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Archive for February, 2013

Andy Lau and Well Go USA bring ‘A Simple Life’ to blu-ray

A Simple Life Blu-ray Box Art

 

A Simple Life Blu-Ray Review

Starring Andy LauDeanie Ip, Pik Kee Hui, Paul ChunElena Kong with Anthony WongSammo Hung Raymond Chow and Tsui Hark

Written by Susan Chan and Yan Lam Lee

Directed by Ann Hui

New on Blu-ray February 26 from Well Go USA is the multi-award winning drama about a lifelong servant and the relationship she develops after a life altering incident: A Simple Life. The film stars Andy Lau and Deanie Ip in a tale that covers many similar themes to director Michael Haneke’s Amour, but from a much less dour place, as this film is a mostly about the blossoming of their relationship that is years old but has never fully developed into the family it becomes.

Roger (Lau) is a successful movie producer. Ah Tao (Ip) has worked for Roger’s family as a nanny and maid over the course of four (more…)


Steve Austin vs Dolph Lundgren on Blu-ray in ‘The Package’

packageNew to DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment is the latest action opus from former wrestler turned actor ‘Stone ColdSteve Austin and “Expendables” star Dolph Lundgren, “The Package”. The Package is directed by veteran stuntman turned director Jesse V. Johnson, so it should come as no surprise that the film is heavy on action and stunt work and light on plot. But how does the film measure up to other action fare in the Stone Cold/Dolph Lundgren cannon?

The Package Blu-Ray Review

Starring:  Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Darren Shahlavi, Eric Keenleyside and Lochlyn Munro

Written by Derek Kolstad

Directed by Jesse V. Johnson

package 2 (more…)


Dwayne Johnson turns ‘Snitch’ (review)

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Snitch Review

Starring: Dwayne JohnsonJon BernthalBarry PepperMichael Kenneth WilliamsRafi GavronMelina KanakaredesNadine VelazquezBenjamin Brattand Susan Sarandon

Written by Justin Haythe and Ric Roman Waugh

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh

A desperate father tries to save his teenage son from an unjust prison sentence by infiltrating a dangerous drug cartel in Snitch. The ‘Inspired by real events’ tale features Dwayne Johnson in a much more dramatic performance than the usual action packed extravaganzas we are used to seeing him in. Snitch plays out more slowly and methodically than the commercials and previews would have you believe, but is that a good or a bad thing?

Businessman John Matthews (Johnson) is devastated when his 18-year-old son Jason (Gavron) receives a mandatory minimum 10-year (more…)


Helen Hunt bares all on blu-ray in ‘The Sessions’

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The Sessions Blu-ray Review

Starring: John HawkesHelen HuntWilliam H. MacyMoon Bloodgood, Annika Marks, Adam Arkin

Written and Directed by Ben Lewin, based on the original article by Mark O’Brien

New to Blu-ray and DVD from Fox Home Entertainment is the inspiring true story of Mark O’Brien in The Sessions. The biopic is the brainchild of writer/director Ben Lewin, himself suffering from polio as a child which has resulted in him requiring crutches to maneuver with for the rest of his life. The similarities between Lewin and O’Brien’s backgrounds gave Lewin a unique and experienced vision in which to craft the film.

Paralyzed and confined to an iron lung since childhood after being stricken by polio, poet-journalist Mark O’Brien (Hawkes) (more…)


TIFF’s ‘Packaged Goods’ series highlights animation for it’s winter program

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Feb 20, 2013 brings the newest in the “Packaged Goods” series to the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The ongoing series surveys the world of commercial, music video and web content film-making. Exploring these by themes and highlighting the best that each theme has to offer, the series’ latest installment explores the ever changing worldanimation in the corporate sense in its “Artful Animation” presentation.

TIFF’s Packaged Goods: Artful Animation Program

Today’s animation has come a long way from Saturday morning cartoons: whether photo-real or illustrative, stop-motion or CG (more…)


Night of the Living Dead re-enacted for real? A review of the meta-horror Memisis

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Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead Blu-Ray Review

Starring: Allen Maldonado, Lauren May Shafer, Jana Thompson, Gavin Grazer with Courtney Gains and Sid Haig.

