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Archive for July, 2012

Shinsedai – Zero Man vs

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Shinsedai Film Festival 2012 (Toronto)

Zero Man vs. the Half-Virgin

Starring Chihiro Itakura, Miho Hoshino, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Hideo Tsubota, Don Brown and Sakichi Sato

Written and Directed by Sakichi Sato

Preceeded by Dark on Dark

Directed by Makato Ohtake

Sakichi Sato is a master of oddball cinema. The mastermind behind the scripts for Takeshi Miike’s Ichi the Killer and Gozu and writer/director of his own Tokyo Zombie; Sakichi has shown that no subject is too taboo or bizarre for him to tackle. So naturally a story where a policeman can see numbers on people’s foreheads, but only when his is sporting a full erection, is something that should surprise none of Sato’s fans.

First some words on the odd and entertaining short film Dark on Dark. The film starts a simple scheme, as a man and enormously endowed woman gain money by charging money to men who subsequently have one…

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Shinsedai – Ringing in their Ears

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Shinsedai Cinema Festival 2012 (Toronto)

Ringing in their Ears

Starring – Fumi Nikaido, Kurumi Morishita, Tatsuya Sakamoto and Shinsei Kamattechan

Written and Directed by Yu Irie

The group Shinsei Kamattechan has become a formidable force to be dealt with in the Korean music scene its inception in 2007. Composed of members Noko (lead singer, guitar and keyboards, who also happens to be a shut-in), Mono (keyboards and guitar), Misako (Drums), and Chibagin (Bass), Shinsei grew a rabid fan-base by way of online videos and message boards as they are completely internet driven, including webcasting their live shows. Inspired by their story director Irie has crafted a fictional story set in the world of the band.

The characters of Ringing in their Ears are comprised of a single mom and her son. The mom works two jobs, cleaner by day/exotic dancer by night, to support herself and her young son. Her…

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The Collapsed DVD

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The Collapsed DVD review

Starring – John Fantasia, Steve Vieira, Anna Ross and Lise Moule

Written by Justin McConnell and Kevin Hutchinson

Directed by Justin McConnell

The world of low budget genre films seems proliferated by three different types of films, zombie films, one room/house supernatural thrillers, and apocalyptic end of the world set pieces. With so many out there it truly is difficult to make something original and enticing for fans of the genre. Canadian Filmmaker Justin McConnell brings us his take on the apocalypse with The Collapsed, released on DVD from Anchor Bay entertainment.

The Collapsed is the story of a family after a mysterious infection has turned most of the world against each other. Trying to stay together and lie low while cannibals/murders roam the streets the Weaver family, consisting of Father Scott (Fantasia), Son Aaron (Vieira), Mother Emily (Moule) and Daughter Rebecca (Ross), decide to head…

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Shut Up and Play the Hits

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Bloor Cinema Limited Engagement July 18th and 19th only

Shut up and Play the Hits (2012)

Starring LCD Soundsystem

Directed by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern

So you’re in your mid-thirties and you decide it’s a great time to completely self-produce and release an album under the name LCD Soundsystem. It receives critical acclaim and now you’re making a “cover” band out of friends and other musicians to go out on tour with. Years later the band is about to make you and the band massive stars as it is on the cusp of a breakthrough on the charts, yet you decide it’s time to call it quits and end the band. Some call it masochism, others a crippling fear of success, but you are resolute. And you’re going to hold the funeral, a massive last concert, in the most historic venue in New York Madison Square Gardens…

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TKFF Oldboy

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Toronto Korean Film Festival 2012

Oldboy (2003)

Starring – Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jeong, Ji Dae-han and Kim Byeong-ok

Written by Hwang Jo-hyun, Lim Chun-hyeong, Lim Joon-hyung and Park Chan-wook (based on the Manga by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi)

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Now the undeniable creative leader of the Korean film movement of the last decade is by far and away Park Chan-wook. Starting with 2000’s JSA: Joint Security Area director Chan-wook has delivered diverse and ground-breaking films like the three films that make up the Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance), I’m a Cyborg, but that’s OK, and Thirst. Even though the Toronto Korean Film Festival wrapped over a week ago, I would like to use the background of the TKFF to talk about one of my favorite Korean films of all time, Old Boy.

Oh Dae-su (Min-sik) has always…

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Fat Kid Rules

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Projection Booth (Toronto)

Fat Kid Rules the World

Starring – Jacob Wysocki, Matt O’Leary, Dylan Arnold, Lili Simmons, and Billy Campbell

Written by Michael M.B. Galvin and Peter Speakman

Directed by Matthew Lillard

I must admit that I haven’t been the biggest fan of Matthew Lillard’s acting career. His career defining role may be as Shaggy in the Scooby Doo films (one good, one awful), but he has also impressed with his great turn as a punk rocker Stevo in SLC Punk and the iconic role of Stu in Scream.  Aside from that there hasn’t been a lot to commend, but perhaps that’s because he hadn’t found his true calling yet.

Fat Kid Rules the World introduces us to Troy Billings (Wysocki), the titular Fat Kid of the title, a depressed overweight teen who invisibly walks the halls at school as he’s ignored at every turn. Troy is depressed and…

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TAD Summer Screening VHS

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Toronto After Dark Summer Screenings 2012


Directed by Adam Wingard, Ti West, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence

Horror anthology films are usually a hit and miss affair. Classic anthologies like Creepshow and the more recent Trick ‘r Treat have proven that they can be made very well without missing a step, but those were both made with one person steering the ship. Usually multiple directors means that one or two parts fall short. These films work when the good considerably outweighs the bad, but does V/H/S fall into this category?

We start off with our wrapping story (Directed by Wingard) where we have a group of guys performing random acts of violence and destruction. After they finish destroying some homes, one of them talks about making some money by breaking into a house to steal a videotape. Upon breaking into the house the group discovers…

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