Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bromance and Vampire Romance

That sums up my day one of the Toronto International Film Festival last week.

First the bromance.

The first film I saw was End of Watch, which actually opens this Friday.

For me, this was a really good film if a difficult one. It becomes clear, not that far in, that there's no chance this movie is going to end well... and I kept thinking, D'uh, you dummy, of course it's not going to end well, it's called END of Watch.

The performances were really strong and ultimately it's a story about two men in a working relationship who really care about each other and about their jobs.

Sadly, it's also about how sometimes it doesn't pay to do the right thing. It was kind of depressing to see this demonstrated so clearly--why some police officers would choose to look the other way at times. Almost like the worse the criminals the more the police have to lose by pursuing them.

But it's also about the real (friendship) love between two men and a glance into the lives of police officers in one of the most dangerous parts of LA.

I was at the second screening for this film, so the actors weren't there :( but the director was :) and he did a brief Q&A.

Interesting things learned:

- that part of LA is as dangerous as was depicted. Police officers there see more action in a typical day than most others do in their entire careers
- an AK 47 is a highly inaccurate gun. I can't remember the exact stats he gave on accuracy, but basically it made sense of all the scenes I've seen in movies where the hero is being fired upon by multiple  automatic weapons, yet manages not to get hit...
- Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña did not get along well (according to the director). This made me more impressed with their acting performances.

Now the Vampire Romance

The same day, I also saw the world premiere of Byzantium, which is basically a YA vampire story--a well-told and interesting one.

It doesn't have a release date listed on imdb, and I'm not sure whether or not it has a distributor yet.... But compared to the other YA vampire movie franchise, this one is way better. And has the potential to spawn an ongoing series. But alas, the better movies aren't always the ones that get released or do well... Just like books.

The film reinvents the vampire myth yet again (apparently one has to go to Ireland to become a vampire) and in this world, being a vampire is a brotherhood--no girls allowed. So the two main characters--posing as sisters--are on the run from their own kind.

It was just gory enough, IMO and tense and I have to admit, in hindsight, a few of the images seem kind of laughable... and/or easy to mock (blood waterfalls) but I wasn't laughing at the time, nor was anyone in the audience.

The romance interest for the teen character was kind of a weak character and ruined the movie for the people I went to the screening with... but while I wouldn't want to date the dude, I thought he was an interesting and unique character (he was dying of cancer) and it worked for me. I completely understood why they were drawn to each other.

In the theatre, we ended up sitting across from the actors. And I was directly across the aisle from Colin Farrell, who's not in the movie, but was there to see the film and support Neil Jordan and Saoirse Ronan.

Here are some snaps taken after the movie.
My new pal Colin sitting across the aisle from me

Colin congratulating Saoirse at the end of the movie

Colin telling Saoirse about the lovely woman with a pink fringe who was sitting across the aisle from him


Eileen said...

I can't wait to hear what you thought of Cloud Atlas and I really really wish you had held hands with Colin across the aisle. I'm sure he wouldn't have minded.

Maureen McGowan said...

LOL. I did shake his hand after... Does that count?

Eileen said...

Totally! A touch is so important. You know that. Was there a moment? A tingle that ran up both your arms? An electricity that bonded you? I know there was.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I love Micheal Pena - and I imagine End of Watch is one I'll go see if I ever get to the movies again.

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