TFCA Friday: Week of April 27th, 2018

April 27, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Adventures in Public School (dir. Kyle Rideout)

Judy Greer is a blast as his short-fused mom and Williams brings much more than an appealing presence to what could have been a very generic role” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A Swingers Weekend (dir. Jon E. Cohen)

There must be a sex-farce playbook, because A Swingers Weekend certainly seems to be following one” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Positions itself as a fun, possibly racy little comedy. And then, well, it does something else” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The house, furniture, and food served are more interesting than the couples” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

Avengers: Infinity War (dirs. Anthony & Joe Russo)

Wonder of wonders, Infinity War actually succeeds, even if it’s only telling half of an MCU-wrapping story that will conclude next year” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

This one feels like a step backwards” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

If Infinity War were the Second World War, I’d go all Churchill and declare that this is not even the beginning of the end. But it is definitely the end of the beginning” — Chris Knight, The National Post

A dark but deliberate film that, despite some flaws, is easily the best group flick that Marvel has yet produced” — Jason Gorber, High Def Digest”

A breath-taking movie that rewards us for bonding to these characters and these stories” — Karen Gordon,

Stunning to look at, with no shortage of CGI and special effects” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Earth: Seen From the Heart (dir. Iolande Cadrin-Rossignol)

An interesting survey of our Holocene Age, and the second comparison of late between Winston Churchill’s reaction to the rise of Fascism, and the current fear for the future of life on Earth” — Chris Knight, The National Post

As far as educational values go, the film excels” — Gilbert Seah, Toronto Franco 

Kings (dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

Frustrating and tone-deaf, the movie remembers the L.A. riots as an absurd comedy” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

Overdone, over preachy, tedious, and terribly annoying” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto 

Pandas (dirs. David Douglas and Drew Fellman)

Cuteness alert! … Opens with shots of adorable baby giant panda bears snoozing together in a wooden crib and frolicking on an outdoor jungle gym that includes a slide” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

The Rider (dir. Chloé Zhao)

You can almost feel the wind and smell the dust of the South Dakota plains, so deeply is Chloé Zhao’s new film steeped in the reality of its environment” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

As the movie goes on, Zhao’s decision to work with non-professionals seems more and more limiting” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Gives us plenty to think about as we mosey home afterward. Alongside the recent drama Lean on Pete, The Rider reminds us that even in this century, horses and their riders keep on keeping on” — Chris Knight, The National Post

A good human story — deals with nature to make an excellent film” — Gilbert Seah 

Hot Docs 2018

NOW Magazine’s directory of reviews, featuring work from Norm Wilner, Glenn Sumi, Susan G. Cole, Radheyan Simonpillai, and Jake Howell

POV Magazine’s Pat Mullen writes an appreciation of Hot Docs’ retro recipient Barbara Kopple, while taking a long (and difficult) look at Samara Chadwick’s 1999; meanwhile, both Mullen and Marc Glassman reflect on their favourite documentaries of the festival’s past

Peter Howell chats with James Cameron on his work in  (while also talking in a separate column about 2001 and the future of Avatar)

At Toronto Franco, Gilbert Seah has selected capsule reviews of Hot Docs films