Monday, 31 August 2009

New Moon Mondays: Smile for the Camera!

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Images
I'm hiding from all the Eclipse set images (it's not out for almost a year!) but I'm stoked to see new images from The Twilight Saga: New Moon. There are several images from the film of the Volturi over at People, as well as Volturi character posters you can see at the Twilight Examiner and these are in the same vein as the character posters from Twilight. Want to see all the images in one spot? You are in luck as they are grouped nice & neatly over at IMDb. As I mentioned in the Fashion episode of Before the Dawn, I'm a little surprized in the choice for the Volturi to be a very classic vampire style, I had hoped for a re-invention of the style like was done with the Cullens in Twilight. The Volturi do look like a collective group, and an opulent and lush one at that - which does make sense. You can certainly see the personal touches in the differences of each the characters costumes, which is a nice touch.
Sources: Twilight Lexicon, People, Twilight Examiner, IMDb

What if... Twilight Came Out in the 80's?
Since we are talking images.... I could not resist sharing this article that picks 80's stars and inserts them visually in the What if? scenario if Twilight came out in the 80's. A huge thank you to New Moon Movie site for putting this up, because it is a world of awesome. My fave is Matt Dillon as Jasper - perfect!
Source: New Moon Movie, MTV
If Twilight came out in the 80's

Twilight Series Actors at TIFF'09
According to the press release of the guests attending TIFF'09, looks like a two Twilight series actors are coming to town: Michael Sheen and Xavier Samuel. As far as I can tell each actor is in one film at the festival, Michael Sheen is in The Damned United (see info on TIFF site) which is a Gala and Xavier Samuel is in The Loved Ones (see info on TIFF site) which is part of the Midnight Madness program. Both films are on my to see list, orders are being processed as I type this so fingers crossed that I get those selections and hopefully they will be at the screenings I'll be seeing. The Damned United I'm not holding my breath as I won't be going to the Roy Thomson Hall screening, but better chances for The Loved Ones. Here's to hoping!

More Eclipse Casting Revealed
We've already rejoiced over Jack Huston, Xavier Samuel and noted the Victoria switcheroo for Eclipse, but now we know ever more on the casting. Here are the details: Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace, Che) has been cast as Maria, Julia Jones as Leah, BooBoo Stewart as Seth, and Jodelle Ferland as Bree. The Eclipse IMDb page has been updated with the new casting.
Source: Summit Entertainment

First Song Confirmed on the New Moon Soundtrack
The Death Cab for Cutie song "Meet Me on the Equinox" is now confirmed via Stephenie Meyer’s Website to be on the New Moon Soundtrack. The song written specifically for the film. Looking forward to hear more about the soundtrack, the first films soundtrack is an fantastic collection of songs. The New Moon Soundtrack is scheduled to be released October 20, 2009 and album cover image can be seen here.
Source: Twilight Lexicon, Stephenie Meyer Site

I Want Some More: Vampathon
The Vampathon continues and the latest film reviewed was David Cronenberg's Rabid, and next up is the classic 1931 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tod Browning. Check out the original Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon for a list of more of the upcoming vampire films to be reviewed.

TIFF'09 Lottery: Box 48!

video

Box 48 drawn for the beginning of the advance order process.

At the lottery there were 54 numbers entered into the draw.

Donor boxes are processed first, then box 48 will be processed, then boxes 49 --> 54, then 1 -->47. *

And FYI they do put in all the numbers from 1 - 54 but I didn't think people would have the patience to watch all of that!

Total number of boxes is down from 78 in 2008. One volunteered mentioned that they could be using larger boxes. I'm curious if more people decided to become donors whose boxes are processed ahead of the advance order process.

What happens next? We wait. When orders are processed you are suppose to receive and email on the results of your order. In the past you have also been able to check online once your order has been processed. Package pick up and ticket exchange begins Thursday September 3, 2009 at 7am at the Festival Box Office. This is usually the longest line of the year for advance order process, although last year they separated out the 'pick up only' from the 'pick up and exchange' which made pick up only pretty smooth. Every year there are little changes, so it's hard to tell. This year it is a regular work day not labour day so turn out could be a lot smaller - there is no way to tell! Prep for the worst and hope for the best is what I say - comfy shoes, food & water, a good book and always be nice to your line mates! You never know who you will meet in TIFF lines!

I was in Box 16 and feeling pretty good about it!

