Friday, 31 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Dir: David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Regular Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis
Additional Cast: Jim Broadbent, Jessie Cave, Freddie Stroma, Helena Bonham Carter, Evanna Lynch, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Frank Dillane
UK/USA, 2009

Originally Seen: July 17, 2009 at the Empire Studio 7 in Nova Scotia

The wait is finally over for the latest instalment in the Harry Potter series and the film wastes no time letting us know we are stepping into new territory in the Harry Potter film world. Previous established patterns are out the window as the Muggle and Magic world continue to collide.

The characters are the true stars of the sixth instalment. Kudos to Daniel Radcliffe for bringing a strong and varied performance as we Harry continue to grow into and become more of a leader in an amazing way. This is done creatively and not always above board which nicely bridges family mischievous to that of his father James and even godfather Sirius Black. But the troublemaking isn't left to just Harry, the trio is completed with strong performances by both Rupert Grint as Ron finding his own feet and Emma Watson as the head and heart strong Hermione. On the flip side to these characters who continue to grow in their skills and friendship, we see the anguish of Draco's unique growing pains through a formidable performance by Tom Felton.

In the fifth film, The Order of the Phoenix, we saw a theme of students versus teachers and with The Half-Blood Prince we see that line pushed even further as the world because more focused on actions and allegiances rather than rules and roles. The timing for this shift is spot on with the characters as they approach adulthood and the film intensifies this timing with shifting to romantic endeavours at any opportunity it can, but I feel in doing so we are left with not as much attention to the plot of this film (think of the title) nor the overarching plot of the series. There are even a few threads are also left hanging, including a new character with no formal introduction. Perhaps splitting the final book into two films allows time for these gaps to be filled in the future along with the exploration of the remainder of the story.

Concerned I was getting hung up on the book to film changes, I trekked out to the theatre for a second viewing after which I will concede that all of the changes work, and even enhance the world. One example of this is the depth and perspective given to the characters Professor Slughorn played sweetly by Jim Broadbent. But, just like The Order of the Phoenix there were certain scenes in the book I had hoped to see on film that like were not included. Considering it is must have been a mammoth task of condensing such a large text, it is understandable. The changes and additions were mostly along the lines of the hormones a-raging tempo, which do lead to beautiful moments of realism with relationships, romances, unwanted advances and even isolation. The series continues to blend a brilliant combination of the trials and tribulations of everyday growing pains and triumphs alongside the magical world that becomes more dangerous and powerful in each instalment.

Although I have reservations over some of the changes and choices, it is wonderful to see a see a series that is so rich with story, characters, themes that develop over time and to see the actors grow as the roles become richer and complex.

Now, the big questions is do I re-read the entire series in anticipation of Deathly Hallows Part I, to be released November 18, 2010? I bet I will. Will you?

Shannon's Overall View:
I know I will grow to love it
I'll buy it
I'd recommend it to fans of to fans of magic, fantasy and adventure

10 minutes of preshow including 2 commercials and 6 previews: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Fame, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Sherlock Holmes, Shorts and Where the Wild Things Are

Return to Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2009

In anticipation of the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I went through a weekly countdown of watching & reviewing the five Harry Potter films. You can watch my vlog about the experience or read the individual reviews here:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Poster at Nova Scotia theatre (which has the Friday as a release date):

Poster at Toronto theatre:

Toronto theatre was all decked out in HP character cut outs:

Along with character banners:

Even the coffee place next door was playing along with us Muggles:

Film Fan Fridays for Friday July 31, 2009

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday July 31, 2009! I hope those of us who have a long weekend this weekend enjoy it, maybe we'll even get some sunshine. It's a quiet week with only 5 releases and no festivals, but enjoy it while it lasts as we'll be kicking into high gear pretty soon.

In limited release this week we have 2 releases started with Fifty Dead Men Walking directed by Kari Skoglard (The Stone Angel) starring Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, Kevin Zegers, Nathalie Press and Rose McGowan and is included as a part of Canada's Top Ten 2008. Our second limited release is Shrink starring Kevin Spacey.

In wide release this week we have family friendly fantasy film Aliens in the Attic along with the Bollywood release Love Aaj Kal. We also have Funny People directed by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen which clocks in at a whopping 2 hr 26 minutes. Holy smokes, that is long! I thought the trailer showed too much but perhaps it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Have a great weekend!


Friday July 31, 2009 Releases

Aliens in the Attic
Dir: John Schultz (The Honeymooners <2005>)
Cast: Ashley Tisdale, Ashley Boettcher, Carter Jenkins, Austin Robert Butler
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Fifty Dead Men Walking
Kari Skoglard (The Stone Angel)
Cast: Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, Kevin Zegers, Natalie Press, Rose McGowan
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Funny People
Writer/Dir: Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin)
Cast: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Torsten Voges, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Love Aaj Kal
Dir: Imtiaz Ali (Jab We Met)
Cast: Saif Ali Skahn, Deepika Padukone
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Dir: Jonas Pate (Deceiver, The Grave)
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Keke Palmer, Saffron Burrows, Mark Webber, Jack Huston
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of July 31, 2009**

Thursday, 30 July 2009

4 by 4: 8 More TIFF'09 Titles Released, Gala & Special Presention

It's the time of year where we keep a close eye on the TIFF site as news and more titles are released all the time, including todays announcement of 8 more titles, 4 Galas and 4 Special Presentations.

The Gala titles include two sport films with the upcoming UK football film The Damned United starring Martin Sheen (see trailer) and Dil Bole Hadippa which is a musical romantic comedy in the world of cricket and a woman who disguises herself as a man to play on the team. We also will be getting a few laughs in with comedies on the line up including crime/comedy Micmacs from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet and a new film from Jason Reitman called Up in the Air starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Jason Bateman.


