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Biutiful (2010)
9/10
recommended by myETVmedia, great movie.
7 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of the most powerful voices of 21st century cinema. Ever since 'Amores Perros', followed by '21 Grams', and "Babel", Iñárritu has not stopped amazing us managing with each film to take our collective breath away. So imagine what he can do with immensely talented powerhouse Javier Bardem as the anti- hero of his new bone-chilling Greek tragedy. No wonder the Cannes jury gave Bardem the Palme d'Or for best Actor. Uxbal, a black-market dealer, learns he has terminal cancer. He must survive long enough to find somebody to take care of his children after he's gone. The clock is ticking. Death is coming. Iñárritu's genius is to make us care deeply for such a man. In the urban jungle we barely recognize as Barcelona, Uxbal deals in human lives, supplying black market labor to employers who exploit the illegal immigrants cruelly and shamelessly. He also "sells" peace to bereaved relatives, having the power to communicate with the spirits of the recently deceased. With all his supernatural powers, Uxbal is helpless in the face of the terrible disease eating away at his body and...
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Stone (2010)
8/10
myETVmedia says 'Stone' is powerful
7 October 2010
John Curran hits the mark with his new film "Stone". In his new drama thriller "Stone", Curran takes us on a gripping spiritual journey through the lives of Jack (Robert De Niro) , Gerald (Edward Norton) and the two character's wives Madylyn (Fransis Conroy) , and Lucetta (Milla Jovovich). DeNiro and Norton literally explode on the screen, a parade of their craft, releasing the tension of an un-nerving introduction to the film; the two actors comedically butt horns which provides relief to the grim subject matter. So much so at the premiere viewing the audience burst into applause. A delicate balance is sought by the Director and Writer both thematically and stylistically. Four distinct styles of seeing illuminate the lives of our players. Stagnant, washed out imagery surrounds Madylyn. Pale greens and extreme soft focus paint the world where we find her dogmatically reading bible passages and killing time smoking cigarettes. A second, portrays Jack as he creates his own harsh, rigid experience. Repetitive, measured landscapes and the strong imagery of soldiers and guns is telling of Jack's boring bureaucratic life. A third, and an early glimpse at the transcendent nature of the film can only be described as breathtaking. Surprisingly, we are shown Gerald's prison world, surreal, an unlikely source of redemption, literally floating in the clouds..
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Casino Jack (2010)
9/10
Recommended by myETVmedia, great movie.
7 October 2010
George Hickenlooper (director) and Kevin Spacey (Jack Abramoff – Casino Jack) have made a winner. Based on the true story of a Washington lobbyist who created the biggest scandal in the Capital since Watergate, the film is ingenious and funny, replete with first-rate performances. Casino Jack will be a box office success when it hits theatres.

The Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff knows no limits to his hubris. Spacey's portrayal of the arrogant, manipulative, dynasty building political criminal is pitch perfect. Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper) is the sidekick/accomplice...
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8/10
Really great movie, myETVmedia recommends.
7 October 2010
One cannot help but love Mordechai Richler's character Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) brought to life by director, Richard Lewis in "Barney's Version". Shot in Montreal along the 'golden mile' and in New York the film is a joy to watch. "Barney's Version" includes a stellar cast with Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Scott Speedman, Rosamund Pike and Rachelle Lefevre.

