Tuesday, 29 March 2011

DVD Releases for March 29, 2011

Time to look at a selection of what is out this week on DVD.

  • Heartless absolutely phenomenal film that I had a chance to see last year at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and it's stuck with me ever since, and I'm thrilled to see it on DVD. Stars Jim Sturgess, it's dark, it's creepy and it's brilliant. Directed by Philip Ridley (US release date April 12, 2011).
  • Made In Dagenham I think this my biggest "I can't believe I didn't see it!" from last year, a historical / biopic on the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham in response to sexual discrimination.
  • Fair Game more historicalness with this Naomi Watts & Sean Penn starring flick based on a CIA operative whose cover is blown.
  • Waste Land I've only heard amazing things about this documentary that combines art and garbage.
  • L'Appat / The Bait stars Guy A. Lepage & Rachid Badouri in a crime/comedy with a Quebec and French crime fighters who have to work together.
  • Colony documentary on the Colony Collapse Disorder phenomenon that has left empty beehives across America.
  • Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance Japanese animated film following new pilots introduced to NERV.
  • Kenny Chesney - Summer in 3D concert documentary in 3D
  • Topsy-Turvy (Criterion) Thrilled to see this one hit Criterion, absolutely wonderful film filled with humour, inspiration and lovely lively moments.
  • Mad Men Season 4 Hugely popular 60's set ad firm TV show latest season hits DVD
  • Treme: The Complete First Season I actually have no idea what this one is about, and with a tag line of "Won't Bow Don't Know How." that doesn't enlighten me at all, but I do know it's another highly acclaimed TV show.
  • Tangled Disney does Rapunzel with many editions to choose from.
  • Black Swan thriller starring now Oscar winning Natalie Portman as a dancer on brink of obsession and perfection.

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):


Titles on Amazon.com (US):


Heartless will be available on Amazon.com on April 12, 2011 & L'Appat / The Bait currently not available on amazon.com.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sucker Punch

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Dir: Zack Snyder (Watchmen, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, 300)
Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn
USA/Canada, 2011

Seen: March 26, 2011 at Scotiabank

Reason to see: I can't imagine *not* seeing Sucker Punch.

I had a lot of hesitations going into Sucker Punch. The trailer made it look like an action video game with a female character, where every time she attacks, kicks or flips, her skirt flips up for the benefit of the (likely male) player. But, I've also been pleasantly suprirzed by director Zack Snyder work before with 300 and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, however wasn't a fan of Watchmen - but that's a film that's clearly for the fans.

But, considering even a slight possibility to enjoy it and that it had an awesome female cast, I knew I had to give it a chance. The film follows Baby Doll (Emily Browning), who is sent to an insane asylum where she meets fellow inmates Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Amber (Jamie Chung) and Rocket (Jena Malone) along with Dr. Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino) and caretaker-type Blue (Oscar Isaac).

I'll give the film a few things right off the bat, which is some amazing visual storytelling and great song integration that me impressed right from the get go. Okay, maybe that's the short list of the kudos as it's hard to get too praise-y about a film that I felt really complicated about, especially in terms of the gender dynamics.

I felt divided about the film on several counts. On one hand, I'm impressed that they went for something a bit different, but on the other I'm not sure I entirely understood the film. And I was in part impressed and surprized that it's not as clear cut as the trailers made out but I'm still not sure what it was trying to say. I almost added a 'if it's trying to say anything', but I'm fairly sure it is trying to say something and even been possibly positive and encouraging, but I"m not totallu sure. I did appreciate that it was very aware of and commented on the sleeziness of watching women in this light, but that feels very watered down when we, you know, actually see the women scantily clad, imprisoned, being broken and under a constant state of threat. It's like when someone says "I don't mean to offend you but...", whatever comes after that... is always offensive, so maybe it's better just not to say it. A disclaimer doesn't forgive the actions. But, I will give that that particular message of how it's creepy - certainly wasn't directed at me, but likely my male audience buddies. Which in one way I applaud, as it holds up the mirror to them, but on the other hand I think it's a bit mean to the nice guys out there as well as being redundant, as we still get to see knee high'ed women kicking, jumping and smishing stuff. I also found it concurrently confusing and over-explain-y, which I don't even know how that could be possible.

One of the things I did love in the film though, was the women. Jena Malone as Rocket in particular, she was fierce and compelling. I also enjoyed the fact that Baby Doll was a strong character, in contrast to outward appearances and stereotypes. I also continue to love Carla Gugino in everything, and Oscar Isaac is creepier than anyone ever needs to be as Blue. I also loved the clothes. Creepiness aside, a lot of the clothes were awesome.

So, I'm left very divided. Was this film actually made with me being the audience member? It might have been. Sucker Punch ended up being both better than I anticipated, and more annoying. What was it trying to say? I don't know. I went in cautiously curious and left both charmed and confused. I'm stumped. I might have been happier to hate it, but I didn't. There's a lot interesting going on here, I'm not certain to all of what it is.

Shannon's Overall View:

It was both better than and worse than I expected
I would watch it again
It's a bit of a challenge to recommend given the gender stuff, but I think that it would appeal to people that are interested in gender dynamics as well as action films

Also see: All 2011 Films Reviewed and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Water for Elephants (Book Review)

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Book: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Reason to Read: March Book Selection for the Book to Film Club, and I've only heard good things about it.

Wow. Where to start. I guess firstly I found Water For Elephants more than a little surprizing in terms of my reaction to the book. After all the love I've heard for it and reading several rave reviews, I was off to a very rocky start as I initially did not connect to the characters, story or setting. In fact, if it wasn't for the book club I would have actually put the book down after only reading a few chapters and gone onto the next book on my list. But, that wouldn't be setting the best example, so I kept on trudging though and eventually did start to make a connection, albeit never super strong.

