It’s wild outside, huh? So wild that it allows us to segue into talking about Strange Wilderness first, for some reason. It surprises us that the last Happy Madison film that we saw was (the quite sweet, really) 50 First Dates. Strange Wilderness is only of interest to us because it has quite possibly the worst trailer we’ve ever seen on TV. It’s absolutely meaningless. It explains nothing about the (surely) threadbare plot of the film. It doesn’t have any bits that you could identify as “supposed to be funny,” even if you were being really charitable. Trailers are supposed to fool you into going to see bad films by front-loading all of the best bits! Strange Wilderness must be astonishingly terrible.
To be honest, our remaining obsession, Jason Anderson, sums it up in an appearance in The Globe and Mail: “Life is too short for bad comedy.” Sure, he’s only talking about the lame Eva Longoria Parker vehicle Over Her Dead Body, but it could also easily count for Strange Wilderness and the Canadian Love And Other Dilemmas, which was pulled apart by Metro’s Norm Wilner (“Neither writer Deborah Peraya nor director Larry Di Stefano appear to have the slightest understanding of logic—or character, or pacing…”).
As comedy doesn’t suit, there’s music in the form of Honeydripper—which played at TIFF and is “a heartfelt tribute to a music that has all too often been relegated to beer commercials,” according to NOW’s Andrew Dowler—and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten. To be honest (and this is just a personal opinion) as much as we love The Clash, Torontoist doesn’t think of Joe Strummer as that interesting, but the film—a sort of fireside chat about Strummer full of conflicting opinions—does sound rather good. The Sun’s Jim Slotek says that while director Temple “exhaustively posits Strummer as one of the most important cultural figures of the 20th century, you don’t have to share his opinion to be impressed by the movie.” It plays at the Royal this week.
Up The Yangtze, a Canada’s Top Ten film, plays, er, a lot this week, starting tonight as part of Canada’s Top Ten at Cinematheque Ontario. Sold out, but there’s a special screening on Sunday at the Empire Theatre (5095 Yonge Street) as a fundraiser for the Reel Asian Film Festival, and it also plays as part of Doc Soup at the Bloor on Wednesday. Oh, man! All of the film festival groups are claiming it!