TIFF 2012 :: Review :: Seven Psychopaths – Cruel and Crazy Makes for Good Fun

by Shannonn Kelly
06:03AM, EST, October 12, 2012

The much anticipated “Seven Psychopaths” opens today in ‘nationwide release’ in the USA, as well as Iceland, Taiwan and part of the 41st Annual Sitges Film Festival in Sitges, Spain, a coastal town 21 miles south of Barcelona.

Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits and Woody Harrelson are the “Seven Psychopaths”

Seven Psychopaths” by “In Bruges” screenwriter, director Martin McDonagh won the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the 37th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

I saw the premiere and it was an absolute madhouse with one of the biggest star-studded casts ever to grace the Midnight Madness red carpet. I counted 67 media outlets at the September 7th premiere, which was 1 ½  hours late.

First to arrive was screenwriter Martin McDonagh, then Olga Kurylenko looking stunning in her back and front oh no you didn’t plunge to there chocker dress. Next a discombobulated looking Christopher Walken. Behind him was Colin Farrell who gladly autographed his way through the rapid fans.

Review :: “Seven Psychopaths” ::  3 ½  out of 5

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 :: Review :: Seven Psychopaths – Cruel and Crazy Makes for Good Fun”

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Winner – Seven Psychopaths

by Shannonn Kelly
05:15AM, EST, September 17, 2012

Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits and Woody Harrelson are the “Seven Psychopaths”

Seven Psychopaths” by “In Bruges” screenwriter, director Martin McDonagh wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the 37th Annual International Toronto International Film Festival.

I saw all of the following films below for the 24th installment of TIFF Midnight Madness:

  1. DREDD 3D (Click for Review)
  2. SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS (Review to Follow)
  3. NO ONE LIVES (Mini Review to Follow)
  4. HELLBENDERS (Mini Review to Follow)
  5. THE LORDS OF SALEM (Mini Review to Follow)
  6. AFTERSHOCK (Review to Follow)
  7. THE BAY (Review to Follow)
  8. COME OUT AND PLAY (Mini Review to Follow)
  9. THE ABCs OF DEATH (Review to Follow)
  10. JOHN DIES AT THE END (Review to Follow)

First Runner up winner was “The Bay” by Barry Levinson with “John Dies at the End” by Don Coscarelli as the Second Runner-Up.

Veteran writer, director Barry Levinson makes you fear “The Bay”…

My Tweet:

Director Barry Levinson NAILS IT! With stealthy lo-fi “eco-thriller’ of summer tourist town THE BAY at #MMadnessTIFF #TIFF12 #TIFF_Talk

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Winner – Artifact

by Shannonn Kelly
9:42PM, EST, September 16, 2012

“Artifact” is the story of record label EMI and their spirit crushing attempt to destruct Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Artifact” the rock-umentary on Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars label war with EMI wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 37th Annual International Toronto International Film Festival.

The documentary “Artifact” is the story of record label EMI and their spirit crushing attempt to destruct and bankrupt Jared Leto and his band ‘Thirty Seconds To Mars‘ with members Sarajevo-born Tomo Miličević and brother Shannon Leto.

All 3 screenings at TIFF 2012 were stuffed with an enthusiastic ‘meow mix‘ of adoring female fans and it’s an informed guess that it was the female vote that pushed “Artifact” over the top to win. You can read my ‘mini-review’ Here. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Winner – Artifact”

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Award Winner – Silver Linings Playbook

by Shannonn Kelly
9:06PM, EST, September 16, 2012

Harvey Weinstein Does It Again! David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” Wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award at the 37th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

The films stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in a dark comedy about a teacher (Cooper), after spending time in a mental institution moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when he meets a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Russell, also wrote and directed “Three Kings“, “I Heart Huckabees” and “The Fighter” nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 2011 and won Best Supporting Oscars for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is an independent American film studio founded by Harvey CBE (Hon) and Bob Weinstein in 2005 after the brothers left the then Disney-owned Miramax Films, which they had co-founded in 1979. The Weinstein Company represents “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Harvey Weinstein also represents “The Master” which many filmgoers at TIFF thought would win as it did when it swept up awards at the recent Venice Film Festival. Entertainment Weekly calls it ““one of the great movies of the year!” ”The Master” written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring the strong cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams goes into wider release Friday September 21.


