Thursday, September 17, 2009

TIFF wrapup incl Xavier Samuel, Robsten at the VMAs, Newborn Vamps, Niagara Falls, Toronto Doll Meet, the suspension of my License

Greetings Everyone!

I'm finally back in New York -- I know this update is LONG overdue.

So, all in all, TIFF was a fantastic experience. Saw a TON of great films... It's interesting, nothing I saw was "awful" and... I see a LOT of awful movies in life... !

In order of enjoyment, from most to least --

The Road
An Education
Youth in Revolt
Whip It
The Hole
The Loved One
Leaves of Grass
Up In The Air
Dorian Gray
Jennifer's Body
Tanner Hall
Solitary Man

but, like i said, none was truly awful.. and, most were excellent.

driving to toronto was.... an experience. the drive was long... took about 11 hours with stops for lunch and dinner.

mostly, it was exhausting.

actually, the entire TRIP was exhausting. it wans't one of those vacations where you laid back and relaxed. just the opposite. i was basically in a frenzied rush the entire time.

and, i'm the kind of person who really can't relax at all when punching a clock! it was all "okay, i have 10 minutes in which to get from this movie to that movie."

thankfully, dayna and laura were seeing fewer movies than me and they held seats for me at several things!

on the way home, i got ANOTHER ticket.

i can't even believe that i am typing that.

if you're keeping track, and even i barely am at this point... that makes like 5 since the new year.

it's really bad at this point.

basically, in new york state, once you have 11 points on your license you are called to a hearing and can have your license suspended for like 3 months or something.

well, if i'm doing the math right, after yesterday, i now have 10 points.

you can take a defensive driving class to get 4 points removed. so, i need to do that immediately.

i just did some research on that moments ago and i found out that you can now do it online... it's a 6 hr online class. but, i'd rather do it at home, and be able to take pee/food breaks than have to do it in a classroom in a basement or library someplace with a bunch of weirdos!

i'm going to try to take care of that asap... maybe some time from monday - wednesday of next week BEFORE i leave for vancouver...

then i'll go back down to 6 points... which isn't good but at least it means i'm not in immediate danger of losing my license

the stops are all for speeding and i swear to you that i'm never going much faster than the rest of the drivers on the road...i just have terrible luck. and, no, i'm not completely oblivious to cops on the road either... they are hiding in the fucking bushes.

i've been driving non-stop, for work, for 5+ years now. my driving has not changed over the years. and, i never got stopped this much.

i truly believe that it's related to the overall state of the economy... i really think that cops are being made to give out more tickets to raise money for this broke ass state.

okay, so, yeah, that's all i have to say about that... just not good.

also, this means i have yet another TICKET to pay... and that sucks too.

thankfully the online course is only about $40. that could be worse... i honestly thought it might be more...

anyway ------ we'll get back to the actual reviews/pix/videos from TIFF in a bit... i'm going to jump around some b/c i have SO much to cover... !

anyway, yesterday, wednesday, on the way home, we stopped off at niagara falls... i just thought that, since i was passing through, i should take advantage of the opportunity to see it... and i was NOT disappointed.

it's really amazing... definitely go if you can. total natural wonder!

whenever i go somewhere for a "ridiculous" reason... like going to a bunch of movies... or stalking a film set, or seeing a musical, i try to take in some of the local sites as well...

i consulted my trusty frommer's toronto 2009 (gotta plug wiley!) and read about this awesome "castle" that's open to the public. it's called casa loma and laura, dayna and myself visited on our one free afternoon.

again, totally amazing. i'm so so so glad we went. tons of amazing architecture, landscaping, furnishings... loved it!

and a view of the toronto skyline from casa loma

also, when traveling, i try to always meet up with my blythe peeps in the area! and, this trip to toronto was no exception!

i am eternally, and i mean ETERNALLY, grateful to my amazing friend judy in toronto who helped me get my TIFF tickets and then gave me a million suggestions about where to go, and how to get around.

on top of all that, judy organized a meet with a whole bunch of blythe peeps in toronto... and, i didn't even know that the meet was ON JUDY'S BIRTHDAY!

we met at a local thai restaurant and had an awesome time!

judy's kids are the CUTEST ever!

Should we do the light of twi next?

Let's see, things have been FAIRLY quiet... which is good... i hate missing too much news while i'm traveling!