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Festival Box Office Hours - Nathan Phillips Square, white tent on West Side *
100 Queen Street West
June 1 to September 2, 2009: 10:00am to 7:00pm
September 3 to 18, 2009: 7:00am to 7:00pm
September 19, 2009: 7:00am to 5:00pm

Important Dates *
Thursday Sept 3, 2009 at 7am - Ticket package pick up and ticket exchange begins
Friday Sept 4, 2009 - single tickets go on sale
Thursday Sept 10, 2009 - TIFF begins

As always, check the official TIFF'09 site for all information on policies, procedures and up to date information.

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Quite the crowd - were you there?

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I was in Box 16 and feeling pretty good about it!

*
The TIFF site indicated: "Box 48 was selected in the lottery draw as the first box to be processed for the public Advance Order Procedure. There were 56 boxes in the draw." has been revised to 54 boxes. Thanks Richard!

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Film Reviews - Indonesia

Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly / Babi buta yang ingin terbang
Forbidden Door, The / Pintu terlarang
Merantau
Raid, The

*indicates co-production

Back to Countries List

Film Reviews - Brazil

B1
Embodiment of Evil / Encarnação do Demônio
Swirl / Girimunho

*indicates co-production

Back to Countries List

Week in Film Vlog

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Films Discussed
In Theatres: Orphan, District 9, In the Loop
101 Films to See Films: The 400 Blows, Vampyr
Vampire Films:
Dracula (1931), Vampyr, Rabid, Dracula 2000
Random Watching: A Scanner Darkly, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Make sure to check out Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon

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Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 Coverage

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Pre-Festival Coverage
March 3, 2009 - 2009 Dates Announced
June 4,2009 - Passes on Sale
July 8, 2009 - First 8 Titles Announced
July 29, 2009 - Remaining 8 Titles Announced
August 6, 2009 - Short Film Preview
August 13, 2009 - Filmmakers in Attendance

Daily Coverage
Day 1 - Friday August 14, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 2 - Saturday August 15, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 3 - Sunday August 16, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 4 - Monday August 17, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 5 - Tuesday August 18, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 6 - Wednesday August 19, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 7 - Thursday August 20, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog
Day 8 - Friday August 21, 2009 - Write Up, Vlog

Film Reviews - Features
Black
Black Dynamite
Children, The
Dark Hour, The / La hora fría
Dead Snow / Død snø
Embodiment of Evil / Encarnação do Demônio
Forbidden Door, The / Pintu terlarang
Franklyn
Grace
Must Love Death
Revenant, The
Rough Cut / Yeong-hwa-neun yeong-hwa-da
Someone's Knocking at the Door
Strigoi
Trick 'r Treat
Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl / Kyûketsu Shôjo tai Shôjo Furanken
Warlords, The / Tau ming chong

Film Reviews - Shorts
0 (Zero)
A Little Mouth to Feed
Bad Roomate
Batmilk
Becoming
Blackheads
Captain Coulier (Space Explorer)
Danse Macabre
Deadwalkers
Die Schneider Krankheit
Fallow
Git Gob
Heart of Karl
Hirsute
Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon, The
Killer Bra, The
King of Power 4 Billion %
Legend of the Seven Bloody Torturers
Lobotomobile
Next Floor
Practical Guide for the Imaginary Friend (Abridged)
Santa: The Fascist Years
Under Pressure: A Story of Microscopic Stakes
Welgunzer
When It Will Be Silent
X-Mess Detrius
Zombie Zombie

Videos - Q&As, Introductions, etc.
Bad Roomate introduction with director James Gangl
Black Intro and Q&A with director Pierre Laffargue & producer Lauranne Bourrachat
Black Dynamite intro and Q&A with director Scott Sanders
Blackheads introduction with director Chris Nash
The Children introduction by Adam Lopez
Dance Macabre introduction by Todd Brown
Deadwalkers introduction with director Spencer Estabrooks
Fallow introduction with directors Colin Landry, Dave Alexander and producer Brenton Bentz
The Forbidden Door introduction by Todd Brown
Git Gob introduction with director Philip Eddolls
Grace Intro and Q&A with writer/director Paul Solet
Legend of the Seven Bloody Torturers introduction with director Connall Pendergast
The Revenant intro and Q&A with director Kerry Prior
Rough Cut introduction by Todd Brown
Someone's Knocking at the Door intro and Q&A with actor and co-producer Noah Segan
Strigoi intro and Q&A with director Faye Jackson and producer Rey Muraru
Trick 'r Treat Intro and Q&A with writer/director Micheal Dougherty
Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl introduction by Todd Brown
Zombie Walk 2009 x2 announcements

Polls
Toronto After Dark is Starting - Are You Going?
Overall, My Toronto After Dark Experience Was...

