That determination soon faded but my love of action films remained.

Fast forward a couple of decades. This morning I was surfing movie blogs when I stumbled across Twitch’s article on Ong Bak 2. The original Ong Bak is a fantastic film and its pleasing to see the sequel is progressing along despite production delays as you can see here:

Speaking of action films, Super U is running an ‘Our Hero’ contest right now featuring what could be the next great action directors. Make sure to check it out the entries. Voting just started but only lasts for 10 days! – The winners will be announced soon.