Sep 30, 2014

Review: Captain Phillips (2013)

This is my first time seeing Captain Phillips and all I've heard about it is that it's fake and not true. Captain Phillips himself is an asshole and he was sued for knowingly endangering the crew. When it comes to movies though, they're just that. Movies. They can be based on true events but in the end they're entertainment. Unless the movie completely destroys the story that it's based on, I can easily forgive any movie that makes changes to real-life events.

Paul Greengrass is a director I definitely like, although he is partly responsible for making "shaky-cam" mainstream and unbearable. I think Hollywood is starting to move away from the technique thankfully though. There's pretty much no one who can do it as well as Greengrass can. You always knew what was going on during the hectic action scenes in his Bourne movies unlike what would happen in other movies with quick cuts and shaky-cam galore. It was a technique used to hide deficiencies for everyone else, not to heighten suspense.

Sep 29, 2014

Review: Lucky Numbers (2000)

Nora Ephron is pretty much hit or miss. She has some stinkers like Mixed Nuts and Bewitched but also some movies that I personally liked such as Julie & Julia and You've Got Mail. Lucky Numbers is the only movie she's directed that she didn't also do the screenplay. I'm not sure if that really changes anything, but that honour goes to Adam Resnick.

Who's Adam Resnick? Basically starting out as a writer for late night shows like Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live, he got Lucky Numbers as his first feature movie gig. The key point here for me is that the next movie he did the screenplay for was Death to Smoochy which is a personal favourite of mine as far as black comedies go. I was hoping for the same kind of thing with Lucky Numbers.

Sep 28, 2014

Review: Mamá (2008)

Before the executive produced Guillermo del Toro horror film Mama came out, there was only the short horror film Mamá from 2008. Made by Andrés Muschietti, his film was discovered by an impressed del Toro. The door then opened for a feature-length Mama that Muschietti would be able to direct as well as co-write. Quite an impressive story for a guy who's only other work goes back to a short he made in 1999. 

So I haven't seen the feature film myself yet but the short must be good if it caught the attention of del Toro. Not just anyone can be handed the keys to the kingdom. At a scant three minutes, Mamá is high on questions and low on answers and I mean that in the best possible way.

Sep 27, 2014

Review: Lights Out (2013)

Horror films in general when it comes to being scary for their entire run times. It depresses me to think of all the horror movies I've seen that start off good, but by the middle of the movie go into mediocre to awful territory. There's a problem of being able to sustain scariness. Trailers are never a good indicator of how scary a movie is either because editors can pack all the scary bits into a short package without revealing that the rest of the film is dull.

That's where short films come in. Lights Out is a little under three minutes and that's a good thing. There's no need to develop a narrative with unlikeable, stereotypical characters for the masses and it isn't too difficult to sustain suspense over that short period of time. Watching a short horror film like Lights Out is pretty much like rinsing out your palette. It's a nice break from the constant disappointment that the horror genre is capable of delivering.

I think I started Lights Out once when I stumbled on a link for it. In I think about 15 seconds I just said "Nope" and promptly closed the tab on my browser. This time I got through it.

Sep 26, 2014

Review: LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dhokha (2010)

Dibakar Banerjee today seems to be a moderately celebrated director working in Bollywood. Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! seems to be his biggest hit. It's won some awards and has a high score on IMDb. However, Bollywood movies on IMDb seem to be notoriously overrated though so it's not easy to trust those ratings. What I like about Banerjee is that he seems to make movies that aren't your typical Bollywood fare which sounds promising.

LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dhokha is probably as far away from typical Bollywood as you can get. It's three stories all shot in a found-footage style that cover some pretty racy subjects by Bollywood standards. We're talking honour killings, sex scandals and the like. It got its inspiration from the Delhi DPS MMS Scandal of 2004 in which two underage students were filmed having sex which had the media in a frenzy. The video went viral and attempts had been made to sell the video for profit.

Sep 25, 2014

Review: Mou mei san taam [Loving You] (1995)

One of my favourite movies of all time is Running Out of Time, directed by Johnnie To. I just love it to death and it'll always stand as one of my favourites. I'll just start thinking about it sometimes and I'll get a big smile on my face. I could probably watch it every night for the rest of my life but then that would mean not seeing all the rest of To's movies which I desperately need to see.

