Toronto After Dark 2014

Toronto After Dark is the film festival more or less responsible for RowThree existing. We got the name of the site from the third row at Toronto’s Bloor Cinema (circa 2006), which had a bit more leg room than any other row, so that’s where we sat for every screening. After eight years, TAD is still going on; stronger than ever.

While TIFF is just getting into second gear this weekend, TAD has snuck out an announcement, half the lineup for the 2014 festival! There will be nine more titles announced at the end of the month, along with all of the shorts scheduled to play (which by the way are better than anything you’ll see in the Oscar nominated short categories).

The festival this year will run nine spectacular nights, from October 16-24th at the Scotiabank in downtown Toronto. You can pick up tickets and buy passes either at the venue or on their web site. The early bird, full season pass is a hell of a deal(!), I suggest picking one up if you’re planning on attending.

Have a look at the festival lineup thus far announced and see what you think. Looks like a pretty good time to me! The following trailer is actually a full YouTube playlist of each of the titles listed below so you can see what’s most worthy of your time. In my opinion this looks like a pretty strong year! A link to the one sheet follows each synopsis.

HELLMOUTH (Canada) World Premiere
From the twisted mind of writer Tony Burgess (PONTYPOOL) comes a stunning, spectacular ode to classic horror and fantasy. HELLMOUTH tells the tale of gravekeeper Charlie Baker, (WATCHMEN’s Stephen McHattie) assigned to tend to a mysterious cemetery. Charlie’s routine journey to his new place of employment turns out to be a dark and fantastic voyage through a Gothic landscape, filled with demonic forces, and a life-altering encounter with a beautiful woman he must try to rescue from the bowels of hell. Poster

In the scary new horror hit from Australia, single mother Amelia must battle with her son Samuel’s fear of a monster lurking in their house. After a creepy pop-up book called Mister Babadook is found on the doorstep, Samuel begins to sense a sinister presence, and strange things begin to happen around the house. Amelia is at first dismissive, but then begins to question whether THE BABADOOK is a figment of Samuel’s troubled imagination or whether there might be something genuinely evil lurking in their midst. Poster

Based on a story by acclaimed sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein (STARSHIP TROOPERS), the Spierig Brothers (DAYBREAKERS, UNDEAD) direct Ethan Hawke (GATTACA, TRAINING DAY) in this riveting sci-fi thriller in the mold of LOOPER and MINORITY REPORT about a Temporal Agent, tasked with traveling through time to stop crimes before they’re committed. On his final assignment, the agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time, the elusive Fizzle Bomber, determined to unleash mass destruction upon New York City, and who somehow always seems to be one step ahead of the Temporal Agency. Poster

DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD (NORWAY) Toronto Premiere
The gruesome army of awakened Nazi Zombies from fan favourite DEAD SNOW once again return to terrorize the Norwegian countryside! In this crowd-pleasing zombie action comedy follow-up, Martin, the sole survivor of the first movie, must join forces with an American zombie hunter (cult favourite FREAKS AND GEEKS’ Martin Starr) and a reanimated squad of dead Russians if he is to try to defeat the undead Nazi horde and their evil commander! Poster

WOLVES (USA/CANADA) North American Premiere
In this coming of age werewolf action movie from David Hayter (writer of X-MEN, X-MEN 2), Lucas Till (XMEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) plays Cayden Richards, a high school senior who awakens one day to find his parents brutally murdered and his body transforming into a wild, savage wolf. In search of the truth behind his animalistic tendencies, Cayden heads to the small town of Lupine Ridge, only to find himself caught between an ongoing war between two opposing werewolf clans, led by Jason Momoa (GAME OF THRONES) and Stephen McHattie (WATCHMEN). As the past begins to reveal itself, so does Cayden’s power to put an end to the savage violence around him and within him. Poster

In the vein of Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW comes this gripping cyber-thriller from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES) that exposes a terrifying dark side to internet voyeurism. When an unwitting celebrity fan-site operator (LORD OF THE RINGS’ Elijah Wood) is persuaded by a mysterious caller to hack into the personal webcam of a movie actress he idolizes (Sasha Grey), he finds himself not only uncovering a dark and sinister plot, but also trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a psychopath. Poster

