Rowthree Staff Summary of TIFF 2017

Our traditional round-up of impressions and reactions to the massive slate of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival has arrived in its tenth (!) edition, here in the third row. Happy Decade to us! As always, several of the Row Three staff and contributors, along with a few a regular reader or two, provide a tiny capsule – a postcard if you will – of all the films that they saw at the festival. These are accompanied by an identifier-tag: [BEST], [LOVED], [LIKED], [DISLIKED], [DISAPPOINTED], [FELL ASLEEP], [WALKED OUT], [HATED] and [WORST].

Collectively we – Kurt Halfyard, Bob Turnbull, Courtney Small, Mike Rot, and Sean Kelly – saw a sizable chunk of the films shown at the massive public festival. Hopefully this post can act as a ‘rough guide’ for films that will be finding distribution on some platform, whether on the big screen, small screen, or streaming service, in the next 18 months.
 
 

THE SHORT VERSION:

Personal BEST: FACES PLACES [Bob], mother! [Kurt], CALL ME BY YOUR NAME [Courtney], LADY BIRD [Mike], and I, TONYA [Sean].

Personal WORST: The personal low-lights were THE RITUAL [Kurt], THE CONFORMIST [Bob], VERONICA, [MIKE], and FIRST REFORMED [Sean].
 
 
Other Consensus Picks: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, THE CRESCENT, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, THE DISASTER ARTIST, LOVELESS, THE SHAPE OF WATER and THE FLORIDA PROJECT.
 
 
The ‘MASSIVE’ version is below. All our thoughts and impressions from offerings of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 497 – On Skis

Scheduling lately has been rough as summer winds down and school is starting and film festivals and then of course hurricanes. But we managed to pull something together with the help of our friend Darren Aronofsky and his mother! The aforementioned hurricanes actually help to facilitate a trip through TIFF that otherwise wasn’t going to happen; so there’re lots of titles there to get through from Bruckner to Zahler. Andrew has been playing catch-up on some bullshit titles of the last year or so as well as going back to earlier Fincher as refresher. Lastly, Twin Peaks Season 3 The Return has wrapped up and Kurt has a number of things to discuss about that little slice of mayhem. Lots to dig into this week folks, and we’re starting with the book of Genesis. So stick this in your ear and settle in.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

Would you like to know more…?

Rowthree Staff Summary of TIFF 2016

Our traditional round-up of impressions and reactions to the massive slate of Toronto International Film Festival has arrived in its ninth edition here in the third row. A always been the case, Row Three staff and contributors along with a few a regular reader or two provide a tiny capsule, a postcard if you will, of all the films that they saw at the festival, accompanied by an identifier-tag: [BEST], [LOVED], [LIKED], [DISLIKED], [DISAPPOINTED], [FELL ASLEEP], [WALKED OUT], [HATED] and [WORST].

Collectively we – Kurt Halfyard, Matt Brown, Bob Turnbull, Mike Rot, Ariel Fisher and Sean Kelly – saw a sizable chunk of the 300+ films shown at the festival. Hopefully this post can act as a ‘rough guide’ for films that will be finding distribution on some platform, whether on the big screen, or small internet enabled screen, in the next 18 months.
 
 

THE SHORT VERSION:

Personal BEST: MOONLIGHT [Mike Rot], [Ariel] & [Matt B.], MANCHESTER BY THE SEA [Bob], NOCTURNAL ANIMALS [Kurt], and LA LA LAND [Sean].

Personal WORST: Several folks were not willing to truly hate anything they saw this year (and that’s cool) but the low-lights were: THE DUELIST [Kurt], ONCE AGAIN [Bob], and DOG EAT DOG [Sean].
 
 
Other Consensus Picks: PATERSON, PERSONAL SHOPPER, CERTAIN WOMEN, AFTER THE STORM, RAW, LOVING and GRADUATION.
 
 
The ‘MASSIVE’ version is below. All our thoughts and impressions from offerings of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 456 – So Far So Good…

The summer of 2016 officially winds down to a stop (thank the maker) as The Toronto International Film Festival comes to a close. Kurt spends a good chunk of this episode going through the best of the fest (from his perspective) and one or two things that didn’t work out quite as well as one would hope. Before we get there, we join Antoine Fuqua and his Magnificent Seven as they attempt to defeat the evil, mining industrialist, Peter Sarsgaard. It’s as close to an A-list cast as one can hope for these days, so does that pay off on the IMAX screen as it once did for the Western Blockbuster (if there ever was such a thing)? Lastly, Andrew has clearly had some time away from recording and producing to see quite a fair number of films. And breezes through a half-dozen of those before the boys call it a done deal. Regrets for not tying off the DePalma retrospective with a Scarface ribbon this week as promised; though that is in the works for next episode.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

Would you like to know more…?

TIFF 2016 Review: Free Fire

TIFF 2016 Review

One of the most wonderful things about Free Fire is its simplicity. Coming from a filmmaker who has more often than not leaned on the edge of cerebral, this proves as a magnificent departure. A straight shoot-em-up action film, Free Fire delivers on its premise, without overcomplicating things.