Written by Douglas Schulze and Joshua Wagner

Directed by Douglas Schulze

Mimesis, the word meaning ‘mimicry’ or ‘imitation’, is the beginning of what the filmmakers hope to be a series of films in which the premise is that a group of ‘thrill seekers’ set out to recreate classic horror films and play them out their way. The first of these films, Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead, comes to DVD and Blu-Ray Feb 10 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

(more…)


The team behind Dead Before Dawn 3D talk Zemons

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Dead Before Dawn 3D is Canada’s first all 3D feature film and will play as the closing night Gala Presentation as part of TIFF’s Next Wave Film Festival Sunday Feb 17, 2013. We had a chance to sit down and talk with director April Mullen, writer Tim Doiron about the film and we even got a surprise pop in from star Devon Bostick.

Thanks for taking some time for us today guys. So what made you think you could pull off shooting this film on a 20 day schedule?

April– Well we never thought we could do it for sure, we just believed we could in our hearts.

Tim– And we really didn’t have a lot of options, we knew we only had a 20 day shoot and that was it. IT was all we could fit into the budget so we just studied our butts off and made sure on the preproduction side we had everything (more…)


Time to take ‘A Glimpse Inside the mind of Charles Swan III’

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For his first directorial effort in over a decade, since 2001`s “CQ”, and hot on the heels of his Oscar nomination for co-writing “Moonrise Kingdom”, Roman Coppola returns with the bizarre “A Glimpse Inside the mind of Charles Swan III”. The film stars the erratic Charlie Sheen in one of his most over the top performances, and probably one of the most autobiographical as well, along with a stellar supporting cast.

A Glimpse Inside the mind of Charles Swan III

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Jason SchwartzmanBill Murray, Katheryn Winnick, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Written and Directed by Roman Coppola

A Glimpse Inside the mind of Charles Swan III is set in a stylized Los Angeles; Swan (Sheen) is a man who glides through life on fame,
money and charm, the manipulator

(more…)


TIFF Next Wave 2013: mini reviews

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TIFF Next Wave Film Festival starts Feb 15 with the ‘Battle of the Scores’ music program on Feb 15. The Film Festival kicks off the film portion on Feb 16, and here are some mini reviews of 4 of the films highlighting the festival this year.

For more information on all of the films in the Next Wave Film Festival check out TIFF’s online schedule. But for now lets get on with the films.


The ‘Next Wave’ of film and filmmakers take over TIFF Feb 15-17 2013

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This Family Day weekend, Feb 15-17, theTIFF Bell Lightbox launches its 2nd edition of the Next Wave Film Festival. The festival serves to empower youth and deepen their appreciation of film by empowering them to program their own festival through representatives from their own peer group. The festival kicks off with the “Battle of the Scores”, a unique battle of the bands style competition where high school indie bands perform live scores to youth made film trailers in front of a live audience. Of course this is a film festival so there is also a full schedule of movies to check out on Sat Feb 16 and Sun Feb 17.

TIFF’s Next Wave Film Festival Preview

View slideshow: TIFF Next Wave Films

The film schedule is highlighted by 3 special premium selections, some premieres, a work in progress and a marathon of films (more…)


The Trailer Park Boys get ‘Drunk and on Drugs’ on dvd

drunk and on drugs

 

The Trailer Park Boys are back, well sort of, with a new DVD out in store Feb 12 from Anchor Bay Canada, “The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour”. The 6 episode series, presented here as a 2 hour 40 minute continuous movie, is a demented and twisted take on classic variety shows like “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, “SCTV” and “Little Britain”. Being the main creative force behind the show this time around, the Trailer Park threesome has a more invested in its success, but will they be able to capture the same audience that made “Trailer Park Boys” a massive hit?

The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour DVD Review

Starring: Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells, Jay Baruchel, Amy Sedaris, Pat Roach and Maury Chaykin.

