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Archive for May, 2013

‘Blancanieves’ enchants the Varsity Cinema this week

blancanievesStarting an exclusive engagement at the Varsity cinemas in Toronto this weekend from D Films is the captivating black and white Spanish film that won over audiences at TIFF last September, Blancanieves. Spain’s official submission to the 85th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film, Blancanieves is a gorgeous homage to the Golden Age of Europe’s silent cinema. Coming on the heels of 2011’s Oscar winnerThe Artist”, Blancanieves had its work cut out for it being another silent film homage trying to establish its own path.

Blancanieves

Starring: Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ángela Molina, Pere Ponce, Macarena García and Sofía Oria

Written and Directed by Pablo Berger

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She grew up in the care of her grandmother until she was a young lady. But after tragedy strikes again she is whisked away to live with her father and treacherous stepmother. After she learns the art of bullfighting from her famous matador father, she is forced ran away with a troupe of dwarves, and becomes a legend. This tribute to silent films is set in southern Spain in the 1920s.

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‘The Bible’ miniseries is a jam packed Blu-ray

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The Bible Blu-ray Review

Starring: Diogo Morgado, Darwin ShawRoma Downey and narrated by Keith David

Directed by Crispin Reece and Christopher Spencer

From executive producers Mark Burnett (Survivor) and wife Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and Fox Home Entertainment comes the near 7 ½ hour TV miniseries in a 4 disc Blu-ray set, The Bible. The sprawling epic series played earlier this year on the History Channel in 10 1 hour parts and now arrives in a Blu-ray set for the purchase. With further plans now in place for a 3 hour theatrical release about the life and times ofJesus Christ from this same team, the question is do they manage to pull this ambitious project off?

Narrated by Emmy winning actor Keith David, The Bible features a stunning international cast including Portuguese actor, Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ and beloved actress, Roma Downey as Mother Mary. And for the first time since their award winning collaboration on Gladiator, Oscar and Grammy winning composer Hans Zimmer reunites with acclaimed vocalist Lisa Gerrard to create the majestic musical backdrop for this epic production. (more…)


TIFF gets ready for its ‘Picture Day’ (Review)

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Starting an exclusive run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this week is the TIFF 2012 Festival alum, and Toronto filmed Canadian production, starting the breakout star of TV’s “Orphan Black” Tatiana Maslany, “Picture Day”. The film marks the directorial debut of veteran “Degrassi: The Next Generation” writer Kate Melville, who delivers an accomplished and engaging, yet small, story that is enhanced by some great performances.

Picture Day

Starring Tatiana Maslany, Spencer Van Wyck, Steven McCarthy, Susan Coyne, Fiona Highet and Mark DeBonis

Written and Directed by Kate Melville

PICTURE-DAY-STILL-1_lowres-660x439 (more…)


‘Fast and Furious 6’ barrels full throttle into theaters this weekend

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Crashing into theaters this weekend is the latest entry into the billion dollar franchise that has morphed from a gear head fantasy into all out crime caper action/comedy, but still keeping its fair share of vehicular mayhem intact, Fast and Furious 6. Or as the title card on the film suggests, Furious 6, keeping the ever changing moniker of the series intact. This time around the crew is on the right side of the law as the series goes back deep into the past to close any loose ties and connections that still exist, and even resurrect on character from the dead.

Fast and Furious 6

Starring: Vin DieselPaul WalkerDwayne Johnson, Luke Evans, Michelle Rodriguez,Tyrese GibsonChris ‘Ludacris’ BridgesSung Kang, Gal Godot, Jordana Brewster, Gina Carano, Elsa Pataky

Written by Chris Morgan

Directed by Justin Lin

Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian’s (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe.  But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam has left their lives (more…)


‘The We and the I’ stop the bus at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this week

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Starting an exclusive engagement at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this week is the newest film from the visionary director of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “The Green Hornet” Michel Gondry, “The We and the I”. The film carries a very experimental concept and feel to the screen, nothing new for Gondry, but also relies with on a very unconventional cast to tell this unique story. But does this long bus ride across the Bronx travel at a constant speed, or are their detours along the route?

The We and the I

Written by Michel Gondry, Jeffrey Grimshaw and Paul Proch

Directed by Michel Gondry

Director Michel Gondry applies his unique and dazzling style to yet another self-contained world, the back of a New York City school bus, populated by a group of teenagers riding the length of the Bronx on the last day of school (more…)


The TIFF Bell Lightbox sends ‘Greetings from Tim Buckley’

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Starting an exclusive run at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this week is the new drama about a time early in the career of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley before any of the acclaim and accolades, Greetings from Tim Buckley. The film explores the ups and downs and the impact that Jeff’s father had on his life and career through flashback sequences intermingled into the days leading up to the tribute show. As talented as both Buckley’s obviously were, the film struggles to succeed on its merits.

Greetings from Tim Buckley

Starring Penn Badgley, Imogen Poots, Ben Rosenfeld and William Sadler

Written by Emma Sheanshang, Dan Algrant and David Brendel

Directed by Dan Algrant

In Greetings from Tim Buckley director Dan Algrant follows a young Jeff Buckley (Badgley) in the days leading up to his 1991 performance at his father’s tribute concert in St. Ann’s Church. Jeff develops an immediate attraction with Allie (Poots), (more…)

TIFF highlights the films of Chris Marker with a mini retrospective

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Starting at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, as a compliment to TIFF ‘s exhibition of Chris Marker’s photographs as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, is a mini-retrospective of the films from the heavily influential French Filmmaker himself entitled ‘Films in Remembrance of Things to Come: Works by Chris Marker’. Starting May 16 and running through the Sunday of the long weekend, May 19, the collection of films features a single screening for each and starts each night at 6:30. For some of these works the opportunity to see them on the big screen is extremely rare as some have only recently been restored after the passing of Marker last year.

Chris Marker Mini-Retrospective

Playing at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

May 16 – 19

The retrospective starts with one of perhaps his more widely known and easily attainable works with ‘Sans Soliel’. The ‘film essay’ that traverses the globe and deals with time, (more…)