Loving You is To's 19th film in his career but we're still pretty much in the earlier part of his career. Although 19 films is a lot, he had started doing a movie a year by the late 80's and has continued that pace until now. Not to mention that he produces films outside of the ones that he directs. The guy is a busy man, that's for sure.

Sep 24, 2014

Review: Le dîner de cons [The Dinner Game] (1998)

Francis Veber is the man who not only wrote and directed Le dîner de cons, but he's also responsible for the play in which the movie is based on. This is not Veber's first time directing a movie although he does have a longer history as a screenplay writer. He's known to give his screenplays theatre-like qualities and he has had some of his screenplays begin their lives as plays besides Le dîner de cons. What this does is minimize the production costs of the movie but still of course have the potential to make a killing.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think that I've seen Le dîner de cons at a certain point in my life. The reason for that is because of how familiar Jacques Villeret as François Pignon is to me. He's pretty much unforgettable as a "con" or idiot if you will, so I must've seen this when I was younger. Maybe in some French class in high school? At the very least, I probably saw a bit of Le dîner de cons on TV although I don't think I finished it. Glad I finally have the chance to now.

Sep 23, 2014

Review: GoldenEye (1995)

Following License to Kill in 1989, production of the next James Bond film was supposed to start up pretty soon. The script was ready, Timothy Dalton was ready and all that really needed to be done was fine a director. That was before all the legal trouble involving MGM, United Artists and Albert R. Broccoli's Danjaq which owned the rights to 007 films began.

Pathé had just bought MGM and intended to sell the distribution rights of the Bond catalogue which included cheap broadcasting rights to the Bond films in order to pay back their initial investment. Danjaq saw this as going against their agreement which dated back to 1962, leading to the longest James Bond hiatus in history. Two years after settling, Timothy Dalton pulled out and producer Albert R. Broccoli was facing some pretty serious health issues.

Luckily his daughter Barbara Broccoli who had some experience as an associate producer in a couple of Bond films already was able to step in with long-time partner Michael G. Wilson. Finding the right James Bond was of course the bigger issue. Pierce Brosnan who got the role was actually already known since he had won the job over Timothy Dalton for The Living Daylights originally. Unlucky for him, he was already busy with TV series Remington Steele and couldn't take the role. As much as I'm sad to have lost Timothy Dalton, Pierce is all the same an excellent James Bond.

Sep 22, 2014

Review: Los amantes del Círculo Polar [Lovers of the Arctic Circle] (1998)

This is the first film that I've seen directed by Spanish director Julio Médem. I've only ever heard of two of his films, being Sex and Lucia and Room in Rome prior to seeing Lovers of the Arctic Circle. As usual, I haven't seen either of them but LotAC definitely seems promising.

That's because it was the winner of two Goya Awards in 1999. I've seen quite a few Goya winners and I don't think I've ever seen one that disappointed. La comunidad, The Others, The Orphanage, Volver, La lengua de las mariposas are just a few of the movies I've seen that are Goya winners and they're all great movies in their own right. As a winner of best editing and original score, Lovers of the Arctic Circle looks like it'll be a movie for me. I love good soundtracks and editing is just one those things about movies that can make me drool.

Sep 21, 2014

Review: Lantana (2001)

I watch as much international cinema as I can but I guess that I kind of miss Australian films a lot of the time. I've never heard of director Ray Lawrence but is that really my fault anyway? The guy has made three movies in twenty one years! All three though have had their fair share of critical adulation though so I'm glad that I was able to final stumble on Lantana.

Ray Lawrence is an expert at delving into his characters and their relationships. With all the main actors pretty much being Australian except for Barbara Hershey, it's a really strong ensemble cast.
Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia is probably the easiest movie to compare Lantana with since both are movies that feature a whole bunch of characters with interweaving stories.

Sep 20, 2014

Review: Gasland Part II (2013)

In this sequel to Josh Fox's Gasland from 2010, the United States' relationship with "fracking" is updated. It's pretty clear that there is a lot of mudslinging going on from both sides of this issue which is pretty evident if you read up on responses to Gasland Part II. Natural gas development is all the same an important issue to talk about and I'm glad that there are individuals like Josh Fox who are willing to put themselves out there.

