It’s been nine years since Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller released the film adaptation of Miller’s Sin City graphic novels. While this sequel was announced soon after the first film in 2005, it ended up taking longer than expected to go into production. Well, the wait is finally over and the trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is finally here! The film is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, while also featuring some original Sin City stories Miller wrote exclusively for this sequel. Much of the original cast, including Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, and Bruce Willis are back, while also introducing new cast members, including Josh Brolin, Eva Green, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. As a huge fan of the original film, I am quite looking forward to this sequel, which will be released on August 22.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
After having a few days to process the results of the Academy Awards, it is time for me to hit the mic and record my second podcast. Over the course of 20 minutes, I ramble on about the results of my Oscar predictions, how Gravity ruled the night, the backlash over the documentary Oscar, and my bad luck with the short film categories. The podcast is still highly experimental and you can even notice my edits in some places. However, I can probably say that I am starting to get a hang of this podcasting thing.
Enjoy the episode!
Monday, March 03, 2014
From producer and co-writer Luc Besson and director McG (Charlie’s Angels) comes 3 Days to Kill. Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA agent, who finds himself diagnosed with terminal cancer and is given only months to live. Forced into retirement, Ethan travels to Paris in the hopes to reconnect with his estranged daughter Zoey (Hailee Steinfeld), who he’s looking after for three days while his estranged wife Christine (Connie Nielsen) is out of town on business. However, Vivi Delay (Amber Heard), the handler of Ethan’s previous assignment, shows up wanting Ethan to perform one last job, in exchange for an experimental drug that may extend Ethan’s life. Ethan reluctantly agrees and proceeds to spend the next three days trying to balance his professional life with his personal one.
The 86th Academy Awards have come and gone and, even though 12 Years a Slave ended up with the award for Best Picture (as well as Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong'o), the big winner of the night was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, which won 7 awards, including Best Director. Matthew McConaughey was rewarded for his recent career resurgence with Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club, with his co-star Jared Leto getting Best Supporting Actor. Rounding out the major awards, Cate Blanchett deservingly won for Blue Jasmine (despite the recent Woody Allen controversy) and Spike Jonze won Best Original Screenplay for Her.
This was one of my better years when it came to my Oscar predictions, with me correctly predicting 19 of the 24 awards, which was one better than my previous high of 18 in 2011. I was hurt the most in my predictions by being completely shut-out in the short film categories, since in the past I would at least correctly predict the animation winner. However, this stumble was made-up for with my wildcard win of correctly predicting the two technical Oscars won by The Great Gatsby. I also correctly predicted 20 Feet from Stardom for Best Documentary, based on how well the film did last year when it played (multiple times) at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Of course, most were expecting The Act of Killing to win and I noticed quite a bit of anger on Twitter after 20 Feet from Stardom won.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
The time has come! Tonight is the 86th annual Academy Awards! For the second year in a row, I’ll be watching the ceremony live on the big screen at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema here in Toronto, in which is sure to be a fun night.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear front-runner, going into the Oscars this year, and the best bet is that there is going to be a bit of a split in how the awards are divided up. However, the Oscars are always full of surprises and you never know how the night is doing to turn out.
Anyways, here are my picks for this year.
Friday, February 28, 2014
We are only a couple days away from the the 86th annual Academy Awards. While I already have my picks decided and will post those in the coming days, I thought that I would use today to go back and relink to all my reviews of the nominated films. I’ve seen and reviewed all nine of the Best Picture nominees, as well as many of the other nominated films. In fact, I plan on continuing my Oscar catch up right up until the ceremony on Sunday, with me spending the weekend seeing a few of the documentary nominees I have yet to see. Anyways I hope you enjoy this refresher on the Oscar nominated films.
Here’s what’s playing this week
What I’ll Be Seeing:
- Cutie And The Boxer – February 28, 6:30pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
- Dirty Wars – March 1, 9:15pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
- Bloor Broadcast: 86th Academy Awards – March 2, 7:00pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
Toronto Film Events/Screenings:
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Yesterday I was saddened to hear the news that actor and director Harold Ramis passed away at the age of 69. As an actor, Ramis was best known for playing the ultra-scientific Egon Spengler in the Ghostbusters films, which he also co-wrote with Dan Aykroyd. He was also one of the original cast members of the SCTV sketch comedy TV series.
While Ramis continued to act throughout his career, he started to become better known as a film director. He made his directorial debut with 1980’s Caddyshack and was also behind the camera for films, such as National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Groundhog Day (1993), Multiplicity (1996), Analyze This (1999), and The Ice Harvest (2005). Harold Ramis’ final film (both in front of and behind the camera) was the 2009 biblical comedy Year One. In 2010, Ramis left the spotlight due to health problems, which eventually claimed his life.
Harold Ramis will definitely be missed (some clips after the break).
Since seeing Gangs of New York in 2002, I have steadily become a fan of the films of Martin Scorsese. However, with the exception of Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, I had yet to see many of Scorsese’s early films, which made him the acclaimed filmmaker he is today. As such, with this year’s blindspot line-up, I thought that I would remedy this by including not one, but two of Scorsese's classic films among my film selections for the year. The first of these selections is his highly acclaimed 1980 film Raging Bull, which won star Robert De Niro the Academy Award for Best Actor.
The film is a biopic about Jake LaMotta (DeNiro), a middleweight boxing star from the 1940s, who was managed by his younger brother Joey (Joe Pesci). While pining for a title shot, LaMotta battled his inner demons, including a violent temper, jealousy against those who interacted with his wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), and a compulsive eating habit, which results in extreme weight gain. All of these vices results in LaMotta going down a self-destructive path.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
From director Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) comes the disaster epic Pompeii. Milo (Kit Harington) is a young Celtic gladiator whose entire family was killed by Roman forces lead by Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland). Milo is brought to the city of Pompeii, where he enters a rivalry with gladiator champion Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and attracts the eye of Cassia (Emily Browning), the daughter of the city ruler Severus (Jared Harris) and his wife Aurelia (Carrie-Anne Moss). Corvus, now a roman senator, arrives in Pompeii to listen to Severus’ plans to rebuild the city, while also seeking Cassia’s hand in marriage. As rivalries flare up at Pompeii’s gladiatorial games, a new threat emerges as the volcano Mount Vesuvius begins to erupt.