Archives For Film

TIFF’12: Day 2

September 8, 2012 — 2 Comments

TIFF is a crazy experience. Waking up early, blogging, getting out to see several movies each day. It’s hectic and fun and tiring. My Day 2 was all of those things, not helped in the tiring department by my adding a fourth film to the day’s schedule. It was also yet day where I knew people at every movie I saw, which was nice in terms of making sure I had seats saved even when I was cutting it a little close, but it also meant I didn’t get any time to read more of Cloud Atlas, which I need to finish before Sunday morning.

The day started off with a trip down to the Ryerson where I’d be seeing Jacques Audiard’s latest, Rust and Bone. I got in line, not far back at all, and was soon joined by several friends, including Paolo Kagaoan and Ryan McNeil. One sandwich and an hour and a half later, we were seated and ready to start the day in movie-watching. I’d be seeing Rust and Bone, The Gatekeepers, Stories We Tell and Like Someone in Love. Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 1

September 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

TIFF’12 is officially on. How do I know? Well, the most obvious way to know is the line-ups. If you’re in Toronto at the beginning of September and find yourself constantly stuck in long queues, you’re probably at TIFF.

My first “screening” of TIFF’12 wasn’t until 6pm, but I still headed down early to do a couple ticket exchanges at the festival box office. That was a good idea. I got down there around 11am, had the tickets exchanged relatively quickly, and then got to hang out with Andrew Robinson of Gman Reviews, who’s in town for the fest all the way from Trinidad. What better way to kill time before Jason Reitman’s Live Read of American Beauty and The End of Time than to meet friends who I’ve only have spoken with on Skype? Click to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 0

September 5, 2012 — 2 Comments

It’s that crazy time of year again. The Toronto International Film Festival is upon us. For those who read this site but somehow don’t know, along with Cannes and Sundance, TIFF is considered one of the Top 3 film festivals in the world. Hundreds of films play the festival each year, from tiny foreign films to ambitious experiments to American indies to big Hollywood films looking for prestige and an Oscar bump. For ten days at the beginning of September, the cinematic world descends on Toronto, and lucky for me, it’s my hometown.

TIFF is a great time of year for me on two levels. The first is obvious: so many great films! The festival can be exhausting, but running around the city catching all kinds of movies is a joy. Adding to it all is the atmosphere. The people you meet in line and the energy in the auditoriums as the lights dim. For those ten days, it feels like I’ve found kindred spirits in everyone around me. It’s so easy to strike up conversations with strangers. “So, what have you seen so far?” Simple as that. Meeting folks from all over the country and the world. Talking movies with like-minded people. Getting recommendations on films to seek out in the remaining days. It all adds up to a wonderful experience.

I’ll be covering TIFF’12 here on my blog. One post per day and then a wrap-up at the end of it all. Come back for the reviews, as well as my general thoughts about the festival. There’s also a chance I’ll drop a few mini-podcast episodes with friends I pull from various screenings. We’ll see about that one. And don’t forget, you can follow my TIFF’12 adventure in real-time by following me on Twitter @CoreyAtad.

Finally, just so you all can get an idea of what I’ll be seeing at TIFF this year, I’ll post my tentative schedule. Keep in mind, this is genuinely tentative. A few films might change, and I’ll definitely be seeing more films than the ones I’ve listed here. For a more accurate, up-to-date list you can always check out my schedule on tiffr. In the meantime, though, head on past the break to check out what I’ve got on tap so far for TIFF’12. Click to see the schedule.

We’ve entered a new age. It’s an age where stars and story no longer run Hollywood. Instead, everything is at the beck and call of the almighty franchise. Can this world be extended through multiple films? Are the characters likeable enough for audiences to follow? Can we plant information in the first film that will come back in later films? Is it a property a set of fans already care about and will want to see made into a series? The Hollywood machine is ever focused on properties. Building on top of identifiable ones, and creating new ones. But in this new landscape and even more devious kind of film has emerged: the pointless movie.

2012 has had its share of pointless movies. Wrath of the Titans, Battleship, The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall, The Bourne Legacy. Previous years have brought other pointless movies. But what is a pointless movie? What do I mean when I say that The Bourne Legacy was pointless? It’s a tough line. It’s almost a gut feeling, and depending on your reaction to the actual movies, you’re likely to disagree on a film-by-film basis. I guess the easiest way to explain it is that the pointless movie is that which fails to justify its own existence beyond a corporate decision. Click to read more.

I watched only one movie this week. Just one. I almost didn’t watch that one either, but last night I had a couple friends over and we decided to put something on. It happens. Look, I’m a movie buff, but I’m not the kind who cares to make movies my entire life. I do other things, you know, like watch TV… But seriously. Unless is a stupid movie, I usually prefer to give a film my full attention, and I’m not always in a position or state-of-mind to do that, which in turn causes me to watch a lot less movies.