Josh Fox does all the same have a habit of being a documentary maker similar to Michael Moore just from Gasland. Mr. Moore can be good but only really in measured quantities. I personally like my documentaries to be more on the objective side but Michael Moore seems to throw that kind of idea out the window and only present his side with lots of screaming and shouting. Fox is more controlled in his approach which is a relief.

Sep 19, 2014

Review: The Last Broadcast (1998)

I have to admit, I really like found footage films. I guess it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. If done correctly, they can feel totally genuine and just as scary as traditionally filmed horror movies. They seem to be a pretty divisive subgenre of horror but that's just how it is. They've probably passed the played out stage like slashers did during the 80's but that's what makes finding some obscure, older found footage film so enticing to me.

The Last Broadcast came out a year before The Blair Witch Project and resembles it in certain ways. It's the work of two men who co-directed and co-wrote the movie. Also, it's about a group of men who go into the woods to find the Jersey Devil in the Pine Barrrens and film the whole thing on camera. It's done a little differently though, more in the form of a documentary with narration courtesy of David Beard. Interestingly enough, it's believed to be the first movie shot entirely with regular consumer video equipment.

Sep 18, 2014

Review: Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Before watching Boys Don't Cry, I did not know that it was based on a true story. Literally no idea. I took a quick look at the IMDb entry before watching it but didn't see the biography genre attached to it. So when the ending credits started rolling and the disclaimer about what happened to the characters' real life counterparts was shown, it was a pretty big shock. Understandably there was a lot of hoopla surrounding the case of Brandon Teena which dates back to 1993. There's no doubt that there was a story to tell there.

Director Kimberly Peirce apparently became interested in Brandon Teena during her college days and worked on a script for around five years. She actually made a short of the story in 1995 as her thesis but sadly I can't find it anywhere. For a story about a transgender main character, you can imagine the difficulty in finding a good actress for the role. Peirce wanted to avoid any known actresses and anyway, known actresses wouldn't want anything to do with such a controversial role. She went looking for suitable actresses in the LGBT community which was unsuccessful. After one hundred actresses were rejected, Peirce just happened to receive a tape from an unknown Hilary Swank. The rest is history

Sep 17, 2014

Review: Kari-gurashi no Arietti [The Secret World of Arrietty] (2010)

Aside from a TV series from 1992, this is the third adaptation of Mary Norton's novel The Borrowers. I've seen the other two adaptations with varying results. The 1997 version is a little bit of a childhood nostalgia trip for me and John Goodman is irresistible fun in that one. I can see its shortcomings though. On the other hand, you got the 1973 version which is a great example of a movie aging horribly. These two movies stacked up against an animated Studio Ghibli? Let's just say that I don't fancy their position.

The Borrowers to me sounds like a wonderful project for Studio Ghibli. It's only the fourth movie from the heralded animation house not to be directed by either Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata so that's a pretty big deal. Hiromasa Yonebayashi got the honours and he was directing for the first time ever in fact. He was probably shaking in his boots with such big shoes to fill, not to mention with Miyazaki himself looking over his shoulder as an executive producer. With the big box office take worldwide as well as tons of critical adoration, it looks like Yonebayashi can rest easy.

Sep 16, 2014

Review: Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

I was seventeen when Bridge to Terabithia came out and that's kind of on the too old side in terms of the movie's target audience. I don't even remember any advertising for it back then but I think that's because I was starting to phase out my TV watching. Disney is clearly targeting children with this movie and the fact that the main characters are in the fifth grade is a pretty big indicator of that. This was also the case in the Katherine Paterson novel of the same name that the movie is based on.

I've read that Bridge to Terabithia is very faithful adaptation of Paterson's book which I'm happy to hear. Sadly I've never read it but it sounds like it would be a good book all the same. The things that the characters do which involves using their imagination and creating their own worlds reminds me of myself. The one thing I hoped that first-time live-action film director Gabor Csupo would avoid is the overuse of CGI when it came time to showing the made up world of Terabithia.

