Sunday 15 December 2019
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What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler

Shock of Shocks! I Took A Few Days Off and Missed Most of This Week’s Films!  So, Let Me Present a Two Night Only Film Event, a Searing Brit Noir to Stream, Whoopi’s YTV Short, a Vital Film Festival Focussing on Our Planet, Various Monsters, and a Clip Heavy Round-Up of Hallowe’en Film, TV and Streaming Opps

Only two nights! Kevin Smith’s Jay & Silent Bob Reboot picks up where Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes left off – eighteen! –  years ago, and they’ve rounded up one awesome cast, more on that later. The foul-mouthed, cannabis fogged film finds the boys heading to Hollywood when they hear that one of their early films is being rebooted. They want it stopped, so hop on board for a zany road trip mission. Check listings for October 15th and 18th at Yonge-Dundas, Eglinton Town Centre & Winston Churchill theatres.

A for the awesome returning and new cast – Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams, Rosario Dawson, Shannon Elizabeth, Justin Long, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Brian O’Halloran, and Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn Smith plus Val Kilmer, Melissa Benoist Chris Hemsworth!  It’s all a cheap trick to whet your appetite to see Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow with Kevin Smith live Saturday, February 1st 2020 at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

BritBox premieres its original four-part series The Victim a Scottish noir starring Kelly Macdonald, John Hannah and James Harkness. Macdonald is Anna, grieving the torture and murder of her young son fourteen years earlier. A boy a couple of years older was accused of killing him and put in witness protection; he didn’t go to trial so Anna was unable to learn what happened. After tireless investigation on her own and with a private investigator, Anna believes she knows the killer’s identity. She begins an online campaign of harassment revealing his name and address; as a result, he is savagely beaten and left for dead. The alleged “family man’s” life is turned upside down and Anna is charged with inciting violence, if she didn’t beat him herself. A detective (John Hannah) new to the force driven by anger against women is put on the case. The series is told plainly, stripping away distraction to focus on the twisted and complex story and let the horror to rise u naturally. Macdonald was the heart of No Country for Old Men and here she is the rage, and she’s just as great in another searing, affecting turn.

Toronto’s Nelvana film and TV production company releases its first-ever short The Most Magnificent Thing Friday nightOct 11 on YTV, following its success at 60 international film festivals. Lilly Bartlam voices Girl, Alison Pill is Mom and Tony Daniels is Dog. Whoopi Goldberg narrates this inspiring and frankly adorable story a little girl with a creative spirit, determined to become a “maker.”

She’s creative and inventive, so when she’s gifted with a tool kit, she’s in heaven because girls can build too. “Girl” decides to make “the most magnificent thing” for her best friend and off she goes.  The short’s based on the award-winning picture book by Canadian author/illustrator, Ashley Spires.  The animated detail is glorious, from sawing wood to falling leaves to priceless expressions. Here’s a look at the process of making a hit short film!

The Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival celebrates 20 years of shining light on the state of our home planet environment through provocative documentary films, events, speakers and old-fashioned consciousness-raising. There’s no time like the present to learn all we can about our precious world and resources and see what we can do and what others are doing to preserve it. Fifteen-year-old Autumn Pelletier will be honoured as an Eco Hero. She is Anishinaabe-kwe, a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation and an international advocate for clean water.

Toronto filmmaker Brett Story’s The Hottest August is intriguing. Shortly after Trump’s election, Story surveyed people on the streets of New York to gauge their immediate concerns.

She travels five boroughs hearing about everything under the sun, even as the sidewalk shimmers in the sun’s heat. It doesn’t take long to realise they’re responding to questions with anxiety related to that visibly overwhelming heat, the result of climate change. Articulate and terrifying. Planet in Focus runs October 15-20 in Toronto.

It’s Hallowe’en and if you can name me a network or service that doesn’t have Hallowe’en specials, I’m the Bride of Frankenstein. TCM presents Fridays with the Great Beast, the third annual installment of the Monster of the Month Hallowe’en special. Godzilla burst forth in the 1954 Japanese film Gojira in Japan, directed by Ishirō Honda – the birth of the radioactive giant lizard film that begat 35 sequels!

He is both destroyer and protector, winner and loser, king and father, fearsome opponent and honorable ally, a symbol of humanity’s horrors and its capacity for hope. He’s also a lot of fun.”  Critic J. Hoberman calls it “the great movie monster of the post-World War II period, in part because Honda seems to have conceived this primordial force of nature as a living mushroom cloud.” I quote others because I have never seen a Godzilla movie but I’m primed now!

Then there’s Hulu’s frightful film fest and chilling content in the annual Huluween – a month of scary programming Halloween-themed TV episodes and movies, 800 Halloween titles in all, films that premiered at TIFF 19 and 5,000 episodes of new and library TV series.

New material includes spooky short films from up-and-coming filmmakers – Swiped to Death, Hidden Mother, Ride, Flagged, Undo, The Dunes and The Ripper, selected in collaboration with Sundance Institute, and the premieres of returning Original series Castle Rock, Light as a Feather and Into the Dark.  Hulu Original film Little Monsters stars Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gad and Alexander England, in the Australian horror/comedy that begins with a harmless school field trip and ends with a zombie outbreak.

Wounds streams from October 18 with Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson and Zazie Beets, about a NOLA bartender whose life unravels after picking up a phone left behind at a bar.

And right here at home, in a real theatre is the 14th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival one of the world’s leading showcases of New Horror, Sci-Fi and Action cinema running Oct 17-25 at the Scotiabank Theatre. Fifty films are on offer over nine nights, kicking off with opening gala the hilarious Irish supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary.

The fest closes with the dark sci-fi fantasy Paradise Hills starring Emma Roberts.

Highlights include The Mortuary Collection a scary fun new horror film starring the iconic Clancy brown, James Vs His Future Self an hysterical new sci-fi time travel comedy, and Werewolf the intense new World War II survival horror.

by @annebrodie

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