Before Sunrise done as a creature feature. Unfortunately, it is more like Before Sunrise than a monster movie. Blah, blah, blah, just stop talking already and kill someone. 5/10
A stranger ingratiates himself into the lives of a family and soon becomes their house guest. As the family’s fortunes begin to turn in a positive way, they notice some cracks in the guest’s back story. Self-described by director Adam Wingard as Halloween meets The Terminator, this is an action/slasher film like you’ve never seen before. Dan Stevens (Downton Abby) is superb as the guest, he can go from charming to creepy in a heartbeat. This film is fun from beginning to end. 8/10
Biopic of Alan Turing as he tries to crack the Nazi enigma code during WWII. Most engineers, mathematicians, and scientists will already be familiar with the travails of Turing, but this film puts a human face on it, and Benedict Cumberbatch is more brilliant than usual in the role. Can you say Oscar bait? 10/10.
Closing thoughts on TIFF 2014
I had a very high success rate this year, due in no small part to the good Midnight Madness selections.
I normally avoid RTH because even if you can get a ticket, it’s impossible to get a good seat due to reserved seating for corporate sponsors, big donors, and members. The Elgin used to be one of my favourite cinemas, but now it’s become like RTH. Even if you are first in line, you won’t get a seat in the orchestra. Avoid.
Normally I try for a few premium screenings (when single tickets get released for the general public) but wind up getting zero. This year I got 2 out of 3. Are there more premium films? Or did ticket prices get to a point that demand is dropping off? Or maybe I just got lucky?
There was much less of a circus-like atmosphere this year. Was it due to the rain, or did Festival Street capture all the promoters and hawkers selling their wares?
Best marketing gimmick: the mask for Tusk. The mask for Cub was uncomfortable, the eye holes were too small, and it made me look like Groot.
Most memorable film: Tusk. Not the best film I saw at TIFF, but I will remember it to the most due to its WTF moments.