Post Festival Coverage
Wrap Up
Awards

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Poll Results: Overall, my Toronto After Dark Experience Was….

The results speak for themselves: 61% had an Amazing! time at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival this year and 23% were Satisfying, both of those answers led to coming back to the festival more! There was a wee 7% tie between having an OK time and Not great time, but overall people really enjoyed it! It was another great year at Toronto After Dark!

61% - Amazing! I'll be first in queue next year
23% - Satisfying, will be a regular thing
7% - Ok, will consider revisiting
7% - Not a great year for me

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Upcoming Films: Thrillers, Creatures & More!

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One film that appeared out of nowhere and is now everywhere is Legion. Not only has the poster arrived everywhere (above) but the Trailer is being shown in front of a fair amount of films out there. The film has an interesting cast starting with Paul Bettany as well as Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Kevin Durand and Tyrese Gibson in this angels on earth supernational action flick during a biblical apocolypse. Directed by Scott Stewart (Priest) and set to be released January 22, 2010.

Sticking with the creature theme, trailers for both The Wolfman and Avatar has arrived and both have generated mixed opinions. The Wolfman trailer seems to have a generally positive response, but I'm not holding my breath just yet - it looks fairly Sleepy Hollow-esque and the released date has been pushed back again so we are looking at waiting until Feb 12, 2010 to see Mr. Del Toro as the Wolf. Sounds like a perfect Valentine's, no? New creatures are unveiled with the Avatar trailer and overall reaction is that people were expecting to see something completely unlike anything they had before and ended up, not so much. This feels like a double edged sword considering there has been so much secrecy about the film until now. On top of the trailer they showed selections from the film in IMAX 3D. Be interesting to hear what it was like in that format before it hits the screens in December 2009. For more info check out the Avatar and The Wolfman official film sites.

For those who just can't wait that long for a thrill ride, in just a few weeks we will be treated to Whiteout, an Antarctica set crime thriller starring Kate Beckinsdale. The trailer looks promising for some good fun, and it will be released Sept 11, 2009 - oh, man... that is during TIFF! Speaking of TIFF, if you don't get a chance to see Ong Bak 2: The Beginning which is part of the Midnight Madness program this year, you will still have a chance to see this sequel to Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior as it is hitting theatres October 23, 2009. Check out the trailer to get a sneak peek of Tony Jaa kicking butt!

Anticipation has been building for Christopher Nolan's upcoming project Inception ever since it was announced and now we finally have a teaser trailer to get a taste of the film which is an action/sci-fi/thriller that will be released July 16, 2010. Looking forward to seeing more on this one, it looks very intriguing.

Last but not least if the horror/thriller Sorority Row, which first off I thought "Wow, that looks like an interesting spin - nice to see something original". Hold the phone, it's actually a remake of the 1983 House on Sorority Row. Le sigh. But, still shows promise but that is from the perspective of only watching the first half of the trailer, I keep looking away as it feels like it shows too much. It shares a September 11. 2009 release date with Whiteout - what to pick, Sorority Sisters prank gone wrong or Kate Beckinsdale in Antarctica? Hmm.... what a conundrum.

Check out the lists of 2009 and 2010 to see more upcoming releases.

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Friday, 28 August 2009

Toronto After Dark 2009 Awards

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The Awards for the 2009 Toronto After Dark Film Festival have been announced! I've already had my say on the festival experience as a whole, lets have a look at what the masses felt. The results are:

Audience Awards - Best Feature Film
Dead Snow - Gold (1st Place)
Trick 'r Treat - Silver (2nd Place)
Black Dynamite - Bronze (3rd Place)

Vision Awards - Best Independent Feature Film
The Vision Awards are given out by the Festival in recognition of outstanding independent genre feature filmmaking

Strigoi - Gold (1st Place)
The Revenant - Silver (2nd Place)
Grace - Bronze (3rd Place)

Audience Awards - Best Canadian Short Film
Captain Coulier (Space Explorer) - Gold (1st Place)
Blackheads - Silver (2nd Place)
Danse Macabre - Bronze (3rd Place)

Audience Awards - Best International Short Film
The Users Guide for the Imaginary Friends (Abridged) - Gold (1st Place)
The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon- Silver (2nd Place)
King of Power 4 Billion % - Bronze (3rd Place)

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Film Fan Fridays for Friday August 28, 2009

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday August 28, 2009! The last weekend in August has arrived making it feel like the end of summer with blockbusters winding down and tearing though the schedule, program and processes to gear up for the Toronto International Film Festival.