Sep 15, 2014

Review: The Lady Vanishes (2013)

Here we are are with another take on Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1938 film, The Lady Vanishes. The Anthony Page directed The Lady Vanishes from 1979 was pretty much a failure in every regard compared to the original. Although it's still sort of watchable, the humour and the suspense fall decisively flat. Is this BBC co-produced TV movie doomed to the same fate?

This version of The Lady Vanishes is more focused on closely adapting the novel that the story is based on by Ethel Lina White called The Wheel Spins. That's probably the best direction to go in for sure. There's no point in trying to match Hitchcock's production punch for punch. Although I can't verify if the movie follows the book closely, humour as been stripped away and the overall atmosphere of the movie is forbiddingly murky.

Sep 14, 2014

Review: The Lady Vanishes (1979)

Remakes are always a risky proposition. Add in the fact that The Lady Vanishes is a remake of the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name and you've got a recipe for potential disaster. Tony Williams of Rank Organization which was one of the production companies defended the idea of remaking The Lady Vanishes because movies had changed a lot since 1938. The pacing had changed, the acting had changed and people cared about actors of the day. That all may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that Hitchcock's version had aged extremely well. Unless you bring something new and interesting into the equation, it's just going to be a wasted opportunity.

The suspense in the 1938 The Lady Vanishes was palpable and I still find it mind blowing that the comedy Hitchcock was able to squeeze in worked and is still funny to this day. I just really wouldn't associate comedy going well with suspense or mystery. You of course have the famous Charters and Caldicott characters who are a good source of laughs but even Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave display good chemistry and are able to provide some good comedy. It's pretty clear that this newer version of TLV has a lot to live up to.

Sep 13, 2014

Review: Lansky (1999)

An HBO crime TV film based on true events with acclaimed actor Richard Dreyfuss playing the starring role? Naturally that already sounds like a pretty promising affair. HBO put out Lansky in February of 1999. You know what came out in January of 1999, less than a month before? The Sopranos. With director John McNaughton who's directed one of the most controversial movies of all time when it came to the MPAA and the BBFC in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Lansky has the potential to be something. This is also HBO, where swearing and violence are pretty much given free reign.

Richard Dreyfuss plays Meyer Lansky, a man who was nicknamed the "Mob's Accountant." He was a Jew who immigrated from Poland and had a hand in the Jewish Mob and the Italian Mob. The dude was an important piece in setting up organized crime across the United States. That's how much power he had and there's no doubt that there's a movie to be made about him from his story.

Sep 12, 2014

Review: The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring is film based on the real life criminal exploits of a group of California teens who were able to break into a bunch of celebrity homes and steal items like clothes, jewelry and cash all totaling up to $3 million in value. Apparently this happened over the course of practically a year from October 2008 to August 2009. Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr who was dating Bloom at the time, Brian Austin Green, Megan Fox who was dating Green at the time and Lindsay Lohan were the reported victims.

Directed by Sofia Coppola, it definitely sounds like an interesting project. This is my first Sofia C. movie embarrassingly enough. I should've seen Lost in Translation a long time ago, I know. Every time I write a review, it always seems like I got some big confession to make which is starting to get to me. Hope it ends soon because before I know it my film buff status is just going to continue to whittle away.

Sep 11, 2014

Review: Licence to Kill (1989)

Licence to Kill is the end of an era for James Bond films in quite a few ways. First of all, it's sadly the final appearance of Timothy Dalton as 007 and I can't help but feel ripped off. Dalton represents an interesting shift in the character towards a more angry kind of Bond which had never been done before. Along with The Living Daylights, there's also more of a focus on keeping things grounded and realistic. To an extent anyway because this is Bond we're talking about here. This is also the fifth and final James Bond film to be directed by John Glen. Robert Brown, Caroline Bliss, Maurice Binder (who had been a long time creator of the famed Bond opening titles) and writer Richard Maibaum also are involved for the final time with Licence to Kill.

Richard Maibaum's death in 1991 became a huge problem because it opened the door to a bunch of lawsuits and struggles over who would own the rights to James Bond movies. That's why there's a six year delay between Licence to Kill and GoldenEye. Albert R. Broccoli also relinquished his position as producer due to health reasons which further added to the confusion and delay. It was during this time that Timothy Dalton withdrew from the role and I can understand his decision. It didn't sound like a production you'd want to touch with a ten-foot pole.