The Damned United
Dir: Tom Hooper
Cast: Martin Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Jim Broadbent
United Kingdom

Dil Bole Hadippa
Dir: Anurag Singh
Cast: Rani Mukherjee, Shahid Kapoor

Dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast: Dominique Pinon, Dany Boon, Yolande Moreau

What's Your Raashee?
Dir: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast: Harman Baweja, Priyanka Chopra

Special Presentation

The Good Heart
Dir: Dagur Kári
Cast: Paul Dano, Brian Cox, Isild Le Besco

The Hole
Dir: Joe Dante
Cast: Chris Massoglia, Nathan Gamble, Haley Bennett, Teri Polo

Soul Kitchen
Dir: Fatih Akin

Up in the Air
Dir: Jason Reitman
Cast: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, Anna Kendrick

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

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2009 - Remaining Titles Announced!

It's always a happy day when more news about the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Today the remaining titles have been announced along with the program schedule. It starts off with a bang with the Opening Night Gala: Black Dynamite which looks straight out of the 70's from the trailer but it's new and all the rage from the cool cats. Closing Night Gala will be the previously announced zombie baby film Grace.

We have lots of scares coming out way starting with the The Dark Hour, a Spanish film that looks freaking creepy and and has not only a horror but also a sci-fi feel to it. I think there is a new side genre in horror of creepy kid films and those little shoes this year are filled by The Children. More niches get carved out that you can shake a stick at with Must Love Death, blending torture porn with rom com. Yep, that certainly is a new one.

As always we have a zombie night on Sunday August 16, 2009 and it starts off with Dead Snow, the Norwegian nazi zombies that has been winning over hearts and brains of film fans everywhere - I really can't wait to see this one. Second in the double bill is The Revenant, which is a different kind of undeadness being a vampire buddy flick. Another vampire film has been added to the program this year with the horror comedy Strigoi which plays on Monday August 17, 2009 along with previously announced Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.

Looking for some action? Check out the South Korean Rough Cut (aka A Movie Is a Movie and also aka Yeong-hwa-neun yeong-hwa-da) which looks freaking awesome, not only is it action it gets meta all over us showing the chaos of what happens when a actor playing a gangster and a gangster playing an actor butt heads. If you are aching some something to take you back in time, check out the epicness of The Warlords starring no other than Jet Li.

Shorts are also on the menu this year with the Shorts After Dark, an International short film showcase slated for Sunday August 16, 2009 at 1:30 PM.

It's going to be another rockin' year in the dark. Check out the Toronto After Dark website for more information on the festival including full schedule, box office & ticket information or buy tickets online.

Lets take a look at the details of each new title announced.

Black Dynamite **Opening Night Gala**
Dir: Scott Sanders (Thick as Thieves)
Cast: Michael Jai White
TADFF Page & Trailer, Official Website, IMDb Page

The Children
Dir: Tom Shankland (The Killing Gene / W Delta Z)
Cast: Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelley
TADFF Page & Trailer, Official Website, IMDb Page

The Dark Hour / La hora fría
Dir: Elio Quiroga (The Beckoning / No-Do)
Cast: Omar Muñoz, Silke, Pepo Oliva, Julio Perillán
TADFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Dead Snow / Død snø
Dir: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Laursen, Jenny Skavlan
, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Must Love Death
Dir: Andreas Schaap
Cast: Manon Kahle, Lucie Pohl, Katjana Gerz, Sami Loris, Jeff Burrell, Peter Farkas, Philipp Rafferty, Tobias Schenke
TADFF Page & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Revenant
Dir: Kerry Prior
Cast: David Anders, Chris Wylde
TADFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Rough Cut / Yeong-hwa-neun yeong-hwa-da
Dir: Jang Hun
Cast: Hong Su-hyeon, Kang Ji-Hwan, Ko Chang-Seok, So Ji-seob
South Korea
TADFF Page & Trailer, Japanese Website, IMDb Page

Dir: Faye Jackson (Resurrecting Bill)
Cast: Constantin Barbulescu, Catalin Paraschiv
TADFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Warlords / Tau ming chong
Dir: Peter Chan (The Love Letter, He's a Woman, She's a Man / Gam chi yuk sip)
Cast: Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jinglei Xu
China/Hong Kong
TADFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

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

Harry Potter Stays Strong in 2nd Week: Canadian, North American & UK Box Office July 24, 2009 Weekend

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince still tops both the Canadian and UK charts this week, I know I went back for second helpings. North American chart this week had those crazy guinea pigs from G-Force in the number one spot. I'm impressed to see The Hurt Locker continues to climb up on the Canadian and North American charts as the weeks go by, it truly is a great film. Lars von Trier's Antichrist debuts on the UK charts this week after many tours on the festival circuit, no word yet on a Canadian release date for it yet.

Top 20 Movies in Canada for the July 24, 2009 weekend

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
2. The Ugly Truth *
3. G-Force *
4. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
5. Orphan *
6. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
7. De père en flic
8. The Proposal
9. The Hangover
10. Brüno
11. Public Enemies
12. The Hurt Locker
13. Up
14. My Sister's Keeper
15. Under the Sea 3D
16. (500) Days of Summer
17. OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus *
18. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
19. Millenium
20. Star Trek

Top 20 Movies in North America for the July 24, 2009 weekend
1. G-Force *
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
3. The Ugly Truth *
4. Orphan *
5. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
6. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
7. The Hangover
8. The Proposal
9. Public Enemies
10. Brüno
11. Up
12. (500) Days of Summer
13. The Hurt Locker
14. My Sister's Keeper
15. I Love You, Beth Cooper
16. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
17. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
18. Star Trek
19. Moon
20. Under the Sea 3D

Top 10 Movies in the UK for the July 24, 2009 weekend
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
2. The Proposal *
3. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
4. Brüno
5. The Hangover
6. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
7. Public Enemies
8. My Sister's Keeper
9. Moon
10. Antichrist *

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

Source: Canada & North America info, UK info

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Break out the Evening Gowns: Special Presentations & Gala Titles at TIFF'09

Evening gowns, or hard hats because the announcement today has heavy hitters added to this years line up at TIFF'09. First and foremost I'm thrilled to hear that Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It is headed to TIFF, I wrote about it last week and since then the trailer has been released and it looks like roller derby loads of fun. Speaking of trailers, just yesterday Screen Rant shared the trailer for Dorian Gray and now it is revealed it will be at TIFF, how mysteriously delicious! The UK film is directed by Oliver Parker, stars Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray and Colin Firth as Lord Wotton and is included in the Gala programme.

