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Dreamworks latest Blockbuster film Real Steel unleashed its Canadian premiere at Toronto's Scotiabank Theatre last night with actors Hugh Jackman, Kevin Durand, Dakota Goyo and director Shawn Levy walking the red carpet along with legendary boxer George Chuvalo and Canadian UFC fighter Mark Bocek. 

Catch Real Steel in theatres and IMAX October 7. Catch the trailer after the hop!


Hugh Jackman


Real Steel director Shawn Levy


Actor Kevin Durand


Actor Dakota Goyo


Surprise guest and Canadian boxing legend George Chuvalo

Related Image: George Chuvalo vs. Muhammad Ali at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, March 29, 1966.


Canadian MMA fighter Mark Bocek with guest


The Real Steel guys strike a pose


Hugh Jackman and George Chuvalo square off


Hugh Jackman and George Chuvalo


Dakota Goyo and Kevin Durand Square off


Actors Dakota Goyo and Kevin Durand


The guys of Real Steel

Below: Check out the trailer and featurette for Real Steel, in theatres and IMAX October 7, 2011


Fair trade off? Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome has been suspended by the NHL for four games for his blindside hit on Nathan Horton in the first period of an 8-1 Bruins win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.

The Bruins announced that Horton, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher and hospitalized overnight, will miss the rest of the series (at least four games) with a severe concussion.

Rome, who caught Horton with a thunderous late hit after the Bruins winger had fired a pass to Milan Lucic and was crossing into the Vancouver zone, was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

The hit seemed to stir something in the B's, who dropped the first two games to Vancouver by a one-goal margin. Was it a series momentum changer? That remains to be seen, but it certainly did wake up the slumbering Bruins last night.

Things sure are getting ugly. Will tempers cool before Game 4 on Wednesday night?

Here's the hit:


Leonardo DiCaprio is easily one of the least-boring actors in the world and can pick his roles like a kennel club judge, but when news spread he would be playing the rotund, transsexual FBI director J. Edgar Hoover we were left scratching our heads.

The apparent solution, as envisioned by DiCaprio and director Clint Eastwood, is to play down as much of the “real” Hoover as possible. Aside from a haircut and mild accent, the actor doesn’t look or sound much like his subject (more like Nixon, frankly) and forgoes an imitation most audience members probably wouldn’t recognize anyway. Good:

J. Edgar, also starring Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, and Judi Dench, hits theaters November 9.


[html] In a surprising upset, indie rock underdogs Arcade Fire have risen from the tiny music-averse hamburg of Montreal to claim the Polaris Prize for their album Suburbia. Besting the likes of hot favourite Canadian superstars Colin Stetson and Galaxie, Arcade Fire will take home a cool $30,000 and eternal bragging rights. This is one of the few honours bestowed upon them in a short career of critical backlash and public indifference.


Fans of horror, sci-fi, gaming, anime and video game culture are set for Fan Expo Canada (aka Comic-Con North), running August 25-28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  Expect many celebrity appearances over the weekend, including William Shatner, Hayden Panettiere, Eliza Dushku, Robert Englund, John Waters, Trish Stratus. Check out pics for a sneak peek of what to expect!

Above: Actors Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) and Lance Henrikson (Bishop - Aliens films) cut the red ribbon to kick off the four days of events.



Kevin Sorbo / Capt. Dylan Hunt - Hercules: The Legendary Journeys / Andromeda engages in a Q&A session


Robert Englund - Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare on Elm Street is around all weekend long


Lance Henrikson (Bishop - Aliens films) signs autographs promoting his film After Dark as well as his book. Be prepared to trade $40 for an autograph.


Marina Sirtis - Deanna Troi - Star Trek: The Next Generation


Tom Savini - Special FX Make-up Master - Dawn of the Dead, Planter Terror


Jennifer Blanc - Kendra - James Cameron's Dark Angel


George Kosana - Sherrif McClelland in the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead




All three Real Steel robots are on hand all weekend.  Real Steel hits theatres October 7.


Green Lantern's Abin Sur Corpse


Fans dressed in full costume can be seen at every turn.




Mario Fans


Anime fan


Superman fans


No shortage of stuff to buy


Limited edition collectible figurines of your favourite superheroes from the Comic Zone


Rue Morgue magazine booth


Freddy Krueger with a Star Wars stormtrooper. Check out Fan Expo Online for schedules of celebrity appearances, floor map, and all your expo needs!


