Saturday, October 2, 2010

September Recap: TIFF and other film ventures.

I’m sorry I never got to recapping all the films I saw at TIFF so I’m gonna get to that. Basically this’ll just be a ranking via preference of my favourite films I saw in September plus one that I saw just yesterday.

The Bad

14) Everything Must Go – D+

This has just gotten worse in my mind since I saw it last time, but you can read my paragraph if you want to know my thoughts on the films.

13) Brighton Rock – D+

Just plain too much of everything, too much score, too much acting, too much directing, too poorly done.

The Mediocre

12) Miral – C

My thoughts from earlier have yet to change feel free to read them.

11) The Town – B-

A huge let down yet a good movie. I just expected a lot more considering how much I liked Gone Baby Gone and how enjoyable Boston crime dramas are for me.

10) The Kids are All Right – B-

Just read my previous thoughts they’re pretty much unchanged.

The Good

9) The Conspirator - B

No changed thoughts.

8) Never Let Me Go - B

One of the best acted film’s this year, and a visually dazzling one at that. But at the same time I felt the story was never fully developed, that they just felt like jumping around leaving out so much and just giving us three great characters with very little else.

7) Rabbit Hole – B

My thoughts are the same as they were though I feel my ranking was a bit too high. I’d just like to point out that though I thought Nicole Kidman was great in this I still think the best performance was from Aaron Eckhart.

The Great

6) The Kings Speech – A-

My thoughts aren’t much different though I think I’ve gained a bit more appreciation for the film since I feel I was a bit to harsh on it when I first saw it.

5) Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer – A-

A great fun film. Best Documentary I’ve seen so far this year (though that’s only two), and one of the better films I’ve seen in general. A lot more intense a story then you’d expect.

4) Little White Lies – A-

Nothing changes; still think this is one incredible, enjoyable mess of a film.

The Amazing

3) The Social Network – A

No masterpiece but pretty fucking amazing. The whole cast is incredible. Fincher does a great job in translating Sorkins outstanding dialogue filled script to the screen. The truth is though everyone says the brilliance of the film is in Sorkins screenplay, while I read half of it before the film was released I never thought it could be as great as it was with Fincher at the helm and the great cast it got.

2) 127 Hours - A

So incredibly crafted, a story made so differently then you’d ever expect. Brutal and gruesome at times yet beautiful. James Franco is pure brilliance in the role; this is his best performance and probably the best performance of this year. Boyle does something truly amazing with a story of a man in one spot for the whole film. It’s a brilliant film about community that is truly heartbreaking just an amazing film all around.

1) Black Swan – A+

One of the things that bothered me about the Wrestler is that it seemed like at times it cared more about the profession then the story it was telling and while many people loved it I just thought it was okay. The other one was the very grainy cinematography. The thing is about Black Swan is that it has both these things, especially at the beginning, yet as it moves on it becomes something completely different, something so unique, so amazing, so intense that I could not take my eyes off the screen. I was in love with the film from the moment Mila Kunis comes in and turns this whole film into one of the best mind bending dramas I’ve ever seen.

September Awards:

Best Actor: James Franco (alt. Colin Frith and Aaron Eckhart)

Best Actress: Natalie Portman (alt. Carey Mulligan and Annette Bening)

Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush (alt. Andrew Garfield (NVLMG) and Andrew Garfield (TSN))

Best Supporting Actress: Mila Kunis (alt. Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday and Tuesday TIFF Summary

Everything Must Go:

This film gets a lot better as it goes along but to be honest in between the fifth minute and around the thirtieth, the film tends to get very boring. Will Ferrell is decent in the roll but he’s not very funny at all and is actually a bit bland and repetitive. The film itself is a mediocre first effort, the storyline has premise but doesn’t go too far with it and at the same time is a bit cliché at times. It’s a huge shame, this film has so much potential, yet fails to even come close to reaching it. C-

Little White Lies:

This film does not deserve the high rating I’m going to give it. Honestly the film is stuffed to the brim with drama, every character has so much going on and the film tries to deal with all of it. This leads to an over long running time that isn’t enough to give every character the amount of time their melodramatic stories deserve. Yet at the same time the film is probably my favourite melodrama, it manages to blend comedy and drama together flawlessly and the film turned out to be my most enjoyable experience at the festival for me thus far. A-


