Category Archives: Film

Film

Who’s got short shorts? TIFF’s Oscar short-film showcase: Part II – Animation

The Oscars are coming up, airing Sunday, February 22nd for over 40 million people. Yesterday I looked at one of the hardest to follow Academy categories, the award for best live action short. Today we’ll take up another short category, certainly the most fun, the Oscar for best animated short. TIFF in Toronto is showing these for at least the next week, as well, and if you’re in the States, you can find listings for the Academy Awards short programs here.

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Who’s got short shorts? TIFF’s Oscar short-film showcase: Part I – Live Action

Boogaloo and Graham might have something to crow about this Oscar season

Every year at the Academy Awards, there’s a lull, one even more numbing than the Oscar for special effects or the latest garish train-wreck of a dance number. It’s when the awards for short films roll around, and it’s a damn shame. The winners are starstruck and elated and you have to feel thrilled for their tremendous spirited breakthrough, but nobody’s seen the film. Or any of them. Shorts have such restricted windows, watching them can be tough. They circulate on the festival circuit, which bars them from appearing on TV and often the internet. This year if you’re in or around Toronto, TIFF’s got you covered, with two separate programs, one for the Oscar-nominated live-action shorts, the other for the animated ones. If you’re in the States, you can also find screenings for the next few weeks all over the country here. They’re the cream of the crop, a handful on each side chosen from all over the world.

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In the Belly of the Beast: The Films of Alex de la Iglesia

The great filmmakers are often celebrated for their extraordinary control: the exacting science of Hitchcock’s suspense, the omnipresent symmetry of Kubrick’s vision, the dour Wagnerian pomp of Christopher Nolan. But there’s a lot to be said for id, too. The chaotic subconscious mind is its own glorious school, a place for the likes of Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi and David Lynch to stretch out and just, you know, get really fucking crazy. With Spain’s Alex de la Iglesia, add one more to that subversive list. TIFF is running a retrospective of de la Iglesia’s films from January 30th to March 28th, and amid all the batshit bonkers onscreen are some really indelible moments of brilliance. From the apocalyptic satanic horror of The Day of the Beast (1995) to the jet-black comedy of A Ferpect Crime (2004), de la Iglesia isn’t for everyone, but if putting the words wild satirical dark guignol together gets you salivating like Pavlov’s dog on a leash, you’re gonna wanna dive into this head-first.

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God, country and family: American Sniper reviewed

American Sniper is based on a book of the same name. It’s the story of Chris Kyle, husband, father, and Navy SEAL. It broke box office records the first weekend it was released. Did this film hit the target or miss the mark? Meet me after the jump to find out, spoilers ahead.

American-Sniper-Movie-Poster

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Scene Stealers: Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson“I have had it with these motherfu**ing snakes on this motherfu**ing plane!” – Snakes on a Plane

Samuel L. Jackson epitomizes what a ‘scene stealer’ is all about. Regardless of the scope of his role or the length of time he’s on screen, you cannot ignore Jackson’s presence in any film. He’s battled racism, dinosaurs, sharks, terrorists, snakes, aliens…and while he’s burned through more ‘movie lives’ than The Flash has shoes, he keeps on giving audiences and fans what they want = one bad*ss motha’ fu*ka!

Check out Jacksons’s top five “Scene Stealing” performances, after the jump.

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The Ten Percent: The Big Red One: The Reconstruction (2004)

Big Red One Poster

Promotional poster for The Big Red One (1980).

“Ninety percent of everything is crud.” – Theodore Sturgeon

“THIS IS FICTIONAL LIFE

BASED ON FACTUAL DEATH.”

So begins one of the most powerful films about World War II ever made, Samuel Fuller’s quasi-autobiographical The Big Red One (1980). Putatively, it is a story about four young soldiers and their grizzled sergeant serving in the US First Infantry Division during the war. Yet Fuller’s film transcends its setting and circumstance to become a quietly fathomless examination of war itself, and the humans who become snared within it, whether soldiers or civilians.

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Marie Gilbert On… Alien

Alien by Silver Ferox Design_3

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things.  Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years.  Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too.  Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

Biff Bam Pop!’s fearless leader, Andy Burns, once asked me what movie scared me the most. I would have to say it was Alien and the sequels that followed. Why aliens? I grew up during the Cold War and nuclear testing. Coincidentally there was also an increase in UFO sightings. Everyone was afraid of atomic warfare or getting probed by little green men. This fear was carried over in film. To find out why I feel that Alien is a great film, you need to step back in time. Read the rest of this entry

Taken 3 Looks To Take The Money: Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

Taken3 PosterIt’s the early days of the year and that means we’re well into awards season. Films that believe they’ll be getting some kind of honour are expanding into more theatres after a limited run while other, well regarded films, are coming back for second engagements.

Still others seem to have always been there critical darlings waiting for you to see them after reading a “Best of” column on the web over the holidays.

But that doesn’t mean action and suspense won’t rule at the box office. Follow me after the jump for this weekend’s box office predictions!

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An Imitation of The Imitation Game

im1

A disclaimer: I’m a proud Cumbercollective member. Let that color the review as you will.

The Imitation Game is the new biopic picture about Alan Turing: legendary mathematician, oddball and the codebreaker of WWII. If you’re wondering about whether you’ve heard about his ideas before – you have. The sequence in Blade Runner, where Deckard is trying to determine if Rachel is a replicant, is based on Turing’s writing about Artificial Intelligence. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t want to know you.  More about The Imitation Game after the jump.

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Hobbit Wins The Battle Of The 5 Films: Biff Bam Pop’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up Report

url13This weekend, there was one film to rule them all – three weeks running now.

Sorry, “one ring” is the wrong franchise, but still the right family of films at the top of the box office this weekend. The third installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit franchise, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, easily went there and back again, as many had expected, but what other films would round out the top 5?

Could we see an upset by an unheralded sequel to a beloved play about ghosts and women wearing black?

Follow me after the jump to find out of there was any shocks this past weekend!

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