ZOMBEAVERS (USA) Toronto Premiere
From the producers of CABIN FEVER, THE HANGOVER, and AMERICAN PIE comes ZOMBEAVERS, a crowd-pleasing zombie comedy co-starring Cortney Palm (SUSHI GIRL) that delivers exactly what you’d want from its title and more! A group of college kids’ weekend of sex and debauchery at a riverside cabin turns gruesome when they find themselves menaced by a swarm of deadly zombie beavers. Riding the line between scary, sexy, and funny, the kids are soon fighting for their lives in a desperate attempt to fend off the blood-thirsty undead beaver horde! Poster

SUBURBAN GOTHIC (USA) Toronto Premiere
Richard Bates Jr. follows up his acclaimed horror film EXCISION with a supernatural comedy about an unemployed graduate (CRIMINAL MINDS’ Matthew Gray Gubler) who returns to his small-town family home, only to encounter a vengeful ghost and a mystery that must be solved before everyone’s lives are lost. A spooktacular treat of a movie, SUBURBAN GOTHIC features an endearingly quirky script with numerous fan favourites in scene-stealing supporting roles, including Kat Dennings (THOR), Ray Wise (TWIN PEAKS), Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR) and John Waters (PINK FLAMINGOS). Poster

TIME LAPSE (USA) Toronto Premiere
In this award-winning new sci-fi thriller, three friends, including Danielle Panabaker (THE FLASH) discover a mysterious machine in an abandoned apartment that seems to print photos taken 24 hours into their future. The trio conspire to use the device for personal gain, but it’s not long before the images start to reveal a disturbing and dangerous chain of events they must somehow try to avert before it’s too late. Co-stars John Rhys-Davies (INDIANA JONES TRILOGY). Poster

ABCS OF DEATH 2 (USA/New Zealand/Canada/Israel/Japan) Canadian Premiere
Get ready to gasp, laugh, shriek and cheer at this latest anthology of 26 short tales, each punctuated by a different shocking, wickedly entertaining death. Completely one-upping its predecessor, ABCS OF DEATH 2 is packed with outstanding thrills, chills and kills, brought to you by some of the acclaimed film-making talents behind fan favourites CUBE (Vincenzo Natali), AMERICAN MARY (The Soska Twins), BIG BAD WOLVES (Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado), MANBORG (Steven Kostanski), ROOM 237 (Rodney Ascher), INSIDE (Alexandre Bustillo) and JUAN OF THE DEAD (Alejandro Brugues), just to name but a few! Poster

“Spring” is Coming

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson’s Spring, which debuts at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival gets trailerized, just in time to make all of us jealous who aren’t near the greater Toronto area for the next 12 days. And hey look! It’s the kid from Thumbsucker (or Evil Dead remake)!

A young man in a personal tailspin flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a girl hiding a dark secret. What begins as a naturalistic romance in an idyllic Mediterranean town, takes an unexpected turn as the two lovers confront figurative and literal relationship monsters. Balancing dark humor, heart, and visceral thrills, Spring evokes undercurrents of Beauty and the Beast by way of Linklater and early Cronenberg, while remaining its own cutting edge genre cinema.

The beginning of this trailer doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but once it gets going, I can see the above comparisons to Cronenberg coming through and I look forward to hearing the details from TIFF goers over the next couple of weeks. Check out the genre-ness of the trailer below.

Friday One Sheet

click for full screen

In the vein of crime classics like Mean Streets and Infernal Affairs, Revenge of the Green Dragons follows two immigrant brothers Sonny (Justin Chon) and Steven (Kevin Wu) who survive the impoverished despair of New York in the 1980s by joining Chinatown gang “The Green Dragons”. The brothers quickly rise up the ranks, drawing the unwanted attention of hard-boiled city cops. After an ill- fated love affair pits Sonny against his own brother, he sets out for revenge on the very gang who made him who he is. From acclaimed Director Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo, and legendary Executive Producer Martin Scorsese comes a brilliant mix between a Hong Kong action film and a New York City crime thriller, portraying the never-before-told true story of “The Green Dragons”.

Review: Alive Inside

Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett (other_films_by_director)
Writer: Michael Rossato-Bennett
Producers: Alexandra McDougald, Michael Rossato-Bennett, Regina Kulik Scully

MPAA Rating: NR
Running time: 78 min.


