Everybody’s Chattin + Most-Anticipated Movies from TIFF 2016

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Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope you’re all in good health. Well, my Rheumatoid Arthritis flared up again earlier this week that I had to stay home Monday as I could barely lift my water bottle, let alone drive. My left hand is still swollen which makes typing a pain but thank goodness for Aleve!

In any case, I did have a blast watching Bridget Jones Baby last night…

 

Ok how about those links!

Well if you’re paying attention to film festivals like me, you’re likely been following Toronto International Film Festival that’s going on this week through this Sunday.

Lucky Jay & her crew have been covering TIFF this year, check out her blog for reviews, including La La Land!

Courtney just posted her thoughts on the highly-anticipated The Birth of A Nation, one of those films that I still want to see and judge for myself.

Another Torontonian Ryan also attended TIFF, check out his review of Andrea Arnold’s American Honey

Margaret is back with her phenomenal visual parallel posts, this time on Neon Demon vs. Black Swan

Meanwhile, Nostra just caught up with Kevin Costner’s crime flick Criminal 

Jordan just reviewed the YA thriller Nerve, whose composer Rob Simonsen I’ll be featuring later this week!

Allie reviewed an early 2000s comedy that I happened to enjoy quite a bit, Napoleon Dynamite

The Sea of Trees has been completely lambasted by critics, well looks like Khalid agreed w/ them

Paul just talks about the classic rom-com The Philadelphia Story 

Hey it’s back to school season, so check out Michael‘s answers on his Back-t0-School Movie Quiz!

Last but not least, check out Cindy‘s latest Lucky 13 on the topic of Al Pacino the Mentor


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So, speaking of TIFF, I’ve been reading a bunch of TIFF reviews the past week. There are some I’ve been anticipating (i.e. Free Fire which sounds like a blast), but some new ones I just heard about that intrigued me (Korean crime drama The Age of Shadows, British WWII drama Their Finest). ELLE starring Isabelle Huppert sounds brutal but then again what do you expect from agent provocateur Paul Verhoeven. It’s also one of the films my crush Sam Riley saw at Cannes last May😉

Of course the buzz surrounding the musical La La Land and sci-fi drama Arrival have been incredible, I sure hope they both lived up to the hype! So if I were to list my top 10 most anticipated movies out of TIFF, this is what it’d look like:

You can check out IMDB’s TIFF mini guide or The Hollywood Reporter‘s coverage for a list of movies screened at TIFF.
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So what’s YOUR most anticipated movies out of TIFF 2016?

Everybody’s Chattin + TV News Update: HBO’s Westworld & George RR Martin’s Wild Cards

EverybodysChattinAug

Happy Wednesday everyone! Are y’all watching the Olympics? I missed the opening ceremony so I only caught up w/ some clips on Flipboard. I did watch the Men’s 100m backstroke as Minnesotan David Plummer, a swim coach who’s perhaps one of the oldest at 30, won Bronze.  Woo hoo!

Well I’m super excited to see Anthropoid tomorrow. I’ve posted the trailer here and yesterday I read this awesome NY Mag article that the film shows how women helped defeat the Nazis.

Ok how about those links!

A couple of Suicide Squad-related posts: Margaret lamented on the lack of Jared Leto’s Joker’s scenes, among others, whilst Jordan actually had some praises for the movie.

Jia posted a Blindspot review on one of my favorite modern noir thrillers, L.A. Confidential

Jay reviewed a movie I missed at the theaters, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I can’t wait to rent as soon as it’s available.

I hadn’t reviewed Spielberg’s The BFG yet, but it seems Mark liked the movie more than I did, whilst Zöe pretty much agreed with me in regards to Jason Bourne.

I enjoy reading ranking lists! Keith just ranked the Marvel movies from worst to first ( I LOVE his #1 pick!)

This is a movie which trailer intrigued me… Dan reviewed Indignation

Last but not least, Cindy shared some great book recommendations.


Ok, we’ve still got a couple of months to wait yet for this upcoming series, but man, everything about this upcoming series looks really good!

WestworldHBO

A series inspired by the 1973 film of the same title written by Michael Crichton about a futuristic theme park populated by artificial beings.

Now, I’ve never seen the original series with Yul Brynner, but the idea of a western sci-fi instantly intrigues me. Ok now it doesn’t always work, as in the case of Cowboys & Aliens, but we’ve got quite a pedigree in terms of its creator.