In limited release this week we have start off with a special treat of the fantastic French crime/action flick Black starring the charismatic MC Jean Gab'1 from District B13. Also from France we have Lorna's Silence, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne follow up to L'enfant. Bringing it home we have the Canadian comedy You Might As Well Live starring Joshua Pearce as Robert Mutt, who takes upon a quest after hearing advice from his childhood hero. Keeping it real and limber, we have the documentary Enlighten Up! which follows the journey of skeptic on transformative power of yoga.

In wide release this week we have the last few blockbusters of the summer and what a way to finish it off with the final blockbusters being 2 horror films going head to head: Halloween II and The Final Destination 3-D (make sure to check your local listings to see it in your dimensional preference). Both films have name revisions over time, and The Final Destination 3-D has even had a few release date changes. I wonder if they really did save the best for last. Our final wide release of the week is Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock based on the memoir by Elliot Tiber.

Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Fan Expo
For all your fan needs: Comic Book Expo, CNAnime, SFX, GX Gaming Expo and of course, Festival of Fear
August 28 - 30, 2009 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto African Film & Music Festival
August 29 -30, 2009 on Bloor Street West between Ossington & Crawford in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday
August 28, 2009 Releases

Black
Dir: Pierre Laffargue
Cast: MC Jean Gab'1, Carole Karemera, François Levantal, Ibrahima Mbaye
France
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Enlighten Up!
Dir: Kate Churchill - feature film directorial debut
Documentary
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Final Destination 3-D
Dir: David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2, Snakes on a Plane)
Cast: Bobby Campo, Shantel VanSanten, Mykelti Williamson, Nick Zano, Haley Webb, Krista Allen
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Halloween II
Writer/Dir: Rob Zombie (Halloween <2007>, House of 1,000 Corpses)
Cast: Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Lorna's Silence / Le silence de Lorna
Dir: Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne (L'enfant)
Cast: Arta Dobroshi, Alban Ukaj, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione
Belgium/France/Italy/Germany
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Taking Woodstock
Dir: Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Cast: Henry Goodman, Imelda Staunton, Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Paul Dano, Kelli Garner, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

You Might As Well Live
Dir: Simon Ennis - feature film directorial debut
Cast:
Joshua Pearce, Liane Balaban, Kristen Hager, Clark Johnson, Michael Madsen, Stephen McHattie
Canada
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of August 28, 2009**

Thursday, 27 August 2009

TIFF'09: First Picks

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We are in that often panicked time after the TIFF schedule is out but before handing in out selections. Picking what to see is no small feat, and I start the task with lots of paper and the program book, I go through program by program and pull out my must see, strongly interested, interested, not-no and flat out no's. But usually somewhere in the middle I get flabbergasted as there are just so many amazing films to see. Even with clocking in about 42 films each year, I always feel like I'm leaving so many opportunities behind. I always try to keep in mind what will end up in regular theatres as well as which films seeing at the festival would be such a fantastic experience that it's worth it to see it there. I also try and make sure I see a fair amount of Canadian film, especially French Canadian as it's rare to see it on screens here in the T-dot.

But, after making all these lists and notations it feels like most of it gets thrown to the wind as you really are at the mercy of the schedule. This year I was disheartened right away because 2 films I really want to see are in conflict (the only public screening of Dorian Gray and the 1st screening of Vahalla Rising), and I couldn't for the life of me fit in J'ai tué ma mère but other than that I think my first set is pretty solid.

I'm also stumped on the final night - I'm considering doing a 6 film day ending with Ong Bak 2 but wonder if I'll make it. There are so few choices at the pre- midnight spot thought that it really is making it difficult!

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The Process

So here is the list. It's heavy with Special Presentations which is a big change, and lots of Canadian (yay!) and Australian film. There is a lot of Nordic inspired films this year which I'm totally digging. Ironically the big wig titles on there are really the best film to fit in the time slot.

