TFCA Friday: Week of Friday, March 23rd, 2018

March 23, 2018

Welcome to TFCA Friday, a weekly round-up of film reviews and articles by TFCA critics.

Opening this Week

Catwalk (dirs. Michael McNamara and Aaron Hancox)

An entertaining fun picture about cats, even for non-cat lovers like myself” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

It’s adorable – well, except when Bobby coughs up a hairball during a key competition” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Flower (dir. Max Winkler)

One of those swaggery American indies that mistakes attitude for personality, and grows less interesting the more it shows us” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Performances are fine — Deutch is sassy and vivacious and Hahn a reliable hot mess — but Flower never manages to justify its puerile premise” — Liam Lacey,

Ends up a rather unbelievable morality tale that borders on farce” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

This, according to the bored, male and perhaps undersexed filmmakers behind Flower, is certainly what it’s like to be a teenage girl in America today” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Gives no indication of knowing which way its moral compass is pointing, or if it even has one” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Isle of Dogs (dir. Wes Anderson)

Think of Isle of Dogs as a series of delightful doggie haiku poems and you’ll find sustenance and even existential philosophy, the latter barked out by Chief: “Yes, I’m a stray. Aren’t we all?”” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

A decade after Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson returns to stop-motion animation and delivers a film with even more heart and beauty than that oddball adventure. And this one is a post-apocalyptic comedy” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

There’s an archly funny earnestness to it all, and a meticulousness to the depictions of the smallest things – like preparing sushi. There are romantic subplots, flashbacks, back-stories, all served up against a backdrop that is lovingly rendered in every frame” — Jim Slotek,

For all the visual innovation and apocalyptic futurism in Isle of Dogs, Anderson’s recurring nostalgia for the comforts of old movies is never far away” — Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail

[Great] enough to seriously consider getting a pet dog after” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

A fantastical fable, full of talking animals and dreamy visuals. Sure, it tosses out a modern allegory. But it’s your choice whether to fetch it and bring it back” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Audio: “I seriously I want to find out whatever planet Wes Anderson is from and I want to go live there” — Karen Gordon, CBC

Madame (dir. Amanda Sthers)

A movie trapped between stereotypical French insouciance and seriousness that somehow eventually manages to at least find something to say” — Jim Slotek,

Ends up more a crowd pleaser than a more ambitious satire of manners” — Gilbert Seah, Toronto-Franco

Very adult adultery, ennui, the nouveau riche – bon Dieu, it’s almost impossible to talk about this film in English!” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Pacific Rim Uprising (dir. Steven S. DeKnight)

Giant robots smash with considerable more pizzazz than in Michael Bay’s series, and they do so in nearly half the running time” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

It’s childish fun in small doses to watch humongous things blow up and high-rise buildings get destroyed. But eventually senses dull, to match the dialogue” — Jim Slotek,

The one thing that’s truly interesting about this film is watching John Boyega carry what is essentially a huge cinematic turd and transform it into a watchable saga of good vs. evil” — Liz Braun, The Toronto Sun

A giant bore with too much noise and CG effects” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Surrounded by monstrous machines and alien beasts, [Boyega’]s irrepressible charisma and sincere leading-man verve makes him the most otherworldly element in a film that’s rigidly, stubbornly mundane” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

I’ve had airplane cutlery that wasn’t this dull” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Sherlock Gnomes (dir. John Stevenson)

 “Benefits from [Stevenson’s comedy experience] as evidenced by humour that caters to both kids and adults” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Unsane (dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Soderbergh’s take on psychological thrillers, much like Haywire was his take on an action movie: a meditation on the genre rather than an exercise in it” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Starts out as a psychological thriller and then moves into the B-movie physical realm with gusto” — Liz Braun, The Toronto Sun

[Soderbergh’s] in a playful mood, translating to genuine scares and twisted humour” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Audio: Can be seen as a contemporary political allegory about truth and paranoia” — Karen Gordon, CBC

Hot Docs 2018

Gender parity from the city’s annual documentary festival: Barry Hertz in the Globe and Mail has you covered on Hot Docs 2018

What The Film Festival

In the Globe and Mail, Barry Hertz speaks with Peter Kuplowsky on curious cinema “worth stepping away from the couch for