I'll give it that it was a swift read and I enjoyed the circus setting, and did eventually start to warm over to the characters but had trouble connecting with the protagonist Jacob as he's well... so male. I guess I've really been reading books with female protagonists because I found this quite the change of pace and I was pretty impatient with Jacob, which feels pretty mean considering he starts off the journey with pretty devastating circumstances. And that was hard too, the setting and time period are during challenging times where everyone is really struggling and have very limited choices, which can lead to desperate acts, actions and reactions. I'm not a fan of that.

So, it certainly wasn't what I was expected. It reminded me of when people call something 'inspiring' but when I see it, it feels like the majority of it is bleak and then the inspiring part is because of the high contrast. I did absolutely adore a lot of the animal focus though, without that I'd have had a lot of trouble making in through.

I think the casting in the film is absolutely perfect though. Robert Pattinson (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse) as Jacob is a great fit, as are Reese Witherspoon as Marlena and Christoph Waltz as August. From the trailer I can say I'm totally loving the whimsical and slightly magical tone to the film, and the period feels like it's been captured with both quaintness and weariness that feel authentic and glamorous. The film is directed by Francis Lawrence, and I absolute loved the art direction an styling of Constantine, so with that in mind and the beauty of the trailer I have a feeling that I'll be captivated by the film, likely more so than the book.

Water for Elephants is our April Film selection for the Book to Film Club. The film will be released Friday April 22, 2011. See film review of Water for Elephants here.


Book to Film Club March 2011: Water for Elephants (Book)

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The Book to Film Club book selection for March was the novel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, which follows a veterinary student who runs away with the travelling circus as their vet. I had heard a lot of love for this book before diving been, so it surprized me that I didn't latch on to it right away. How about you? Did you connect to it right away or did it take a bit? Or, have you even finished it yet? If so, have you reviewed it? Here are some questions to ponder when thinking about the book and the upcoming film adaptation. Feel free to review it and if you comment or send me the link I'll add it to the list, or you can always journal your thought as well.

Things to ponder on the book:
Did you enjoy reading it?
Was it what you were expecting?
What did you know about the book before reading it?
What did you take away from reading the book?
Who would you recommend the book to?

If this was a re-read:
How did reading it this time compare with your previous time reading it?
Did you notice anything different this time round?
Did your interest and focus stay on the same characters and moments, or shift?

About the upcoming film adaptations:
How do you feel about the casting of the film?
What do you hope to be the focus of the film?
What do you think is essential to keep from the book in the film?
What do you think they can trim away from the book to the film?
What do you think the challenges of the adaptation may be?
Do you have any hesitations on the adaptation?
What are you most looking forward to about the film adaptation?

Water for Elephants Book Reviews by Book to Film Clubbers:

Water for Elephants will be out April Film Selection for the Book to Film Club. Follows a veterinary student who runs away with the traveling circus as their vet. The Film adaptation stars Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, James Frain, Hal Holbrook and Paul Schneider, directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend). The film comes out April 22, 2011 and you can see the trailer below. I love the tone captured in the trailer, even thought it's completely a different vibe I got from the book. Really looking forward to seeing the film.

Poll Results: What March Release Are You Most Looking Forward To?

A clear winner in the poll this time round with Battle: Los Angeles coming in at 30% for your the March Release you are most looking forward to, with Sucker Punch not that far behind with 21%. Seems like high flying action and alien invasions are all the rage! Get more classical are the ties with Jane Eyre and Red Riding Hood which tied at 12%, and a little more adventure with romance with both The Adjustment Bureau and Beastly at 9%. Rounding out the votes are the unlikely duo of Hobo with a Shotgun and The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom at 3%.

30% - Battle: Los Angeles
21% - Sucker Punch
12% - Tie: Jane Eyre and Red Riding Hood
9% - Tie: The Adjustment Bureau and Beastly
3% - Tie: Hobo with a Shotgun and The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom

thanks for voting!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 25, 2011

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 25, 2011! Another huge week of releases with 11 films hitting theatres and 2 festivals making waves, and lots of CanCon kicking around and taking names. Wow. Busy times.

In limited release this week we start with the Thursday March 24, 2011 release of the amazing and inspiring documentary The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls on the lesbian, yodeling, twin sister singing act Lynda and Jools Topp and believe you-me, if you get a chance see this documentary because it's fantastic and I've kept it close to my heart ever since seeing it almost a year ago. Completely inspiring. Keeping it musical, and documentary to boot we have Music from the Big House from director Bruce McDonald (Trigger, Pontypool). We also have limited releases of the romance/drama Certified Copy / Copie conforme starring Juliet Binoche, an Israel sport comedy about sumo wrestlers A Matter of Size, Algerian historical drama Outside the Law / Hors-la-loi, 70's set crime film White Irish Drinkers and sport/inspiration Win Win from director Tom McCarthy (The Visitor, The Station Agent). Holy moly. What a week!

