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M in Toronto Film Festival looks at THE LIMEY and JOE THE KING!!!

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Hey folks, Harry here, this time with 'M in Toronto' with reports on THE LIMEY and JOE THE KING. We have already heard great things about THE LIMEY so pay attention to JOE THE KING, it sounds like quite a good movie. So... here she is with THE LIMEY...

I saw 'The Limey' last night at the Festival, directed by Steven Soderberg. To encapsulate, It was a very tightly edited and well done movie. The performances were great, particularly the lead, who was the actor from Prscilla, Queen of the Desert, Terence Stamp. He was fantastic. There are alot of moments where the camera simply focuses on his face for long periods of time whrere he isn't saying a word, and you feel like you could look at him forever. He's a man haunted by his own demons, and out to somehow do right on his daugther, whom he feels he has let down by avenging her death and finding her killer, played by Peter Fonda. It was very much in the same vein as 'Out of Sight', which I loved, but the tone in this film is much more somber, thought not without its fun moments. The editing, as I said, was very good, but at times a bit heavy-handed. It jumps from memories of the man's daughter and reflections and images that go on in his own mind with what is actually going on at that moment. For a crime thriller, it is remarkably subtle, quiet and sort of poetic. It is actually almost like a cinematic collage. All of the supporting performances are great, particlarly the guy who plays a hit man sent out to kill Terence Stamp's character, sent by Peter Fonda's right hand man. With the exception of it being a bit too long, and not really knowing the purpose of the character of Lesley Ann Warren, who plays the daughter's former acting teacher, it was very enjoyable. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Out of Sight. Stephen Soderberg is becoming, I think, one of the most interesting directors around right now. He's managing to inject a little bit of artistic self-expression in Hollywood movies that are intended for a larger audience, and ushering in a new take on the classic thriller genre.

M in Toronto

Below is M's review of JOE THE KING, but watch out for spoilers. It seems she loved it though...

I'd like to report on Frank Whaley's movie Joe the King. I don't know how much of a release this movie is going to get, but I highly recommend it. It is the story of a 14 year old, Joe, who basically has a bad lot in life. He's dirt poor, his dad (Val Kilmer) is a drunk and an embarrasment who is in debt to everyone in town and his mother is a tragic, defeated woman who is abused by him. Joe has to work in a greasy spoon as a dishwasher, and he basically spends his days and nights getting flak from everone he comes into contact with, with the exception of his brother and a couple of his school buddies. This story is about his downward spiral into petty theft and downright delinquent behavior, even though we know he has a good heart, but has somehow found his way on the wrong path. Basically, it is a story about finding your way when the cards are stacked against you. It's also sort of, and I hesitate to say this, but it is about love itself. The nature of love, and how it sometimes leads you to do the wrong things with the right intentions, and how people within a family express love toward one another in real, everyday, subtle ways, dysfunctional as they may be. The final scene with the boy and his father is so moving, and Val Kilmer says only two final words to his son that just leave such an impact, you realize the power of subtlety, and how most movies are so totally lacking in it. I was a mess by the end. I might go so far as to say there is no narrative in this movie, it just kind of meanders along, and it does go on a bit long, but the perfomance of the boy is so great (Noah something...), and you feel so much for him. It's not for everybody. But if you want to see something that's character driven and about people, not robots or special effects, it is worth checking out. Frank Whaley has a promising future.

M in Toronto

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