We can welcome back many familiar names to the festival with lots of returning directors such as Werner Herzog with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans a remake of the 1992 film, Pedro Almodóvar returns with new film Broken Embraces and Michael Moore with previously-untitled-now-revealed film Capitalism, A Love Story (which over at Apple Trailers currently still says "Michael Moore The New Movie"). It is thrilling to hear that Ian Fitzgibbon is back at the festival this year with Perrier's Bounty starring Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Jodie Whittaker. After seeing th dark and comedic A Film with Me in It from Ian Fitzgibbon last year at TIFF, I'm certainly game to see more of his work.

Let's take a look at the new titles added today, along with the Special Presentations titles added last week and films previously announced including the opening night selection: Creation.


Creation **Opening Night Selection**
Dir: Jon Amiel
Cast: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly

Dorian Gray
Dir: Oliver Parker
Cast: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth
United Kingdom

Get Low
Dir: Aaron Schneider
Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black

Max Manus
Dir: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
Dir: Lee Daniels

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
Dir: Rebecca Miller
Cast: Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin

Special Presentation

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Dir: Werner Herzog
Cast: Nicolas Cage

The Boys Are Back
Dir: Scott Hicks
Cast: Clive Owen
Australia/United Kingdom

Bright Star
Dir: Jane Campion
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish
United Kingdom/Australia

Broken Embraces
Dir: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Lluís Homar, Penélope Cruz

Capitalism: A Love Story
Dir: Michael Moore

City of Life and Death
Dir: Lu Chuan

Dir: Jordan Scott
Cast: Eva Green
Ireland/United Kingdom

An Education
Dir: Lone Scherfig
United Kingdom

The Front Line
Dir: Renato De Maria

Glorious 39
Dir: Stephen Poliakoff
United Kingdom

Harry Brown
Dir: Daniel Barber
Cast: Michael Caine
United Kingdom

Dir: Bruno Dumont

The Informant!
Dir: Steven Soderbergh
Cast:Matt Damon,

The Invention of Lying
Dir: Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson

Dir: Yoichi Sai
Cast: Kenichi Matsuyama

Leaves of Grass
Dir: Tim Blake Nelson

Life During Wartime
Dir: Todd Solondz
Cast: Allison Janney, Ciarán Hinds

London River
Dir: Rachid Bouchareb,
United Kingdom/France/Algeria

Mao's Last Dancer
Dir: Bruce Beresford

Moloch Tropical
Dir: Raoul Peck

Dir: Bong Joon-ho
South Korea

Dir: Neil Jordan
Cast: Colin Farrell, Alison Barry, Alicja Bachleda

Dir: Catherine Corsini
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi López

Perrier's Bounty
Dir: Ian Fitzgibbon
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson, Jodie Whittaker
Ireland/United Kingdom

A Prophet
Dir: Jacques Audiard

Scheherazade Tell Me a Story
Dir: Yousry Nasrallah

The Secret of Their Eyes
Dir: Juan José Campanella

A Serious Man
Dir: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Solitary Man
Dirs: Brian Koppelman and David Levien
Cast: Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Mary Louise Parker, Jenna Fischer

Dir: Danis Tanovic
Cast: Colin Farrell

Valhalla Rising
Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Mad Mikkelsen
Denmark/United Kingdom

Dir: Johnnie To
Cast: Johnny Hallyday
Hong Kong/France

The Vintner's Luck
Dir: Niki Caro
New Zealand/France

Whip It
Dir: Drew Barrymore
Cast: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Zoe Bell, Drew Barrymore

Women Without Men
Dir: Shirin Neshat

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

Documentarys, Discovery and Vanguard Films at TIFF'09

The TIFF announcements continue with more film titles release in the Discovery and Vanguard programmes. We also have lots of documentaries titles to explore, the majority of which are in the Real to Reel programme but jump into other programmes such as The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights, a documentary that follows Jack and Meg White of The White Stripes on their cross Canada tour which is included in Vanguard, Good Hair which is a Special Presentation and Turtle: The Incredible Journey included as a Sprockets Family Zone title. For fans of film, rating and legalities Cleanflix looks interesting, a doc on 'clean' versions of Hollywood films inspired by the religious preaching. We also have the directorial debut from actor Samantha Morton with The Unloved. The Vanguard program is certainly bringing us cinema on the edge including unconventional crime film Accident directed by Soi Cheang and produced by Johnnie To, going apocalyptic with Luis Ortega's The Dirty Saints and down the rabbit hole following a drug dealer with Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void.

Lets take a look at the titles, organized by program.


