CABIN FEVER (Eli Roth) had a Midnight Madness slot at last year's festival, but this weak teen "spam in a cabin" movie isn't scary because the monster's just some sort of flesh-eating virus. It's kind of gross, but as many times as the filmmakers dip into the well of classical woodsy horror - vengeful rednecks and all - it's never really frightening, since there's nothing to jump out at the characters. The bar for this genre was set by Evil Dead II. Cabin Fever can't even see the bar. 94 min. N (JH)
Opens Sep 12 at 401 & Morningside, Coliseum Mississauga, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Grande - Steeles, Kennedy Commons, Paramount, Queensway, SilverCity Mississauga, SilverCity Newmarket, SilverCity North York, SilverCity Richmond Hill, SilverCity Yorkdale, Silvercity Yonge, Varsity.
MATCHSTICK MEN (Ridley Scott) plays like a breather for Ridley Scott in between macho epics, his version of Catch Me If You Can. But even playful, Scott directs with a cast-iron fist. Nicolas Cage plays an obsessive-compulsive con man in league with cocky slob Sam Rockwell. Then the teenage daughter (Alison Lohman) Cage never knew shows up, and things get tricky. Matchstick Men gets much better once it takes a turn in the third act, but it still lacks the light touch this story needs. Best for the spectacle of Cage and Rockwell going mannerism-à-mannerism. 120 min. NN (CB)
Opens Sep 12 at 401 & Morningside, 5 Drive-In Oakville, Coliseum Mississauga, Colossus, Courtney Park 16, Eglinton Town Centre, Elgin Mills, First Markham Place, Grande - Steeles, Kennedy Commons, Paramount, Queensway, Rainbow Fairview, Rainbow Market Square, Rainbow Promenade, Rainbow Woodbine, SilverCity Mississauga, SilverCity Newmarket, SilverCity North York, SilverCity Richmond Hill, SilverCity Yorkdale, Silvercity Yonge, Varsity.
MILLENNIUM ACTRESS (Satoshi Kon) is an anime - the promotional material cannily neglects to mention that - from the director of the much weirder Perfect Blue. A TV reporter interviews an aged actress whose life story appears in flashbacks, offering a journey through Japanese culture and cinema. There is, of course, a long-lost love, a locket, wartime tragedy and post-war triumph. A remarkably straight film for the director, it's very beautifully made and often quite funny when it drags the documentarian into historical moments against his will, to his great irritation. 87 min. NNN (JH)
Opens Sep 12 at Canada Square.