Friday, 30 March 2012

Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 30, 2012

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!


Images: Mirror Mirror (Courtesy of Alliance Films), Wrath of the Titans and Sleeping Sickness (Source: filmswelike)

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 30, 2012!

In limited release this week we have lots of films to choose from all over the world as well as home grown films like the Canadian comedy Servitude. Then we jet set off and can check out the Albanian set drama The Forgiveness of Blood, Hong Kong comedy Love in the Buff, South Korean suspense/thriller Nameless Gangster / Bumchoiwaui junjaeng and German drama Sleeping Sickness / Schlafkrankheit. If documentaries are more your thing there are a few to choose from including The Guantanamo Trap as well as Gerhard Richter Painting, a documentary on the German artist.

In wide release this week we have heavy hitters heading into the field with Mirror Mirror, a Snow White story from visionary director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall, Immortals) starring Lily Cole & Julia Roberts and Wrath of the Titans a follow up to the Clash of the Titans (2010), a remake of the 1980s sword & sandals film and it looks like they are definitely continuing with the massive amounts of action & effects of the redux, and will be in 3D.

Reduxing itself in 3D is the epic blockbuster Titanic which is refitted from it's 1997 version now in 3D and being released on Wednesday April 4, 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.


Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Canadian Film Festival

I've very excited to see the return of this celebration of Canadian film!
Check it out March 28 - 31, 2012 at The Royal in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Cinéfranco
Continues until April 1, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
See my Cinéfranco Preview here or listen to it on the Movie Moxie Podcast here

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Toronto Silent Film Festival
March 29 - April 3, 2012 at various locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday March 30, 2012 Releases

The Forgiveness of Blood
Dir: Joshua Marston
Cast: Tristan Halilaj, Sindi Lacej, Refet Abazi
USA/Albania/Denmark/Italy
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Gerhard Richter Painting
Dir: Corinna Belz
Documentary
Germany
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Guantanamo Trap
Dir: Thomas Wallner
Documentary
Switzerland/Germany/Canada
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Love in the Buff
Dir: Pang Ho-cheung (Dream Home / Wai dor lei ah yut ho)
Cast: Miriam Yeung Chin Wah, Shawn Yue, Mini Yang
Hong Kong
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Mirror Mirror
Dir: Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall, Immortals)
Cast: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Sean Bean
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Nameless Gangster / Bumchoiwaui junjaeng
Dir: Jong-bin Yun
Cast: Min-sik Choi, Jung-woo Ha
South Korea
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Servitude
Dir: Warren P. Sonoda
Cast: Joe Dinicol, John Bregar, Kristen Hager, Enrico Colantoni, Dave Foley
Canada
Limited Release
Official Facebook Page, IMDb Page, Trailer

Sleeping Sickness / Schlafkrankheit
Dir: Ulrich Köhler
Cast: Pierre Bokma, Jean-Christophe Folly, Jenny Schily
Germany/France/The Netherlands
Limited Release
IMDb Page, Trailer

Wrath of the Titans
Dir: Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles, Darkness Falls)
Cast: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Edgar Ramirez, Bill Nighy, Toby Kebbell,
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Wednesday April 4, 2012

Titanic in 3D
Writer/Dir: James Cameron
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Victor Garber, Frances Fisher
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of April 4, 2012**

Movie Moxie Podcast 66: King of Devil's Island, Monster Brawl, Corman's World



This week on The Movie Moxie Podcast Shannon treks to see King of Devil's Island / Kongen av Bastøy plus DVD reviews of Corman's World Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, Camel Spiders, Confucius and as a special treat with Monster Brawl DVD release I not only look back to my review during Toronto After Dark 2011 but also share the intro and Q&A from Toronto After Dark 2011 with director Jesse T Cook, Robert Maillet (Frankenstein), Jimmy Hart (The Mouth From The South!) Rj Skinner (Werewolf & Holly Letkeman (Witch Bitch).






Time Coding
0:00 - 3:15 Intro
3:15 - 13:45 King of Devil's Island Review
13:45 - 17:00 2012 Owned/Unseen List
17:00 - 17:50 DVD Releases
17:50 - 21:10 DVD Review: Confucius
21:10 - 23:15 DVD Review: Camel Spiders
23:15 - 27:40 DVD Review: Corman's World Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel
27:40 - 35:40 Monster Brawl
DVD Release & Review from TADFF2011
35:40 - 55:00 Monster Brawl Intro and Q&A from Toronto After Dark 2011 with director Jesse T Cook, Robert Maillet (Frankenstein), Jimmy Hart (The Mouth From The South!) Rj Skinner (Werewolf & Holly Letkeman (Witch Bitch)
55:00 - 57:13 Outro

Show Notes

Movie Moxie Podcast - A 100% spoiler-free film review podcast
You can also subscribe to the Movie Moxie Podcast here:
Subscribe through iTunes here.