First Picks List:

Air Doll
Ape, The
Applause
Beautiful Kate
Damned United, The
Daybreakers
Defender
Deliver Us from Evil
Disappearance of Alice Creed
Donation, La
Down for Life
Every Day is a Holiday
Face
George A Romero's Survival of the Dead
Gigantic
Good Heart, The
Kamui
La Soga
Last Ride
Like You Know It All
Loved Ones, The
Mao's Last Dance
Nymph
Ong-Bak 2
Phantom Pain
Road, The
Sawadee Bangkok
SCC2
She, A Chinese
Solomon Kane
Symbol
Time Trip
Toad's Oil
Triage
Unloved, The
Valhalla Rising
Vintner's Luck
Waiting City, The
Warrior and the Wolf, The
Whip It
Wild Hunt
Year of the Carnivore

Program breakdown:
12 - Special Presentations
9 - Discovery
6 - Midnight Madness
4 - Contemporary World Cinema
2 - Canada First!
2 - Masters
2 - Vanguard
2 - Visions
1 - Gala
1 - Short Cuts Canada
1 - Sprockets

Country Breakdown:
6 - Canada
5 - Australia
4 - Japan
3 - Thailand
3 - UK
3 - USA
2 - Denmark
1 - China
1 - Germany
1 - South Korea
1 - Sweden
12 - Various co-pros

On tap for today: Make 2nd choices and fill out all the forms. Oh, boy - it's gonna be another long day!

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Reminder: take breaks occasionally

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Toronto After Dark: Wrap Up

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It's sad times when the Toronto After Dark Film Festival has come and gone for another year but to prolong the current before they turn to memory it just a little bit let's look at some of the highlights this year.

Best Film: Strigoi

Best Zombie Film: Tie: Dead Snow / Død snø and Grace
Don't make me choose between Nazi zombies and zombies babies...

Best Action: Rough Cut / Yeong-hwa-neun yeong-hwa-da

Best Thriller: The Forbidden Door / Pintu terlarang

Best Comedy: Black Dynamite

Scariest Film: The Children

Best Q&A's: Strigoi and Someone's Knocking at the Door

Most Entertaining & Enthusiastic Introduction: Bad Roomate

Best Shorts: 0 (Zero), Danse Macabre, Hirsute, Next Floor, Practical Guide for the Imaginary Friend (Abridged), When It Will Be Silent and Zombie Zombie

Funnest screenings: Black Dynamite - Opening Night energy, a full house and a hilarious film!

Fullest Screenings: Black Dynamite, Dead Snow / Død snø, Grace and Trick 'r Treat

Icky-ist Imagery: Embodiment of Evil / Encarnação do Demônio

Best Double Bill: Although it was a midday smash up, I'd go with Franklyn & Black

Happy Surprize: Must Love Death was much funnier than I expected

Still Has Me Thinking: The Forbidden Door / Pintu terlarang

Wish I hadn't missed: Nada - I got to all the screenings and a fair amount of the pub nights and parties.

Best Experience: Being at the World Premiere of Strigoi and meeting the filmmakers the next night at the pub.

Bizarre one-of: The tornado on Day 7.

Themes: Evil kids, pregnancy/birth, the undead, skewed realities and although not a theme, almost every film had someone puke in it.

Sharing is good! Shorts films that are available online:
Bat Milk (1m 45s)
Black Dog's Progress, The (3 min 15s)
Git Gob (1m 35s)
Heart of Karl (18m 52s)
Hirsute (13m 40s)
The Killer Bra (20m 38s)
X-Mess Detrius (1m 37s)
Zombie Zombie (6m 26s)

Sharing is good! Fellow TAD'ers
One of the fantastic things about the festival is getting to hang out with friends and meet new people every year. Want to know what they are thinking? Check out there respective sites for festival coverage, film reviews, interviews, vids, vlogs and more: 10 Movies to See Before You Die, Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind, The Film Reel, The Horror Section, Pop Journalism, Renerd, RowThree, Toronto Film Scene, Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow, Toronto Screen Shots, Twitch Film and You Bring a Horse For Me? Productions.

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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Rabid

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Writer/Dir: David Cronenberg (The Brood, Videodrome, Eastern Promises)
Cast: Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver, Howard Ryshpan, Patricia Gage
Canada, 1977

Seen: August 22, 2009 thanks to Zip.ca

Reason to Review: Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon *

I found out about Rabid on this list of top 70 vampire films, ranked at #40. Seeing that it was directed by David Cronenberg, Canadian, from the 70's and a film I'd never seen I knew I had to include it in the Vampathon. I quite enjoy Canadian horror film from this time period, I love how the landscape is Canadian, the 70's pacing and the occasional heavy French accent.

The strength in the film is that it is steeped in interesting ideas that not only has a great horror angle but also brings up questions regarding moral decisions. How Canadian is that? It's scary, yet also opens a dialogue on topics of medical experimentation, control and human behaviour. It does a great job of pointing the camera back the audience to reflect human reactions to horrific scenarios, including ones we may not be comfortable with.

