Blog TIFF 12

This morning, TIFF released its 2012 lineup, and as per usual, the announcement was frontloaded with Hollywood star power, patriotically legitimized with Canadian features, and artistically validated with foreign art house.

This year’s opening night gala brings us Rian Johnson’s Looper, a science fiction thriller wherein Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an assassin tasked with killing his future self, played by Bruce Willis. The selection of Looper marks a curatorial shift for TIFF. In the past, we could expect a Canadian film to open the festival. However, as the Star’s Martin Knelman points out, that slot has unwittingly become a dead zone for American distributors. TIFF's lesson learned? Stop showing patronizing hockey musicals to serious filmgoers, especially those with money.

Also screening is Ben Affleck’s Iranian Revolution caper Argo, starring Affleck, John Goodman, and Alan Arkin; the Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugo Weaving; Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, starring Affleck, Canadian Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem; Roger Michell’s Hyde Park Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR and Laura Linney. Most of the above stars are expected to show up, but we just really want to Bill Murray do something silly. 

TIFF will also feature the world premieres of several Canadian films. There’s Ruba Nadda’s Inescapable, starring Vancouverite Joshua Jackson and Marisa Tomei. And of course, there’s Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, the highly anticipated adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s masterpiece.

And don't forget the foreign gems to be found among the silos of hero worship. For our money, Iceland’s Baltasar Kormákur’s The Deep seems like a stunner. The film depicts the true story of a fisherman, who after witnessing his crew drown in a storm, swims five hours to the shore only to find himself in a lava field. Oh, the awesome narrative power of irony!

TIFF is one of the greatest film festivals in the world, and as always, TORO will bring you exclusive coverage of the festival and its parties, along with reviews and interviews. We'll see you at the movies.


[html]Martin Scorsese, a director not cited enough for his strong acting chops, has lent his time to a new Apple campaign. The spot finds the Hugo filmmaker conversing successfully with his Siri application in a cab. What we learn: Martin Scorsese has a friend named Rick, and hasn’t let his depiction of New York taxi drivers as violent sociopaths stop him from using their services.


[html]We're not sure if this is from the makers of the Shake Weight or not, but the spirit is definitely there.

Introducing the latest fitness craze from Korea, Ace Power. This amazing 'exercise' device lets you simulate 'horseback' riding in the comfort of your home.

Oh yes, this device will "fitness you up" all right. Giddy up!



After books, recording reissues, documentaries and public atonement from those who wronged him, late American comedian Bill Hicks still hasn’t earned his share of posthumous recognition. Russell Crowe has confirmed his long-rumored intention to make a dramatized film about Hicks' life, though he will not be starring for practical reasons (Hicks died of pancreatic cancer at 32, Crowe will be about 60 when they get around to finishing this thing.) 

Despite a relative lack of impact on American pop culture while he was alive, Hicks influenced an entire generation of comics, and his life certainly had some dramatic highs and lows. A Georgia native, he performed with a strange combination of Southern folksiness and acute anger, known to alternate between detached sarcasm and volatile screaming matches with his audience. He openly supported drug use, viciously mocked Jay Leno before it was cool, and continued performing well into his illness.
Crowe will be using a script by Mark Staufer. A “wide net” has been cast to find a lead actor, with production slated to begin after Crowe wraps filming Noah.

Related: TORO interviews the makers of American: The Bill Hicks Story

Related: Bill Hicks and more heckler showdowns


Score another one for the big guys. The New York Rangers have reportedly won the battle for Rick Nash.

The big winger is headed to one of his six preferred teams in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon and a first-round draft pick.

Nash, who scored 30 goals and 29 assists for the Blue Jackets last year, will add some much needed offensive depth to a Rangers squad that already proved it knows how to play defence during last spring's playoff run.

And while the former Columbus captain won't escape the glare of the spotlight in NYC, Nash certainly won't be carrying the hopes of a franchise on his still young shoulders [read as: no pressure].

>> Related: Weber Deal Exposes CBA's Flaws


Foxy Shazam are bringing back 1980s cock rock in a big way. Pun absolutely intended!

The Cincinatti minstrels, and TORO interviewees, have a new video called "Holy Touch." Check it out below.

Foxy Shazam will open for Slash at Toronto's Sound Academy on September 23. You can check out all of their other tour dates here.


Who needs lingerie when you've got 8-bit hardware? Introducing the Game Boy dress, a skimpy little number set to provoke millions of nerdgasms the world over.

Handmade by Cleveland crafter SewOeno, the dress plays on any man-child's tween fantasy nostalgia.

Chances are, if you grew up in the 1990s, sucked at sports, and had benign sado-masochistic tendencies, you spent a lot of time with your hands on a Game Boy, because you certainly couldn't get your hands on any girl that was game.

