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TIFF: El Chivo on Richard Linklater's ME & ORSON WELLES, Guy Ritchie's ROCKNROLLA, Ricky Gervais' GHOST TOWN and THREE MONKEYS!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with El Chivo's latest batch from Toronto! The new Linklater movie, ME & ORSON WELLES in particular sounds like a stand-out and even though Ritchie's ROCKNROLLA appears to be same old Guy Ritchie... well, I like old Guy Ritchie. And if Ghost Town has enough good Ricky Gervais moments to lift it out of big studio comedy mediocrity, then I'll be very happy. Here's El Chivo!

Greetings all! El Chivo back at the end of day two. A relatively relaxed schedule today with only four films. I actually had time to go shopping for food to stock up the hotel and backpack. ME AND ORSON WELLES Richard Linklater has previously earned the right for me to be excited about seeing his films regardless of what they're actually about. Turns out this is from a fiction novel by Robert Kaplow, which was based on a famous photo of Orson Welles and a young man performing together during Welles' 1937 production of Julius Caesar. "That guy playing Orson Welles was genius!" That seemed be the comment coming from nearly everyone's mouth after the screening. It's true. Christian McKay as Welles is the perfect, magnetic magic of an actor playing a role they were born to play. It's no surprise to learn McKay's resume includes various BBC radio projects. Claire Danes was looking mighty nice in person and does an excellent job onscreen as an unashamed, flawed love interest for Zac Efron's character (the "ME" of the title). A small contingent of the Zac Efron fan club was present at this, the World Premiere. Thankfully, they were mostly civil and kept the shrieks to a minimum. Efron isn't great and isn't terrible. He's adequate when his character is actively engaged, but spends a fare amount of time starring somewhat blankly and whatever else is going on as Welles tries to ready the Mercury Theater for opening night. The tone is light throughout, but so too is the overall impression of the film. McKay's portrayal of Welles is one for the film history books, while the rest is charming, but a bit slight. Also, what was going on with the color red being used everywhere, all the time? My TIFF People's Choice Ballot: 3 out of 4.

GHOST TOWN So was it David Koepp's idea when scripting INDY 4 to include the refrigerator or does that fall on George Lucas with the story credit? I never know where to stand on Koepp, so it was at best a mixed, optimistic set of feelings going in. But none of that has anything to do with Ricky Gervais taking the lead in a mainstream film for the first time! Very exciting stuff for all us fans of his. The film has some very funny Ricky moments, of course, and plays the more serious stuff decently. Kristen Fiig, the SNL actress and scene-stealing E! executive from KNOCKED UP is back to once again take over every scene where her doctor character is present. The best parts were of Ricky having a laugh and you can tell Greg Kinnear and Tea Leoni are struggling not to lose it. If these were the takes they used, I can't image how many they must've thrown away that were completely ruined by laughter. Misanthropic dentist actually seems like a career Ricky could've pulled off in an alternate life. I must say it did feel odd to see Ricky perform necessary-evil, romantic comedy rituals like being sad in montage and running earnestly after having an epiphany. I still have a crush on Leoni. Slick, effective craftsmanship throughout. My TIFF People's Choice Ballot: 2 out of 4.

ROCKNROLLA What do you say about a new Guy Ritchie film? They're all basically cut from the same mold. To whatever degree you like or dislike his films in general, you'll probably feel the same about this. That said, if you're looking for a film for guys night or just need to pump up the testosterone before a big game or hunting trip or something, ROCKNROLLA is perfect. The cast is huge and the colors, the music, and the London scene all pop more than ever. Tom Wilkinson, Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton and two gay, unstoppable Drago-like Russian thugs really stood out. Tom Wilkinson "owns" London and works to keep the rest of the marginally criminal underground under his thumb, including Gerard Butler and his partner Mumbles (Stinger Bell from THE WIRE). We're instructed that being a proper RockNRolla is to want to combine all the sex, violence, and drugs into one personality and to engage fully in all three. The movie does a damn good job of just that. My TIFF People's Choice Ballot: 3 out of 4. THREE MONKEYS Master filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan returns with this gem about the breakdown of a lower class Turkish family. The drama is Bergman and the visual compositions Hitchcock. Dad gets shit on at work by the upper class, Mom strains to pick up the slack, and the son gets caught in between while dealing with his own young-man angst and motivation issues. How can I make this sound like the near-masterpiece it is? I've heard complaints of slowness, but pay no attention to that. When not shooting faces in beautiful, natural close-up, each wide shot is carefully composed with subtle touches of action in the foreground and background. The inky, dark browns and grays radiate with a sad beauty that sets the tone for the story's high-cost series of lies and deception that send the family unraveling. If you liked 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS and 2 DAYS, you will like this. My TIFF People's Choice Ballot: 4 out of 4. What's up for tomorrow? Danish assassins killing Nazis, Ed Harris directs a western, LeBron James, and the new, improved cut of the City of God director's latest film, Blindness.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 6, 2008, 3:16 a.m. CST


    by virtual_ninja


  • Sept. 6, 2008, 3:17 a.m. CST


    by Speed Fricassee


  • Sept. 6, 2008, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Ghost Town

    by Geekgasm

    Based on the trailer, it looks horrrrrrrrrible, I don't care who's in it.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 3:48 a.m. CST

    looking forward to

    by imascooby1985

    Orson Welles and Ghost Town. I love Linklater and really enjoyed Efron in Hairspray (Im straight believe it or not), and I will see anything Gervais does.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Fuck Efron.

    by Harold-Sherbort

    Seriously. That fuckin'kid/guy/whatever the fuck he is, has to do some great fuckin work for people to see him as anything other than a fuckin pretty boy, no talent ass clown lookin for a paycheck. My mind is open however. Maybe Linklater made him smoke an ass load of weed.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:10 a.m. CST

    by Rebeck2

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:11 a.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:11 a.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:15 a.m. CST


    by Broseph


  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Excuse My Stutter...

    by Rebeck2

    The irrational fear of romantic-comedy on this site is fucking hysterical. It's like an extreme super-paranoid version of homophobia. You can't like a movie with love and non-vulgar comedy, YOU'RE NOT A REAL MAN!!!! Oh fuck!!! I like a movie with romance in it...must, see, latest, Guy, Ritchie, movie, before, I, become, fag. Unbelievable. Grow the fuck up.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Having read ME & ORSON WELLES...

    by GravitysRainbow

    This should be fairy light-hearted, coming of age stuff. I found the book at a book sale years ago for like $3 and finished it in a day. What's interesting is that Richard and Orson are only 5 years apart in the book. I really like the focus of the actors and actresses at the Mercury Theatre and hope they keep that in the movie.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Kinsey from Mad Men would've made a great Orson Welles too..

    by GravitysRainbow

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 8:43 a.m. CST

    ...out of 4? what is the fucking point?

    by Lemming

    so Ghost Town was good but merely gets an 'average' score? If you *must* score, use out of 10 for fuck's sake.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 9:16 a.m. CST

    I agree

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Ghost Town has a horrible, embarassing trailer that made me cringe. Either its terrible or someone in the marketing department needs to get fired.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST and Rebeck2

    by Bloo I thought you were going to go Trumpih and put a "for me to poop on" in your post, nice way to surprise me<P>Rebeck, I don't think it's a fear of the romantic comedy, I think it's that we've seent he formula played out so many times we're tired of seeing the same old same old thing, we want something orignal brought to the genre. I think we want that for ALL genres, that is why this site has endorsed films such as IRON MAN, TDK (bringing something new to the Superhero genre) while critizing films such as ghost Rider and Elektra (who follow the same tried and true formula badly)

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Mysterious Yobo

    by ElChivo

    No disrespect to the awesome Ms. Wiig. More late-night spelling errors to come.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 10:28 a.m. CST

    The refridgerator in Crystal Skull

    by Freakemovie

    For the record, it wasn't Koepp or Lucas's idea. The fridge scene first appeared in the unused script Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars by Jeb Stuart.<br><br>By the way, as catchy as "nuked the fridge" is, I really didn't mind that scene at all. It doesn't make real-world sense, but it makes Indiana Jones sense.<br><br> It's true that Koepp doesn't know how to end his scripts, judging from Indy and War of the Worlds, but hopefully Ghost Town will provide some laughs. I like Gervais and Kinnear a lot.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 11:12 a.m. CST

    people bitching about the fridge...


    Ive heard people deride this and swingin with the monkeys for months now...and for the record,..this is a character who has A:survived a plane crash using an inflatable raft, B:Survived the opening of the Ark of the Covenant, C;Fought stooges on a moving train as a teenager, D.Came face to face with Adolf Hitler, E:Need I go on? You get the point. Its called suspension of disbelief.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 11:12 a.m. CST


    by Dolmes

    Watch The Long Good Friday instead.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 11:13 a.m. CST

    whats with Efron's tan?


    Man that guy sucks

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 11:16 a.m. CST

    "Efron isn't great and isn't terrible"...

    by Snappy Cumback

    ...should be the movie review quote for the video packaging.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST

    A few things:

    by Mr. Lahey

    The MuchMusic girl in the first picture is 6 feet tall. I would spoon Ricky Gervais for most of a night and then tell no one about it. Yesterday, the Drudgereport had a pic of an Avatar poster accompanying an article about James Cameron. Anyone know if it's legit?

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    I liked Angus Macfadyen's Orson Welles in Cradle Will Rock.

    by Knuckleduster

    And Liev Schreiber was pretty good in RKO 281, but my favourite Orson remains Vincent D'Onofrio in Ed Wood. Classic.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 4:32 p.m. CST

    To sum up...

    by GetEveryone

    Long Good Friday is fantastic and I'm looking forward to seeing RockNRolla tomorrow if my girlfriend isn't hung over. Linklater not only rocks, but a (somewhat) Orson Welles biopic is inspired. Little-Larry is the semen stain I didn't want to see on the sheets, and Ricky Gervais is mainly an unfunny cunt and occasionally a great writer.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by GetEveryone

    semen stain i didn't want my mum to see on the sheets...

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:28 p.m. CST

    What a disgrace to Gervais!!!

    by TheWaqman

    His first major film starring debut and he gets this POS romantic comedy?? Well at least his next movie is written by him, that one will be a real good one for sure.

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Fucking Guy Ritchie fanboys.....

    by TheWaqman

    not as bad as the Tarantino ones but still they should be slapped. Lock Stock = good, Snatch = Lock Stock but not as good. / The rest = shite. / RockNRolla = probably just abit better than Snatch. / He better not fuck up Sherlock Holmes

  • Sept. 6, 2008, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Guy Ritche smart!!!?

    by Superflyfox

    Are you a fucking idiot! Rockandrolla is far from one of the best movies of the year, its mearly passable at best. Its a sad has been tryin to claw back a long gone street cred.