Friday, 23 January 2009

Film Fan Fridays for Friday January 23, 2009!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday January 23, 2009! The big news this week is that Oscar nominations have been announced! The top dog is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with 13 nominations, followed by Slumdog Millionaire at 10 nominations. This year the nominee's for Directing & Best Picture are the same five films: Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire. These selections quashed the hope that non-traditional choices such as The Dark Knight and WALL-E would muscle into the big categories. Both films received numerous nominations, however in not surprizing categories; The Dark Knight was nominated for numerous technical awards as well as supporting actor for Heath Ledger and WALL-E was nominated for animated film, sound, song and screenplay neither breaking the mold of action or animated film nominations.

If you are setting up your 'to see' lists with nominated films, here in Toronto many are still playing in theatres. Great places to check are the Carlton, Cumberland, Varsity, Scotiabank and The Bloor.

Now, on to this weeks releases! In limited release we have the Canadian documentary Examined Life, which has added bonuses to some of the screenings - there will be a Filmmaker Q&A on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and a panel on the intersection of public space & intellectual pursuits following the Tuesday Jan 27/09 7pm screening. The second limited release this week is the French comedy Welcome to the Sticks which looks pretty funny.

In wide release this week we have two releases, storybook to life adventure in Inkheart and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans the third film in the Underworld series and a prequel. After loving the original highly stylized Underworld but then being very disappointed in Underworld: Evolution, I'm hoping the third film will get the series back to its original greatness. The latest instalment has a different director at the helm and Rhona Mitra as the female lead which is perfect casting considering her performance in Doomsday. I still can't believe that Michael Sheen who plays Lucian is Frost from Frost/Nixon and played Tony Blair in The Queen, he's stealing Gary Oldman's previously held record for being the champion chameleon! Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is the first of several films involving werewolves that are coming out this year. 2009 is a year to keep it scruffy!

One last note, The Dark Knight is returning to the really big screen this weekend and hitting IMAX theatres. Now all the fan boys can QQ together over popcorn.

Have a great weekend!


Friday January 23, 2009 Releases

Examined Life
Writer/Dir: Astra Taylor (Zizek!)
Documentary focusing on influential thinkers, philosophy and change
Limited Release
Film Website, IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer is spoiler free

Dir: Iain Softley (K-PAX, Hackers, Backbeat)
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Eliza Hope Bennett, Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent, Sienna Guillory
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
You get the gist of the film by the 1/2 way point

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Dir: Patrick Tatopoulos - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Kevin Grevioux, Steven Mackintosh, Tania Nolan
Official Film Site (autoplays trailer), IMDb Page, Trailer
Trailer is sight unseen

Welcome to the Sticks / Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis
Dir: Dany Boon (La Maison du bonheur)
Cast: Dany Boon, Kad Merad, Zoé Félix, Lorenzo Ausilia-Foret, Anne Marivin
Limited Release
Official Film Site & French Trailers, IMDb Page, Trailer with English subtitles

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of January 23, 2009**

1 comment:

Suzie Ridler said...

I'm embarassed to admit this but...I don't know any of the nominated movies! Probably because I don't go to see any of the hard-hitting ones and man, there are so many these days.

I'm thrilled that the new Underworld movie is coming out, I am definitely going to see that one in the theatre. And it's nice to see a fantasy movie like Inkheart coming out two. Thanks for letting us know Shannon!

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