The Angel
Dir: Margreth Olin
Cast: Maria Bonnevie

Dir: Martin Pieter Zandvliet
Cast: Paprika Steen

Bare Essence of Life
Dir: Satoko Yokohama
Cast: Kenichi Matsuyama

Beautiful Kate
Dir: Rachel Ward

A Brand New Life
Dir: Ounie Lecomte
South Korea/France

The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Dir: J. Blakeson
Cast: Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston, Gemma Arterton
United Kingdom

Dir: Margaret Corkery

Every Day Is a Holiday
Dir: Dima El-Horr

Five Hours from Paris
Dir: Leon Prudovsky

Dir: Ahmad Abdalla

The Day Will Come
Dir: Susanne Schneider

Le Jour où Dieu est parti en voyage
Dir: Philippe van Leeuw

Last Ride
Dir: Glendyn Ivin

My Dog Tulip
Dir: Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger
Voices: Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini

My Tehran for Sale
Dir: Granaz Moussavi

Dir: Rigoberto Perezcano

La Soga
Dir: Josh Crook
Dominican Republic/USA

Shirley Adams
Dir: Oliver Hermanus
South Africa/USA

Toad's Oil
Dir: Koji Yakusho

Dir: Matias Armand Jordal

The Unloved
Dir: Samantha Morton
United Kingdom

Real to Reel

The Art of the Steal
Dir: Don Argott

Dir: Mehran Tamadon

Dirs: Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi

Dir: Chris Smith

Dirs: Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell

Google Baby Zippi
Dir: Brand Frank

How to Fold a Flag
Dirs: Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein

L'Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot
Dirs: Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Dir: Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith

Presumed Guilty
Dirs: Roberto Hernández and Geoffrey Smith

Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags
Dir: Marc Levin

Dir: Vikram Jayanti
USA/United Kingdom

The Topp Twins
Dir: Leanne Pooley
New Zealand

Dir: Erik Gandini

Special Presentation

Good Hair
Dir: Jeff Stilson

Sprockets Family Zone

Turtle: The Incredible Journey
Dir: Nick Stringer
United Kingdom/Austria/Germany


Dir: Soi Cheang
Hong Kong, China

The Ape
Dir: Jesper Ganslandt

Bunny and the Bull
Dir: Paul King
United Kingdom

The Dirty Saints
Dir: Luis Ortega

Enter the Void
Dir: Gaspar Noé
North American Premiere

Dir: Valery Todorovsky

The Misfortunates
Dir: Felix Van Groeningen

My Queen Karo
Dir: Dorothée van den Berghe

Spring Fever
Dir: Lou Ye

The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights
Dir: Emmett Malloy

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

Monday, 27 July 2009

New Moon Monday

Last week while in Nova Scotia I saw the trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon up on the big screen in the theatre, as it played in front of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now November doesn't seem that far away!

Last week was Comic Con 2009 and if you missed the New Moon panel in Hall H it is available online at You Tube in 7 parts. The panel included director Chris Weisz along with cast members Robert Pattinson (Edward), Taylor Lautner (Jacob), Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Ashley Greene (Alice). The first two parts include a lot of screaming and a few obstucted moments but that does calm down. Both Chris Weisz and Kristen Stewart provide great insights into the upcoming film and the process. Pretty spoiler free as well! Since it took me ages of clicking around to find all the parts I've lined them up for easy viewing:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Fellow Vampire Films
It's been announced that Daybreakers has been selected as a part of the Midnight Madness program for TIFF'09 which means it will be in Toronto in September 2009, way before the 2010 release date. Daybreakers stars Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe in a new spin in the vampire genre. Chan-wook Park's Thirst / Bakjwi is officially an upcoming 2009 release with theatrical set for August 7th, 2009 here in Toronto - I'm SO excited, I thought this one would only get to us via festival but I'm more than happy to plop down in a regular theatre to get my fill of vampire/priest/medical experiment-gone-wrong ness. Need to jog your memory on the film? Check out the trailers for Thirst over at Twitch.


TIFF'09: Midnight Madness Program

It's time to take a look at the craziest program at TIFF: Midnight Madness. Last week I shared the announcement while I was over in Nova Scotia but now it's time to take a real look at what's coming to Toronto for the late night fanatics this year at TIFF.

First off, we have to take a moment to squeal over sequels. First is [REC] 2, sequel to the powerhouse Spanish horror film [REC] which is one of the scariest horror films in recent years. Next we have Ong Bak 2: The Beginning which promises a lot Muay Thai goodness just like the original Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior.

We have some excellent monsterlicious selections with year including vampires and zombies! Daybreakers is vampire film that takes a new spin on the idea of vampires facing self extinction and stars Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe. Although Daybreakers has an upcoming release set for early 2010 I sure as heck going to check it out this September at the festival. Moving along to more monsters with George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead for you've guessed: zombie goodness. Word is that it follows a character from George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead which was at the festival 2 years ago in 2007.

Can the ladies in the house say hell ya? Hell ya. The program kicks off Opening Night with Jennifer's Body, directed by Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) and written by Diablo Cody (Juno) and starring Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried in a high school trouncing blood and madness. We also have Bitch Slap with a Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill like caper feel that looks pulls a few cards from the heist film deck. I'm not super keen on the introduction to characters cleavage first, but at least it is up front about it!

Trekking round the planet we have Aussie creepiness of The Loved Ones which leads us into a prom of nightmares. Japanese Symbol / Shinboru looks so bizarre you need to make up new words to describe it, but what else would be expect from director Hitoshi Matsumoto who brought us the mammothly crazy DAINIPPONJIN. Soloman Kane stars James Purefoy in the titular role, and there isn't much infomation out yet about the film however with heavy hitters Pete Postlethwaite and Max von Sydow among the cast it sounds very well worth checking out.

No documentary in the set this year but we do have the stop-motion animated film A Town Called Panic / Panique au village based on the Belgian TV series from 2000-2003. Does anyone else keep hearing the song "Town Called Malice" when hear this title?

Great line up this year, I'm really looking forward to checking out the films especially the sequels, monster films and the bizarreness of Symbol which is certainly going to freak me out. It's shaping up to be yet another great year at TIFF!

Here are the details on each of the films with corresponding links to info on the TIFF site, IMDb, Trailers and Official Websites if available. Schedule is still to be announced other than Jennifer's Body opens the program on Thursday September 10, 2009.

