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Archive for June, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Review

Entertainment Maven

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Starring Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell and Jimmi Simpson.

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of a line of mash-up books, including Grahame-Smith’s own Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which are currently extremely popular in the fiction world. Teaming up with Producer/Director Bekmambetov and Producer Tim Burton, and adapting his own book for the screen, Grahame-Smith brings the first of his two books to the theaters this summer with Abe Lincoln. With it’s over the top visuals and absurdist premise, will Abe Lincoln Vamp Hunter be among this year’s most fun excursions to the multiplex or will it be this year’s Jonah Hex?

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter traces the former president’s story back to when he was a child. We first meet Abraham as he interferes with the beating of a…

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Alps Review

Entertainment Maven

Alps (Alpeis)

Starring Aggeliki Papoulia, Ariane Lebed, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Vekris and Stavros Psyllakis

Written by Efthymis Filippou and Giorgos Lanthimos

Directed by Giorgos Lanthimos

Director Giorgos Lanthimos smashed onto the scene in 2009 with the Venice Film Festival award winning Dogtooth. Lanthimos returns with another surrealist dark comedy with Alps, which starts its engagement at TIFF’s Bell Lightbox this Friday June 22nd.

Alps is the story of four people who start a business venture where they take on the mannerisms and dialogue of the recently deceased in order to help people cope with loss of their loved ones. Consisting of a gymnast, her coach, a paramedic, and a nurse, the four dub themselves Alps because in their leader Mount Blanc’s opinion the Alps can never be mistaken for any other mountain range, but they are big enough to fill the space of any other mountain range. The…

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NXNE: My Father and the Man in Black Review

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NXNE 2102

My Father and the Man in Black

Starring Saul Holiff, Jonathan Holiff and Johnny Cash

Written and Directed by Jonathan Holiff

With the plethora of Johnny Cash documentaries and the biopic “Walk the Line” you would wonder if we really need another look at this music icon on film. But My Father and the Man in Black sets itself apart because it’s NOT a film about Johnny Cash but a film about Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash’s long-time manager, the director Jonathan Hollif’s estranged father who he had not talked to for the last 20 years of Saul’s life, leading up to his suicide in 2005. What we get, in the words of the director, is essentially a slickly produced home movie about the father he barely knew and the life he led that his sons knew next to nothing about.

We start with a re-enactment of Saul’s suicide…

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TKFF Preview

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Toronto Korean Film Festival 2012

5 Reasons you need to check out the TKFF

This month brings the launch of a new film festival for us residents of “Festival City” aka Toronto. The Toronto Korean Film Festival runs from June 22nd until July 1st over 9 days and aims to introduce those not familiar to some of the best of Korean film. For its inaugural event the staff of TKFF have decided to feature a best of Korean Cinema lineup, rather than just new undiscovered cinema, as an introduction for the non-indoctrinated and to offer a rare chance to see these films on a theater screen to those who have seen them before at home. That said, I will now tell you the 5 reasons why I will be in attendance.

5 – Korean Culture. The festival organizers are just as motivated to introduce people to Korean culture…

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NXNE: Irvine Welsh’s Exstacy Review

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NXNE 2012

Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (2011)

Starring Adam Sinclair, Kristin Kreuk, Billy Boyd, Carlo Rota, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Stephen McHattie and Dean McDermott

Written by Rob Heydon, Matt Maclennan, Paul McCafferty, Ben Tucker and Irvine Welsh (Based on Irvine Welsh`s novel)

Directed by Rob Heydon

Irvine Welsh became counter-culture hero when the movie based on his seminal novel Trainspotting was released back in 1996. With its no-nonsense, gritty, dirty and frighteningly realistic portrayal of a group of hooligan drug addicts in Scotland, Trainspotting became a critical and financial smash and launched the careers of Ewan Mcgregor and Robert Carlyle. Back with a new movie based on another of his best-selling novels and set in the underground rave scene of Scotland, the question is does director Heydon manage to craft a film near the brilliance of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting? Or do we get a film that manages to miss the mark of…

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Safety Not Guaranteed Review

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Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Starring Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson, Karan Soni and Mark Duplass

Written by Derek Connolly

Directed by Colin Trevorrow

Safety Not Guaranteed, the newest film from Alliance Films and produced by the Duplass Brothers, may end up being one of the hardest movies to categorize this year. Part Sci-fi time travel opus, part romantic comedy, part melodrama and all oddball quirky comedy, Safety rides a lot on the performances of its leads. But is it one of those films that can get buried under its own quirkiness?

We start off with Darius (Plaza) completely blowing a job interview for a job she clearly has no motivation to get, but since she is an unpaid intern at Seattle Magazine she really just wants the money. During a pitch meeting at the magazine Jeff (Johnson) pitches the idea of an article based on a strange classified ad he…

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Island President Review

Entertainment Maven

The Island President (2011)

Starring Mohamed Nasheed

Directed by Jon Shenk

The Island President is the story of the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, and his fight to save his island nation from a natural disaster brought on by global warming.  It follows his history from activist to president, but spends most of its time focused on the first year of his presidency and his influence on the Copenhagen Climate Summit held in 2009. The film has a strong environmental message behind it, but is the film as strong as its message?

The film opens with President Nasheed explaining the situation and dire circumstances of global warming on his island nation. We segue into a brief history lesson of the Maldives and its former dictatorship-like rule under the brutal hand of Maumoon Gayoom. Gayoom ruled for 30 years unopposed, he was compared to the likes of a Mafia Don…

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