Up next week: The Hunger Games (hopefully second time is the charm!)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

DVD Releases for March 27, 2012

Time to take a look at a selection of DVD releases for Tuesday March 27, 2012!


Images Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment (Monster Brawl, Corman's World & Camel Spiders) and eOne Films (Confucius & A Dangerous Method)

  • Monster Brawl (DVD Review) Really fun mash up film bringing the ultimate monster showdown via a live PPV wrestling event, this film makes maximum use (US release date for Monster Brawl is June 12, 2012).
  • Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel Fantastic documentary for film fans talking with about the films, work, influence and effect of Roger Corman and his mammoth effect of the film world, largely in B-movies. Great interviews with Jack Nicholson, Peter Bogdanovich, David Carradine, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese & many more.
  • A Dangerous Method David Cronenberg biography film exploring Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud played by Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen respectively.
  • Camel Spiders fun B-movie with spiders wreaking havoc on a town after transplanting themselves from different continents. Lots of creepy crawlies in this one!
  • Confucius (DVD/BluRay Combo) Biopic on the Chinese philosopher & teacher as played by Chow Yun-Fat.
  • UFC Best of 2011 I've got my eye on this one, as it features 30+ Ultimate Matches including 13 title fights on 2 Discs at 350 minutes. Yep, that sounds like a lot of entertainment goodness.
  • Eureka Season 4.5 Every time more Eureka seasons come out I wish I watched it! Looks like a fun, quirky show.
  • Transit Wild card pick of the week is definitely this one, first I'm hearing of it and looks like a thriller. Stars Jim Caviezel, Diora Baird and James Frain (currently only available on amazon.ca).
  • A Night to Remember Historical film on the Titanic based on the book by Walter Lord gets the Criterion treatment.
  • Revenge of the Electric Car I'm quite impressed with how now there are several documentaries on electric cars, and here we have another!
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Crazy antics will ensue with more fun with Alvin, Simon & Theodore. It's very hard not to type out the theme song in 'do's', it's so firmly implanted in my head even though I've not heard it for years!
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close I know this drama has really hit the hearts of many, based on the book by Jonathan Safron Foer

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):


Titles on Amazon.com (US):

Monster Brawl (DVD Review)


Image Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

Writer/Dir: Jesse T. Cook
Cast: Dave Foley, Art Hindle, Robert Maillet, Rj Skinner, Holly Letkeman, Kevin Nash, Lance Henriksen (voice)
Canada, 2011

Reason to see: I love monster and love fighting films, so Monster Brawl is win/win!

Monster Brawl brings us an ultimate monster showdown, giving us a Pay-Per-View-style monster fighting championship full on with sports commentators (Davey Foley and Art Hindle who were often hilarious), event personality played by Jimmy The Mouth of the South Hart himself, as himself with pretty ladies at his side and monsters galore from classic fan favourites of Werewolf and Frankenstein to the new permutations of Swamp Gut and Witch Bitch.

I adored that each character got their own introduction, and those in it of themselves felt like short films provide some awesome character origin stories and hilarious monster action (Frankenstein & Swamp Gut were my faves) with great pre-show ramblings that really parallel the wrestling model well with over the top bravado, mouthy managers and setting up the character story line to pitch the fight. I truly loved the character intros, they were so much fun and some I would be happy to watch over and over.

I loved the enthusiasm of Monster Brawl and how it really went for and used the model of the ultimate showdown, but the structure of it did feel familiar after a couple of fights which which actually make it read very well on TV because you can feel where the breaks would be. It's hard to give it a hard time on feeling like you know where it's going, because using the model of wrestling has that element to it - there could be an upset here and there but really you know where that is going to so you have to just give in and let it take you away and pretend you don't see that foreign object/foul play/manager interference happening... even if you might know it.

There were lots of gem moments, often with the commentators played by Dave Foley and Art Hindle or event "voice" Lance Henriksen that really have me laughing. Monster Brawl was It was a lot of fun and I had a blast revisiting it on DVD. It's amazing just how many monsters they made the creativity and drive that went into the film. For us fans of monsters and wrestling, it's certainly a must-see.

