It's my third consecutive visit to the Toronto International Film Festival, although I'm finding myself a bit more distracted than during previous trips Why? Well, because I have four of my Cinematical pals up here to hang out with, three amigos from Rotten Tomatoes, and a whole bunch of random friends that I get to see ONLY at film festivals. And if I have to choose between a 2.5-hour tearjerker from Romania, or having a semi-swanky meal with Rocchi, Fischer, Voynar and our new pal Alexia (videographer extraordinaire) -- well, that's not much of a decision, is it?

Which explains why I've only seen four films since arriving Thursday afternoon. Of course, three of those four movies hail from the Midnight Madness selection -- because that's my bread and butter, baby. Here's the scoop so far:

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan -- OK, so the initial public screening had some serious glitches (check out Kim's fantastic breakdown right here), but there was a press screening earlier this afternoon, and let me tell you fine folks something: I'm not prone to tossing out wild superlatives and giddy bits of over-praise, but wow -- this thing is easily one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Seriously. Equal parts silly, sly, satirical and stunningly bizarre, this is a comedy that's going to be quoted and re-quoted for the next 15 years. Brazen, ballsy and absolutely brilliant.

The Host
-- Action, horror, comedy, adventure, sci-fi and drama all rolled into one (kind of overlong) package, The Host is a huge salad bar of a treat for the genre fans. It's about a giant tadpole-ish beastie who (literally) leaps out of Korea's Han River, chomps down on a few hundred people, and (allegedly) comes bearing a really nastily viral side effect. If Magnolia Pictures can find 20-ish minutes to chop out of this movie (and I'd happily tell them which scenes I think could be jettisoned), it'll be a cult classic before the end of next year.

Fido -- Whoops, my bad. Although it's definitely the kind of movie that would normally make Toronto's Midnight Madness line-up, this '50s-era zombie comedy falls under the Canada First designation -- because it's Canadian. Kim dug the flick just as much as I did, what with its crazy Zombie Knows Best approach and stellar cast. (Rocchi nailed it when he turned to me after the screening and said "It's George Romero meets Douglas Sirk!") Kim will have a full review up soon, and Lionsgate will be releasing the flick (relatively) soon, but so far the domesticated zom-com has earned three strong seals of approval from the Cinematicaleers.

Coming up: Black Sheep, Sheitan, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and a whole bunch more.