Special Presentations

TIFF 2014: Before We Go Review

Before We Go Special Presentations It’s not that actor Chris Evans has made a particularly bad film with his debut effort as a director, but he’s certainly made something that aims low and still feels fairly uninspired. There’s plenty of “witty” banter, little substance that makes sense, and a pair of leads (including Evans) that […]

TIFF 2014: Ned Rifle Review

Ned Rifle Special Presentations Ned Rifle is on a mission to kill his father in the third and final film of Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool trilogy. We’re not provided with much backstory, but suffice it to say that Ned’s parents aren’t very good people. His mother Fay (Parker Posey) is in prison for terrorism, and […]

TIFF 2014: Time Out of Mind Review

Time Out of Mind Special Presentations I’ll admit a bit of a bias here since I once went through a period where I was homeless, so on some level I think the experience of what it’s like living on city streets in the latest film from Oren Moverman (The Messenger, Rampart) is a bit too […]

TIFF 2014: Cake Review

Cake Special Presentations A great, but not exactly against type turn from Jennifer Aniston can’t salvage this slovenly, misshapen dramedy about an angrily depressed pill popping woman with chronic pain and a wealth of repressed feelings. Claire (Aniston) has separated from her husband and lost her child following a tragic accident. She goes through her […]

TIFF 2014: 99 Homes Review

99 Homes Special Presentations Essentially Wall Street for the era of the U.S. bailout and sub-prime mortgage collapse, this assured return to form for filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Goodbye Solo, At Any Price) benefits from a wealth of style and tension and a pair of exceptionally matched leading performances. After being evicted from […]

TIFF 2014: Good Kill Review

Good Kill  Special Presentations Voltage Pictures had a huge hit six years ago with The Hurt Locker. This year they deliver a very different kind of war movie with Good Kill. Ethan Hawke plays Tommy Egan, an ex fighter pilot who now fights terrorists 7000 miles away as a drone pilot based in Las Vegas. While the bomb […]

TIFF 2014: The Imitation Game Review

The Imitation Game Special Presentations Benedict Cumberbatch carries the day in a role that feels almost custom made for the sort of droll loner act he has been perfecting across his past several films and his hit TV series, Sherlock. Only this time, he’s certain to get some award season buzz because he’s playing noted […]

TIFF 2014: Top Five Review

Top Five Special Presentations Chris Rock has been appearing in films since the 80s, but they’ve rarely ever managed to capture what it is that makes him special. Much like Richard Pryor before him, Hollywood producers saw a brilliant, honest, and vicious stand-up comic and cast Rock in mugging slapstick roles unsuited to his talents. […]

TIFF 2014: While We’re Young Review

While We’re Young Special Presentations Noah Baumbach’s bitter little filmmaking pill has never been wildly popular, but he’s been surprisingly consistent enough to earn and maintain a healthy cult of support. That small audience of angry people with a sweet tooth for bitter comedy should be quite pleased by the writer/director’s latest effort, particularly after […]

TIFF 2014: The Good Lie Review

The Good Lie Special Presentations Nothing at all like its extemely misleading marketing campaign, the refugee and immigration drama The Good Lie proves that Canadian filmmaker Philippe Falardeau (the Oscar nominated Monsieur Lazhar) can make the leap to Hollywood without sacrificing his voice or artistic integrity. Following the Sudanese civil war that began in the […]

TIFF 2014: The Cobbler Review

The Cobbler Special Presentations I only have 300 words or less to explain The Cobbler, but I doubt I could adequately convey anything about it in less than 30,000 words. How else would one describe one of the most original and bafflingly crazy misfires you’ve ever seen? Like Ishtar, it’s a film that will someday […]

TIFF 2014: The Theory of Everything Review

The Theory of Everything Special Presentations A mostly well rounded biopic that looks at the relationship between renowned scientific mastermind Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde, The Theory of Everything marks a return to fictional filmmaking for James Marsh after his direction of Man on Wire and Project Nim. Eddie Redmayne transforms himself […]

TIFF 2014: Beyond the Lights Review

Beyond The Lights Special Presentations When you get past its standard romantic drama trappings, Beyond The Lights makes some pretty strong statements about the use of women in entertainment and the lack of artistry in the music business. Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), with her power house voice and sexy body, has been groomed from a very […]

TIFF 2014: Men, Women, & Children Review

Men, Women, & Children Special Presentations Despite chronically lapsing into the kind of melodrama that only parents who would bubble wrap their kids to keep them from from getting hurt would love, this story of the internets and the interconnectedness of our daily wired lives told through the microcosm of a small Texas town represents […]

TIFF 2014: Nightcrawler Review

Nightcrawler Special Presentatons Jake Gyllenhaal delivers easily a career best performance as an amoral psychopath drawn into the highly profitable world of freelance journalism, capturing grisly crime scene footage throughout the overnights and selling it to the highest bidding local news source. The directorial debut for screenwriter Dan Gilroy (Real Steel, Freejack, The Bourne Legacy), […]