DVD Extras:
If you are a fan of extras, the DVD has lots to enjoy including an entertaining commentary and extensive behind the scenes look at how the film was put together. Here are the details of the DVD extras:
  • Audio Commentary with writer/director Jesse Thomas Cook and producers Matt Wiele & John Geddes discussing the concept of combining monsters with the wrestling format, the design & aesthetic, the small crew that worked on the film, the dedication of the actors and everyone involved in the film, how actors played multiple roles, the classic horror riffs they used, cameo appearances, the locations, the special effects, inspiration for the characters and their back stories, the acting experience of the wrestlers, how different actors got involved with the film, the challenges of working and shooting the different sections separately, the process of the stunt coordination for the fighting and shooting the fights, the work that the actors have gone on to do since starring in the film, The Brothers Gore work on the make up in the film, the audience reaction to different characters especially when it's different than expected as well as fan favourites, scenes and segments that didn't make the final cut, the multiple hats people wore during the film (which is amazing, so many people did an extraordinary variety of work on the film) and even homages to specific wrestling matches. And entertaining listen and
  • Monster Brawl: Beyond the Grave (23 minutes) Behind-the-Scenes featurette including Pre-Production including inspiration of the film, amazing concept art, monster character selection and character outlines, creating the indoor Graveyard set, 7 practical locations incorporated into the film often to establish back stories, The Cast with a special focus on people who played multiple characters like Jason Brown who played 3 characters as well as the set of amateur wrestlers who made up the majority of the monsters and icons from the wrestling, MMA and the Canadian film icons who worked on the film, Gore & SPX behind the scenes with The Brothers Gore creations from outlining each of the monsters as well as the zombie extras monster and creature suits, gore gags and effects, Crew awesome section giving kudos to the dedicated crew as well as fun Q&A asking folks their favourite monster. Fun behind the scenes that has tons of footage from filming from of putting the set together, on location, shooting, fight choreography and I love how the sections are often injected with the harsh realities of working on a micro budget but always with a sense of humour.
  • Tales from the Hart: Jimmy Hart Outtakes (6 minutes) behind the scenes chattingwith Jimmy Hart including lots of wrestling stories including the history of the megaphone used in the film, working with lots of different people and wrestling matches, being in and working in Canada, choosing favourite monsters (and tag teams), working on the film and working with the cast & crew.
  • Trailer
If you want even more extras I have a bunch of videos from when I was lucky enough to first see Monster Brawl at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in 2011, where many guests where in attendance including director Jesse T Cook, cast members Robert Maillet (Frankenstein), Jimmy Hart (The Mouth From The South!) Rj Skinner (Werewolf), Holly Letkeman (Witch Bitch) for a post show Q&A and also some pre-show shenanigans (see clip here). You can see all the videos here and my vlog review of Monster Brawl.

Monster Brawl is available on DVD here in Canada on March 27, 2012l check it out over at Amazon.ca. US release date Monster Brawl is June 12, 2012; check it out on Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again & again
I strongly recommend it to monster movie fans and highly recommend it to wrestling fans.

Return to Film Reviews or see more DVD Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011 - 2012
Originally reviewed during Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011


Dave Foley and Art Hindle in Monster Brawl - Image Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment


Robert Maillet as Frankenstein - Image Courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment

Sunday, 25 March 2012

2012 Owned/Unseen Challenge

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My family has a saying that once you do something twice, it's a tradition. Considering I did an Owned/Unseen Challenge in 2010 and in 2011 that means it's now a tradition. Let's take a look at the films I've acquired, but haven't yet seen. There are certainly are some themes in the choices.

Seen: 11/20

Code 46 - seen
Dark Matter - seen
Deep Winter - seen
Downloading Nancy
Drive Angry - seen (vlog review)
Fading of the Cries
Hitman - seen (vlog review)
In Bruges
Life as a House - seen
Merantau - seen
Mister Foe
Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown - seen
Rise: Blood Hunter - seen
Spider
Teeth - seen
Underground - seen
Unleashed
Vanya on 42nd Street
Carnivale: Season 1
Carnivale: Season 2


I have a few in here that in previous years I wouldn't have included like Carnivale as it's TV (and also on my Mega List) and some films given to me (usually I stick with ones I bought), but I used the qualifier that they are all DVDs that I want to see. I own them, and I want to see them. Simple.

This is one of the odder challenges I do, and one of the few film challenges I have yet to be successful on (11/19 in 2010 and 14/17 in 2011), but I'm not going to let that get in my way (mind you I said that last year too...). Hopefully third time is the charm and I will make it through my new set of owned/unseen DVDs which this year clocks in at whopping 20 (18 pictured above...2 almost got away!).