In wide release this week we have lots of extremeness, starting with the release of Hobo with a Shotgun from Treevenge director Jason Eisener and starring Rutger Hauer (Ladyhawke) as a hobo... with a shotgun. And continuing the extremeness with Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch which I'm continuing to be cautiously curious and it looks stylistically great but strongly has a vibe of that reminds me of female character in gaming worlds that women don't play (action-style butt kicking .... stocking & pigtails!), but I'll be happy to champion it if it's awesome and Zack Snyder has surprized me in the past with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole & 300. We also have two sequels in release with West is West (sequel to the 1999 film East is East) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (sequel to 2010 Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Cinéfranco
14th Annual Celebration of International Francophone Cinema
March 25 - April 3, 2011 at TIFF Lightbox Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Silent Film Festival
March 30 - April 7, 2011 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thursday March 24, 2011 Release

The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
Dir: Leanne Pooley
Documentary
New Zealand
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Friday March 25, 2011 Releases

Certified Copy / Copie conforme
Writer/Dir: Abbas Kiarostami (The Wind Will Carry Us, Through the Olive Trees)
Cast: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
France/Italy/Belgium
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules
Dir: David Bowers (Astro Boy)
Cast: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Hobo with a Shotgun
Dir: Jason Eisener (Treevenge)
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Gregory Smith, Robb Wells, Molly Dunsworth
Canada/USA
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

A Matter of Size
Dir: Sharon Maymon & Erez Tadmor (Strangers)
Cast: Itzik Cohen, Dvir Benedek, Alon Dahan, Shmhulik Cohen
Israel/France/Germany
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Music from the Big House
Dir: Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, Hard Core Logo, Trigger, Pontypool)
Documentary
Canada/USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Outside the Law / Hors-la-loi
Writer/Dir: Rachid Bouchareb (London River, Indigènes)
Cast: Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila
France/Algeria/Belgium
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Sucker Punch
Dir: Zack Snyder (Watchmen, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, 300)
Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn, Oscar Isaac
USA/Canada
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

West is West
Dir: Andy DeEmmony
Cast: Aqib Khan, Om Puri, Linda Bassett
UK
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

White Irish Drinkers
Writer/Dir: John Gray (The Glimmer Man)
Cast: Nick Thurston, Geoffrey Wigdor, Stephen Lang, Karen Allen, Peter Riegert, Leslie Murphy
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page, Trailer

Win Win
Dir: Tom McCarthy (The Visitor, The Station Agent)
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale
USA
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 March 25, 2011**

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Movie Moxie Podcast 30: Cinéfranco, Jane Eyre, Battle Los Angeles & War Films

On this weeks episode of the Movie Moxie Podcast Shannon talks about Cinéfranco Film Festival, recent releases of Jane Eyre and Battle Los Angeles and takes on War films as a genre.



Time Line
0:00 – 1:00 - Introduction
1:00 – 3:00 – News
3:00 – 8:20 – Cinefranco Preview
8:20 – 18:10 – Jane Eyre Review
18:10 – 24:00 – Battle Los Angeles Review
25:00 – 35:15 – War Films as a Genre
35:15 – 42:00 – DVD releases
42:00 – 45:00 – Upcoming up Next Week
45:00 – 46:26 – Outro

You can subscribe to the Movie Moxie Podcast here:
Or subscribe through iTunes here.

Show Notes:

War Films Show Notes:
  • War Film as definition per Wikipedia: War films are a film genre concerned with warfare, usually about naval, air or land battles, sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training or other related subjects. At times war films focus on daily military or civilian life in wartime without depicting battles. Their stories may be fiction, based on history, docudrama, biographical, or even alternate history fiction. The term anti-war film is sometimes used to describe films which bring to the viewer the pain and horror of war, often from a political or ideological perspective.
  • Shannon's (small) list of enjoyed or recommended war films: The Hurt Locker, The Messenger, GI Jane, Memphis Belle, Black Hawk Down, Shake Hands with the Devil and Stripes
Top 50 War on IMDb (as of March 24, 2011)
1. Schindler's List (1993)
2. Apocalypse Now (1979)
3. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959/I)
4. Paths of Glory (1957)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
7. The Pianist (2002)
8. Das Boot (1981)
9. The Great Dictator (1940)
10. The Big Parade (1925)
11. Life is Beautiful (1997)
12. The General (1926)
13. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
14. The Great War (1959)
15. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
16. Downfall (2004)
17. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
18. Braveheart (1995)
19. The Great Escape (1963)
20. Ran (1985)
21. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
22. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
23. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
24. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
25. Devils on the Doorstep (2000)
26. The Deer Hunter (1978)
27. Andrei Rublev (1966)
28. La grande illusion (1937)
29. Platoon (1986)
30. Rome, Open City (1945)
31. Gone with the Wind (1939)
32. Michael the Brave (1971)
33. Come and See (1985)
34. Stalag 17 (1953)
35. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
36. Barefoot Gen (1983)
37. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
38. The War Game (1965)
39. Army of Shadows (1969)
40. Brotherhood (2004)
41. Ivan's Childhood (1962)
42. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
43. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
44. Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
45. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
46. The Shop on Main Street (1965)
47. To Live (1994)
48. Fires on the Plain (1959)
49. The Cranes are Flying (1957)
50. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Adventures of a Teenage Dragonslayer (DVD Review)

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Image: Courtesy Alliance Films, Legal Line: ©2010 I Was a 7th Grade Dragonslayer, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. ©2011 Screen Media Films. All Rights Reserved. Distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films. All Rights Reserved.


Dir: Andrew Lauer (Intermedio)
Cast: Hunter Allan, Lea Thompson, Abigail Victor, Ryan Bradley Norris, Eric Lutes, Wendie Malick, Amy Pietz
USA, 2011 (DVD Relases)

Reason to see: Dragon slayer ...yep, that would be an instant yes.

Adventures of a Teenage Dragonslayer is a really cute kid-centric, family friendly film centred on Arthur (Hunter Allan), and adventurous 7th grader who likes to prowl with sewers with friends Natalie (Abigail Victor) and Tim (Ryan Bradley Norris) who together are a geeky trio who come up against the cool kids lead by none of than the evil Vice-Principal Metz (Wendie Malick) son. Dealing with conflict in school kids is just a small piece of the larger puzzle, which has much more exciting pieces that involve dragons, trolls, alchemy, mystery and a lot of mayhem and trouble for the kids to get into throughout.