I love that it’s a husband/wife team behind this series remake: Jonathan Nolan and fellow screenwriter Lisa Joy Nolan. Oh, and JJ Abrams also serves as executive producer along with the Nolans. Check out the trailer:

Here’s just a sampling of the impressive ensemble cast:

  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Ed Harris
  • Evan Rachel Wood
  • James Marsden
  • Thandie Newton
  • Jeffrey Wright
  • Tessa Thompson
  • Shannon Woodward
  • Ben Barnes

The 10-episode season 1 will premiere on HBO on Sunday, October 2 at 9 p.m. I can hardly wait!
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As Game of Thrones‘ fans are waiting for season 7 with bated breath, its author George R.R. Martin has long set his sights elsewhere. He just may have another sprawling fantasy world on television, according to Variety.

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Universal Cable (same studio behind Mr. Robot that I’m currently watching) has purchased the rights for Martin’s work. The first volume in the book series was published in 1986, with 22 volumes released to date.

Here’s the premise:

“…the shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946 when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth. Of those infected, 90% died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9% were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky 1% became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces. The world was never the same.”

I quite like the sound of this, so I’ll keep an eye on this project. Surely plenty of actors are salivating to be cast in this.

 


What are your thoughts about these TV projects?

Everybody’s Chattin + Casting News w/ Idris Elba, Jessica Chastain & Jake Gyllenhaal

EverybodysChattinJuly

Happy Thursday, everyone! The nice thing about going to a work conference on Monday & Tuesday is the week feels shorter than it is, so tomorrow is Friday already, yay!

I got to see Jason Bourne press screening last Tuesday. I enjoyed it quite a bit though I think it falls short of the excellent trilogy. I’ll review it next week but I’m still a bit giddy for THIS scene in Vegas, whoah!

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Ok how about those links!

I’ll be seeing Suicide Squad next Tuesday, and Harley Quinn is likely going to steal every scene. Check out Margaret‘s tribute for Margot Robbie‘s character.

Jordan reviewed a new Aussie Western Goldstone

Boy I had no idea this movie even existed! Allie talks about Star Wars Holiday Special as part of Christmas-In-July blogathon

Mark and Getter‘s reviewed Independence Day: Resurgence. Not surprisingly, neither was impressed with this movie though I was surprised to learn Getter actually think Liam Hemsworth was good in it

Having just seen Jason Bourne, I totally agree with Nick that the Bourne movies are equally defined by the obligatory government antagonist. Check out the five actors he’d like to see in the role.

Steven reviewed Richard Linklater’s latest Everybody Want Some!

Let’s top it off with two awesome list posts! Alex posted his top 10 films of 2016 so far, whilst Dan posted his picks of 10 favorite French rom-coms of the 21st century.


CastingNews

Life must be good to be Jessica Chastain. I love her, she’s gorgeous, talented and a bit underrated. Glad to see her continue getting roles and man does she have the best male co-stars or what! Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston, James McAvoy, Oscar Isaac… just to name a few, and now Idris!!! [yes clearly I’m green w/ envy] I’d LOVE to see her co-star with my crush du jour Sam Riley one day😛

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Per The Playlist, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is going to have his directorial debut and he’ll also write the screenplay. His film is titled Molly’s Game and Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba have been cast as the leads!

Molly’s Game is the true story of Molly Bloom (Chastain), a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally is her criminal defense lawyer (Elba), who learns that there’s much more to Molly than the tabloids lead us to believe.

I really like the sound of this! Chastain and Elba such talented actors and it’s a role that would suit them both. No talks of romance between the two but that’s actually refreshing! Though the idea of a love scene between the two sounds pretty scorching ;) I just hope they won’t ever hide that gorgeous face of his under a ton of makeup like they did in Thor or Star Trek Beyond.

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Now this one doesn’t seem exciting on paper as I don’t really care for video game movies. But with this cast it just could be watchable. Per Variety, Jake Gyllenhaal is producing a video game adaptation based on Ubisoft’s The Division.

Set in a dystopian New York City in the aftermath of a smallpox pandemic, the player is an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division. That agent is tasked with helping to rebuild the Division’s operations in Manhattan, investigating the nature of the outbreak and combating criminal activity in its wake.

Not sure which roles Jessica Chastain will be playing. Of course it’d be neat if Jessica is the agent and Jake plays her ally, or villain? Speaking of video game movies, we have Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender out in December and Tom Hardy’s Splinter Cell out next year. It remains to be seen if any of those would actually be worth watching.


