Trailer: Fubar II


Michael Dowse and those crazy Calgarians who love to Giv’R are going to open the Midnight Program at TIFF this year with (I am guessing from the above picture) their adventures in the Alberta Tar Sands. If you missed the original Canadian cult-classic faux documentary, Fubar, do yourself a favour and seek it out on DVD or Netflix. In the meantime, lock up your cars, cats and most definitely your beer. These Uber-Hosers bring their own brand petty destruction to Fort McMurray.

The full trailer for Fubar II is tucked under the seat.

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There is a Fubar 2? That and more Canadian Cinema at TIFF.


Michael Dowse and those crazy Calgarian’s who love to Giv’R are going to open the Midnight Program at TIFF this year with (I am guessing from the above picture) their adventures in the Alberta Tar Sands. If you missed the original Canadian cult-classic faux documentary, Fubar, do yourself a favour and seek it out on DVD or Netflix.

Fubar 2, according to the filmmakers blog, is getting some sort of limited Canadian release in October if you miss it in Toronto with 1300 crazy film nuts in Hogtown in September.

Lots more Canadian releases including new films from Denis Villeneuve, Bruce McDonald, Xavier Dolan, Sturla Gunnarsson, Carl Bessai and a host of other fresh and veteran canadian filmmakers were also announced this morning. The press releases are tucked under the seat.

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Oh shucks! Score: A Hockey Musical looks swell eh?

Score: A Hockey Musical Movie StillEarlier today, film lovers and many a TIFF festival regular scratched their heads at the announcement that this year’s selection to open the festival (usually a Canadian film), was a hockey musical from One Week director Michael McGowan titled Score: A Hockey Musical.

Say what? A hockey musical? Are you serious? Apparently they weren’t pulling our leg because the good folks at Twitch have dug up the trailer for this possible atrocity and the truth of the matter is, it’s not actually that insane. If nothing else, it’s a bit charming and yes, Canadian all the way.

The film stars Stephen McHattie as a recruiter who discovers Farley, a 17 year old kid with potential to be the next Sidney Crosby. His parents (played by Olivia Newton-John [?] and Marc Jordan) aren’t keen on the idea of Farley playing organized sports but when he signs into a major hockey league and finds his star on the rise, he also realizes that the public wants more than he’s willing to give.

It’s completely over the top, hilarious and quite frankly, the beset thing since sliced bred. OK. Maybe not that great but it certainly has potential. Wonder if I can convince my other half that it’s a hockey movie and leave off the musical bit until we’re sitting in the theatre. Cruel? Nah.

The Trailer is tucked under the seat.

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A second trailer for Vincenzo Natali’s SPLICE


While none of the distributions houses has been putting posters out (there are a few sparse festival one-sheets, but they are not very elaborate, here comes a second trailer for Canadian genetic engineering genre-mash Splice.

Much better than the first trailer (here) this one forgoes the jump scares and gets more into the relationship, implications of letting loose a new species which is a collection of a lot of different spare parts. Frankenstein’s monster anyone? Well this is the 21st century version. And she is both more deadly and more cute.

Splice drops into wide release (!) in June.

BONUS: the release version is apparently uncensored version from the one I caught last September (My Review) .

The new trailer is tucked under the seat.

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First trailer for Sook-Yin Lee’s “Year of the Carnivore”

Year of the Carnivore Movie Still

If you watched any Canadian television in the 90s, you’ve probably heard of Sook-Yin Lee. The West Coast artist/musician/vj/dj has been in the limelight for years with stints both in front and behind the camera but her first full length feature is really getting her a lot of attention.

Year of the Carnivore has been making its way through the festival circuit since it first played TIFF last year and gaining a bit of love. It’s a quirky story of a girl in search of romance or more accurately, trying to find herself (and her sex life). It’s an unabashed story of women’s sexuality and for that, I give it props even if it did rub me the wrong way (my review from VFF expands on my thoughts). It’s a troubled film and one with a tad too much quirk for my liking but it’s impossible to fully hate a film when it features such a great performance from Cristin Milioti; she’s just too charming to dislike.

Big kudos to QE for the hookup on the trailer which pretty much captures the wackyness of the feature; it’s a pretty good indicator on what you can expect. The film will open in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal on June 18th.

NSFW trailer tucked under the seats.
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Trailer & Poster Premiere for Kris Booth’s At Home, By Myself… With You

Film festivals can be both places of discovery and catch up. VIFF runs so late in the year that it’s usually the place where local film lovers catch up on the best of the fests from the year but once in a while you get a premiere or the discovery of a little film that blows your socks off. Enter At Home, By Myself… with You (review).

Kris Booth’s full length debut stars Kristin Booth as Romy, an endlessly humorous and infectious character who also happens to be a complete shut in who hasn’t left her home in six years. Enter Aaron Abrams as Guy, the boy who shows up one day, living across the hall and the catalyst that eventually breaks Romy from her four walled existence.

At Home, By Myself… with You is charming, fun and the kind of romantic comedy I love to cheer for: one with tons of heart that doesn’t feel like it came out of the pre-manufactured box. Not too surprising, the shiny trailer displays some of the fun quirk I loved so much.

At Home, By Myself… with You opens in Toronto on Friday, March 5th (details here).

Trailer under the seats!