We at TORO love old school games, and we're happy to see that SewOeno has gotten all the details right. Particular respect goes to the precarious placement of the "Start" button, which brings new meaning to the phrase "push her buttons."

"Play Again?" Yes, please!


Our future friends in Austin, TX band The Bright Light Social Hour have become the latest victims of gear thievery.

This past Friday afternoon the band’s tour van was broken into during a stop in Saskatoon. Custom instruments, sound gear and luggage valued at around $15,000 were stolen, a full list of lost items is viewable below. While insurance will cover about 50 per cent of the cost BLSH are asking for fan donations to help ease their burden. Read their rundown of this unfortunate crime if you feel you can help.

Bright Light Social Hour were scheduled to perform live in our Garage Sessions studio within the next few weeks. We’re currently awaiting word on that. 

Lost items:

- Fender Custom Shop Telecaster, sonic blue with heavy physical wear ($3450)
- Fender Custom Shop Precision Bass, vintage blonde with heavy physical wear ($2699)
- Dr. Z Route 66 Amplifier, blonde ($1649)
- Dave Smith Prophet '08 rack mount synthesizer ($1050)
- Variety of DJ Equipment ($1700)
- Luggage/personal belongings ($4900)

Photo Gallery DAILY TORO

A dream garage is the ultimate man cave. And we're not saying that winning a Gladiator GarageWorks Organization Mega Kit will transform your mess into a dream space, but it will get you on the right track. Judging from the entries in our contest, there are a lot of folks out there who could use one. We're selecting our winner at 6 p.m. ET. In the meantime, here are our faves so far. Commiserate. Laugh. Enjoy.


If you needed another reason to avoid Burger King like the plague that probably comes in their combo deal, a recent viral picture of an employee standing in lettuce tubs certainly provided it.

Now Burger King has fired the workers responsible, formerly employed in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. In a statement:

"Burger King Corp. has recently been made aware of a photo posted on a social networking site that allegedly shows a Burger King restaurant employee violating the company's stringent food handling procedures ... Food safety is a top priority at all Burger King restaurants and the company maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question."

Article 3, Section 5 of the Burger King Food Handling Policy Guidebook clearly states “Employees shall not step in the lettuce tubs with their shoes on.” They said it was too stringent but who’s laughing now?? No word on whether their policy of serving my burger after it’s been run over by a car and kicked around the parking lot still remains.


Steven Spielberg’s Robopocalypse now has a leading man: Thor / Cabin in the Woods star Chris Hemsworth has reportedly been hand-picked by the director to star in the upcoming sci-fi blockbuster.

Based on a novel by Daniel H. Wilson, Robopocalypse is the heart-chilling story of a sentient AI program called Archos that threatens the human race with extinction, possibly by rocking and / or socking them.

No official casting announcement has been made but what is Hemsworth going to do, say no? “Sorry Steven Spielberg I can’t fight robots in your big science fiction movie because I’m very busy.” A projected release date of April 25, 2014 remains in effect.


Score another one for the good guys. According to Will Connors of the Wall Street Journal, Canadians now do sports television better than Americans.

In a recent article, Connors claims that TSN hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole — along with their patient and willing production crew — have transcended TV journalism, and entered the rarified hall of true sports entertainment.

Allegedly, Americans like the Canadian SportsCentre because it reminds them of the revolutionary American version of the 1990s, when Keith Olbermann and Craig Kilborn became national celebrities, and sports TV became part of American pop culture.

Sports, while thrilling in the flesh, can be pretty boring without a strong narrative and the right personality to deliver that narrative. And the Onrait and O’Toole's gag-a-thon is a welcome reprieve from an increasingly stale medium of boring Top 10s and one-note, "What part of your game do you need to work on?" journalists.

Below is a collection of Onrait and O'Toole's greatest hits.


Good news! After running roughshod over your memories of Liz Taylor in the upcoming, tastefully named Lifetime joint Liz and Dick, Lindsay Lohan will remake everyone’s favourite movie Thelma & Louise (1991). 

This weekend Lohan tweeted “Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games is genius. I want to do Thelma&Louise w/her (with her) but ala Natural Born Killers (style wise) 2 girls-2 guys... Thoughts?" You hear that, Jennifer Lawrence? You is genius! Certainly taking this future Oscar winning part w/her would be even more genius. Make sure you tweet your thoughts because that is how movies get made in 2012.

While this project stirs in development, producers can take comfort knowing Lohan has done multiple practice runs for the final scene.


TORO got up close and personal at the IDentity Festival at Echo Beach in Toronto this weekend when we were invited on stage with Audrey Napoleon.


