Friday, 19 December 2008

Film Fan Fridays Special Double Issue - December 19 & 26, 2008

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

We have a special double issue with the end of year releases including both Friday December 19, 2008 and December 26, 2008! How does the year go by so quickly? When you add up all the releases it doesn't seem so quick considering we've had over 300 films grace the Toronto screens in 2008.

This weekend we have four films coming into release, the one limited release is Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino which looks quite compelling as a war vet deals with aging, but I do wish the trailer held back just a tad. Our wide releases this week include the animated The Tale of Despereaux with a star studded cast of voices and it looks pretty cute, however it also looks like a combination of Ratatouille meets The Secret of NIHM. Will Smith and Gabriele Muccino are back presenting another end of year pull at the heart strings film with Seven Pounds. I have to say with this film I'm impressed at the trailer - it gives you enough to get a sense of the film but doesn't reveal, the reveal. I commend it for that, we don't see enough of it. Our last wide release has Jim Carrey starring in Yes Man and although it looks goofy I have a feeling it will also be inspirational.

Every year I find it bizarre that there are always films released, often acclaimed films, on Christmas Day. This year six films will open on Dec 25/08 and only one is a limited release, the highly acclaimed and fan favourite The Wrestler from Darren Aronofsky and starring Mickey Rourke. I'm really looking forward to The Wrestler after missing it at TIFF. It is also one of the few 2008 releases to break into the IMDb top 250 (currently sitting at #213). Our wide releases are highly book influenced including the family friendly fair Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler, Marley & Me that chronicles family life with a new dog is also based on book. The book theme keeps going with The Spirit. This leads us to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which got a few early panned reviews but has be kicking up a storm for nominations for awards near and far. The last release on Christmas day is Valkyrie from Bryan Singer (X-Men) starring Tom Cruise in a historical war film.

The lone Boxing Day film is the limited release of Waltz with Bashir, another award winner. Like last years Persepolis uses animation to re-tell a personal story about war and has been deemed one of the most important films kicking around.

Have a warm, safe and fun holiday season!


It's a Wonderful Life
The annual holiday film celebration at the Bloor is this Friday December 19, 2008 at 7pm (refreshments at 6pm)
Free with Membership, $3 to purchase membership

Friday December 19, 2008 Releases

Gran Torino
Dir: Clint Eastwood (The Changeling, Letters from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby, Heartbreak Ridge)
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, Brain Haley, Geraldine Hughes
Limited Release
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
You get a sense of the film within the first third of the preview, spoiler heavy afterwards

Seven Pounds
Dir: Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness)
Cast: Will Smith, Rosario Dawon, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper, Elpidia Carrillo
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer 3 is spoiler free

The Tale of Despereaux
Dir: Sam Fell (Flushed Away) and Robert Stevenhagen - directorial debut
Voices: Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer is spoiler free

Yes Man
Dir: Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Bring it On)
Cast: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Terence Stamp, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby, John Michael Higgins
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer 1 is spoiler free

Thursday December 25, 2008 Releases

Bedtime Stories
Dir: Adam Shankman (Hairspray, The Pacifier)
Cast: Adam Sandler, Keri Russell, Guy Pearce, Lucy Lawless, Courteney Cox
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer
You get the gist of the film by the 1/2 way point

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Dir: David Fincher (Zodiac, Fight Club, The Game, Se7en, Alien³)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Julia Ormond, Faune A. Chambers, Elias Koteas
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer sight unseen - could be spoilers

Marley & Me
Dir: David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada)
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Eric Dane, Kathleen Turner
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer and has really cute dogs), IMDb Page, Trailer
You get the gist of the film by the 1/2 way point, but after that it shows a lot of content

The Spirit
Dir: Frank Miller (Sin City)
Cast: Gabriel Macht, Jaime King, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Balfour, Samuel L. Jackson
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer is spoiler free

Dir: Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2, The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp, Eddie Izzard
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
Spoiler free for first have then spoilers galore!

The Wrestler
Dir: Darron Aronofsky (The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream, Pi)
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Even Rachel Wood
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer is sight unseen - spoiler sensitive beware

Friday December 26, 2008 Releases

Waltz with Bashir
Writer/Dir: Ari Folman (Made in Israel, Clara Hadedosha / Saint Clara)
Voices, as themselves: Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Dror Harazi, Ari Folman
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of December 26, 2008**


Bob Turnbull said...

Just couldn't make it out tonight...Not because of the snow - that actually would've just made the whole experience even better - but just general stuff. I think I committed to The Mad Hatter that I would see it by end of year though, so I'll manage it.

Too bad, big screen viewing would've been lovely.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I wonder how the screening went yesterday, I ended up not going out at all! All of that snow.. yikes! OH, well. I shovelled, hehe.

I bet you can still catch it by the end of the year! They used to play it *all* the time but nowadays seems to be only 1 or 2 times.

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