Written by Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells

“The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour” show stars former Trailer Park Boys actors John Paul Tremblay (more…)


TIFF’s Spotlight Japan series gets gritty with ‘Rusty Knife’

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Screening Feb 9 2013 as part of TIFF’s Spotlight Japan celebration and part of the 100 Years of Nikkatsu series is the 1958 noir classic “Rusty Knife”. The setting of Udaka, a post-war city in the heart of the rebuilding phase and corporate development after the war, is a place that corruption has already taken hold. This setting provides a unique look into Japan during the rebuilding phase after the war while providing the necessary background for director Masuda to deliver a noir piece to rival the French and North American noir pieces dominating the box office at the time.

TIFF Spotlight Japan: Rusty Knife

View slideshow: Rusty Knife

Starring: Yûjirô Ishihara, Mie Kitahara, Akira Kobayashi, Naoki Sugiura, Shôji Yasui and Masao Shimizu

Written by Shintarô Ishihara

Directed by Toshio Masuda

A persistent district attorney desperately attempts to arrest and convict Katsumata (more…)


‘Identity Thief’ should have gotten a better identity (Review)

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Identity Thief (2013)

Starring: Jason BatemanMelissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda PeetTip “T.I.” Harris, Genesis Rodriguez, Morris Chestnut, John Cho, Robert Patrick,Eric Stonestreet

Written by Craig Mazin based on a story by Jerry Eeten and Craig Mazin

Directed by Seth Gordon

The doldrums of the winter post-Oscar bait box office continue this week as after a very lackluster January our friends at Universal Pictures give us Identity Thief. This comedy is the follow-up feature from McCarthy after her breakout role in 2010’s Bridesmaids (This is 40 cameo notwithstanding) and her first shot at a lead performance. Along for the ride is Jason Bateman playing his very familiar bland straight man role and Amanda Peet as his long suffering wife.

Diana (McCarthy) makes her living assuming stranger’s identities and bleeding them dry. Her seemingly unlimited funds have allowed Diana (more…)


Hot Docs doc soup sails the ‘Stolen Seas’ for its February edition

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February’s Doc Soup presentation at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema brings us drama on the high seas with the award winning documentary “Stolen Seas”. The documentary explores the Somali pirate phenomenon, how the pirates get away with all the damage they inflict and the impact on all of those involved.

Stolen Seas

Written by Mark Monroe

Directed by Thymaya Payne

“Stolen Seas” is in essence the story of a Danish shipping vessel’s 13-man crew held at the mercy of pirates, but the film goes much further than this singular story. It’s November 8th, 2008 and the CEC Future is on high alert. Sailing inside the pirate-infested swath of sea between Somalia and Yemen (more…)


Walt Disney’s ‘Peter Pan’ goes diamond with a blu-ray special edition

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Peter Pan Diamond Collection Blu-Ray

With the voices of Bobby DriscollKathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Paul Collins and Tommy Luske

Written by Ted Sears, Erdman Penner, Bill Peet, Winston Hibler, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, Ralph Wright and Bill Cottrell based on the play by Sir J.M. Barrie

Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred JacksonHamilton Luske and Jack Kinney

The classic animated feature film from Disney, Peter Pan, hits its 60th ‘Diamond’ anniversary this year and celebrates with a brand new, fully loaded Blu-ray release in stores this week. The timeless tale of Peter and his ‘lost boys’ in considered one of the greats from Disney’s golden age of hand drawn animation and is based on the 100 year old stage play from Sir J.M. Barrie. As a young child, Walt Disney saw a travelling production of the play and it stayed with him for decades until he was finally able to produce his own version.

The story has been told many times. (more…)


Cineplex’s Great Digital Film Festival runs through Feb 7

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Cineplex’s Great Digital Film Festival Preview

Starting Feb 1, 2013 select Cineplex theaters across Canada will participate in the fourth annual ‘Great Digital Film Festival’. The festival runs from Feb 1 through Feb7 and is dedicated to bringing classic films back to the big screen, and often in digital format for the first time. This year the festival is also serving as the nationwide debut for last year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival Favorite Cockneys vs Zombies.

All films are only $6 per screening with discount pricing for purchasing multiple tickets with extra Scene points for members of Cineplex’s Scene loyalty program. In the GTA the theaters participating will be the Scotiabank Theaters downtown (more…)