Sep 10, 2014

Review: Janghwa, Hongryeon [A Tale of Two Sisters] (2003)

South Korean Kim Jee-woon has made some pretty interesting movies in his career so far. Not including his Hollywood debut The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger, movies like The Good, the Bad and the Weird, I Saw the Devil and of course A Tale of Two Sisters have stood out quite prominently. Kim Jee-woon seems very comfortable with a camera and he also seems to be able to bring out some very emotional performances from his actors. One thing's for sure, he doesn't make easy, disposable movies you forget about the day after. Jee-woon's movies are haunting and quite capable of being disturbing if I Saw the Devil is anything to go by.

I haven't been able to see The Last Stand yet but from what I heard it was a little underwhelming. It definitely doesn't strike me as a movie for a director like Jee-woon but perhaps he swooned like I would've to be able to work with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Anyhow, I embarked into A Tale of Two Sisters with high hopes.

Sep 9, 2014

Review: Dead Poets Society (1989)

It has been close to a month since the death of Robin Williams who sadly passed away on August 11th, 2014. It's honestly still really hard to believe that we all live in a post-Robin Williams world now. Over the years I've liked, disliked or even loved the movies that he's been in. But looking beyond the movies he's been in, Robin has always seemed like a real stand up guy. He's made us laugh, he's made us cry and he's a huge loss for everyone. 

The only movie I believe that I've reviewed so far with Robin Williams was Patch Adams and I have to say that I strongly disliked it. In retrospect I feel a little bit bad about it but it's just a review on a movie that he happened to be in. It's not an attack on Robin Williams himself and not everyone can be in great movies all the time anyway.

With Dead Poets Society, I once again find myself watching a super popular movie that I've never seen before which feels like it happens way too often for someone like me. That's right, I've never seen Dead Poets Society before now and no I don't know what's wrong with me. I've heard that Robin Williams' performance in this movie is regarded as one of his finest ones so I had some pretty high expectations going in. 

Sep 8, 2014

Review: The Land That Time Forgot (2009)

If I were to take a guess, there must only be two types of customers who end up watching Asylum movies. The first type of customer is the mistaken customer. They're the ones who get fooled into thinking that they're paying money to see the Hollywood blockbuster movie that The Asylum is ripping off. I pity those customers but really, look a little closer at what you're getting. The second type of customers are the ones who want to see what kind of disaster The Asylum has cooked up this time around. That's me.

He used to be Poneyboy Curtis from The Outsiders and now he stars and directs Asylum movies. He's C. Thomas Howell and you got to wonder how he ended up in this position. This isn't his first rodeo either. He directed Asylum's War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave and The Day the Earth Stopped in the same year. He then followed that up with The Land That Time Forgot the next year. He's also starred in each one. Co-star Darren Dalton holds the privileged position of having wrote the screenplay for this masterpiece remake of the 1975 TLTTF and also doubles as a mockbuster for The Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell. Dalton too was also in The Outsiders funnily enough. Just goes to show that it's a small world.

Sep 7, 2014

Review: The Turn-Tale Wolf (1952)

Yet another take on The Three Little Pigs by Warner Brothers and once again they deliver a pretty amusing spin on the famous fairy tale. Everyone knows that the wolf is the bad guy in the story, but is it really true? In this Looney Tunes short, we get a behind the scenes look at what exactly happened between the pigs and the wolf. It is 100% true and unfabricated, I'm sure of it. 

Review: Three Little Bops (1957)

Three Little Bops is a Warner Brothers short that I remember all too well. Its music is still completely infectious even after years of not seeing it and it's just a really funny spin on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale. I guess there are a whole lot of Warner Bros. shorts that I'd say are in my all-time favourites, but I know for a fact that TLB is up there. Honestly!

Review: Pigs in a Polka (1943)

I used to watch quite a bit of TV back when I was a kid and now I watch pretty much none. You know, Saturday morning cartoons and all that? Looney Tunes was always one of my favourite things to watch in very large quantities and I can recall some of the very best moments even years later. Despite all my Looney Tunes experience, I don't believe I've ever seen Pigs in a Polka. Nominated for an Academy Award in its day, I had to rectify that.

