Category Archives: movies

The Hunger Games holds strong at the box office + Creed micro review

It was a very strong holiday weekend for holdovers and new comers alike at the box office. Here’s what went down:


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 held on to the top spot for the second weekend in a row, bringing in an estimated $50.3 million over the three-day weekend. It’s total now stands at $197.1 million which, while behind the first Mockingjay, is still an outstanding number.

Opening in second place was the Disney-Pixar film The Good Dinosaur, which brought an estimated $39.5 million. Though not as high as some other Pixar films, clearly this was the pick for families over the long weekend.

Debuting in third place with $28.7 million was the critically acclaimed seventh film in the Rocky franchise, Creed, with Michael B. Jordan playing the role of Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis and Sylvester Stallone returning as Rocky Balboa in a Mickey-type role. I had the chance to see Creed Saturday night and it was, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Director and co-writer Ryan Coogler walked into the franchise as a die-hard fan of the previous films, and worked hard to get Stallone onboard for a film he would neither writer nor direct. Coogler nails everything that matters about Rocky – the heart, determination and the soul of men trying to find purpose – and delivers a superior movie. Jordan is outstanding and carries the film, though many with rogue that Stallone is an absolutely revelation. Rocky Balboa has always brought the best in Stallone and he simply delivers a heartfelt, moving performance. There’s talk of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and in my mind, Stallone absolutely deserves one. You can walk in blind to Creed and still get so much out of it. Highly recommended, and it’s great to see audiences responding to the film by turning out. Read the rest of this entry

Leslie Moore On… Black Christmas


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.

As far as Black Christmas fans go, I’ll admit I’m something of a noob. After watching clips of the film on a Halloween horror TV special, I was too scared to watch the whole thing! But once I did, it quickly became one of my favorite slasher films. Although it was made in the early 1970s, it still feels as creepy now as it did the first time I saw it. A big part of this is due to the believable acting from the women in the film, including Canadian icon Lynne Griffin as Clare Harrison. Although she has few lines of dialogue, her appearance in Black Christmas is significant for other reasons, as anyone who’s a fan of the film will understand.

In honor of Anchor Bay’s new “Season’s Grievings” edition of Black Christmas, we chatted with Ms. Griffin about her role in the film. Be sure to look for the upcoming Biff Bam Popcast about the film that includes a roundtable discussion with Lynne Griffin, Nick Mancuso (the voice of “Billy”), and Doug McGrath (Sergeant Nash).

Despite being in lynne-griffin-in-black-Christmasa few iconic horror films, you’ve said you don’t care for the gore and violence of many current horror films. Are there any more recent psychological horror type films that you do enjoy?
I like films that spoof horror, like the films of April Mullen. I was in a film of hers called 88 and her vision is terrific. I do think David Cronenberg is a genius. My favourite horror viewing at the moment is every season of American Horror Story and Penny Dreadful. Read the rest of this entry

The Good Dinosaur, Creed debut in theaters this weekend and look for box office success

It’s the Thanksgiving long weekend in the U.S., which typically means big time bucks for movie theaters. This year should prove to be no exception. Will it be a new movie or a holdover from last week that will reign at the top of the box office? Here’s our predictions:

New this weekend is The Good Dinosaur, from Disney and Pixar. With credentials like that, you know that this is going to be the choice for families celebrating the holiday weekend, even if reviews have been calling the film good but not great. Look for a first place showing for The Good Dinosaur with $60 million.

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Stop-Motion Animation Retrospective: King Kong and The Adventures of Prince Achmed


The TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto’s foremost review cinema house, is putting on an extensive stop-motion animation retrospective for the public over the next few months. Titled ‘Magic Motion: The Art of Stop-Motion Animation,’ the first screenings are set to take place this weekend. Two of the initial weekend screenings, King Kong (1933) and The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), are particularly noteworthy features in the development of cinema. Both films laid an early blueprint for the future of action-adventure motion pictures. Read the rest of this entry

Trailer Time – Captain America: Civil War


The first trailer for Captain America: Civil War has dropped and it’s a doozy. Check it out below, and count all the familiar faces that are showing up in this one.

The Hunger Games bows out on top with Mockingjay Part 2

It was a biggish weekend at the box office, but not the huge one that many pundits were expecting. Here’s what went down:



As predicted, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 opened in first place with an estimated $100 million. Any time you can open with that sort of number is good news; however, this was lowest opening weekend for any of the films in the franchise. Perhaps audiences have tired of Katniss and company, as comparable films such as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 both had opening weekends that outperformed the previous entry in each franchise. However, $100 million is still a very solid opening, and Mockingjay Part 2 should play well over the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry

Mockingjay will soar this weekend

You know and I know that there’s only one film this weekend that’s going to hit number one, and we both know it’s going to do it with a huge number. So let’s get right into it shall we. Here’s our prediction:


After four years, The Hunger Games saga comes to a close with Mockingjay Part 2. The film franchise that made Jennifer Lawrence into a mega-star is sure to go out with a big blockbuster bang. What kind of money are we talking about? I’m predicting that the film is going to get pretty darn close to the $150 million mark this weekend, as fans clamour to see the final hurrah of Katniss Everdeen. On that note, look for a first place showing with a massive $135 million opening.

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The new Vacation delivers the laughs

This last summer saw the release of Vacation, the sequel cum reboot of the beloved National Lampoon’s Vacation series that starred Chevy Chase and Beverley D’Angelo. I don’t say I was a huge fan of the franchise growing up – I was actually more of a Fletch fan rather than a Vacation one. While I thought the trailers for this Vacation looked very, very funny, I just didn’t make it out to the movies to see this one. However, when a copy arrived in my mail last week, I had my chance to catch up.

The verdict: Vacation is indeed very, very funny.

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TVO World Premiere: Lowdown Tracks


Lowdown Tracks, the latest documentary from Shelley Saywell, examines the lives of Toronto’s homeless musicians. This film takes a compassionate look at those enduring hard times and are using music to earn a living. It shows a different side of the great Canadian city. Beyond the shimmering glass skyscrapers and picturesque residential neighbourhoods, is a group of people that live and perform their songs in the ravines and railway tracks.

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Spectre stands tall in its second weekend

This battle for first place this weekend wound up not being much of one when it was all said and done, as none of the new releases made much of an impact. Here’s what went down:


Spectre managed to hold on to the top spot at the box office for a second weekend in a row, bringing in an estimated $33.9 million. That raises the film’s two-week total to $129.2 million. It’s not a bad number, but considering the production cost of Spectre is in the neighborhood of $300 million, it still has a serious way to go before it could be a profitable endeavour

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