You Should Be Watching This: The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria

When The Young Victoria (our review) played in the UK early last year, I was a bit disappointed to find it would be agonizing months before we ever had a chance to see the film in North America. I had my chance to see it at VIFF and the film has been going through a slow roll-out over the last few weeks gaining a fair bit of attention, and for good reason too.

Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée’s take on Queen Victoria’s life is less history and more drama but it handles its subject with delicacy and care, creating a package that is gorgeously shot and which manages to stay with you for the long run; not bad for a little costume drama. Yet, for some reason, the film seems to be passed over by many of the major sites. Here’s my sincere plea for attention for a little film that really should be getting more love.

Aside from great performances from Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend and Paul Bettany, what I loved most about the film is how it portrays Victoria as a very real and strong woman, one who wasn’t about to be pushed around. Not a bad message for young, impressionable girls.

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SPARK FX 2010 Announces Titles!

Spark FX 2010 Banner

If I had a camera mounted on my computer monitor and had it streaming a few seconds ago, you would have seen a very happy girl grinning from ear to ear with excitement. What could possibly be so awesome? Spark FX that’s what!

ACM Siggraph is back with another year of awesome movies celebrating special effects and wow, what a line-up. As per last year’s run (where I managed to see Tron and Close Encounters of the Third Kind on the big screen), this year’s line-up is even more outstanding – hard to believe but true! So what’s on offer? Here’s a taste: E.T., the original classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, The Wizard of Oz and to top it all off, the awesomeness of Jaws (I can already hear the music!).

Along with the films, there’s also a great line-up of speakers and presentations from industry professionals, including one on creating the aliens for District 9.

If you’re in Vancouver (or area) and want in, check out the official website for details on screenings and to buy tickets. These sell quick so get them while you can!

Andrew’s Favorites of the Decade

Late to the party as usual, but if anyone wants to stomach one more top ten (100 actually, just to be difficult), then here are my favorite films from the past 3650 days. Enjoy… or not.

10. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle – 2002)

The first movie I remember seeing that takes the zombie/virus sub-genre and amps the tension up to 11. A gorgeous looking film filled with beautiful scenery and fabulous, artful camera work. Yet it still manages to be raw, grainy and really scary (or at least intense as all hell). I’ve watched this movie more times than any other film on my top ten and it never ceases to delight and amaze. Also world, meet Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris.

9. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (Kim Ki-Duk – 2003)

One of the many great films from Korean director Kim Ki-Duk. Sticking with his usual formula of extremely minimal dialogue, he says all he needs to with allegory and parable. Though slightly surreal in its vivid beauty and strange way of life, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring is easy to relate to and is as touching and endearing as it is warm.

8. Sideways (Alexander Payne – 2004)

Probably the best of the so called, “hangin’ out movies” – at least for guys in their late twenties and thirties. One last road trip before marriage, while being “free” is something special. It’s even more special if you’re hanging with Paul Giamatti in one of his finest and nuanced roles. A difficult guy to understand and be around, next to the good looking party animal. Quite the odd couple spending a week in wine country is just too much fun to ignore. Throw in great dialogue and the likes of Virginia Madsen and this is a solid gold 2 hours.

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The Company Men Gets a Teaser

Last week, I brought up Ben Affleck and his career and his attempts at turning it around, and I brought up The Company Men, an upcoming drama about corporate downsizing that co-stars Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Craig T. Nelson. Today, we get our first glimpse at the movie that will premiere at Sundance with a dialogue-less teaser trailer. It’s pretty uninspiring and has some ridiculous music to go along with it and I think is more or less being used as a showcase for the actors in the film, which I admit, is a pretty impressive lineup. Check it out and keep your eyes peeled for the reviews come Sundance. It’s got an all-star cast, it’s very relevant to our times, it has Roger Deakins as its cinematographer, and it looks to be chuck full of melodrama, which means it possibly could be a major Oscar contender come next year.

Are you excited for this? Does the trailer do much for you? Feel free to recut and post a new trailer with new music in the comments. May I suggest some Peter Gabriel?

Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer trailer

“You Cheeky Fuck!” Is spat out by Pierce Bronson in Roman Polanski’s latest film, The Ghost Writer, which is rumbling forward in post production to meet its Berlinale premiere despite Polanski’s recent arrest and detainment in Switzerland. From the look (and sound) of things, The Ghost Writer may have the over-the-top bombast of one of Polanski’s recent underrated gems, The Ninth Gate. Either that or the trailer folks have not the slightest clue what they are doing. A varied cast joining the foul-mouth former 007 includes Kim Cattrall, Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson, Olivia Williams, Timothy Hutton and Eli Wallach. The Ghost Writer may or may not benefit from the recent (if that is the right word) controversy surrounding Polanski but the trailer (tucked under the seat) is not one that is going to win too many awards.

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Review: Pierrot Le Fou

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard
Based on a novel by: Lionel White
Producer: Georges De Beauregard
Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina
Year: 1965
Country: France
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 105 min

After offering up my unwatched DVD list to Row Three last week for suggestions I decided to begin my viewing quest by breaking open my Goddard box-set. This was due to Goddard provoking the most debate and the fact that I’ve had the set for about a year without watching any of them. I’d love to start with titles like Moon and Let The Right One In, but I bought them a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t seem fair to the rest of the titles. So Pierrot Le Fou it was.

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New Splice Clip.


The long arduous birth of Vincenzo Natali‘s genetic engineering genre-mash (make no mistake this is way more drama that horror, Row Three Review of Splice is here) continues as Splice lands a Sundance slot in a couple weeks. Here is hoping that E1 will finally launch this one sooner rather than later. There are a lot of folks keen on seeing it, despite the release woes the film has seen.

A quiet happy moment of slug romance is captured in the clip tucked under the seat.

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Character Posters – The Crazies

I am one of the people that really dug the look of the trailer for The Crazies. It had a great feeling up until the point of the music (there should be a moratorium on the use of Mad World in any movie). While it is a remake, I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because of the first half of the trailer and for having Olyphant as the lead.

I just received 3 character posters for and I’m even more excited. I love the dark nasty yet normal look to them. I don’t want to be scared by people running around rabid. I want to be scared by my friends and loved ones turning on me and that is the feeling I get from all three posters. My favourite is the one with the wrench.

The Crazies 1

The Crazies comes out on February 26th.

The other two are beneath the seat…
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