Tuesday, 23 October 2007

TADFF 07 Day 4 - October 22/07

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A little of a quieter day for me at on Monday at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, checking out just one movie, The Rebel a kickin' martial arts film from Vietnam. I decided to forgo the David Arquette directorial debut of The Tripper as I'm a little bloodied out and I have a sneaky suspicioun that it is one of the films that will more readily available. I'm sure I will back for more blood for Wednesday's for Simon Says.

The Bullet
Dir: Tanner Adams

Impressions: This could be the first ever western short I've seen, and it made it expertly clear that the key elements of a western could be succinctly captured in 11 minutes. A hyper use of colour and electric soundtrack are a creative turn completing the extreme nature of this genre and the film itself.

The Rebel
Dir: Charlie Nguyen
Cast: Johnny Nguyen, Thanh Van Ngo, Dustin Nguyen
Languages: Vietnamese, French

Impressions: It is fair to say this is one of the films I was most looking forward to at this year's festival. It has been billed as the most expensive Vietnamese film, starring Johnny Nguyen whose credits include The Protector, Cradle 2 the Grave and the man inside the Spiderman suit. The happy surprize is that is following a current trend that I love which is the martial arts film with so much more. In a way, it reminded me of Myung Sung-Le's Duelist in that it has more than one main character and beautifully combines action and romance, without either feeling cheesy. The Rebel arguable has three main characters, along with Johnny Nguyen's character Chong, we also have Thanh Van Ngo playing a strong female character Vo Thanh Thuy and power hungry Sy played by Dustin Nguyen. The plot weaves through colonialism, rebellion, redemption and a thread of romance. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable film with solid story and of course spectacular fights and spinning kicks galore. Notablely, the Fred Astaire style full body shots were received much more enthusiastically than shots that were pieced together. Not that I doubt the skill, which all three actors have to a level most humans will never achieve. The Rebel is high on my list of favorites for this years festival.

*update* For those that were at the Oct 22/07 screening of The Rebel, it was later revealed that the version that was intended to be shown got held up at customs therefore we saw a back up copy. This explains the audio issues and no credits, and I hope it explains the reason why there were no subtitles at 2 brief moments of the film.

Memorable Quote: "That Goddamn move hurts"
I wonder if that was the character, or the actor...

Visit The Rebel official website here.

Highlight of the Day: Getting to meet fellow TADFF'er Bob from Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind.

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The Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs October 19-25/07 at the Bloor Cinema,


Bob Turnbull said...

It was great meeting you too Shannon! can't wait for "Alone" later tonight...

Man, I've only put up one review so far (of the two films I saw Saturday). You've already done the first four full days!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Hey Bob! I was really looking forward to Alone as well, and man - was it scary!

My goal has been to post daily, and so far so good there! I can't wiat to see more of your reviews, you can do it!

Sacred Suzie said...

That is so cool David Arquette did a horror movie, that suits him and I bet you're right, that it will end up having a wider distribution.

The Bullet sounds fascinating! I am impressed by how impressed you were with it.

Holy cow, The Rebel sounds amazing! Man, that's one me and R would love. I have to ask, how is this horror or dark fantasy though?

That sign is awesome, LOL. Perfect way to end the post Shannon. You're doing amazing!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

The Rebel was great, but it's true I wouldn't say that it is either fantasy or horror. I think it appeals to the same crowds though, and I for one was happy they got it!

Thanks for the kudos on the picture - it made me giggle.

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