If the advent of the CNE and endless TV ads for back-to-school merchandise – not to mention a whole aisle of Halloween stuff (!) at the local Dollarama – hadn’t already driven home the point that summer is closing and fall is just around the corner, this will.
The Downsview Park edition of ‘Movies Under the Stars’ – one of multiple venues nationwide offering free outdoor summertime movies – is hosting its last hurrah tonight (August 31) with a dusk screening of the 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz.
We were already stoked that the film Machine Gun Preacher – starring Gerard Butler and based on the true story of a former drug dealer reborn as a missionary saving kidnapped children in Sudan - was getting its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival ahead of its September 23 wide release date (trailer is below).
Now it appears Soundgarden screamer Chris Cornell has written and recorded a new original song called "The Keeper" for the album's lead track, which will be available for download prior to the album's release on August 30.
Anything that lessens the agony of Toronto’s subway system at rush hour – alleviating the flat-out anguish inflicted by assorted seat-hogging, loud-talking, grease-eating doorway blockers - is aces in our books.
So we welcome the news that the fifth annual Toronto Urban Film Festival (TUFF) – which brings various silent, one-minute films by filmmakers to 300 subway platform screens in 60 subway stations across Toronto – will once again be running from September 9 to 18, not coincidentally complementing another festival you may have heard of called TIFF.
Details about the way-cool, environmentally themed Planet in Focus festival are emerging and it’s safe to say that this year’s event – the 12th annual – is shaping up to be blockbuster.
Organizers have confirmed the gala opening and closing night films are the docs Revenge of the Electric Car, narrated by actor Tim Robbins and The Whale, narrated by Ryan Reynolds who, along with ex-wife Scarlett Johannson, also exec-produced.
Trailers for both movies are below.
It’s easily one of the most anticipated films in the pipeline. Now a trailer for renowned directed Martin Scorcese’s in-depth look at the life of late Beatle George Harrison has surfaced and it appears every bit as mind-blowing as something featuring interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Phil Spector, Tom Petty, George Martin and Jeff Lynne would be.
Not only that, but Harrison’s widow Olivia (also interviewed in the film) gave Scorcese unprecedented access to Harrison archival materials, including previously unseen photographs and film footage.
Those not lucky enough to be headed to Venice (swoon) for the annual film festival happening there later this month can get a sneak peek at one of the most coveted titles screening, legendary director Roman Polanski’s star-studded entry, Carnage.
The black, black comedy – featuring Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as sets of uptown/downtown parents thrown together when their respective sons get into a brawl – looks all kinds of crazy interesting.
Sci-fi and horror fans unafraid to have their suspension of disbelief dismantled with behind-the-scenes reveals of what it takes to make movie monsters look so scary will be keen to catch an upcoming, free exhibition slated for Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Otherworldly: The Art of Canadian Costume Design, which runs from September 2 to March of next year, will showcase costumes, sketches, artifacts and photos from Canadian designers on 15 sci-fi, horror and fantasy films including The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Bulletproof Monk, Saw VI, Splice, Johnny Mnemonic, Ginger Snaps 3, Videodrome and Repo! The Genetic Opera.
It always happens this way with the Toronto International Film Festival: just when you think programmers couldn’t possibly unveil any more must-see movies powered by killer plots, marquee talent, unlikely/intriguing provenance, Clive Owen or some combination of the four, another email alert lands in the inbox.
The just-released lineup of 8 galas and 17 special presentations is a cornucopia of thrills, with films touching on such bizarre/cool/awesome/terrifying subjects as vibrators, illicit sex, mortal combat, Nazi subterfuge, supernatural goings-on and, of course, alien invasion, without which no self-respecting festival would be complete.
With all due respect to Harry Potter, X-Men and the Green Lantern, by this point in the summer movie season, the idea of a small, quirky comedy – rather than a CGI-goosed bells-and-whistles blockbuster – sounds pretty appealing. Add a homegrown element and you’ve got yourself appointment viewing.
So-called sword-and-sandal movies (think Gladiator, 300, Ben-Hur) don’t come more visually sumptuous or intelligent than legendary director Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 epic Spartacus, starring a ridiculously fit Kirk Douglas in the title role, Laurence Oliver as the fabulously named Marcus Licinius Crassus and a stellar cast of others (Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov) certain to make anyone who blew coin on Channing Tatum’s pathetic The Eagle weep.