Alive Inside is the incredibly moving documentary that opens our eyes to real alternative medicine. The medicine of music. Better than any pill, stronger than any massage and more comforting and soothing than any psychiatric consultation, music is deep within our minds and can bring forth life where there is none.

The documentary follows “Music and Memory” founder Dan Cohen as he travels from location to location across the country bringing the gift of music to Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in hopes that it will reconnect with their soul and bring them “back to life.” And the results he gets are astounding.

Everywhere he goes, people break into smiles and tears with the joy they didn’t know they had. One minute a person can barely lift their head to say hello to a close relative they’ve forgotten and in the next moment they’re singing and sometimes even dancing. In many cases, the patients are able to do and remember things they haven’t been able to for a long time. When Dan walks into the room, armed with only an iPod, it’s like an angel floating into the room to help people find that sparkle in their soul they lost oh so long ago.

Besides getting to meet a lot of the patients and caregivers that receive the benefit of the music, the doc looks at all manner of aspects to the “Music and Memory” program. From the scientific evidence showing why music is the powerful drug that it is, to the red tape and ridiculous regulations within the insurance system that won’t allow people to have access to something as simple as an iPod and headphones. It also takes a brief look at the health care system overall as it pertains to the elderly. As the baby boom generation nears the elderly age, they’re taking a much more keen interest as to how they will be treated in the coming years.

The group is looking for donations of old iPods and other .mp3 players as there just isn’t enough to go around. Your time can be well spent helping to build playlists and rip CDs at local establishments participating in the program. I promise you, after watching the results seen in the documentary of how profound of an experience these people are having simply from some headphones place on their ears.

If you have a moment, do a search for Music and Memory program and take a look at some of the videos available and the link to donations and ways you can help. At the very least, be sure to check out the film, Alive Inside, any way you can – it is screening in limited release in theaters now.


2014 Emmy Winners

Yes, we’re a movie site. But anyone paying close attention (especially to The Cinecast for the past couple of years), knows we’re getting to be bigger and bigger fans of the small screen as HBO, AMC and yes even ABC (I’m mainlining “Modern Family” like you wouldn’t believe) are consistently putting out seriously top notch stuff. Breaking Bad boundaries with each passing season. It’s hard to find someone out on the street who won’t tell you that, “Oh my God [insert almost any TV show title here], is easily the best show ever created for television.” And these days, they’re probably right.

So there isn’t the same hoopla in the third row as there is for Oscar night, but we do like to take a look at the pattings of the backs on tube town too. So here are the nominees and winners of this year’s Emmy Awards*.

Outstanding Drama Series
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“House of Cards” (Netflix)
“Mad Men” (AMC)
“True Detective” (HBO)

Outstanding Comedy Series
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Louie” (FX)
“Modern Family” (ABC)
“Orange is the New Black” (Netflix)
“Silicon Valley” (HBO)
“Veep” (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Louis C.K., “Louie”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Josh Charles, “The Good Wife”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Adam Driver, “Girls”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Fred Armisen, “Portlandia”
Tony Hale, “Veep”

Outstanding Miniseries
“American Horror Story: Coven” (FX)
“Bonnie & Clyde” (Lifetime)
“Fargo” (FX)
“Luther” (BBC America)
“Treme” (HBO)
“The White Queen” (Starz)

Outstanding Television Movie
“Killing Kennedy” (National Geographic)
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” (HBO)
“The Normal Heart” (HBO)
“Sherlock: His Last Vow” (PBS)
“The Trip to Bountiful” (Lifetime)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge”
Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”
Idris Elba, “Luther”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow”

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”
Minnie Driver, “Return To Zero”
Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon”
Cicely Tyson, “The Trip To Bountiful”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: His Last Vow”
Colin Hanks, “Fargo”
Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart”
Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart”
Alfred Molina, “The Normal Heart”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Angela Basset, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Allison Tolman, “Fargo”
Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic”
Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart”

Outstanding Variety Series
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
“Real Time With Bill Maher” (HBO)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central)
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central)
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC)