I have them, I want to see them, therefore I should be able to watch them, yes? We'll see.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Cinéfranco 2012

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Cinéfranco begins tonight at TIFF Lightbox and the Festival International du Film Francophone starts of with a lovely Franco-Ontarian film, La Sacrée (Friday March 23, 2012 at 7pm) which follows François Lebas (Marc Marans) suave and convincing con man who's continually looking for a get-into-the-rich-books-quick scheme be it by marriage or family, product or service, or any combination thereof. The film has a great blend of comedy and personal dynamics and uses both the big dream chasing of big money and the down to roots hometown which is getting down on it's luck and sees both of them though new eyes, and not even necessarily as two completely separate ideas. I really enjoyed the comedy and the relationships, especially with François checking in with old acquaintance and the commentary of how people can dream, be true themselves and even maybe change a little bit along the way too. La Sacrée is a very enjoyable film, a charming comedy and excellent opening night selection.

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Images from: Sur le Rythme / On the Beat and La Ligne Droit / The Straight Line

Being a fan of both dance and sport film, two of the films that were very high on my anticipation list were the dance film Sur le Rythme / On the Beat (Saturday March 24, 2012 at 4pm) and sport film La Ligne Droit / The Straight Line (Sunday March 25, 2012 at 9pm). The Québécois film Sur le Rythme / On the Beat was actually on my Most Anticipated List of 2011 (#4!) but never came to Toronto, until now! It's centred on Delphine (Mylène Saint-Sauveur), a dancer and university student who is caught between the dream of pursuing life in the world of dance or following her families expectations of university. Of course because it is a dance film, sparks fly with fellow dancer Marc (So You Think You Can Dance winner Nico Archambault) making the choice between the two options all the more complicated. I loved Sur le Rythme. I see a lot of dance films and this one not only nailed it on the dancing which is so alive and fabulous, but also did a great job connecting the emotional lives and challenges of the characters. The acting, especially with the member of Delphine's family, was very good and it relayed challenges that are often shown as a cliché in a very strong, truthful and dramatic way. And I'll admit getting to see Nico dance was also a huge draw to the film because he is such a gorgeous dancer, as he was here in top form full of joy and beautiful, expressive movement. Sur le Rythme is absolutely wonderful and a must-see for all dance film fans and coming of age fans. Switching up the movement from dance to running we see the French film La Ligne Droit / The Straight Line which is pairs Leila (Rachida Brakni) , recently released from prison with a recently blinded runner Yannick (Cyril Descours) looking for a new guide to run with. I was totally blown away by the film, the concept alone was enough to get me interested as never hearing of something like this before, and the drive and passion that must go with it. It was also extremely complex emotionally, putting 2 characters who had gone through traumatic circumstance together and having different levels of control, power and needs that created a fascinating dynamic. I also loved the depiction of seeing people and the relationships they have with people for a long time versus new relationships and how that changes their interactions, predispositions, assumptions and experiences. It's a fascinating film about people, relationships, the striving to overcome challenges as well as supporting others. Highly recommend checking out La Ligne Droit / The Straight Line.

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Above image from RIF (Recherches dan l'interet des familles) / Report for Missing Persons


If crime films are more up your alley the festival has you covered with RIF (Recherches dan l'interet des familles) / Report for Missing Persons (Saturday March 31, 2012 at 3pm) and La désintégration / The Disintegration (Wednesday March 28, 2012 at 9pm). RIF (Recherches dan l'interet des familles) / Report for Missing Persons is an interesting exploration in role-reversal as big city cop Paris Stéphane Monnereau (Yvan Attal) heads on a family vacation to ruraler area of France when his wife Valérie (Valentina Cervi) goes missing. A very different take on crime genre and creates very interesting dynamics with Stéphane and the locals be they possible witness or the local law enforcement. A great mystery and a great drama, this one keep me intrigued and guessing the whole way through. La désintégration / The Disintegration kept me on edge as well, but for a very different reason. It shows the slow decay and uncomfortable swaying of young men who down on their luck to terrifying option of being cultivated into terrorists. I found it very unnerving, as it was uncanny how smoothly the transferring their limited options into horrifying decisions. Brilliantly acted and delivered, but extremely unnerving to watch.

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Above images from: Les Geants / The Giants and Des Vents Contrairs / Headwinds

The festival features an impressive selection of dramas and three that really touched my heart were the coming of age film Les Geants / The Giants (Tuesday March 27, 2012 at 6:30pm), Des Vents Contrairs / Headwinds (Saturday March 24, 2012 at 9pm) and the closing night selection of Toute Nos Envies / All Our Desires (Sunday April 1, 2012 at 6:30pm). Les Geants / The Giants (Tuesday March 27, 2012 at 6:30pm) that features extremely strong and subtle performances from its very young cast follow three pre/early teens in cottage country who have little to know guidance or supervision. It showcases a great balance of fun and furious kids getting into trouble as well as the more harsher reality of what can go wrong when left to your own devices. Les Geants / The Giants is refreshingly non-judgmental in it's showcasing a slice-of-life story for a piece of pie that is less often picked. Des Vents Contrairs / Headwinds also shows a challenge perspective from the point of view of Paul (Benoît Magimel), whose wife (played by Audrey Tautou) disappears after an argument they have and leaves him not only struggling with life without her but also the judgment and accusation of being involved. It's a really powerful and complex drama with strong emotional resonance with between the complicated characters and relationships, and Benoît Magimel delivers a very strong performance as the films protagonist. My heart also strongly connected with the closing night film Toute Nos Envies / All Our Desires , a beautiful drama that battles the barriers of class and works against the odds from both a personal and professional stand point. I was impressed by the resonance of not only beautiful message but also the portrayal of human kindness. There cast is formidable, especially Marie Gillain and Vincent Lindon (Mademoiselle Chambon) who won over my heart, in a heartbeat.

