TIFF And Fantastic Fest Wrap-Up: The Lightning Round!

Senior Editor
09.30.14 17 Comments
I love writing reviews and for the most part, you guys seem to enjoy reading them. But while I piss Peabodies and puke Pulitzers, even I’m not so arrogant as to believe that you’re all clamoring to read more extensive critiques of films you won’t be able to see for another year. I try to write full reviews of everything I see, but when you’ve seen a lot in a short amount of time, that’s all but impossible. Or more accurately, really hard! ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Nonetheless, I gotta justify these tax write-offs somehow. So in lieu of, in addition to, and/or in some cases in preparation for, full reviews, I’m going to give you the run down of some of the festival movies we saw in the most succinctest manner possible. You know, in case you’re into that whole brevity thing.

Movie: The Judge

Where We Saw It: TIFF

Is it being released? Yes, it opens October 10th.

What’s it about? A tale of two Roberts, in which big city lawyer Robert Downey Jr. returns to his small-town home town where he has to defend his father, the town judge, played by Robert Duvall, in a man slaughter case. (Trailer)

Is it any good? No. (full review)

Movie: The Humbling

Where We Saw It: TIFF

Is it being released? Yes. No release date yet, but most likely 2015.

What’s it about? Directed by Barry Levinson based on the novel by Philip Roth, Al Pacino plays an aging actor who’s losing his marbles, who falls in love with/is sort of adopted by a young lesbian played by Greta Gerwig who idolized him as a child. It’s told partly as conversations between Pacino’s character and his shrink, because I gather that’s Philip Roth’s favorite method of telling stories (trailers here and here).

Is it any good? I was pleasantly surprised. I went in with an instinctive distrust of the aging Great Men Of American Letters and their barely-disguised boner fantasies, but it was far more self-critical than I expected, and Pacino and Gerwig prove surprisingly adept at humanizing Philip Roth.

Movie: The Drop

Where We Saw It: TIFF

Is it being released? Yeah, bro, it came out like three weeks ago.

What’s it about? Tom Hardy works at a bar that the Chechen mafia uses to launder money, where James Gandolfini is the manager. They get into some dirty business. Also, Tom Hardy adopts a pit bull puppy and names it Rocco and they become best friends.

Is it any good? Yes. So good. I mean did you read the thing about the pit bull? (full review)

Movie: Foxcatcher

Where We Saw It: TIFF

Is it being released? Yes, November 14th.

What’s it about? The story of Olympic wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with John DuPont (Steve Carell), who eventually murdered Dave. (Trailer).

Is it any good? It’s decently entertaining, but mostly full of sh*t. I guess it depends what you want in your based-on-a-true-story movies. (Full review here)

Movie: Wild

Where We Saw It: TIFF

Is it being released? Yes, December 5th.

What’s it about? Reese Witherspoon goes “into the wild” to try to win the Oscar. Jk, it’s based on a novel by Cheryl Strayed, who sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail as a journey of self-discovery following her mother’s death and her own heroin addiction. From the director of Dallas Buyers Club. Reese Witherspoon shows her boobs a lot. (Trailer)

Is it any good? It’s okay. Reese Witherspoon shows her boobs a lot. (Full review)

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