The film is a very flawed result of a great filmmaker putting to use his talent and style while working from a poorly written screenplay. At several times in the movie the dialogue still plays as the visuals turn into archive footage, and each time I suddenly felt like I was watching something on the BBC. The storyline is somewhat boring and a lot more uneventful then you’d think, to be honest not much interesting happens. Even the lead actress isn’t that good in the roll. One of the few things this film has for it is that Schnabel for some reason or another chose to direct this odd screenplay. C+

Rabbit Hole:

I often have problems with films based on plays, Doubt was a very uninteresting adaptation and similar to it, Rabbit Hole seems a bit dull and more fit for the stage then the theatre. At the same time JCM does a good job in making this less apparent and the performances are so good they make up for several of the films issues and they keep it interesting at all times. B+

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quick TIFF Weekend Summary

The Kings Speech:

Being sixteen it’s acceptable for you to think this movie probably wouldn’t have been as enjoyable for me as to an older generation that the film is targeted to. And with this in mind I’ll have to admit that I didn’t get as much out of the film as many are, but I still did really enjoy it. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush both bring their A-game, and when the two are in a scene together the magic happens. Firth is showing a side of him that two years ago I’d never have seen, but he really gets into the character of Bertie, and he really makes me believe he’s the stuttering king, not quite as great as in a Single Man but really it’s very difficult for any actor to reach that level. Director Tom Hooper has a style where he shoves the camera right in the actor’s faces and in doing so helps us see the incredible performances. The film is shot in a bit of dark scrappy way, and there is definitely a lot of dialogue, but it manages to never bore and overall it is a great achievment that will likely end up in several Oscar categories this January including Actor, Supporting Actor, Picture, Director, Screenplay and probably some technical ones as well. B+

The Conspirator:

I have to agree with many other reviews when I say that it really does feel like a History Channel movie. It’s very dialogue heavy after the first few minutes, and it’s shot in a very grim awkwardly lit way. But the thing that really pushes it from being a History Channel film are the great performances and Redfords ability to get us emotionally involved in this incredibly intriguing unknown story. Incredibly at no point in this movie was I bored. I was always interested at what was happening on screen and very curious on how the story would end. Since it seems like a somewhat week year in the supporting categorie I could see Robin Wright or Kevin Kline grab an Oscar nomination, but beyond that I don’t think the film will do any beyond technical nominations for costumes and such, but besides that it’s still an enjoyable movie. B

Non TIFF Film…

The Kids are All Right:

Well scripted and incredibly acted, especially by Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo who go beyond the material and are likely to be rewarded for it come awards season. The film itself seems to be to dependant on it’s actors doing all the work and seems to forget that anything else is needed. At times leaving it completely to the actors and at other times trying to alter the films mood all together. The screenplay has some clever jokes but not enough to get past the overly melodramatic feel the film reaches at times. But the story is interesting and the actors are good enough to keep you intrigued. Overall a pretty good film that isn’t quite as good as a lot of people seem to believe, but the performances are everything you’ve heard and more. B-

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cramming it all in

Nest week I’ll be spending a lot of time at the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival. Though I tend to have a lot of trouble continuously posting on this site, I’m going to try my best to give a short review of each film I see at TIFF. As well as TIFF I also plan on seeing several other films this upcoming week, including the opening film at the 1st ever Toronto Independent Film Festival as well as catch with several films I missed this summer at the Bloor cinema and the Revue. So if all goes well by the end of TIFF I’ll have seen ten films at the festival, as well as 3-5 at the Bloor and Revue, and the opening film at the other TIFF.

After I manage to watch The Kids are All Right, Winters Bone and Get Low I’ll post my top five summer films, which so far only has two open spaces. Once that’s done I’ll rank my TIFF films in order of preference, but for now I’ll rank them in order of which I’m most excited to see.

10) Miral: A few days ago this probably would be in the top three of this list, but the buzz just keeps getting worse and worse, and the reviews are pretty awful as well. I’ve been so excited to see the next Schnabel film, but everyone who hates it also seemed to be excited for it as well. I trust him enough to not switch films and just hope for the best, fingers crossed.

9) The Conspirator: I like the story and I have a feeling the Robin Wright will be amazing in this, yet I also have a feeling this may be very boring, and Redford hasn’t exactly made any good films in a while so I’m a bit worried.

8) Brighton Rock: I know almost nothing about this film so all I can do is hope its good.

7) Little White Lies: Same as above, except I know the director and I trust him with this.

6) What’s Wrong With Virginia: Didn’t like Milk that much yet I still trust Lance Black as a director. As well the plot seems interesting so I’m looking forwards to it.

