In our first weekly column about upcoming and current DVD and Blu-ray releases, we go toe to toe with boxing robots in Real Steel, ghosts in Paranormal Activity 3, cancer in 50/50, and sex traffickers in The Whistleblower.
The Divide is a psychological thriller about post-apocalyptic survival that is often horrifying and all around nightmarish. From claustrophobia to torture, radiation sickness and murder, this movie is intentionally void of anything that makes an audience feel comfortable or at ease for longer than one or two brief moments. On this level it's an achievement, but ultimately the story suffers from a shapeless script.
Julie Doiron has been a familiar name within the Canadian indie folk-rock scenes for decades. In this interview with Doiron, we discuss her residency at Saving Gigi, living in Toronto, working on her next album and connecting with her audience.
This past week the newest Gears of War 3 DLC, entitled Fenix Rising, became available for download on Xbox Live. The DLC features several new character skins, five new maps, and a new leveling system for those who just cannot get enough of Gears 3. For 800 Microsoft points Fenix Rising offers some decent content but not everyone will use all the features available for download.
It’s hard not to talk about the World War II action drama Red Tails without bringing up George Lucas. Making a fighter pilot film had always been a dream of the man whose greatest strength was filming dog fights in the skies. Lucas, who allegedly oversaw reshoots and worked a bit on the script, receives only a producer credit here, but he probably should’ve had a lot more input on this tale of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. It’s a film that has its heart in the right place and nothing but the best of intentions, but also one the cries out for some sort of real guidance to hold this debacle together.
While there probably hasn’t been much clamouring for another modern Shakespearian adaptation – meaning the dialog stays nearly word for word the same, but the setting is present day – the fact that actor and first time director Ralph Fiennes has made one of the Bard’s lesser noticed plays, Coriolanus, into such a film, seems oddly okay. With a genuine passion for theatrics and bloodlust that the world’s most noted playwright would approve of, Fiennes delivers an engrossing tale of betrayal, hatred, and revenge that manages to overcome any shortcomings he has as a novice film director.
The interesting, but flawed Haywire stands out as an anomaly in director Steven Soderbergh's recent filmography. It’s a straight up revenge film unconcerned with further reaching implications, but dripping with sexuality and action.
There are some corners of the cinema landscape I am woefully blind to. One such area is Soviet-era science fiction from the Eastern Bloc. American sci-fi from the same period is quite popular, with films like War of the Worlds and Invasion of the Body Snatchers playing heavily on Cold War anxieties. The only Soviet science fiction films I’d even heard of were those of Russian director, Andrei Tarkovski. Solaris in particular is quite famous, but even that I’ve never seen. Even if I wanted to get into these films, where would I begin? Luckily, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is here to help us out.
DorkShelf.com opposes the proposed US SOPA/PIPA bills. It is our belief, along with many others, that this legislation poses an imminent threat to a free and open internet and would do very little to curb piracy or copyright infringement. Given the intentionally vague wording of the bills, the possibility of abuse of such laws and […]
The nominees for this year’s Canoscars, better and more formally know as the Genie Awards (now entering its 32nd year of existence), have been announced, and while there aren’t necessarily many surprises in what’s included there’s always room to complain about it.
Beauty and the Beast returns to the big screen this weekend (with a 3-D retrofitting) just a shade over 20 years after its initial release and several years after an extended cut of the film made the rounds. The film – which was one of my fondest childhood movie going experiences – holds up nicely in a thematic sense, with as much love for cinematic craft as Hugo and The Artist, but while the 3-D does add to the film, the HD transfer makes a case that maybe not all hand drawn animated films should be toyed with.
While watching Once is a prerequisite before going into this film and having a love for the band’s non-film related material will help, the audience for this film really begins and ends with Swell Season fans and the mildly curious.
While there’s much to praise and little to deride about Contraband, there are only so many ways to say that the movie holds very few surprises and everything happens in exactly the way one expects it would happen. This smuggling thriller does pretty much everything right, not a heck of a lot wrong, and viewers will be engaged enough to keep from checking their watches every few minutes. It’s a very competently made piece of Hollywood machinery, but it’s also the kind of a movie one would watch with a laptop open or while doing chores because of how little an impression it leaves.
Sometimes a movie that deserves a spot on a critic’s ten worst films list ends up being excluded because of a technicality. The beetle-headed Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady should almost dead to rights be quite high up on the list of 2011's cinematic atrocities, but thanks to limited Oscar qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles at the end of the year I felt it wrong to talk about the film in too much depth before its proper wide release. It wasn’t embargoed at all, but I felt it was still too early. That time for charity is over. This movie’s an outright trainwreck with a central performance that isn’t half as good as the work that Meryl Streep has shown in the past.