For Lovers of Love
- The Last Station (amazon.ca, amazon.com) this biopic on Tolstoy brought me to tears both times I saw it in the theatre because it is unabashedly, undeniable about the power of love though the spectalar performances by Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Christopher Plummer.
- I Am Love (amazon.ca, amazon.com) more love coming up in, as the title would suggest but I didn't even realize it in this languid film set in Italy starring Tilda Swinton as the Russian wife who long since married into an powerful Italian family. It's a must-see.
- Coco & Igor (amazon.ca, amazon.com) biopic on the fashion designer Coco Chanel (played by Anna Mouglalis) and composer Igor Stravinsky (played by Mads Mikkelsen), gorgeous period drama and compelling story to boot.
For Inspiration for Dreamers
- Eat Pray Love (amazon.ca, amazon.com) based on the inspiring memoir Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, the film version stars Julia Roberts in an around the world journey of self-discovery.
- The Tooth Fairy (amazon.ca, amazon.com) dreamers, this one if for you! I was so happily surprized to be completely uplifted and inspired by the family friendly film where the dream-crushing hockey player (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) gets a taste of reverse karma by having to become a honest-to-goodness tooth fairy.
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (amazon.ca, amazon.com) new spin inspired by section in Fantasia, Jay Baruchel stars as a physics student who gets taken under the wing of a sorcerer to become, you guessed it, his apprentice.
For Gamers, Wanderers & Wonderers
- The Wild Hunt(amazon.ca, not currently available on amazon.com) Fantastic epic tale of when the worlds of role playing and real collide. Is easily one my favourites films of 2010.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World(amazon.ca, amazon.com) I admit I don't totally 'get' this one, but I can't deny that it's a true underdog tale of slackerness, great gaming culture references, and is extremely well loved.
- The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters(amazon.ca, amazon.com), okay so this one isn't super recent but it's still the most fun underdog documentary you'll ever find. And it's about Donkey Kong, is highly rewatchable & ridiculously quotable.
Under the Wire Releases You'll Love to Share
There are a few festival films and/or straight to DVD choices that are well worth sharing the love. Along with Sword & Sandals (look ahead for more) choices Centurion (amazon.ca, amazon.com) and Valhalla Rising (amazon.ca, amazon.com) but also check out:
- Hunt to Kill(amazon.ca,amazon.com ) great action flick with Steve Austin, filmed in glorious BC and has really fun cast, great action and some awesome fights & stunts.
- Cargo (amazon.ca, not yet available on amazon.com) seen at Toronto After Dark 2010 and this gorgeous Sci Fi flick from Switzerland is just about to hit the shelves for all to enjoy.
- The Good, The Bad, The Weird(amazon.ca,amazon.com ) this South Korean western film is filled with all the fixings: trains, horses, guns, fights and an epic chase for treasure.
For Sword & Sandals Fans
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(amazon.ca, amazon.com) –Adventureous & fun spirited adventure film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley.
- Robin Hood (amazon.ca, amazon.com) Interesting prequel style re-invention and drama-heavy take on Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe & Cate Blancett.
- Centurion (amazon.ca, amazon.com) Bloody & brutal take on what could have happened to a small surviving Legion in Roman Briton starring Michael Fassbender.
- Valhalla Rising (amazon.ca, amazon.com) – more like axe & mud, but if you know folk who crave for a darker, epic tale this is the pick to go with. Brutal, brilliant and even a bit trippy this film is a whole new experience.
Gigglefests for All
- Best Worst Movie (amazon.ca, amazon.com) documentary with a "Where Are They Now" vibe of cast and crew of Troll 2, along with the suprizing fandom & culture surrounding the "Worst" movie ever. Knowledge of Troll 2 is completely not necessary, but I'm sure it adds to the enjoyment.
- Despicable Me (amazon.ca, amazon.com) I absolutely adored this animated film about an evil genius, his minions and 3 orphan girls, which will be out on DVD Dec 14, 2010.
Doing Canada Proud
Cancon goodness for the holidays!
- Grown Up Movie Star (amazon.ca, not yet available on amazon.com) fabulous and understanted coming of age film set in Eastern Canada.
- The Trotsky (amazon.ca, amazon.com) stars Jay Baruchel as Leon, a Montreal high school student who is convinced he is the re-incarnation of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky
- Passenger Side (amazon.ca, amazon.com) urban road movie that although set in LA is distinctively Canadian feel with brilliant dialogue and chemistry between Adam Scott and Joel Bissonnette who play brothers on a reluctant urban road trip.
Epic Crime Saga
- Red Riding Trilogy (amazon.ca, amazon.com) I rarely recommend something I've not yet seen, but this UK period crime trilogy has had my interest piqued for ages, and it's only recently been released this side of the pond. Fingers crossed it lives up to the hype.
2010 Hits That Are Hitting the Shelves
Because something you just want to share something shiny & new!
- The Expendables (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
- Eat Pray Love (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
- Knight & Day (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (amazon.ca, amazon.com) out Dec 4, 2010
- Inception (amazon.ca, amazon.com) out Dec 7, 2010
- The A-Team (amazon.ca, amazon.com) out Dec 14, 2010
- Salt (amazon.ca, amazon.com) out Dec 21, 2010
- Easy A (amazon.ca, amazon.com) out Dec 21, 2010
- Step Up 3D (amazon.ca, amazon.com) out Dec 21, 2010
Getting a leg up on awards season
- Winter’s Bone (amazon.ca, amazon.com) and The Kids are All Right (amazon.ca, amazon.com) are both getting early award season buzz.
If you love them NOW, check them out THEN
- Loved Andrew Garfield in The Social Network& Never Let Me Go? I've been raving about him for years, and you've can swing back in time and see him as the fantastic lead in the heart wrenching drama Boy A (amazon.ca, amazon.com), and a bonus it also stars Peter Mullan from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1! Also see Andrew Garfield in a fantastic supporting role of last years The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus(amazon.ca, amazon.com).
- If you loved Tom Hardy in Inception, you need to see his hands-down fantastic performance in the title role of Nicholas Winding-Refn's brutal Bronson(amazon.ca, amazon.com), and a little further back in time as one of the gang in Guy Ritchie's Rock’n’Rolla (amazon.ca, amazon.com).
Upcoming Book to Film Adaptations
Looking to get a head start at reading the books for upcoming releases? I got you covered!
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
Follows a veterinary student who joins a travelling circus. Film is scheduled for a 2011 release, directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine), and stars Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, James Frain and Hal Holbrook.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
The fact that the book is a ghost story was just about enough to sell me on this film adaptation set for 2011, but add that it's directed by James Watkins (Eden Lake) and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer and I more than sold on the idea!
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
Film scheduled for a 2011 release, directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Dieries) and stars Sam Riley (Control, Franklyn), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights), Kristen Dunst (Interview with the Vampire, Spiderman) and Amy Adams.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (amazon.ca, amazon.com)
This young adult series has caught like wildfire. Set in a world where annual games are held and kids of the various district are chosen to fight each other to the death. I know it sounds brutal, and it is an amazing page turner that I could barely put down while reading. The film is a fair bit off as it's scheduled for 2013 release, and rumours and suggestions are running rampant for casting suggestions, especially for the young female protagonist, Katniss.
The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy followed by Catching Fire (amazon.ca, amazon.com) and Mockingjay (amazon.ca, amazon.com)