5) Rabbit Hole: Looks a bit too baity… except for the director. Hope he can handle this kind of material and provide a great film with great performances.

4) Everything Must Go: The script is supposedly fantastic and since Stranger then Fiction I’ve begun to trust Will Ferrell in dramatic performances, especially ones with comedic twists.

3) 127 Hours: I was very excited for this and still am, just with reservations. Personally the trailer didn’t do much for me and I’ve heard the goodbye arm scene is extremely graphic… I don’t know if I can handle that.

2) The Kings Speech: a few days ago this and Miral would have switched positions on this list, but now every things changed. Word has come out that this isn’t the boring Oscar hungry trash I was expecting. What a relief

1) Black Swan: Have you seen the trailer?

As you can tell I’m trying to keep low expectations for all these films so incase they suck I wont be that let down. It’s also evident that I didn’t choose a single film coming out before mid November, including several without any distribution what so ever. Besides these films I may also try and buy tickets to one or two more films such as Inside Job, Blue Valentine, Another Year or Three. The films I wan to see most are The Town and It’s Kind of a Funny Story but those will be out sooner then later so I’m not to worried.

Also just to make this post as crammed as possible I’m gonna throw in some pre Toronto Oscar Predictions for the main categories. * Indicates predicted winner.

Best Picture (in order of most likely to be nominated)

The Social Network

The Kings Speech*

The Fighter

True Grit


Another Year

127 Hours

Toy Story 3

Winters Bone

The Way Back


David Fincher*

Tom Hooper

David O. Russell

Christopher Nolan

Danny Boyle

Lead Actor

Colin Firth*

James Franco

Jeff Bridges

Mark Whalberg

Robert Duvall

Lead Actress

Annette Bening*

Jennifer Lawrence

Lesley Manville

Natalie Portman

Carey Mulligan

Supporting Actor

Christian Bale*

Geoffrey Rush

Sam Rockwell

Mark Ruffalo

Andrew Garfield (Social Network)

Supporting Actress

Helena Bonham Carter*

Mellisa Leo

Dianne Wiest

Barbara Hershey

Mila Kunis

Sunday, July 18, 2010

About Time

This summer has finally presented some worthwhile entertainment, and man is it worthwhile. Only a few weeks ago I was complaining about how awful this years films have been thus far, then suddenly it’s all changed. Only few weeks ago I finally saw a film in theatres that genuinely entertained me, Toy Story 3 is the first film I’ve seen this year that would even get an A- (sorry Shutter Island but after repeated viewings a B+ is all you get). Now this isn’t saying I just hated all the films but more I’ve been seriously slacking, and the raised ticket prices are giving me even more excuses to skip out on films like Greenberg, The Ghost Writer and How to Train Your Dragon, all of which I attempt to catch up on by the end of the month. It’s also quite difficult to get friends to put up the money to join me in the theatre, and only certain films can get them excited enough to tag along, sadly films like The Kids are All Right and Winters Bone are not high on their must see list. Luckily this weekend I was able to finally find a film that both my friends and I would be happy to pay the $17 admission to see (not literally, my friends got me a free ticket since my birthday’s coming up). This film was Inception, and boy was it worth it. I don’t really have anything new to say that a hundred other people haven’t told you, but I can tell you something, it was a definite A+ film for me, and one I can see me rewatching soon and owning when it’s DVD becomes available. It is already my favorite movie of this year, and of the few years before that. If it came out last year it would definitely find a spot on my best of the decade list. Now there isn’t much new I can say but I’m still going to get to some points why I liked the movie so much.

It’s not confusing, it’s complex: It’s not that confusing, though that seems to be the main complaint that several critics have. Sure the first 15 minutes or so will have you confused, but if you have enough patience you’ll be able to understand what’s going on soon enough. If you go into the movie and just try and follow along you’ll be able to understand the plot, honestly it’s really not that hard.

Some characters don’t really have much depth to them, but I don’t really think it’s that necessary. Sure some of Dom’s crew don’t really have much depth to them, but they don’t necessarily require it. The emotional story is more about Dom and His wife as well as with Fischer and his father. All the characters are well acted and are three dimensional enough, an why must they all have their own troubles? How much more depth do people need? If we went in depth on all of these characters and explored their issues, this movie would be at least an hour longer, and trust me at two and half hours it’s long enough.