I really liked how the film used a different, take on things we often see in young-teen films like growing up with a single parent or dealing with bullies. It often goes for humour in these scenarios, and I really liked that choice as it felt honest but light hearted. I particularly enjoyed Lea Thompson as Arthur's Mom, as she sticks up for Arthur even when he's not been on his best behaviour.

It is a kid's film at heart so the acting is broad strokes and the effects are fantasy-centric over stary, bbut I found there were lots of geek culture references from gaming to conventions that popped up and made it really entertaining from an adult perspective. Overall, it was a lot of fun and a great choice for kids or as a family pick.

DVD Extras:
  • Deleted Scenes (4 Scenes, 7 Minutes) combination of deleted and extended scenes including more adventuring with the young cast and additional rapport with the adult characters.
Adventures of a Teenage Dragonslayer is available on DVD as of March 22, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of family films, and especially so for those for who enjoy geek culture references

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

DVD Releases for March 22, 2011

Tuesday time which means time to look at a selection of the DVD Releases for the week March 22, 2011. Lots of creature-y goodness this week!

  • Skyline (DVD Review) Alien invasion and effects heavy sci-fi starring Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under, Haven), DVD features not one but two feature commentaries, deleted, extended, alternate scenes and more.
  • Adventures of a Teenage Dragonslayer (DVD Review) cute family spirited film featuring a group of Grade 7ers who adventure in sewers in search of a dragon.
  • Wyvern With a title like Wyvern, do you need to know more? I totally want to see this creature flick.
  • Dear Mr. Gacy Based on a true story of a college student who takes on a notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
  • Battle of Los Angeles *Not* the film that just hit theatres, but is the on that just played on SyFy and I'm actually thrilled to see it's on DVD so quickly because I really want to check this one out.
  • The Times of Harvey Milk Criterion edition of this well respected documentary on San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.
  • Heartland Season 3 Wow, this Canadian series is already in it's 3rd Season? Guess so!
  • The Big I Am Crime/action flick set in London and starring Leo Gregory, Vincent Regan and Michael Madsen.
  • The Tourist Adventurous crime/comedy starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.
  • Yogi Bear Updated take on the animation classic featuring Yogi and Boo Boo and their adventures in Jellystone Park.

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):


Titles on Amazon.com (US):


Heartland Season 3 not currently available on Amazon.com

Skyline (DVD Review)

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Image: Courtesy Alliance Films, Legal Line: © 2010 Black Monday Film Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

Dir: Colin Strause & Greg Strause (AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem)
Cast: Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel
USA, 2010

Reason to see: Science fiction is always a yes, as are films with Eric Balfour

I was looking forward to Skyline for quite a while, because once you stack up that it's science fiction, it's looked like it had epic proportions and scale and I'm a big fan of Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under, Haven), but overall, this film was a bit of a mess. It really, really was. I wanted to like it, I truly did, but it just kept getting messier and messier.

To be fair, the action and effects are good - well, better than good, they are great in it of themselves. There are a couple interesting and innovative ideas in their as well. But, the overall idea is pretty thin and the characters are really thin. Normally for big action it can be okay to have thin characters, but here the audience really is suppose to empathize with the characters and experience the fear of an alien invasion through them, and I just didn't feel like that was happening. Plus, the female characters left a lot to be desired, and it’s weird because it’s as not bad as films with rampant gender crap or offensive remarks, but here the the female characters for so much of the time they never did anything. And I was like “why are they even there?” It just seemed so ridiculous as they were not flushed out at all. The male characters weren't totally flushed out but you knew why they were doing what they were doing, what their motivations and relationships were, but not so much with the women.

It certainly danced the line of showing us stuff that looks cool without always knowing what we were looking at or why, which in a weird way made it continue to be entertaining but never more entertaining than it was disappointing. We get just a handful of science fiction films every year, so when one doesn’t met expectations it hurts just that much more. Even so, I know I’d easily watch it again because I’m a sucker for science fiction and I’ll take what I can get! But I don't think it's going to win anyone new over to the genre, and if you want to see it for just the effects that is likely the best viewpoint to go with to see Skyline.

DVD Extras:
  • Feature Commentary with directors Greg and Colin Strause Wow, this commentary really interesting as they detail not only the effects and ideas in the film but also tons of creative ways they kept it low budget (which you totally can't tell because it looks so slick!), it wasn't always easy to tell who was who though when they are chatting, and there is a fair amount of tech-speak in terms of the effects but also lots on the ideas, choices and battle of the film and the film making process including the shots that really didn't want to see get into the trailer but made it in. I appreciated the film so much more after listening this commentary.
  • Feature Commentary with co-writer/producer Liam O'Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes this commentary is more idea and effects-centric commentary, which also notates and discusses influences and also offers interesting insights into the characters. This commentary actually shed some light on one of my qualms with the film, which was that the female characters didn't feel like they had much to do in the film and also chat about scenes that made it into the trailer that felt spoilery.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (7 Scenes, 6 Minutes) with optional commentary by directors Greg and Colin Strause, co-writer/producer Liam O'Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes from cut cameo scenes, the importance of the scenes, reason for cuts and discussion about different versions of the film in relation to the scenes. Actually quite a few nice scenes in here, especially with Eric Balfour.
  • Alternate Scenes (2 Scenes, 2 Minutes) with optional commentary by directors Greg and Colin Strause, co-writer/producer Liam O'Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes on scenes that were aligned to different versions or show different decisions/character motivations, interesting scenes here that show interesting insights and great moments with the characters
  • Pre-Visualization (2 Scenes, 10 Minutes) with optional commentary by co-director Colin Strause, co-writer/producer Liam O'Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes, these were really cool to watch these segments and see how they structured out the sections are in terms of the blocking and battles, and it's interesting to hear the reactions to the roughness of the animation, the moments that were changed or didn't make it into the film, influences, and discussion on how helps streamline the process to have these done ahead of time
  • Trailers - teaser trailer and full theatrical trailer with optional commentary by co-director Colin Strause, co-writer/producer Liam O'Donnell and co-writer Joshua Cordes. It's actually really cool to hear the insight here on the creation of the trailers, choices, agreement or non-agreement on choices, the tagline, with even hilarious 'spoiler' call outs for the big spoiler moments in the full trailer.
Skyline is available on DVD as of March 22, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I was disappointed with it, but still enjoy watching it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend to science fiction fan

