The best sci-fi movies aren’t defined by their sci-fi elements. Hovercars, cool guns, time travel and other sci-fi tropes are merely used to put a unique spin and visual style on a story with themes universal to almost any genre. And if it does that by blowing your mind with some cool stuff? All the better.

Rian Johnson‘s Looper is very much in that vein. A time-travelling, sci-fi movie to be sure, ultimately the film features very unexpected, yet welcome, fundamental themes. It almost becomes something that feels out of place in a world of time-travelling assassins and hover bikes which, of course, is exactly the point. Johnson hooks you with big action and reels you in for bigger ideas and that’s why Looper is so damn good.

After the jump, continue reading my review of the film, which opens September 28 and just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and watch a 100% spoiler-free video blog about Looper. Read More »

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With the Toronto Film Festival set to get into full swing Thursday, we’ve already begun to see trailers and clips from all sorts of interesting independent releases. The latest is Twice Born, directed by Sergio Castellitto based on a novel by Margaret Mazzantini. Penelope Cruz stars as a mother who brings her 16-year-old son back to the city of his birth, Sarajevo, and is forced to relive the trials and tribulations she and her family faced during the wars of the 1990s. Emile Hirsch co-stars and, after the jump, you can see the first trailer for the film which premieres this week in Toronto. Read More »

Michael Winterbottom has to be one of the most versatile filmmakers working today. Seemingly every single film he releases is completely different whether its a thriller, comedy, period piece, documentary or some kind of hybrid. That’s what his latest film, Everyday, is. A blend of fiction and documentary, the film tells the story of how the imprisonment of a father changes the life of his wife and four children. To accurately portray the passage of time, Winterbottom has been shooting the film in bits and pieces over the course of five years. Now the film will finally premiere next month at the Toronto Film Festival.

After the jump, check out a short teaser trailer for this surely powerful film. Read More »

One of the most interesting things you find when reporting on Pixar is how far in advance the company works on something before the public gets wind of it. They rarely announce a feature until it’s years into development and we generally don’t hear about their award winning shorts until they’re almost complete.

For example, we first heard about La Luna in May 2011, 13 months before Brave was released but only four months before it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. We do know Pixar’s working on new Toy Story Toons but it seems another film, possibly titled Rainy City Tales, might screen at Telluride later this month or the Toronto Film Festival in September. Read about the rumors and see some hints about it after the jump.

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Last week saw the announcement of some of the big films that will be playing the Toronto International Film Festival in September. We’ll have a rundown of images from some of these soon, but in the meantime the lineups for the Documentary program and that always entertianing Midnight Madness have been revealed.

On the doc side, TIFF announced films such as Ken BurnsThe Central Park Five, Alex Gibney‘s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, and Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, which follow’s Zenovich’s own ’08 film Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

On the Midnight Madness side, there are premieres that we’re excited about, such as the horror anthology The ABC’s of Death, and Martin McDonagh‘s new film Seven Psychopaths (pictured above), which is his long-awaited next film after In Bruges. Rob Zombie is bringing The Lords of Salem, and Don Coscarelli‘s new picture John Dies at the End will show up, too.

Find a big list of new TIFF films, many of which could become some of our big points of interest for late 2012 and much of 2013, after the break. Read More »

As the blockbuster summer movie season slowly winds down, it’s time to look ahead to this fall’s festival circuit offerings. The Toronto International Film Festival has just unveiled its first wave of programming, and its slate so far looks pretty damn impressive.

This year’s TIFF will kick off with a bang, with Rian Johnson‘s action thriller Looper slotted for opening night. In the following days, the event will also showcase new features by David O. Russell, Terrence MalickJoe Wright, Noah Baumbach, Joss WhedonDerek CianfranceBen AffleckTom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings, among others. And that’s just for starters — expect still more announcements in the coming weeks. Hit the jump to check out the fifty or so titles revealed so far.

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Note: This review was first published on September 11th 2011, and the film was screened during the Toronto International Film Festival. Spurlock’s film is now available on demand, so we’re republishing the review. I’ve since seen the movie a second time and gladly recommend it to any pop culture geek I know.

When I first heard that Morgan Spurlock would be directing a documentary about San Diego Comic-Con International, I was worried that it would be a puff piece — a glorified direct to video infomercial. The fact that Spurlock chose to premiere the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival instead of in San Diego speaks towards its merits as a real film and not a Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice! prime-time tv special.

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Ghosts, kickboxing, Shakespeare and sibling rivalry are all at the center of Bunohan, a Malaysian film that had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival over the weekend and have its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest later this month. Written and directed by Dain Said, Bunohan (also called Return to Murder) is the story of how three brothers, each with a murderous profession, flee their home country and family only to find themselves back together in the titular small border town where they’re forced to deal with their pasts.

/Film is excited to premiere a bunch of exclusive stills from the film as well as some bad ass storyboards. Check those out, as well as the trailer and more, after the jump. Read More »

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