Two teasers, attached below, have landed for Zack Snyder's Superman reboot, Man of Steel, and teasers they are.

We're given little in the way of footage. Scenes of a grizzled Superman (played by Henry Cavill), are spliced between flashbacks of the superhero as a child. The teasers end with a super-wide shot of Superman breaking the sound barrier as he flies into space. That's it.

Both teasers are essentially the same, albeit one is narrated by Jor-El (Superman's birth father, played by Russell Crowe), and the other by Jonathan Kent (Superman's adopted father, played by Kevin Costner). The film also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Michael Shannon as bad guy, General Zod.

Man of Steel won't be released until June 14, 2013, so we'll have to wait in the dark for now. But knowing Snyder, expect a lot of jacked dudes screaming in slow-motion. Oh, and Superman won't be wearing his underwear on the outside.



No longer will the post-and-ring fall victim to the two-by-four. This summer, the City of Toronto will finally right its wrong by installing 1,000 new and improved bike posts across the city.

It’s long been known that Toronto’s iconic bike post has a design flaw. That is, if you jimmy a piece of wood through the post’s aluminum ring, you can crowbar it apart and steal any attached bicycles.

There are ways of dealing with this (weaving a U-lock through both your bike frame and tire, chaining your bike to something else, covering your seat with raccoon feces, etc.) but thousands of bikes have been stolen since the posts were introduced in the 1980s.

Unlike the old model however, the ring on the new post is no longer attached to only one side — it will instead have a hole in its centre through which the pole will slide. Think screwing two things together instead of nailing them. The new post also weighs 17 pounds, ten more than the original.

The new post will also look like the old one, right down to the font. As cycling enthusiasts and urban fetishists, we at TORO are happy about this. After streetcars, the CN Tower, streat meat, and broken streetcars, the Toronto bike post might be the city’s most famous icon.

The City doesn’t have the budget to replace every post just yet (we’ve got “subways, subways, subways!” to worry about). But it’s a step in the right direction.  


Look out Disneyland: Someone’s coming for your Happiest Place On Earth crown.

Doug Guller, owner of the Texas “breastaurant” chain Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill, recently purchased a ghost town and renamed it, well, Bikinis. The town was up for sale on Craigslist, nobly sandwiched between the giving-away of a “Louis Fuitton” mattress and a want ad for “an Asian man with feet like an Asian woman.”

The town, formerly Bankersmith, is located two hours outside of Austin. Its peak population is said to have been 40 people, sometime in the 1920s, before the Depression kicked in and people realized that living in a desert with no economy sucked.

"We want it to be a big playground," Guller recently told Eater. "We're going to have some live music and put in a dance hall."

As Mayor — or is that benevolent dictator? — Guller also plans to turn the old post office into the Bikinis Hall of Fame, a temple of worship dedicated to everyone's favourite bathing suit. Also coming is a Bikinis Bill of Rights (certainly inspired by the Beastie Boys) and a Bikinis Declaration of Independence (from the tyranny of turtlenecks, no doubt). Both treatises will likely be written in crayon, and stained with BBQ sauce.


[html]A full trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s sixth film The Master has been released. Dropping the more cryptic, menacing tone of initial teasers it adds historical context, character details, and more overt references to Scientology (a personality questionnaire, accusations of cult ideology). But it’s totally not about that! Maybe.

Also check out the first official poster below. The Master will be released October 12.



Yes, Bond fans, the 1962 Aston Martin DB5 will appear in this autumn's Skyfall.

In a new video blog, attached below, the team behind the new James Bond film talks about the importance of the car, and how it will feature in the movie.

Director Sam Mendes also hinted that the DB5's vintage identity may play a role in ​Skyfall​'s mysterious plot: "There's something about the last part of the movie, which deliberately, very consciously, could have taken place in 1962." What the hell does that mean? Will James Bond time-travel? Is ​Skyfall​ actually the new Austin Powers movie?

Somehow, for 50 years, the producers behind James Bond have been able to repackage the same movie 23 times, and almost always be successful. Stil, we're curious to see how domestic drama maven Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) tackles everyone's favourite professional murderer.


Michelle Jenneke is now the most famous athlete not competing in the London Olympics.

Recently, Jenneke, a 19-year-old hurdler from Australia, was filmed doing a pre-race sexy-dance at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona. The routine included hip-thrusting, bunny hopping, and expert flirting with the audience. Jenneke went on to dominate the race, by the way. 

We at TORO have a long history of loving female athletes, and will be watching Jenneke's career with great interest. The girl sure knows how to promote herself. If Jenneke doesn't make it as a hurdler, we're sure other career paths will present themselves.

Below is a video of Jenneke's jig, in super slo-mo.