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2010-2011
See also review theatrical release review - December 26, 2010

Monday, 21 March 2011

Jane Eyre (2011)

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Dir: Cary Fukunaga (Sin nombre)
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Valentina Cervi
UK, 2011

Seen: March 18, 2011 at the Varsity

Reason to see: It's the March Film Selection for the Movie Moxie Book to Film Club

It feels odd to say this, but Jane Eyre one probably the book to film adaptation that I was most hesitant about for the Book to Film Club, because I hadn't read the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë before this year and the number of historically set films based on books that I've enjoyed is, well, limited at best. But things were looking up as I absolutely adored the book, and hopefully but cautious about the film. I didn't watch any of the trailers and had seen just a few posters and images which seemed to aptly capture the tone and period as well as showing the cast looking striking.

I also had several hesitations going into the film, because it's such a great story and the character of Jane Eyre is truly wonderful in so many ways that you really want the film to capture her and her story just right. And it really is her story, I would have been miffed if they shifted that focus at all but thankfully it's true to the book in that sense and keeps it very much her story. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Kids Are All Right) does a great job of bringing Jane to life, from her frankness to her realism and also her strong sense of right & wrong at all times. I found that her strength of character was aptly depicted, especially how she is an active decision maker regardless of the trying circumstances she may be in, but I do wish they had also showcased her intelligence as much as her emotional strength, because it's such an essential part of the character. It's still there, but not as present as I had wished and that could be from particular scenes and moment from the book that resonated particularly strongly with me.

It's a huge undertaking to adapt a book like this, and there are several moments especially in her earlier life I wish we had seen, but I'm not overly surprized that they choose to focus on her days at Thornfield and the relationships with Rochester as well as St. John. I have to say that the casting in the film is fantastic, when I heard that Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank) would be playing Rochester I knew we were in for a treat and he's absolutely perfect. Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott, The Eagle) is also great as St. John, although they downplayed the religious nature of his character which was quite a surprize. There were several changes and choices that I was surprized at, and actually didn't love, although they often felt like choices that would make the story feel more accessible for current day audiences but I would have preferred them to be true to the book. There were lots of things that I resonated more with the story while watching it as a film over reading though, namely the character of Mrs. Fairfax, played by Judi Dench and the vastness of Thornfield and surrounding countryside which made it feel like nothing at all could be nearby and thereby making the world feel spectacularly enormous. They also highlighted a repeated sense of the slightly supernatural, hints of which I must have totally missed while reading!

I feel like I'm harping on the little things here and there, but that's because each and every other moment was amazing. The tone and pace was just right. The characters & relationships were complicated and true. And Jane Eyre was Jane Eyre, a hold strong, fantastic woman who is aspiring, inspiring and true. I'm so glad I read the book first, and would highly recommend people do the same but even so Jane Eyre (2011) is a very powerful, magnificent film.

See also: Jane Eyre DVD Review

Shannon's Overall View:

I really enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I strongly recommend it, especially for those who enjoy period pieces and/or films with female protagonists

Also see: 2011 Book to Film Club, 2011 Book to Film Adaptations and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Book to Film Club March 2011 Film: Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre, our February book and March film selection for the Book to Film Club came this weekend - at least it did here in Toronto, although I've heard from folks in other locations that it's not out yet. I hope it reaches everyone soon! The film version of this classic novel by Charlotte Brontë stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Kids Are All Right), Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank), Judi Dench and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott), and is directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin nombre).

Here are some things to ponder when thinking, writing and/or journaling about the film:
  • Did you enjoy the film?
  • Was the film what you expected from reading the book?
  • Have you seen other film versions Jane Eyre? If so - how does this one compare?
  • How did the book and the film compare?
  • How did you feel about the tone of the film?
  • How did you feel about the casting? Were the characters what you expected?
  • Were there characters, moments or ideas you liked better in the book? If so, what were they?
  • What was your favourite thing about the book?
  • Were there characters, moments or ideas you liked better in the film? If so, what were they?
  • What was your favourite thing about the film?
  • Was there anything you understood more after seeing the film?
  • Was there anything you felt was missing from the film?
  • Did the film capture the spirit of the book?
  • Who would you recommend the book to?
  • Who would you recommend the film too?
  • Are you happy you read the book before seeing the film?
  • Would you recommend people read the book before seeing the film?
  • What was the impact of reading the book before seeing the film?
If you don't have a site of your own, you can always start a blog or posterous site or share your thoughts and connect though Good Reads (feel free to friend me on Good Reads here).

Jane Eyre (2011) Film Reviews by Book to Film Clubbers:


Devil's Playground (2010) DVD Review

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Image: Courtesy of eOne Films.

