Posted Apr 17, 2010 in Arts, Events, LifeStyle | 0 Comments

Hot Wild Festival Machine

Again, I haven’t been a good boy and I haven’t seen all the films I recommended. “The Runaways,” which apparently is still going wide, was performance driven and passable, “Chloe” is next week, “Vincere” hasn’t come out in Canada yet, “Date Night” is tomorrow, if all works out.

What I have managed to see recently is “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Anything to avoid the Kraken, right? The movie has sharp, dirty dialogue that will make United Artists founder Mary Pickford roll on her grave. And it’s that kind of humour that’s actually effective. Surprisingly, the off-putting homophobic lines actually come from Lou (The Daily Show alumni Rob Corddry), a character really comfortable about crossing the lines of sexuality. I also like how the one who’s supposedly Adam (John Cusack) and Nick’s a-hole friend steals and carries the show. This movie feels like a better version of “The Hangover” with time travel, which thankfully means I don’t have to see “The Hangover.” And if you wanna feel nostalgic about the 80′s, this is the go to film for that.

To balance that ubiquitous movie is “The Wild Hunt.” Gotta show Quebec films some love, after all. The movie opens with a gritty, grubby scene of the Viking princess Evelyn-ia (Tiio Horn) being kidnapped. A few exchanges of cheesy lines about bravery follow just before they pull the curtain down. It’s a look but not the definitive story about Medieval role-playing that just so happens in Canada. The switch between fantasy and reality is seamless after that first scene I just described, and it becomes emotionally poignant as some players take the game too far. Evelyn is the centre of the drama, courted both by a Shaman Murtagh (the familiar looking Trevor Hayes) and her real boyfriend. The flirtation between Evelyn and Murtagh is well shot, and the battle to get her becomes nasty. Check it out. It’s in theatres in Montreal and Toronto as of last Friday.

The Kraken pretty much began the blockbuster season this year, and for this month it’s all gonna be movie like “Kick Ass” and “The Losers.” I’m more excited about the former than the latter. I’m crossing my fingers for “The Good Heart” and the Oscar-winning “The Secret in their Eyes” to come out soon since they are coming out in the US this month.

If blockbusters aren’t your thing and if you’re in Toronto, you can check out two festivals happening this month. The first one is the Toronto Silent Film Festival. Hard sell, I know. It already started earlier this week, and I can’t go to any of the events because of work. I’ve already seen Dziga Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera,” a dizzying love letter to 1920′s urban USSR. It’s playing at Innis Town Hall at UofT this Tuesday night the 13th, and you might wanna prepare $15 to get in. On Thursday night, April 15th is a Silent German Double Bill for $15 at Innis, and that’s the one I wanted to see.

The second festival and another hard sell is Hot Docs, starting at the 29th until May 9. They’re showing the classic documentaries like “Darwin’s Nightmare” (April 30) and “The Fog of War,” (May 8 ) but I wanna see new stuff too, like “1991 The Year Punk Broke” (May 1) and “Shadow Play: The Making of Anton Corbijn.” (May 7, 9) I’m buying my tickets the first chance I get.

A third alternative to the blockbuster would be the rep cinemas. If you wanna see Woody Allen or Hitchcock movies, the Bloor will be playing them from the 11th to the 16th. Or if you wanna relive your childhood in a spring afternoon, the Fox Theatre will be playing “E.T” at the 11th and “The Wizard of Oz” at the 17th.

(photo for “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “The Wild Hunt” courtesy of clothesonfilm and twitchfilm respectively)

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