All that and a vampire film to boot? Well... calling it a vampire film is skating on some pretty thin ice. I'd say it is a vampire hybrid film and one that does not adhere to most of the vampire lore. It is a great film to ease into the Cronenbergian style if you are unfamiliar with his work, it plays well as a straight up horror drama but also has the signature grossness that is executed with vivid effects and provokes a visceral response.

It was refreshing to see a female protagonist, which is unusual in vampire films and a nice change of pace and power play. After researching I found out that Marilyn Chambers, who plays the character Rose, was an adult film star. This possibly explains the nudity in the film which is not gratuitous but rather unexpected and consistent throughout.

I am curious to how this film would read to newer audiences, if they would understand or just accept some of the medical references that were much more prominent at the time than now. However, fear based in medical issues and the will of survival are themes that crop up time and time again so in that sense it would be accessible.

Overall I would say it's a great horror film, but keep the vampire expectations as a bonus touch rather than the focus to keep things all good.

Warnings: visceral gore, medical procedures and scenarios

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it horror fans

Return to Film Reviews, See all Vampire Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

* Vampathon is a 16 week marathon explore vampire films from Nosferatu (1922) up to the upcoming release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Ingloriously Yours: Canadian, North American & UK Box Office August 21, 2009 Weekend

It's no huge surprize that Inglourious Basterds takes the triple win this week at the top of the box office charts, and in Canada and North America it's takings are similar to last weeks District 9. Both District 9 and The Time Traveller's Wife are holding on pretty strong this week. Will be interesting to see how next week goes considering it's the last weekend of August and has 2 horror flicks going head to head: H2 and The Final Destination.

Top 20 Movies in Canada for the August 21, 2009 weekend
1. Inglourious Basterds *
2. District 9
3. The Time Traveller's Wife
4. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
5. Julie & Julia
6. The Ugly Truth
7. Shorts *
8. Extreme Movie
9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
10. The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard.
11. Éléphants *
12. Father and Guns
13. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
14. Ponyo
15. Les pieds dans le vide
16. Funny People
17. (500) Days of Summer
18. Under the Sea 3D
19. Shorts
20. Sticky Fingers

Top 20 Movies in North America for the August 21, 2009 weekend
1. Inglourious Basterds *
2. District 9
3. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
4. The Time Traveller's Wife
5. Julie & Julia
6. Shorts *
7. G-Force
8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
9. The Ugly Truth
10. The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard.
11. Post Grad *
12. Ponyo
13. (500) Days of Summer
14. The Hangover
15. A Perfect Getaway
16. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
17. Funny People
18. Bandslam
19. X Games 3D: The Movie *
20. Orphan

Top 10 Movies in the UK for the August 21, 2009 weekend
1. Inglourious Basterds
2. The Time Traveller's Wife
3. G-Force
4. Aliens in the Attic
5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
6. Dance Flick *
7. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
8. The Ugly Truth
9. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
10. The Proposal

* indicates opening weekend in noted location, red text indicates Canadian film release

Source: Canada & North America info, UK info

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

TIFF'09: Ticket Package Order Pick Up & Drop Off Begins

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Almost no line up!

It's that time of year again! Today is what I usually call the 'first line up at TIFF' day - when you exchange your package vouchers for the program guide and forms to fill out to make your selections. This year there wasn't much of a line up at 10:20am on Tuesday August 25, 2009 just 20 minutes after they opened. In fact, I got my email order exchanged into vouchers, picked up all my envelopes and was off on my merry way in about 20 minutes. This is about averege, in 2008 it was just 25 minutes and 2007 it took 20 minutes (on top of arriving 30 minutes early).

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People devouring the new TIFF materials

People were all over Nathan Phillips Square reading the book or even already making selections with their trusty new highlighter. Talk about knowing what you want! Once you have picked up your package order forms they can be dropped off any time during box office hours up until Monday August 31, 2009 by 1pm to be included in the lottery which is oodles of time in comparison to previous years. I still aim to have mine done and in by Friday, how about you?

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Although there is no advantage to getting early in terms of selection of films, or even for dropping off your film orders as they are processed through a lottery system, being early has the advantage of getting a swag bag. This year included some familiar along with new fun stuff from beer stein, to coffee, to toiletries and an... orange highlighter? What happened to the yellow/green one you ask? Turns out a modification has been made in the film selection process, instead of highlight in different colours your 1st and 2nd picks, you highlight your first pick and then handwrite in your second. Interesting choice. I've ever had my 2nd choice muffed up due to odd highlighting, but I make a habit of making it extremely clear what my second choice is. If this was the first year I was filling it out I would be thrilled, but as a creature of habit my reaction was "A change???". I'm sure it will be all good.

