Page 62

movie reviews œcontinued from page 61

506 Bloor St. West @ Bathurst


SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (STC) “Hugely entertaining, emotionally touching.” – Indiewire Winner—Audience Award & Special Jury Prize, World Cinema—Documentary, Sundance Film Festival 2012

PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE (STC) “An entertaining, emotionally inspired stroll down memory lane.” –Los Angeles Times

FRI, AUG 10 & MON, AUG 13

recruiting office in America. 99 min. NNNN (NW) Carlton Cinema

IroN Sky (Timo Vuorensola) 93 min. See Also Opening, page 58. Opens Aug 10 at the Royal (see Indie & Rep Film, page 70)


(Steven Spielberg) is the greatest American movie ever made, as well as the perfect summer blockbuster. It’s your duty, frankly, to see it at least once on a big screen. Universal’s splendid new digital restoration – overseen by director Spielberg – accurately renders Joe Butler’s slightly grainy cinematography, and gets the underwater footage back to its original brightness after decades of dull video transfers. The subtle surround remix hews closely to the original monaural audio, keeping most of the sound at the centre of the screen while expanding John Williams’s score into the back of the room. The 15-year-old print TIFF screened a couple of years ago was very nice, but this is gorgeous. You owe it to yourself to check out the upgrade. 124 min. NNNNN (NW) Yonge & Dundas 24

katy Perry: Part of Me (Dan Cutforth,

Jane Lipsitz) chronicles a year in the life of pop star Perry as she embarks on her first world-wide concert tour and tries to keep her marriage to comic Russell Brand alive. Copious concert footage shows her hard work and the candy-coloured, fairy tale universe she or her marketers have constructed, but statements from Perry and her sycophantic handlers are so clichéd, they seem culled from a Christopher Guest mockumentary. 97 min. NN (GS) Colossus, Queensway, Yonge & Dundas 24

kIller Joe ñNNNN

(William Friedkin) 103 min. See interview and review, page 54. (NW) Opens Aug 10 at Scotiabank Theatre

MadagaScar 3: euroPe’S MoSt waNted (Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath,

Conrad Vernon) is zippy, silly and antic fun with Alex the lion and his team of continent-hopping friends. Making a break for New York City by trekking across Europe, the gang joins a travelling circus that includes a sneering Siberian tiger and a sleek jaguar (Jessica Chastain, oozing sex appeal even as a cartoon animal). On their tails is a villainous animal control chief voiced by the magnificent Frances McDormand with malevolent glee. 85 min. NNN (RS) Coliseum Scarborough, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Humber Cinema, Queensway, SilverCity Mississauga, Yonge & Dundas 24

ñMagIc MIke

(Steven Soderbergh) is a brawny, brainy reworking of Flashdance inspired by star Channing Tatum’s early days as a male stripper. Soderbergh and screenwriter Reid Carolin weave a subtle commentary on various American notions of exploitation in between energetic, self-aware dance sequences. Matthew McConaughey steals every scene he can as the club’s cagey MC and occasional performer. 110 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Carlton Cinema, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Humber Cinema, Interchange 30, Kennedy Commons 20, Queensway, Scotiabank Theatre, SilverCity Mississauga


(Kevin Macdonald) can be compared to a massive joint – and not just because there’s an obscene amount of ganja onscreen. Everyone will come away

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (PG) Featuring: Paul Williams, William Finley and Jessica Harper. From our Back to the Bloor series.

From the producer oF The hurT Locker and the director oF The exorcisT

with a different kind of high. Hardcore Bob Marley fans will be astonished by the documentary’s depth and breadth, while those who only know his most popular tunes will walk away enlightened about the music and its roots. 145 min. NNNN (RS) Regent Theatre

Marvel’S the aveNgerS (Joss Whedon) is, quite simply, an epic win – it’s tremendous fun, sprinting through its gargantuan adventure on a mixture of adrenaline, glee and wise-assery. That’s mostly due to director and co-writer Whedon, whose ability to render large, distinct casts of characters is exactly what’s required for a movie of this scale. Everything that happens is grounded in who these people are, not what they can do. And he’s the first filmmaker to crack the problem of the Hulk. Some subtitles. 143 min. NNNN (NW) Coliseum Mississauga, Colossus, Eglinton Town Centre, Kennedy Commons 20, Scotiabank Theatre, Yonge & Dundas 24


MeN IN Black 3 (Barry Sonnenfeld) sends

Will Smith’s Agent J back to 1969 to save Tommy Lee Jones’s Agent K from an alien assassin. Josh Brolin as the younger K turns out to be the movie’s best effect; he perfectly channels the cranky pragmatism that makes Jones’s performance so much fun. The problem is that the script never gives him or Smith anything substantial to do, bouncing the pair from one effects scene to the next. The movie evaporates almost as soon as it reaches your retinas. 105 min. NN (NW) Interchange 30, Yonge & Dundas 24

