Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Gamer

Dir: Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Crank: High Voltage)
Cast: Gerard Butler, Amber Valletta, Alison Lohman, Michael C Hall, Logan Lerman, Kyra Sedgwick, Ludicris, John Leguizamo, Zoe Bell
USA, 2009

Seen: September 4, 2009 at Scotiabank

Reason to see: Gaming-centric film with Gerard Butler? I'm exactly that target market.

Wow. I'll give Gamer 2 things and 2 things only. 1) Michael C. Hall was fantastic as the eccentric monopoly megalomania . 2) They totally tricked me! The trailers had no hint at all of a huge section of the film filled with gender crap and gaming/virtual reality scenarios where women are subjected to awful potential or actual scenarios and are literally treated like objects. Have any doubts? Look at the characters names listed for the film, specifically Rick ____.

The side of the film that they do show in the trailer with the prisoners-are-being-played-in-extremely-violent-scenarios is only about half of the film and the action for it was extreme but not bloody (ratings choice?). The world created was reminiscent of something between Starship Troopers and Repo! The Genetic Opera but without singing or aliens. The gaming worlds itself was full of loopholes and rarely provided clear explanation to how or why things happened.

I'm shocked I stayed to watch it in full. I don't think I'll be seeing any more films for me by these directors.

Shannon's Overall View:
I hated it
I will not watch it again
I'd recommend it people who liked Crank, which was a Non-Review

15 minutes of preshow including 5 commercials and 5 previews: The Wolfman (2010), Surrogates, Jennifer's Body, The Fourth Kind and Saw VI

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

Black Sunday / La maschera del demonio

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Dir: Mario Bava (Black Sabbath)
Source Material: Short story "The Viy" by Nikolai Gogol
Cast: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici, Enrico Olivieri
Italy, 1960

Seen: September 26, 2009

Reason to Review: Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon *

Gems like Black Sunday are the exact reason I do marathons and to see films lists, because you never know when you are going to uncover a truly fantastic film. I had preconception of the film other than noting it placed high on a vampire film list. In terms of a vampire film I would say that is stretching the definition a little bit as there are elements of vampirism but overall the film is more in a religious good & evil vein. And yes, I still liked it. Loved it in fact.

It's in beautiful black & white, has a creepy undertone and impressive effects for 1960. There were even moments that grossed me out which I wasn't expecting. Barbara Steele is absolutely fantastic in the film bringing complete and total evilness alive on the screen. Her performance is captivating and steals the show every time she appears. Even thought this was the first time seeing the film, I felt nostalgic about it given the extremely straight forward characters and motivations, the classic settings and it also had a strong adventurous spirit to it which we don't always see in horror. A great film to watch on a Sunday afternoon with a big bowl of popcorn and the curtains drawn.

Also called The Mask of Satan

Shannon's Overall View:
I love it
I own it
I'd recommend to fans of classic & horror films

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

Pandorum

Dir: Christian Alvart (Case 39, Antibodies)
Cast: Ben Foster, Denis Quaid, Cam Gigandet, Antje Traue, Chun Le, Eddie Rouse
USA/Germany, 2009

Seen: September 25, 2009 at AMC

Reason to see: Sci Fi got me in the door, plus looking forward to see Ben Foster in a more leading role

First off, this is not really a science fiction film but rather a horror film in a science fiction setting. Not really knowing that is what I get for liking to go see films with so little context. As a horror film, has some decent tension, it can make you jump but mostly with jump scares. As for the Sci Fi element it's lacking in a lot of ways. Primarily the story, where there are a few interesting ideas they are often under explored and throw us back to a random action scene. So many things are left unexplained and the amount of inconsistencies, incongruities or the worst was something conveniences 'fixing' a scenario to keep moving forward had me stifling laughter.

It was quite a disappointment, especially given the cast but it doesn't seem like they had much to work with. The performance by Cam Gigandet was quite strong, and I will keep looking forward to more work from Ben Foster but this film wasn't a great showcase for anyone. I will give it the nod that I didn't always know what was going on, but I'm not sure how much of a compliment that is.