Barney's Version is the story of Barney as he makes his way through life. The story is told through flashbacks. We discover he is an impulsive character who does not necessarily make the best decisions but lives a colorful, self-indulgent life. There is a mystery about Barney that has made him...
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8/10
an entertaining movie recommended by myETVmedia
7 October 2010
Academy Award winner, Danis Tanovic ("No Man's Land", "Hell", "Triage") has chosen Toronto for the North American Premiere of his 4th feature film, the bitter-sweet tale of life in post- communist/ pre-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. This comic drama is based on Ivica Djikic's novel "Cirkus Columbia". We meet Divco Buntic, (Miki Manojlovic) returning to his small hometown in southern Herzegovina after a 20 year absence. Now a middle-aged man he flaunts his obvious success, his sleek Mercedes, loads of cash, a beautiful, young paramour, Azra (Jelena Stuplianin) and Bonnie, his beloved black cat. We soon find out that when Divko fled the communists he left behind a wife (Mira Furlan) and young son (Boris Ler). Manoljlovic and Furlan both deliver superb performances....
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2/10
not one of myETVmedia's favorites
7 October 2010
Brad Anderson's (The Machinist, Transsiberian) "The Vanishing on 7th Street" opens with an interesting concept. One night a power outage hits New York City and when the lights come back on, almost everyone has disappeared. The victims have vanished leaving nothing behind but their clothing. Disquieting events are happening as the structure of the day disintegrates and daylight hours grow very short. Lurking in the shadows is an unsettling whispering presence. The story is that of four survivors who attempt to escape the darkness engulfing the city and overwhelming their psyche. Is this an alien attack or a punishment from above?

Luke (Hayden Christensen) one of the survivors, is a famous news reporter who is forced to overcome the events and save the day. He scourers the city in hopes of finding others. Despite Christensen's efforts to create a powerful character, the script lets him down. Among the people he finds is Paul (John Leguizamo) a lonely projectionist, James (Jacob Latimore) a gun wielding boy guarding his mom's bar and Rosemary (Thandie Newton) a distraught women searching for her lost lover who has apparently been swept of in the ominous night. A strong cast but unable to really capture the audience because of the weak script and the lack of convincing theatrical suspense...
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8/10
a universal heart wrenching story recommended by myetvmedia
7 October 2010
Anurag Kashyap ("Water") delivers another stunningly controversial masterpiece with "That Girl In Yellow Boots". True to form as one of India's leading modern indie filmmakers, this film will bedazzle and shock you. Kashyap takes us on a colourful and dangerous journey through the underbelly of Bombay experienced through the eyes of Ruth (Kalki Koechlin).

Kalki Koechlin (winner, best supporting actress Filmfare, "Dev. D") co wrote this sizzling script with Kashyap. Every character is remarkably fleshed out from Ruth herself to the thugs running drug rackets and the girls and their clients in the massage parlour. The growing reality of the size of the sex trade in India inspired Kashyap to conceive of this story and to collaborate with Koechlin on the script. ..
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4/10
a hockey musical myETVmedia 'sort of' liked
7 October 2010
"Score: A Hockey Musical" was the gala opener for tiff 2010 festival. A very Canadian film about a sport we are passionate about. The audience greeted the film with cheers and applause.

Score has Canadian camp classic stamped in maple leaves all over it. Well equipped with a sense of humor, this film delves head first in to what it means to be Canadian. The answer will likely not surprise you, however, the journey towards it is enjoyable.

Farley Gordon is a gifted young hockey player who has never participated in an organized hockey game due to his unique parents who have home-schooled him. It takes less than 2 min for Farley to burst in to song, regaling us with his love for hockey in stereotypical Canadian slang. After being discovered, Farley rockets in to hockey stardom but quickly finds that reconciling his love for the game and his Pacifist morality is more challenging than scoring Crosby style goals.

Star cameos appear through out the film, including Walter Gretzky, Nelly Furtado, Hawksley Workman and George Stroumboulopoulos...
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10/10
A wonderful movie recommended by myETVmedia
7 October 2010
This beautiful film will capture you emotionally, visually and intellectually. Patricio Guzmán's examination of light—its relationship to the past and what it illuminates of the future—is stunningly beautiful, insightful and very well shot. A scientist states early on in the film that there is no present only the past and future as the words he is forming with his mouth have already happened by the microsecond it takes for his voice to travel from his mouth to his subject's ears. It is this sort of abstract thought that permeates the films dialogue creating the mood.
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Hereafter (2010)
6/10
myETVmedia says you decide how Eastwood did
7 October 2010
Legendary director and actor Clint Eastwood returned to Toronto's Elgin Theatre after a twenty year absence, to introduce his latest movie "Hereafter" (Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby). He received a standing ovation from the packed house. "Hereafter" is a step away from the award winning dramatic films we are use to seeing from Eastwood as he tackles the controversial and highly personal subject of death and spirituality. Matt Damon (George) and Bryce Dallas Howard who star in the film with Cécile de France (Marie) also attended the premiere.

