First off, here’s two additional pictures from dragon boat weekend last week taken by team member’s family and friends.
So, Toronto International Film Festival is done for another year. Saturday, G and I stood in a forever line outside the Visa Screening Room (aka, the Elgin) to see the following:
“Chinelet” is the best way to describe this latest film by director, Feng Xiaogang. It is Hamlet, Chinese-style (minus the ghost). Stars the uber-pretty (if vacant) Ziyi Zhang as Lady MacBeth, Daniel Wu as Hamlet, Xun Zhou (ex-Perhaps Love) as Ophelia, the oh-so-handsome Xiaoming Huang as Laertes, and You Ge as Claudius, roughly speaking of course. This film is ravishing and sumptuous and gorgeous and beautiful and stunning, thanks to the expert eye of Zhang Li behind the cameras. Storywise, it is a poor telling of Hamlet to say the least. I had no connection, whatsoever, to any of the characters (Huang aside but that was solely sexual). This film is certainly worth seeing just for the sheer lavishness of the on screen images. And “GO BIG” as the folks at Cineplex Oden are so fond of telling us when you do go see it. All style, no substance but oh-my, such style! My rating: 7 out of 10.
Christopher Smith, who did “Creep” in 2004, did this gorefest of a movie with a decidedly funny angle. This film mocks the international arms syndicate by slowly (and totally gruesomely) killing off members of Palisades Defense, who find themselves in Hungry for a staff retreat of a vicious kind. Fine performances throughout . It is NOT a movie for kids so be warned. This film proves, like Dog Soldiers before it, just how far behind Hollywood truly is when it comes to movies of this genre. It puts any lame entry into the genre by Hollywood to utter shame. My rating: 8 out of 10.
Other Films this Weekend
In addition to these two Film Festival flicks, I did spend the weekend moviewhoring and also watched:
The Story of Weeping Camel
Directed by Mongolian, Byambasuren Davaa, this wonderful gem concerns the story of an albino camel born, then rejected, by it’s mother. The story is simple, as one would hope with a film/documentary of this ilk. After trying several options, the family send sons, Dude and Ogna out through the Gobi desert to find a violinist in Tiamet Centre who can perform an ancient ritual to reunite mother and calf. Well worth a rent and full of beautiful, stark images of the desert. My rating: 8 out of 10.
G rented this fun action-adventure flick made back in 2002 Friday. Stars Jason Statham and directed by Louis Leterrier (who is presently working on Incredible Hulk). Story revolves around ex-military good guy, Frank Martin, who now spends his time ‘transporting’ packages (no questions asked) for bad guys. Despite his rules never to open the package, curiosity gets the better of him and he, naturally, ends up in deep do-do as a result. Lame story concerning smuggled asians follows. Fun, action-packed, and best of all non-Hollywood. Transporter 2 is also out now and probably worth a look. My rating: 6 out of 10.
Breakfast on Pluto
Jordan (The Crying Game, The Good Thief, among others) directs this
strange film of a young Irish lad/transvestite, “Kitten” played by a
pre-Red Eye, Cillian Murphy, in search of his awol mother and father.
On route, he stumbles into cabaret singing, magician assisting and the
IRA … of all things … before ending up finding his father who is a
Roman Catholic priest (of course!) played by none other than Liam
Neeson. Got all that?! Yeh, I know, a lot going on. My rating: 5 out of
Take Me Out To The Ball Game
afternoon, G and I ventured down to Rogers Centre to see the Blue Jays
beat up on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Woohoo! It was good fun to spend
an afternoon with hot dogs and popcorn and dodging foul balls. We had
primo seats thanks to S right behind home plate. It was a perfect day
for a game!