This week’s reviews by TFCA critics, including Alita: Battle Angel, Isn’t It Romantic? and Trouble in the Garden.
TFCA Friday: Week of February 1st, 2019
February 1, 2019
Welcome to TFCA Friday, a weekly round-up of film reviews and articles by TFCA critics.
Opening this Week
Extreme Job (dir. Lee Byeong-heon)
“A zippy, charming and very silly Korean policier about a Seoul narcotics squad who open a fried chicken restaurant in order to get closer to the operation of a ruthless drug lord” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine
Into Invisible Light (dir. Shelagh Carter)
“A meditation on aging and loneliness, and the confusion that comes from being left behind after a partner’s death. It’s not the best execution of this theme, but there’s a really great performance locked inside of it” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine
“A moody and challenging piece, a romantic drama about allowing oneself to receive and take second chances, the possibility of fulfillment, of being brave and loving oneself” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!
“Playing Helena, a recently widowed housewife and socialist with a newfound spark of passion, Dale creates an intriguing, full-bodied, and richly realized character. It’s one of those nicely fleshed-out and three-dimensional performances that mature actresses too rarely get to give in the movies” — Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer
“Well directed and acted, and entertaining with impressive production values. The film works when it is less self-conscious and less pretentious about its subject matter” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews
The Misandrists (dir. Bruce LaBruce)
“There is fertile ground for comedy on the radical feminist landscape in the FLA’s policy of forced non-monogamy, but LaBruce doesn’t see the fun there and prefers to mine its pornographic possibilities instead” — Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine
Miss Bala (dir. Catherine Hardwicke)
“The movie proceeds toward action fantasy, complete with a Charlie’s Angels-style money shot where Rodriguez struts proudly in a red dress, AR-15 in hand” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine
“Winter is a time for managing cinematic expectations. January has already underwhelmed (Glass) under-er-whelmed (Replicas) and under-est-whelmed (Serenity). Miss Bala, opening on Groundhog Eve and not completely terrible, may indicate a change in the weather” — Chris Knight, The National Post
“The film would have been more effective as a tongue-in-cheek action thriller than going for the realistic emotional action movie” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto
Village Rockstars (dir. Rima Das)
“India’s submission for the Oscars’ foreign-language film category didn’t end up making the cut, but I’d take it over Roma any day” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine
“The film never dips into some faraway postcard travelogue territory – it is simply a portrait of one girl’s day-to-day life, and a convincing argument that anyone can dream big” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail
Wonders of the Sea 3D (dirs. Jean-Michel Cousteau and Jean-Jacques Mantello)
“At its best when setting aside the big sexy underwater creatures (dolphins, sharks) so regularly featured in nature docs and the big personality (Arnold Schwarzenegger) whose involvement no doubt helped package the film for theatres” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine
“Incredible to watch and most worthy of an afternoon’s viewing with the family” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!
“The underwater cinematography is truly commendable. The clarity and proximity of the images ensures that this adventure is among the most visually breathtaking deep sea dives in the documentary ocean” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine
“Its best scenes take place in the dead of night — under the deepest waters — where the divers can only see where their light points” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews
20th Anniversary of eXistenZ
Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail: Meet the new flesh, same as the old flesh
Peter Howell, The Toronto Star: Sundance had stories of fuzzy, frustrating facts
From Long Takes: Park City may be pretty, but the American films playing there suggest an uglier bigger picture