Monday, 22 October 2007
TADFF 07 Day 2 - October 20/07
Here is the daily news for Toronto After Dark for Saturday October 20, 2007.
Dir: Peter Ricq
Impressions: Fabulous short film exploring alternate realities, an excellent use of colour fully punctuates this theme. A creative visual style accompanied by strong narrative made this short film a treat to watch.
Aachi and Ssipak
Dir: Jo Beom-Jin
Voices: Seung-wan Ryoo, Chang Jung Lim, Yeong Hyeon
Impressions: Easiest thing to say would be that this does not suit my tastes. In all fairness it is described as "South Park meets the Matrix". The initial action sequence is quite good but the premise of the film was just too ridiculous for me: in response to requiring an alternate source of energy and the chosen raw material is human waste. Add to that a fair amount of gender imbalance including the following line by one of the only female characters "Why do I need to know? Isn't being pretty enough?". If your tastes fall along the lines of bathroom humour plus gangster films then it would be suited for you. It did start out with a strong audience reaction but lost quite a few folks throughout the duration of the film. In the end there was loud cheering and clapping so it was enjoyed, just not by all.
The Pit and the Pendulum
Dir: Marc Lougee
Impressions: Stylistically strong with characters that are alarmingly full of depth given the fact that there is almost no spoken language (voiceovers being and exception). The quality of the film makes it no surprize that it has played at over 100 festivals.
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Dir: Uwe Boll (Bloodrayne, House of the Dead)
Cast:Jason Statham, John Rhys-Davies, Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard, Leelee Sobieski, Burt Reynolds, Ron Perlman , Will Sanderson, Claire Forlani, Brian J. White, Kristanna Loken
Impressions: Highly enjoyable fantasy fare with impressive cast, effects and fight scenes. This film had the most vocal crowd so far, to the point of lines being called out from the audience to the screen. Eventually a not so polite retort quelled the tone down a little and I then realized that there were people enjoying the film in a non humorous way. Fair play to them, this film has a fair amount to offer (look at that cast!), being of the fantasy genre I was interested right away. The story begins with a simple task which becomes complicated and intertwined with numerous characters throughout the duration of the film. Strong performances include Jason Statham as a hesitant avenger, creepy factor runs high with Ray Liotta and comic relief by the bushel full with Matthew Lillard as the selfish nephew to the king. Leelee Sobieski and Kristanna Loken round out the cast and I was impressed by the presence of strong female characters. All in all I would say I enjoyed it and I believe numerous people in the crowd did as well.
Right off the bat Chris Alexander addressed the similarity to Lord of the Rings to which Uwe Boll replied that any fantasy film made will bear the burden of being compared to Lord of the Rings, however he said it’s a different story, there is no goal revolving around an object. In my opinion, In terms of art direction and the ‘creatures’, you can’t help but see a similarity but if in fact the film is true to the world and story that the video game created it would be the video game, not the film, to which complains should be directed to about the similarities.
I think it would be safe to say that this Q&A was one of the most highly anticipated of the festival. Not only was it led by Chris Alexander, one of the critics who took up the challenge to box Uwe Boll, but also because people have such a strong reactions to his films. What I found more riveting about the Q&A was that Uwe Boll is that he speaks his mind in such a straight up manner without hesitation to be very frank about the people his worked with and the experiences he’s had be they good or bad. I think that is remarkable.
(Chris Alexander, Uwe Boll)
Highlight of the Day: After the screening of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale there was a preview of upcoming documentary titled The Maneuver In Vancouver when there were some technical difficulties Uwe said from inside the theatre “I am here, I can do it live”. I think that might be the best moment of the festival.
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs October 19-25/07 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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