[REC] 2
Dirs: Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza ([REC])
TIFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Bitch Slap
Dir: Rick Jacobson
Cast: Julia Voth, Erin Cummings, America Olvio, Minae Noji, Kevin Sorbo
TIFF Page, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

Dir: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig (Undead <2003>)
Cast: Ethan Hawk, Willem Dafoe, Isabel Lucas, Claudia Karvan, Sam Neill
TIFF Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

Jennifer's Body **Opening Night Selection**
Dir: Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Æon Flux)
Cast: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, Kyle Gallner
No TIFF Page Yet, Official Website & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Loved Ones
Dir: Sean Byrne
Cast: Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee, Xavier Samuel, Richard Wilson, John Brumpton, Robin McLeavy
TIFF Page, IMDb Page

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
Dir: Tony Jaa
Cast: Tony Jaa, Sorapong Chatree, Sarunya Wongkrachang, Nirut Sirichanya, Primorata Dejudom, Santisuk Promsiri
TIFF Page, Official Website, Trailer, IMDb Page

Soloman Kane
Dir: Michael J. Bassett (Wilderness, Deathwatch)
Cast: James Purefoy, Pete Postlethwaite, Max von Sydow
France/Czech Republic/UK
No TIFF Page Yet, IMDb Page

George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead
Writer/Dir: George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead <1968>, George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead)
Cast: Alan Van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Joris Jarsky
TIFF Page, IMDb Page

Symbol / Shinboru
Writer/Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto (DAINIPPONJIN)
Cast: Hitoshi Matsumoto
TIFF Page, Teaser Trailer, IMDb Page

A Town Called Panic / Panique au village
Dirs: Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar
TIFF Page, Trailer, IMDb Page

Source: TIFF Midnight Madness, here and here

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

Poll Results: What is the Best Film Version of Hamlet?

The results are in and I'm surprized a few times over that the top answer for What is the Best Film Version of Hamlet is a tie between Kenneth Branagh 1996 starring & directed version alongside the answer of Just stop with the Hamlet! It's true that it has been done many times over, and sounds like we've had enough! Will I be pelted with tomatoes if I share that director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) is doing a version with Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) set for 2011 release? I never really understood the appeal of it but it definitely crops up over and over and over!

For the 10% 'Other Version' folks, was it Hamlet 2 that you had on your minds?

28% - Tie: 1996 - Kenneth Branagh & Just stop with the Hamlet!
17% - 1990 - Franco Zeffirelli / Mel Gibson
10% - Other version
7% - 2000 - Michael Almeredya / Ethan Hawke
3% - Tie: 1948 - Laurence Olivier & No Opinion

Thanks for voting!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Film Fan Fridays for Friday July 24, 2009!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday July 24, 2009! We have a huge slate of releases this week with 3 in regular release and 6 in limited release! Lets get started.

In limited release this week we have we start out with 2 music documentaries: Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae about the (you guessed it) roots of reggae and Soul Power about the 1974 concert in Kinshasa, Zaire 1974 during the Rumble in the Jungle. Can you feel the music? Docs continue with The Beaches of Agnes / Les plages d'Agnès written, directed and about filmmaker Agnès Varda. Jennifer Chambers Lynch hits the screens directing the controversial Surveillance, and the word is that Humpday questions rather than pokes fun at stereotypes & love and finally we have the French rom/com/thriller The Girl From Monaco.

In wide release this week we have the kids can be evil horror film Orphan, disaster looking rom com The Ugly Truth and combination live action and animated guineu pig advenute G-Force. If you are going to head out to see G-Force, make note that it is playing in 2D as well as 3D, make sure to check your local listings to get your best choice matched up.

Those looking forward to In the Loop like me will have to wait, it's been pushed from this weekend to Friday August 14, 2009. Dangnabit!

Have a great weekend!


Friday July 24, 2009 Releases

The Beaches of Agnes / Les plages d'Agnès
Writer/Dir: Agnès Varda (A Hundred and One Nights, Cleo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7)
Documentary on film director Agnès Varda
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Hoyt Yeatman - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Bill Nighy, Voices: Sam Rockwell, Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, Steve Buscemi
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Girl from Monaco
Dir: Anne Fontaine (Entre ses mains, Coco Avant Chanel / Coco Before Chanel)
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Stéphane Audran, Roschdy Zem, Gilles Cohen, Alexandre Steiger
Limited Release
No Official Film Site Found, IMDb Page, Trailer

Writer/Dir: Lynn Shelton (My Effortless Brilliance, We Go Way Back)
Cast: Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard, Alycia Delmore, Lynn Shelton, Trina Willard
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Jaume Collet-Serra (Goal II: Living the Dream and House of Wax <2005>).
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae
Dir: Stascha Bader - feature film directorial debut
Documentary on the roots of Reggae music
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Soul Power
Dir: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte - feature film directorial debut
Documentary on concert in Kinshasa, Zaire 1974 during the Rumble in the Jungle
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Dir: Jennifer Chambers Lynch (Boxing Helena)
Cast: Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Ryan Simpkins, Pell James, France Stewart, Kent Harper
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Ugly Truth
Dir: Robert Luketic (21, Monster-in-Law)
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler
Official Film Site, Trailer, IMDb Page,

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of July 24, 2009**

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Harry Potter Takes it to the Bank: Canadian, North American & UK Box Office July 17, 2009 Weekend

Who is Number One? Harry Potter is! It's no surprize that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the 6th film of the Harry Potter series tops all three box offices of Canada, North America and the UK. One surprize is that it isn't the biggest weekend for Canada or North America (which is still held by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). But, across the pond in the UK we previously had Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with the highest grossing weekend with £8,349,739 but Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince obliterated that by bringin in £19,784,924 on it's opening weekend.

