After the Credits Episode 164: Whistler Film Festvial Wrap

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Four days of eating, drinking and movie watching are over and so is the Whistler Film Festival.

Just before saying goodbye to the village for another year, Colleen (adead.horse), Dale (Letterboxd) and I (Letterboxd) were joined by The Green Screen of Death podcast co-hosts Adrian Charlie (twitter) and Bill Harris (twitter) to count down both the good and bad of the festival.

The guys also recorded their own Whistler wrap show which you can download or stream.

Apparently, we were too loud for the library.

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WFF 2014 Review: I Put A Hit on You

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Your romantic evening doesn’t go as you expected. Actually, it ends in an argument and you storming out of the restaurant. You go home, get blitzed and in a moment of alcohol induced anger, you put a hit on your ex only to wake up hours later, figure out what you’ve done, instantly regret it and then head over to his place to save his life.

It doesn’t sound like much of a plot but the crowd funding video for Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart’s I Put a Hit on You went viral, proof that perhaps this concept of doing stuff you regret while drunk is something a lot of people have experienced though I expect the Craigslist market for hitmen is rather limited.

The concept for Clark and Stewart’s movie is perfect for a single location shoot. Once the set-up is out of the way, it takes all of 10 minutes, I Put a Hit on You moves to Ray’s apartment and pretty much stays there as Ray (Aaron Ashmore) and Harper (Sara Canning) try to sort out the mess she has created. While trying to figure out how to survive the night, the pair also delve into their relationship problems in a dramedy that mostly works.

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Trailer: Pixar’s Inside Out

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Oh how the mighty Pixar has shrunk. I know a trailer is not indicative of potentially complex tone or emotional depth, but if this warmed-over sitcom level entertainment, with its lazy humour, is how the animation-company wants to represent their new film to the world (via the UK), then so be it. There was a time when each Pixar project was met with excitement and anticipation by kids and adults alike. Not today. I hope the trailer-cutters or other marketing brain-trust execs have been sacked.

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. As Riley struggles to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, inner turmoil ensues on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

I had imagined that the ‘inside-the-mind’ POV would be limited only the the main character, the young girl, but it looks like the film will be spastically jumping in and out of all her family members minds, with each of the emotions getting a moustache, girly headbands or mom-jeans to tell whose inner-thoughts belong to whom.

WFF 2014 Review: After the Ball

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We all have kryptonite. I have more kryptonite than most. If the movie involves dancing, cheerleading, drumlines, high school drama, Shakespeare, modern interpretations of Shakespeare, or re-telling fairy tales, I’ve probably seen it or want to see it. I simply can’t help myself. This is my candy and I love to bite into a new bar. Rarely is that new bar completely fulfilling. Even rarer, like, white elephant rare, is when that piece of candy happens to be Canadian. I’m pretty sure the last one was How She Move (review) and that was a long, long time ago.

What first caught my attention about After the Ball is director Sean Garrity. A few years ago Garrity really impressed with a great little thriller titled Blood Pressure so when I saw his name attached, I didn’t look any further. I knew I had to see this. Imagine my surprise when I read the description to find that After the Ball is basically Cinderella meets “Twelfth Night” set in the fashion industry.

Portia Doubleday stars as Kate, a talented fashion grad who is trying to get a job in the world of haute couture. She’s talented but her family name is problematic. Her father owns a consumer friendly fashion line that, in the past, has been known to steal couture designs and re-package them for the mall crowd. Defeated, Kate returns home and decides, against her initial floundering, to take on a job at the family business. She squares off against her terrible step mother and two despicable (and dumb) step sisters, gets fired, returns in disguise and falls in love with the in house shoe designer – played by, no less, Marc-André Grondin.

Jackpot.

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Trailer: Fury Road

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“Everybody has gone out of their mind!”

With all the focus on comic book super-franchises and Star Wars and Disney, this big budget studio reboot of Mad Max is without a shadow of a doubt, my most anticipated popcorn film of 2015. All the marketing thus far promises a stylish hybrid of car stunts, elaborate make-up and practical props and an epic fire-works spectacle of CGI. Simply put, this looks to be the best bet for honest-to-goodness badassery in the in the multiplex next summer. Fury Road, which is now looking more and more like a direct do-over of The Road Warrior has been several years in the making (principal photography wrapped on this 2 years ago this week), but it looks like George Miller and company did this one up right. I cannot wait to see Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron rip up the the post-apocalyptic desert of this island earth.

Oh what a lovely day! Vroom Vroooooom.

21st Annual Screen Actor’s Guild Nominations

Tons of awards start hitting the scene this time of year. We’re not going to post all of them, or even very many, but the Screen Actors Guild we usually pay attention to. Usually the wins will give you a pretty good head start on your Oscar ballot. If you’re interested in more than just the movies, television nominees are under the seats if you’d like a look at the boob tube crew.

The Nomination Score:
Birdman = 4
Boyhood = 3
The Theory of Everything = 3
The Imitation Game = 3

“Modern Family” = 4
Cast in a Motion Picture
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Actor
Steve Carell (Foxcacther)
Benedict Cumberbatch(The Imitation Game)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Actress
Jennifer Aniston (Cake)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke(Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
Naomi Watts (St. Vincent)

Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Fury
Get on Up
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Unbroken
X-Men: Days of Future Past

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WFF 2014 Review: A Most Violent Year

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Truth be told: if you haven’t seen a J.C. Chandor movie, you’re missing out. Like, seriously missing out. That doesn’t however, mean that you should skip A Most Violent Year. Actually, that means that you should see A Most Violent Year as soon as possible and then head back and check out the director’s previous work.

Also written by Chandor, A Most Violent Year sounds like the most boring movie ever about the most dry industry ever. Oscar Isaac plays Abel Morales, the owner of a heating oil company in the early 80s when people, instead of having deals with the electric or gas company for their heating, they negotiated heating oil prices with the providers directly. Life has been good for Morales. He’s risen through the ranks from driver to owner, married a beautiful, smart woman, and he’s just about to close the biggest deal of his life.

But all is not well at Standard Oil: the company is under investigation for fraud, the bank has pulled out of their real estate deal, trucks of oil are being stolen right from Morales’ nose and to make matters worse, now Morales’ seemingly perfect home life is starting to show cracks. It’s definitely a violent year for Morales but not in sense you might imagine.

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San Andreas [trailer]

Can we please, please stop with the children’s choirs singing a famous pop-song in “slow motion” for trailers. I think it started with Fincher’s The Social Network and now just about every other trailer uses the “effect”. Knock it off, on such a winter’s day!

In other news, John Cusack was unable to save the world in 2012. Perhaps The Rock and Paul Giamatti can do it in 2015. Because this ain’t your daddy’s earthquake; this is the big one.

Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller Again. A Little Older.

So I know we’re almost a week late to this party, but hey, we’ve been around for a while and it takes us some time to catch up to the younger kids. Also, Charles Grodin.

Baumbach really hasn’t done much for me with his (in fact I quite loathe) last three films. But because of how great Squid and the Whale is, I keep on giving him the benefit of the doubt, even though I’m pretty sure I’ll be let down… with the potential for vomit. So I watch this trailer trepidatiously. And at first I got a bit of the Frances Ha, hipster, pretentious, rich, white people problems, but at the midway point my guard was worn away and I found myself smiling through the rest of trailer. So much so that I watched it again. More smiles. It certainly is still people with problems, but they’re problems more of us can relate to, they’re believable and they’re presented (at least in this trailer) in much more of a light-hearted manner.

I will relent and see this theatrically. I look forward to more smiles. Also, did I mention Charles Grodin?