Review: Mesrine – L’instinct de mort

There are so few bonafide movie stars these days. These are actors that can light up the screen in such a way that even in a highly stylized and kinetic motion picture about an infamous personality, all eyes are riveted on the curve of the mouth or the lift of a brow of the player: Insouciance is celebrated. Vincent Cassel is certainly one of those actors....

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TIFF 08 Review: Public Enemy Number One (part 1)

There are so few bonafide movie stars these days. These are actors that can light up the screen in such a way that even in a highly stylized and kinetic motion picture about an infamous personality, all eyes are riveted on the curve of the mouth or the lift of a brow of the player: Insouciance is celebrated. Vincent Cassel is certainly one of those actors....

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TIFF 08 Review: Jerichow

Coming into Christian Petzold’s rural neo-noir, it might be helpful to have an understanding of the films that he is aiming to re-create. Like his previous film, Yella, which played with the conventions of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge in the context of modern Germany, Jerichow (presumably named after the town where the film is set) teases audience...

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TIFF 08 Review: Pontypool

Now that Don LaFontaine is narrating trailers for the big guy in heaven, I would like to nominate actor Stephen McHattie as the logical successor to the phrase, “In a World, where…” Bruce McDonald’s latest film takes the omnipresent zombie subgenre and turns it on its ear (literally). Yes, ladies and gents, this is the first ‘talk...

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TIFF 08 Review: Synecdoche, New York

You are reading this because you want to know if Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York is a good film, and perhaps you want me to compare and contrast it with the great screenplays he has written, and hopefully in the process provide a categorical frame to this new commodity. What must a press screening of such a film look like, what sort of deadening halt...

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TIFF 08 Review: The Wrestler

The prints of Darren Aronofsky’s new film, The Wrestler, have barely dried (or what is the digital equivalent?) and already it has won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival and is on its way, possibly, to the Peoples Choice Award at Toronto. After the emotional and visual epic of The Fountain, the director has scaled the scope of his new film down to...

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TIFF 08 Review: The Burrowers

JT Petty’s The Burrowers really should be a bit better than it actually is. The idea of combining the western and horror genres is quite intriguing and Petty has a good basis for a strong movie but unfortunately he falls a bit short with its implementation. Many times throughout the week I have heard over and over how The Burrowers takes The Searchers and...

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TIFF 08 Review: Krabat

It is sometimes hard to review a movie that does everything very well but that just does not connect. The German fable Krabat is one such movie. David Kross is Krabat a young beggar who at the end of the 30 Years war in German answers a call from a dark sorcerer, played by Christian Redl. He is given a chance to be one of the 12 apprentices for the sorcerer....

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TIFF 08 Review: JCVD

While I was sitting in the theatre today waiting for my next movie to start I was listening to to the people behind me talk about JCVD and Jean Claude Van Damme’s previous movies. Later, after that movie I was browsing the web and I came across a review of JCVD that neatly matched up with the discussion that the audience members were having. The...

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TIFF 08 Review: Slumdog Millionaire

You will not hear me say this often when it comes to a review of a movie but I do not believe I can do Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire justice in a review. I could star listing of hyperbole after hyperbole and I would not be exaggerating one bit on how I feel about this movie. This is the movie that has made TIFF worthwhile by itself for me and I...

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