What are your thoughts about the projects and/or casting news?

Everybody’s Chattin + Trailers Spotlight: Jeff Nichols’ LOVING + Warren Beatty’s ‘Rules Don’t Apply’

EverybodysChattin_Movies

Happy almost Friday everyone! It’s been quite a busy week for me, in and out of work, so I’m glad the weekend is just around the corner!! I’m going to see Captain Fantastic tonight so very excited for that.

Ok, about those links…

Keith posted his Blindspot review on A Man Escaped

Dell posted his thoughts on Steve Jobs movie

Meanwhile, Courtney argued that Swiss Army Man might be the most uplifting movie yet

I love birthday tributes and Margaret just posted a massive one on the legendary Harrison Ford

Steven posted a review one of my brothers’ favorites, Smokey and the Bandit

Well, we can’t agree on everything but that’s what makes blogging fun, right? Eddie reviewed Midnight Special and Jordan reviewed Sing Street, they feel quite differently than I did about each movie.


Trailers Spotlight

This week I’m highlighting two movies that deal with forbidden romance, relationships that break the rules of sort, though both are set in very different circumstances. Whether it’s society’s rules of the time or rules mandated by strict employers, the couples in these films face challenges to stay together. Both films are released in November.

LOVING

Release: November 4, 2016
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton

LovingPoster

Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married.

Check out the brand new trailer:

“I know we have some enemies. But we have some friends too.”
– Mildred Loving

This beautifully-shot film is poised to be a real tearjerker. I love Nichols’ work, as well as Joel Edgerton and Nichols’ muse Michael Shannon. But it’s Ruth Negga‘s performance I’m most looking forward to seeing. I cried just watching this trailer, it’s certainly a timely film, especially in light of recent events in my state as well as in Texas. As a non-White person who have many friends who married people outside of their own race, this is certainly a topic I’m intrigued by. In fact, before I met my hubby who shares my Southeast Asian heritage, back in college I’ve gone on dates with a Latino, as well as Caucasian guys. I remember feeling a bit uneasy walking or dining with my White boyfriend in the small town I lived in, as some older people would stare. I don’t think they meant any harm though, so I can’t imagine what the Loving couple had to go through endure living in 1950s America!

Director Jeff Nichols was able to tell the story of the Loving family as accurately as possible by relying on Nancy Buirski’s documentary The Loving Story (2011), which captured many details of their private lives: “We had this beautiful documentary footage unearthed from the mid-’60s where we got to go into their home and see them and watch them,” Nichols said. “It’s an unusual thing to have access to.” (per IMDb)

RULES DON’T APPLY

Release: November 23, 2016
Produced and Directed by: Warren Beatty
Screenplay by Warren Beatty; Story by Warren Beatty and Bo Goldman
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Haley Bennett, Candice Bergen, Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Lily Collins, Steve Coogan, Alden Ehrenreich, Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt and Martin Sheen
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An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire (Warren Beatty), who they work for.

It’s Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes’ #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress.

This one seems to have a similar comedic vibe as Hail, Caesar!, and hey, the new Han Solo Alden Ehrenreich is in this, too. Hopefully this one will be a better movie though. It’s also got has an amazing cast, interesting to see Bening & Beatty working together again (after Bugsy & Love Affair in the 90s), haven’t seen either one of them in ages. I haven’t seen Matthew Broderick in a long time either, he looks pretty funny here.

Apparently Warren Beatty first pitched a Howard Hughes biopic as early as 1973. He continually tried to get a film involving Hughes off the ground every year or two since then. One can say it’s a film 40 years in the making. (per IMDb)


What do you think of either of these trailers?

Everybody’s Chattin + Musings on The White Queen’s Richard III

EverybodysChattinTWQ

Hello folks, happy almost Friday! I’m going to see Steven Spielberg’s BFG later this evening, though I have to admit I wasn’t really all that excited about it. I sure hope it’s entertaining and not as melodramatic as War Horse.

EU-referendum-vote-to-stay-says-Greencore-boss_medium_vgaToday marks an important day for the UK as voting is under way in a historic referendum on whether the UK should leave or remain a member of the EU. I’ve been reading a ton about it and I’m really curious to see the outcome as the result of this Brexit ballot will certainly reach beyond Europe. It’s kind of a coincidence (or not?) that I’ve been obsessed lately with a British monarch, more on that at the end of the post.

Ok, let’s get to those links!