Now that we have all the information, it's time for me to tuck in and get to know the films and schedule. Good luck with your selections!

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Swagalicious

Festival Box Office Hours - Nathan Phillips Square, white tent on West Side *
100 Queen Street West
June 1 to September 2, 2009: 10:00am to 7:00pm
September 3 to 18, 2009: 7:00am to 7:00pm
September 19, 2009: 7:00am to 5:00pm

Important Dates *
Monday August 31, 2009 by 1pm Ticket package drop off deadline
Thursday Sept 3, 2009 at 7am - Ticket package pick up and ticket exchange begins
Friday Sept 4, 2009 - single tickets go on sale
Thursday Sept 10, 2009 - TIFF begins

* always check TIFF for the most up to date information

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Success, although I forgot to smile... it was sunny out.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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It's funny how the TIFF tent 'glows' through the gate at Osgoode Hall, much like the new tiff. logo 'glows' on the package materials

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Monday, 24 August 2009

New Moon Monday

Feels pretty quiet in the Twilight news world, especially considering Eclipse is currently filming. So, I've found some vamp & creature related film news for you to enjoy for this New Moon Monday.

Howl at the Moon - Making Us Wait for Wolfman

Two updates for the upcoming film The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro and first up is that the trailer has been released. So far I'm not quite sold as it looks a little like Sleepy Hollow without the tongue-in-cheek aspect but I'm going to hold out hope. The second update is that the release date has been moved for November 6/09 to next year Feb 12/09. Just in time for Valentine's Day!

I Want Some More: Vampathon
The Vampathon continues with the latest reviewed being the 1987 Kathryn Bigelow vampire film Near Dark which was a first viewing for me and holy smokes it needs to be on any vampire fans required viewing list. It is rather dark but has some very unusual break for the standard cutter from vamp films and a fantastic cast including Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright and Aliens alumni Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein. An unexpected delight last week while covering the Toronto After Dark Film Festival was not one but two vampire films including the Japanese gorefest Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl and the brilliant UK/Romanian co-pro Strigoi. Selection for this week is David Cronenberg's Rabid, review will be up as usual this Wednesday. I've also added the original Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon post with a list of some of the films that are upcoming to be reviewed in case you'd like to play along.

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 18, News Time
Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 18 is up, you can listen to Marina & I's discuss current Twilight news including the new trailer, speculation on Breaking Dawn as a film, upcoming projects for Twilight actors and general vampire films on the horizon.

On the Eve of TIFF Package Pick Up

Tomorrow is what I like to call the first line up at TIFF day. Those of us who have purchased packages head down to the Festival Box Office (this year it's the white tent at Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West) with our trusty vouchers and/or email confirmations and hand those in for the what we are really after: The Film Schedule. If you are an oldschooler like me, you also want the Program Guide with all those snazzy colour pictures, organized by program and with zillions of indexes in the back.

This year we are getting the schedule almost to the day the same time as last year, but with the festival being later in the year it feels really early to be working through selections. One huge change this year is was have almost a week to make our selections instead of a few short days of frantic organizing. I know many people have traditions of how they make their selections and organize their time - I would love to hear yours! Mine includes graph paper, lined paper, the program book, a clear workspace and not answering the phone until I'm done. You can hand in your selections as soon as you pick up the booklet or at the very latest on Monday August 31, 2009 at 1pm.

Considerations for scheduling:

  • If you really want excited about a Q&A and seeing folks involved in the film, check out the guest list to see who is coming and your best bet is to go to the first screenings. I learned this one the hard way - I had no idea Wong Kar-Wai and Jimmy Page would be at the festival and I am still kicking myself!
  • Plan extra time if planning on staying for Q&A's. See guest list for help on if there will be a Q&A
  • Note if you have to travel from one theatre to another. Some are close to each other. Some are not.
  • Eating is good. If you are going back to back all day make sure there is time to sustain yourself, although popcorn for dinner can be fun it's too long a festival not to get real food now & again.
  • Know your pace - if you can do 5 films a day, go for it. If you fall asleep after 3, only book 3.
  • The subway does not start running until around 9:00 am on Sunday mornings so if taking transit check out alternate routes via streetcar, cabs, your own two feet, etc. See TTC site for more info.
  • Double check your order before handing it in. Filling out the forms is an intricate process. Make sure you read all the instructions and follow them to the tee.
Are you mystified by the whole ticket selection/drop off/pick up process? Help is near. Head on over to TIFF Talk for a fantastic step by step explanation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Important Dates

Tuesday August 26, 2009 (Tomorrow), 10am Ticket package order pick up & drop off begins
Monday August 31, 2009 by 1pm Ticket package drop off deadline
Thursday Sept 3, 2009 at 7am - Ticket package pick up and ticket exchange begins
Friday Sept 4, 2009 - single tickets go on sale
Thursday Sept 10, 2009 - TIFF begins

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Poll Results: Toronto After Dark Starts This Week. Are You Going?