[html] I once juiced a cocktail blend of Red Bull and absinthe while running down a mountain backwards, but that wasn’t even half as INTENSE as this trailer for Premium Rush:

Remember when that movie Greenberg came out and everyone was like “Why would I want to watch a movie about a huge asshole who makes life miserable for everyone around him?” Well, in this movie Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a bigger asshole than Greenberg. He might even be a bigger asshole than the asshole Gordon-Levitt played in 500 Days of Summer and man alive was that guy an enormous asshole. Riding your fixed-gear bike as fast as you can down the middle of the street with no breaks is nothing to be proud of, in fact it could be considered pathologically suicidal and a violent invasion of public space.

Aside from that, this thing still looks like shit. The kind of shit that passes at 30 km/h while wearing elbow pads and carrying a manila MacGuffin. I hope it ends with Michael Shannon tossing that asshole Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s bike into a river.


I saw a grand total of 28 movies at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which is a lot of movies! I figured that would be enough movies for any one man to see, but oh boy was I wrong. Among the festival’s award winners and high-value acquisitions I saw ... 0. Can I get a do-over?

The International Federation of Film Critics singled out titles among various TIFF programs; the Discovery Award went to Axel Petersén’s Swedish drama Avalon, while among Special Presentations they enjoyed the French/Italian co-production The First Man.

Winner of the Cadillac People’s Choice Award, voted by you the audience member, was Where Do We Go Now?, a Lebanese musical-drama by Nadine Labaki, a shoe-in for Oscar season. Midnight Madness audiences gave the Indonesian action picture The Raid their highest honour.

Among the films bought for international distribution: God Bless America, Hysteria, The Raid, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Sarah Palin: You Betcha!, Wuthering Heights, Life Without Principle, and You’re Next. Hey, I did see You’re Next. One point for me.

And that, as they say, is that for this year’s TIFF. See in 2012!

Photo Gallery DAILY TORO

A group of lucky gamers got a chance to play Gears of War 3 in advance of tomorrow's release. The Hoxton in downtown Toronto was transformed on Sunday with banks of consoles and monitors, a 3D set-up, photo booth and tattoo stop as hardcore Gearheads feasted on locust meat. The day wrapped with an exclusive performance by Tokyo Police Club.

Related gallery: Tokyo Police Club in pics
Related: Top Games for Fall/Winter 2011



Related gallery: Tokyo Police Club in pics
Related: Top Games for Fall/Winter 2011


Related gallery: Tokyo Police Club in pics
Related: Top Games for Fall/Winter 2011


Related gallery: Tokyo Police Club in pics
Related: Top Games for Fall/Winter 2011


Related gallery: Tokyo Police Club in pics
Related: Top Games for Fall/Winter 2011


Related gallery: Tokyo Police Club in pics
Related: Top Games for Fall/Winter 2011


Jimmy Fallon has apologized to GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann for his house band playing the song “Lyin' Ass Bitch” as an intro song for her guest appearance on the show.

He thought it was disrespectful. I will go out on a limb and say it wasn't disrepectful enough. Here are some songs that would have been as, or more, disrespectful than the Fishbone song they chose:

Do The Evolution by Pearl Jam, because there is nothing more threatening to creationism than an animated video with the word 'evolution' in it.

Ape Man by The Kinks because the idea of an 'ape man' is ridiculous — in spite of hairy people like myself proving the existence of ape men daily.

Dear God by Avenged Sevenfold, because Avenged Sevenfold's song is so bad it's blasphemous.

Dear God by XTC, because it's probably as annoying as the Avenged Sevenfold song of the same name.

Dear Mama  by 2pac, because in spite of its uplifting message, republicans hate rap!

My Michelle by Guns N Roses, because it uses almost-her-name and it has swearing!►:40

Blog TIFF 11


Dreileben (dir. Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf and Christoph Hochhäusler, 266 minutes)

The German epic Dreileben is a massive undertaking. Three filmmakers created their own movies set within a single broad storyline inspired by true events, with the results airing on national television. The nightly TV format seems a better fit, though TIFF has chosen to screen the segments consecutively. Watching all 266 minutes of Dreileben is not a tedious experience, but the insane amount of information presented is overwhelming.