Jay talks about child actors, which ones make it and which don’t

Make sure you make a mental note for Cindy‘s July’s Film Club on movies based on books. Glad to see Michael as the special guest next month!

Brittani reviewed Locke, that one-man-show starring the awesome Tom Hardy

One of the Flick Chicks duo Allie reviewed The Hateful Eight which she really, really liked

Father’s Day was just last Sunday, and Alex did a great Movie Fathers Quiz to commemorate it

Paul, the loyal admirer of Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan wrote a post about One Fine Day & Addicted to Love

Zöe did a fine character tribute on Walter Bishop from Fringe series

Nostra confirmed my dread about Independence Day: Resurgence. I was supposed to go to an AM screening on Friday but decided not to bother.

Last but not least, check out Mickey‘s interview with the DOP of Finding Dory, Ian Megibben



Here we go again… I have such an obsessive streak in me and I never know when something struck me. I finally finished The White Queen last Sunday, and for the past three days I’ve been consumed by much-maligned king Richard III. The last time I was obsessing over a deceased real-life character was Ian Curtis after seeing Sam Riley‘s portrayal in Control.

Like most of you, the image I have of the last Plantagenet King is that he’s an evil hunchback, thanks to the villainous Shakespeare portrayal which is more of the Tudors’ propaganda. He’s also often been portrayed as an old man when he actually died at the age of 32. Philippa Gregory‘s The White Queen paints a far more sympathetic portrayal of him, which seems to line up more with the recent discovery of the monarch’s remains back in 2012 at a parking lot of all places. Out of the three York brothers, Richard’s story certainly is the most compelling and he’s become my fave male character in the series.

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It doesn’t hurt that in the series, Richard’s played by this terrific Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard with his dramatic eyes and tortured-soul temperament. For once he’s actually closer to the age of the real king when he reigned, give or take a couple of years as Aneurin was about 26 when he filmed TWQ. It’s funny but the first time he appeared on screen I gasped a little as he resembles my dahling Sam a bit with his intense, penetrating gaze. So yeah, I’m crushing a bit on him, but I’ve also become seriously obsessed with the historical character Richard III.

I think I’ve watched pretty much every video I could find on the long-dead monarch on youtube and Netflix, both the historical biographies on him and all the videos about the recent discovery in Leicester, led by another woman named Philippa. Suffice to say, like Philippa Langley, I’ve become a Ricardian now and I’m dying to see a proper Richard III film that is more historically-accurate, though I’d imagine his death scene in the Battle of Bosworth Field would likely be extremely gory to film!


In any case, here’s a preview of the brutal final episode of season 1 that ended the War of the Roses:

And here’s a clip of Richard talking to Elizabeth Woodville (the wonderful Rebecca Ferguson) about the Princes in the Tower, the ultimate cold case that remains unsolved to this day. It made me wish there’s a spin-off series of Richard III with the same cast!

I’m pretty sure Ricardians everywhere are very pleased with Aneurin’s portrayal of Richard III. He’s definitely NOT the physically and mentally crooked monster we’ve been subjected for decades. Apparently back in 2013, Langley wanted actor Richard Armitage (who’s apparently named after the king himself) to portray Richard III (per Scotland’s Herald). I’ve talked about it extensively here three years ago. Now at 44 he’s become too old (and at 6’2″ too tall as well) to play him, but I think it might still work. Heck he’d still look far younger than Lawrence Olivier or Ian McKellen who’s played the character in the past.

I for one would prefer Aneurin reprising the role in the film version. I mean if you look at the facial reconstruction created from the skull remains, he even resembles king Richard a bit.

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Source: tumblr

As the series progressed, I also found myself more drawn to his relationship with the kingmaker’s daughter Anne Neville (Faye Marsay). To say it’s a complicated marriage is putting it mildly. I mean the lines between enemies and friends are often blurred during the War of the Roses, but there’s something so romantic yet tragic in how this particular union is depicted.

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It’s funny how a movie/series can get you all excited about learning history, but I’ve always been a fan of the underdogs and there’s not a monarch out there more unfairly portrayed/judged like Richard III. So I’m ordering a few Richard III books and I can’t wait to devour them!


Have you seen ‘The White Queen’? I’m also curious if there’s any screen character(s) you’re currently obsessing over.

Everybody’s Chattin + Best casting news in ages: John Boyega in Pacific Rim 2!

