Canada @ 148

Celebrate Canada today by watching one of the best Canadian films ever made, Don McKellar’s 1998 apocalyptic black dramedy, Last Night which happens to star most of the working actors of English-Canadian cinema at the time, including David Cronenberg and Sarah Polley. It’s attitude about the end of the world is about as Canadian as one can get. Wrap up your affairs, pay your gas bill, be calm, and look for sex.

(or, if you prefer the stereotypes, there is always Strange Brew and Fubar…)

*NSFW* Teaser: Love

What space would be possible for avant-garde French director, Gaspar Noe to go after Enter The Void? Well, clearly, a 3D sex film that could play Cannes was the direction he took, and indeed, it played (somewhat muted in response however) at the festival in May. Love in 3D now has a teaser trailer that gives new definition to ‘fade to white.’ Need I say that this one is not for watching in casual mixed company?

The trailer is tucked under the seat.

Would you like to know more…?

Friday One Sheet: Legend

The notorious Kray Brothers, Britian’s two most famous gangsters, are getting the big screen treatment with Tom Hardy in the lead. And the poster (much like Ridley Scott’s 2007 mafia pic, American Gangster) is an sleek update on the iconic one sheet from Brian DePalma’s Scarface. Only here, the black and white versions of Tom Hardy are quite literal, as he will be playing both brothers. If you want to see just how good this is in an era post-Winklevoss, give the trailer for Legend a look, I have included it below.

James Horner. 1953 – 2015

Composer James Horner passed on yesterday in a plane crash while flying his Embraer EMB 312 Tucano turboprop aircraft. Horner, like many film score composers, has a massive list of film credits, including most of James Cameron’s filmography (From Aliens to Avatar), most of Ron Howard’s filmogarphy (From Willow to A Beautiful Mind), most of Mel Gibson’s directed films (Braveheart to Apocalypto) and so many more. Take a ride with the Fire-mares below from the camp classic Krull.

The Guardian has more.

Friday One Sheet: Sicario

After yesterdays intense and gritty trailer, we’re all about Denis Villeneuve’s Cannes fêted cross-border procedural, Sicario. This poster stands out with its smoked-butter yellow and graffiti deaths-head. The text is well integrated to the point where you almost do not notice it. I don’t exactly know if it advertises what the movie experience will be, but it certainly would draw eyeballs if it were framed in a theatre lobby.

Trailer: Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario

In Mexico, Sicario means ‘Hitman.’ In Canada, Denis Villeneuve directing means ‘Must See.’ Emily Blunt being a competent bad-ass, Benicio Del Toro being cool as ice, and Roger Deakins shooting the hell out of the picture. The film plays like a Michael Mann police procedural action version of Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, and you have no idea how hard that hits my sweet spot.

This is my most anticipated movie for the remainder of 2015.

Rick Ducommun. 1959-2015

Canadian comedian Rick Ducommun, who is special our hearts for playing Tom Hank’s busybody neighbour, Art Weingartner, in The ‘Burbs, has died. This is according to Joe Dante’s Facebook and Twitter pages which offer no further details. Dante was one of the few directors who cast Ducommun (who also had a small part in Gremlins 2) and the only director who gave him a significant role, I am expecting the news to be accurate.

Ducommun had a brief flash on the stand-up circuit with his very non-PC 1989 HBO Comedy Special, “Piece of Mind” and a set for Comic Relief III, and was also in very minor roles in Die Hard (where along with his scene in The ‘Burbs he is responsible for cutting the neighbourhood power off) and Groundhog Day (where he played the barfly.) For very sharp eyed viewers he was also a prison guard in Spaceballs, and a helicopter pilot in The Hunt For Red October.

He will always be Art Weingartner to us. Hey Art! You’re wife is home.


Review: Inside Out

How do you measure happiness?

The latest Pixar movie makes a convincing argument, pitched at wavelengths that should be easily received to both to children and adults, that periods of sadness, be it mundane or profound, are crucial to living a full, exuberant existence on this remote little ball of mud spinning through the void of space. Inside Out offers a specific, universal, and staggeringly emotional journey that is the rares of birds, a bonafide family movie. There is no light without shadow, and all that philosophical, spiritual paraphernalia is packaged into the easy to digest tale of moving to a new place and struggling to acclimatize to new surroundings.

Riley is on the verge of turning 12, a single child with affluent, doting parents (at this moment I am certain there is a queue online to chew on white privilege, but I will not be one of them). Her inner-self, represented by anthropomorphic emotional avatars of Fear, Disgust, Anger, Sadness and Joy dwell in the construct of her developing brain. The latter rules the roost in a chirpy, but passive-aggressive, dominant manner, wanting everything to be happy all the time for Riley. There is even a way for these emotion characters to quantify their success: Every memory Riley makes is represented as a coloured crystal ball, a single-shot 360 degree video unit shaded in the hue of the emotion attached to it. Her memories are almost entirely hued yellow. Presumably Riley’s parents want also this perpetual happiness for their daughter as well. It’s a fools errand and we all race on this treadmill!

The bulk of the memories, at the end of each day, are pneumatically delivered to her brain’s storage archives and compartmentalized via a Brazil-like bureaucracy. A detail that I love about this representation are the various departments working at odds each other, be it clock-watching transport engineers, an over enthusiastic disposal crew (“She won’t need these phone numbers anymore, they’re stored in her phone.”) or the fact that there are simply memory spheres lying between shelves and in the nooks and crannies all willy-nilly. In this bright Pixar world, a way was found to make biology look messy and kudos for that.

Would you like to know more…?