Shannon's Overall View:
It has a lot of problems
I would watch it again though, I'm such a sucker for Sci Fi
I'd recommend it if you like SciFi/Horror and don't mind incongruities

16 minutes of preshow including 4 commercials and 5 previews: Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Fourth Kind, Law Abiding Citizen, The Road and Up in the Air

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

Whiteout

Dir: Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds)
Cast: Kate Beckinsdale, Tom Skerritt, Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Alex O'Loughlin
USA/Canada, 2009

Seen: Sept 24, 2009 at AMC

Reason to see: Action film with Kate Beckinsdale - I'm in.

I'll preface this review by saying that it was the first film I saw after TIFF'09 closed, which means it the deck is pretty much stacked against it. After seeing 39 high calibre films from around the world, a regular blockbuster doesn't stand be best of chances. And I chose watching it over Jennifer's Body regardless even being aware of it's really low rating on Rotten Tomatoes (6% as of Sept 30/09).

All that being said, it was ever so slightly better than I expected. Which doesn't mean it was great by all means but it was mostly entertaining and I love seeing locations filled with snow. I enjoyed Kate Beckinsdale's US Marshall character, although I find it hard to believe Antarctica would have a US Marshall - especially after seeing the documentary Encounters at the End of the World. I also enjoyed seeing Tom Skerritt on screen, even though it's ingrained in my brain to think of him as Dallas (from Alien) and even while taking notes during the film I wrote "Dallas does...", etc.

The film started to lose me when I was picking up how reminiscent it was of other films (The Thing, The Thing From Another World, Real Genius, etc) and kept loosing me when the it swung from mystery vibe to gross horror to drama. But what really threw me off was that the sense of sense of space, distance, different groups of people and locations was not very well defined. Often I was thinking - where are they now? Who are those people? How would someone get there? Some of that could be the mystery angle, but certainly not all. There was definitely and interesting idea in there, but I found it got lost somewhere along with way.

But, because of the beauty of locations, getting to see snow and the fact that I just like a lot of the actors I would watch it again.

Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it
I would watch it again
I'd recommend it as light action/thriller fare

16 minutes of preshow including 4 commercials and 5 previews: Fame, Alice in Wonderland (2010), Surrogates, The Fourth Kind and Lovely Bones

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

DIY Entertainment Club: September 2009

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Another month, another DIY Entertainment Club! This month was inspired in equal parts of vampires and film festivals.

The Lost Boys
80's classic vampire film with lots of cool boys and a girl named Star. It's also next weeks selection for the Vampathon.

Interview with the Vampire
I think I'm becoming a vampire completist or did I just not want ayone to know I own Queen of the Damned but not Interview with the Vampire? Cat is out of the bag now! Also will be featured as a selection for the Vampathon.

Repo! The Genetic Opera
One of the craziest screenings at Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2008. I listen to the soundtrack a fair amount and at the time it was on amazon for a steal around $6 so I couldn't say no!

Chrysalis
Great French futuristic SciFi/Action that was one of my faves from TIFF back in 2007, which had a Q&A that led me to see the awesome Eyes Without a Face as it was inspirational to the film. I'm thrilled to now have it as part of my collection.

Titles available on Amazon.ca (Canada):



Titles available on Amazon.com (US):

Movie Moxie on the Unnamed Movie Podcast - TIFFing Out

If you missed it live you can now listen online or download from iTunes The Unnamed Movie Podcast Episode 28. You can listen to Andrew and Douglas of gmanReviews and I chat about film news, new trailers (Fish Tank, The Trosky, Everybody's Fine) and including highlights from the experience that was TIFF'09. The guys also review mumblecore film Nights and Weekends.