The film takes place in the Boston of 1978. Two IRA members are meeting with a couple of American arms dealers to broker a deal. Tensions are high at the offset, and everything goes south incredibly quickly. What results is a high-octane shootout in the vein of Hard Boiled (1992) and Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).

Free Fire Original Poster

The film features Brie Larson as, presumably, the token chick, Justine. The go-between for IRA members Frank (Wheatley regular Michael Smiley) and Chris (Cillian Murphy), and South African and American arms dealers Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Martin (Babou Ceesay) respectively, Justine is the conductor of this soon-to-be-derailed train. But her tokenism (and, arguably, Martin’s) is quickly debunked. Both Justine and Martin are integral to the both the premise and execution of the film.

Larson’s turn as Justine is yet another reason to love her as an actress. She sheds the delicate or wounded skin of her previous characters from Short Term 12 (2013), The Spectacular Now (2013) and Room (2015). In its place is a suit of armor with matching heels. Equal parts feminine and ferocious, Larson is a refreshing joy.

With character actors like Ceesay, Smiley, and Noah Taylor alongside Copley, Murphy, Sam Riley, and a hilarious Armie Hammer, the whole ensemble works together brilliantly. Tossed in with excellent editing, wonderful sound and set design, a fantastic score, and some of the best writing we’ve seen yet from Wheatley and partner in crime and life Amy Jump, Free Fire is quite possibly the tightest, strongest film from Wheatley’s oeuvre.

Trailer: Mascots

IT has been far too long since the last Christopher Guest feature, a decade in fact, with ‘Awards Season’ spoof, For Your Consideration. Short run television aside (2013’s “Family Tree”), Guest and the superb repertory group he has assembled over the years are back with fresh mock-doc, Mascots, courtesy of Netflix. Check out the trailer below.

Friday One Sheet: Buster’s Mal Heart

I became an instant fan of director Sarah Adina Smith after seeing her debut film, The Midnight Swim, at Fantasia a couple years ago. She’s back with her second feature, starring Rami Malek (and there are no shortage of Mr. Robot fans out there.) Pitched somewhere between Memento and Talk Radio, the poster immediately offers cues of things not being right. The backwards clock numbers, the odd reflection of Malek’s eyes, and the mildew-brown colour palette, which are evocative of Barton Fink.

The film premieres at Toronto International Film Festival shortly.

Cinecast Episode 443 – Cheerfully Sleazy

No katana-wielding turtles and no angry birds knocking down buildings under construction. Sorry, that’s our own integrity as serious journalists simply taking a stand. Across this line, YOU DO NOT… also dude, the indie scene was not looking much better according to the outside reviews. So in preparation for the upcoming documentary, De Palma, we’ve decided this week to take a look back at the very early career of the man, with Hi, Mom!, from 1970. Perhaps more interesting, this is pre-Mean Streets Robert De Niro; and man there is a lot going on in this film. Also as promised, we’ve got an all new top five list celebrating the shorter films of greatness. A small Watch List about robots and the cinematic state of A.I. rounds out this lovely little show.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 
 

hi-mom-poster

 
Would you like to know more…?

Rowthree Staff Summary of TIFF 2015

Welcome to our eighth annual Toronto International Film Festival wrap-up post. As has always been the case, regular Row Three contributors along with a few readers provide a tiny capsule, a postcard if you will, of all the films that they saw at the festival, accompanied by an identifier-tag: [BEST], [LOVED], [LIKED], [DISLIKED], [DISAPPOINTED], [FELL ASLEEP], [WALKED OUT], [HATED] and [WORST].

Collectively we – Kurt Halfyard, Matt Brown, Matthew Price, Ryan McNeil, Bob Turnbull, Mike Rot, Ariel Fisher and Sean Kelly – saw almost half of the 350 films shown at the festival and hopefully this post can act as a ‘rough guide’ for films that will be finding distribution on some platform, whether on the big screen, or small internet enabled screen, in the next 18 months.

THE SHORT VERSION:

Personal BEST: ARABIAN NIGHTS [Kurt] & [Matt B.], ANOMALISA [Mike Rot] & [Ryan], OUR LITTLE SISTER [Bob], SHERPA [Ariel], and THE SLEEPING GIANT [Sean].

Personal WORST: OFFICE [Kurt], HIGH-RISE [Mike], THE MISSING GIRL [Matt B.], THE WAVE [Bob], LACE CRATER [Ariel], LONDON ROAD [Sean], and THE LOBSTER* [Ryan].

Other Consensus Picks: LOUDER THAN BOMBS, THE MARTIAN, SICARIO, AN, DEMOLITION, VICTORIA, DHEEPAN, BEASTS OF NO NATION, GREEN ROOM, and EQUALS.

The ‘MASSIVE’ version is below. All our thoughts and impressions from the 2015 Edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Would you like to know more…?