This week also had distractions. First off, I started watching the classic Doctor Who series. I’m not far in, but I’m enjoying it so far. I also went to the Toronto Film Bloggers Pub Night, the monthly event where a bunch of us film types get together and drink $5 doubles, talk about movies and yell at each other for being wrong. It’s a great time. Then came the Olympics. I love watching the Olympics, so that will probably take of a lot of time that otherwise might’ve gone to movies. Oh well, You can still read about the one movie I did watch, if you like. Click to read more.

I’m not much of a reader. I mean, I love to read, but I don’t do it nearly as much as I’d like to, or even as much as I should. This year, though, I’ve read a fair number of books, at least for me. Weirdly, though, my book-reading often intersects with my movie-watching, and sometimes my TV-watching. It’s usually the movies that inspire me to read.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s like this. There are just so many books out there, and so many are considered great, and so many are considered classics; it’s difficult to know which books to read at any moment in time. That’s why inspiration is important. A little nudging. Sometimes it’s the nudging from a friend, or a teacher, or an employee at a bookstore. Sometimes you’re looking to your idols, trying to soak in the same books that influenced them. For me, it’s usually something to do with movies. Click to read more.

Children don’t always have the best taste in movies. I know this because I see what kids watch and they watch a lot of crap. I also know because I remember the movies I watched as a kid. There is some real garbage there. I don’t think it’s that kids are bad judges, but that the interests and needs of a child are quite different from an adult. Children are more open to the silly and the fanciful, which in a way is actually a great thing. It also means, though, that kids are more easily pandered to and thus entertained.

When I look back at the films I used to watch when I was six or seven or even ten years old, I look back fondly, even at the bad films. Some of those films I look at now and feel almost a sense of shame for having loved. Some of them bring no shame at all, and some of them I shamelessly love to this day. I’d like to share those films with you. Maybe if you’re my age you’ll have the same sense of nostalgia for them, or, if not, you’ll gain some insight into what being a young kid in the 90s was like from a cinematic perspective. Click to read more.

The Bourne Trilogy is one of my favourite movie series of all time. It started with The Bourne Identity, which was a great action spy story with a fantastic hook. The Bourne Supremacy brought in director Paul Greengrass, whose handheld shaky-cam style has come to define many action films for good or ill ever since. Greengrass came back to cap off the Jason Bourne story with The Bourne Ultimatum, which, going with only a basic outline of a script, stripped everything down to a series of amazing action sequences while maintaining some extremely poignant character and emotional beats. I guess it was too much to hope that the suits at Universal would let those three films stand on their own as a nearly perfect, complete story.

The Bourne Legacy takes that third word in its title very seriously. Writer-director Tony Gilroy, who’s also credited with writing the previous films, seemingly owes everything to three sources: his own screenplay for The Bourne Identity, Paul Greengrass’ directorial grittiness and Matt Damon. It’s a shame, then, that despite trying so hard to honour that ‘legacy’, Legacy brings none of those elements to the table in any kind of satisfactory way, either literally or in spirit. What might have been the start of a thrilling new story set in the Bourne universe instead owes a debt it simply can’t pay back. Click to read more.

It’s been a Batman kind of a week. It’s also been a pretty crazy few days at this blog. My post about angry Batman commenters was featured in the Freshly Pressed section of the WordPress.com front page. I’ve gotten a lot of views from this. Like, an abnormally high number. Basically, in the last 48 hours I’ve gotten more hits than any previous single month. I’ll try not to let it go to my head, but for now I’d like to say thank you to all the people who have been reading my piece and some of the other pieces I’ve written. I’d also like to thank and welcome those who intend to stick around. Hopefully I can continue delivering content worthy of your readership.

As for what I’ve been watching this week? Well. Not much. Not much at all. It’s mostly Batman’s fault. Click to see what I’ve been watching.

Last night’s tragic events in Aurora, Colorado are pretty much beyond my comprehension, let alone within my ability to speak to them. All I can really express are my condolences for the victims and the families of those killed.

There really isn’t anything else to say about what happened, but I have heard some people online and in person express concerns about going to the theatre. Such an incident creates fear. It reveals what we all have generally considered a safe haven for entertainment and escapism is just as prone to the sharp and horrific burst of reality as anywhere else. But that doesn’t mean we should be fearful. It doesn’t mean we should stop living our lives. A movie theatre is a magical place, and none of that is lost, even in the light of such tragedy.

And so I’d like to be positive. I’d like to remind myself why we shouldn’t have fear. I’d like to express why I love going to the movies. Click to read more.