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Monday, 28 September 2009

New Moon Mondays - Catching Up on a Whole Lotta Awesome

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TIFF'09-ness
September has sure been a month of TIFF and with the festival wrapped up, so a fair few Mondays this month were spent in various theatres and not collecting TwiNews. But, the good thing is the festival featured various TwiStars and vampire films so all is not lost! In fact, one of the films I was sad to miss was the rock it to ya vampire film Suck, but low and behold it got picked up by Universal Pictures so hopefully it will be heading to a theatre nearby soon. Suck is written & directed by Rob Stefaniuk and stars Rob Stefaniuk, Jessica Paré, Dave Foley and Malcolm McDowell along with musicians Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Moby, Alex Lifeson, Carole Pope and Dimitri Coats. See more on Suck on its IMDb Page. But that wasn't the only vampire film at TIFF, I did get out to the Midnight Madness screening of the Spierig Brothers' Daybreakers starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill. The film was a lot of fun, as was the introduction and Q&A with Michael & Peter Spierig, Willem Dafoe & Sam Neill. The moon doesn't set just yet as more works from Twilight cast were on display including football biopic The Damned United (starring Michael Sheen) and the fantastic-but-not-for-the-faint-of-heart horror flick & Midnight Madness Audience Choice Winner The Loved Ones (starring Xavier Samuel) which had a great introduction and Q&A with Sean Byrne. The screening I went to of The Loved Ones didn't have any actors in attendance but they were at the Midnight Madness screening and you can see footage of those shows over at Sheleigh: Before the Screening and Q&A, and over at The Substream.

New Moon Trailer - #3
Amidst all this madness the New Moon trailer was released and I have to say I reacted a little like when I saw the first Twilight trailer which was that it feels like they are showing a heck of a lot of the film in the trailer. Thoughts on the trailer are discussed over at Episode 21 of Before the Dawn.

Stephenie Meyer's The Host Screen Rights Picked Up
Word is out that producers Nick Wechsler, Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz have picked up the screen rights for Stephenie Meyer's book "The Host" and Gattaca director Andrew Niccol has been attached to the project. I only got through the first chapter of this book, but it looks like I'm going to have to give it another go. I'm down with the Sci Fi angle, but had a feeling it would end up being religious in nature. Should be interesting to see how this one plays out.
Source: Row Three, Variety

Nightmare on Elm Street Trailer
/film has posted a teaser trailer for the upcoming remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Watching the original film recently I had no idea it was so cheesy, but the trailer of the revamp looks pretty scary. Sadly there only seems to be a glimmer of Twilight's Kellan Lutz role shown. Trailer also notes a April 30, 2010 release date shifting the film 2 weeks past previously announced April 16, 2010 release date.
Source: /film

I Want Some More: Vampathon
The Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon continues with reviews of more vampire films including the hilarious Canadian vampire comedy Blood & Donuts, the upcoming 2010 release of Daybreakers and getting back to classics with the 1932 Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey. Coming up this week for review is Mario Bava's Black Sunday / La maschera del demonio.

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - 4 Episodes to Enjoy!
One positive to being off kilter for a while is lots to catch up on - You can listen to Marina & I's discuss a whole lotta Twi-news and views with:
Episode 19 - Vampire Diaries - book series adapted to TV show on the CW
Episode 20 - News to September 4, 2009
Episode 21 - News to September 18, 2009
Episode 22 - Vampire Lore

Did I miss anything glaring in the TwiWorld?

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Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 22: Vampire Lore




Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 22 is up!

Tune in to Before the Dawn to hear Marina & I return with a theme show and the topic this week is all about vampire lore. Trends in vampire films & books from past to present covering themes, lore and insights. Vampalicious!

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

Week in Film Vlog

video

Films Discussed
TIFF'09 Coverage now complete!
In Theatres: Whiteout, Pandorum
Vampire Films: Black Sunday
Random Watching: Macbeth (2006 version with Sam Worthington)

TIFF goes bye-bye:
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Awesome Selection at the AMC:
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Sunday, 27 September 2009

TIFF'09 Coverage

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Pre-Festival Coverage:
July 3, 2009: And it Begins
July 4, 2009: First Set of Film Titles Released
July 6, 2009: TIFF'09 Packages on sale to Visa Cardholders
July 21, 2009: Midnight Madness Films Announced
July 27, 2009: TIFF'09 Midnight Madness Program
July 28, 2009: Documentary, Discovery and Vanguard Films
July 28, 2009: Break out the Evening Gowns: Special Presentations and Gala Titles
July 30, 2009: 4 by 4: 8 More Titles Announced
August 4, 2009: The Young Victoria Chosen for Closing Night Gala
August 4, 2009: Canadian Titles added to TIFF'09
August 24, 2009: On the Eve of TIFF Package Pick up
August 25, 2009: Ticket Package Order Pick Up & Drop Off Begins
August 27, 2009: TIFF'09: First Picks
August 31, 2009: TIFF'09 Lottery: Box 48! (video)
September 2, 2009: TIFF'09 Selections Confirmed
September 4, 2009: Pre-Festival Vlog - Looking Forward To...
September 10, 2009: Pre-Festival Vlog 2 - Short Film Preview & Parnassus
September 10, 2009: NFB Shorts
September 10, 2009: Review: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Daily Coverage:
Day 1 - Thursday September 10, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 2 - Friday September 11, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 3 - Saturday September 12, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 4 - Sunday September 13, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 5 - Monday September 14, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 6 - Tuesday September 15, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 7 - Wednesday September 16, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 8 - Thursday September 17, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 9 - Friday September 18, 2009: Write Up, Vlog
Day 10 - Saturday September 19, 2009: Write Up, Vlog

