Safe

Nightcrawler Movie

It can be quite magical to be at a large film festival. There are hundreds to choose from – heaps of beautiful films that will never again leave their home country, indie delights that will receive the most minimal distribution, and of course, a smattering of Hollywood forays into deeper subject matter. You can meet people from all over the world, hear filmmakers and casts give insights into their productions, and have a valid excuse to eat piles of junk food as you race between screenings. But after the fiftieth time someone pushes their reclining seat back so far that it’s pinned your legs to your own chair, or people come and go repeatedly throughout the movie, or someone pulls out their phone and someone else yells at them, or any of the other results of hundreds of people seeing countless films together, any film fiend will start to descend into madness and wish for the joys of home couches and television screenings. This year, it’s not so hard to replicate the TIFF experience at home. There are filmmakers revisiting old tropes and material, actors honing talents that once made them stars, and features that nod to the films that came before. Here are seven films currently screening at TIFF, and the films they can be replaced with at home.

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The Best Action Movies of 2012

Movies are many different things to many different peoples. A film may tug at your heart strings, tickle your funny bone, or change the way you look at the world. But sometimes all you want from a movie is an adrenaline shot straight to the heart, a testosterone booster right to the balls, or whatever the female equivalent of getting really hyped up over an action film is. 2012 didn’t see the apocalypse, but it did see a bunch of cinematic ass-kickery, the best of which is counted down here for your pleasure.

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Quick A motorcycle courier finds himself targeted by police after a mysterious man forces him to deliver bombs to various addresses while an ex-girlfriend unlucky enough to have strapped an explosive helmet to her head comes along for the ride. This Korean effort takes the single plot thread of Speed and combines it with a lot of goofiness. The action runs the gamut of cartoony to thrilling, but it’s never less than entertaining. There’s also a little bit of heart to add more weight to the matter, but it’s never enough to extinguish the goofy fun. I’ll be honest… this is casual entertainment and a rental at best for most folks, but those of you as partial to Korean films as I am may want to pick it up too. Also available on DVD. [Extras: Making of, trailer, featurettes]

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The Reject Report - Large

No one was expecting this. The chances The Avengers had of breaking the opening weekend box office were slim. They were there, but few thought it was anywhere near reality. There’s a lot of egg on a lot of faces today. Not only did The Avengers beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2‘s opening weekend take of $169.1m, it left every film that has ever been released in its dust. The first film to ever break $200m in its opening three days of US release – That’s to say nothing of the $441.5m it’s already made overseas – this is a milestone in Hollywood’s history that everyone thought would come one day. Not many thought it would happen in 2012.

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The Reject Report - Large

Cue the Don Henley, because the boys of Summer have arrived. The girls are here, too. We don’t want to sound like Moviefone over here. Boys, girls, aliens, piranha. They’re all being represented this Summer, and the first of many earth-shattering weekends is upon us. As with opening weekends of Summer’s past, the team over at Marvel have it all to themselves, this time with the culmination of years of tiring work. Will all the work be for naught? Hell naw. The Avengers is going to completely rule this weekend. The only question is what, if any, records will it be breaking. You take a look. We’re going back to Henley for the time being.

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Think Like a Man

Four new movies hit theaters this weekend, a few of them looking like valid candidates to take a strong win at the box office. However, it was a returning film, Think Like a Man, who stepped up, led the pack, and made every other film – including those newbies – look downright mediocre by comparison. Producer Will Packer, whose union with Screen Gems has created such timeless films as Obsessed and Takers, hasn’t had a film top the chart two weekend in a row since 2007 when Stomp the Yard came on strong. That film ended its run with $61.3m domestic and not much else overseas. Think Like a Man, with its current trajectory, is a lock to be Packer’s biggest movie for Screen Gems, as it’s nearing the $68.2m Obsessed pulled in during its release. Posters for Think Like a Man 2 have already been Photoshopped.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A young kid is in possession of a highly valuable code that many would kill for. Stored safely in the kid’s mind, the only way to get the code is to capture the kid alive. But there’s one tough badass standing in everyone’s way, protecting and hiding the kid at every turn. Sound familiar? That’s more or less the plot of Safe. It’s also more or less the plot of the nearly forgotten 1998 film Mercury Rising. Trade out an NSA code for a code for the combination of a safe (ha, get it!) and a 9-year-old autistic boy for an 11-year-old Chinese girl and you basically have the same movie. Mei (Catherine Chan) is a brilliant young student whose smarts and attitude give her teachers a bit of headache. But when the Chinese mob learns of her photographic memory, they bring her to Beijing and hold her ailing mother hostage to force her into working for them. Character actor extraordinaire James Hong stars as Han, the aging head of the mob, a man who despises computers and technology and anything that can leave a trail. He sends Mei to America to keep track of the financial data for his various fronts and illegal businesses. When Han comes to New York to close a huge deal, he asks Mei to memorize a very long number, a code for something he wants. But on the way to get the second half of the […]

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The Reject Report - Large

Movie fans can feel it. The Summer movie season is in the air, and we’ll be analyzing what it’s opening attack has to offer. For now, though, we’ve got four new films squaring off to soak up as much pre-Summer sun as they can, some of them sure to be more successful at that than others. Here’s a hint: the movie set in foggy Baltimore in the 1800s won’t be getting much sun. Another action film for the adult crowd and an animated yarn have better chances, but it’ll end up being the romantic comedy hitting that top spot here just before we’re flooded with superhero blockbusters. It’s the final Reject Report before Summer hits, and the flood of new movies this weekend is just one more indication that the industry has no urge to slow down now.

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Earlier today, we were shocked to learn that people die in a film called Immortals, a shock I hope you’ve all sufficiently recovered from, because I am about to knock your socks off with another slice of cinematic surprise. The latest jaw-dropper? Jason Statham is starring in a film that necessitate that he kick total ass and protect an innocent. Too much? Get ready for more – the film also involves some form of safe-cracking, and the combination of both an actual safe as plot point, paired with Statham needing to save someone, gives us one damn succinct film title. It’s called Safe. You can resume breathing now. In Boaz Yakin‘s (Remember the Titans and, uh, Uptown Girls) perfectly titled film, Statham plays some sort of “elite agent” tasked with saving and safing (get it?). There’s also some stuff about that cute kid he needs to protect, numbers and codes, the Russian mafia, and more. Also? Statham apparently kicks a ton of ass, as this first trailer is about 90% ass-kicking and 10% numbers-running. It’s Statham at his absolute best (numbers aside). After the break, watch the trailer for Safe, which will likely assure that any male viewers will break out into cold sweats the next time they’re in a subway.

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