TIFF 2012 : : Final Day – Last Chance Films and That’s a Wrap!

by Shannonn Kelly
03:24AM, EST, September 16, 2012

Today I saw:

  • Artifact” (USA)  As one of the few present at today’s screening that is not a big “Thirty Seconds To Mars” fan, I have to say, “I get it.” Jared Leto is accessible, charming and of course talented. I first discovered Leto in “The Thin Red Line” and thought he was outstanding in “Requiem for a Dream” (as did everyone else).

    Also, the fact that he was born and raised near Shreveport, he gets an automatic cool badge, as I love everything about that state on my 22 visits to Louisiana.

    Watching Leto go through the pains of a label war with EMI records showed me a another side of him I never really knew, always striving to be ‘zen-like’ in his approach and reaction to the hailstorm of shit around him while he and his band members, brother  Shannon Leto (drums, percussion) and Tomo Miličević (lead guitar, keyboards) try to record a new album. Kudos!

    Add “Artifact” to the list of super cool music rock-umentaries that can proudly stand as the spirited* kid brother beside “It Might Get Loud” and “Pearl Jam Twenty“.My upload of the Jared Leto “Artifact” Q&A can be found below.

  • Miss Lovely” (Mumbai) Story of the Duggan brothers who produce sleazy C-grade horror/porn films in the mid-1980s Bombay. Everything about the film was grimy and unsavory. I would’ve liked to have known from the director if the sets still existed or was it all dressed. Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who played younger brother Sonu reminded me of an early era Tony Curtis)
  • Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (USA) Taking place in 1969 Morrison, Alabama, this is the story of a family of 3 brothers and sister ripped apart when their mother leaves them for a life in England 20 years earlier. She’s died and her English step-son calls Alabama to say she wants to be buried back home. Written, directed and starring Billy Bob Thornton, I was expecting something to equal or surpass “Slingblade“. It didn’t. )

I’m writing this blog after the final film in the 24th installment of TIFF Midnight Madness. I just finished my day with “John Dies At The End“, directed by Bubba Ho-tep helmer Don Coscarelli.

Featuring a no-name cast for the exception of genre fave Clancy Brown, this last film was an efficient, funny and fairly fast paced “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for the Midnight crowd based on the book by John Wong. My blog reviews for some of these films will follow post TIFF 2012.

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Final Day – Last Chance Films and That’s a Wrap!”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 10 – Films You Should See and MUST See

by Shannonn Kelly
03:38AM, EST, September 15, 2012

Fran Kranz in “Much Ado About Nothing” by Joss Whedon

I feel I must make a confession. I never saw a single episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Firefly” or “Angel” or “Dollhouse“.

I get that many of the cast in “Much Ado about Nothing” are from Whedon’s popular TV series, including actor Fran Kranz (who was superb in the film). But, when Nathan Fillion popped up playing Dogberry as a seasoned cop/tired film noir gumshoe, I roared. So did the audience.

Yesterday,  I officially became a Joss Whedon fan.

I first learned of Nathan Fillion from “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” where he played Johnny Donnelly. TGAGAAPP also brought attention to the much under-used Richard Ruccolo and now Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds. Other than the occasional film, I never watched Nathan Fillion in much until I saw him again in “Desperate Housewives“.

Then last year, I discovered “Castle“. It’s now my guilty pleasure thanks to people urging me on GetGlue to check out the previous seasons.

Nathan Fillion was among a very unusual and fresh feeling cast that makes Whedon’s modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers a clever, thinking-person’s hit at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Thank you @JossWhedon. My blog review will follow post TIFF 2012.

Today I also saw:

  • Men At Lunch” (Ireland: A moving documentary that unearthed the mystery about who were those 11 men sitting high atop a Manhattan girder  having lunch in 1932). My blog review will follow post TIFF
  • The ABC’s Of Death” (Various: 26 filmmakers from 15 countries cinematically walk you through an alphabetized list of blood, guts and gore. Many of those filmmakers were in attendance at Midnight Madness. The Q&A was pretty laid back. The standout letters of the film were: D, F, L, O, Q, R, T and X. The runners up were letters A, H, N, S and Y )

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 10 – Films You Should See and MUST See”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 9 – Films You Should See

by Shannonn Kelly
03:10AM, EST, September 14, 2012

What a DAY! 14 hours of film viewing and Q&As. I’m exhausted beyond exhausted but here are some of my highlights:

Alice Lowe and Steve Oram play murderous “Sightseers” in Ben Wheatley’s version of a Bonnie and Clyde tale.
  • Sightseers
    By director Ben Wheatley was the unexpected highpoint of my day, filled with murderous mayhem through the English countryside when two sad sack lovers on their first ‘dirty weekend’ together exact their own brand of civil justice. It’s “The Trip” meets “No Country for Old Men”
  • Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony
    I learned about a part of the world I hear nothing about in the media and the terrible injustice done to the native Sahwari people of northern Africa: the Western Sahara, which has the distinction of being the last “colony” on the African continent.
  • Smashed
    Very small almost Made-for-TV feel independent film about a couple that drinks to celebrate everything, everyday. Unusual casting, but it all works.
  • Peaches Does Herself
    What do you say about a girl who wants it all. Peaches showed up with 18 people from the “Live Show” documentary for the premiere. An added highlight for me was the on-screen appearance of one of the most gorgeous he/she creatures I’ve ever seen. Dannii Daniels absolutely took my breath away. Her presence was totally magnificent.
  • Come Out and Play
    By Russian director now living in Mexico who goes by the moniker “Makinov”. No last name and the film was no good. But, beautifully shot… Midnight Madness crowd left in droves grumbling feedback such as: “That’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.”, “What the hell what Makinov thinking?”, “What a waste of my time.”…

Some blog reviews will follow post TIFF. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 9 – Films You Should See”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 8 – Films You Should See

by Shannonn Kelly
02:52AM, EST, September 13, 2012

So glad I only had 2 films to see yesterday. It was ‘Hump Day‘ and believe me I could feel it. I was definitely dragging myself around.

Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa in the side-splitting “Key of Life”

It was worth it to venture out to see “Key of Life” by Japanese director Kenji Uchida. It was one of my Top picks.

Uchida is known as Japan’s master of screwball comedy and it showed in this hilarious tale about a failed actor who switches identities with a stranger at a bath house — only to find himself filling the shoes of an elite assassin My blog review will follow later this week.

My Tweet: “Key of Life” by Kenji Uchida #Japan is a skillful twisty-turny ode to screwball comedy masters Howard Hawks & Billy Wilder A *must* see! #TIFF12

Key of Life” opens in wide release in Japan on Friday September 15th. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 8 – Films You Should See”

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From your friends
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TIFF 2012 : : Day 7 – Remembering 9/11 and Films You Should See

by Shannonn Kelly
04:06AM, EST, September 12, 2012

Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan in director Neil Jordan’s ‘intelligent’ Vampire tale “Byzantium”

I’m happy to report that only a few hours ago, one of my *must* see films, “Byzantium“, by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan was picked up for distribution by IFC Films. It’s sinking its teeth into “Byzantium,” by grabbing the North American rights of this ‘intelligent‘ Vampire tale set in a sleepy English seaside tourist town and stars Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan.

IFC Films (Independent Film Channel) is an American film distribution company based in New York, owned by AMC Networks.


Remembering 9/11:

For the 2011 installation of the Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto filmmaker Lucius Dechausay made a 4-minute short documentary to mark the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.

My TIFF Program Book from September 2001

His film contained stock and archival footage, and interviews with 11 people, of which only 3 were Americans, one being a native New Yorker. Politically, I cannot mention the interviewees by name but, the rest were Canadians that live in Toronto. You can see their name in the credit list here.

TIFF made the decision to screen this film in front of all public screenings on September 11th, 2011. My 4 films that day were “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen”, “Dark Horse”, “The Brooklyn Brothers Beat The Best” and “Livide”.

While I’m pro-Canadian and the City of Toronto has much to offer in Arts and Culture, I was offended by the documentary each and every time I saw it. I still am in fact.

I do not believe a “commissioned film” on the horrors of 9/11 was appropriate. I also did not appreciate Canadians expressing what they could only imagine Americans and specifically New Yorkers were feeling at the time.

9/11 wasn’t an attack on Toronto. It was an attack on America. Specifically, areas of Washington D. C. and New York City itself, to try and cripple the United States of America and to break ‘our’ spirit.

9/11 is part of our New York City collective identity. A film from an American and/or a New Yorker would have been a fitting remembrance. Not, a film commissioned by high profile Canadian Radio and Print outlets, by a Toronto filmmaker whom, prior to this film made an unknown short film in 2004 called “Black Clouds“.

If any film should have been shown at TIFF 2011 to commemorate the tragedy of this date in history, it should have been this film: “11’09”01” the September 11 “USA segment“, starring the late, great character actor Ernest Borgnine and written and directed by Sean Penn. Americans

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 7 – Remembering 9/11 and Films You Should See”