Review: The Borrowers (1973)

I only ever knew about the 1997 film version of Mary Norton's book The Borrowers, so finding that there had been an earlier adaptation from the 70's definitely intrigued me. Not to mention that it was a Hallmark TV movie. Hallmark to me is the maker of ultra cheesy productions nowadays but I don't have a whole lot of experience with their older stuff. Maybe they used to be better back in the day? I just couldn't pass this up.

To be honest I'm not familiar with anyone in the cast of The Borrowers. There do seem to be some heavy hitters like Eddie Albert and Judith Anderson but I wouldn't really know. That's just judging from their most widely known work on IMDb. Director Walter C. Miller just seems to have ended up directing award shows now like the Grammys, Emmys and the Tonys which is interesting kinda. What a thankless job that must be.

Sep 6, 2014

Review: The People That Time Forgot (1977)

First, there was The Land That Time Forgot. Then there was The People That Time Forgot, a film that is also based off a Edgar Rice Burroughs book by the same title and is a direct sequel. The only returning actor is Doug McClure but in a much reduced role despite the first billing. Patrick Wayne takes over the principal role and I can't but feel bad for a guy who's father is THE John freakin' Wayne. Talk about casting a shadow over someone's career.

The story takes us back to Caprona, the continent which is still inhabited by dinosaurs and cavemen. Although I don't have any confirmation, the budget for The People That Time Forgot has been reduced since The Land That Time Forgot. If that's not the case then there are some really serious production issues. Everything that The Land That Time Forgot did, The People That Time Forgot does it worse.

Sep 5, 2014

Review: The Land That Time Forgot (1975)

Dinosaurs and "forgotten" or "lost" lands seem to have been very popular subjects back in the 70's. From 1974-1977 there was the TV series Land of the Lost which was relaunched in 1991 and had a movie adaptation with Will Ferrell and Danny McBride in 2009. I suppose the TV series got enough attention that British film studio Amicus Productions decided to adapt the 1924 novel The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

There's some sort of charm to watching these old low budget movies try to do big special effects. Having dinosaurs in a movie is no small feat. Without CGI, it's a lot more of a pain for filmmakers trying to make do with puppets. Not only does TLTTF have puppet dinosaurs, but it also has German U-boats, cavemen and volcanoes. Going by the poster alone, it certainly paints a pretty action-packed picture.

Sep 4, 2014

Review: C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

As an avid film watcher, I have a really bad habit of missing out on my local films. Canadian or more specifically Quebec movies just seem to to just evade me for whatever reason. I've probably seen more Japanese movies than I have Canadian movies and I could probably repeat that comparison with quite a few more countries. That's why I'm really pleased to have seen C.R.A.Z.Y.

This film is a work of Jean-Marc Vallée who has broken his way into Hollywood in a big way. Ever heard of Dallas Buyers Club? You've probably been living under a rock if you haven't. His first Hollywood production right after C.R.A.Z.Y. was The Young Victoria which I remember having liked quite a bit. He has a new movie coming out this year called Wild which I'm sure will be trying to garner some nominations during awards season.

Sep 3, 2014

Review: Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012)

With The Final Chapter in its title, you still have to wonder if this will truly be the final entry of the Lake Placid series. Following a sort of successful theatrical release in 1999, I guess some suits somewhere saw promising numbers when Lake Placid hit the small screen. Turning into a TV movie series, Lake Placid: The Final Chapter is the fourth Lake Placid film and I hope it truly is the final chapter.

Yancy Butler is back, but everyone else is new. The biggest star of LP:TFC is definitely Robert Englund of A Nightmare on Elm Street fame. Every other actor is who you'd expect to be in a cheap TV production such as this. For example, Elisabeth Röhm I'm familiar with because of some dumb Christmas TV movie I saw called A Christmas Kiss. Surprisingly, actress Scarlett Byrne actually had a small role in the later Harry Potter movies as Pansy Parkinson. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like she was able to trampoline into something more worthwhile though.