Outstanding Variety Special
“AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute To Mel Brooks” (TNT)
“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America” (CBS)
“Best Of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Primetime Special” (NBC)
“Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays” (HBO)
“The Kennedy Center Honors” (CBS)
“Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles” (HBO)

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”
Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
Paul Giamatti, “Downton Abbey”
Robert Morse, “Mad Men”
Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex”
Joe Morton, “Scandal”

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Kate Burton, “Scandal”
Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex”
Kate Mara, “House of Cards”
Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
Diane Rigg, “Game of Thrones”

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Nathan Lane, “Modern Family”
Steve Buscemi, “Portlandia”
Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”
Louis C.K., “Saturday Night Live”
Bob Newhart, “Arthur”
Gary Cole, “Veep”

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”
Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black”
Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live”
Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
“Breaking Bad” — “Ozymandias” (Moira Walley-Beckett)
“Breaking Bad” — Felina” (Vince Gilligan)
“Game of Thrones” — “The Children” (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss)
“House of Cards” — “Chapter 14″ (Beau Willimon)
“True Detective” — “The Secret Fate of All Life” (Nic Pizzolatto)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
“Episodes” — “Episode 305″ (David Crane)
“Louie” — “So Did The Fat Lady” (Louis C.K.)
“Orange Is the New Black” — “I Wasn’t Ready” (Jenji Kohan and Liz Friedman)
“Silicon Valley” — “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency” (Alec Berg)
“Veep” — “Special Relationship” (Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Armando Iannucci)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
“Boardwalk Empire” — Farewell Daddy Blues” (Tim Van Patten)
“Breaking Bad’ — “Felina” (Vince Gilligan)
“Downton Abbey” — “Episode 1″ (David Evans)
“Game of Thrones” — “The Watchers on the Wall” (Neil Marshall)
“House of Cards” — “Chapter 14″ (Carl Franklin)
“True Detective” — “Who Goes There” (Cary Joji Fukunaga)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
“Episodes” — “Episode 309″ (Iain B. MacDonald)
“Glee” — “100” (Paris Barclay)
“Louis” — “Elevator, Part 6″ (Louis C.K.)
“Modern Family” — “Vegas” (Gail Mancuso)
“Orange Is the New Black” — “Lesbian Request Denied” (Jodie Foster)
“Silicon Valley” — Minimum Viable Product” (Mike Judge)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
“The Colbert Report”
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
“Inside Amy Schumer”
“Key & Peele”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America”
“Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays”
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards
“Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles”
67th Annual Tony Awards

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
“American Horror Story: Coven” — “Bitchcraft” (Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk)
“Fargo” — “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Noah Hawley)
“Luther” (Neil Cross)
“The Normal Heart” (Larry Kramer)
“Sherlock: His Last Vow” (Steven Moffat)
“Treme” — “…To Miss New Orleans” (Eric Overmyer and David Simon)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
“The Colbert Report” — “Episode 9135″ (James Hoskinson)
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” — “Episode 18153″ (Chuck O’Neil)
“Portlandia” — “Getting Away” (Jonathan Krisel)
“Saturday Night Live” — Jimmy Fallon (Don Roy King)
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” — Will Smith/U2 (Dave Diomedi)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America” (Gregg Gelfand)
The Kennedy Center Honors (Louis J. Horvitz)
The Oscars (Hamish Hamilton)
“Six By Sondheim” (James Lapine)
“The Sound of Music Live!” (Beth McCarthy Miller)
67th Annual Tony Awards (Glenn Weiss)

Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
“American Horror Story: Coven” — “Bitchcraft” (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
“Fargo” — “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” (Adam Bernstein)
“Fargo” — “Buridan’s Ass” (Colin Bucksey)
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” (Stephen Frears)
“The Normal Heart” (Ryan Murphy)
“Sherlock: His Last Vow” (Nick Hurran)

Outstanding Special Class Program
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC)
The Oscars (ABC)
Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony (NBC)
The Sound of Music Live! (NBC)
67th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)

Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama (Funny or Die)
Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim)
Parks And Rec in Europe (NBC)
The Soup: True Detective (E!)
Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show Starring Bruno Mars (NFL)
Park Bench With Steve Buscemi (AOL)
30 For 30 Shorts (ESPN)

* reality TV noms removed for space, time, sanity and intelligence