TIFF 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Pratt is swarmed by fans and autograph seekers as he arrives in Toronto

The Toronto International Film Festival kicked of last night, September 8, with the premiere of Magnificent 7. The party started the minute Chris Pratt stepped off the plane and strutted through Pearson airport. He manages to look pretty happy about being swarmed though, doesn’t he?

Actually, technically the party started the night before, at the traditional benefit gala. This year Michael Fassbender was the guest of honour, where he confessed that his super power was his ability to nap anywhere, anytime, and that his biggest challenge was learning lines (a real obstacle to taking on the Steve Jobs role, a wordy Aaron Sorkin script). Fassbender has a somewhat limp movie in theatres right now, The Light Between Oceans, but he’s also got one screening at TIFF: Trespass Against Us, where he plays Brendan Gleeson’s son who is trying to escape his crime family’s fate. Fassbender’s no stranger to TIFF, having been 2016 Toronto International Film Festival - TIFF Soiree With Special Guest Michael Fassbenderpart of the 2013 People’s Choice winner, 12 Years a Slave. In fact, he mentioned that when he and director Steve McQueen first met, McQueen hated him, and called him arrogant. Was it nerves? Fassbender’s not sure, but the two went on to collaborate very successfully three times.

Michael Fassbender wasn’t the only star on hand Wednesday night: Canadian stars Pamela Anderson and Martin Short were part of the pre-show at the AMBI gala. Short was dressed in his Jiminy Glick and interviewed the Baywatch babe (who was actually looking pretty good in a stunning gown) and elicited her 2016 Toronto International Film Festival - AMBI Galatop-secret beauty regime – “donuts and sex.” Honourary co-chair James Franco and his creepy little mustache were in the audience, and weirder still, so were Mike Tyson and Billy Baldwin, among others. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, Earth, Wind & Fire performed.

Thursday night was all about Magnificent 7. It’s a remake of the 1960 classic with an obvious twist: Antoine Fuqua deliberately chose a diverse cast, and then just as deliberately chose not to have race mentioned much in the movie. He cast friend and frequent collaborator Denzel Washington in the lead role; Denzel, having earned an Oscar under Fuqua’s direction in Training Day, jumped at the chance to work with him again. Fuqua, meanwhile, maintains “I just wanted to see Denzel Washington on a horse!” Don’t we all.

Magnificent Seven is meaner and edgier than its predecessors, and funnier too. Chris Pratt, as you can imagine, has a lot to do with that. He even had reporters in stitches in the press conference, declaring that the whole ‘remake’ question was moot: “Eventually you just run out of namesmagnificent-sevenjpg-jpg-size-custom-crop-1086x724. If I have a son named Chad, is he a remake of somebody else named Chad? No! And I’m not going to give him another name like Schnarkle. This [The Magnificent Seven] has reach. It gets people engaged. But it’s probably a lot more The Wild Bunch than it is The Magnificent Seven. We used the title. We used the story. There are seven guys and we’re all fucking magnificent. But let that movie [the 1960 version] be that movie. This is a different movie.” For now we have to take his word for it, but Magnificent 7 will be out in theatres September 23rd, and you can judge for yourself. Last night, significantly more than just the 7 magnificent bastards walked the red carpet, including Peter Sarsgaard, who was easily mistaken for a homeless person. Both Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke struck a lot of goofy poses as they were quickly ushered along the press line (they were running 30 minutes late!) but it was Denzel Washington who created the biggest crush, and he still had a smile for everyone.

Late, late on Thursday night, there was another premiere at the kickoff of TIFF’s Midnight Madness programming. The midnight movies are not always horror, but they’re scary or violent or grotesque. Last year Matt saw Hardcore Henry at Midnight Madness; this year he’ll be taking in Headshot. Some of the Midnight screenings are surprisingly commercial, with the new Blair Witch set to make its debut, and Emile Hirsch bringing his new film, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, and last night’s screening bringing out some big stars indeed: Brie Larson and Armie Hammer for the new Ben Wheatley movie, Free Fire, a genre homage to vintage action movies.

Check out the comments section for more photos, and be sure to be following along on Twitter where we’ll be posting all the action, as it happens: @AssholeMovies

26 thoughts on “TIFF 2016

  1. Jay Post author

    Surprise! Armie Hammer reveals he’s expecting another child with his (pregnant) wife on the red carpet of the Free Fire premiere at TIFF.


  2. Birgit

    I am certain you will be going to a few film showings and I have yet to go to one. I could have gone mega years ago when it used to be known as The Festival of Festivals and much cheaper. I had to laugh at your comment about Peter Sarsgaad and you are so right about that mustache on Franco-ewwww. I will see The Magnificent 7 but unsure about this flick. The dress that brie larson is wearing looks like a Rorsach test

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jay Post author

      Ah, then tell us what you see in her dress!!

      Yeah, the reviews for Free Fire are mixed, like Ben Wheatley’s movies always are I guess!


  3. reocochran

    I am so happy to see these photos, Jay and how you are covering the TIFF. (Of course and Again!!:) )
    These films are in my Entertainment Weekly magazine so I can actually feel like I have a preview opinion but trust the 3 of you to fill us in.
    Pamela Anderson looks great! Not fake but glamorous.
    I want to see the Magnificent Seven. Your review of the gang there makes me want to run right out. . .
    The fact Michael Fassbinder was found to be snobby or arrogant is only due to his ability to act guarded and thoughtful. He just doesn’t joke, as far as I have seen,in three full interviews. Perfect as the immoral slave owner who repeatedly rapes a young black slave. . .
    The photo of Brie Larson certainly makes her look so grown up now. Gabrielle Union is beautiful and the Birth of a Nation should be interesting and compelling.
    This is all I could focus on as far as details.Fantastic post, Jay. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Khalid Rafi

    Can’t wait to read your TIFF coverage. Remember being hyped for a number of movies like Sicario and Demolition after reading your TIFF reviews last year.
    Also, Trespass Against Us looks sooo good. Easily one of my most anticipated of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Everybody’s Chattin + Most-Anticipated Movies from TIFF 2016

  6. Christy B

    Ohhh I didn’t read this post and now I’m seeing all the amazing photos. I’m reminded about the Before the Flood documentary that I want to see. I somehow searched the site for Baywatch and this post came up lol. Will you be writing a Baywatch movie review? 🙂



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