Monday, June 20, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect screens at the Toronto Underground Cinema on Friday, June 24th at 7:00pm as part of the DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE series.

Come join us down at the Underground for yet another entry in our Defending the Indefensible series this Friday as two local film critics go head to head in a battle for cinematic supremacy in the name of charity while talking about films that have been forgotten, beaten on, and in many cases quite unjustly maligned.

This week's case study is the 2004 Ashton Kutcher film, The Butterfly Effect. The film, which was a box office success despite sitting unreleased on the shelves of New Line Cinema for close to three years, was trounced by critics upon its release (with a current rating of 30/100 on Metacritic), but has managed to find a cult audience in recent years, garnering a 7.8 rating on IMDB as well as leading to two (very dreadful) direct to DVD sequels. The Butterfly Effect, for all the arguments back and forth, has managed to gross over $100 million worldwide.

The film is the story of Evan (Kutcher) a smart young man who has repressed deeply troubling images and memories from his childhood. Evan begins to find ways to transmute these thoughts into a method of time travel that allows him to alter the past with often frightening results for those closest to him, including his longtime crush, Andrea (Amy Smart).

The evening, hosted by contributor Andrew Parker, will see critics from two of Toronto's biggest weeklies squaring off in a debate about the film's merit. In defense of the film, Adam Nayman from The Grid (as well as Metro, CinemaScope, and others) will explain how The Butterfly Effect is unlike any other time travel movie before or since. On the side of the critical world at large will be NOW Magazine's Norman Wilner, who will try to show that any film featuring a handless Ashton Kutcher is a terrible one.

But that is not all! There are several bonuses to this screening!

During the post film analysis, we will be taking a look at just how much an alternate ending can change the dynamic of a film. The original ending to The Butterfly Effect was a major hindrance to the film's release, and Norman Wilner will also argue that had they kept the original ending, the film would have been improved and possibly even passable.

Also, tickets for this screening will be reduced to a rate of $8 per person (instead of the normal $10). This month's charity is the Red Door Family Shelter, a homeless shelter working specifically with families. For more information on this wonderful cause, please visit

Also, before we leave you, we want to know what movies you guys would like to see local critics discuss. Give us your suggestions for what films you would like to see as part of Defending the Indefensible and we will do our best to make at least one of them happen.

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