Feature Film Reviews:
Air Doll / Kûki ningyô
Ape, The / Apan
Applause / Applaus
Beautiful Kate
Castaway on the Moon / Kim Ssi Pyo Ryu Gi
Damned United, The
Daybreakers
Defendor
Deliver Us From Evil / Fri os fra det onde
Disappearance of Alice Creed, The
Donation, La / The Legacy
Every Day a Holiday / Chaque jour est un fête
Face / Visage
Good Heart, The
Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The
Kamui / Kamui Gaiden
Last Ride
Like You Know It All / Jal Alijido Motamyunseo
Loved Ones, The
Mao's Last Dancer
Nymph / Nang Mai
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
Phantom Pain / Phantomschmerz
Road, The
Samson & Delilah
Sawasdee Bangkok
She, A Chinese
Soga, La
Solomon Kane
Survival of the Dead, George A. Romero's
Symbol / Shinboru
Timetrip: The Curse of the Viking Witch / Vølvens Forbandelse
Toad's Oil / Gama no Abura
Unloved, The
Valhalla Rising
Waiting City, The
Warrior and the Wolf, The / Lang Zai Ji
Whip It
Wild Hunt, The
Year of the Carnivore

Short Film Reviews:
Night Mayor
Runaway
Vive la rose

Videos of Introductions and Q&A's:
Air Doll / Kûki ningyô Introduction and Q&A with Hirokazu Kore-reda and Jô Odagiri
Applause / Applaus Introduction and Q&A with Martin Zandvliet and Paprika Steen
Beautiful Kate Introduction and Q&A with Rachel Ward, Maeve Dermody, Sophie Lowe & Bryan Brown
Big Head with Dylan Akio Smith
Daybreakers introduction and Q&A with Michael & Peter Spierig, Willem Dafoe & Sam Neill
Defendor Introduction and Q&A with Peter Stebbings
The Disappearance of Alice Creed Introduction and Q&A with director J Blakeson
La Donation Introduction and Q&A with Bernard Émond and Élise Guilbault
Every Day is a Holiday Introduction and Q&A with Dima El-Horr, Hiam Abbass and Theirry Lenouvel
Last Ride Introduction and Q&A with Glendyn Ivin
Léger Problème Introduction with Hélène Florent
The Loved Ones Introduction and Q&A with Sean Byrne
Mao's Last Dancer Introduction and Q&A with Jan Sardi
Nymph Introduction and Q&A with director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning Introduction and Midnight Madness Closing Night with Colin Geddes
Phantom Pain Introduction and Q&A with director Matthais Emcke
The Road introduction with Kodi Smit-McPhee and Viggo Mortensen
She, A Chinese Q&A with Guo Xialo
La Soga Introduction and Q&A with Josh Crook, Manny Perez, Denise Quiñones & Juan Fernande
Solomon Kane Introduction and Q&A with Michael J. Bassett and James Purefoy
George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead introduction by Colin Geddes
Symbol Introduction by Colin Geddes
Valhalla Rising introduction and Q&A with Nicolas Winding Refn and Mads Mikkelsen
The Waiting City Q&A with Claire McCarthy, Denson Baker and Jamie Hilton
The Wild Hunt Introduction and Q&A with Alexandre Franchi, Mark A. Krupa, Kyle Gatehouse and Ricky Mabe
Year of the Carnivore Introduction and Q&A with Sook-Yin Lee, cast & crew

TIFF'09 Polls:
Are You Attending TIFF This Year?
How Many Films Are You Planning to See?
How Early Do You Arrive at the Theatre?
Where Do You Like to Sit?
How Full Have the Theatres Been So Far?
Do You Stay for the Q&A's?
What if Your Favourite TIFF Venue?
Are You TIFF'd Out Yet?
Have You Walked Out of a Film This Year?
Overall My TIFF'09 Experience Was...

