This Week in Film: April 20, 2007

Hot Docs is in full swing, which means blogTO film staff are busy, soaking it all and preparing for a little sleep deprivation if necessary... but all in good spirit of course! And in case you missed it, Matt has already given us his Toronto-centric picks.

Yesterday's gala opener In the Shadow of the Moon (Matt's review here) -- a slick and stirring, hyper-patriotic look at the US Apollo space missions -- was a rousing but light appetizer. Even with the conspicuous absence of Neal Armstrong's talking head (who is notorious for being a recluse), the film's evocations of humankind's greatest journey are sweepingly quixotic yet warm and well-intentioned since it breezes over the Cold War and never gets critical about NASA. The film would've came off as propagandistic if weren't for the infectious heart-to-hearts by those grizzled Astronauts (like Buzz Aldrin and Alan Bean) awing and reminiscing over memories of walking (and peeing) on the moon -- rekindling the popular imagination of the late '60s and at the same time echoing much needed hope for today.

Not into documentaries? Not into festivals? Well, the multiplex could always use your business. The buzz around helmers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's new action spoof Hot Fuzz is -- forgive my lack of imagination -- sizzling. Fans of the subverted zombie movie Shaun of the Dead (the pair's breakthrough hit) should enjoy the madcap and very British take on Michael Bay style car chases and meretricious pyrotechnics.

Opening this week:
Hot Fuzz
Year of the Dog
Orchestra Seats
In the Land of Women
That Beautiful Somewhere

(Photos: Hot Docs, Focus Features)

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