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Shorts Program: Nuit Blanche

“Shorts Program” is a semi-regular column highlighting a short film that is well worth your time. If you have a short film you would like to share, drop us a line at

Nuit Blanche Still

It’s been a great year for Spy Films. First one of their directors is nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (that would be Vancouver’s own Neill Blomkamp and District 9) and now another of their Canadian directors is making some splashes of his own.

Ontario director Arev Manoukian has been getting a lot of attention lately. His interactive commercial for Nokia won him acclaim and was a Cannes Cyber Lions and One Show finalist and the director’s most recent project, a short film titled Nuit Blanche, recently won the LG Life’s Good FilmFest and a grand prize of $100,000. I’ve not seen any of the other films in competition but seeing Manoukian’s film, it’s not surprising that he took home the top prize. In a few short minutes and with nothing more than two characters and some music, he creates a gorgeous moment of fantasy and romance. A perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.

Film tucked under the seat.

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Review: Act of God


Back in the late 1970s as a young lad, one of my favourite summer past-times was sitting with the family on the stoop of our small condominium townhouse during those wild and crazy summer storms. Watching the lightning, feeling the thunder and daring friends and siblings to run out (prancing like fools) into the downpour and challenge the unlikely (but still finitely possible) event of a bolt of white tagging you into the next life. Kids feel pretty immortal and liberated in those endless summers. You do not think too hard about it, because well, in innocence (a form of arrogance) you have no concept of the consequences.

Enter Jennifer Baichwal, who won a number of awards and notice with her 2007 documentary Manufactured Landscapes. She points her camera on several folks from around the world who actually have been struck by lightening and have lived to tell the tale. The common thread amongst these haphazardly assembled mini-narratives is how we, as individuals are prone to process the spectacular ‘awe’ of lightning. By way of the mathematics of electricity and magnetism, polarity and potential? So says author Paul Auster who accepts the total randomness of the event, but cannot stop thinking about it, even after writing about the experience several times. Auster is by far the most compelling speaker in the film, his voice is modulated to carry the room like a seasoned pro: intense, yet lost in reverie. His reading of one of his own stories is the climax of the picture (a wise move) and it is gripping stuff. Or perhaps simply it his rationality and pragmatism appeals more to my own heart. Others, like the mother in Mexico that had her sons and husband killed in a massive lightning strike in front of her hilltop church, or the self-help guru and veteran affairs consultant who took years to recover from his injuries, turn to God for their questions. Lightning is a good a symbol as anything as the instantaneous manifestation of his divine will. Either way you slice it, God or science, lightning and storms are the most spectacular demonstration of either notion.

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DVD Review: Passchendaele


Directors: Paul Gross (Men With Brooms)
Screenplay: Paul Gross
Producer: Niv Fichman
Starring: Alex Arsenault, Meredith Bailey, Gil Bellows, Don Bland, David Brown, Tom Carey, Jason Cermak, Ryan Cowie, Ross Crockett
MPAA Rating: 14A
Running time: 114 min.

The first time I really took notice of Paul Gross was with the release of the curling comedy Men with Brooms. Through the film itself isn’t particularly memorable or stand out, the fact that Gross had starred, directed and managed to get funding to make an unlikely Canadian comedy tickled me pink. Since then, Gross has re-emerged in front of the camera on numerous occasions but this marks his return behind the camera.

PasschendaeleMovieStill2In 2008, after years of hard work and a budget which marks the film as the most expensive Canadian production ever, Passchendaele premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Partly inspired by his grandfather’s war experience, it’s the story of one’s man’s war, a story which is as concerned with personal drama as it is with fighting.

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Blood and Donuts: 10 Canadian Halloween Horrors

BloodMapleHalloween and October seems to bring out the desire to make ‘horror movie’ lists on the various film related sites out and about. And like a good and contented little zombie, I will follow the herd. In the spirit of Row Three and its Canadian-Content-BiasTM (stemming from the fact that over half the contributors hail from the Great White North) here is a list of spooky and disturbing Canadian horror flicks. Five well known ones, and, because Canada was a tax-shelter haven in the form of trashy exploitative fare (no not 300, The Incredible Hulk and Battlefield Earth), also included are five not so well known ones. Although your mileage may vary, considering Canadian cinema along with The Tragically Hip and the maple-flavoured ‘Oreo,’ does not seem to penetrate into other countries all that well.

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Western; Paul Gross Style

GunlessMovieStillI first caught wind of Paul Gross’ newest film months ago while doing a little digging on Passchendaele. At the time, there was little to go on other than the fact that the new project would be a western but recently, while sitting through the grinding pre-film activities at the local cinema, I uncovered a little more information about the project.

A comedy (I think), Gunless stars Gross as The Montana Kid, a man on the run from the law. In a bid to outrun the good guys, he travels North of the 49th and finds himself in a small Canadian town which has no guns. Ruckus ensues.

It’s not much to go on but a clip on the film’s official website provides a little taste of what we can expect from the film. This time around, Gross is staying in front of the camera leaving directing duties to William Phillips who also wrote the script.

Those of us who love Gross now have a chance to see him on a semi-regular basis on TV’s “Eastwick” (which I’ve yet to see but I’ve been told is good). I’ll just keep my eyes peeled for his film forays. As for Passchendaele, that film makes its way onto DVD on November 3rd. Expect a review in the coming days.