Post Festival Coverage:
Awards
Wrap Up

Fellow Festival Goers and TIFF'09 Resource Sites:
Movie Moxie chats to The Substream at Daybreakers Midnight Madness
1st Thursday, According to Dave, Crunch Squirrel Goes to Toronto, Dark Side of the Matinee, The, Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind, Evening Class, The, Gate, The, Hana Dreaming, Horror Section, The, Hye's Musings, More the Merrier, The, Movie Martyr, movie*pie, Original Concept, The, parabola.ca, Paul Gvildy's Blog, Row Three, Sharp Objex, Substream, The, TIFF - Canadian Film Programmes Blog, TIFF - Doc Blog, TIFF - Midnight Madness Blog, TIFF - Official Site, TIFF Reviews, TIFF Reviews Flickr Group, TIFF Riffs, TIFF Talk, TIFF.TO, Tiffr (Scheduling Tool), TO Film Fest (Searchable Film Lists), Toronto Film Scene, Toronto Screen Shots, Twitch, VeryFrank's foggy filmic notions

In the Beginning:
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At the End:
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Film Reviews - Gaming

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Shannon's Definition of Gaming Films: Gaming films follow a gamer and/or gaming community or a film where the plot or setting is centred on gaming.

Love Gaming Films? Check out Episode 19 of the Movie Moxie Podcast where I take on Gaming Films as a Genre (it's one of my faves), chatting about different types of gaming and gaming films, documentary vs fictional films, my favourite Gaming films as well as reviewing TRON: Legacy.

Another Perfect World
Dungeon Masters, The
Gamer
King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, The
Second Skin
TRON: Legacy
Wild Hunt, The

Back to Genre List

Film Reviews - Lebanon

Every Day a Holiday / Chaque jour est un fête *

*indicates co-production

Back to Countries List

Film Reviews - Domincan Republic

Soga, La *

*indicates co-production

Back to Countries List

TIFF'09 Wrap Up

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10 Days, 40 Features and 3 Notebooks later.... Let's take a look at the highlights from TIFF this year.

Overall Stand out Films: Valhalla Rising, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, La Donation / The Legacy, Whip It, The Loved Ones, The Damned United, Timetrip: The Curse of the Viking Witch / Vølvens Forbandelse

Best Performances (ladies): Paprika Steen in Applause / Applaus, Élise Guilbault in La Donation / The Legacy, Juliette Lewis in Whip It, , Robin McLeavy in The Loved Ones, Gemma Arterton in The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Sophie Lowe in Beautiful Kate

Best Performances (gents): Mads Mikkelson in Valhalla Rising, Martin Compston in The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Andrew Garfield in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Jens Andersen in Deliver Us From Evil / Fri os fra det onde, Trevor Hayes in The Wild Hunt, Manny Perez in La Soga

Artistic works of wonder: Valhalla Rising, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

They made my cry: Mao's Last Dancer, Whip It

They made me laugh: Castaway on the Moon / Kim Ssi Pyo Ryu Gi, Like You Know It All / Jal Alijido Motamyunseo

Standing Ovations: None. That's a first.

Favourite Program: Tie between Midnight Madness and Discovery

Best Experience: Closing the festival off with Ong Bak 2: The Beginning was a great choice, so many buddies were there and the film was a lot of fun.

Changing the collective experience: I think it's time we let the anti-piracy 'Arggggggg!' go. Three years is a good stint, but it's time to move on.

Best Q&A's: Valhalla Rising, Solomon Kane, Daybreakers and La Donation

Weirdest Q&A question: Why did you make this into a film? (Answer: Because I'm a filmmaker)

Still has me thinking: The Wild Hunt

The weird and bizarre: Face / Visage, Symbol / Shinboru

Most impressive first feature: The Disappearance of Alice Creed

Weirdest reoccurance: People texting. Seriously. They mentioned before each screening and people still do it. 5/39 screenings had texters in them - one women I could even hear her typing. Get a grip y'all - you can spend 2 hours away from technology.

