TFCA Friday: Week of June 23rd, 2017

June 23, 2017

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

Opening this Week

47 Metres Down (dir. Johannes Roberts)

Really, all the pieces are in place for a fun summer time-waster. I was into it. … And then, well…” — NW

Stylish, quick, and enjoyable enough to distinguish itself from an overcrowded pack” — AP

For jump-at-you horror fans only, and then only if all the better movies in the multiplex are sold out” — JS

Being lost underwater is much scarier than being lost in space” — GS

Johannes Roberts manages the tension like an expert fisherman, reeling out the line until there’s a little slack” — CK

The Bad Batch (dir. Ana Lily Amirpour)

Riveting, even when it loses us” — JS

Proof that a great looking and intelligently composed film can still be bad” — AP

At nearly two hours, it does overextend itself a bit – the third act could be a lot tighter – but I was always interested in seeing what came next” — NW

Shows great originality, look and attention to set and art details, despite its flaws” — GS

Like fine-grained desert dust, you may find it has collected in odd corners of your psyche long after the movie ends” — CK

Becoming Bond (dir. Josh Greenbaum)

Documentarian Josh Greenbaum talks about recreating the wild life of former Bond actor George Lazenby in Becoming Bond (now available in Canada on iTunes) — AP

The B-Side (dir. Errol Morris)

Morris is meditating on the impermanence of the image and the inexorable march of time … the film is suffused with an awareness of mortality” — NW

It’s the lightest film Morris has ever made, but he’s enjoying basking in the glow of his likeable subject” — AP

“I have always been moved by Elsa Dorfman,” says documentarian Errol Morris in an interview with Kate Taylor (KT)

You’d have to be heartless not to respond to the artistic obsession of this “nice Jewish girl“” — MG

Gives Polaroid artist Elsa Dorfman well-deserved exposure” — GS

Morris clearly adores the subject of his doc, and the wistfulness is a nice change from the gravity he normally embraces” — JS

The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship (dir. Sergio Navarretta)

A fine-enough romance that gets a graceful note or two from its naturally gorgeous scenery” — BH

The film could lose half an hour without blinking” — NW

The mostly Canadian cast are good actors all, but nothing they’re forced to say in Alessandra Piccione’s screenplay rings true” — CK

The Hero (dir. Brett Haley)

Sam Elliott plays the role of his career — familiar it may be” — CK

Ends up as another sad feature about an old fart who should but cannot get a hold of his own life” — GS

A relaxed and well trod story told well enough” — AP

Though I’d love to endorse The Hero, it simply doesn’t engage the heart” — MG

We get a movie we’ve seen a dozen times before. Elliott may deserve the attention, but he also deserves a vehicle worthy of his talent – and your ticket money” — NW

Nobody Speak: Trials of a Free Press (dir. Brian Knappenberger)

Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger talks about Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker, Donald Trump, the changing media landscape, and his documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (on Netflix) — AP

Okja (dir. Bong Joon-ho)

Maneuvers perfectly between being thrilling, hilarious, poignant, and gutting without missing a step” — AP

Both the film and the beast is alive and kicking, eager to say something with a sense of flair” — BH

Transformers: The Last Knight (dir. Michael Bay)

Honestly, who gives a fuck?” — NW

Not so much a movie as it is a blatant cash grab designed to exploit anyone who still retains some fondness for a once-engaging band of space robots” — BH

In Bay’s defense, it’s a summer movie, and it’s not as though he serves you measly portions of what he dishes out” — LL

Head and shoulders above its loathsome predecessor, and entertaining in sometimes delightfully idiotic ways” — AP

Something in the Air: The Cinema of Olivier Assayas

The diversity of Assayas’s imagination and soul are immediately apparent in TIFF’s latest retrospective of the French filmmaker, one that’s even more enjoyable and revealing taken in parts rather than as a whole — AP

Reviews and features by: Norman Wilner (NW), Andrew Parker (AP), Gilbert Seah (GS), Barry Hertz (BH), Chris Knight (CK), Kate Taylor (KT), Liam Lacey (LL), Jim Slotek (JS), Marc Glassman (MG).