Technically, the season of films that you may have paid a premium to see early began last week—though admittedly, often with talent in attendance—at TIFF, with Midnight Madness opener Jennifer’s Body receiving a full release (while TIFF was still on, too!). This week sees the release of TIFF films Bright Star and The Boys are Back, both of which have received decent enough reviews. But we’re not especially interested in that, because there’s a film festival currently running that rivals TIFF for its importance, NNAFF—the Nollywood North America Film Festival (though admittedly, it’s all the way out in Mississauga). We’ve previously mentioned our fascination with Nollywood, and the documentary which covers what is reputedly the world’s most productive film industry, Nollywood Babylon, plays this afternoon at at 5 p.m.
There are actually many important festivals running closer, however. There’s the Canadian Black Film Festival, Spinning Wheel Film Festival, and the Toronto Palestine Film Festival.
In terms of other cinema releases, while there isn’t very much to strike our fancy, there is Dead Snow (above), which played Toronto After Dark to some acclaim—most likely because it’s just Night of the Living Dead recast as Norwegian students battling an undead Nazi army. Combining cinema’s best baddies—Nazis and zombies—sounds like a fantastic idea, but something about the whole thing fails to excite us (probably the irritating students that are in it). But apparently, once the film begins to focus on their battle with the enemy, it’s decent—Andrew Dowler at NOW states that “it’s fun when it gets going.”
This week’s “big” films are Surrogates and Pandorum: one starring Bruce Willis versus a world of robot clones, and the other with Dennis Quaid versus a stranded spaceship full of monsters. Again, neither of these films particularly thrills us, but the Star‘s Peter Howell calls them “both okay, in a copycat sort of way”, so if either setting particularly excites you…
There’s also Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day. We’ve never really seen the appeal of the Trailer Park Boys, and this film is certainly aimed at people who are fans already—and for those people, Stephen Coles writes an illuminating review at the Globe and Mail.
Also out this week: Delta and It Might Get Loud.