"Hereafter" interweaves the stories of three otherwise unconnected people who's near death experiences and their interpretation of life after death, ultimately unite them. The film opens with a vivid sequence in which Marie, a well-respected journalist, is nearly killed during a powerful Tsunami. Her traumatic brush with death causes her to have a life altering, spiritual awakening that leaves her searching for answers. George (Matt Damon) is a factory worker with a remarkable ability to communicate with the dead, which he tries to ignore. His self -proclaimed "curse" prevents him from any close relationships for fear of...
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9/10
a great doc recommended by myETVmedia
7 October 2010
How do you take the life of an icon of Canadian science and culture, the sum of his knowledge and wisdom and summarize it in a 90 minute film? That's what Sturla Gunnarson ("Beowulf and Grendel", "Air India 182", "Such a long Journey"), my friend and great filmmaker has done in a highly personal, very touching and truly effective way.

The idea of this movie came to producer Lazlo Barna, who wanted to make a film about Suzuki. He spoke about it to his Academy Award nominated filmmaker and friend Sturla Gunnarson. It took Sturla by surprise. He was reticent. So Lazlo introduced Sturla to David. Alea jacta est! The deal was sealed. The movie would be made with the collaboration of the NFB, CBC and E1.

As the movie opens, the 75 year old David Suzuki, looking like a sprightly middle-aged man, delivers his legacy speech in front of a sold-out, enrapt Vancouver audience. We get to know how the man became one of the most beloved figures of our country's collective conscience ..
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5/10
myETVmedia has two points of view on this one
7 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
God Save "The King's Speech" Nothing short of a miracle will. The story, as laboriously related by director Tom Hooper and writer David Seidler, follows King George VI as he battles with a speech impediment. Normally, confessions of ineptitude are kept quietly behind closed doors; in The King's Speech,' the audience is forced to witness the misbegotten disaster of great actors portraying poor characters. ((Spoiler Alert)) The most comedic and engaging scene is when George (Firth) erupts in a conniption of abandon, yelling "s***, s*** , s***!". Yes, indeed! Humor better left in grade school warrants the command — "refrain from wiping with the celluloid!" Despite it's major missteps and ponderous character, the film is not without merits. When the camera rests still, the viewer is able to overcome the nausea created by the excessive and incorrect use of both depth-of-field, lighting, and the close-up. The few medium and long shots are easily missed, likely due to the lack of action in the writing. The film's saving grace is the set design. The classical use of repetition, color, and textures make the film bearable alongside the shining cast.
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9/10
recommended by myETVmedia, great movie.
7 October 2010
With his film Blue Valentine, director Derek Cinefranc brings one of the bright lights of the Sundance Film Festival to TIFF. The film documents the bookends of a relationship, juxtaposing the past, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) meeting and falling in love, and the present, as they struggle through the painful disintegration of their marriage. In the Q&A following the screening Cinefranc revealed that the genesis of the film came from his own life. As a child he had two nightmares – one was nuclear war and the other was that his mother and father would get divorced. When, as an adult, his parents did separate Cinefranc sought solace in film and literature but was unable to find anything that he could relate to; anything that didn't depict a "Romeo and Juliet version of love". With Blue Valentine, Cinefranc has created a work that any child of divorce, or anyone who has ever loved and lost, will find realistic and moving... read more @http://www.myetvmedia.com/film-review/blue-valentine/
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Black Swan (2010)
10/10
a powerful movie recommended by myETVmedia
7 October 2010
Black Swan is a cinematic triumph, bringing a modern day twist to the well-loved Grimm's Fairy tale style of story telling. Darren Aronofsky, director (Requiem for A Dream, The Wrestler) will have you holding your breath as he takes you into the fascinatingly beautiful and complicated world of prima ballerina, Nina (Natalie Portman). Natalie Portman holds nothing back as she slowly reels you into her startling, repressed, emotionally charged inner world. Aronofsky has skillfully interwoven the very sensual world of the ballet with the passion of the individuals who inhabit it.

