When it comes down to it, we should all be glad Niagara Falls exists. Yes, it’s a gash in the landscape surrounded by tack, but on the other hand, it’s a guaranteed day you don’t have to look after your friends or relatives when they come to visit. Just put them on a bus and forget about them. The George F. Walker penned film, Niagara Motel could probably do some damage to this tourist trafficking, featuring Glaswegian (and Drew Carey renegade) Craig Ferguson as a drunken janitor, lamenting the death of his wife, who fell off the Maid in the Mist. Intriguingly, the film faces direct competition from Escape from Happiness, the George F. Walker penned play starting on Saturday at the Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst) that has far better reviews.
Torontoist has however seen Thank you for Smoking, Jason ‘Son of the guy who made Ghostbusters’ Reitman’s unusual satire of Big Tobacco vs. legislation, and the spin that surrounds it. Centring on the (smarmy but intentionally sympathetic) lobbyist for Big Tobacco Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart), the film has some quite unusual morals for Hollywood. Pushing an unashamedly Libertarian ethic (it’s your right to smoke, and the government can jolly well keep their big noses out of it) anyone who can accept and see the slant the film has will find and enjoyable satire that allows the viewer to explore a different perspective from the norm. The entire movie is also stolen initially by a wonderful credits sequence (seriously) and then by O.C. golden boy Adam Brody in a hilarious cameo as an assistant at an L.A. talent agency.
Katie Holmes sucks in it, though.
Cinematheque Ontario continues this week with more Peckinpah and the beginning of its season of Françoise Dorléac films. Viewers who think they can stomach a gut churning, near sociopathic ambiguity are well advised to check out Straw Dogs, tonight at 8:45pm, but any of the films featuring the gorgeous Françoise Dorléac are likely to be far easier on the eyes. Sister of Catherine Deneuve and her life tragically cut short by a car accident in 1967, Cinematheque have collected some of her finest works in a fitting tribute to this largely underappreciated star. Tonight’s La Peau Douce (6:30pm) is the pick, a glorious, messy love triangle featuring a truly cathartic, shocking ending, believed by many to be one of Francois Truffaut’s best films, but Polanski fans should certainly check out a rare showing of a full length Cul-De-Sac (8:45pm, Monday 27th) his unusual black comedy. All showings are at Jackman Hall, AGO, 317 Dundas W.
Last but not least, of course, is tonight’s Kung Fu Friday, Enter the Fat Dragon (9:45pm at the Revue, 400 Roncevalles) starring Hong Kong legend Sammo Hung in a loving tribute to Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, Kung Fu Friday curator Colin Geddes considers it a bit of a Toronto cult favourite, and with the last Kung Fu Friday a near sellout, be sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment.