TIFF 2009 Preview!!

On September 10th, the Toronto International Film Festival, arguably the most prestigious North American film fest, kicks off its 34th edition, with an absolutely incredible slate of films. This year, I’ve been lucky enough to obtain full press accreditation through this site (thanks to the efforts of editor & chief Mike Sampson, and JoBlo himself-- thanks guys!).

In just a few hours, I’ll be hopping on a train to Toronto, where I’ll be spending the next ten days watching dozens of the most anticipated films to come out over the next few months.

You’ll be able to read all of my reviews right here on JoBlo.com, and also, be able to follow my adventures at TIFF’09 through my blog over at Movie Fan Central, which I’ll try to update between screenings. You can also add me as a friend, and receive all my updates as they're posted.

Here’s a list of a few of the big films playing at TIFF that I hope to review for you guys…


One of two George Clooney movies playing at TIFF, this one features him as a CIA operative/ psychic warrior, who goes on an adventure in the Middle East with an intrepid reporter played by Ewan McGregor. The trailer for this looks pretty wild, with director Grant Heslov adopting a very Coen Bros., feel. I tend to prefer Clooney in straight dramas like SYRIANNA, than comedies (LEATHERHEADS, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, although BURN AFTER READING was a blast), but as this re-teams him with Heslov, with whom he made GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, I’m very much looking forward to seeing it. The top notch supporting cast, including Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges doesn’t hurt either.


The other Clooney film, this one teams him with director Jason Reitman, who previously helmed the great THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, & JUNO. Given his pedigree, expectations are sky high, but word from the Venice Film Festival is that this is some kind of masterpiece. Should be a winner…


Speaking of JUNO, here’s scribe Diablo Cody’s long awaited follow up fillm- the horror comedy, JENNIFER’S BODY. To be honest, the trailers have done nothing for me. Sure, Megan Fox is, for lack of a better word, a fox, be is she a good enough actress to carry a film on her own? We’ll see…


This vampire flick starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and the great Sam Neil, isn’t due until January, but distributor Lionsgate obviously has a lot of faith in the film by bringing it to the After Dark section of the fest, a full four months before it opens. Obviously they’re hoping the word of mouth will be good. For what it’s worth- I saw the trailer to this at the Fantasia Film Festival this summer, and it rocked me…HARD!. I can’t wait to see it!


Willem Dafoe’s other horror flick, this one directed by the diabolical Lars von Trier. Personally, I think von Trier comes off as a pretentious jerk (I’ve always hated his Dogme movement), and the word on this from Cannes is very…well, it’s not good. Supposedly this is quite the endurance test. Will I endure? We shall see…


Pedro Almodovar’s latest, re-teaming him with his favorite leading lady, Penelope Cruz. This one’s a film noir set in the Spanish film industry in the forties. I love Almodovar, Cruz (when she’s acting in Spanish- not a fan of her English work), and noir, so I’ll be seeing this...


The long awaited/ delayed adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s bestseller- a post apocalyptic tale featuring Viggo Mortensen as a father, trying to find a safe haven for him, and his young son. The buzz on this is only so-so, but I thought director John Hillcoat’s last film, THE PROPOSITION was one of the truly great films to come out over the last decade,, so I’ll give this one the benefit of the doubt.


The latest Michael Moore “documentary”… I have mixed feelings about Moore. Sure, his films are entertaining, but are they accurate? I used to think so, but then I saw SICKO. As a Canadian myself, let me assure you that our health care is not the rosy picture of perfection it came across as in Moore’s film. Yes, we do have universal health care (as EVERY country should have), but it’s far from a perfect system (nothing said about the astronomical wait times). That said, I’m sure CAPITALISM will at least be entertaining, but I prefer to get my docs from more trustworthy sources.


A British Sword & Sorcery flick, adapted from the pulp Robert E. Howard books. I’ve heard this is a kick ass action flick in the vein of CONAN THE BARBARIAN, so I’ll be first in line to this one. It’ll also be interesting to see whether this launches star James Purefoy into the stardom he always seemed destined for.


The latest Tony Jaa extravaganza, the shoot for which was supposedly so dramatic, it sent Jaa into Col. Kurtz territory, with him disappearing into the Thai jungles for several months, before finally re-emerging. Whatever the drama behind the scenes- I’m still psyched for another round of Jaa ass kicking, and with the badass photo above, how could anyone not want to see this?


Cage. Kilmer. Herzog. I’m there! The trailer for this is bug-nuts insane, but word is that this is a cult classic waiting to happen, with Cage’s over the top histrionics for once serving the film instead of detracting from it. I love Cage, but dude’s made some shiiiiite the last few years. I can’t wait to see him finally do something worthwhile again. Will this be that film, or will we have to wait for the hopefully kick ass KICK ASS?

[REC] 2

The first one scared the beejesus out of me. This one looks like more of the same…


This one got raves at both Sundance, and Cannes, with many pegging actress Carey Mulligan as the next big thing (to the extent that she’s been tapped to play the leading lady in WALL STREET 2). Hopefully this will be worthy of the buzz it’s been getting, but with cast that includes Peter Sarsgaard, and Alfred Molina, how could it not be?


The latest Working Title film, this one a notorious true story relating to a disastrous UK football season from Leeds United back in the seventies. I predict it will bring a tear to the eye of many a football hooligan.

Have I missed anything? Strike back below!

Source: JoBlo.com



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