So, last weekend (feels like forever ago already) was the VMA awards in NYC.

i still haven't even WATCHED their appearance... but, i hear it was very brief. rob and kristen did not sit in the audience or do red carpet... so, it's really just their incredibly brief on stage appearance and a few backstage photos that we have...

but, let me say, i think kristen looked amazing. definitely one of her best looks ever. i LOVE the dress!

the "awwww" picture

oh, and i almost forgot that ashley greene did the red carpet pre-show... again, i haven't seen it but i heard she was pretty bad... certainly, her look was bad. not into the fake hair or this craptastic getup.

and, OF COURSE, the reason why they were there... the newest trailer.

it looks fucking AMAZING

granted, they've shown the entire movie in the trailer... but, whatever.

the only thing about this trailer i don't like is that it makes me even more sad that twilight was such a bad movie. damn catherine hardwicke. someone needs to pay chris wietz to direct a new 'twilight'...

van-wise, the cast has been mostly quiet for the past week... seems everyone is hard at work and that they've been filming fight scenes. a few pix have emerged of "newborn" vampires for the climactic battle --

and a shot of taylor leaving set... which is not from this week... but is recent.

and a few more outtakes of kristen and taylor from that recent ew...

okie doke, we're going back to TIFF now --

here are some pix that i took during the course of the week. we got to see lots and lots of celebs right up close... which was pretty cool.

but, more than just "seeing" people (b/c i feel like i see "famous" people in ny all the time) was the q&a's that they did after the screenings. it was really interesting to hear everyone talk about the movies in person... especially when you're sitting in like the 5th row!

here's a shot of laura, dayna and i with xavier samuel who is in 'eclipse' (and was in this crazy australian horror movie we saw at TIFF!)

michael cera at the screening of 'youth in revolt'

viggo mortensen at the screening of 'the road'

drew barrymore and ellen page at the screening of 'whip it'

ed norton & keri russel at the screening of 'leaves of grass'

and to the actual reviews... as well as reviews of some other random movies seen lately...



So, 'The Road' was my favorite film of the festival and it wasn't even on my original list... I chose it b/c Dayna wanted to see it... and, I'm glad she did.

I've owned this book for a long time and never read it... I now kind of regret that I didn't read it before seeing the movie. I'll still read the book eventually.

Basically, it's the story of a father and son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic america.

now, if that doesn't sound great to you, don't fret. the subject matter didn't particularly appeal to me either... but, it's masterfully done.

both viggo, and the little boy in the movie, are amazing.

and, it winds up being more about their relationship, and what it means to be alive, than it does any sort of sci-fi hocus pocus.



Another movie that wasn't on my initial list... Laura chose this one... and, again, i'm very glad that she did.

I thought it would be funny, but I thought it'd be "moderately" funny... All in all, this movie brought me more laughs than anything else at the festival. Laughed consistently throughout it.

Michael Cera, who I've always liked but never been "obsessed" with is fantastic... I won't give anything away... but, he plays more than one character.

Just a really really funny and sweet coming of age story about a girl who meets the girl of his dreams and has to overcome a LOT of obstacles in order to be with her. Definitely recommended.

And, I knew Michael Cera was young but for some reason I thought he was one of these people who just had a "baby" face and looked 12 years old b/c of his small size... But, he actually IS really young... just 21! Don't know why I was thinking he was 26 or something!



Yet ANOTHER movie not on my initial list... I knew I'd see this... and, since it comes out in theaters soon, I wasn't going to put it on my TIFF list... but, once again, I'm glad we did.

Drew Barrymore and the entire cast were there for the screening and Drew is just super adorable. She was so excited/effusive about the movie beforehand that I got all the more excited to see it.

Again, didn't necessarily think that the subject matter of the whole roller derby thing would appeal to me... I'm not into physical activity or falling down...

But, again, it's all about relationships and was very funny and sweet.

Especially loved Marcia Gay Harden (when is she NOT amazing?!), Daniel Stern and Kristen Wiig in their supporting roles!

So, again, highly recommended!



Yet ANOTHER not on my original list. In fact, we added this one as an after-thought once we found out that the Australian dude that's playing the "newborn vamp" Riley in 'Eclipse' is in it.

Again, totally surprised that i loved it.

It's pretty IMPOSSIBLE to describe this movie.

It's most definitely NOT for everyone. I have seen a LOT of "horror" films in my life... but this one might have been the grisliest that I have ever seen.