Dir: Mark McQueen - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Craig Fairbrass, Danny Dyer, MyAnna Buring, Jaime Murray, Sean Pertwee, Shane Taylor
UK, 2010

Reason to see: Zombies are always a yes and British zombies are even more of a yes!

Wow, Devil's Playground (2010) really threw me for a loop. I went in thinking just for a zombie-good-times, and had no idea i was in for a freaking slick-looking, well-acted, human condition examining, compelling film with complex characters. Oh, and lots of zombies too. Freaking awesome! Action, acting and zombies. It's a win-win-win scenario. Well, for the viewer at least. Not sure how many zombie movies are win-win-win!

Set during a medically-centric zombie apocalypse in London, we are treated to several different spins than zombie enthusiasts may be used to, and most of them serve the film very well. I loved the setting and that it looked freaking slick at all times from the stunning exteriors to snazzy labs to unlikely hideout havens. The film takes a strong step in the human reaction direction over out & out zombie action, but there is plenty on both sides to go around.

The big surprize for me while watching the film was how compelling I found the characters. We have Danny Dyer (Doghouse) as Joe, the cop just released from prison and Craig Fairbrass as Cole who has the all-in attitude of a mercenary but with a heart of regret that pulls you easily into his story. The complexity of their characters keeps you curious, on edge and always wanting to know more. But characters are just ideas on the page and what makes them so special here is the performances by Danny Dyer & Craig Fairbrass who were both charismatic, enigmatic, but completely different energies on the screen. They both blew me away and I'm certainly going the keeping and aggressive eye out for their work in the future. I would have loved for one of the female characters to be as interesting an complex as Joe & Cole were, and although we do see a great performance from MyAnna Buring as Angela, her character storyline just wasn't as inventive as the guys.

I loved the human nature elements in the film, although paired with the brutal & bloody zombieness I'm not sure could easily recommend it to the non-zom fan. Which is a way is alright, because zombie fans are the most fun! Overall, I absolutely adored Devil's Playground (2010) and it is a welcome addition to the zombie genre.

DVD Extras:
  • Audio Commentary with director Mark McQueen and actors Danny Dyer & Craig Fairbrass extremely entertaining and engaging commentary to the film and I had a blast listening to it, although fair warning on the frequent and expressive colourful language throughout. Lots of shout outs and love for fellow cast members, great discussions about acting, choices, zombies and the film making process.
  • Behind the Scenes (14 minutes) includes behind the scenes footage, film clips and interviews with director Mark McQueen, writer/actor Bart Ruspoli and actors Danny Dyer, Craig Fairbrass, MyAnna Burning and Craig Conway on what the film is about, the making the film, the actors discuss their characters and also the choice on different take on the zombies and how it was used in the film.
  • Deleted Scenes (4 scenes, 4 minutes) Really interesting set of deleted scenes that I enjoyed watching as they provided interesting insights into the characters of the film, a great addition to the DVD.

The Devil's Playground
is available on DVD as of March 15, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I really enjoyed it
I'll easily watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of horror, especially horror films that examine the human condition

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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Image: Craig Fairbrass as Cole in Devil's Playground. Courtesy of eOne Films.


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Danny Dyer, MyAnna Buring and Lisa McAllister in Devil's Playground. Courtesy of eOne Films.

The Bleeding (DVD Review)

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Photo - Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

Dir: Charlie Picerni (Three Days to Vegas)
Cast: Michael Matthias, Michael Madsen, Rachelle Leah, Vinnie Jones, Madison Weidberg, Katherine von Drachenberg, DMX, Armand Assante
USA, 2009

Reason to see: Vampire films are always a yes for me.

Vampire films are always start as a yes for me as I love the genre and the many permutations it can take to comment on life, the world, humanity, love, etc. The Bleeding uses vampires as a outlet for action and the opportunity to avenge, in this case for Shawn Black (Michael Matthias) who returns from Afghanistan to find all his family obliterated and it's up to him to set things right.

One of the big things that pulled me into see The Bleeding was the trailer, as it piqued my curiosity because it had what looked like a variety of different visual styles on top of the vampires, action and club culture to boot. My one reservation was that the film was a primo target for gender crap, and although there is some gratuitous nudity it wasn't as terribly rampant and we do get some kick-butt female characters of the vampire (Katherine von Drachenberg) and human (Rachelle Leah) variety. I particularly enjoyed Rachelle Leah as Lena who was believable as a the tough-but-not-heartless chick who wasn't going to take crap from anyone. That being said it's really a film centred on the guys and Michael Matthias does a good job as our hero Shawn who is out on a blood trail to seek revenge, and along the way meets Tagg (DMX) and Father Roy (Michael Madsen) which give the film a strong quest-vibe going on especially with mention on a slayer, although after years of watching Buffy make it hard to think of a vampire slayer as a guy.

One of the highlights of the films is really the action and the stunts, which are very impressive. I'm not one to normally get all excited about car chases and explosions, but in The Bleeding you will get worked up over them because they really are that good. I also oddly enjoyed the visual style, which I noted you can see in the trailer that it bounces from style to style and usually I'd pull the inconsistency card and call foul but here it completely adds to the atmosphere and gives it a dynamic tone and exciting pace.

As a vampire flick, it's a little light on themes and heavy on blood but as an action flick if fires on all cylinders and delivers you tons of fun.

