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Hail, Caesar! (2016)


Hail, Caesar!

TIFF 2013 Releases Schedule and Final Announcements


We are now less than two weeks away from when the Toronto International Film Festival tickets go on sale to the public and a mere 16 days away from the start of the actual festivities. On Tuesday morning, another slew of films were announced along with the schedule itself and a long list of celebrities set to attend the festival. I don’t know about you, but the anticipation is overwhelming me. I suppose the nervousness and excitement will dissipate somewhat when I actually know what screenings I will be attending, or it could skyrocket even higher. Either way, this is shaping up to be one hell of a festival!


Now, for those attending, or those simply who’d like to know what’s going on and when, you can find the full schedule by clicking here.

FInal Film List and Programmes:

If you’d like to know what films are playing at the festival, you can click here for the entire list or click the TIFF button in the main menu at the top of this page. You can also find all the programmes offered by the festival by clicking here. Essentially, all films screening at the festival are divided into groups for attendees to better understand what type of genre and themes the film will contain.

TIFF Guests:

Perhaps the most exciting news released Tuesday morning was the endless list of celebrities ready to attend the festival. Amongst the names are Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Rebecca Hall, Josh Broliin, Alan RIckman, Clive Owen, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo, Elizabeth Olsen, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Tom Hiddleston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nicholas Cage, Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Ben Foster, Anton Yelchin, Liam Neeson, James McAvoy, Nicole Kidman, Felicity Jones, Ed Harris, Spike Jonze, Melissa George, Paul Giamatti, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah Gadon, Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, Jesse Eisenberg, Sandra Bullock, Chris Hemsworth, Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Mia Waikowska, Owen Wilson, Steve McQueen, Jason Reitman, Keanu Reeves, Keira Knightley, Matthew McConaughey, Ti West, Eli Roth, Daniel Radcliffe, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Oliva Wilde, Mike Myers, James Franco, Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard, and Thandie Newton, just to name what I feel to be the most important. And honestly, I couldn’t type any more names. There is a bunch more on the list you can find here. Also, these are just the people confirmed thus far, it is expected that the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, amongst others will be attending.

Jason Reitman’s Live Read:

You can find all the information below, provided by the TIFF website.

The Festival proudly welcomes back Jason Reitman’s Live Read — a unique event in which classic movie scripts are read by contemporary actors. With no rehearsal, the actors come together for a one-take read-through with Reitman narrating stage direction. In 2012, the Festival welcomed Reitman and an all-star cast — including Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Adam Driver, Sarah Gadon and George Stroumboulopoulos — for a live table read of Alan Ball’s screenplay for American Beauty. This year, Reitman is back with a surprise script from a modern classic and a new cast at the Ryerson Theatre on Friday, September 6. Details, including cast and script, for the 2013 Live Read event will be announced in early September.

IMAX Screenings:

New this year, audiences are invited to be part of the action with two official Festival selections and two special screenings presented in spectacular IMAX. The two films will be Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” and Keanu Reeves “Man of Tai Chi.”

Next Wave and Manifesto Announced:

You can find another plethora of titles announced by clicking here.

New Galas and Special Presentations:

Metallica Through the Never: Nimród Antal, Canada/USA, World Premiere

Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines) stars as a Metallica roadie dispatched to hell and back in this mind-blowing mash-up of concert film and post-apocalyptic adventure, presented in IMAX 3D.

The Wizard of Oz: Victor Fleming, USA, World Premiere

Experience Judy Garland’s over-the-rainbow adventure in vivid new detail with this IMAX 3D presentation of Victor Fleming’s family classic.

10th Midnight Madness Film Unveiled:

Witching & Bitching:

Fleeing through the impenetrable forests of the Basque countryside after a jewel heist, a hapless band of robbers runs afoul of a coven of witches, in this madcap supernatural spectacle from Spanish genre specialist Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus).


Okay then, that’ll do it for the pre-TIFF announcements. The Cinema Monster will be covering the festival in full, providing reviews, news, and Q and A’s as often as possible, make sure to follow our website to keep up with the festival. Also, follow The Cinema Monster on Twitter (@cinema_monster) and Facebook for up-to-the-minute news and posts, not to mention special pictures and videos provided by me from the screenings. Have a great week!

Coriolanus (2011)


Irrefutable proof that, at least in this circumstance, one can indeed teach an old dog new tricks. Provided of course that the dog is none other than the immaculate Bard, and the teacher, Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes, something that has worn and withered with time, can be new once again. Given, the fact this duo isn’t easy to unite makes “Coriolanus” all the much more of a spectacular achievement. Blending the subtle dialogue and intellectuality of its source material with heart-pounding action sequences and visceral performances. “Coriolanus” is an all-around dramatic-thriller and an honest adaptation of a rather under-appreciated and controversial work from Shakespeare. The directorial debut of the aforementioned Ralph Fiennes, who also stars in the title role. “Coriolanus” is a masterful inception for Fiennes, who has an experienced and vastly talented cast to assist in his transition.


In modern-day Rome, riots are in progress during an on-going conflict with the neighbouring city Volsci. Caius Martius (Fiennes) is a Roman general whom the people blame for the city’s problems. Martius has a rather low-opinion of regular citizens and the population does not take kindly to his behaviour. After gathering reinforcements when most of his unit had been killed in an attempt to siege the Volscian city of Corioles, Martius manages to conquer the city. Upon inflicting serious wounds to his mortal enemy Aufidius (Butler), Martius and his crew return home. Soon, Martius easily wins the Roman Senate, but a few are weary of his recent plunge into politics, thinking he will seize all power for himself. Upon convincing the city to ban Martius, Caius takes up arms with his mortal enemy and swears revenge against his home.


