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Archive for January, 2013

‘The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song’ at the royal this week



This week, at Toronto’s Royal Cinema, sees an exclusive engagement of the acclaimed documentary “The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song” begin, starting Jan18. The documentary, filmed in Georgetown, Guyana, introduces us to Muscle and his mother Mary. The pair are both struggling to break free off their circumstances, which manages to bring them constantly into conflict with each other. Mary (74), when she leaves their house, wanders on the road begging for money to get drunk from passing cars and neighbors and sometimes falls down and hurts herself. Unable to convince Mary that she is only harming herself and her family, her son Muscle (43) decides that the only way to prevent her drunken excursions is to keep her locked up in her small, dark room.

The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song

Directed by Christy Garland

Muscle ekes out a living raising fighting cocks and songbirds, but yearns and longs for a better house and situation for his family. Mary drinks to forget though (more…)

‘Beware of Mr. Baker’ thunderously drums it’s way to the bloor cinema



Starting an exclusive run this Friday Jan 18 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is the new rock documentary of one of the true ‘wild men’ of rock, “Beware of Mr Baker”. “Beware of Mr Baker” opens with the man himself, Ginger Baker, approaching a parked car in which the filmmakers are sitting. Moments later Baker has his cane inside the window attacking and beating the director and crew with it. Very few films can say their opening scene involves the main character breaking the director’s nose, but as this film’s title suggests Ginger Baker is a man to approach with caution. Featuring interviews with his ex-wives, his children and many of the greatest living musicians who know him (including Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Charlie Watts, Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana, Femi Kuti, Neil Peart and Marky Ramone) this is a look back at a tumultuous career through explosive interviews with one of rock’s greatest characters.

Beware of Mr Baker Official Trailer

Beware of Mr. Baker

Starring: Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Steve Winwood, Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana and Neil Peart

Written and Directed by Jay Bulger

A madman and a genius best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith, (more…)

‘Quartet’ features one excellent supporting performance


With over 70 acting credits under his belt, according to IMDBDustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with “Quartet”, opening in theaters nationwide from Alliance Films Jan 15. The story of a retirement home for musicians and the reluctant star moving in that changes everything has been adapted for the screen by Ronald Harwood from his own stage play. So has all the films that Dustin Hoffman appeared in prepared him to step behind the camera?

Quartet Review

Starring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay,Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith and Michael Gambon

Written by Ronald Harwood

Directed by Dustin Hoffman

Beecham House for retired musicians is buzzing ever since the rumors have started circling that the home is soon to play host to a new resident, and word is it’s a major star. (more…)

Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his ‘Last Stand’



The Last Stand (2013)

Starring Arnold SchwarzeneggerForest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Luis GuzmánPeter Stormare and Genesis Rodriguez

Written by Andrew Knauer, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Goergeo Nolfi

Directed by Jee-Woon Kim

Making his first starring bow since leaving his office as Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns this week with his new film: The Last Stand. The film also marks the English language debut of Korean director Jee-woon Kim, the director of atmospheric thriller “I Saw the Devil” and the western homage “The Good, The Bad and the Weird”. But will Jee-woon’s frenetic style mesh with the action veteran Schwarzenegger’s own signature style?

Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in the sleepy border town (more…)

Found footage horror gets parodied with ’30 Nights of Paranormal Activity’ (review)

30 nights banner

Veteran of two other straight to DVD parody films, Writer/Director Craig Moss brings us his third parody film with 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (for the rest of this article known as 30 Nights for the sake of brevity). 30 nights is a take on the recent found footage horror craze, as well as some other current films. So how does 30 Nights compare to other parody films?

30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo DVD Review

Starring: Kathryn Fiore, Flip Schultz, Olivia Alexander, Danny Woodburn andFrench Stewart.

Written and Directed by Craig Moss

30 Nights is the tale of the Galen family. Parents Dana (Fiore) and Aaron (Schultz), aping Katie and Micah from Paranormal Activity, along with their teenaged daughter Liz, looking exactly like Rooney Mara (more…)

‘Lightning Bug’ illuminates on blu-ray (review)


Making its debut on Blu-Ray this week from Anchor Bay Entertainment is the 2004 filmLightning Bug. The story of a young special effects wizard in a small town, Lightning Bug has been out on DVD for years, but Anchor Bay has now gone back and remastered the film to reissue it on Blu-ray. Based on the true story of writer/director Robert Hall’s own life, the make-up effects master behind almost 90 different projects according to IMDB, the real question is how does the now 8 year old film hold up to a Blu-ray transfer and is the film any good?

Lightning Bug Blu-Ray Review

Starring: Bret HarrisonLaura Prepon, Kevin GageAshley Laurence and Lucas Till.

Written and directed by Robert Hall.

Green Graves (Harrison) is a frustrated teen, with a gift for creating grisly monsters, who dreams of one day escaping his miserable life in a small Alabama town for a special effects make-up job in Hollywood. His dreams may soon be in reach (more…)

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis ‘Won’t Back Down’ on blu-ray (review)

Won t Back Down 2012

New this week on DVD and Blu-Ray from Fox Home Entertainment comes the ‘Inspired by a true story’ of rebellion and revolution in the US school system “Won’t Back Down”. The story of two mother’s fight for a better education for their children seems to be ripped straight from the headlines and fodder for a splashy cable television movie. So was “Won’t Back Down” worth the theatrical release and Blu-Ray release it has gotten?

Won’t Back Down Blu-Ray Review

Starring: Maggie GyllenhaalViola Davis, Oscar Issac, Rosie Perez, Emily Alyn Lloyd, Dante Brown, Lance Reddick, Ving Rhames and Holly Hunter.

Written by Brin Hill and Daniel Barnz

 Directed by Daniel Barnz

Hard working single mom Jamie Fitzpatrick (Gyllenhaal) is concerned that John Adams Elementary is letting her daughter Malia (Lloyd) down. Teaming with a caring teacher (Davis) who wants the best future for her own son Cody (more…)