Hunger Games

This Week in Film: The Raid, The Hunger Games, Sisters & Brothers, Cinefranco, Canadian Music Week Film Festival, DVD and BluRay

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.


The Hunger Games (Varsity, Scotiabank)

Viral marketing campaigns are swarming the net, opening weekend tickets have been gone for weeks, and thousands of fans — mostly spawned by Suzanne Collins' source novel — are undergoing hunger strikes as we speak in the most audacious case of "method viewing" ever attempted for a mainstream film. Combining our love for book adaptations, televised sports, battles of the sexes, and lifetime-supplies of food, The Hunger Games is the genius all-in-one movie formula producers have been waiting for their whole lives.

The Raid: Redemption (Scotiabank)

Anyone confused about how his-or-her favourite movie from last September's Midnight Madness at TIFF already has a sequel hitting screens will be relieved to know that this is in fact the same movie, only it's undergone another of Hollywood's condescending title changes (at least now it sounds like the video game that it kind of is). The film is a mayhemic account of a SWAT team that gets trapped in a safe house while trying to get the bad guy on the top floor. If the stakes weren't dramatic enough, our protagonist's wife waits - pregnantly - for her husband to come home from work. Also of note for those who saw the film at TIFF is that the soundtrack is now completely different; goodbye Indonesian music, hello Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda.

Sisters & Brothers (AMC Yonge & Dundas)

This is Carl Bessai's third installment in his 'familial trilogy' and takes a look into the lives of four sets of siblings. Many will be excited to see Glee's Cory Monteith in a "movie" movie (art imitating life — his character is frequently swarmed by fanatical girls), but others will come from another dose of Bessai's intimate vérité style as he guides us through the currents of these stories. Your mileage may well vary, though, what with the comic book-style scene transitions and Woody Allen-esque interview asides where the characters "reveal their quirky selves".

Also in theatres this week:

  • Agent Vinod (AMC Yonge & Dundas)
  • Footnote (Cumberland)
  • One Life
  • Starry, Starry Night (AMC Yonge & Dundas)


For recommendations on what to catch at Toronto's rep cinema's this week, check out This Week in Rep Cinema.


Canadian Music Week Film Festival (March 21-24 at NFB Mediatheque, Toronto Underground, & TIFF Bell Lightbox)

Not just for moshing, Canadian Music Week has a developed film festival component, too, and it's already underway at a few downtown venues. "From drama to comedy to documentaries to special appearances and Q&As," this is a full-blown film event that routinely spotlights some great new directors and musicians. This weekend they'll be showing rep films like The Muppet Movie (1979), a new Paul Simon doc called Under African Skies (fresh from its world premiere at Sundance), and more. Tickets can still be purchased at the venue before each screening.

Cinéfranco (March 23 - April 1 at TIFF Bell Lightbox)
You can read our round-up for the titles to look forward to at this year's festival here. I'd also like to put an additional shout-out, though, to All Our Desires. It's directed by Philippe Lioret, but more importantly, it's based on a novel by Emmanuel Carrère, a talented guy who wrote and directed 2005's little-seen La Moustache, a film and script so dizzyingly good that Hitchcock almost certainly would have flipped for it. Tickets are on sale now.


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