Although the film’s light, albeit deliberate pace becomes somewhat of a distraction, this minor fault is easily disparaged. It isn’t so much that the film itself is slow moving, it’s the distance between scenes of significance and importance that’s discouraging. Which is a common complaint of the source material and should not be directly attributed to a lack of experience or talent behind the camera on behalf of Ralph Fiennes. While it is relatively difficult to modernize a play, Fiennes handles it with precision, depth, and swiftness. What ultimately makes “Coriolanus” so utterly appealing is its visually striking nature and unfathomably powerful performances, that alone make the film worth the watch. However, if you’re one of those people who cannot stand Shakespearean language, steer clear of “Coriolanus.” While the content and characters may have been brought up to speed in this current adaption, the dialogue remains untouched.

Sup Actress - Redgrave, Vanessa

The imagery, violence, and historical significance is good and all. Yet, what really sets “Coriolanus” apart is its incredible cast and their entrancing and astoundingly powerful performances. “Coriolanus” stars Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, Gerard Butler, and of course, Ralph Fiennes. Redgrave and Cox, two hugely underrated and underused performers, do their best to steal the show from Fiennes, but predictably fail. Make no mistake, this is not an insult, rather praise and kudos to the strength and persistence of their performances. Butler, who until this film tread disappointing waters, has seemingly surfaced and evidently makes a strong case for his revival, doing a respectable job opposite of Fiennes. Chastain is as radiant, mesmerizing, and stern as ever. Bursting forth with a heartbreaking and angst filled take on the firmly willed wife of Coriolanus. As for Fiennes, what can one say? He is as exuberant, intimidating, and seductive as ever. Which is all the more amazing considering he is pulling double duty.


Essentially, what you end up with is a pure and fresh take on a text with immense historical significance. Performed with monstrous respect and power, containing sequences exploding with nerve-tingling action, and an atmosphere so thick it chokes you up. “Coriolanus” is a must see for Shakespeare fans, performance enthusiasts, and die-hard cinephiles everywhere.

On a personal side-note, the first time I saw this film was at TIFF, its North American debut. Fiennes, Cox, Chastain, Redgrave, and Butler were in attendance and it was bewildering. I’ve rarely ever been star-struck, but seeing this cast in person knocked me off my feet. I literally stood right besides Ralph Fiennes, I did my best not to cry with excitement.

Coriolanus: 8 out of 10.

Top 10 Best Cameos


As promised, this week’s top 10 will consist of what I believe to be the best cameos in cinematic history. After last week’s list of dreadful and down-right idiotic guest appearances, I think this segment could use a pick-me up, don’t you? Now, we can sit here until we’re blue in the face arguing what makes a cameo truly great. We can list the traits off one by one, subtlety, hilarity, relevance, and on, and on. Regardless, in this top 10 I believe you’ll find, like I did, that a cameo doesn’t have any criteria, they simply succeed or falter based on their own individual merit. Granted, a few of the cameos listed are quite odd, funny, incredible, memorable, and indescribable, but there are no errors. I’ve compiled this list with purpose, to be diverse, I want there to be something for everyone, and if there isn’t, please let me know.

Again, just so there are no discrepancies later on. Tom Cruise in “Tropic Thunder” will not be featured in this top 10. The image is simply a header for the top 10 and this will continue until I am able to create a suitable segment header.

As always, if you feel that I’ve overlooked a cameo or believe one was listed that shouldn’t have been, please comment below. I am always looking to improve on this segment and all feedback is welcome.

Let’s get started!


10: Tim Robbins “Anchorman”

Why?: Upon appearing in numerous films that have historical and cinematic importance, it was extremely odd to see “Andy Dufresne” chop off Luke Wilson’s arm with a machete.


9: Hugh Jackman “X-Men: First Class”

Why?: I know for some it wasn’t a surprise at all, but I had no idea it was coming and laughed my ass off like an idiot.



8: Martin Freeman “Shaun of the Dead”

Why?: Honestly, I had no idea he appeared in the film until very recently. Now that I know, I think it is possibly the coolest thing ever. Bilbo Baggins killing zombies, c’mon.



7: Will Ferrel “Wedding Crashers”

Why?: You know why, if you don’t, you’re not my friend.



6: Bruce Campbell “Spider Man” trilogy.

Why?: I know most of you didn’t like the fact I disliked Stan Lee’s numerous cameos in multiple Marvel films. And the fact that I am adding Campbell from three films in which Lee also appeared must really burn. But, c’mon, it’s Bruce Campbell…”Evil Dead”…”Army of Darkness”…you know…he’s awesome.





5: Cate Blanchett and Peter Jackson “Hot Fuzz”

Why?: Two of the most respected names in film appearing in a movie centred around a corrupt, murderous, deranged town…Yes Please!!




4: Christopher Walken “Pulp Fiction”

Why?: I don’t really know if this counts as a cameo or a supporting role…can any of you clarify this? Nonetheless, it is hilarious and inventive.



3: Bill Murray “Zombieland”




2: Martin Scorsese “Taxi Driver”

Why?: It is one of my all time favourite Scorsese scenes, just incredible.



1: Ralph Fiennes “The Hurt Locker”

Why?: Can anyone clarify this as a cameo or supporting role? Anyway, I am a huge Ralph Fiennes fan and this cameo is pure brilliance.



I hope you all enjoyed this week’s top 10. If you feel I’ve overlooked a cameo or placed one in the top 10 that shouldn’t be there, feel free to comment below. Everyone have a great weekend!