EverybodysChattin

Heh, why is it only Wednesday:\ It’s a pretty busy week at work and June is looking to be a hectic one, which is unusual for Summer. In any case, I’m also gonna be blogging a bit less as I’m REALLY trying to get my script done but the race the the finish is usually the toughest and I’m finding that w/ mine, especially the dialog of the final scene.

But hey, there’s always time for community links… so here we go!

I’ve missed a few of Dan Stephens‘ awesome top 10 lists… LOVE this one on Vengeful Vigilantes.

Nostra reviewed Midnight Special which I can’t wait to see once the blu-ray is out in a couple of weeks!

On the other hand, I think I’m gonna skip The Brothers Grimsby even though Dan O. didn’t hate it.

Brittani reviewed the French film Mustang. Given how much I LOVE the female-led Girlhood that’s also directed by a woman, I can’t wait to see this one!

Steven reviewed The Martian which made me want to see it again pronto!

Now, given her baby is due soon, we may not get to see many more of Film Fridays from Abbi, so check out her latest post that include reviews of Sing Street & Florence Foster Jenkins.

Now, we’ve got a cinematography and scene spotlight on two of my favorites. Keith posted great images from Inception, and Zoë posted the awesome club shootout scene from John Wick. Can’t wait for the sequel!


Now, speaking of a sequel I can’t wait to see…

It’s been a while since I’m actually excited for any sequel, but I’m a huge fan of Pacific Rim and I was so bummed that it’s been stuck in development hell for some time. For a while it seems it might not even get made at all for one reason or another. But looks like it will happen after all, wahoo!!! And what could be better than an awesome casting bit to go with it…

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John Boyega, one of today’s rising stars out of Star Wars: Force Awakens has been cast as the son of Idris Elba’s Stacker Pentecost! What an absolutely brilliant casting!! I was literally in glee when I heard it and it just couldn’t be more perfect. Boyega and Elba are born & bred in London and they’re both super charismatic! I’d love to see him use his natural accent in Pacific Rim 2, as he used an American accent as Fin in the Force Awakens.

I have to say I’m even more excited to see Pacific Rim: Maelstrom than the Star Wars sequel. I have to say I’m still going to miss Idris in THIS getup [yowza!]…

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… but I’m hoping he’d have a small part maybe in Flashback scenes? Man it’d be cool to see him & Boyega on screen together. But for sure I’m excited to see Boyega as a Jaeger pilot and keep on cancelin’ the apocalypse!

Guillermo del Toro isn’t directing this one though he’d still serve as producer. Steven S. DeKnight (who directed an episode of Netflix’s Daredevil as well as executive-produced the series) is helming this one. Per EW, del Toro said this:

“I am very proud and happy to welcome John into a fantastic sandbox. The Pacific Rim universe will be reinforced with him as a leading man as it continues to be a multicultural, multi-layered world.”

I love how diverse the cast of the first movie and so if Rinko Kikuchi is back again with Charlie Hunnam, I’ll be a happy camper!


What do you think of this casting news? Are you excited for Pacific Rim 2? 

Everybody’s Chattin + Question of the Week: What’s your favorite Canadian film(s)?

EverybodysChattinMontreal

Happy Friday everybody!! Well I’m psyched for my Montréal trip. Bags are packed, airport shuttle booked, etc. and looking at the forecast, it’s going to be in mid 70s F & mostly sunny for most of the days we’ll be in Montréal AND Québec City! We can’t believe our luck, as Canada & Minnesota pretty much share a similar climate in that it tends to still be cold even in May.

Well, I’ve been needing a break for some time so for sure I won’t be blogging whilst I’m on vacation, so if you don’t see a comment from moi in the next week or so, you’ll know why. But before time, there’s always time for community links, so here we go…

Cindy just did a wonderful tribute to one of my fave actors Edward Norton

Jordan reviewed a French film The Blue Room by Mathieu Amalric

Speaking of French cinema, Vinnie reviewed the classic 90s crime thriller Léon, which is my fave Luc Besson movie

Now THIS post of dapper guys in suits is a total feast for the eyes… thank you Zoë for not forgetting my dahling Sam Riley!

To commemorate this year’s Cannes, Steven‘s been doing Cannes review marathon. I really need to see this Russian film Leviathan (2014)

Dell‘s post on terrible movie summaries made me laugh, esp. the one for Batman V Superman

I’ve been curious to check out Yorgos Lanthimos’ previous films after seeing The Lobster, but after reading Vern‘s review of Dogtooth, I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea.

