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This Week in Film: Magic Mike, Flamenco Flamenco, Take This Waltz, The Wedding Banquet, and what's new in DVD & 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.

IN THEATRES

Magic Mike (Carlton, Rainbow Market Sq., Scotiabank)

Depending on which team you play for, this is either the film event of the summer for you, or the obligatory date night you just wish would come and go already. Or, you might just be a cinemaniac who will go see anything with Steven Soderbergh's name in the credits, and will spend an entire upcoming afternoon strategically planning the optimal venue and screening time/day to avoid everyone who's only seeing it for the soft-core factors. Or maybe you're so intrigued by Matthew McConaughey's artistic resurgence (ok, just 'surgence') in films like Killer Joe, Bernie, and the upcoming Mud and Paperboy, that you'll let his eclectic career take you wherever it leads. Whatever the case may be, the wait's over, folks!

Flamenco, Flamenco (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)

OK, so maybe the above trailer looks exactly like the kind of tourist-bait, travel-destination commercial that immediately has you reconsidering that upcoming trip to Spain, but the name Carlos Saura hopefully erases any doubts. Saura's career has been split between two concurrent bodies of work: the Erice-esque dramas of nostalgia, and his flamenco films. Both have been consistently solid to say the least (if not outright masterpieces, as is the case with Cria Cuervos), and many may already be familiar with his fabulous '80s Flamenco triptych, which was released in a Criterion Eclipse set a few years ago. Flamenco, Flamenco is his first dance film in 12 years, which itself is enough reason to check it out.

Take This Waltz (Varsity, AMC Yonge & Dundas)

Sarah Polley opens up about her fractured marriage with editor David Wharnsby (who edited her superior debut, Away From Her) in this indirectly autobiographical new film. It has a few too many cringe-worthy moments to really work (worst of which is a laughable orgy montage), but it's affecting enough towards the end to at least reiterate that the former child prodigy is a very talented filmmaker. Part of why some of it hits so hard, though, might just be because her pet theme - the way love invariably evaporates in correspondence with the passage of time - is hard to do poorly. It's clear that Polley is plenty intimate with the material, and Michelle Williams has never been more sympathetically pitiable, a formula that should render a lot of leaky faucets in cinemas this weekend.

Also in theatres this week:

  • The Amazing Spider-man [opens Tuesday, July 3]
  • Dark Horse (TIFF Bell Lightbox)
  • People Like Us (Scotiabank)
  • Ted (Carlton, Rainbow Market Sq., AMC Yonge & Dundas)
  • Town of Runners (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)
  • Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (Scotiabank)

IN REP CINEMA

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

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

The Epicure's Revue: The Wedding Banquet (Thursday, June 28 at 6:30PM; The Revue)

June is 'the month of marriages.' Many say it's because Juno was the goddess of marriage and it's good luck to get hitched in the sixth month of the year, but it's probably more likely that, at least in the northern hemisphere, it's the most convenient month weather-wise, and most people aren't as occupied with school, farming, or raking leaves. Which is all good enough reason for the Revue to close out June with Ang Lee's gay-themed wedding comedy, The Wedding Banquet. Winner of all kinds of accolades upon its release in 1993 - including the Golden Bear at that year's Berlinale - this is the film that launched Ang Lee into the international spotlight, long before Crouching Tiger taught a whole new generation that subtitled movies aren't inherently evil.

DVD & BLU-RAY

Film still from Magic Mike


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