Film

by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 5

September 20, 2018
TIFF5

Our fifth and final dispatch from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first, the second, the third, and the fourth) represents perhaps our most eclectic group of films yet: There are acclaimed filmmakers whose new works were seemingly passed on by some of the season’s other major fests (Xavier Dolan’s The Life and Death of John F. Donovan, Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro), an under-the-radar directing pair whose latest has been slowly accruing buzz since its Cannes premiere (Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s Birds of Passage), a hotly tipped fall…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 4

September 18, 2018
TIFF4

Our fourth dispatch from the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first, the second, and the third) continues sifting through the various cinematic voices, styles, and pedigrees that make-up this year’s official slate. This time, we offer our takes on a big historical epic from a mainstay of international cinema (Mike Leigh’s Peterloo), the sophomore feature from a breakout director of the film festival circuit (Laszlo Nemes’s Sunset), prestige Hollywood actor fare (Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carrell in Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy, Lucas Hedges in his dad Peter Hedges’s Ben Is Back),…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Predator | Shane Black

September 14, 2018
THE PREDATOR

The stripped-down premise and formal exactitude of John McTiernan’s 1987 Predator are precisely not present in Shane Black’s The Predator, the latest attempt to drag-out and elaborate on a franchise that shouldn’t be burdened by much more than ‘scary monster kills people.’ This new installment collapses under the weight of four separate groups of characters whose plot strands strain to intertwine before the show can get rolling — and what’s worse, Black’s film bears all the hallmarks…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 3

September 13, 2018
TIFF3

Our third dispatch from the Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first and here’s the second) includes our takes on a few hold-overs from this year’s Cannes slate (Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I & II, Gaspar Noe’s Climax, Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun), a couple of mammoth documentaries (Wang Bing’s Dead Souls, Frederick Wiseman’s Monrovia, Indiana), high-concept films by two of international cinema’s most accomplished formalists (Zhang Yimou’s Shadow, Christian Petzold’s Transit), and a movie by that guy who got blasted with a shotgun by Naomi Watts (Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux).…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 2

September 11, 2018
TIFF2

Our second dispatch from the Toronto International Film Festival (here’s the first) acts as a nice microcosm of the fest as a whole, and of what distinguishes it on the international stage — namely, it’s breadth. The newfound restraint employed by TIFF’s programming still sees over 300 films screen across a variety of distinct programs. In this dispatch, we take a look at a work of avant-garde cinema from Wavelengths (Andrea Bussmann’s Fausto), a blockbuster film from Midnight Madness (David Gordon Green’s Halloween), a serious-minded…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2018 – Dispatch 1

September 7, 2018
Image Book

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival, it has to be said, looks as if it may be one of the strongest slates since our site first started covering the fest, a full 10 years ago. There are a number of reasons why this could be: As with many of the fall fests, TIFF’s programming draws in part on films from the earlier part of the year, and notably from an exemplary 2018 Cannes Film Festival line-up. This year also feels like something…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

Kin | Jonathan & Josh Baker

September 7, 2018
Kin

From a distance, Kin looked like a pretty promising mid-budget sci-fi. But if you can’t engage in Marvel-style big budget spectacle, you better have some ideas on deck to make up for it, and unfortunately, Kin doesn’t deliver on that front. The film starts off well enough, with troubled young Eli (Myles Truitt) finding an alien weapon while scavenging for copper wiring inside an abandoned building. He hides his discovery at home, while dealing with his stern…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Peppermint | Pierre Morel

September 7, 2018
Peppermint

Riley North’s (Jennifer Garner) retribution in Peppermint doesn’t begin with her husband and daughter being murdered by drug dealers. It begins with some other, more wealthy mom lecturing her for selling girl scout cookies in the wrong parking lot. Then Riley has to skip her own kid’s birthday party to work a closing shift at the bank (don’t banks close at 5 pm?). Only later that evening do the scary Latino dudes (one of them actually has a face tattoo that says “LOCO”)…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

BlacKkKlansman | Spike Lee

August 21, 2018
blackkklansman

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman tells the story of a black police officer in 1970s Colorado who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. But Lee is also telling the story of a current America that has not grown or progressed — not really — and forcing us to recognize that the film could have been released at virtually any point in the last few years and been just as timely, just as horrifically attuned to the zeitgeist. Trayvon Martin was shot over six years ago; the NFL…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Mile 22 | Peter Berg

August 16, 2018
Mark Wahlberg stars in MILE 22

Releasing a steady stream of vaguely jingoistic docudramas all starring Mark Wahlberg as a hero/patriot, Peter Berg has become a bit of a joke as a filmmaker over the last few years. So it’s easy to forget that, even given their fluctuating levels of overall quality, earlier Berg efforts like Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, The Kingdom, and yeah even Battleship were at least crafted superbly, from a technical standpoint; sported effectively-cast supporting ensembles; and above all featured action sequences that displayed a tight command…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Meg | Jon Turteltaub

August 10, 2018
The Meg

Here’s a movie about Jason Statham fighting a gigantic killer prehistoric shark. That’s all it is. The Meg spends not much time setting up its premise (lifted from Renny Harlin’s Cliffhanger), with Statham’s washed up deep-sea rescue diver being pressed back into service after an on-the-job tragedy. We’re barely 20 minutes in before he’s had his first encounter with the movie’s namesake (short for Megalodon, a thing wikipedia tells me is real but not nearly as big as this stupid movie claims).…

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by InRO Staff Festival Coverage Film

Japan Cuts 2018

August 3, 2018
Japan Cuts 2018

Japan Cuts—the largest program of new Japanese films in North America—just wrapped its 12th annual edition earlier this week. Our one and only dispatch from the fest this year includes a passion project from octogenarian auteur Nobuhiko Obayashi (Hanagatami), a new work from iconoclastic anime director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl), the festival’s opening night film (Eric Khoo’s Ramen Shop) and its centerpiece presentation (Shûichi Okita’s Mori, the Artist’s Habitat).…

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