Jason Reitman‘s latest film Men, Women & Children has screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, and we have compiled the tweets coming out of the first Press & Industry screening. Its a mix of mostly positive (18 people) but also negative (10 people), with some critics like Owen Gleiberman and Ed Douglas touting it as a complex return to form while others like Jeff Wells calling it “soulless” and Ben Lyons leaving the screening tweeting that the film made him “very, very angry…”. The public premiere happens at the Ryerson theatre tonight, and I expect we’ll see a more positive response from the non critic/industry audience.
Many didn’t respond to Reitman’s last film Labor Day, which I enjoyed – connecting with the coming of age stuff, which was filmed near my hometown and set in the period of my upbringing. But unlike Jason’s previous films, Labor Day didn’t have a lot to say about us. I’m excited for Men, Women & Children because it looks like its more in line with what I connected to in his previous films. You can read all of the compiled tweets and reviews after the jump.
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The Midnight Madness program at the Toronto Film Festival is one of the most reliable lineups of provocative genre movies each year — programmer Colin Geddes does a great job of choosing films that are memorable and full of new talent. Here’s the Cub trailer, which will be your first look at one of this year’s Midnight Madness titles.
Jonas Govaerts makes his debut as a director with the film, which tells the story of “a troupe of young Cub Scouts who find themselves stalked by a psychopathic huntsman who has riddled the forest with ingenious and deadly traps.” There’s some weird stuff and much bloody violence in this trailer. Oh, and the film boasts a score by Steve Moore, from the band Zombi, who also did music for Adam Wingard’s The Guest. You won’t hear the score here, but check out the trailer below. Read More »
This year is the tenth anniversary of Fantastic Fest, and the fest will close with a movie we’ve been anticipating over the past couple months: Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a seedy news reported in Los Angeles. That film was announced today along with a host of other movies, including the new Keanu Reeves film John Wick, for which Reeves will make his second appearance at the fest. Then there’s The Creeping Garden, a documentary about slime molds and the people who study them; neo-giallo thriller The Editor, and new Studio Ghibli movie The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and Sion Sono’s new film Tokyo Tribe.
The full second wave lineup is below. I’ve added trailers for most of the films. Note that I haven’t watched all those trailers in full yet, and there’s a chance that one or two are not safe for work. Read More »
Movie heaven comes to Austin, Texas during the third week of September. Not only is that when Fantastic Fest is happening (much more on that in the coming days) but the fine folks at Mondo are simultaneously hosting their first convention, MondoCon. But no, this isn’t going to be just a place to buy posters. As discussed a few months back, MondoCon will be a gathering for everything a movie fan or collector could desire.
Mondo has just released the full programming line-up, as well as a few small glimpses at the goodies. Among the highlights? A mini-gallery exhibition of work based on The Iron Giant, including that film’s score available on vinyl. The lost score to 2001: A Space Odyssey will be on sale along with a panel discussion. A never-made 1983 U.S. Godzilla film will be revealed through storyboards and concept images. Plus a screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with live score, the world premiere of a documentary on the 2000AD comic brand and much more.
And that’s just part of it. Will there be posters? You bet. Lots of surprise posters along with the first Alex Ross Mondo poster. Will there be guests? Tons, including newly annoucned names like Bryan Lee O’Malley, JC Richard and William Stout.
The event takes place September 20-21 in Austin and tickets are still on sale. Below, read the full programming press release. Read More »
2014 marks the tenth year of Fantastic Fest, and also the re-opening of the South Lamar location of the Alamo Drafthouse. The team has announced the first programming for Fantastic Fest X (or #FFX) with much more to come. The first round includes one of our Sundance faves, The Babadook (above), along with the US premiere of Kevin Smith‘s Tusk, and the debut of V/H/S/ Viral. We’ve got the full first wave list below, along with the fest’s poster (by Geoff Darrow!) and info on some of the other fest events, such as an Austin version of The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, and the Balderdash-like movie synopsis game Maltins, with Leonard Maltin in attendance to oversee proceedings. Read More »
It’s that time of the year, when the Toronto Film Festival begins to announce its giant movie line-up. In so doing, the film calendar formally begins the transition from summer to fall, as the more serious films of the festival circuit approach their debuts.
Foxcatcher (above; trailer here) will show up, as will the Reese Witherspoon film Wild (trailer), the strange-looking Jake Gyllenhaal crime film Nightcrawler (teaser), and Jon Stewart’s first film as a director, Rosewater. There will also be another notable directorial debut as the first film from Chris Evans, Before We Go, will play.
Below you’ll find a list of the Galas (big premieres of generally mainstream films, such as The Judge and The Equalizer) and the Special Presentations, which are often high-profile indies that have distribution already set. Some of these have already premiered at other festivals, while others make their world premiere at TIFF. There are 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced so far, with 37 world premieres. Other directors represented include Jason Reitman, Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, François Ozon, Hal Hartley, Mike Binder, Lone Scherfig, and Chris Rock.
While the festival’s opening night film has not yet been revealed, the closing presentation will be Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci, and Rickman. TIFF runs September 4-14. The full lineup as announced so far is below.
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NOTE: Life Itself is now in theaters and on demand. To mark the occasion, we’re republishing our interview with director Steve James that took place following the film’s premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Steve James credits Roger Ebert with launching his career. It was Ebert’s championing of James’ first film Hoop Dreams, at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival, which put that film on people’s radars. James scored an Oscar nomination and the film enjoyed a successful box office run. Afterwards, the two remained friends and James was eventually tasked with directing Life Itself, a documentary based on Ebert’s memoir.
Soon after filming began, Ebert tragically passed away. James endured and finished the film in time for the 20th anniversary of the beginning of his relationship with Ebert, the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It’s a gorgeous, heartbreaking look at the career of the man many consider to be the most influential film critic in history.
During Sundance I was lucky enough to talk to James about the film. We discussed his approach to the story, balancing the tragedy with humor, the relationship between critic and filmmaker, and the choice to include Gene Siskel’s story. Check it out below. Read More »
Editor’s Note: The following review was originally published on January 20th 2014 after a screening at the Sundance Film Festival. The review is being republished as the movie is hitting theaters.
A movie about the life of a film critic might sound a tad indulgent, but there’s never been another film critic with the influence and character of Roger Ebert. Almost anyone who’s ever seen a movie in the US (and many other countries) has heard his name or taken one of he and partner Gene Siskel’s patented “Two Thumbs Up” recommendations to the box office. As a young film fan, I remember scouring the TV Guide searching for the Sunday morning broadcasts of Siskel & Ebert, and devouring every episode. In particular, I’ll never forget an episode where Ebert dissected Quentin Tarantino’s camerawork in Pulp Fiction. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of film language. Ebert had that effect on a lot of people.
If Ebert opened up that world to people then Steve James‘ latest documentary Life Itself opens Ebert to the world. Based on Ebert’s autobiography of the same name, the film tells Ebert’s life story, yes, but it does so via the framework of our own love of the movies. Great care is taken to specifically illustrate not only how Ebert changed the face of film criticism, but how he helped us all discover our own passion for the movies.
Make no mistake though, this isn’t some simple love letter. Life Itself is a warts and all dissection as well as a beautiful tribute. Issues such as alcoholism, struggles with weight, ego and sex are all part of his story. This is a vast, entertaining and thought-provoking look at Ebert the man and Ebert the icon.
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