TFCA Friday: Week of July 7th, 2017

July 7, 2017

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

Opening this Week

13 Minutes (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel)

Beautifully played by Christian Friedel, displaying a countryside charm and one that would change character from innocent bystander to convicted assassin” — GS

Begins promisingly with the pace of a well-staged thriller” — LL

Hirschbiegel’s newest may thus be seen as a prequel of sorts – in 1939, shortly after the outbreak of the war” — CK

Finds a way to turn a potentially rousing and historically significant plot to kill Hitler into a turgid love story that doesn’t pull on any heartstrings or brainstems” — AP

Blood Hunters (dir. Tricia Lee)

A pretty standard trapped-in-a-bunker story” — CK

A fine-enough go-round for Canadian director Tricia Lee, but just not unique or skillfully executed to spark a recommendation, even for the genre-curious” — BH

Designed for heavy rotation as premium cable filler in the not-so-coveted 3:30 to 5:00 am slot” — AP

From the Land of the Moon (dir. Nicole Garcia)

Garcia hews close to her actors while maintaining a scrupulous reserve. It is unfortunate, then, that the last act becomes bogged down in a plot twist at once harrowing, overworked and a little silly, imposing a resolution that works against the film’s nuance” — JT

It starts off frustrating, quickly becomes corny and laughable instead of moving, and evaporates from the memory upon conclusion like it never existed at all” — AP

Integral Man (dir. Joseph Clement)

Full of glorified decadence” — Gilbert Seah

One thing is certain: this wonderful doc will endure as a statement about a unique, gifted individual” — MG

This short doc resembles a sedate offering on HGTV” — Glenn Sumi

I am fascinated and still hungry for insight into the Renaissance Man who redefined math teaching (becoming wealthy in the process – who knew?). Integral Man whets that appetite for a hopefully fuller follow up” — JS

Blends appreciations of mathematics, music, and architecture into a fascinating and harmonious mixture” — AP

The Journey (dir. Nick Hamm)

There is still a need for a comprehensive doc about the St. Andrews Agreement and its place in the Irish peace process. The Journey is a fine, fun fictional version, so it is. Just don’t confuse it with history” — CK

The Journey never purports to be the whole truth of Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley’s first encounter, but it certainly doesn’t leave anything meaningful or intelligent in the absence of realism

An odd, sometimes underwhelming, yet strangely affecting movie” — KG

If you love great acting or are fascinated by the Troubles, the film is a must-see. Otherwise, you can catch it on Netflix or cable TV soon enough” — MG

An entertaining exercise that reflects strength overcoming the weaknesses of the human character in the strife for the good of mankind” — GS

Spider-Man: Homecoming (dir. Jon Watts)

A fine start to a new Spider-Man franchise, even if nobody except Sony accountants were really asking for one” — PH

Darned if Holland’s Spidey doesn’t breathe new life into the old webslinger, who officially turns 55 this year and doesn’t look a day over 15 in the movie” — CK

As far as movies-as-line-items go, Homecoming is better than it has any right to be” — BH, with an excellent ranking of the Spider-Men

Audio: “My favourite action movie of the year so far” — KG

John Hughes is alive! And he just made a Spider-Man movie!” — JS

A highly satisfying, enjoyable, but rough around the edges superhero flick” — AP

The lightest and goofiest of all the Spider-Man films” — GS

Tickling Giants (dir. Sara Taksler)

A tad overlong, but has its heart, mind, and funny bone firmly at the forefront” — AP

Panique! French Crime Classics at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Selected capsule reviews — GS

Five must-see classic French thrillers screening this summer — AP

Reviews and features by: Andrew Parker (AP), Gilbert Seah (GS), Barry Hertz (BH), Chris Knight (CK), Liam Lacey (LL), Jim Slotek (JS), Marc Glassman (MG), Peter Howell (PH), Glenn Sumi (GS), José Teodoro (JT), Karen Gordon (KG).