TFCA Friday: Week of July 14th, 2017

July 14, 2017

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

Opening this Week

Chasing Coral (dir. Jeff Orlowski)

As a work of cinema, Chasing Coral is ambitious and unprecedented. As a work of advocacy, it has the power to open eyes and make people at least try to save something that we frighteningly might have done too much damage to already” — AP

The Little Hours (dir. Jeff Baena)

An all-star sit-comic lineup tackles bawdy medieval material with the seriousness of an extremely-extended Funny Or Die/Drunk History episode” — JS

It’s all such a pleasure to watch. If The Little Hours was an off-Broadway play, you’d want it to run forever” — NW

Slight, silly fun, in the manner of an extended Saturday Night Live sketch” — CK

The Sausage Party of convent movies” — RS

It’s nice to watch a modern comedy that has been thoroughly scripted for a change” — AP

The decoy of a tortoise with a candle on its shell is a possible metaphor for the story’s pace” — GS

The cast gives every scene just enough of a deadpan spin to sell it, at least for the first hour” — BH 

Mermaids (dir. Ali Weinstein)

A nice film about good people living out their dreams no matter what people might think of them” — AP, with a great interview with the director

A deep dive into a little-known sub-culture” — BH

Past Life (dir. Avi Nesher)

A spellbinding tale that tracks the trans-European odyssey of two sisters as they try to unravel a wartime mystery that has cast a shadow on their lives” — GS

An imperfect sort of drama with an interesting mystery and a lot of heartfelt sentiments that are nice, but ill-fitting as a whole” — AP

To the Bone (dir. Marti Noxon)

Wants to be two very different things at once: one of them noble and important and the other hackneyed and clichéd” — AP

War for the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)

Reeves and Bomback are determined to keep this extended prequel smart and the dialogue impressively lean, even as the story begins to wear as it stretches towards the 2½-hour mark” — PH

At this point, the motion-capture is seamless. There is no longer an uncanny-valley in the brain that prevents you from accepting the ape protagonists as real” — JS

War for the Planet of the Apes introduces two new characters of note. One is Steve Zahn in a motion-capture performance as a former zoo resident who calls himself Bad Ape; eccentric and unpredictable, he might just be the best thing in this great movie” — CK

In 2011, Fox pushed to have Serkis nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for his work in Rise; it was a failure. If the Academy were to ignore him again for War … well, maybe the apes should just get on with it and take the planet over now” — BH

Has the same thoughtfulness and exceptional craft that we saw in The Dark Knight” — RS

I see a lot of giant effects pictures – it’s an occupational hazard – and I’d love to see more of them adopt the approach used in War For The Planet Of The Apes: make the effects invisible, and just tell a good story” — NW

An unlikely and refreshing candidate for one of the year’s best films” — AP

Audio: A really strong, really fun movie” — KG

The camp and fun is gone. What’s left is a serious man vs. ape and the fight for what is right—things that also can get quite ridiculous” — GS

The Women’s Balcony (dir. Emil Ben-Shimon)

The kind of nuanced, yet unabashed crowd-pleaser that audiences of all backgrounds have deserved for quite some time” — AP

What’s Coming to TIFF?


BH puts his ear to the ground

Reviews and features by: Andrew Parker (AP), Gilbert Seah (GS), Barry Hertz (BH), Chris Knight (CK), Jim Slotek (JS), Peter Howell (PH), Karen Gordon (KG), Norm Wilner (NW), Radheyan Simonpillai (RS).