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Above image from Toute Nos Envies / All Our Desires

But the one film that truly knocked it out of the park for me was Le Premiere Homme / The First Man (Wednesday March 28, 2012 at 6:30pm), a drama adapted by the unfinished autobiography of writer Albert Camus. It follows his journey back to Algeria and the challenges of believing in and striving for equality in a divisive time. I was so very moved by this film, not only by it's message and depiction of belief, but also for the wonderful and graceful performances, especially of Jacques Gamblin in the lead role. There is also a gentle and unique portrayal of exploration of personal family history as well as history of the country that's created in an almost waking dream like state. Absolutely stunning.

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Above image from Le Premiere Homme / The First Man

There so much more to discover and enjoy at this years Cinéfranco, including shorts programs on Saturday March 24, 2012 and Sunday March 25, 2012 that look fascinating and are often a great way to see new directors work before anyone else.

Want to hear more? Check out my Cinéfranco preview on Episode 65 of the Movie Moxie Podcast here.

Cinéfranco runs from March 23 - April 1, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
All films are subtitled in English

Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 23, 2012

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Images Courtesy of Alliance Films

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 23, 2012! This week is chock-full of awesome, let's get right to it!

In limited release this week we have the awesome Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption with Iko Uwais directed by Gareth Evans; I saw this one back at TIFF 2011 and if you have any love of action in you then you must see this film (hear my review and the Q&A from TIFF on the most recent Movie Moxie Podcast here). We also have Starry, Starry Night / Xing kong out this week and I really enjoyed director Tom Lin's film Winds of September / Jiu jiang feng and am very much looking forward to this release, he has a beautiful and adept style that gently captures emotion which is a joy to watch. Rounding out the limited releases we have the gorgeous looking nature documentary One Life narrated by Daniel Craig, Carl Bessai's latest with Sisters & Brothers and Israeli drama Footnote / Hearat Shulayim.

In wide release this week we have a film I'm sure everyone has heard about at this point: The Hunger Games. Set in a dystopic world which hosts annual event involving teens setting forth as tributes from respective districts in an extreme fight to the death. The Hunger Games is based on the novel by Suzanne Collins which was an honourary selection for the 2011 Movie Moxie Book to Film Club, and the film Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. This is certainly one gathering a huge amount of energy and the second book, Catching Fire, is already in process to be adapted to a film as well, and to be released next year on November 22, 2013. It's one of if not the biggest releases so far this year and it's one of two of our wide releases of the week which also include the international espionage Bollywood film Agent Vinod.

Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Canadian Music Week Film Festival
Continues until March 25, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Cinéfranco
See my Cinéfranco Preview here or listen to it on the Movie Moxie Podcast here
March 23 - April 1, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Friday March 23, 2012 Releases

Agent Vinod
Dir: Sriram Raghavan (Johnny Gaddaar)
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Malika Haydon
India
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Footnote / Hearat Shulayim
Writer/Dir: Joseph Cedar
Cast: Shlomo Bar-Aba, Lior Ashkenazi, Aliza Rosen, Alma Zak, Daniel Markovich, Micah Lewesohn, Yuval Scharf, Nevo Kimchi
Israel
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Hunger Games **Honourary Movie Moxie Book to Film Club Selection **
Director: Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

One Life
Dir: Michael Gunton & Martha Holmes - feature film directorial debuts
Documentary, narrated by Daniel Craig
UK
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Raid: Redemption
Writer/Dir: Gareth Evans (Merantau)
Cast: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhian
Indonesia
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Sisters & Brothers
Dir: Carl Bessai (Repeaters, Normal, Unnatural & Accidental)
Cast: Cory Monteith, Dustin Milligan, Amanda Crew, Gabrielle Rose, Tom Scholte, Ali Liebert, Camille Sullivan
Canada
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Starry, Starry Night / Xing kong
Writer/Dir: Tom Lin (Winds of September / Jiu jiang feng)
Cast: Rene Liu, Harlem Yu, Kenneth Tsang, Hui Ming Lin
Taiwan/Hong Kong/China
Limited Release
Official Facebook Page, IMDb Page, Trailer