Speaking of Harry Potter - I've seen it and enjoyed it, but was left feeling like I did after The Goblet of Fire, which felt a little different than the others and noticing the chances from book to film. I plan on seeing it again and of course reviewing it, after I'm recovered from my recent Nova Scotia trip, celebrating my Birthday (today!) and have a wedding to attend this weekend. Next week I'll have a lot of catching up to do! Stay tuned.

Top 20 Movies in Canada for the July 17, 2009 weekend
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince *
2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
4. Brüno
5. The Proposal
6. The Hangover
7. De père en flic
8. Public Enemies
9. Up
10. My Sister's Keeper
11. I Love You, Beth Cooper
12. Under the Sea 3D
13. Star Trek
14. Millenium
15. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
16. Angels & Demons
17. Moon
18. The Hurt Locker *
19. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
20. Whatever Works

Top 20 Movies in North America for the July 17, 2009 weekend
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince *
2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
4. Brüno
5. The Proposal
6. The Hangover
7. Public Enemies
8. Up
9. My Sister's Keeper
10. I Love You, Beth Cooper
11. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
12. (500) Days of Summer *
13. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
14. The Hurt Locker
15. Star Trek
16. Moon
17. Away We Go
18. Whatever Works
19. Terminator Salvation
20. Angels & Demons

Top 10 Movies in the UK for the July 17, 2009 weekend
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince *
2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
3. Brüno
4. The Hangover
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
6. Public Enemies
7. My Sister's Keeper
8. Moon *
9. Year One
10. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

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

Source: Canada & North America info, UK info

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Scare Us, Thrill Us! Upcoming Horror, Thriller and Disaster Releases


It's no secret that I'm a fan of the scarier side of film. Which means when I watched into the theatre and saw this poster for A Perfect Getaway I was confused, perplexed and surprized. With a tagline like "6 Strangers, 2 Hunters Let the Games Begin" and a cast including Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant and Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek) directed by David Twohy (Pitch Black)? Why hadn't I heard of it before! And it opens in about a month (Aug 14/09). Sheesh. The trailer is available for your scary viewing pleasure.

Halloween is every day? Well it will be on August 28, 2009, again with the release of H2 (or Halloween II) as Rob Zombie brings a sequel to his 2007 remake of the 1978 John Carpenter classic horror film. This is not a remake of Halloween 2 which is probably why they went with H2 as a title. The trailer looks very violent, as is expected but I always hope these ones will be more tension than gore. Cast includes Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris and Brad Dourif.

Originally billed Final Destination: Death Trip 3D with a release date of August 21, 2009 we have 2 revisions for the latest Final Destination instalment. Renamed to The Final Destination and pushed to August 28, 2009 but still all the crazy coincidences, accidents and improbably series of events will face us, and all in 3D. You think that with the "The" in the title it really will be the last one? No, neither do it. The trailer shows lots of the craziness.


When the Zombieland trailer popped up recently it was all the rage online. I have to admit I felt like when suddenly everyone likes that band you love that is a little indie and your cool band that you like that only some people know. Yep, I'm feeling protective. Of zombies. Zombies aren't for mainstream! Big actors like Woody Harrelson in a zombie film? What has the world come to! Are we reacting zombie oversaturation rate? I guess the saving grace is that it is slated as a horror/comedy and looks more than a little zany. Not that more zombie movies is in it of itself a bad thing, and oversaturation the world is kinda like .. their job. We'll have to wait til October 9, 2009 to know for sure. Directed by Ruben Fleischer and additional casting includes Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin, Emma Stone and Amber Heard.

Another film that first heard of from the poster, Stepfather is strangly notated as a 'broad comedy' and drama as well as horror. The trailer certainly looks thriller-like showing a stepfather who may have a hidden past. For and October 16, 2009 release there isn't much else information on it. Stars Penn Badgley, Sela Ward, Dylan Walsh and Amber Heard.


Saw VI comes out October 23, 2009 one week before Halloween. Not too much more to say, I can imagine it will be another shock gore fest series, do well at the box office considering the release date. Cast includes Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Costas Mandylor and Betsy Russell. Directed by Kevin Greutert. No trailer yet.

Moral dilemma time with The Box. The trailer over at the official film site gives us a boat load of tension in the age old question of what would you do? How far will you do? I'm on the fence on this one, but being based on the short story by Richard Matheson and written & directed by Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) makes me want to give it a chance even though I know how I would answer that What It? question. Stars Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella and will be released just before Halloween on October 30, 2009.

Disaster flick 2012 hits the screens November 23, 2009 and the new trailer couldn't be more like Deep Impact if it tried. Directed by Ronald Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day) ans starring John Cusack, Thandie Newton, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt and Danny Glover. I'll give it this, it certainly feels like you know what you are in for!


Jumping into the distant future, a few new films have popped up on the radar. For 2010 we have Buried starring Ryan Reynolds plays a man who wakes up buried inside a coffin. Sounds like it will literally be a cast of one on this one. Holy smokes. Directed by Rodrigo Cortés (Concursante).

With even less information available it looks like The Crow is getting a remake set for 2011. It has an IMDb page but not much other than the year is notated. Will it be emo? Hmm, emo might be done and over by then. Maybe it will set a new trend. Not that it was about the fashion...or the music.. or.. well, let's wait and see.

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

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

TIFF'09: Midnight Madness Films Announced!

TIFF'09 Midnight Madness Program has been announced! Check out the info over at the TIFF site here.

I'm looking forward to tucking in and looking into all of the films in detail once I'm back in the T-dot later this week. There is a great play by play on the film announced over at Midnight Madness on Twitter.

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 13: Twilight vs Buffy vs True Blood

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 13
is up!