Fullest Screenings: Daybreakers, Mao's Last Dancer

Oddly worked in favour: So many screenings at Ryerson. Usually I avoid it but wasn't able to this year. Turns out it was one of the only theatres that used spotlight for intros & Q&A. Many of the vids are really dark this year unless the screening was at Ryerson.

New this year for me: Seeing an omnibus film Sawasdee Bangkok and seeing a film at Jackman Hall.

Wish I hadn't missed: [REC]2, Mr. Nobody, Mother and Suck

Unbelievable Moment: One day I forgot my notebook. Yes, that is the most unbelievable moment!

Random Learning: Scotiabank staircase has 75 stairs

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

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Poll Results: Overall My TIFF'09 Experience Was....

Looks like overall people had a good year at TIFF! Highest nod goes to Satisfying at 47% and Amazing is close behind at 39%. Only 8% had an OK time and 4% Not a great year.

47% - Satisfying, will be a regular thing
39% - Amazing! I'll be first in queue next year
8% - Ok, will consider revisiting
4% - Not a great year for me

Thanks for voting!

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

Friday, 25 September 2009

Film Fan Fridays for Friday September 25, 2009

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday September 25, 2009! It looks like September left the best, or at least the most, for last. Releases this month but the floodgates have now open and we have ten new releases this week.

In limited release this week we have 6 releases including the absolutely hilarious Norwegian Nazi zombie movie Dead Snow / Død snø and the Mesmerizing documentary on the electric guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White It Might Get Loud, both of which I can highly recommend. We also have Jane Campions (The Piano) latest, Bright Star, a historical romance based on the relationship between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Clive Owen hits the screen in The Boys are Back starring as a Dad of two boys. We also have the Bollywood film What's Your Raashe? straight off the heels of TIFF and the Hungarian/German co-pro Delta.

In wide release this week we have four selections and it may be the only time in history I'm least excited about the Canadian release: Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day. Bubbles & the boys are back and I'm sure they will cause some trouble. I'm more likely to see the new version of Fame about performing arts school in New York, or the Sci Fi mystery of Pandorum with Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma (2007), 30 Days of Night) which finally gets released after various date changes. But, there is even more, and more Sci Fi at that with Surrogates starring Bruce Willis in a world that somewhere in between Total Recall and "Neuromancer".

Two Sci Fi release and a dance movie just from the wide releases? I think I'll be at the movies a lot this week.


Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Canadian Black Film Festival

September 25 - 27, 2009 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Filmi
South Asian Film Festival
October 1 - 4, 2009 at the various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Muck
It is the inaugural year for this festival on Movies of Un-Common Knowledge, films that challenge us and views of the world around us.
October 1 - 4, 2009 at The Royal in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Palestine Film Festival
September 26 - October 2, 2009 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Spinning Wheel Film Festival
Films by or about Sikhs
September 25 - 27, 2009 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday September 25, 2009 Releases

The Boys Are Back
Dir: Scott Hicks (No Reservations, Shine)
Cast: Clive Owen, George MacKay, Nicholas McAnulty, Emma Booth, Laura Fraser
Australia/UK
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Bright Star
Dir: Jane Campion (The Piano, In the Cut)
Cast: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider, Thomas Sangster, Kerry Fox
UK/Australia/France
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Dead Snow / Død snø
Dir: Tommy Wirkola (Kill Buljo: The Movie)
Cast: Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Laursen, Jenny Skavlan
Norway
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Delta
Dir: Kornél Mundruczó (Johanna, Szép napok / Pleasant Days)
Cast: Félix Lajkó, Orsolya Tóth, Lili Monori, Sándor Gáspár
Hungary/Germany
Limited Release
No Official Film Site Found, IMDb Page, Trailer

Fame
Dir: Kevin Tancharoen - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Kherington Payne, Naturi Naughton, Collins Penne, Kay Panabaker, Asher Book, Walter Perez, Anna Marie Perez de Tagle, Paul Iacono, Kristy Flores, Paul McGill, Debbie Allen, Kelsey Grammer, Charles S. Dutton
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