The Flick Chicks ladies Jenna & Allie have a differing views about Testament of Youth, but I’m still curious to rent it, alas it’s not available to stream anywhere:\

Mark & Tom’s Decades’ Blogathon is going on right now, check out Michael‘s review of The Outlaw Josey Wales starring Clint Eastwood.

Last but not least, always nice to see Andrew still blogging from time to time. Check out his 2015 Fisti Awards, yay on Phoenix!


MadeInCanada

As I have done previously on my blog when I take a trip, I like to commemorate it with a film-related post. Well, it so happens that I’ve been watching quite a few Canadian films during MSPIFF, in fact three of them I like quite a bit: Bollywood/Hollywood (set in Toronto), Beeba Boys (set in Vancouver) and My Internship in Canada (set in rural Quebec). The year before I also LOVE The Grand Seduction, which is set in Newfoundland, the most easterly province of Canada.


Now, I’m going to make the distinction of Canadian films and films set in Canada, as there are certainly a ton of American films set in our northern neighbor, such as the X-Men movies in British Columbia as well as many others that take a Canadian city like Toronto to sub for American ones like NYC. Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive list of Canadian films, and apparently according to this site, April 29 is declared National Canadian Film Day!

WaterMovieA few notable Canadian films (made by Canadian filmmakers) I’ve seen over the years are Water (by Deepa Mehta), The Fly (by David Cronenberg) Enemy (by Denis Villeneuve), The Red Violin (by François Girard), just to name a few. I also have to mentioned Remember, which was a compelling WWII-themed drama by Atom Egoyan (an Egyptian-decent who was raised in British Columbia).

When I was making this post though, I realize there are so many essential Canadian films I still need to see… Away from Her (as well as Sarah Polley’s acclaimed documentary Stories We Tell), Incendies, Monsieur Lazhar,, and the one that’s been on my Netflix queue for ages Cairo Time, etc. I also remember reading Ryan’s review of Jesus of Montreal, which I should check out soon.

So I thought I’d take the time to broaden my Canadian cinema horizon.


In the spirit of recommendations, what’s YOUR favorite Canadian film(s)?

Everybody’s Chattin’ + First Look of ‘Queen of Katwe’ + ‘Free Fire’

EverybodysChattin_Movies

Happy Wednesday everybody! I’m still high from seeing the first look of my dahling Sam Riley in Ben Wheatley’s new movie (more of that below). It’s been ages since I see anything new with him on social media… ah the peril of loving an underrated actor. But y’know what they say, you can’t choose who you love.

So about those links…

Jordan reviewed a terrific film Mia Madre, that’s perfect for Mother’s Day [or any day]

Everyone’s fave series Game of Thrones is back, and so is Margaret‘s awesome episodic reviews!

Steven lamented on Brian de Palma’s Bonfire of the Vanities

Speaking of lamenting, Mariah posted her thoughts on the whitewashing in Hollywood, most recently the casting of Ghost in the Shell

Thursday Movie Picks are still going & going… Dell just posted on his three fave droids/cyborgs

Eddie‘s entry to the Rob’s Genre Grandeur series talks about how Fast Five holds up 5 years later

Now here’s a real head scratcher, Paul asks which body of work you prefer Michelle Pfeiffer vs Meg Ryan

Mickey reviewed one of my fave films out TCFF last year – Room

Last but not least, don’t forget to stop by Mark’s blog on Monday for his Decades Blogathon!


Time for a couple of First Looks…

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Ok so I’m a sucker for inspirational true stories. This one is based on a book of the same name by Tim Crothers. Though there have been films made about chess champions before, I actually haven’t seen any of them. The fact that this one tells a non-American story makes me more interested in it. The film, shot in Uganda and South Africa is directed by Mira Nair (a female director is always a plus in my book!) I had only seen Vanity Fair and The Reluctant Fundamentalist from Nair, but most people are probably more familiar with her famous film Monsoon Wedding.

Here’s the synopsis per Screenrant:

The film tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), a chess prodigy from Uganda who earned Woman Candidate Master status in 2012, following the deaths of her father and brother.

I love both David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, so that’s another big plus. It’s one of those stories you likely can predict how it’ll turn out, but still intriguing nonetheless. I’m already tearing up watching the trailer so I’ve got to bring tissues when I do watch the movie.


FreeFire_teaserposter

I’m still so very giddy just from seeing the first photo of this gangster flick, I don’t know what I’ll be when the trailer comes out!