Well it's clear that the fans of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival are out in full force! With a total of 53% attending the festival this year (45% that go annually, 8% newbies this year) and 17% wishing they were there that is a whopping 70% of us that are fans of the festival. Only a small percentage were not going (5%) and 22% wanted to know what Toronto After Dark is. To fill in that blank, it is a 8 night film festival in Toronto that showcases Horror, Sci-Fi, Action & Cult film. You can find out more by checking out the Toronto After Dark website or read the coverage of the festival here at Movie Moxie.

45% - Yes! It's a yearly ritual
22% - What's Toronto After Dark?
17% - No, but I wish I was
8% - Yes! It will be the first time
5% - No

Thanks for voting!

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 18: News to August 21, 2009




Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 18 is up!

Tune in to Before the Dawn to hear Marina & I's discuss all the latest news in the world of Twilight. We discuss the New Moon teaser trailer, and full trailer, speculation on Breaking Dawn as a film, upcoming projects for Twilight actors and general vampire films on the horizon.

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast is a weekly 1/2 hour podcast meeting all your audio Twilight needs!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 Day 8 - Friday August 21, 2009

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Day 8 of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival marked the closing of the festival for 2009. Although it is always sad to mark the last day, at least it was done in style and more importanly with great films. As a special treat, we got to see not only the fantastic scheduled short of Denis Villeneuve's Next Floor but Danse Macabre was also replayed in its entirety after being cut short during Day 7 due to the tornado. On top of all that we had a packed house for the screening of the zombie baby film Grace with a fantastic Q&A with writer/director Paul Solet and a stellar after party. Now, that is how you wrap up a festival!

To hear and see about Day 8 check out my TADFF'09 Vlog for Day 8.

Danse Macabre
Dir: Pedro Pires
Canada, 6 minutes

Absolutely stunning short following a corpse with movement and emotion. Art direction and tone range from gritty to clinical to mystical and all fit in perfectly. Fantastic.

See introduction to the August 20, 2009 screening of Danse Macabre and The Forbidden Door by Toronto After Dark Film Festival programmer Todd Brown here.

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Grace
Writer/Dir: Paul Solet
Cast: Jordan Ladd, Gabrielle Rose, Samantha Ferris, Malcolm Stewart, Stephen Park, Serge Houde
Canada/USA

Grace exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds, as it is much more than just a zombie film but rather an exploration playing on the powerful persistence and resilience of motherhood. A well developed story with strong performances is the perfect starting point for a demise into the realm of the bizarre. This film has great pacing which develops organically with the gradual shifts in tone that build a metamorphosis over all aspects of the film from the acting to visual style to music. All this and a zombie baby to boot! What makes Grace a brilliant horror flick is that it doesn't go for shock-a-minute or trick scares but rather takes a truly horrific premise and places it in a perfectly believable setting. There is nothing more scary than believing, and believe it you will.

See selections from the introduction and Q&A for Grace with writer/director Paul Solen here.

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Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez and Grace writer/director Paul Solet

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Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez and Grace writer/director Paul Solet

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

TADFF'09: Selections from Introduction and Q&A to Grace with Writer/Director Paul Solet

The following video clips are from the introduction and Q&A to the screening of Grace with writer/director Paul Solet on Friday August 21, 2009 at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Director & Founder Adam Lopez introduces the screening of Grace and writer/director Paul Solet:
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Writer/director Paul Solet comments on the Toronto After Dark audience for Grace:
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Writer/director Paul Solet discusses the idea and inspiration for the film:
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Writer/director Paul Solet responds to audience question regarding how often used latex baby was used:
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Writer/director Paul Solet responds to question regarding the music:
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Writer/director Paul Solet responds to audience question regarding the possibility of a sequel:
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Writer/director Paul Solet responds to audience question on if David Cronenberg seen Grace, as well as discussing what is next for the film:
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The Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 ran from August 14-21, 2009 at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012