Tune in to Before the Dawn to hear Marina & I's take on the topic of all three of the big vampire universes in pop culture: the Twilight Universe, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series and HBO Series "True Blood". How do the universes shape up when pitted against each other? Tune in to find out. We talk about each of the Universe in depth so it is a little spoiler heavy.

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

Doc it to Ya! Upcoming Documentaries

We have a ton of documentaries heading our way. Many are hitting the screens after making stellar appearances at Hot Docs of TIFF (2008). Overall, Toronto sees many documentaries in release every year - which ones are you looking forward to?

August 7, 2009 has 2 docs in release, both are political in natures. First is Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country a documentary on the 2007 protest in Burma from independent and smuggled footage (see trailer) and we also have multiple award winning documentary The Cove following activists uncover hidden cove in Japan and animal abuse. Directed by Louis Psihoyo (see trailer).

Cranking up the volume on August 14, 2009 will be in order with It Might Get Loud, a fantastic documentary on a meeting between three electric guitarists: Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. Directed by David Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth). Awesome. See the trailer here.

In September we see the release of Prom Night in Mississippi, which following the story of Morgan Freeman offering to fund the first intergrated prom in his hometown. Feature film directorial debut from Paul Saltzman.; .Official Film Site & Film Clips.

Always nice to see Canadian film in the mix and docs are something we do well. Upcoming Canadian docs include H2Oil which looks at the connection between water usage and contamination & the oil industry in Alberta. Directorial debut from Shannon Walsh (Official Film Site & Trailer). We also have When We Were Boys looking at the lives of students at private boys school in Toronto. Directed by Sarah Goodman (Official Film Site & Trailer), I missed this one at Hot Docs and am looking forward to the opportunity to see it this year.

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

Monday, 20 July 2009

Animate This! Trailer Round Up


I recently headed out to see the new Pixar sensation Up, and with it were a whole whack of trailers I've never seen for many upcoming animated films. I guess I don't often go to animated nor family films but what a great chance to see a look at what will be in the theatres in the future. Since I jotted down the titles, here they are for you to enjoy and I added a few more to the mix.

It looks like Disney is giving a new spin to the The Princess and the Frog from the trailer. How can you go wrong with Princesses and Frogs - really? Looks charming. Anika Noni Rose (Lorrell from Dreamgirls) voices the the Princess, and also includes the voices of Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, Keith David and John Goodman. Nothing like a little magic for the holiday season, it will be released on December 11, 2009.

Whenever I see the poster for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs I always think it is the tagline as opposed to the actual title. After seeing the trailer and learning that it is an adaptation of the book by Judi & Ron Barrett I think I can keep the title straight now. Animated and in 3D it bring food the screen, literally. Voice cast includes Anna Faris, Bruce Campbell, Bill Hader, James Caan and the one and only Mr. T. Hits theatres September 18, 2009.


Animated films this year are all over 3D, and that includes the animated and live action G-Force featuring guinea pigs looking to save the day. I gotta admit, it looks very silly but also very cute. Cast includes Zach Galifianakis and Bill Nighy in the live action department and the voices of Sam Rockwell, Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz and Steve Buscemi. Opens July 24, 2009.

More 3D films with Toy Story 3, however the trailer is literally just a teaser trailer, and doesn't show anything other than the fact that the toys are at it again and Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles as the voices of Woody and Buzz Lightyear. But we have lots of time for more trailers later as the film won't be released until June 18, 2010.

From sequels to remakes, Astro Boy will be headed our way October 23, 2009. It is a remake of the 1960's Japanese animated TV series "Astroboy". Friendly kid robot film? Could be fun. The trailer has the sounds of some familiar voices, Astro Boy himself is voiced by Freddie Highmore, additional voice cast includes Bill Nighy & Nicholas Cage (both in G-Force), Kristen Bell, Eugene Levy, Nathan Lane and Donald Sutherland.

Taking us out of this world, Planet 51 from the trailer looks pretty cute and starts with an astronaut landing on a civilized alien world. Premise gives lots of room for comedy in this animated world, but on paper sounds very similiar to Planet of the Apes. Listen in for the voices of Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Seann William Scott, Justin Long, Gary Oldman and John Cleese. Hits screens on November 20, 2009.

Although not animated, this documentary still fits the bill of this theme. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story tells the story of brothers Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman aka The Sherman Brothers, the multiple award winning duo who brought us beautiful music and songs over the years from Mary Poppins to Jungle Book to Winnie the Pooh. Canadian released date TBD but I saw trailers in the theatre this week so I'm thinking it's going to be sometime in 2009. Watch the trailer here or see more on IMDb.

I'm going to swerve just a moment and end off with a nothing-like-animation film, but one that I did finally see the poster for: Band Slam. Previously I had only heard of it as there were rumours that the trailer for The Twilight Saga: New Moon might appear in front of the film. Then I watched the trailer, and it's a dance movie premise (working with unlikely people, a competition, you know the drill) but for a band. From director Todd Graff, who brought us the fun film Camp and starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alyson Michalka, Gaelan Connell, Charlie Saxton and Lisa Kudrow. I didn't even watch all the trailer because I know I'll be seeing this one, likely on opening August 14, 2009 but I'll have to work it around Toronto After Dark Film Festival which will take priority.


Check out these lists of 2009 and 2010 upcoming releases for more upcoming films.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Let's Get... Political! Upcoming Political & Historical Films

Out of all the political and historical set films that are coming up I'm most interested in In the Loop, hitting screens on July 24, 2009. I first heard about it when it popped up on the UK Box Office Charts, and then had a fantastic review on the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review podcast. Finally the trailer was released and it had me laughing the entire way through. It's a political satire revolving around UK/USA relations. Now when I think I never want to see comedy, I can say that isn't true - I certainly want to be, In the Loop. Directed by Armando Iannucci and starring Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee and James Gandolfini.