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of March 23, 2012**

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Movie Moxie Podcast 65: Cinéfranco, The Raid, Being Elmo & Black Swarm

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MP3 File





This week the Movie Moxie Podcast is chock full of awesome from a preview of the Cinéfranco Film Festival, celebrating The Raid: Redemption release with looking back to the afternoon screening from TIFF 2011 including the intro and Q&A with Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais & Joe Taslim (spoiler warning: they talk about the fights pretty in depth so be forwarded). Plus, I review the documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey, chat about the new Bloor now Hot Docs cinema and have a look at DVD releases of the week including reviewing the fun b-horror film Black Swarm.

0:00 - 1:45 Intro
1:45 - 21:05 Cinéfranco 2012 Preview
21:05 - 27:20 Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey
27:20 - 34:35 The Raid Review from TIFF 2011
34:35 - 57:19 Intro and Q&A for The Raid from TIFF 2011 with dir Gareth Evans, actors Iko Uwais & Joe Taslim
57:19 - 59:10 Black Swarm DVD Review
59:10 - 1:00:30 DVD Release March 20, 2012
1:00:30 - 1:01:30 Upcoming Next Week
1:01:30 = 1:02:35 Outro

Show Notes

Movie Moxie Podcast - A 100% spoiler-free film review podcast

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

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

DVD Releases for Tuesday March 20, 2012

Time to take a look at a selection of DVD releases for Tuesday March 20, 2012!

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Fantastic adaptation of the John le Carre novel starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth & Tom Hardy. I really enjoyed this slow burn espionage thriller.
  • The Muppets I didn't quite fall in love with this one as much as I had hoped, but I was strongly in the minority of that boat in this nostalgic walk down Muppet Lane.
  • Black Swarm Pretty freaking fun B-movie with a small-town on hard times setting, and a heck of a lot of killer wasps. Stars Sebastien Roberts, Sarah Allen and Robert Englund.
  • Possession I totally want to see this one as it has paranormal edge with woman who's brother in law and husband fall into comas and then someone ends up thinking they are the other. Stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lee Pace and Michael Landes & has a bit of a Ringer feel, no?
  • Battle Royale Highly regarded Japanese film based on the novel by Kōshun Takami that follows a group of high schoolers in a fight to the death. I've been meaning to watch it for ages, but I want to read the book first.
  • Battle Royale: The Complete Collection This 4 Disc DVD/3 Disc BluRay Set, Battle Royale (Director's Cut, Theatrical Cut), the 2003 sequel Battle Royale II: Requiem + LOTS of Exrras including The Making Of BATTLE ROYALE, Press Conference, Instructional Video: Birthday Version, Audition & Rehearsal Footage, Battle Royale Documentary and a lot more.
  • A Lonely Place to Die Great Absolutely chilling thriller that totally had me on the edge of my seat, it's one that every way I could describe it feels like it doesn't do it justice or gives too much away so I'll just jump out there and highly recommend it so you can decide for yourself! US folks rejoice at the price on Amazon.com of only $12.49 USD
  • CreatureI'll be curious to see how this one does on DVD as when it came out in the theatre last year it felt like the most consistent comment was about how it felt like a direct-to-DVD horror movie. Wasn't quite to my taste, and I'm a big B-Movie and horror fan.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) David Fincher's redux of the acclaimed Swedish book & film.
  • The Sitter Comedy starring Jonah Hill as the more relaxed babysitter, ever.
  • National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus I think the title says it all!
  • Hop rounding things off with a Friday release and seasonal right before Easter this combo animated and live action film follows a man who teams up with a reluctant Easter Bunny.

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):



Titles on Amazon.com (US):

Monday, 19 March 2012

One Life - Movie Passes Giveaway to Advance Screening

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Image Courtesy of Alliance Films

Want to attend an Advance screening of upcoming nature documentary One Life? Here are the details for giveaway for double passes to One Life:

Where: AMC Yonge & Dundas 24, 10 Dundas Street East in Toronto, ON M5B 2G9
On: Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Doors open at 6PM

Click here to enter your PIN Code.
PIN Code: DD2 D39 D0D

Please Note: there are a limited number of passes for the giveaway

Who can resist seeing One Life, with cute and crazy creatures great and small, all narrated by Daniel Craig? I say don't resist at all and enjoy the world from a new perspective.

From the Synopsis:
"Over five billion years, life on Earth has evolved into the incredible richness and variety we see today. ONE LIFE is a celebration of the most brilliant and imaginative stories of survival from the natural world. Cutting- edge cinematic techniques capture unprecedented and astonishingly beautiful sequences of animal behaviour and ingenuity.

