A recent trend in horror and science fiction films is examining the world not in the midst of disaster, but once it has begun to adjust to the aftermath of a disaster. This can lead to some very interesting examinations of contemporary issues. Winner of the Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award, Jim Mickle’s Stake Land is set in a future that includes vampires. But these are not sparkly vampires, nor ones that have souls. These are vampires are little more than animals, and like George A. Romero’s zombie film series, society must adapt to the new world order.
Directed by Bruce McDonald (Roadkill, Hard Core Logo, Pontypool), Trigger tells the story of Vic (Tracy Wright) and Kat (Molly Parker), childhood friends who once had an extremely successful rock band until on stage argument signaled their demise. Ten years later, Kat works in the music industry in Los Angeles and Vic is still in Toronto. Kat returns home to attend a benefit concert and convinces Vic to accompany her. Through the evening, the two women battle each other and their inner demons. Which of them is happy? Can you go back to where you were or are some bridges burnt beyond repair?
Jeff and Will are joined by new contributor Jesse and our friend Emily for this super-sized edition of the Dork Shelf Podcast. It has been a while since our last show, so we have a lot of catching up to do. We recap Fan Expo and the Toronto International Film Festival, talk about the games, films and comic books that have been entertaining us on the commode, and some of the many amazing dorky events happening in Toronto over the next few weeks.
Korean cinema has churned out its fair share of revenge thrillers, chief among them being Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy. Kim Ji-Woon’s I Saw the Devil might not be as good as these films, but it is a solid revenge thriller that abandons any pretence of satisfaction and keeps piling on the tragedy.
Quirky and original new film from Canadian director and screenwriter Daniel Cockburn. Its plot is certainly hard, if not impossible, to summate, as a traditional plot as such does not exist. But that certainly doesn’t mean the film has no story; far from it.
What do you get when you cross a Hollywood-style college sex comedy with a bizarre sci-fi-demon-cult adventure mystery? You get the latest film from Gregg Araki, Kaboom. Returning to the form of his earlier films such as The Doom Generation, Araki takes the audience on a strange ride through one teenager’s search for his sexual identity and investigation of a possible demon cult.
When Joaquin Phoenix announced he was retiring from acting to pursue a music career in 2008, people were right to be suspicious. Even if substance abuse or mental health issues had been involved, the actor's transformation from clean-cut talent to aloof hobo-chic seemed too drastic and too sudden to stomach. It was sad to see a person self-destruct so publicly, but we watched him do it anyways, and that's where the brilliance of Casey Affleck's mockumentary I'm Still Here comes in.
While Guillermo del Toro might not have directed a film in a while, he has not been idle. His producing credits show a devotion to and invigoration of the Spanish film industry, in particularly in the horror and thriller genre. Following in the footsteps of his success with The Orphanage, del Toro has produced Guillem Morales’ latest thriller Julia’s Eyes.
We caught up with Stargate Universe actor David Blue at Fan Expo this year and were very pleased to discover that he more than lives up to his character's dorky reputation. Blue plays resident geek Eli Wallace on the sci-fi series, helping to save the Destiny with his genius and dropping delightfully nerdy references in a charming, yet slightly inept attempt to lighten the mood of his fellow space castaways.
It is with a combined sense of shame and excitement when I admit that I had only seen one Frederick Wiseman film in its entirety prior to screening his latest gem, Boxing Gym. Shame because I could name a dozen titles of his recommended by as many people, and excitement because this film has motivated me to finally donate some time to the observational cinema of this true auteur.
It must be hard to be a director like John Carpenter. When you create such classics as Halloween, The Thing and Escape from New York within four years, any subsequent films will never apparently measure up. And his new film The Ward, does not, but it is still a solid old-school horror film with plenty of scares and a twist that is only obvious after the fact.
The Australian film industry seems to have a knack for churning out two great kinds of films: campy Abba-inspired comedies, and dark taut thrillers. For the latter, it might be do to the country’s criminal ancestry, but Australian crime films concentrate on the human element, the things that make people evil, or do evil things. […]
Shock & Awe: The Dusk ‘Til Dawn Grindhouse Experience returns to the Fox Theatre on Saturday, September 25th at 11:30pm and we’re giving away three pairs of tickets! The all night event features six awesome movies all presented on film (16mm and 35mm), and is guaranteed to be the only fest where you’ll see Donny […]
Throughout history mankind has been witness to many visioneers of the future. The Oracle of Lesbos. Nostradamus. Marty McFly. But despite all the renditions and predictions, evidence has arisen that the Earth has but one impending future – the world of Squaresoft’s Nintendo game Final Fantasy VI (Or III to everyone in North America). Our […]
I really don’t like remakes. Like many film fans, I believe that they should be avoided at all costs, particularly when they are Hollywood remakes of excellent foreign films. However, Hollywood being what it is, remakes are inevitable. So when I heard that there were plans to remake the excellent Swedish film Let The Right […]
The Social Network is a movie that shouldn’t work. It’s a story about a socially challenged, bitterly abrasive geek and how he created a high-traffic website. Hardly the stuff of Oscars or summer blockbusters. Thing is, in spite of this, the movie plays out just like the typical Facebook experience – hard to see what all the hype is about from the outside, quickly captivating at first, then totally engrossing from within.
John Lennon is undoubtedly the most iconic of The Beatles, and his mythic status was solidified by his murder in 1980. But the man and the music should be separated, and while his music post-Beatles was arguably better, Lennon and McCartney together proved that the sum is often better than the parts. Photographer Sam Taylor-Wood, in her feature directorial debut Nowhere Boy, takes the audience back further, to Lennon's teenage years, his discovery of music, first meeting with McCartney, and his tumultuous familial relations.