Tchaikovsky's music transports us onto the stage and into the heart of this powerful tale. Expert crafting of the main characters and magnificent costuming bring powerful authenticity to the story. Vincent Cassel as Thomas Leroy portrays the ballet company's artist director. We suffer with Nina as he exerts his relentless hold upon the fragile dancer. Mila Kunis as the understudy Lily and http://www.myetvmedia.com/film-review/black-swan/ Hershey as Nina's mother bring riveting performances to the screen... read more @
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Conviction (II) (2010)
9/10
myETVmedia recommends this movie
7 October 2010
Tony Goldwyn's (The Last Samurai, The Pelican Brief) "Conviction" is a must see at TIFF. Based on the true story of Kenny Water's (Sam Rockwell) murder trial, "Conviction" reveals how powerful the bond of family can be.

Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) is Kenny's sister and long time best friend. An inseparable duo, Kenny and Betty grew up on a farm and have been there for each other for as long as they both can remember. Kenny is a wild card and has a history with crime. A brutal murder occurs in his small town and Kenny is the lead suspect. He is put to trial and sentenced to life without parole. Betty Anne refuses to believe he's guilty and will stop at nothing to prove his innocence; even it means she has to become a lawyer to do it.

Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell are the life-blood of this film. Their performances are Oscar worthy and their chemistry is undeniable. Swank (Academy Award winner – 'Boys Don't Cry') plays a single mother whose purpose in life is to save her brother from dying in prison. Swank delivers an emotionally taxing and versatile performance as a believable sister to Rockwell. Betty Anne is a woman from humble beginnings who was always getting into trouble with her brother. Her evolution into a mother and obsessed lawyer is moving. The bond between Swank and Rockwell seems real and it amplifies the importance of every step she takes towards trying to save him. Rockwell is not outdone by Swank in any way...read more @ http://www.myetvmedia.com/film-review/conviction/
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127 Hours (2010)
9/10
myETVmedia recommends this riveting real life drama
7 October 2010
The lineup was buzzing with excitement then frustration at this first TIFF screening of Danny Boyle's latest feature, "127 Hours". Technical difficulties and a venue relocation delayed the screening but once the crowd settled into their seats, a surprise awaited. A familiar face entered the front of the theatre; it was Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire). His personal apology for the delay and a few kind words quickly charmed the crowd before the house lights dimmed. That shows the class act that he is and everyone knew from that moment we were in for something spectacular.

"127 Hours" tells the remarkable, true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco), a climber who gets caught between a rock and hard place in the middle of the Moab Desert in Utah. While on one of his intense solo hike's, Ralston accidentally slips on a boulder that comes crashing down onto his arm, crushing it and trapping him in a deep crevice.

Franco's performance is upbeat and energetic allowing us to fall in love with Aron, a down to earth guy, an experienced adventurer who loves his solitude...read more @http://www.myetvmedia.com/film-review/127-hours/
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Buried (2010)
9/10
myetvmedia recommends this gripping drama
7 October 2010
Rodrigo Cortes' new film "Buried" takes the audience on a thrilling and modern day "who- done-it" starring Ryan Reynolds. When I first heard that the film takes place all in one location, I was concerned: could one actor, in one space, hold my attention for an entire feature? The answer, Ryan Reynolds can — and with flying colors. "Buried" is a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, that is potentially buried somewhere in modern day Iraq. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself alone in a wooden box, with only his cell phone and lighter. How and why he got there is the question asked throughout the film, and we discover the answer along with our puzzled protagonist Conroy. The audience is trapped down there with him feeling desperate, claustrophobic, suffocated. At times, it feels all too real. If you are uncomfortable about tight spaces, this film will get you squirming in your seat. The use of darkness, practical light sources and sound help bring this film to life. You feel the walls closing in as Conroy's cell phone battery starts to die. Cortes includes plenty of metaphors about capitalism, terrorism and human ignorance, through clever phone conversations between Conroy and various agency authorities he looks to for help. It really is a movie that stays with you...read more @http://www.myetvmedia.com/film-review/buried/
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9/10
myetvmedia recommends this romantic drama
7 October 2010
England, the centre of the British Empire, at the zenith of her power is about to crown young Victoria (Emily Blunt), queen. Director Jean-Marc Vallee does a masterful job bringing the glory, magnificence and intrigue of the Royal court to life replete with all the significant characters of the period. Rigid protocol and generations of power mongering lie behind every royal engagement, including the selection of a suitable king and husband for the future young queen.