The story of ONE LIFE takes us from birth through to the creation of the next generation - then takes us one step further – revealing that, whether we have wings or flippers, eight legs or two, the triumphant story of life connects us all."

A big thank you to Alliance Films for the giveaway. Yippee!

One Life opens in Toronto & Vancouver on March 23, 2012

The Raid Redemption - Movie Passes Giveaway to Advance Screening

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Image Courtesy of Alliance Films

Want to attend an Advance screening of upcoming action film The Raid: Redemption? Here are the details for giveaway for double passes to The Raid: Redemption:

Where: Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond Street West in Toronto, ON M5V 3M6
On: Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Doors open at 6PM

Click here to enter your PIN Code.
PIN Code: 198 904 CEA

Please Note: there are a limited number of passes for the giveaway

I'm so excited that the amazing Indonesian action flick The Raid: Redemption is hitting up theatres in Toronto this week. I saw it at TIFF in 2011 where it won the Midnight Madness Audience Award and I loved every minute of it - fantastic fighting, intense performances and the force that is Iko Uwais (see him in action here!); this is an film that all action fans NEED to see.

From the Synopsis:
"Iko Uwais stars as RAMA a member of a special team (JAKA by Joe Taslim, BOWO by Tegar Satriya, ARI by Ananda George, WAHYU by Pierre Gruno and BUDI by Verdi Solaiman) arrives at a rundown apartment block with a mission to remove its owner, a notorious drug lord named TAMA played by Ray Sahetapy. The apartment block has never been raided before, never been touched by police. Seen as a no go zone, the building has become a sanctuary to killers, gangs, rapists and thieves seeking accommodation in the one place they know they cannot be touched. Making their move in the break of dawn, they work their way up the building under the cover of silence, steadily controlling the location one floor at a time. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover, TAMA orders a lock down on the building with all lights out and all exits blocked. Now stranded on the 6th floor with all communications cut and with TAMA sending out a call to arms, the special force team must fight their way through every floor and every room not just to complete their mission, but to survive their bloody ordeal."

A big thank you to Alliance Films for the giveaway. Cheers!

The Raid: Redemption opens in Toronto on March 23, 2012 and in wide release on April 6, 2012

Friday, 16 March 2012

Film Fans Fridays for Friday March 16, 2012

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Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday March 16, 2012! We have a heck of a lot of films out in release this week and it's an especially good lot for documentary (and Sesame Street!) fans with The Bloor Hot Docs cinema opening it's doors for it's first week of regular releases.

In limited release this week we have 9 limited releases and I'm chopping at the bit to see King of Devil's Island / Kongen av Bastøy with Stellan Skarsgård set in prison in the early 20th century Norway which is playing at the Carlton. Then we hot over to The Bloor which re-opens it's doors with the documentary goodness of Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey centred on on Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash (I almost wrote "Muppeteer") as well as Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel a documentary on prolific independent B-movie filmmaker Roger Corman. There are more documentaries to go around including Jennifer Baichwal's Payback, which is based of the Margaret Atwood book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, Jiro Dreams of Sushi following a master sushi chef and The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jane following the transformation of Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye Breyer P'Orridge to become more and more like each other. Getting to the more fictional we have Being Flynn which is actually based on a true story and then Off World which looks amazing and heartbreaking, and our comedy of the limited releases is Casa de mi Padre starring Will Ferrell.

In wide release this week we have 2 releases and the biggie is 21 Jump Street, a reboot of the 1980's TV show about cops going undercover to suss out the drug scene in high school and this new version starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill certainly is going for comedy as it's a approach and looks pretty good. Rounding out the releases is Jeff, Who Lives at Home starring Jason Segel and Ed Helms; directed by The Duplass Brothers (Cyrus, Baghead).

Have a great weekend!

Shannon

Festival Watch

Canadian Music Week Film Festival
March 21 - 25, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Nepali Film Festival
March 17, 2012 at Innis Town Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday March 16, 2012 Releases

21 Jump Street
Dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, Ice Cube
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jane
Dir: Marie Losier - feature film directorial debut
Documentary centred on Genesis P-Orridge, Lady Jaye Breyer P'Orridge
USA/Germany/UK/The Netherlands/Belgium/France
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey
Dir: Constance Marks (Green Chimneys)
Documentary on Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Being Flynn
Dir: Paul Weitz (About a Boy, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, American Pie)
Cast: Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Olivia Thirlby, Lili Taylor, Wes Studi, Julianne Moore
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Casa de mi Padre
Dir: Matt Piedmont
Cast: Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, Genesis Rodriguez, Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel
Dir: Alex Stapleton - feature film directorial debut
Documentary on Roger Corman
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Dirs: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Cyrus, Baghead)
Cast: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon
USA
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Dir: David Gelb - feature film directorial debut
Documentary
USA
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