Time to rock the boat this summer with The Boat the Rocked that follows Rogue DJs who run an illegal radio station in the 1960s from a boat in the North Sea. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Frost, Rhys Darby, Kenneth Branagh and Bill Nighy. Written and directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually). The trailer has a nice retro vibe to it, hoping to hear more about it soon as the specifice release date is still to be deteremined.

Going from historically set to actual history, on August 7, 2009 we have the release of Flame & Citron / Flammen & Citronen set in WWII and based on true events. The film follows two underground resistance fighters. Starring Thure Lindhardt, Mads Mikkelsen (After the Wedding / Efter brylluppet) and Stine Stengade. Directed by Ole Christian Madsen (Prague / Prag). Pretty harst stuff from the looks of the trailer, but it did pretty well on the festival circuit and the acting certainly looks amazing.

From director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Das Experiment, Downfall, The Invasion) we will be seeing a new release on August 21, 2009 called Five Minutes in Heaven starring Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt and Anamaria Marinca in a crime drama that questions what would you do if you faced the man you killed your little brothers 25 years after the fact. Might be a little to harsh for me but the story is compelling. Sounds interesting? Check out the trailer to see how you feel about.

A breath of fresh air comes from Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11 (2001), Solaris) with The Informant!, a crime comedy of a whistle blower played by Matt Damon. This one is actually based on a true story and it's a comedy. Nothing is more funny than inept & earnest. Additional casting includes Scott Bakula, Frank Welker and Melanie Lynskey. Based on the book by Kurt Eichenwald. If you need a giggle, treat yourself to the trailer. Released date is September 18, 2009.

Last up in this set is war drama Brothers directed by Jim Sheridan (In America) and stars Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. The film is based on the Danish film Brødre directed by Susanne Beir (After the Wedding / Efter brylluppet) and starring Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen and Nikolaj Lie Kass which I'm hoping to see first. I don't usually do trailer warnings anymore but this trailer shows way too much - I recommend only watching the first 1/4. But watch the first 1/4 because it looks really good. Opens December 4, 2009.

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

Friday, 17 July 2009

Film Fan Fridays for Friday July 17, 2009

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday July 17, 2009! I'm missing all you Toronto folks as I write this from the East Coast of our country all the way in Nova Scotia!

In limited release this week we have 4 new release starting with what I call the festival sweetheart film of the year, because everyone who has seen it loves it: (500) Days of Summer starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a non-romance relationship film that certainly has a real feel to it. Switching to more that real feel the rest of our films this week are with The Stoning of Soraya M. which is based on a true story, Séraphine is a biopic on the French artist and documentary The End of the Line.

No wide releases this week that are new to theatres but Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince did just open 2 days ago.

Have a great weekend!


Friday July 17, 2009 Releases

(500) Days of Summer
Dir: Marc Webb - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page,

The End of the Line
Dir: Rupert Murray - directorial debut
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Dir: Martin Provost (Le ventre de Juliette)
Cast: Yolande Moreau, Ulrich Tukur, Anne Bennent
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Stoning of Soraya M.
Dir: Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Island <1998>)
Cast: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jaes Caviezel, Mozhan Marnò
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 July 17, 2009**

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 12: News to July 10, 2009

Before the Dawn: A Twilight Podcast - Episode 12 is up!

Tune in to Before the Dawn to hear Marina & I's discuss all the latest news in the world of Twilight.

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

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen: Life, Love and History


I'm no romantic, but the trailer for the upcoming film Paper Heart really got me. The documentary, er story, of a girl who earnestly doesn't understand love and goes looking for answers by interviewing people. Looks charming and refreshing. Stars Charlyne Yi as Charlyne Yi. Release date: August 7, 2009.

(500) Days of Summer is coming out very soon and looks like it might be the festival sweetheart * film of 2009. Right off the bat it seems to set up being a romance but not a romance and veers from tradition even more by telling it not only from the guys perspective but also his emotional perspective. It also appears to be on everyone 'to see' list. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. More info and trailer at the official Film Site & Trailer. Rekease date is this week, Friday July 17, 2009.

Okay, so maybe the guy perspective romantic comedy is catching as it happens again with Love Happens. Aaron Eckhart stars as a widower and accidental self-help icon/author who chance meets with florist Jennifer Aniston. Directorial debut from Brandon Camp. I think I saw the trailer three times in one day at the theatre and have to say looks pretty good and Aaron Eckhart performance looks strong. Jennifer Aniston looks charming as always. Hits theatres September 28 2009.

Are you ready to Whip It? Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut this October 9, 2099 with the roller derby movie based on the Shauna Cross novel. The awesome cast includes Ellen Page, Zoe Bell, Juliette Lewis, Alia Shawkat, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig and Drew Barrymore. The big questions is - will they use the Devo song? To early to say. No trailer as of yet but check out the pics over at Screen Crave if you need to know more.

Time to get a little historical on you, staring with Amelia, a biopic on the pilot Amelia Earhart with Hilary Swank in the titular role. I'm happy to see anything from director Mira Nair (The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding) so this one certainly goes on the to see list. Additional casting includes Mia Wasikowska, Ewan McGregor, Richard Gere and Christopher Eccleston. Release date October 23, 2009.

Continuing with the biopics we have Coco Before Chanel / Coco avant Chanel starring
Audrey Tautou (Amelie) in the story of Coco Chanel. The trailer showcases how pitch perfect the casting choice is, as if there was any doubt (no, there wasn't any doubt). Release date is set for 2009 but currently still to be determined. Directed by Anne Fontaine (The Girl From Monaco).

* A Festival Sweetheart film is the one film that starts on the festival circuit and everyone loves. Everyone. Think Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in for 2008 or Juno in 2007.

Check out the lists of 2009 and 2010 to see more upcoming releases.
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012