In Beats Being Dead, a nursing student (Jacob Matschenz) at a remote facility takes in a troubled drifter (Luna Mijovic) while a convict (Stefan Kurt) runs loose in the woods. In Don’t Follow Me Around, the perspective shifts to the police response, and the personal journey of its lead investigator (Jeanette Hain). Finally One Minute of Darkness follows the convict himself, and Dreileben becomes a tense thriller. Each story has its own emotional arc but weaves familiar characters together in surprising ways.

Again I don’t totally agree with the way this project has been presented but that’s no fault of its creators, who have made sure each segment works both independently and in tandem. But they are all equally good, making Dreileben a satisfying whole. 4.5/5


The Patron Saints (dir. Brian M. Cassidy Melanie Shatzky, Pigeon Projects, 72 minutes)

If and how a person’s knowledge of the camera in front of them effects their filmed behaviour is a question asked often in documentaries. It certainly plays a large role in The Patron Saints, which goes inside a nursing home where a majority of subjects don’t know and can never know they are being documented. The invasiveness of the film might seem inhumane.

I would argue the nursing home is inhumane in itself. Not among all patients, but a few hopeless cases. But I don’t know what this film thinks about it. It holds back commentary, letting the residents tell their stories and the stories of those who have gone before them. Some viewers may see it optimistically, focusing on the kindness of caretakers and companions. Take it as you will. 4/5


Michael (dir. Ribhu Dasgupta, Films Pvt. Ltd, 98 minutes)

Michael tells a unique story in a familiar way. The particulars of the title character’s life feel new to me but they ultimately follow predictable beats to an uninspired conclusion.

He is a former police officer disgraced by an accidental shooting and preparing for worsening blindness. He makes his way as a projectionist and film bootlegger while his son lives a happy, oblivious life. Then come the ominous phone calls; someone may be out for revenge, and know more about Michael than he would like.

Michael is a conventional drama, and might crossover well to a North American audience. It is worth recommending for the lead performance of Naseeruddin Shah, who treats the material with greater reverence than it might deserve. 3/5

Blog TIFF 11

I discover the TIFF press lounge on this, the last day of press screenings. The lounge comes complete with a row of 20-inch screen iMacs, black leather couch and chairs, tall tables, cafe tables, plus complimentary breakfast, brunch and lunch service.

I choose the smoke salmon, croissant and yogurt fruit cup, trying not to drop any of it on my iPad as I gnosh.

The one consolation in finding the lounge so late in the game is the assumption that fellow TORO film writer Jesse Skinner hasn't found it at all, which effectively earns me bragging rights.

Yuk-Yuks founder and recent Metro film writer, Mark Breslin (with buddy Richard Crouse), and I take in Sleepless Night, a rousing Belgian action thriller that unfolds in one place through one night.

pressloungefare.jpgBreslin is funnier, and a far nicer chap than a club owner has a right to be, particularly one who has started his own comedy empire. But he broke even newer ground for himself by becoming a father for the first time at the age of 59.

I started my day with, The Patron Saints, a bare-bones documentary about an old-age facility. This would be familiar fare except that the narration is done by one of the home's more coherent residents.

Jumping from old age to young thugs, Violet & Daisy are two teenage hit-kids working to fund their passion for the newest designer line of pop-star clothing. It's an interesting premise with a curious selection of outdated pop tunes underscoring the action.

And in a moment of pure festival magic, TIFF programer Steve Gravestock steers me away from one film and towards another. Without any knowledge, without any expectations (I hadn't even read the synopsis in the TIFF catalogue) I walk into Superclasico, a light-hearted romantic comedy with enough edge to keep it European.

Turns out Superclasico is the perfect remedy to offset a strict diet of dark and bleak movie fare. A nice little surprise.


Blog TIFF 11


Take Shelter (dir. Jeff Nichols, Mongrel Media, 120 minutes)

Jeff Nichols might keep making good movies and he might make some bad ones, but he may never make two that are exactly alike. Aside from some stylistic overlap, his new thriller Take Shelter makes a clean break from debut Shotgun Stories, which was realistic, low-key and left viewers with a calm sense of closure.

Compared to the Southern melodrama of his previous film, Take Shelter is almost science-fiction. Curtis (Michael Shannon) can’t stop imagining ominous storm clouds hovering above his house, or dreaming of wild animal attacks and levitating furniture. He is both aware of his family’s history of schizophrenia and unable to ignore the fear. He spends thousands of dollars renovating an old bomb shelter, putting his marriage in jeopardy. Is Curtis insane, psychic or on the verge of something else entirely?