King of Devil's Island / Kongen av Bastøy
Dir: Marius Holst (Blodsbånd, Tito är död)
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad, Kristoffer Joner
Norway/France/Sweden/Poland
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Off World
Writer/Dir: Mathieu Guez (Late Fragment)
Cast: Marc Abaya, Irma Adlawan, Marco Morales
Canada/Philippines
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Payback
Dir: Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes, Act of God)
Documentary
Canada
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 16, 2012**

Movie Moxie Podcast 64: The Genies, John Carter, Let the Bullets Fly, NEVERLost & Dragonage Redemption

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This week on the Movie Moxie Podcast Shannon shares the glory of The Genies, and provides spoiler free reviews of theatrically releases of John Carter and Let the Bullets Fly plus details DVD releases for the past 2 weeks including reviews of NEVERLost, The Son of No One & Dragonage Redemption. And there might even be a funny story in there too.





0:00 - 0:40 Intro
0:40 - 8:40 Genies 2012
8:40 - 16:15 John Carter
16:15 - 22:15 Let the Bullets Fly
22:15 - 25:30 Lancelot du Lac
25:30 - 29:10 March 6 2012 DVD releases including Dragon Age - Redemption Review
29:10 - 37:40 March 13 2012 DVD releases including NEVERLost & The Son of No One Reviews
37:40 - 38:40 Coming up Next Week
38:40 - 40:18 Outro

Show Notes:
Movie Moxie Podcast - A 100% spoiler-free film review podcast
You can also subscribe to the Movie Moxie Podcast here:
Subscribe through iTunes here.

Up next week: Cinéfranco Preview!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

DVD Releases for March 13, 2012

Time to take a look at a selection of DVD releases for Tuesday March 13, 2012!

  • Neverlost Really fascinating mind-bender thriller following a man caught between two world of the current and memory, questioning which is the better one of the imperfect choices. Very impressive performance by Ryan Barrett in the main role, & strongly recommend to speculative fiction fans (not currently available on amazon.com).
  • The Three Musketeers (DVD Review) Extremely fun adaptation of the dense adventure story by Alexandre Dumas which was our Book to Film Club selection from August 2011. Highly recommend for adventure-happy film folk.
  • Monsieur Lazhar Genie-winning inspiring teacher films that I can't *wait* to see! (not currently available on amazon.com)
  • Melancholia This film by Lars von Trier won me over with it's artistic vision, fantastic performance, and amazing fusion of the bizarre & the beautiful. One of my faves of 2011 (US price on Amazon.com is a STEAL at $13.49).
  • My Week With Marilyn Michelle Williams stars as Marilyn Monroe is this curious biopic that follows her and Laurence Olivier (played by Kenneth Branagh) though the eyes of his employee (played by Eddie Redmayne). Recipe for awesome that I need to see.
  • The Son of No One Channing Tatum stats in the cop/crime film centred on a now-adult trying to lead a quiet family life after growing up in the projects.
  • Happy Feet 2 The dancing penguins return in the animated sequel.
  • Young Adult stars Charlize Theron as a woman who returns to her home town to woo her high school crush, even though he's married with kids. Also stars Patton Oswald. I really want to see this one.
  • The Swell Season concert/documentary film starring Oscar winning music duo from Once: Glen Handsard & Marketa Irglova.
  • The Adventures of Tintin Animated adventure film based on the books of Tin Tin starring the voice talents of Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig & Andy Serkis.
  • Loosies I am quite interested to see this New York set film written by Peter Facinelli, which he also stars in alongside Jaimie Alexander & Michael Madsen.
  • The Descendants Highly acclaimed drama from director Alexander Payne (Sideways) starring George Clooney.
  • The Guild Season 5 I haven't seen The Guild in a few seasons but I've loved every episode of this webseries following the lives behind players in a guild of a fictional MMORPG.
  • Neverland Peter Pan fantasy miniseries starring Rhys Ifans that aired on Space just over the past Christmas holidays.
  • Call Me Fitz - Season 2 Cutting comedy series starring Jason Priestly as a moral-less car salesman.
  • The Killing: The Complete First Season AMC Original series (although a remake of a Danish series), this crime show following a murder got some pretty good reviews but I couldn't quite get into it. It heads into season 2 on April 1, 2012.
  • Leprechaun: Pot of Gore Collection with all 6 Leprechaun films. And here I was thinking there was only 3!
Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):


Titles on Amazon.com (US):
All content on Movie Moxie is written by Shannon Ridler, © 2006 - 2012