Things are definitely starting to wind down at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival — and no, it's not because the exhausted folks covering it are slowly turning into the walking dead. The ten-day fest was heavily front-loaded this year, with most of the high-profile premieres like "Looper," "The Master," "Silver Linings Playbook", and "Cloud Atlas" taking place during the first weekend. So, what's left?
The fest may be coming to a close, but TIFF still has an exciting few days ahead of it. Here are a few of the notable premieres happening between now and Sunday night.
Director Lee Daniels returns to Toronto with "The Paperboy," an all-star follow-up to his People's Choice Award-winning 2009 film "Precious." Matthew McConaughey stars as a reporter investigating a murder case that may have put an innocent man (John Cusack) on death row. "The Paperboy" co-stars Zac Efron of "High School Musical" fame and Nicole Kidman, whose performance in the film is said to steal the show. "The Paperboy" will have its gala premiere at TIFF on Sept. 14.
Spike Lee's documentary joint about the significance of the late Michael Jackson's legendary album "Bad" is one star-studded flick. Featuring interviews with Quincy Jones, Martin Scorsese, Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber and more, "Bad 25" tracks the huge influence that Jackson's heavily hyped follow-up to "Thriller" had on a new generation of musicians and performers. Despite Jackson's controversial later years, there's no disputing the massive impact he had on pop music in the 1980s, and Lee's doc captures the King of Pop at the height of his reign. "Bad 25's" Sept. 15 premiere will be music's big night at the Toronto Film Fest.
"John Dies at the End"
Filmmaker Don Coscarelli ("Bubba Ho-Tep") returns to the Ryerson Theatre to close out Midnight Madness on Saturday night with his new film "John Dies at the End." Based on author David Wong's web serial-turned-novel, the comedic horror movie follows a pair of slackers who decide to try out a reality-bending drug called "soy sauce" and inadvertently end up battling a trans-dimensional invasion. It's "They Live!" for the Internet generation. Featuring a cult cast that includes Paul Giamatti ("Cosmopolis") and Clancy Brown ("Highlander"), "John Dies at the End" will likely be a very good way to end TIFF's vaunted genre programme. We hope John makes it through the night.
Of course, what the tail end of TIFF is really good for is playing catch up. There are always second, third, and sometimes even fourth screenings of big movies that have already played. Festival-goers who missed out on last week's glamourous movie premieres will have ample opportunity to see the same films in the waning days of the fest, sans the red carpet madness and celebrity stalkers.