I had already heard of this when Sam mentioned it in a couple of Pride + Prejudice + Zombies interviews. He called it a 1.5 hour gang shootout, which sounds epic cool! The filmmaker du jour Ben Wheatley, fresh from all the buzz of High Rise is directing this, AND it’s executive produced by Martin Scorsese!

The synopsis per EMPIRE:

Free Fire is set in Boston in 1978. The story, which Wheatley is pitching as a muscular crime flick in the spirit of Melville, Hawks, Scorsese himself and Walter Hill, charts the fallout from a gun-running hook-up orchestrated by Larson in a deserted warehouse. At its centre are two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley), on a connect with a pair of arms traffickers, Ord (Armie Hammer) and Vernon (Sharlto Copley), but soon wishing they’d given the whole enterprise a wide berth when the bullets start flying.

The film also stars new Oscar winner Brie Larson, Noah Taylor and of course, my darling Sam Riley!

FreeFire_firstlook

Look at the mustaches + 70s outfits on these guys!

Per EMPIRE article: “The idea for Free Fire came from my love of hard-boiled crime movies,” Wheatley tells Variety. “The Asphalt Jungle, The Big Sleep,The Killing and The Big Combo through The Driver, Le Samourai andThe French Connection, to the modern cycle of GoodFellas, Casino,Hard Boiled and Reservoir Dogs.”

“It will take you and stick you in the middle of the action,” he elaborates. “I want the film to have the stylish, no-nonsense feel that you get in [Sam] Peckinpah’s The Getaway. It’s a modern ‘70s movie. Muscular, tough and spare.”

Hmmm, I actually didn’t care for The Getaway, but maybe because I didn’t really like Steve McQueen who’s just so damn smug, but I do like the cast here and it looks more of an ensemble piece than just centered on a single hero. And of course seeing Sam Riley (with 70s ‘tache AND glasses? Oh my!) on the big screen again is a major plus! A24 has acquired the US rights, so I can’t wait to see a trailer soon.

Both of these films are scheduled to be released later in the Fall.


So what do you think of either one of these new films?

Everybody’s Chattin + A tribute to Prince… a towering music icon gone too soon

Oh what a day it’s been… It’s another sorrowful day for music lovers as another music icon just passed away. I had prepared this post for community links & highlight some new trailers, but in light of Prince’s death, there’s obviously a change of plans. But before we get to that…

Let’s get to those awesome blog posts…

My friend Cindy posted her monthly series sharing music, books, and films that absorbed her

The Minneapolis Wizard World is coming next weekend. Well, Mikey posted some fun cosplay pics from the recent Edinburgh Comic-con!

My pal Mark is hosting another Decades Blogathon, I urge y’all to take part!

Rodney just reviewed the Aussie-set drama The Dressmaker, which I’ll rent for Kate Winslet!

One of my fave films that premiered at TCFF last year, It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong finally got a wider release. Check out what Nostra thought about the film.

Alex talked about music covers that are better than the originals

Steven reviewed his April Blindspot pick, Killer (1989)

Zoë reviewed a 90s classic, Good Will Hunting 

Allie of the lovely duo Flick Chicks blog just posted a trio of reviews

Last but not least, Margaret posted another great ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ entry on her boy du jour Harrison Ford’s earlier work, Witness.


RIP_Prince

It’s a sad day for music lovers… well sad year really given that we just lost David Bowie in January. But given that I’m practically a Minnesotan, this is an especially tough day and I haven’t quite processed it yet. In fact, it’s just before lunch that my colleague shouted that Prince had died and then he retracted saying, ‘no, someone died on the premise of his Chanhassen studio.’ But of course minutes later it was confirmed that it was Prince himself had died and my heart sank.

My hubby drove to Paisley Park after work today to take some photos. Even the gloomy sky seemed to have mourned the icon. There had been traffic jam in the area since the news broke early afternoon and it apparently hadn’t let on. First Avenue, the club appeared in his film Purple Rain, is currently hosting an outdoor concert tribute for him as I’m typing this.


Though Paisley Park is less than 20 miles away from my home and I used to drive by his studio every week as my church was within 5 minutes from it, I’ve never actually met Prince in person. I haven’t had the privilege of seeing him live in concert either [yes I know, bummer!] but I’ve heard many stories of my friends/colleagues’ encounter with him, whether at First Avenue or at Caribou Coffee house (which is as numerous as Starbucks in my neck of the woods). One of my good friend Tom actually bumped into Prince, literally, and said how he only came up to his chest. Tom wasn’t even 6 feet tall so Prince must not have been wearing his high heels then.

