An Article i wrote a month ago that caused quite the reaction!
With the news a short time ago that Rogers has decided to pull out of the video rental marketplace Canada has found itself somewhere it has not been in decades, without a nation-wide video rental chain. This is a turn of events that most in the industry have seen coming for a while, but the question is whether it’s actually a step forward or a step backward for the industry. I must confess, being a former Blockbuster Canada employee, my opinion on this issue will be informed but also biased. That said, I am going to try to explore this issue from an open mind.
I can remember a 12 year-old version of myself excitedly making the long trek to the video store with money from my parents; finally able to pick out exactly what I wanted. The aisles of VHS tapes lining the store with covers that hinted at…
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I know, I know. The Avengers has already broke records everywhere, and you’re doing a summer preview now? I must confess that I’m a bit of a traditionalist in that I feel the real summer season starts on Victoria Day in Canada/Memorial Day in the US. And since we recently had Victoria Day in Canada, it seems like as good a time as any for this article (ed – apologies, posting this a bit late). I’ll try to give indie/smaller releases their due along with the blockbusters. Ultimately, everything on here will be stuff that intrigues me…in either a good or bad way.
The first Piranha (from 2010, not the James Cameron version I have yet to see) was a guilty pleasure. Will…
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The Deer Hunter (1978)
Starring Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale and Meryl Streep.
Written by Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker
Directed by Michael Cimino
During the calendar year of 2012 a variety of film bloggers and writers across the city of Toronto, including those at The Matinee, Toronto Screenshots and Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind, have been taking part in a yearlong series called “The Blind Spot Series”, where we as critics make a list of films that in one circle or another are deemed to be classics that we yet to see, and review them from the perspective of the first time viewer. Well here at Entertainment Maven we felt like it was time to join in on the fun. For this month’s viewing I, the Movie Junkie, will be taking a look at the 1978 Academy Award…
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Starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Alice Eve and Emma Thompson.
Written by Etan Cohen
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Will Smith returns after a decade to the role that cemented him as a mega-star, that of Agent J in Men In Black. Having come out a year after Independence Day, it was Men in Black with its fun and charming story of a brash young agent in training and the stoic and stubborn partner training him so he could retire, that started Smith onto a string of hits that would make him the most bankable star in Hollywood. Well, its 15 years later and Smith’s J is still as wise cracking as ever and K is still not retired after being brought out of retirement in the dismal Men In Black 2. What antics will they get up to this time?
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Fright Nights at the Projection Booth
Viscera Short Film Festival, May 15th 2012
For Kelly Stewart’s May presentation of Fright Nights at the Projection Booth in Toronto he decided to do something different. Hooking up with Curio Media and Director/Producer Karen Lam, Kelly was able to bring the Viscera Film Festival to Canada for the first time ever! Viscera is a traveling festival of short genre based films directed by women that was created to inspire and forward the amount of women involved in genre filmmaking. To top it off, Kelly managed to pull together a three-woman panel of directors for a Q&A/panel discussion after the film as well. This panel included Lam herself, whose short Doll Parts was showing, Dara Jade Moats whose short Adventure Girls 3 was also showing, and Jovanka Vuckovic, a local filmmaker who is in the midst of directing her first feature. A…
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Little Terrors 9 – Altered Reality
May 12th 2012, Projection Booth, Toronto
For the ninth edition of Justin McConnell’s Little Terrors series, Justin had a much harder time getting the night of genre shorts to the screen. Justin had some issues with clearance and ratings from the Film Board that needed to be sorted out before they could continue along. Once all the issues had been settled and the announcements made I very happily made the familiar jaunt down to the Projection Booth for the programme, on a rare Saturday night this time out, but I was still able to meet up with and converse with all the regulars. Also, fellow blogger over at The Horror Section, Jay Clarke, was going to debut his short ‘Orange’ this evening as well. Supporting another blogger’s project was a another great reason to attend.
Justin managed to put together another…
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Staring Devin Kelley, Jonathan Sadowski, Jesse McCartney, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Dimitri Diatchenko, Nathan Phillips and Ingrid Bloso Berdal.
Written by Oren Peli, Shane Van Dyke and Carey Van Dyke
Directed by Bradley Parker
Back in 2007 writer/director/producer Oren Peli scared up massive box office returns and multiple sequels with his creepy little found-footage epic Paranormal Activity. Chernobyl Diaries marks the first post-Paranormal project we get from Peli, though for his next directorial effort we’ll have to wait for Area 51, due later this year. The question remains, will Paranormal Activity be the launching of a new talent, or will Peli’s name go down with the likes of M. Night Shyamalan – the once promising now mocked director of the Sixth Sense.
Chernobyl Diaries starts with a found-footage style montage of Chris (McCartney), his girlfriend Natalie (Dudley), and their friend Amanda (Kelley) as they make their way across…
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Rue Morgue Cinemacabre at the Toronto Underground Cinema
Starring Xavier Samuel, Robin Mcleavy, Victoria Thane, Richard Wilson, Jessica MacNamee and John Brumpton
Written and Directed by Sean Byrne
Yes, it’s that time of the month once again, as the guys from Rue Morgue take over the confines of the Toronto Underground Cinema. As usual, all the familiar faces are there to greet me as we all prepare for the cinematic treat that is The Loved Ones. Unlike last month’s Rue Morgue presentation, I had seen The Loved Ones years before at the Midnight Madness showing as part of TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival for those who aren’t familiar). I’ve been singing its praises for years and a chance to see it once again projected on 35MM was a chance I could not pass up. After catching up with the Underground guys and Rue…
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Starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Tadanobu Asano and Liam Neeson
Written by Erich and Jon Hoeber
Directed by Peter Berg
After a brief hiatus I have returned with a review that has had my head spinning. How do I talk about Battleship? Quite possibly the loudest and most annoyingly inconsequential film of the last decade, Battleship makes no apologies for its “script” which is a collage of the worst film clichés. But did we really expect anything else from a movie based on a board game?
Battleship starts with the brothers Hopper, Alex (Kitsch) and Stone (Skarsgard), in a bar while Stone laments the fact that Alex is a screw up who can’t stay employed. In walks Samantha Shane (Decker), whose request for a chicken burrito leads to Alex breaking into a closed convenience store for one to give her (yes, you read that right)…
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Starring Kristopher Turner, Crystal Lowe, Shawn Roberts, Kristen Hager, Emilie Ullerup and Stephen McHattie.
Directed by Casey Walker
Direct off its win at the Canadian Film Fest last month, devoted to Canadian indie film, A Little Bit Zombie has taken a different tact to releasing the film to the masses. By self-distributing, the creators of the film have decided to roll the film out across the country with special screenings and the hope that they will inspire longer runs in the following weeks. I got to attend one of these screenings at the Toronto Underground Cinema and am here to tell you that this film deserves your support.
A Little Bit Zombie starts off with Max (McHattie) and Penelope (Ullerup), a pair of zombie hunters that use a mystical orb to help track their targets, in the middle of a zombie swarm. After the carnage…
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