Preggoland Trailer

Preggoland

I always love a little surprise at a film festival but that surprise is usually a little foreign gem and rarely does it manifest as a comedy and a Canadian one at that.

Last year’s VIFF brought both the awesomeness of Welcome to Me (trailer, review) and Preggoland (review). The latter is written and stars Sonja Bennett, a talented Canadian actress who you’ve probably seen gracing either your small screen or the silver screen. She’s been around for a while but her turn here as Ruth, a 30 something woman who fakes her pregnancy, is really star making. Not only is the script funnier and smarter than the concept has any right to be, Bennett has excellent comedic timing and the movie, which also co-stars James Caan and Danny Trejo in an unlikely but hilarious role, is a big winner.

The entire thing is directed by Jacob Tierney and that right there is indication that we’re in good hands, but Preggoland really defies expectation to deliver a great Canadian comedy the likes of which I haven’t seen since Starbuck (review).

Preggoland opens across Canada on May 1st.

VIFF 2014 Review: Preggoland

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You know that moment when you realize you’re so deep into a lie there’s no easy way to turn back? Preggoland is exactly that. Except it’s also much more than that.

Sonja Bennett stars as Ruth, a single 30 something who lives at home with her dad. All of her friends are married with kids and her younger sister is the bane of her existence, making Ruth feel like a teenager and in a way, she is. She works at a local grocery store where she’s worked since high school, she hangs out with co-workers who are half her age and generally doesn’t appear to be doing much with her life. And then she’s mistaken for being pregnant. And she goes along with it. But then she tells her friends she’s pregnant and then suddenly her life seems to be taking on some meaning and actually moving forward except the whole time she’s living one big sham and lying to everyone.

The idea of going along with a misconception isn’t exactly new but Bennett, who also wrote the script, brings a charm and likability to Preggoland which I haven’t seen in other movies which feature the female version of the “man child.” Part of it is Bennett herself who fully commits to the role an delivers a great performance complete with outstanding comedic timing, but there’s also the script which takes a ridiculous premise and goes in some interesting directions with it exploring everything from friendship to strange and complicated family relationships and though it ends with a sort of happily ever after, it earns that ending.

Preggoland reminded me a little of Starbuck, that other Canadian gem from a few years ago. It features similar characters with similar story arcs about growing up and becoming better versions of themselves and I expect that when this lands a Hollywood re-make, it will turn out just as badly as the Starbuck one did. Thankfully, we’ll always have the original.

Preggoland has been picked up by Mongrel Media who will open the film Spring 2015.

Dead in Tombstone [trailer]

When I was a kid, I watched an “undead western” titled Ghost Town over and over again. When I recently rediscovered it on YouTube (deleted), I realized exactly how awful it really is. Yet I couldn’t look away(?).

Danny Trejo as the leader of a gang of outlaws who frees his half-brother (Anthony Michael Hall) from prison in order to loot a mining town. The plan backfires when Hall double crosses Trejo and kills him. Trejo makes a deal with the devil (Mickey Rourke) and comes back from the dead to seek revenge.

So now I see the title and trailer for Dead in Tombstone and I think, “oh hell yeah!” Then my senses come to me and I realize this is going to be terrible. The starring cast of Danny Trejo, Dina Meyer and Anthony Michael Hall doesn’t help the prospect of much goodness in here; despite the fact that it is directed by Roel Reiné who has brought us such modern classics as The Scorpion King 3, Death Race 2 and The Lost Tribe.

Still, maybe this direct-to-DVD release will fit somewhere into someone’s specific wheelhouse. Or maybe it’s a “so bad its fun” type of picture. Releasing on December 31st, maybe this is a perfect way for you to wind down from your New Year’s festivities.

 

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ACTION FEST!!!!!!!!!!!! 2012!!!!!!

It will be a bit of a Canadian invasion of Asheville’s ActionFest 2012, as RowThree folks – the Mamo boys, and no shortage of other Toronto movie peeps – travel down south for movies, mayhem, and meals! (Oh the meals we shall partake of! Asheville has damn good eats.)

But let us keep the focus on the films: Highlights include Swedish black-comedy, Headhunters (Kurt’s Review), Bobcat Goldthwait’s bullet-laden satire of the US of A, God Bless America (Kurt’s Review), Danny Trejo kicking but as a surly senior vigilante, Badass, the recent Canadian hockey dramedy, Goon and Peter Chan’s martial arts epic, Wu Xia.

The festival, which runs April 12-15, has recently debuted their trailer online (see below) and announced a some of their line-up (tucked under the seat).

ActionFest will also honoring legendary stuntman Mickey Gilbert (Ben Hur, The Wild Bunch), MMA goddess turned actress Gina Carano (Blood and Bone, Haywire) and fight choreographer J.J. Perry (Warrior).

Would you like to know more…?