Review: Swearnet: The Movie (2014)

I wouldn't be a true Canadian 23-year old male if I said that I didn't like Canadian TV-series Trailer Park Boys. Maybe I wouldn't even be a true 23-year old male if I said I didn't like Canadian TV-series Trailer Park Boys. That's a scary thought. But I do and I remember the days of being in high school trying to find something cool to watch on TV in the 9:00-9:30 PM range before I'd have to make my way to bed. My parents were strict. I remember channel surfing and falling on the opening credits of TPB on Showcase. I was intrigued and so began my long, love affair with the show.

The series about three drunk, dope smoking idiots officially ended back in 2008. It's back on Netflix though, in the coming weeks I think, which is definitely big news. Also of importance, the rights to the show and characters officially belong to the three main actors; Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells. It's all the same a bit worrisome that Mike Clattenberg who directed, wrote and produced the show since the beginning is now gone and these duties now rest in the hands of the boys. For me, Swearnet: The Movie is a big hint in terms of how Season 8 is going to be.

Sep 2, 2014

Review: Chicken Run (2000)

I'm a huge fan of any work that is directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park, have been since I was a kid because of Wallace and Gromit. That's why it's a huge mystery to me why it's taken me so long to finally see Chicken Run. I still remember all the advertising there was for it back in 2000. Being only a ten-year old at the time, it looked familiar because of having already seen most of the Wallace and Gromit shorts, but it didn't click that it was by the same people. My family wasn't a huge go out to the movies family anyway, so begging to go see it wouldn't have done anything. Anyway, here I am fourteen years later having finally seen it.

Apparently there was a big fight between the big animation studios to collaborate with Aardman Animations for their first feature film. Peter Lord and Nick Park who own the company are brilliant and their work has the kind of humour that works anywhere. DreamWorks won in the end which was pretty big for them because they were in the middle of their big war against Disney to reign supreme in the animation game. Funnily enough, it would be one of their own movies that would rob Chicken Run of an Academy Award after having missed out on a nomination in 2000 for whatever reason. Shrek won best animation in 2001 and the thing is, I would easily put Chicken Run ahead of it.

Review: The Living Daylights (1987)

The Living Daylights is a new dawn in the James Bond franchise. Roger Moore had decided that he was done playing 007 while A View to a Kill was still in theatres. As much as I like Moore, he made the right decision because it's pretty clear that his age became painfully obvious in his last Bond entry. He had a great run though and created an interesting chapter in the Bond franchise.

Director John Glen is back for his fourth helping of James Bond, Barbara Broccoli has finally made producer status as an associate, John Barry is back once again to score and in comes Timothy Dalton for the first time. In terms of what James Bond is meant to look like in the book, Dalton is the one who I think fulfills the requirements perfectly. He's charming and good-looking so it's definitely convincing to see him getting the ladies. At the same time though, he's also cold and seems to have that "cruel" streak that Ian Fleming describes as Bond having inside of him.

I've said before that I don't have a favourite Bond. I like them all for the unique qualities that they bring and I definitely appreciate what Dalton brings with him. More traditional in style in comparison to Roger Moore's Bond, he's also more intense and more prone to anger than Sean Connery's Bond was. Compared to George Lazenby, I guess he's less...jovial?

Sep 1, 2014

Review: Pigeon: Impossible (2009)

Lucas Martell has had a career mostly in visual effects. Not a very glamorous one to say the least since Robert Rodriguez' Shorts seems to be the highlight of his career. It's all the same even more of a reason to check out his solo project Pigeon: Impossible which he's responsible for the directing, producing and writing. Everyone deserves a chance right?

Review: Lan Yu (2001)

The story of Lan Yu is based off a story that was posted on the internet anonymously. This is because representing homosexuality in a positive light was a big no-no at the time in any form of entertainment and still is it would seem. Add incorporating the Tienanmen Square Massacre and you've got an unpublishable book on your hands. No Chinese publisher would ever want to associate itself with this kind of controversy.

Lucky that the story got the attention of Stanley Kwan and his associates. Kwan is one of the few openly gay Asian directors and he was willing to work on this film without government approval. Somehow Lan Yu got screened at some film festival in Beijing in 2001 and it also got some well deserved exposure elsewhere.