To me the movie was nearly perfect. The action sequences were amazing, the special effects were outstanding but did not dominate the film, the acting was great all around, and the film was just exceptional. Hopefully this movie season is about to turn around, and we can have some more Toy Story’s and Inception’s instead of Twilight’s and Airbender’s.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Been a While

Dear Reader(s)

It's been a while since I've checked this blog and I feel like something new should be posted. So there... happy?

Just kidding, but honestly there isn't much to write about. This summer is going on and I honestly can't say much, by last year I had already seen some really good films like Up, the Hurt Locker, Startrek, the Hangover and others. This year the only good films I've seen are Shutter Island, Toy Story 3 and Get Him to the Greek. I'm honestly having trouble convincing myself to go to the theater's, it's that bad. Me, not wanting to watch movies, that's just wrong.

Even the Cannes film festival seemed to have let down all of it's visitors, warning us that not only have Oliver Stone and Woody Allen once again proven that their filmmaking talent is a thing of the past, but that the only films with any promise what so ever seem to be foreign, and knowing myself I'll have to hope they come to TIFF if I'm ever going to see them... if I even want to. Nothing against foreign films but honestly, a film with a talking catfish sex scene doesn't sound like my cup of tea.

Hopefully Inception will come and turn this year around, because honestly I doubt Eclipse or The Last Airbender will do much. The one good thing I can say is that this September looks to be very promising with such films as the Adjustment Bureau, The American, The Town, It's Kind of a Funny Story, as well as whatever TIFF has to offer. As well their are a lot of films that are still without release dates or distributors, if these get picked up and hopefully released before 2011 begins then who knows, the second half of this year may make it possible for me to get over the horrible slate of films that the first half has presented us with.

If Inception is any good you may hear from me before the summer ends, if it's as big a let down as the rest of the year you may have to wait until TIFF for us to talk again.

Love, Kid

P.S. If you'd like to know what I think will come out as the 10 best Picture nominees then here you go:

Another Year*
The Kid's Are All Right
Rabbit Hole
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Tree of Life* (if it ever comes out)
True Grit*
The Way Back*

* indicates a director nomination as well

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Already Focusing on Next Year

I know this is a stupid idea, and the current oscars haven't even been handed out. But it's fun and it gets me excited since this year winners are already obvious this gives me a chance to make daring guesses and look back on them and laugh come next year.

If I get more then 2 correct in any category come next year, I that will be incredible.

Main films I expect to be in contention this time next year are… Biutiful, Hereafter, Inception, Miral, Rabbit Hole, The Rum Diary, The Conspirator, The Social Network, The Tree of Life, True Grit, The Way Back, Black Swan, The Beaver, Another Year, The Fighter, The Kings Speech, Love and Other Drugs, Fair Game, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The American, Robin Hood, Never Let Me Go, Somewhere, a few we have no Idea about yet and sadly not Shutter Island.

Here’s my predictions plus 2 extra in each categories, they are sorted by what I think their chances of getting in are.


The Way Back (Winner)

True Grit

The Tree of Life

Rabbit Hole



The Social Network



The Rum Diary


The Conspirator


Christopher Nolan (Winner)

Peter Weir

David Fincher

Coen Brothers

John Cameron Mitchell

Alejandro Gonzalez Inniritu

Julian Schanbel

alts: don’t count out Clint Eastwood and Terrence Malick.


Robert Duvall (Get Low) (Winner)

Brad Pitt (Tree of Life)

Johnny Depp (The Rum Diary)

Leonardo Dicaprio (Inception)

Stephen Dorff (Somewhere)

Javier Bardem (Biutiful)

Jeff Bridges (True Grit)


Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole) (Winner)

Carrey Mulligan (Never let me Go)

Hiam Abass (Miral)

Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk about Kevin)

Robin Wright Penn (The Conspirator)

Helen Mirren (The Tempest)

Annette Bening (Mother and Child or Kids are All Right)


Ed Harris (The Way Back) (Winner)

Sean Penn (The Tree of Life)

Djimon Hounsou (The Tempest

Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right)

Jim Broadbent (Another Year)

Josh Brolin (True Girt)

James McAvoy (the Conspirator)


Keira Knightly (Never Let Me Go) (Winner)

Saoirse Ronan (The Way Back)

Frida Pinto (Miral)

Elle Fanning (Somewhere)

Amy Adams (The Fighter)

(No Idea after that…)


True Grit (Winner)

The Way Back

Rabbit Hole

The Social Network

The Rum Diary

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

The American


The Tree of Life (Winner)



Here After

Another Year

The Beaver

Black Swan