The concept of Take Shelter is a no-win situation. If Curtis is insane than the story has no arc or possibly satisfying conclusion. If he isn’t, the story is a cheat, as so much of it is built around unmotivated paranoia. I believe Nichols finds a satisfying solution without trying to have it both ways; Take Shelter just drags its feet a bit arriving there. 3.5/5 


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Cinema Guild, 157 minutes)

Most great films evoke a sense of place, few as unforgettable as Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. It is set on roads snaking through Turkish hills and fields, primarily in the dead of night. Headlights are beacons of life in this endlessly remote place. Faces appear carved into rocks.

A group of men have come to find a body. Two of them might know where it is; they buried it. The others are impatient, exhausted civil servants: cops, drivers, doctors, lawyers and diggers. Finding the victim’s remains may not bring justice, but it will bring sleep. Two particularly restless men, the Doctor (Muhammet Uzuner) and Prosecutor (Taner Birsel) will carry the highly unusual case through the new day, and reveal how it has fundamentally changed them. 

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia was the best thing I saw at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, for reasons that are difficult to articulate. It created the most interesting environment or cinematic “world,” in the sense of seeing a new place and becoming lost in it. That is why you and I go to the movies, whether we watch Turkish policeman or robots from outer space. That is not to say Anatolia is difficult or unentertaining; it’s paced perfectly, filled with memorable characters, and alternates cleanly between sadness and absurd humour. One sequence alone involving the team’s realization that their vehicles will not easily fit a dead body might be the most entertaining 10 minutes on film this year. 5/5


Monsters Club (dir. Toshiaki Toyoda, Geek Pictures, 72 minutes)

Toshiaki Toyoda’s short, economical Monsters Club tries to teach a moral lesson. It looks at an evil man, gives him an opportunity for salvation, and finally dismisses him as pathetic. It is one story of alienation that I don’t believe is on the side of the alienated.

That would be Ryoichi (an actor billed simply as “Eita”) a privileged young man who has moved permanently into a cabin built by his family, most of whom have recently passed on. He spends his life constructing elaborate mail bombs and sending them to important members of industrial society. Before his seemingly final mission, he will be visited by his three siblings. Two of them are dead and the other too young to offer much guidance.

But the others do more than enough. The spirits of Ryoichi’s two brothers try to stop him from carrying out more violence, and tell of better things waiting in the world beyond. They are joined by two grotesque creatures who do not need to speak to stir the fool’s conscience. Suddenly surrounded after hoping to separate himself from society, Ryoichi’s prepared plan is thrown into disorder.

There isn’t much room for mistakes in 72 minutes, and thankfully Monsters Club is close to flawless. It might seem too slight to some but in the light of more indulgent festival films, its brevity feels downright generous. 4.5/5


[html]It was a staple of Hollywood family vacations and TV montages about families going on vacation in Hollywood, but Universal Studios’ JAWS! boat tour has finally been reeled in. The 22-year-old attraction was officially closed this past January 2, given the kind of sentimental send-off common for animatronic film novelties:

Tear. It’s just a sign of a changing America, where people are no longer scared by fish robots, where the sight of a mechanical beast awkwardly lurching to and fro in the water and getting your shoes wet for the rest of the day just isn’t enough. Park officials have not yet revealed what will become of other “out-dated” attractions like E.T.: Bicycle Simulator and Howard the Duck’s 3D Video Arcade Experience.  


[html]With less than a month to go before her debut album Born to Die drops, New York croonstress Lana Del Rey has finally revealed its tracklist: 

01. Born to Die
02. Off to the Races
03. Blue Jeans

04. Video Games

05. Diet Mountain Dew
06. National Anthem
07. Dark Paradise

08. Radio
09. Carmen
10. Million Dollar Man
11. Summertime Sadness
12. This is What Makes Us Girls

Not a lot of surprises here, save for the inclusion of pre-breakout/“Video Games” track “Diet Mountain Dew” (remixed slightly, stream below) and the realization that fans have already heard the album’s entire first half plus closer "This is What Makes Us Girls." Playing it safe, perhaps, or just clearing her closet for future material. The album hits North America on January 31.

