In the post-Christmas period, there aren’t usually a lot of films released, and this year it’s no different; really we’re all just twiddling our thumbs waiting for the new Cinematheque season, right?
Well, there’s still some things of note this week; this Wednesday the first Doc Soup screening of the year hits, with a screening of Jesus Camp at the Bloor (506 Bloor W.) at both 6:30 & 9:15 pm. The filmmakers will be present at the late screening, and unless we’re wrong this is the first time they’ve shown a Doc Soup film twice, which is incredibly welcome as we’ve been to some unbearably busy showings (A State of Mind sticks out in ours.)
And this Sunday at 12:30pm the Sprockets Globetrotter presents Heda Hoda at the Cineplex Odeon Grande Sheppard (4861 Yonge.) Heda Hoda means “The Blind Camel” and is about an Indian boy’s troubles trying to reign in the titular camel’s wanderings dangerously close to the Pakistan border.
Anyway, this week the film that’s getting the most press is Dangerous Minds*, in which a high school teacher challenges their students, a rag-tag bunch of delinquents and racial minorities, to perform better though her radical teaching methods. Now’s Glenn Sumi seems to like it, and says that BlackBoard Jungle* is “watchable and even somewhat inspiring”, but Eye’s Adam Nayman is a bit harsher about Sister Act II*, calling it “blinkered bunk that reduces its source material’s cacophony of voices into a stale, inspirational monotone.”
*Freedom Writers, obviously. Just because it’s based on another true story doesn’t mean you are allowed to get away with making the EXACT SAME FILM FOR LIKE THE BILLIONTH TIME
Well, there’s also Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, directed by Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer, which apparently doesn’t stink, despite retaining “a strange and delightful pungency” according to Eye’s Jason Anderson.
Finally there’s Happily N’Ever After, which is nearly (but not quite) as bad as Freedom Writers, because it’s yet another CGI film that just lazily takes its style from the last couple to come along. So we have the Shrek series, Hoodwinked and now this. Um, yay. Why isn’t anyone making CGI films that are different? Oh look, they’re making a fish film, let’s make one too. Oh! A film about woodland animals, you say? Well, we’d better crap one out as quickly as possible.
Recently Torontoist has discovered that meerkats are incredibly interesting (and cute) after watching far more of Meerkat Manor than you might expect us to (it’s all in Bill Nighy’s voice) and we feel confident enough to bet you there will be a couple of meerkat films out as soon as people get bored of penguins. Yes.
Ahem, Happily N’Ever After. Jason Anderson says it “sinks well below the standard of contemporary kiddie pics with its feeble wisecracks, primitive animation and C-list cast”. So, we’ll n’ever bother to see it, then.