Not even GORE persay... just like "i can't believe i'm seeing this" torture kind of stuff... but, oddly, in a hysterical and campy way.

The girl who plays "Lola" (pictured here) was PHENOMENAL. And, unfortunately, the director revealed that she could not make it to TIFF b/c she's currently on stage with Cate Blanchett in London doing 'Streetcar'. That production is coming to NYC this winter... I think I'm going to need to see it!

Xavier (the guy from Eclipse) was good too. Though, he is dirty looking in the movie and could definitely use some cleaning up... Though, he looked quite nice in person... and, he gratiously agreed to take a photo with us (as you've seen above)

Unfortunately, this one doesn't have a distributor yet... SO, hopefully someone will pick it up after TIFF and at least get it out on DVD. It's a must see if you like crazy ass shit!



Ed Norton. Ed Norton. Ed Norton.

This movie is all about Ed. He plays two parts -- twin brothers -- who couldn't be less alike.

Honestly, it was slow at parts... especially toward the end... though, it starts off quite promisingly.. Still, it's definitely worth it just for Ed. He's fantastic in the dual roles.

One brother clawed his way out of the South to become an Ivy League Philosopher and the other stayed, becoming a low level criminal and prominent local drug dealer...

Basically, the film's about their reunion after a 10 year separation.



Enjoyed this. There are definitely some good moments between George Clooney and Anna Kendrick.

At the same time, I had heard SUCH rave reviews for it that I was kind of let down.

It was good... but light overall and certainly not revelatory in any way.

Anna does a great job... but, the role/performance are not Oscar worthy and I'd be really surprised to see that happen... (Nothing compared to say Carey Mulligan in 'An Education')

Clooney is disconnected guy who loves living his charmed life "on the road" and Kendrick is a young upstart hired by his company to "streamline."



Also not bad... just light and nothing special.

4 girls coming of age in a fancy New England boarding school...

You pick a "coming of age" cliche and it's in this movie -- evil parents, clueless teachers, sex with older men, self-mutiliation... it's all in there.

But, really nice performances from all the girls...

Also the "older man" is the exceptionally swoontastic Tom Everett Scott.

I'm really sad to say that I missed the q&a after this movie... I bet that TES was there and I didn't get to see him :-(

I haven't seen TES in person in a loooooong ass time... Like 13 years. So, that bums me out.

I also missed the last 5 minutes of the movie... but, it was pretty much done by the time I had to leave. I'll catch the last 5 min on dvd some day...

Okay, the rest of these are NOT tiff movies!



Don't know why I even watch crap like this. Really bad. Not even any good laughs. The film does end (yes, you need to sit through 85 minutes first) with a Twilight parody. It's not even a GOOD twilight parody... But, you know I like anything Twilight related.



I only rented this b/c I LOVE the original 'cutting edge'

I was immediately put off by this one b/c the "parents" of the lead character are Doug and Kate... they're just not moira kelly and db sweeney

Anyway, it's kinda dumb... in line skater devildare replaces hockey player...

lacks the charm of the original... but, midly entertaining.



Dayna and Laura, the girls I went to TIFF with, are big Kristen fans and watched some of her movies while we were there.

I watched this one with them since I'd never seen it before.

Somewhat boring "been there done that" story about a kid who needs to raise money so her dad can have a serious operation.

So, she recruits a couple of friends and they decide to steal 250,000 from a bank.

Again, mildly entertaining.



Very Cute. I liked it a lot.

I always feel guilty giving silly little movies 4 stars... but, whatever, I liked it.

An attactive lesbian turns up in a small Canadian town, turning things and relationships upside down...

I've always liked Marla Sokoloff... she's sorta disappeared... Sad.

Whew, okay, that's all folks!

Tomorrow, Friday, is work appointments in NJ.

Saturday I'm seeing Sienna Miller in a play here in NY...

And, Sunday might involve a trip to see PFach at some random public appearance .... and, it might not. we shall see. if not, it might involve some rest and relaxation... but, you know, with me, that's unlikely.

hope you've had a good few days while i was gone!

as always, thanks for your patience during my long absences!



1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to seeing Up In The Air.

    Sounds like you had fun! I'd love to go to a film festival... maybe I will next year!

    And you made it Niagra Falls!

    Movies, Travel, and Twilight. 3 of my favorite things! Good post!