This film exquisitely portrays this golden era and the complex characters that highlight this period of English history. At its essence this film is a beautiful and romantic love story that would change the course of history. Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) is sent by his scheming Belgian uncle King Leopold to win Victoria. Surprisingly, Victoria and Albert are taken with each other. Many pitfalls await the two young lovers. Impeccable attention to historical accuracy, remarkable performances from a stellar cast, and exceptional cinematography make this an outstanding production at every level... read more @ http://www.myetvmedia.com/film- review/young-victoria/
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The Town (2010)
7/10
myETVmedia recommends this thriller
7 October 2010
Ben Affleck is back behind the camera and has a starring role in his latest crime drama "The Town", set in Boston. "The Town" is based on the book by Chuck Hogan "Prince of Thieves: A Novel". Affleck (Doug) is a hardened criminal type who finds he is deeply conflicted when he falls in love with Claire (Rebbecca Hall) a victim of their latest bank robbery. Aspects of the movie are reminiscent of techniques used in "The Departed", Mann's "Heat" and "The Dark Knight".

"The Town" showcases the neighbourhood of Charlestown, touted as one of the most crime infested places in the United States. Doug MacRay (Affleck) is part of a local gang that robs banks to survive. Something goes wrong on the gang's latest heist. The bank manager, Claire sees more then she should, forcing the gang to briefly take her hostage. Aware that the bank robbers know a lot about her Claire is unaware that Doug is one of them when she happens to meet him a few days later. The immediate chemical attraction between them leads to a passionate romance that will capitulate the couple into dangerous territory.

The strongest aspect of "The Town" is its stellar supporting cast which include: Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Titus Welliver... read more @www.myetvmedia.com/film- review/the-town/
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The Housemaid (2010)
10/10
read more reviews @ myetvmedia.com
17 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Lim Sang-Soo's "The House Maid" is why we have cinema. Lim Sang- Soo masterfully retells Kim Ki's original tale (1960) with imaginative alterations capturing a striking balance between eastern and western cultures. It is the sort of film, a thriller that excites the audience to no end. Lim Sang-soo has already acquired significant commercial and artistic notoriety for his movies "Girls' Night Out", "Tears", "A Good Lawyers Wife", "The Presidents Last Ban" that expertly critique Korean society. He uses his movies to explore the political and sexual tensions and repressions built into Korean Society. He is renowned for his remarkable ability to bring a richly textured and multi-layered story to the screen.

Lim Sang-soo's film is indulgent in a plethora of tastes that can be summarized by two scenes. The older housemaid Haera (Seo Woo); swirling, sniffing, and drinking her wine roughly, professionally and for the purpose of being drunk. In perfect contrast is Hoon (Lee Jung-jae) the young renaissance man, head of his household, artfully, ceremoniously twirling his wine glass. Not a drop is spilled between the two. Hoon is a wealthy, accomplished and powerful man with tremendous confidence and precision in everything he does. He is used to getting his way. Eun-yi (Jeon Do-youn, Cannes winner Secret Sunshine), is a somewhat pure yet damaged working class maid from a much lower social status than Hoon who initially seems to be an easy conquest. Such is not to be the case.

Lim Soo-sang is a creative genius behind the camera putting his unique stamp on the film. The film leaves no scene blemished. A clever, sensuous and sensual tale is spun that is a delight to watch. A beautiful love story blossoms and we find ourselves beginning to anticipate a sour turn. Heads up and thumbs up. Engrossing to the bitter end.

-Ottaviano Romano
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