Skip to main content

What to See in Toronto

The Toronto Internation Film Festival is the most accessible of film fests, but this year a few of the artier films are making their debut along with the more mainstream fare. Two of my most anticipated films are included on that list such as Derek Cianfrance's followup to Blue Valentine and Ben Affleck's third directorial effort. The film that is sure to get the most attention, however, is Terrence Malick's To the Wonder. Whatever the reaction will be to Malick's latest tone-poem, it will be fun to see first-hand.

The Place Beyond the Pines
Derek Cianfrance, USA (World Premiere)
Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a professional motorcycle rider who turns to bank robberies to support his newborn son. But when he crosses paths with a rookie police officer (Bradley Cooper), their violent confrontation spirals into a tense generational feud. The Place Beyond the Pines is a rich dramatic thriller, tracing the intersecting lives of fathers and sons, cops and robbers, heroes and villains. Also starring Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes.

To The Wonder
Terrence Malick, USA (North American Premiere)
After visiting Mont Saint-Michel — once known in France as the Wonder — at the height of their love, Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck) come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Javier Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane (Rachel McAdams). An exploration of love in its many forms.

Ben Affleck, USA (World Premiere)
When militants storm the U.S. embassy in 1979 Tehran, six Americans manage to slip away. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before they are found, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist comes up with a plan to get them out of the country: a plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies. Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Anomalisa

Weird is rarely used as a good quality in film criticism, but few words so completely describe Charlie Kaufman’s work as weird does. All of his films are a window into his very particular worldview, and that p.o.v. is certainly unlike anything seen in pop culture. For that reason, Anomalisa became an entry on many most anticipated lists for 2015. That Kaufman chose stop-motion to tell this story made the picture an event. So it came as a disappointment when the film was one of the year’s more mundane efforts.

Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have an energy and heart at the center that is not present here. Previous collaborators like Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry were able to temper the overwhelming negativity Charlie Kaufman occasionally falls prey to, but, this time, the writer doesn’t have a director to rein things in. In all of his efforts to create an experience that is both familiar and alienating, Kaufman may have accidentally created something host…

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …

The Dream Is Real

For my money there is nothing cooler than the idea of a city folding in on itself.