DVD Extras:
  • Cast Interviews (4 minutes) Behind the scenes footage and interviews on set with actors Michael Matthias, Rachelle Leah, Madison Weidberg, Vinnie Jones on the effects, , Kat Von D, Armand Assante on working on a vampire film, the effects, on the cars, on their characters, working together and working with director Charles Picerni
  • Makeup & Effects (5 minutes) behind the scenes with make up and effects preparation, application, prosthetics for vampire effects, gun fire, atmospheric elements and interviews with actors Michael Matthias, Kat Von D and Michael Madsen.
  • Stunts (5 minutes) Behind the scenes footage of physical stunts, car stunts, explosions, sword play and interviews with actors Michael Matthias, Vinnie Jones, Rachelle Leah, stunt man Fabiano Iha on the stunt work and working with stunt players vs actors doing their own stunts.
  • Trailer
The Bleeding is available on DVD as of March 1, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of action flicks, especially vampire action flicks.

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

Bodyguards & Assassins / Shi yue wei cheng (DVD Review)

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Image: Courtesy of eOne Films

Dir: Teddy Chan (The Accidental Spy )
Cast: Donnie Yen, Leon Lai, Xueqi Wang, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Simon Yam, Yun Zhou, Nicholas Tse, Yuchun Li, Mengke Bateer, Cung Le
China/Hong Kong, 2009

Reason to see: I'm a big fan of both Donnie Yen & Simon Yam - I'll see anything they are in, especially together.

Bodyguards & Assassins / Shi yue wei cheng is set in 1905 Hong Kong, or then the British Colony City of Victoria, and the events leading up to a secret meeting to establish an anti-Qing revolutionary front by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. The meeting is of utmost importance, and has the supporters working to ensure that Dr. Sun Yat-Sen attends even in the face of assassins and anti-revolutionaries are working to stop him.

Although the focus of the film is always pointing to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and in importance of the meeting, the almost exclusively from the point of view of the everyday people of Hong Kong. Not only their part if the bigger picture to support or deter the meeting, but their everyday lives of work, family and love. It gentle pairs the personal with the political, that all actions lead to the bigger pictures and all moments have importance on multiple levels. Motivations are usually very clear and hold strong not just for what they will bring today, but what they will bring in the future beyond. On the rare occasion where someone doesn't fit snugly on one side or the other, you can feel the rift they create in both.

I'm more of an action-over-history fan myself, so I was really coming to the film for the action sequences and the fact that Donnie Yen (Flash Point / Dao huo xian) is in it, but that's not the focus here. I did enjoy the action sequences but they aren't the central focus here and it takes quite a bit of lead up to get to them. The films strengths are definitely the long arc storytelling and bridging the strong and complex characters to a pinpoint in history. The art direction is quite extraordinary and I loved how real everything felt and looked.

It's absolutely beautiful to watch visually as well as to see the complex stories of everyday people unfold. The theme of showing the importance and affect that people can have on the impact on history, is inspiring and thought-provoking. Although not quite what I was expecting, Bodyguards & Assassins / Shi yue wei cheng was a compelling film to watch.

DVD Extras:
  • Behind the Scenes: Character (22 minutes)exploring the characters of The Revolutionary, The Tycoon, The Girl Fighter, The Troupe Master, The Rickshawman, The Young Girl, The Young Heir, The Hawker, The Inspector, The Beggar, The Assassin, The Mistress, The Gambler film clips, behind the scenes and interviews with director Teddy Chan, producer Peter Chan the actors including Simon Yam, Nicholas Tse on their characters on what they represent in the film and to the audience, and their relationships with each other within the film and noting when the actors are playing characters against type and a fair amount of behind the scenes on the fighting sequences; Set Design (3 minutes) film clips, behind the scenes and interviews including with production designer Kenneth Mak on the set creation of Hong Kong the 300 people that constructed set which would take half a year to create and includes reaction from people on the authenticity and vast scale of the set; Costume & Make Up (3 minutes) film clips, behind the scenes and interviews with director Teddy Chan, costume designer Dora Ng, special make-up designer Mark Garbarino, on the authenticity of the costumes, prosthetics & application of the make-up and the choices for specific characters including The Rickshawman and The Gambler (includes some footage also included in character behind the scenes); Action (4 minutes) film clips, behind the scenes and interviews with director Teddy Chen discussing process working with action director Wei Tung and the choice of wanting want it to look like a martial arts film and a the focus to be on realistic and fighting with fierceness, also includes interviews with producer Peter Chan, actor Mengke Bateer (includes some footage also included in Character behind the scenes). All behind the scenes features include English subtitles.
Bodyguard & Assassins is available on DVD as of March 15, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of historically set films with action elements

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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Image: Donnie Yen in Bodyguards & Assassins. Courtesy of eOne Films

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Image: Yun Zhou as Ah Suen in Bodyguards & Assassins. Courtesy of eOne Films

A Shine of Rainbows (DVD Review)

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Image: Courtesy of eOne Films.

Dir: Vic Sarin (Partition)
Cast: Connie Nielsen, Aidan Quinn, John Bell, Jack Gleeson, Tara Alice Scully, Niamh Shaw
Canada/Ireland, 2010

Reason to see: Looks inspiring and warm hearted

A Shine of Rainbows follows orphan Tomás (John Bell), who is appears shy and skittish through his orphanage upbringing full of brasher and bolder boys. But Tomás has a kind spirit and sense of whimsy, something which is not only seen but shared with the lovely Maire O'Donnell (Connie Nielsen), who comes in to Tomás life to offer a more colourful option to the drab orphanage.

Venturing to Corrie Island off the coast of Ireland, is new for Tomás with the open air and water, virtually surrounded by nature at every angle is very different from the city orphanage. Although it's unusual it's a welcome change even if it takes a bit of getting used to not only for Tomás, but for Maire's husband Alec (Aidan Quinn) whom is a little less eager and enthusiastic.

