Topic “movies”

Alamo Draft House Theatre - Tres Cool

Alamo Draft House Theatre SlashFilm recently ran a piece on the Alamo Draft House Theatre titled, The Alamo Drafthouse - The Best Movie Theater EVER. A pretty bold claim, but this theatre does look pretty amazing! They serve real food in the theatre and have some cool theme events.

There's some movies I'd definitely prefer to see without the food distraction (In fact, I'd love to find a movie theatre that got medieval on idiots talking during the film). However, there's a large class of totally fun movies where this venue would rock! If only Vancouver was as enlightened as Austin.

Photo by fuzuoko

Movie Omnimbus: Exposing Silliness, Fears, and Naughty Bits

Juno, Genies and the Canadian Content Gorgon

Jason Reitman HeadshotThe Movie Blog posted on Juno not qualifying for a Genie: Canadian Awards "The Genies" Snub Juno and Make A Joke of Itself In The Process.

Turns out the Juno folks didn't even apply: Juno Genie snub explained.

Except the Juno folks didn't apply because they didn't qualify. The Genie PR shill totally dodged Reitman's question regarding why this is the case. Way to face the issue head-on.

In no particular order:

  • Right on Jason Reitman for being proud of enough of Canada to be pissed off in the first place. This can't be a commercial issue after scoring Golden Globes and Oscar recognition, so I believe it's a personal point of pride.
  • The Genie folks totally missed turning this into a pre-award ceremony PR dream by engaging the public in a dialog of what exactly a Canadian film is. All they had to say was: these are the current rules, maybe something is wrong, tell us what you think. The discussion might have even made people aware of some other great Canadian films.
  • The Genie qualifiers need updating to include the gambit of Canadian films from Juno to Away From Her.
  • I didn't watch the Genies, but then, I didn't watch the Oscars, either. I like publicly recognizing good movies, but award shows seem an imperfect way of doing it.

Run Fatboy Run

Run Fatboy Run is the latest movie starring and co-written by Simon Pegg of Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame. Something starring Simon Pegg now automatically gets my attention, and based on the Run Fatboy Run trailers this latest movie is looking good . . . except . . . it's directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame. I hope he's a better director than he is an actor. We'll find out later this month.

Continue reading Movie Omnimbus: Exposing Silliness, Fears, and Naughty Bits

Some Random Comments About Upcoming Films

Four upcoming films I want to comment on. In no particular order:

Coraline

Coraline

Cinema Fusion posted a trailer for Coraline (IMDB page), a movie based on Neil Gaiman's book of the same name.

Gaiman has a knack for creating atmosphere, and Coraline the book has a wonderful creepy in-a-good-way vibe and a charming story. If the trailer is anything to go on the movie might, as well. The movie is directed by Henry Selick, who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas. Voice talent includes Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders, and Dawn French. Saunders and French as Miss Forcible and Miss Spink, brilliant!

Gaiman has been keeping tabs on the process and writing about it. He likes it, this is a good thing! I'm very much looking forward to the final result.

Coraline isn't set for release until February 2009.

The Last Starfighter Sequel: Starfighter

Last Starfighter PosterVia the Movie Blog, Cinema Blend reports in two web articles: Son Of The Last Starfighter! and More On The Last Starfighter Sequel that a Last Starfighter (IMDB page/Wikipedia page) sequel is in the works.

I loved this movie when it was released back in 1984! Though it isn't high art and is a product of the 80's, it has a certain wide eyed, optimistic charm I enjoy. The video gamer saving the galaxy storyline is cool, too! I'm not sure I'd call it a classic but there's a lot of people who do. I am sure it's nice to watch every now and then.

It's so early in the development process who's to say how the sequel will turn out. Initial involvement of a lot of the original players is a good sign. Let's hope they don't mess it up!

If you're interested, check out the Cinema Blend articles.

Continue reading Some Random Comments About Upcoming Films

Nacho Vigalondo

Flagged via IO9, an interview with director Nacho Vigalondo (IMDB page, Wikipedia page) at Bloody-Discusting.com: Timecrimes: Writer-Director Nacho Vigalondo. Horror isn't typically my thing so I don't read Bloody-Discusting.com, but I just couldn't help finding out if Nacho Vigalondo was a real person or Jack Black making a sequel to Nacho Libre!

So Vigalondo is legit and has an award winning and Academy Award nominated short film named 7:35 de la manana (7:35 in the Morning). It's clear from the interview Vigalondo likes sci-fi, gets jazzed on ideas, goes in offbeat directions, but is still concerned about the details. Throw in the foreign perspective and he could be a director worth watching. And after reading the IMDB Timecrimes comments I'm intrigued, and curious enough to see the movie if it comes around.

Here's his short film, 7:35 in the Morning. Just when you think you're looking at something to top Tom Cruise singing Loving Feeling to Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, things go in a very different direction . . .

Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai Poster

Last Monday I finally saw Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

I say finally, because in the perverse behaviour of humans I've had a loaned copy sitting in front of the DVD player for the last three or four months and haven't watched it. With no deadlines, I'd been putting it off. Then a local art house theatre was showing it and movie maven Marina, leader of the Vancouver movie Meetup group, said: Quit waiting, see it! Who was I to refuse? And is not seeing a movie in a shared context the quintessential movie experience?

For those who might not have heard of Seven Samurai, it's a Japanese movie released in 1954, subtitled, black and white, and 3 hours 20 minutes long. And time hadn't been kind to this threatre's copy (the Criterion DVD is much better). In spite of all this, it's well worth the viewing!!!

Seven Samurai is the story of a poor village plagued by bandits. Knowing the bandits will be back to rob their next crop, the village peasants hire samurai to defend them. The movie follows the peasants recruitment of the samurai, battle preparation, and ensuing battle. But this is far more than an action driven movie. The characters are varied and wonderful. More over, the story explores how people deal with the crap life throws at them, catching human nature and interaction at it's best and worst. There's some funny moments thrown in for good measure, that's part of the human experience, too. And don't worry, it has sword fighting.

I'm now firmly a member of the crowd that says this is a must see movie for anyone who's even mildly a film buff.

Haiku Movie Reviews

A shout out to my friend Leeny and her new website, 353 Review:

353 Review

It's your source for the most concise movie reviews in the world. Period. They're all done in Haiku!

Leeny has an aptitude for summarization and a wicked cool sense of humour. I do feel obligated to warn you, though. She has a penchant for zombies.

Check out 353 Reviews, it'll put a smile on your face.

Announcing: After the Credits Podcast

In the better late than never department, an announcement:

Row ThreeThe Mad Film Gab podcast is now After the Credits and hosted at Row Three.

Those of you who followed the podcast already know this, right? Except for the name change and a different location, it's still the same podcast.

I've updated my sidebar box on the right to show the latest podcasts.

Why the change? Marina, the Mad About Movies primary mover and shaker, decided to throw her towel in with the folks at Row Three. Row Three is the coming together of a number of independent movie bloggers like Marina. Like Paul Schaeffer and the band when David Letterman moved, fellow Mad About Movies postcast host Colleen and I moved with Marina.

Although I'm still with the podcast, I'm not an story contributor at Row Three. I was a sporadic contributor at Mad About Movies so this isn't a biggie and it gives me a chance to contribute a little bit more content here.

Real Genius Laser Gun Ship

Real Genius LaserBack in 1985 a movie named Real Genius (http://imdb.com/title/tt0089886/) was released. It's a fun little coming of age teen revenge comedy involving boys and lasers; kind of a Animal House goes to MIT. And although there was no Internet back then, Rotten Tomatoes rates it 74% fresh.

In the story the students don't realize the laser system they're developing is destined for use by the Air Force in an aerial laser gunship. Although the movie was totally fictional it did capture a certain reality of what a real laser of the day looked like, which is distinctly not like you've seen it in any sci-fi movie.

I thought of Real Genius today when I read this piece, Laser Gunship Revealed, at DefenseTech.org. The movie's conceptualized laser gunship from 22 years ago almost exactly matches this description.

The work here isn't as prescient as some movies have been. Putting a laser on an airplane is a pretty natural thought. What I find cool is the movie's writers and director took a bit to time to make it real instead of pulling it out of their ass!

Blade Runner: Final Cut

Blade Runner PosterWhen word came of a 25th anniversary limited theatrical release for Blade Runner, me and the Mad About Movies crowd were pretty excited. Then we couldn't find any Canadian locations, and we were pissed! Then lo and behold, Empire Cinemas are advertising showings. Plans were quickly made.

I didn't see the original release in 1982. My first viewing was on television and it didn't go well. I caught it somewhere in the middle and in addition to being a bit lost the visuals turned me off. Sometime well after that I caught it from the beginning and greatly enjoyed it. Actually, I found it breath taking.

This release is Blade Runner: The Final Cut. There's been seven of them! The wrangling around cuts is something of a soap opera. This version is apparently the one director Ridley Scott had complete control of. If you're interested in Blade Runner's full back story I recommend the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_runner.

Of the actual movie, it's not perfect. The love story is between Deckard and Rachael doesn't feel natural. However, this is more than offset by how smart the rest of the story is, and great job it does exploring humanity. It was wonderful seeing it in a theatre. The Vangelis score and sweeping visuals are meant for a big screen with big sound.

Blade Runner on theatre marquee

Transformers Opening

Tonight I caught the much anticipated opening of the Transformers movie. Opening night for a movie with a strong fan base is one of the few times I enjoy braving a crowd. Open night fans are the best! The energy and enthusiasm can make the line a fun place to be.

For exhibit A I give you Optimus Prime:

This was a great costume, and it actually transformed!

And in case you're wondering, the movie was great! One of the first real summer blockbusters to come along in a number of years.

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