It’s ridiculously easy for Toronto movie-goers to forget how fortunate they are, largely because of the Toronto International Film Festival. Sure, the T-dot has loads of other excellent festivals – Toronto After Dark, Hot Docs, Rendezvous with Madness, Reel Asian, etc etc – plus a healthy independent and repertory scene.
It may seem like it’s all sweetness and light in Hollywood, but the stakes for success are incredibly high, with millions of dollars and fragile reputations on the line. Few things drive that point home like a summary of box office disasters. After all, numbers don’t lie.
Year-end lists are always controversial and tend to get people’s shorts in a knot, which is why every media outlet on the planet creates them. You can’t buy hullabaloo that solid. But lists are seldom as decisive as those routinely put together by venerable magazine Rolling Stone, and their latest best of 2011 issue continues the tradition.
Movies are the perfect Christmas Day respite from excessive helpings of food and family and as usual, several notable titles are opening on December 25, with several more opening just beforehand. Here are some best-bet post-tofurkey options.
Like most people, I love Christmas movies and have a personal list of favourites I seem capable of viewing over and over, year after year. Yet as much as I love these films, I despise the sickly sweet sentimentality that pervades even the best of them.
So what’s the ideal antidote to the disgustingly happy families and pristinely decorated homes featured in traditional Hollywood Christmas fare? Evil, of course, but you can only watch Bad Santa so many times (and I know whereof I speak with regards to THAT little gem).
When January arrives with a thud, bringing with it all those terrible movies that studios offload into cinemas at the grimmest time of the year, the light on the horizon will be the next edition of Doc Soup.
The monthly documentary series - which brings outstanding films to cinemas across Canada - screens An African Election, director Jarreth Merz’s suspenseful and highly acclaimed political drama tracking the high-stakes mayhem of the 2008 presidential election in Ghana, West Africa. Check out the trailer below.
Anyone who thought the fictionalized Lords of Dogtown was the last word in skateboarding movies might want to make a point of catching Dragonslayer, an intriguing if occasionally sluggish documentary by first-time filmmaker Tristan Patterson that opens today (Friday, December 16) for a limited run at Toronto’s Royal Cinema.
I can’t even imagine how painstaking a process this was to put together – especially since it includes scenes from forthcoming films. But editor Matt Shapiro's trailer Cinescape 2011 – currently getting props from Huffington Post Canada - is one of the best movie mashups, like, ever.
As the HuffPost notes, Shapiro cherrypicks scenes from 250 of this year's movies, blending them into a surprisingly coherent and hugely entertaining six-and-half minute piece and “making one of the weakest years for original scripts look somehow inspired.”
They’re not exactly the most prestigious statues in the film canon—and they certainly recognize fan favourites over more highbrow fare—but the annual Golden Globe Awards signal the proper kick-off to awards season.
It’s not opening until summer 2012, but the first trailer for the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages – starring Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman and Russell Brand – is out and begging for scrutiny. Check it out below.