Sometimes I need more room to express myself. Come read the musings of a social media geek and lover of snark/sarcasm. I also curate #TOpoli via @TOpoliSnark and post at http://storify.com/LadySnarksalot/ .
On September 5th, I had the opportunity to see an advance premiere of LIFE OF CRIME, thanks to L’Oreal Canada. The tickets were for a “surprise showing” and no information was leaked prior to the screening. It turns out that we saw a screening of the TIFF Closing Night Gala!
It was a good start to my #TIFF13 films, and I would give it a 3.5/5. The acting was believable, the set and costuming were authentic (and I was so distracted by the smoking in each scene- it was set in 1978, so that aspect is true to the time period) and I assume this will get wide release.
It was also adapted by a book by Elmore Leonard, and a dedication to him was present in the end credits.
Jude Law and Richard E. Grant star in DOM HEMINGWAY, my second movie of Monday. I didn’t know much about the movie going in, but was intrigued in the description as a British black comedy about a safecracker, newly released from jail.
The movie began with one of the most memorable scenes I’ve ever seen. We quickly realized that the language was going to be downright salty, as we’re introduced to Law’s character and his very large… ego. Richard E. Grant, Emilia Clarke (one fan said “You were great, Khaleesi” as she exited the theatre) and Demian Bichir round out the major characters, and Grant’s deadpan delivery and wit are excellent.
Meta. Pic being taken on the stage, and pic being taken of the stage.
Richard E. Grant leaving Ryerson Theatre.
It’s expected for an April 2014 release, and I would definitely see it again. If you get the chance, I recommend catching the last showing on September 14th if you can snag a ticket!
Atom Egoyan has made a feature film about the West Memphis Three, and it stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. DEVIL’S KNOT explores the tragic murder of three young boys, and the trial process for the accused killers. Witherspoon plays Pam Hobbs, mother of one of the murdered boys and Firth plays an investigator working for the defence attorneys. Witherspoon is believable as weary Pam, and is able to let out a blood-curdling scream when she realizes her son is dead. Firth is Ron Lax, the investigator hired to pore through evidence and help the lawyers find anything to provide “benefit of the doubt”. Unfortunately, as the movie continues, his work is in vain, as the defence attorneys are able to secure a guilty verdict for the accused.
Full disclosure: I learned about the West Memphis Three in 2011, when I saw the third instalment of the West Memphis Three documentary series (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory), and Egoyan was in attendance at the screening. I was interested in seeing the final product, but found that this film missed out on areas that could have been addressed (such as additional suspects in the murders). Kevin Jagernauth at Indiewire has posted a bang-on review (check it out here).
I’m glad that I saw the film, but it fell flat for me. The source material (like the documentary footage) and documentation collected on the West Memphis Three (one website has uploaded information on all evidence used in the prosecution of the West Memphis Three) should have provided enough background to create a more compelling film.
The description for CANNIBAL begins with: ”In the sleepy city of Granada, mild-mannered tailor and secret cannibal unexpectedly finds himself falling in love with his latest prospective victim, in director Manuel Martín Cuenca’s disturbing yet intoxicating tale of bizarre romance.”
Unfortunately, I found the pacing of this movie incredibly slow and dragging. If I had stumbled across it on Netflix, I would have turned it off after 15 or 20 minutes. There was nothing wrong with the acting, but I found that I didn’t end up caring about any of the characters, or their motivation. I am thankful that the cannibalistic acts occurred off-screen. It’s inferred that the main character (Carlos) only murders and eats women, drawing the conclusion that he has problems with women. He is a loner, and shuts himself off from a woman he tries to befriend him.
On the bright side, I like to see at least one non-English movie during TIFF, and I can add this film to that list.
I had secured a ticket to the second screening of “Only Lovers Left Alive” (on September 7th) and it was worth waiting 90 minutes in the rain, and getting absolutely soaked.
The pace of the movie felt a bit draggy, but was quite beautiful. The cast is quite small- Swinton and Hiddleston play vampires “Eve” and “Adam”, with supporting roles by Mia Wasikowska (Eve’s sister, “Ava”), Anton Yelchin (zombie man-servant “Ian”), and John Hurt plays “Christopher Marlowe”.
I thought some parts of the movie were quite clever, like calling the vampires Adam and Eve. I’m a sucker for the soundtrack for a movie, and I really loved the score and all of Adam’s music.
There are multiple locations for the movie: Tangiers where Eve lives and Detroit where Adam lives. Detroit is almost a character in the movie, as the abandoned buildings and theaters have a tragic beauty, that lends well to the story.
I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Jason Reitman Live Read at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6th.
The cast included Dakota Fanning as Rollergirl, Olivia Wilde as Amber Waves, Josh Brolin as Jack Horner and Jesse Eisenberg in the role that Mark Wahlberg made famous, Dirk Diggler.
Jason Reitman was our narrator, and you can tell he enjoyed the role he was playing. A still from the movie is projected onto the screen behind the cast, which makes “believing” the scene easier.
I thought everyone did well in their parts, but wasn’t sold on Eisenberg as Dirk. He was ok at the beginning, but I don’t think he has the swagger and bravado needed to believe him as Dirk in his element.
Here are some shots I took at the live read. More may follow!
The Toronto International Film Festival is now underway, and I am going to be seeing ten movies as part of my flex pack of tickets. I’ve also purchased a single ticket for the “Jason Reitman Live Read”, and got to attend a premiere screening (details to be released later).
Here’s my breakdown of films, in order of viewing schedule:
“Jason Reitman Live Read” (the film chosen this year is “Boogie Nights”, and I’ll be using the tag #TIFFlivereads via Twitter.)
I plan on updating after each film, with some thoughts about the screening and the film. My viewing schedule isn’t super crowded and takes into account line up time prior to each show, and I have no conflicts. Hope my luck and patience hold out!