ñMooNrISe kINgdoM

(Wes Anderson) might be Anderson’s purest work yet – a tender tale of longing and melancholy as seen through the eyes of a handful of people on an isolated (fictional) island off the coast of New England in September 1965, when two 12-year-old pen pals (Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward) run off together. It’s also one of the saddest comedies you’ll ever see, though that’s not a criticism. 94 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Interchange 30, Kennedy Commons 20, Kingsway Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre, Varsity

the odd lIfe of tIMothy greeN (Peter Hedges) 104 min. See Also Opening, page 58. Opens Aug 15 at Coliseum Mississauga, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Empire Theatres at Empress Walk, Grande Steeles, Interchange 30, Queensway, Rainbow Woodbine, Yonge & Dundas 24

ñoSlo, auguSt 31St

(Joachim Trier) 90 min. See review, page 57. NNNN

(RS) Opens Aug 10 at TIFF Bell Lightbox

ñPeoPle lIke uS

(Alex Kurtzman) stars Chris Pine as amoral salesman who finds out that his father had a daughter from another relationship and that he has an 11-year-old nephew. It may be a bit noisy and occasionally predictable, but it’s cool to see a well-acted, character-driven film in this season of actioners and half-baked sequels. 115 min. NNNN (SGC) Canada Square, Interchange 30, Kennedy Commons 20

SAT, AUG 11–12

BUGSY MALONE (PG) Featuring: Jodie Foster, Scott Baio and Florrie Dugger. Music by Paul Williams. From our Back to the Bloor series.

ProMetheuS (Ridley Scott) follows a team of corporate explorers to a distant celestial body, where they encounter something very similar to what the crew of Nostromo found in Alien – or will find, since this film takes place a good quarter-century before that one. But Prometheus doesn’t enhance or complement the original Alien as much as it builds a video-game module onto it, a weightless digital creation that can’t hold a candle to the original’s grimy analog impact. 119 min. NN (NW) Carlton Cinema, Kingsway Theatre, Scotiabank Theatre

SAT, AUG 11–12


From our Essential Docs series.


august 9-15 2012 NOW

the QueeN of verSaIlleS (Lauren Greenfield) begins as a look at conspicuous consumption, then evolves into something that plays with our sympathies. Jackie Siegel is a buxom 40-something former beauty queen raising seven children with her septuagenarian husband, David Siegel, owner of a multi-million-dollar timeshare business. When we first meet them, they’re constructing a 90,000-square-foot estate modelled on Versailles. Then the economic crisis hits and their empire and


a film by William friedkin

Winner—Best Documentary, Independent Spirit Awards 2005

in theatres august 10th Ñ

Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei butts heads with the authorities in Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

home life begin to crumble. Filming over three years, documentarian Greenfield captures remarkable moments – everything from manipulative real estate pitch sessions to shopping sprees, and has a great eye for the telling detail (she’s a former photographer). Jackie is a completely compelling character, bust-revealing outfits and all: smart, generous and – as much as we might be skeptical – totally in love with a man who once joked that when she turned 40 he’d replace her with two 20-year-olds. 100 min. NNNNN (GS) Grande - Yonge, Varsity

red lIghtS (Rodrigo Cortés) 113 min. See Q&A and review, page 58. NN (NW) Opens Aug 10 at Yonge & Dundas 24 ruBy SParkS (Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris) feels like the best Woody Allen movie Woody Allen never made. It’s a clever magic-realist romantic fantasy about an author (Paul Dano) so infatuated with his newest character that he literally brings her into being. The dream girl is played by Zoe Kazan, whose adroitly constructed screenplay spends exactly as much time as it needs (not a second more) to establish the stranger-than-fiction conceit. Ruby’s fantastical origins are a springboard to consider relationships in general, the impossibility of ever finding a perfect partner and the myth of the manic pixie dream girl. Dano and Kazan are terrific, as are supporting players Chris Messina and Steve Coogan, and directors Dayton and Faris avoid the twee flourishes that made Little Miss Sunshine feel like an overlong sitcom. 103 min. NNNN (NW) Varsity, Yonge & Dundas 24


Safety Not guaraNteed (Colin Trevor-

row) can’t really compete with the headier, more thoughtful lo-fi sci-fi of Another Earth and Sound Of My Voice. But as a hipster rom-com about people trying to shake off their pasts to make present-day connections, it’s pretty satisfying until the overreaching ending. 94 min. NNN (NW) Carlton Cinema, Yonge & Dundas 24

SalMoN fIShINg IN the yeMeN (Lasse Hallström) is a light comedy about a stuffy salmon expert (Ewan McGregor) and a troubled administrator (Emily Blunt) drawn to one another while working to stock the river of a wealthy Yemeni sheik (Amr Waked) with Atlantic salmon. No, seriously. 112 min. NN (NW) Mt Pleasant SavageS (Oliver Stone) stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as California drug kingpins threatened when Mexican queenpin Elena (Salma Hayek) muscles in on their territory and then kidnaps their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively). Great secondary characters – Hayek, John Travolta as a corrupt cop, and Benicio Del Toro as Elena’s henchman – and Stone’s razzle-dazzle make this ultra-violent drug-war tale entertaining if you like this kind of thing. 130 min. NNN (SGC) Canada Square, Carlton Cinema, Coliseum Mississauga, Coliseum Scarborough, Colos-

= Critics’ Pick nnnnn = Top ten of the year nnnn = Honourable mention nnn = Entertaining nn = Mediocre n = Bomb