Except for its awful title, this period piece is a perfectly respectable film where little happens, but what happens is done very well. Filled with so many tasteful and expertly acted moments, one is inclined to overlook its complete lack of drama and conflict. A pair of aging sisters (Maggie Smith and Judi Dench) discovers a mysterious young man washed up on the beach. Handsome, wistful and reasonably engaging, the film finds its strength through sensitively portrayed characters and a melancholic mood.
In his blood-spilling epic Kingdom of Heaven, director Ridley Scott does not do for the Crusades what he did for ancient Rome in his blood-spilling epic Gladiator. Where Gladiator was a gripping drama set inside a history lesson, Kingdom feels more like a history lesson that should have been a gripping drama, sacrificing good storytelling in favor of sociopolitical commentary. Orlando Bloom is the hero but hardly looks as if he could command a scene, let alone a small army. All told, Kingdom of Heaven comes off as a sermon — albeit a graphically violent one.
Written and directed by Otto Buj of Windsor, this surreal film examines a young man named Tim who moves to an anonymous city and takes a job processing obituaries at a newspaper. When the people Tim encounter start disappearing, it becomes unclear whether the events are reality, or simply fabrications of Tim’s paranoia.
Martin Short takes his Primetime Glick alter ego — celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick — to the Toronto International Film Festival for this uneven but occasionally rip-roaring comedy. Glick interviews celebrities with the insight and tact of a Barbara Walters’ special if the late Chris Farley were running the show. The plot is as inconsequential as it is absurd, as the whole point of the movie is to set up a showcase for Glick’s interviews. Short and his costars (who include SNL alums Jan Hooks and Janeane Garofalo) improv most everything, keeping the vibe fresh and off-the-cuff.
Gore-hounds take note: This remake of the classic 1953 B-horror movie may be callous, clichéd and overlong, but once it hits its stride, it’s brutal and unrelenting. The half-dozen nubile teen actors in the cast — including 24’s Elisha Cuthbert and celebrity irritant Paris Hilton — go through the usual shock-flick routines, but it’s the sickening killings and creepy set design that might make House of Wax worth a look for die-hard horror fans.
Patrons can learn from knowledgeable waiters, and they can relax as much as their party’s designated-driver policy will allow. The wine list is eclectic, well balanced among vineyards around the globe. Most of the bottles are less than $40, and many are priced between $20 and $30. Vinotecca has a good list of cheeses and 22 small plates — larger than tapas, smaller than most entrées. The restaurant opens at 4 p.m. every day, and the retail store at noon.