This Week in Film: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mission: Impossible 4, Mughal-E-Azam, and what's new on DVD and Blu Ray
This Week in Film rounds up noteworthy new releases in theatres, as well as key DVD / Blu-Ray releases, festivals, and other cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Varsity)
...in which Gary Oldman convinces the world once again that he is invincible (though perhaps his character isn't so much). This is just a fantastic, capital 'M' Modern spy movie that easily puts recent Bond, Bourne, and Mission: Impossible movies to shame. It is fractured, disjointed and difficult to follow, but that's also kind of the point. Tomas Alfredson put his name on the map back in 2008 when he directed the hit arthouse vampire movie Let the Right One In, and that film is easily bested here in his sophomore bid (though, ironically, it will almost certainly not develop the same sized following as his debut). May be the studio picture of the year.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Varsity, Scotiabank) - Opens Tuesday, December 20
A release that has proven to be laughably susceptible to criticism, sight unseen: "America hates reading!," "too soon!," "the books suck so all of the films based on them will, too!" What makes the film a must-see, though, is simple: David Fincher. The ambitious and reliable filmmaker is coming off of his most buzzed-about title in over a decade (The Social Network), which means that, for all intents and purposes, he gets a free pass with his next one — no matter how bland and unnecessary it looks, people will be eager to give it a watch. Here's to Tuesday getting here already!
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (Scotiabank)
Even if he does chase around aliens in his off-hours, Tom Cruise is a bona fide movie star and has kept the extraterrestrial-less Mission: Impossible franchise watchable throughout all of these unnecessary sequels. Among other virtues, the M:I films remain patently committed to non-CGI stunt work, a rare pleasure in this burgeoning generation of quasi-computer game 'action' movies. Not to mention, of all of the franchises that change up directors for each new entry, the four filmmakers behind the Ethan Hunt films (Brian De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams, and now Pixar alum Brad Bird) are the most consistently interesting selections.
Also Opening This Week:
IN REP CINEMAS
For recommendations on what to catch at Toronto's rep cinema's this week, check out This Week in Rep Cinema.
The Sound of Music Sing-Along Special - Friday, December 16 at 7PM (TIFF Bell Lightbox)
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens / Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens / Brown paper packages tied up with strings — if these are a few of your favourite things, don't miss the chance to sing it out loud in public, one of the few times you can do so without getting contemptuous glares from the strangers around you. TIFF has hosted a few sing-alongs already in their Singin' in the Dark series, and The Sound of Music's version is one of the most beloved traveling shows of them all. At three hours long, it's one of the more trying sing-along musical experience — you're liable to have a sore throat by the end - but no pain no gain, eh?
Mughal-E-Azam - Sunday, December 18 at 6PM (Projection Booth)
Speaking of music-heavy three hour epics, here is one of Bollywood's most popular and beloved extravaganzas. Director K. Asif took nine years to complete this $3 million movie, which is incredible coming in 1960, when a typical Bollywood film only cost around $200,000. It was worth it, apparently, as it smashed box office records in India and held the record for the highest grossing film ever for 15 years. This is all to say that should you decide to trek over to the East side to take a look this Sunday evening, you may well end up having a pretty darn good time.
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