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TIFF 2002: ‘Countdown’ Film Review

When I read about this film, it sounded so cool... a bike courier meets his favorite action director and tries to convince him that he can be the next big movie star in the film that he's casting for. It sounds great, right? Well, it certainly has the essence of greatness, especially thanks to very compelling performances by both Johnny Gooltz, as "The Kid", and Carlo Rota, as director Bruce Donato.

TIFF 2002: ‘Auto Focus’ Film Review

Greg Kinnear has done some great things in his few short years as a star, but he's also done some awful films too. His role in As Good As It Gets propelled the story, and he was both fun and tragic. Then, in The Gift, he was the charicature of a real character and seemed like he might have been trying way too hard to be something he wasn't. Now, in the film Auto Focus, he's taken on the like of Bob Crane without really capturing the heart or soul of a man who was both a star and a sexual ravenous playboy.
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TIFF 2002: 11’09”01 – September 11 Film Review

Taking on the events of September 11th in the form of 11 short films, which are all 11 minutes, nine seconds and one frame long, was risky business. Especially from the perspective of 11 culturally diverse filmmakers from around the world that don't all view the events in a sympathetic light. In response to the film, many Americans who saw the film were in fact more insulted than pleased, but that's a partial victory for the films that mostly have no qualms about being blunt and honest about what September 11th means to the world.
The Good Thief

TIFF 2002: ‘The Good Thief’ Film Review

Let me be honest, I've never really liked Nick Nolte before. He's a consummate actor, but there's always just been something about his characters and performances that didn't quite sit right with me. That's why I have to admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I loved him as Bob Montagnet in The Good Thief. That's to say nothing of how much I liked the film itself and the wonderful cast that made it as good as it was.
Femme Fatale

TIFF 2002: ‘Femme Fatale’ Film Review

Call it a sexy thriller, a heist flick, a character drama, or even a sort of experiential/experimental film noir, but no matter how you want to slice it up, Femme Fatale is one devilish good time that will give you a little bit of everything before you walk away, wondering what to think.
The Emperor's Club

TIFF 2002: ‘The Emperor’s Club’ Film Review

Kevin Kline has been wowing me for years with his work in a multitude of diverse film, like the romantic comedy, French Kiss, or more serious roles like the character George Monroe in Life as a House. Now, in The Emperor's Club he seems to be borrowing a page from Robin Williams with a film that almost screams, "I want to be like Dead Poets Society". The difference is, this is a film about morality and honesty, where Dead Poets was about being an individual.
Spider

TIFF 2002: ‘Spider’ Film Review

After all the praise I've heard for this film, I expected something that would change my life. Maybe a plot that would make me think about movies differently... or acting that would inspire me so much that I'd want to rush out, take classes, and try to become a famous actor myself.