Author: Amanda Chen


Yup, this movie is deliciously filled with sex, nudity and violence as advertised with its distinctive NC-17 rating. Truly an adult movie, SHAME talks about sex without talking dirty. After something like HUNGER, I would almost be insulted if Steve McQueen didn’t take on a project involving a sex addict who hides from intimacy. There’s no better man to tastefully blast sexual shock-value to our soft-porn alternatives.


We all know her story — who she is, what she does, how she lived. We know her inside and out, all sides and at all angles. And yet, there’s so much we don’t know. We take a blast to the past and take a deeper look at what it feels like to be a real star. Is it just me or are we seriously re-living the 50s when the wardrobe in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN looks like another day on Toronto’s Queen St. West? How did director Simon Curtis know we’d be into this little anecdote? Get ready, this movie will tickle your taste for an endearing historical drama; and more impressively, all done without any nasty violence, coarse language or nudity.


If there were a movie created by film buffs, for film buffs, this would be it. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST is a masterful tribute to those old-school silent films we used to watch before we had 3D animation and Auto-Tune. For a world fueled on dialogue and social networking, can you handle being quiet for 100 minutes? It may be a challenge for some people, but you’ll be fine as soon as you see Bérénice Bejo light up the screen.


I’m here for the sexy people, the intense stares and the corny love story. Let’s start off with the sexy people. As promised, Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt within the first few seconds of the movie, satisfying my fellow Team Jacob fans. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see those abs-that-have-abs again for the rest of the movie. Instead, we miss out on Robert Pattinson’s butt crack and only see the damage post-sex, leaving the vampire-to-human lovemaking to our imagination.


Before we get into this, I’m a big fan of Adam Sandler. You can even say I had a crush on him as a girl, but then he got old and fat and now he’s dressing up like a girl in JACK AND JILL. Don’t you know by now that no one can play a woman except Tyler Perry in the Madea series, or if you want to compare it to a white man, Robin Williams in MRS. DOUBTFIRE? Please don’t let me get started on Eddie Murphy.


Yes, 300 was an epic movie for its time. We passed through a few Halloween nights with a bunch of half-naked college kids dressed up in red robes. The producers have brought us no less than exactly what we’ve been asking for in IMMORTALS — more blood, more gore and more men in half-naked war armor! Who else than the CG master director Tarsem Singh to give it to you, in 3D?


Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Toronto’s Reel Asian International Film Festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Is there any better way to open the gala than with some throwback love songs and a heartfelt romantic film? It’s my first year visiting this festival and the last time I saw any Asian film with subtitles was Wong Kar Wai’s IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. Conveniently for me, LOVER’S DISCOURSE isn’t too far from the tree.


Maybe it was all a ploy. Maybe the trailers for TOWER HEIST were deliberately underwhelming so I’d be pleasantly surprised with the work of old comic geezers like Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. I only wish I saw more of them together since they’re the only way this far-fetched story could have made any sense. I mean, can you imagine RUSH HOUR without Jackie Chan? Brett Ratner still knows how to cue in the jokes, but his story telling still needs improvement. At least one thing’s for sure — this isn’t a serious movie so it really doesn’t matter what the plot is about anyway.


If you’re a fan of ‘The Tudors’ (if you’re not, Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a deliciously malevolent King Henry VIII) you’ll be jumping out of your seat at the sexy, scandalous secrets in Roland Emmerich’s ANONYMOUS. From the man that brought you INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and 2012, you know you’re about to see some brilliant sets and costumes that could bring tears to Elizabethan scholars.


FYI: this isn’t your conventional romantic comedy chick flick, where the amazingly good-looking knight in shining armor comes to your rescue with corny ‘I love you’ speeches and you live happily ever after. LIKE CRAZY is just a creepy 90-minute documentary on a fading long-distance relationship. Been there, done that, please don’t record it behind my back and shove it in my face the next year. How was Sundance raving about this? I swear I’m not a nutcase, but I bet you I have a tape just like this shoved in a shoebox hidden under my bed. Do I get an award for living a normal, modern-day life?