PurpleRain

Despite his small stature, Prince was a giant in terms of his contribution to the music industry. On my way home today, MPR was covering the death of an icon by interviewing journalists, as well as First Avenue’s general manager Nate Kranz, and even they had a hard time defining the Minneapolis Sound is that Prince pioneered. Apparently it’s a hybrid mixture of funk, rock, pop, synthpop and new wave…well whatever it was, it certainly sounds cool to me.

I feel so inadequate posting a tribute for him… there are far more qualified people who has followed his career faithfully from the late 70s and has been influenced deeply by whether directly or indirectly. But at the same time I still want to honor his amazing legacy as an artist and what better way than to feature even just a tiny sampling of my favorite Prince’s music.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate Prince’s music… 

And of course, this being primarily a film blog, I had to include this clip from Tim Burton’s 1989 BATMAN, as the music is certainly one of the best parts about that movie.


Rest in peace, Prince Rogers Nelson.
Thank you for your gift of your timeless music
that shall forever live on.


Do you have a certain story about Prince you’d like to share? What’s your favorite Prince’s song(s)?

Everybody’s Chattin + Music Break: Pride + Prejudice + Zombies (2016)

Happy Midweek everybody! Well after a balmy March, April has been pretty darn cold, windy and downright blech! I can’t believe I had to wear my parka today and still I’m freezing my pants off. Well, I remember a snow storm a couple of years ago made me miss the screening for Mud during MSPIFF, so hopefully there won’t be any weather-related fiasco this year.

Speaking of MSPIFF, stay tuned for a wonderful interview post for one of the indie films (made in Minnesota!) I’m looking forward to this weekend. But in the meantime…

Let’s get to those awesome blog posts…

Looks like I’m not the only one excited about a local film festival. Jordan just posted about the French Film Festival in his town of Adelaide and looks like we’ll be seeing a couple of the same films.

Meanwhile, Khalid reviewed one of the films playing at MSPIFF, Dheepan which won a Palme d’Or at Cannes

Batman V Superman might’ve been awful, but the reviews have been entertaining. Such as this one by Margaret. And I so agree w/ what she said about Henry Cavill’s Superman!

Mark reviewed 10 Cloverfield Lane, which sounds like a pleasant surprise to many

Table9Mutant reviewed The Outsiders (1983) which I haven’t seen in ages, but she made me want to rewatch it!

Abbi posted four reviews in her Film Friday series, including The One I Love which sounds the most intriguing of them all.

Steven reviewed The Driver (1978) which was apparently inspired by Le Samourai

On the TV front, Nostra reviewed season 4 of House of Cards

Well, since I’m doing a music break today, I LOVE this Same Song, Different Movie series from Michael. This time it’s the lovely song Theme From A Summer Place by Max Steiner.


Music Break

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Yup I’m still shamelessly obsessed with Pride + Prejudice + Zombies! #sorrynotsorry

Really though, there are sooo many things to love about this movie. In fact the Art of the Title site just posted about the fantastic opening title sequence. Sam Riley’s Colonel Darcy isn’t the only one I’m crazy about, the movie is truly an eye AND ear candy! The score from Spanish composer Fernando Velázquez is absolutely lush and gorgeous, with a touch of dread which is just a perfect combination for a genre mashup movie. He’s done quite a lot of horror films in the past, including Guillermo del Toro produced The Orphanage and Crimson Peak, as well as the disaster drama film The Impossible.

I’ve literally been playing PPZ soundtrack every single day, even at the gym during warm up (I told you I’m obsessed!). The visual soundtrack gives you an idea the tone of the entire album. From the music alone, the refined & genteel Regency era meshes very well with the high action of zombie slaying!

Obviously I LOVE the Colonel Darcy intro and the music is just perfect to accompany his badassery. Right from the moment he steps off his horse in that long, leather duster, my heart was irrevocably gone😉

These two tracks are simply gorgeous, just what one would expect from an Austen period drama… but with a slight twist.

Thanks Mr. Velázquez, this is now one of my favorite movie soundtracks!

BONUS clip:

As PPZ is more Austen than a zombie flick, it stays true to the core love story in Jane Austen’s classic romance. The music in this scene is beautiful and Riley’s raspy voice is music to my ear.


Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s music break, folks! What’s your fave 2016 soundtrack so far?