the-inbetween posts categorized as Film and TV

TIFF: “Seraphim Falls”

The film festival is over but I’m still catching up. Last Wednesday evening I caught the (world?) premiere of Seraphim Falls, a western starring Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson. Though everything else is starting to blur — it feels as though it’s been ages since I saw the film — several scenes from this still stand out prominently. There are some truly memorable moments in Seraphim Falls. Unfortunately, the film as a whole is a lot harder to take. I’m…

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TIFF: Quick “The Fountain” impressions

It is 10pm and I’m home between movies. I just saw “Retrieval” and I have “Severance” coming up at midnight. Earlier this afternoon I saw The Fountain. It was an… interesting movie. A lot of people are going to dislike it. I predict that many will interpret the tales too literally, which is partly due to how the movie is being pushed. It is not a story of some immortal-like man living through different times trying to save a woman…

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TIFF: “Rescue Dawn”

Perhaps it’s shocking, but this is the first Werner Herzog film that I’ve seen. Ever. Based on the acclaim and the status that Herzog has, though, Rescue Dawn seems like a bad first introduction. It is a good film — by no means is it bad — but most of the reviews that I’ve seen say that it is a poor Herzog film. Of course, I don’t know that canon so I can only look at it as its own…

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TIFF: “Volver” and “Winter Journey”

I was never a fan of Penelope Cruz. The few roles that I had seen her in didn’t convince me and I was unsure of where the superlatives describing her came from. After seeing “Volver” I think I’m having a change of heart. Cruz is outstanding, really gorgeous, and superlative-worthy. Her character is the movie. Everything else seems secondary. As great as the movie was, the unfortunate thing about the screening was that we (my sister and I) were stuck…

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TIFF: “Born and Bred” and “Jade Warrior”

Friday had two world premieres, the Argentine “Born and Bred” and the Sino-Finnish (?) “Jade Warrior“. Jade Warrior is an interesting amalgam. A romantic epic wuxia film taking place in both modern Finland and ancient China, connected through a mythology that takes its roots from ancient tales from both cultures and the (slight) links between them. It’s ambitious and it has its moments, like the fine finale, but everything leading up to that felt too forced for my tastes. The…

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TIFF: “Climates” (“Iklimer”)

After just two movies, Nuri Bilge Ceylan is quickly becoming one of my favourite new directors and he (along with the film Gegen Die Wand) is making me want to take a good long look at Turkish cinema. Climates (trailer), much like his previous film Distant, is a very sparse movie. Dialogue is minimal and in its place there are many slow, long shots of characters in deep thought. These moments work because of the acting and the direction. They…

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TIFF

The 2006 Toronto Film Festival begins today. It marks that start of what is quickly becoming one of my favourite times of the year. An annual tradition. Sure, it’s only my second time attending, but it’s two consecutive years and that’s enough to warrant it being called an “annual tradition”. As with last year, I didn’t buy any advance passes or tickets and just took my chances with the online system once the individual tickets went on sale. Yes, the…

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Movies of March

March comes to an end and with it another month of watching movies. It started with a personal pledge to watch a film a day in February, but it has grown to two months and, grander still, a full year. The one movie per day rule is dead, but the target average remains. 365 movies in a year. And since I didn’t start keeping track until February, I have some catching up to do. The following are the films I…

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Monthly Watchings

A day after my movie watching birthday weekend, I pledged to myself that I will watch at least one movie per day for the rest of February. A February Movie Watching Month, if you’d like. A FeMoWaMo. I went through my “shrinkwrap shrine”, watching a number of the unwatched movies that I own. I got a zip.ca membership. I rented movies from a store. I caught some on TV and, when I was at my parents’ place, on The Movie…

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On Torino’s Coverage

With yet another absurdist ceremony, the 20th Winter Olympic Games came to a close. They finale had its moments, I guess (like the flaming head skater guys!), but they always feel so counter-Olympic. You spend two weeks watching great, competitive events with the worlds greatest athletes only to end with hundreds of clowns doing a carnival rendition of YMCA. What!? The worst part of the ceremony (next to Ricky Martin) was the small segment done by Vancouver’s comittee in anticipation…

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Weekend Watchings

The weekend was spent on my parents’ couch at my parents’ place watching a lot of (my parents’) TV, snacking on almonds and cake (of the birthday variety). The Sunday also had “The Big Game”™® and, really, it was quite boring. I don’t watch a lot of football, but for a game billing itself as the biggest in the world (yeah, wait til’ July 9th for that), it was really dull. You sit for a couple of minutes through commercials…

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Super Limited Ultra Mega Director’s Cut Edition Plus

I was on the phone with my sister when I walked into an HMV, curious about what new releases were displayed under New Releases. “Ooooooooh,” I breathed into the receiver, “there’s a Criterion version of Ran now. But it’s fifty bucks. I really shouldn’t buy it.” After the conversation finished, I bought it. The fortunate part of the story is that on several prior occassions I had opted to not purchase this great film because I didn’t know which version…

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Two Fifty

Two Fifty focuses on one small idea and does it well. It gives you a checklist of movies and you mark them off when you see them. That’s it. It works. The only problem that I have is that it uses IMDB’s arguably dubious Top 250 list. I wish there were multiple pre-defined lists for the ultimate in lazy. One thing that I’ve wanted to do recently, ever since I found a DVD rental store that was completely stacked with…

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