Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 4

Over the years, I’ve talked about TIFF goers desire for yelling before the movie begins.  It started as simple hooting and hollering and then it morphed into that pirate ‘argh’ thing with the anti-piracy ad and now it’s just ridiculous. Not only do you still get the pirate thing, but now some people yell ‘shiver me timbers’. Give me a break.  Now there’s a Dolby ad with a whispering voice that some people feel the need to yell ‘creepy’ to.  But the worst thing yelled out occured at the Rob Zombie film. As the movie started someone yelled ‘Hail Satan!, then someone retorted with ‘Hail Hitler!’.  I shit you not.  How messed up is that?  Naturally, it was met with anger and serious threats of violence.  So, don’t make make Hitler comments, people.  It’s frowned upon.

The first film I saw today was also the best film I’ve seen so far.  It was called the Iceman and it was about Richie Kuklinski, the notorious hitman for the Gambino crime family.  Nicknamed the Iceman for not only his cool demeanor, but he also froze his victims to make it difficult for coroner’s to determine time of death.  Kuklinski was played by the excellent Michael Shannon and this movie was pretty violent.  The crazy thing about this hit man was his ability to be a cold blooded killer while at ‘work’ and a loving and caring family man at home.  Over the years, Kuklinski was rumoured to have killed over 250 people using various methods including stabbings, shootings, poisonings and even explosions.  This way it was difficult for police to put it all on one person.  Winona Ryder makes a rare film appearance playing his wife and Ray Liotta returns to his Italian gangster beginnings playing Kuklinski’s boss.  The story was awesome and the acting was great.  Check this one out.

Next up is the new film from Terrence Malick, To The Wonder.  Last time Terrence Malick had a film it was met with a very mixed reaction.  Critically acclaimed, but polarizing to some audiences.  Have you seen the Tree of Life? It’s…different.  So is To The Wonder.  Ben Affleck stars and the story begins with him meeting a woman in Paris.  She returns with him to Oklahoma to be his wife, but their relationship doesn’t quite work out.  He gets together with an old girlfriend and that doesn’t quite work out either and he gets back together with the first woman and their relationship plays out.  This film is driven by music and very, very little dialogue other than a voice over.  There were quite a few walkouts during the screening.  It was okay, but I’ll be honest and say not a lot happened in this movie. Affleck does smash things like a champ, though.

As soon as that movie ended, I had to jump on the subway to my next screening.  This is third day in a row that I’ve watched a horror movie.  I have no idea why I keep going to see these.  They are really scary.  This time up a Mexican horror film called Here Comes the Devil.  Here’s the premise: A family of four stop their car at a gas station along side an unusual hill on a family trip to Tijuana.  The two kids explore the hill on their own only to vanish.  They are found by the police the next day no worse for wear except the mother thinks something is a little off.   The kids seems sad and quiet.  They skip school and terrify their baby sitter.  The parents try to figure out exactly what happened to them on this hill only to discover an unthinkable explanation.  Two things: I don’t like children and I like scary evil children even less.  I was unfortunately a little distracted during this moving as the guy beside me fell asleep twice.  The only reason I knew he was asleep was because he jolted awake both times like he realized he had left muffins in the oven. This was decent and I thought the ending was pretty bad ass.

I had some time to kill, so I met up with my brother for a bite and we hit up Running Tunnel director Jay Cheel’s favourite place, Chipotle Mexican Grill.  I texted Jay to find out what he orders, but to get a second opinion, I texted notable food expert and Jay’s girlfriend Megan as well.  They basically suggested the same thing except a different kind of meat.  I’ll be heading the the Grill again before I’m done here, so I can try both.  I’ll let you know who had the best recommendation then.  After dinner, we went for a couple beers and watched Robin Hood: Men in Tights at the bar.  I’m not sure why is was on, but man is it ever funny.

Finally, I saw Chilean disaster film, Aftershock.  Co-written, produced and starring Eli Roth of Cabin Fever and Hostel fame, this film follows a group of friends on vacation when a shattering earthquake hits the town they are in and mayhem ensues.  Whether they encounter the stench of death from the actual quake, the rioting, the escaped prisoners or the continued aftershocks there’s always something that gets in the way of their salvation.  There are gory deaths aplenty, but it does take 40 minutes to get to the earthquake.  The second act is really awesome, but then the story falls apart as shocking reveals continuously contradict what has already occured and things make no sense. Sadly, that kind of soured me on the film.  Once again, in a theme of TIFF, the ending was awesome though.

Taking a day off from TIFF on Wednesday.  Be back with a Thursday update on Friday.

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  • Pablo

    Give some hints on your Thursday movies!

  • Kasper

    I would never be able to attend TIFF. People yelling stupid shit like “shiver me timbers” would infuriate me too much. It would ruin the whole movie.

  • Kasper

    On Franks humorscale this is the type of humor that would get a -10 from me.

  • El HipsterDbag

    Chipotle is a horrible restaurant franchise. Surely Toronto has better selection of Mexican/TexMex restaurants. If not, my prayers are with the people of Toronto. Heck, even Taco Bell is better than Chipotle.

  • why don’t these reviews have octane ratings?

  • Jill

    I heard someone call, “Polly wanna cracker?” before a screening the other day. What is wrong with these people?

    Speaking of the ads the run before the movie, did I tell you I had an audition for the volunteer casting call spot? They basically told me I had the part, then called me again a few days later and said I’d been “released” from the project. Anyway, I saw the spot and realized they gave my part to Deepa Mehta. Feeling a lot less shitty about it, now.

    Thanks for the Iceman recommendation, by the way!

  • Maopheus

    Michael Shannon has to be tops on the list of scariest looking actors.

  • projectgenesis

    #4 Maybe Greg was being facetious. If no, fascinating Chipotle hasn’t invaded Canada like it has the states. It is owned by McDonalds corp. I read Greg’s statements as tongue in cheek, like “I went to this place called Wendy’s Hamburgers”

  • Mrespony

    I’ve been to Canada a handful of times, the first time I was visiting the Peterborough area and chose a “Mexican” restaurant for dinner. Huge mistake and one I’ve not repeated on subsequent trips to the Great White North, where salsa=ketchup. Chipotle ain’t great but it might be the best you’ll get in Canada.

  • HFD

    Gotta love the big man’s TIFF reports, look forward to them every year.

  • There are a tonne of great Mex places in Toronto, in particular Burrito Banditos on Peter St., 3 minutes from either Scotia Bank or TIFF Lightbox.

    If you guys are coming in from St. Catherine or heading over to Sean’s place in Mississauga, try a place at Southdown Rd & Lakeshore called CHORIZO’s it’s the best chorizo sausage that I’m aware of in the Toronto Area.