It Might Get Loud
Dir: David Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth)
Documentary on the electric guitarists Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Pandorum
Dir: Christian Alvart (Case 39, Antibodies)
Cast: Ben Foster, Denis Quaid, Cam Gigandet
USA/Germany
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Surrogates
Dir: Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, U-571)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Ving Rhames
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day
Dir: Mike Clattenberg (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie)
Cast: Rob Wells, John Paul Tremblay, Mike Smith
Canada
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

What's Your Raashee?
Dir: Ashutosh Gowariker (Jodhaa Akbar, Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India)
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Hurman Baweja
India
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page


**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of September 25, 2009**

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey

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Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc)
Source Material: the novel "In a Glass Darkly" by Sheridan Le Fanu
Cast: Julian West, Maurice Schultz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz
France/Germany, 1932

Seen: August 29, 2009

Reason to Review: Vampathon: Vampire Film Marathon *

Vampyr was quite a hidden gem for me, I had ordered it from the library thinking it was Nosferatu (1922), which I had already seen but wanted to get a look at in a different format. Then I realized it was a completely different film by Carl Theodor Dreyer (The Passion of Joan of Arc) no less! Add to that it's a different story than Dracula. I was already over the moon as I sat down to watch it and low and behold it turns out to be a fantastic, textural and unique brand of vampire films. I was one happy camper.

Even though film in a time close to Dracula (1931), Vampry has a completely different feel and story. It's textual feel heightens the tone of the film, which in essence could be seen as a drama/thriller but as it's fuzzy and blurry it enhances it add a creepy edge. The main character Allan Gray is curious at heart and the his adventure reads like a supernatural travelogue. Quite the find, I'm thrilled that there is a Criterion edition of the film. It's one for the wish list.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend to fans of classic, vampire and textural films

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

TIFF'09: Midnight Madness Closing Night & Introduction to Ong Bak 2: The Beginning by Colin Geddes

The following video clips are from the introduction to the Midnight Madness screening of Ong Bak 2: The Beginning and the results of the Midnight Madness People's Choice Awards by TIFF Programmer Colin Geddes on Saturday September 19, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. See my review of Ong Bak 2: The Beginning here.

Colin Geddes introduces Ong Bak 2: The Beginning:
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Colin Geddes Midnight Madness final night including announcement of Midnight Madness People Choice Awards:
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The Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

TIFF'09: Selections from The Disappearance of Alice Creed Introduction and Q&A

The following video clips are from the introduction and Q&A for the screening of The Disappearance of Alice Creed with director J Blakeson on Saturday September 19, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. See my review of The Disappearance of Alice Creed here.

Spoiler Warning:
With the exception on the Intro clip, I would recommend not watching the below clips unless you have seen the film. It's an amazing thriller with exceptional writing and acting, so you won't want to know anything before the film itself is ready to reveal it to you.

Introduction with Cameron Bailey and director J Blakeson:
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J Blakeson responds to audience question regarding the number of characters in the film (spoilers):
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J Blakeson responds to audience question regarding Gemma Artertons role (spoilers):
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J Blakeson on his previous writing, the script and what if anything changed during the writing process (spoilers):
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J Blakeson discusses the opening sequence (spoilers):
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J Blakeson responds to audience question regarding a specific prop in the film (spoilers):
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J Blakeson responds to audience question regarding if the film would teach someone do what is portrayed in the film (spoilers):
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The Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

TIFF'09: Selections from The Waiting City Q&A

The following video clips are from the Q&A for the screening of The Waiting City with director Claire McCarthy, cinematographer Denson Baker and co-producer Jamie Hilton on Saturday September 19, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. See my review of The Waiting City here.

Director Claire McCarthy responds to audience question regarding the character Fiona's journey (spoilers):
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Claire McCarthy discusses the inspiration to make the film:
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Claire McCarthy responds to audience question on the character of Scarlett (spoilers):
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Claire McCarthy responds to a specific audience question about the character Fiona (spoiler):
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Cinematographer Denson Baker discusses one of the effects created as well as and capturing India:
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Claire McCarthy responds to audience question on the challenges of being a female filmmaker:
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Director Claire McCarthy, co-producer Jamie Hilton and cinematographer Denson Baker responds to audience question on if extras were used in street scenes:
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The Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 10 - 19, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012