The heart of the film is really in the magic of the relationships, and how seeing, believing and encouraging someone can have a monumental effect on them for the rest of their lives. How even the simple act of being kind or open, the gesture to let someone make up their own mind in heir own time, can bring a beautiful sense of self and strength. I really loved how A Shine of Rainbows showcased the power and effect of simple kindness, and how it can literally be life changing. I really enjoyed the gentle family relationship created between Tomás and Maire, and was particularly impressed with the performance by John Bell who really hold his own as the central character of the film. You are always rooting for him and encouraging him, hoping he'll see through enduring the drab orphanage days to enjoying and embracing the everyday adventures of Corrie life.

A truly inspiring and beautiful film, A Shine of Rainbows is a treat for families of all ages.

DVD Extras:
  • So Many Colours: The Making of A Shine of Rainbows (48 minutes) film clips, behind the scenes footage, production meetings and interviews with writer/director Vic Sarin, producer Kim Robert, producer Tina Pehme, Donegal County Film Liason Aideen Doherty, casting director John Hubbard, animatronics supervisor Neal Scanlan, dialogue coach Brendan Gunn, art department Cheryl Rock, costume designer Susan Scott, visual effects supervisor Dermot Shane, line producer Chris Rudolph, The Henry Girls, composer Keith Power and actors Connie Nielsen, Aidan Quinn and John Bell on the book, the appeal of the story, the adaptation, locations, casting, working on a co-production, working on location in Ireland including challenges of the weather, challenges of magical realism, creating the visual effects, creating the music and the importance and significance of colour in the film and the films message.
A Shine of Rainbows is available on DVD as of March 15, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to fans of inspiring films & family films

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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Image: John Bell and Connie Nielsen star in A Shine of Rainbows Courtesy E1 Entertainment

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Image: Tara Alice Scully as Nancy, John Bell as Tomás, and Jack Gleeson as Seamus Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Friday, 18 March 2011

Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 18, 2011

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 18, 2011! Epic week of releases. Count 'em: 12 films. 12! That's crazy! It's mostly limited release but still... 12! Jeepers!

In limited release this week we have the second film of the Book to Film Club Selection with Jane Eyre (2011), the adaptation of the novel by Charlotte Brontë starring Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland (2010)), Michael Fassbender (Fish Tank) and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott) and I'm so excited for this one as I really loved the book. We have two Canadian films in release this week with Amazon Falls centred on a faded-but-resistant b-movie actress and The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom set in 1976 featuring 11 year old with an identity crisis. Also 70's set if Kill the Irishman crime biopic of Danny Greene starring Ray Stevenson. We also have the South Korean film I Saw the Devil from The Good, the Bad, the Weird director Kim Jee-Woon, but with the tagline "Abandon All Compassion" I'm a little leery, although still curious. Keeping it international we have the China/Hong Kong/USA action comedy The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman, an Italian comedy set during the US/Russian space race with Cosmonaut, German drama When We Leave and the Thursday March 17, 2011 release of A Screaming Man.

In wide release this week we have what I referred to on this weeks podcast as the battle of the cute boys with Bradley Cooper in Limitless and Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer - both films are also book to film adaptations. Rounding out the wide releases is the scifi/comedy Paul starring Simon Pegg & Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) as alien affictionatos who actually meet an (animated) alien voiced by Seth Rogen.

Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

The Female Eye Film Festival
Continues until March 20, 2011 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Japanese Short Film Festival
March 17 - 20, 2011 at Innis Town Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thursday March 17, 2011 Releases

A Screaming Man / Un Homme qui crie

Writer/Dir: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Daratt, Our Father)
Cast: Youssouf Djaoro, Dioucounda Koma, Emile Abossolo M'bo
France/Belgium/Chad
Limited Release
No Official Film Site Found, IMDb Page, Trailer

Friday March 18, 2011 Releases

Amazon Falls
Writer/Dir: Katrin Bowen - feature film directorial debut
Cast: April Telek, Anna Mae Routledge, Zak Santiago, Gabrielle Rose
Canada
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Butcher, The Chef and The Swordsman / Dao Jian Xiao
Dir: Wuershan - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Masanobu Ando, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye
China/Hong Kong/USA
Limited Release
No Official Film Site Found, IMDb Page, Trailer

Cosmonaut / Cosmonauta
Dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli (Uomini e zanzare)
Cast: Marianna Raschillà, Claudia Pandolfi, Sergio Rubini
Italy
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

I Saw the Devil / Akmareul boatda
Dir: Kim Jee-Woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird, A Tale of Two Sisters)
Cast: Lee Byung-hyun, Choi Min-Sik, Jeon Ho-jin, Jeon Gook-hwan
South Korea
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Jane Eyre (2011)
Dir: Cary Fukunaga (Sin nombre)
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench
UK
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Kill the Irishman
Dir: Jonathan Hensleigh (The Punisher (2004))
Cast: Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio, Val Kilmer, Linda Cardellini, Fionnula Flanagan
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Limitless
Dir: Neil Burger (The Illusionist (2006), The Lucky Ones)
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Lincoln Lawyer
Dir: Brad Furman (The Take)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo, Frances Fisher
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Paul
Dir: Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad)
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen (voice), Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, Sigourney Weaver
Spain/France/UK/USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

When We Leave / Die Fremde
Writer/Dir: Feo Aladag - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Sibel Kekilli, Nizam Schiller, Derya Alabora
Germany
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom
Writer/Dir: Tara Johns - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Macha Grenon, Julia Stone, Gil Bellows
Canada
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of March 18, 2011**
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012