TFCA Friday: Week of August 3rd, 2018

August 3, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Christopher Robin (dir. Marc Forster)

The movie is for both children and adults, a calming respite from these frantic times. It brings to mind Eeyore’s comment about his nether appendage: “It’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

No, Christopher Robin is not a naked cash grab, just a prettily clothed one” — Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail

It may make overworked adults verklemt, but it also may bore children stupid” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

A bit sappy, but entertaining enough and true to the mood of Winnie the Pooh” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

The Darkest Minds (dir. Jennifer Yuh Nelson)

With the apparent effects budget of a Syfy/Space TV movie, the movie’s characters generally exhibit their super-powers by having their contact lenses brighten. The exception is Liam, who gestures like a magician to make things move. It’s talky, full of expositional dialogue and awkwardly placed bits of narration” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

Extremely bad” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

McQueen (dir. Ian Bonhôte)

A haunting biography that goes beyond even that live runway experience to conjure the visionary himself, in as much as he may ever be known – and in a way even his savagely beautiful clothes themselves cannot” — Nathalie Atkinson, The Globe and Mail, including an interview with the director

Doesn’t break new ground for its art form in the same way that McQueen, the man, did for his. … It’s enough for this documentary to simply contextualize that expansion and understand where it came from” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Exquisitely tailored and worthy of the brand name it shares since the craftsmanship, stitching (or editing), and design are of the highest calibre” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Provides an insightful and comprehensive examination of McQueen” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (dir. Stephen Schible)

There are few things more compelling than watching an artist trying to coax something out of himself and into the world before he leaves it” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The film is often at its best when it simply lets the music do the talking” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

A quiet, comprehensive examination of a composer’s life at the end of his journey, full of insight and inspiration” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (dir. Matt Tyrnauer)

The film is also a chronicle of the sexual politics of the era – and the subsequent systematic erasure of LGBTQ history (under the guise of privacy and not “spoiling” the illusion) by the juggernaut industry that shaped our culture. That perspective on the proclivities makes Scotty as fascinating as it is poignant” — Nathalie Atkinson, The Globe and Mail, including an interview with the director and Scotty Bowers

Scotty’s personal history might have best been kept a secret, but one appreciates Tyrnauer’s ability to open the story up to Hollywood’s own checkered past” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

A good mix of Scotty’s life, his contribution to the secret History of Hollywood, and revealing ‘Enquirer’ type material” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

The Spy Who Dumped Me (dir. Susanna Fogel)

What does it say about modern comedy — and also modern society — that The Spy Who Dumped Meso aggressively pursues violence over laughter? … Has all the right ingredients, but also all the wrong emphasis” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

McKinnon’s weirdly lovable goofball charms, with Kunis doing fine work as a comic foil, elevate a movie that is otherwise dragged down by an antic, slapped-together Bourne plot” — Radheyan Simonpillai,  NOW Magazine

It’s going to take some more tugging to wrench the spy movie away from the patriarchy” — Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail

All the running and shooting, like the tourist backdrops of Paris and Vienna, are essentially scenery for Saturday Night Live’s break-out star, McKinnon, to chew” — Liam Lacey, Original-Cin

Squanders the talents of Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis in a totally painful, unfunny spy movie that makes Paul Feig’s Spy look like a masterpiece” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

The Paradise Theatre Returns

“Several bars, a full-service restaurant and innovative programming.” In the Toronto Star, Peter Howell checks in with the new Paradise Theatre to see what’s in store

TIFF 2018

Peter Howell and Barry Hertz respectively on their view of TIFF’s recently announced Canadian slate