Related: TORO’s Lana Del Rey Concert Gallery


[html]Sorry, In Time: Newlyweds has just STOLEN the yearly grand prize for Most Terrifying Alternate Reality. In this world, MS Paint (free trial version) is the industry standard for movie poster design, and the sight of Edward Burns and his gi-normous pockets (that coat is at least 20 per cent pocket) is enough to get people into a movie.

newlywedsposter.jpgIf your eyes haven’t already exploded from an overdose of visual stimulation, you might be saying “Tell me what the movie is about already!” Probably not, because you’re busy ordering eighteen tickets for you and everyone you love, for a screening right after your eye replacement surgery. But if you were saying that my reply would be “It’s about two people who are newlyweds and they enjoy wearing jackets. Sure they SEEM happy but OH SHIT there’s a space between them! Will they eventually grow apart? Will Edward Burns have his arm severed by a speeding locomotive?” Unfortunately I have no way of verifying any of this until I see Newlyweds for myself after I get approval from my cardiologist.


Now in his 39th year of recording music, recent rock and roll hall of fame inductee Tom Waits shows no sign of slowing down or smoothing out his edges.

And he’s got a brand new album set to drop like an anvil. It’s called Bad as Me, will see the light of day on October 25 via Anti-, and features a song called “Hell Broke Luce” which is just spectacular. You can pick up the title track and first single on iTunes right now. This minute! Something about instant online transactions involving Tom Waits' music feels incongruous, but whatever.


1. Chicago
2. Raised Right Men
3. Talking at the Same Time
4. Get Lost
5. Face to the Highway
6. Pay Me
7. Back in the Crowd
8. Bad as Me
9. Kiss Me
10. Satisfied
11. Last Leaf
12. Hell Broke Luce
13. New Year’s Eve

Deluxe edition:

14. She Stole the Blush
15. Tell Me
16. After You Die



Here's "What The Water Gave Me," the latest video from Florence + the Machine. The new video features lead singer Florence's Welch's signature violent vocal vibrato and significantly less dermal pallor. Things are looking good for the future of the Machine (Joseph Stalin notwithstanding).

Check it.


The losses mount for the NHL.

Wade Belak, a former  player with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames, was found dead Wednesday in Toronto condo/hotel One King West.

The 35-year-old father of two had retired from the game back on March 8 with arthritis in his hip. He'd just begun the next phase of his career, broadcasting on radio in Nashville and as an in-game TV reporter for Predators games. At the time of his death, Belak had been in Toronto, training for the CBC series Battle of the Blades. His family lives in Nashville.

In 16 NHL seasons, Saskatoon-born Belak collected eight goals and 25 assists with 1,263 penalty minutes in 549 games. A tough guy, who suited up as both a forward and defenceman under Leafs coach Pat Quinn, Belak was always quick to step in on the ice — and speak up with a quote off the ice.

“Certainly he was brave,” Quinn told The Star. “He’d answer anything as far as the physical side of the game required of him. He didn’t back down from anything.”

The news comes after the deaths of other NHL enforcers, Derek Boogard and Rick Rypien. Boogard died after mixing booze and drugs. Rypien, who had a history of depression, was found dead in his home earlier this month.

The Toronto Sun is reporting that Belak committed suicide. Police are withholding comment.


Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette: Cruel Game Exacts Toll on Players
Cathal Kelly, Toronto Star: After Belak's Death, the NHL Must Take Action
Bruce Arthur, National Post: Belak Death an End to a Wretched Summer
Allan Maki, Globe and Mail: Hockey's Bare Knuckle Anguish


In India, a woman named Fulla Nayak - who lived to be 125 years old – apparently claimed the secret of her longevity came from smoking marijuana every day.

For my sake, I hope the same is true for eating cheesy con queso dip with Fritos, because that has been a part of my daily routine since before I learned to read. I can't wait until I die at the age of 1010, looking like a withered baby, and explain that my longevity is owed exclusively to Frito-Lay.

My theory is that she would have lived longer, but was struck down by her disappointment at the Perry/Brand breakup. The lady's eldest daughter is 92, which is wild in itself, because it means Nayak had her at the age of 33, which is kind of old to be having your first child in the early 1900s. Shame!

Nayak also chalked her long-lived lifestyle up to the healing benefits of piping hot tea, so I hope people adopt that habit as much as they plan on adopting “smokin' da 'erb,” as beloved Borat would call it. Although maybe she was talking about mushroom tea.


In anticipation of her upcoming album All of Me talented singer-songwriter Estelle releases a new track written by Akon and produced by Jerry Wonder titled "Thank You."  Check out the lyric video below.

Also check out our exclusive interview with Estelle to learn more about All of Me, her personal style, Rick Ross, and more!