Danny Trejo is Bad-Ass

After the modest success of Robert Rodriguez’s blown-up bubble-gum grindhouse feature, Machete, is the world ready for more Danny Trejo films? One might think they would come in the form of Machete sequels (two of which are on the way) but not so fast, Craig Moss (Saving Ryan’s Privates, Breaking Wind) somehow managed to make and secure a theatrical release for Bad Ass in which Trejo plays his age (67!) but still manages to bust a fair number of heads. This is hardly Mensa-stuff (the leading lady’s character name is Amber Lamps – Take that, Bond Franchise!) and surely not worth your $10, but somebody thinks so. Charles S. Dutton and Ron Perlman also star. The winner here is Trejo who has managed such an unlikely turn into leading man; albeit he still makes about a dozen films a year in which he is supporting bad ass.

The second trailer is below.

Decorated Vietnam hero Frank Vega returns home only to get shunned by society leaving him without a job or his high school sweetheart. It’s not until forty years later when an incident on a commuter bus (where he protects an elderly black man from a pair of skin heads) makes him a local hero where he’s suddenly celebrated once again. But his good fortune suddenly turns for the worse when his best friend Klondike is murdered and the police aren’t doing anything about it.

Machete Kills

I know that Robert Rodriguez works fast as a filmmaker and all, but doing some quick arithmetic says this: Danny Trejo’s current age of almost 68 years old – the tall tattooed Mexican is almost 70 and you have two films to go through pre-production! So, yea, you better get on the promised sequels to the Grindhouse trailer-turned-feature, Machete, fast, Mr. Rodriguez. Of course, Trejo still manages to crack out about 10 films appearances per year, despite his age, so there is that – and even in the first film, it seemed Machete was almost supporting character in a huge ensemble.

Machete Kills! is currently in pre-production. No word if Machete Kills Again! will be happening.

Oh, and given that these films came from Planet Terror (in a way), is it too much to ask for a Zombie Seagal (post Hara-Kiri guts hanging out and all to appear in one of the sequels

Cinecast Episode 236 – Ocular Coitus

While our friend Matt Gamble is still on the mend (not from a boating accident), Kurt and Andrew grew a bit tired of executing these shows together all alone and reached towards the heavens above for this episodes guest host: Aaron Hartung (aka the dude who lives upstairs). Aaron also happens to work for the best cinema chain in town, Landmark Theaters; not only does he seem to know his movie stuff, he’s got a voice for radio to boot.

We missed last week’s episode due to other obligations and illness, there is a LOT to get to this week. From Lars von Trier’s visually rich disaster/depression epic to the long awaited new Alexander Payne film (it has indeed been six years) we cover your auteur cinema-making-guys. But wait, there’s more: Fifties sex icons, furry-little-singing-nostalgia-engines(tm) and a whole lot of early cinema history enshrined in a Martin Scorsese ‘kids film.’ Enjoy this double-digest episode of the show: It’s time to start the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to talk death, depression and the urgent need for knowing our history on the Cinecast tonight.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 

To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_11/episode_236.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

Mark Your Calendars: “Machete” Hits Screens September 3rd

Ever since Grindhouse was released over two years ago now, fans (myself included) have been itching to see some of the faux trailers made into a true feature films. Right out of the gate, Robert Rodriguez’ Machete was one of the first titles to be considered. While “Thanksgiving” is still my favorite of the fake trailers, I’d still like to see Rob Zombie’s “Werewolf Women of the SS” (with Udo Kier and Nicolas Cage!) or “Hobo with a Shotgun” get made. But I guess beggars can’t be choosers and I have to admit I’m always fine with seeing a little Trejo ass-kickery.

So the film is nearly complete and will hit theaters on September 3rd (finally!) according to some sites. An interesting release date to be sure. Perfect if you think about it: just as summer blockbuster season is winding down but before all the Oscar bait movies start rolling into theaters.

The film boasts an interesting if eclectic cast. Beyond Danny Trejo, we’ve also got Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson, Elise Avellan, Electra Avellan, Tom Savini and maybe best of all, Lapidus! (Jeff Fahey).

Check out the trailer below the seats and be sure to mark your calendars. While I have to admit that after 2 years my interest in this, which has been in some state of production or another for a good chuck of that time, has started to wane a little bit, make no mistake, this will be a quite the guilty pleasure for many of us around here.

 
Would you like to know more…?

Nimrod Antal’s PREDATORS Trailer

There is a distinct lack of muscles and beefcake in the trailer for the Predator sequel/remake/reboot/what-have-you, but that is more than made up for by Adrian Brody, Laurence Fishburn and the reliably fun Danny Trejo. Oh, and the lovely Brazilian Alice Braga (City of God, Blindness, Redbelt) will also appear. Braga seems to be injecting herself into quite a few Hollywood blockbusters these days, including this weekend’s Repo Men (in front of which, this trailer – tucked under the seat – will appear) seems to be fitting in just fine. I suppose I should mention Topher Grace, but he seems to be merely a wallflower in this first look at the film.

Produced by Robert Rodriguez and directed by kinetic Hungarian director Nimrod Antal (Vacancy, Kontroll, Armoured), and jettisoning the abysmal Aliens Vs. Predator concept for a more ‘classic’ (if that is the word) Most Dangerous Game approach, Predators is all set for its summer release (and thankfully not retrofitted to 3D.)

Would you like to know more…?