Without a doubt, this week we’d be letting cheapskate cinephiles down by failing to mention the CNISSU’s Free Friday Film of the week, which isn’t just one but three, starting at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex) with the remarkably hard-to-see The Monster Squad, followed by Toronto classic The Brood, and finished off with the excellent blaxploitation nonsense The Human Tornado, starring, of course, Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore). Check out the trailer, which is pretty much NSFW –- he uses an earthquake to make his milkshake!
Our one festival on offer is the Canadian Art Reel Artists Film Festival, a festival of documentaries about visual artists running until Sunday at the Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina). Picks include Matthew Barney: No Restraint, at 9 p.m. tonight.
And serious fare is on offer at the Royal (608 College) from tonight with a run of Iraq in Fragments, James Longley’s documentary on daily life in Iraq, nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars (which are this weekend, actually. We kind of forgot.). NOW’s Glenn Sumi says it’s “completely deserving of its shelfful of awards”, and that’s only a small smattering of the praise for it this week.
In fact, it probably used up all the praise this week as there’s very little else to recommend, by the sounds of things. While another Oscar contender, Days of Glory is given middling reviews (“Though the film’s storytelling can feel laboured and the dialogue too unsubtle”, says Eye’s Jason Anderson. Sounds like an Oscar winner to us!), everything else sounds like a bag of smelly underpants.
Oh, my God! This bag has exactly 23 smelly underpants in it!
Yes, there’s The Number 23, by “history’s greatest monster” Joel Schumacher. “There are 23 letters in the phrase “Joel Schumacher’s bad movie”, says someone that the Star hasn’t bothered to give a byline, but it’s the best quote of the week anyway.
There’s also The Astronaut Farmer, about Billy Bob Thornton as this guy with a barn full of astronauts chained to a milking machine. Don’t worry; he occasionally lets them out to graze.
Oh, if only that were true! Really it’s some inspirational bleh about a guy called Farmer who’s building a rocket in that barn to go into space but people don’t want him to, etc., etc., etc.
We can’t be sure, however, that we’d be that bothered if Billy Bob Thornton was shot into space.
And finally, if you’ve found yourself with absolutely nothing to do at all this weekend, you might want to check out Jacques Rivette’s Out 1: Noli Me Tangere, twelve hours of film split across two days at Cinematheque Ontario. Though the thought fills me with horror, if you have any urge to see it at all you might as well: it’ll probably be your only chance to ever see it (yes, it’s probably rarer than The Monster Squad).