Films! Films films films films. Sometimes it’s hard to get this column started, so we just sit in front of a blank word document and type the word “films” until it doesn’t make any sense to us any more. But by then, we’ve got started typing, at least, and so we continue.
Cloverfield! Also, we just type the names of the films that are out that week with exclamation marks! In an attempt to get us excited! Are you excited for Cloverfield, dear readers? Off the basis of the original trailer, it seemed like there might be some good reason to be, but then we saw the recent trailers on TV. Apparently at some point they decided “natural-looking light” wasn’t good enough for them, so they’ve let someone go insane colour grading the film to the point that it no longer looks “real” at all. Missing what we thought was the point.
Eye’s Adam Nayman asks, “The images—explosions against the Manhattan skyline, panicked onlookers dusted with ash and debris, skyscrapers scraping together—are flatly allusive, but why?” And it’s a good point—if Cloverfield is absolutely all style and no substance, then it pales in comparison to Diary of the Dead, which is similarly shot from the view of a handheld camera “in the thick of it,” but actually manages to say something with it. We loved it at TIFF and it’s out in a month, so might be worth hanging onto your $15 dollars till then?
Very little else this week is likely to tempt that $15 out of your pocket. Pick of the bunch is probably Starting Out in the Evening, starring Frank Langella.
There’s Mad Money, so named because the female stars are clearly all absolutely bonkers and you’d be mad to spend your money to go and see it. 27 Dresses stars Katherine Heigl and the very likable James Marsden, but has been universally panned. And there’s something called The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie. If you’re old enough to read Torontoist, we think you’re old enough to skip that one.
There are a few docs that might be worth your time: Kurt Cobain About A Son is playing at the Bloor, which might excite those of you who aren’t tired of Kurt’s story utterly and completely. There’s Steep, an extreme skier doc which The Metro’s Norm Wilner considers an “intelligent, thoughtful look at a culture that seems almost suicidal from the outside.” And Metric: Live at Metropolis, a concert doc that, well, you’ll want to see if you like Metric, is showing at the Royal.
It’s not really that shocking to say that the most exciting thing to happen this week, the only thing to truly warrant an exclamation mark, is the return of Cinematheque Ontario! It kicks off with a screening of Sergei Bondarchuk’s legendary seven-hour War and Peace, which is now unfortunately sold out. If you’re up for it, however, you can still catch the omnibus this Sunday starting at 1 p.m. It’s the most expensive film ever made! One battle scene used over 100,000 extras! Very exciting.
If you can’t handle that, we’ve got two tickets to give away to Cinematheque Ontario’s lecture this Monday night at 7:30 p.m. Thomas Waugh on OUTRAGEOUS! (including a screening of the “paradoxical paving stone of Canadian queer cinema in the Seventies”). Just shoot us an e-mail at before midnight tonight and if you’re randomly selected, we’ll contact you on Monday before noon to let you know. [edit: The contest is now closed. Thanks to all entrants!]
And yes, OUTRAGEOUS! came with its own exclamation mark.