Monday, September 01, 2014

Fan Expo 2014: Lukewarm Experience at 20th Edition

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The 20th edition of Fan Expo Canada has come and gone.  I had a reduced experience at Fan Expo this year, since the convention conflicted a bit with my preparations for the Toronto International Film Festival.  As such, I opted to only get a single day pass, for the first time since 2010.  Not wanting to deal with the Saturday crowds, I opted to go on Friday, which I presumed would be less busy.  Even though I had become a bit accustomed to going to Fan Expo for the whole weekend, I didn’t really miss getting the deluxe pass this time around.  The only thing I am missing out by going for a single day is that I cannot see as many panels as I usually do.  Other than that, I see more than enough in a single day.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reflections on a Decade of Film Blogging

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On August 31, 2004 at 11:35am, a 22 year old film lover named Sean Patrick Kelly posted the introductory post for his new film blog “Sean P. Kelly On Movies,” located at http://skmovies.blogspot.com.  A couple hours later, the first proper post was made, which was all about this young blogger’s hatred of film reviews.  Fast forward a decade later and this now 32 year old blogger has turned into a more mature writer, who now appreciates the value of giving an opinion.

It is hard to believe that I have been blogging about film for a decade.  Like many of my online endeavours, this film blog began as little more than a hobby.  Whenever, I felt like giving an opinion on the world of film, I would post it on this blog.  When I started this blog back in 2004, I never really thought that I would still be writing it a decade later.  Even more surprising is how my writing steadily developed into more than simply a hobby.  If I was told a decade ago that my blog would allow me to get media access to film festivals and open the door for other writing opportunities, I probably would have laughed.

Well, it’s time to go down memory lane and revisit the first ten years of “Sean Kelly on Movies.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blindspot 2014: Se7en

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The post may contains SPOILERS

This month I watched the thriller Se7en, the sophomore film by director David Fincher.  William R. Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a homicide detective, a week away from retirement, who is partnered with the short tempered new transfer David Mills (Brad Pitt).  Somerset and Mills are tracking down a serial killer, who is picking his victims based on the seven deadly sins of gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, and lust.  As they rush to catch the killer, the two find themselves trapped in a twisted mind game.

Se7en is the second feature film by former music video director David Fincher, following his 1992 debut with Alien 3.  Along with Fight Club, Se7en is probably the film Fincher is best known for. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Thoughts on The Trip to Italy

TheTriptoItalyBritish comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return as fictional versions of themselves in director Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy.  After the success of their previous restaurant-going road trip, Steve and Rob are asked to go on a second trip, this time around Italy.  The two travel to many locations around the country, including Tuscany and Rome, visiting restaurants and having tantalizing conversations, which often involve many celebrity impersonations.  Along the way, Rob Bryon receives a great opportunity, which may result in the increase of his profile in North America.

Like the original film from 2011, The Trip to Italy is an edited down version of the BBC television series of the same name and focuses on the fictionalized versions of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon first introduced in 2005’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.  With the television series consisting of six half hour episodes, it contains about 72 minutes more content than the 108 minute film.  However, while there is some notable trimming of certain scenes, particularly in the first half, the film version of The Trip to Italy still comes across as a complete story.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Thoughts on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

SinCityADametoKillForNine years after the original, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller return for more tales from Sin City.  In the titular story A Dame to Kill For, photographer Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) is approached for a favour by his highly seductive ex-lover Ava Lord (Eva Green).  However, Dwight soon gets more than he bargained for and must recruit the help of the hulking brute Marv (Mickey Rourke), as well as old town girls Gail (Rosario Dawson) and Miho (Jamie Chung).  The Long Bad Night focuses on Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt), a cocky young gambler, who gloats that he never loses.  However, he gets into trouble when he beats the wrong guy at poker.  In the final story Nancy's Last Dance, Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) is struggling to cope with the suicide of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), whose spirit watches over her as she falls deeper into alcoholism and depression.  Nancy eventually decides to take matters into her own hands and teams up with Marv to take her revenge out on Sin City’s corrupt politician Senator Roark (Powers Boothe).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Thoughts on Frank

frankAn experimental music group is lead by an eccentric man in a papier-mâché head in the indie comedy-drama Frank.  Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is a wannabe musician, who stumbles upon a band called "Soronprfbs," who are trying to stop their keyboardist from drowning himself in the ocean.  Needing an extra man for their performance that night, the band’s manager Don (Scoot McNairy) asks Jon if he can play keyboards at the show.  It is at the concert where Jon finds out that the Soronprfbs is lead by a man named Frank (Michael Fassbender), who inexplicably wears a giant papier-mâché doll’s head. 

After the show, Don asks Jon to join the band as they record their new album at a remote cabin in Ireland.  Even though Frank takes an instant liking to Jon, the rest of the the Soronprfbs do not really trust him, particularly their temperamental theremin player Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).  Jon logs the recording sessions on social media, which results in Soronprfbs becoming an internet sensation and being asked to play at SXSW.  However, the heavily perfectionist Frank might not be ready to perform in front of such as large crowd.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Listen to Me – The Dew Over, Episode Thirteen: 2007

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I make my debut as one of the panel members in the latest episode of The Dew Over podcast. Hosted by Jamie Dew, the podcast has the panel debating the Oscar nominees for a certain year and answering the question about whether the year needs a do-over.  The subject of this episode is the nominees from 2007, in which the Best Picture winner was the Coen Brother’s No Country for Old Men. I think I did good on the panel, even though I made a couple of errors (including correcting myself for a film title I had already given correctly). I hope you enjoy this discussion.

Click here to listen to the episode

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Thoughts on The Expendables 3

TheExpendables3The team of mercenaries recruit new blood to face an old foe in The Expendables 3.  After freeing imprisoned Expendables member Doc (Wesley Snipes), Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) leads his team of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture), and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) to intercept an arms deal.  Barney is shocked to find that the arms trader in the deal is Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), the co-founder of The Expendables, who was long thought dead.  When a member of the team is severely injured in the ensuing showdown, Barney decides to recruit a new younger team to help him apprehend Stonebanks.  The old and new generation of Expendables will have to team together to face this formable foe.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Week in Movies – August 15, 2014

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It’s been quite a while. Here’s what’s playing this week.

What I’ll Be Seeing:

Other Releases:

Toronto Film Events/Screenings:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Thoughts on Magic in the Moonlight

MagicintheMoonlightIn the latest film by Woody Allen, an illusionist sets off to the French Riviera to debunk a pretty young psychic medium.  Set in the 1920s, Stanley (Colin Firth) is a British man who performs on stage as the world famous Oriental illusionist Wei Ling Soo.  After a show, Stanley is greeted by fellow illusionist Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), who asks for help debunking a young American psychic named Sophie Baker (Emma Stone), who has been taken in by a rich American family in the French Riviera.  Stanley travels with Howard to observe Sophie at work and soon finds himself charmed by both her apparent powers and endearing personality.