TFCA Friday: Week of July 28th, 2017

July 28, 2017

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

Opening this Week

All the Rage (dir. Michael Galinsky)

Blends personal testimonies, complex human struggles, and scientific and psychological research into an ungainly, yet likeable, uplifting final product” — AP

Atomic Blonde (dir. David Leitch)

It’s about the fighting, not the writing, although it would have been nice if screenwriter Kurt Johnstad had roused himself to pen better dialogue than the hoary advice “trust no one”” — PH

A movie that finds simple (and familiar) pleasures in the way its star can own her feminism and also more conventional ideas of femininity at the same time” — RS, with a video on the same take

It all shouldn’t work as well as it does, but there is something about Leitch’s readiness to acknowledge his aesthetic theft that smoothes out any of the many rough edges” — BH

Succeeds as a thrill ride and another triumph for Theron, but little else” — AP

Leitch is really good at the fight stuff, though that’s about as far as it goes” — LL

Deserves a box-office return that allows similar projects to take off – with hopefully less-contrived results in the future” — TH

Delivers senseless action with dazzling visual and choreographed fight scenes in a difficult and pointless to follow plot” — GS

Hard Boiled (dir. John Woo, 25th anniversary screening)

Easily Woo’s best film and just as easily the best action film of the nineties, Woo perfected a cinematic alchemy” — BH on the rare unspooling of the 35mm print (TIFF Bell Lightbox, July 29th)

Lady Macbeth (dir. William Oldroyd)

Stands out for its pristine look, self-consciously modern politics, and, mostly, the smoldering turn from 19-year-old actress, Florence Pugh” — LL

Some of the most fun that artistically minded audiences can have while squirming uncomfortably in their seats” — AP, with an excellent in-depth interview with William Oldroyd

By the time the story ended, a mere 89 minutes later, I was almost in need of smelling salts. Or a hot shower. Anything to take away the plot’s chill” — CK

Admirably asks uncomfortable questions about feminism and race and whether one makes space for the other” — RS

One of the most satisfying things about the film is watching Catherine’s personality change from abused wife to lady of the house to the ultimate devil” — GS

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World (dirs. Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana)

A great rock doc and also necessary correction to the historical record, Rumble reveals how musicians with Indigenous roots have shaken, rattled and rolled pop culture” — PH

Many may not realize other superstars like Jimi Hendrix and Charley Patton—two of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century, and Wray’s no slouch either—have wonderfully rich Indigenous family trees that are audibly latent in their music” — JH

An increasingly rare breed of musical documentary with the power to rewrite history” — AP, including an awesome interview with the film’s executive producers on their Smithsonian exhibition

Wolf Warrior 2 (dir. Wu Jing)

Bombastic, jingoistic, and doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it… but that doesn’t mean it’s not a ton of fun” — AP

Are We Ready for Ready Player One?

It is less a traditional repurposing of IP, as in a reboot or sequel, and more an unnerving smooshing of familiarity, an uberfranchise engineered to appeal to everyone, anywhere, any time” — BH

Reviews and features by: Andrew Parker (AP), Gilbert Seah (GS), Barry Hertz (BH), Peter Howell (PH), Liam Lacey (LL), Tina Hassannia (TH), Jake Howell (JH), Radheyan Simonpillai (RS), and Eli Glasner (EG).