By Leo K. Moncel
The Day The Till Stood Still?
Happy Friday, once again, folks. We have to write in advance of our deadlines here, so tell me – is the world, in fact, standing still? An early perusal of Rotten Tomatoes had the new remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still weighing in at 27% positive. Yikes. I think that’s slightly higher than Bush’s approval rating and slightly lower than popular support for a coalition government. No surprise, though, about who has sat in an audience recently that didn’t snicker and jeer at the trailer for this one? Really, why anchor a big movie around Keanu Reeves right now? He still has to repent for the last two Matrixes. Mr. Reeves, if this one’s as much a stinker as people believe it’s going to be, I suspect you may become so hated by the movie-going public that your modest abilities will never be able to recover you from our ire. You haven’t got the skill or the charisma to Robert-Downey-Jr. your way out of a hole as deep as the one you’re digging now. I hope you enjoy being buried alive in your own money.
Rumble-Rusted Rourke Wins Rave Reviews
It’s WHAM, BAM, and EMOTIONAL SUBTLETY! Hold out until Wednesday, the 17th, and you could be first in line to see The Wrestler, a film that (at the time of writing) holds a shocking 100% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Wrestler was a huge hit at TIFF this year and scooped up the biggest distribution deal at the fest, going to Fox Searchlight for four million. Mickey Rourke plays a divorced, washed-up, former pro-wrestler who’s trying to fix his life and reunite with his estranged daughter. The performance from Rourke looks rock solid. Have a glance at the trailer if you haven’t yet.
Sook-yin Shines in Toronto
Sick to death of seeing Toronto play the same roles on screen? Boston, New York and Chicago? Have a look at Toronto Stories opening at an exclusive engagement at the Royal, 608 College. The premiere screening is tonight, December 12th at 7:00 p.m. The cast and crew will be in attendance. The film is composed of four different stories handled by different directors and shot in their own locales.
Each story is loosely wooven together by the presence of a single character who acts as a wanderer and a witness. The stories focus on radically different subcultures within Toronto. Explored is the imaginative world of children, the lives of borderline criminals, love amongst the too-hip, and the struggles of street-level addiction. Each story is peppered with a few Toronto inside references that will make you slap your knee, turn to the person beside you and mouth, “oh SHIT!” I won’t spoil it, but there’s one cameo that’ll make you do a flip-take.
Each director’s work succeeds, but the stand out story of the set is Sook-Yin Lee’s story of hipster heartache. Lee stars opposite Tygh Runyan, as Boris, a younger man with whom she becomes deeply infatuated. Boris is more than a little bit self-obsessed but just peculiar enough to remain perpetually fascinating to Willia. Willia, played by Lee, does some research in a delightful google-search montage and discovers that her difficulties in connecting with Boris may be of a different nature than she suspected. Lee’s ear for dialogue and eye for details make this an exceptional accomplishment.
So, that’s your film weekend. What’s in store next time? You tell me: leo(at)mondomagazine.net.