Category Archives: movies

TIFF’s Gothic Master Classes with Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro discussing his favourite Michael Jackson video, or not

TIFF has this cool thing they do where they bring directors to Toronto and get them to talk about the films they themselves love. Just before the festival gets going in September, fans will get an early treat with Guillermo del Toro offering up a series of Gothic Master Classes. Read the rest of this entry

Straight Outta Compton Rules: Biff Bam Pop’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up Report


Our Box Office Predictions from a few days back suggested a fairly quiet weekend for the end of the summer and the close of August. Still there was competition for the top spot. Would Sinister 2 or American Ultra be able to topple previous weeks’ frontrunners Straight Outta Compton and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? Meet me after the jump for the numbers!

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Sinister 2 vs Straight Outta Compton this weekend at the box office

The last few weeks of August are usually pretty quiet at the box office. The biggest films have already been released, while smaller, less mass appeal ones slowly start to squeak through. This weekend is no different. Which flick will come out on top? Here are our predictions:

SINISTER2_OneSheetSinister 2 is the sequel to the 2012 film that starred Ethan Hawke and that was directed by Scott Derrickson, soon to helm Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The original made $77 million on a $3 million budget, so the inevitable sequel makes complete sense. However, neither director Derrickson or Hawke are returning for this instalment (though the former does have a co-writing credit). Three years is a long time in between horror sequels, and I’m skeptical as to whether audiences will flock to this one. Look for a second place showing with $18 million.

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One Hundred Years of Ingrid Bergman

TIFF celebrates the work of Ingrid Bergman, luminous Hollywood angel (pictured here in Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart)

Well not exactly. But August 29th will mark the one hundredth birthday of Ingrid Bergman, if she were alive. To mark the occasion, TIFF is mounting Notorious: Celebrating the Ingrid Bergman Centenary, a program featuring many of the revered actress’s best films. From Hollywood classics like  Casablanca (1942) and Notorious (1946) to the Italian neorealism of Stromboli (1950) to the amusing later vintage of Murder on the Orient Express (1974), the great Swedish actress was beautiful, talented and always keenly intelligent.

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Review: Cop Car is a clever film noir from director Jon Watts

Great news, everyone! Jon Watts is directing the new Spider-Man film (you know, the one that Marvel and Sony are co-producing and which will bring Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Hold on, what’s that you say? Who the heck is Jon Watts?

Hey, no judgment over here. I didn’t know who he was either until I had the chance to watch Cop Car, his debut film which has been making the rounds, and that will be showing at The Royal in Toronto later this month.

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Straight Outta Compton goes straight to number one

A huge opening for one of this week’s two debuts, while another one just couldn’t find itself an audience. Here’s what went down:

imageStaight Outta Compton, the critically acclaimed biopic about the hugely influential hip-hop group NWA managed to debut with an outstanding $59 million in the early box office estimates. The film definitely had crossover appeal, which combined with solid reviews, help make it this weekend’s must-seee. Whether or not it will have legs is the next question, but as we hit the dog days of summer, I anticipate Straight Outta Compton should have a decent run over the next few weeks.  Read the rest of this entry

Will Straight Outta Compton go straight to number one?

This weekend sees the release of two radically different films, courting two radically different audiences. Which one will come out on top? Here’s our prediction:


Straight Outta Compton is the true life story of NWA, one of the most notorious and influential bands in the history of hip-hop. In that regard, this film is to rap what a film about Led Zeppelin would be to rock. Awareness is high (has anyone seen any Straight Outta Compton memes lately?) and critics have been giving the film top marks. Considering the band’s legacy and crossover appeal, look for Straight Outta Compton to be one of the biggest bio-picks of all time. It should easily hit the number one position with $60 million.

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The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Guy Ritchie’s Retro Retread is Slight, Light and Dripping with Style

Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Henry Cavill are impossibly chic in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I always wonder how secret agents manage to look so superbly good. I guess all that Cold War cash had to assert dominance in every way imaginable, fashion included. Guy Ritchie’s latest romp, the resurrection of the campy sixties TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as a breezy spy franchise in the offing, certainly lays on the style. The sunglasses budget alone must’ve been thousands. Deviating from the bombast of the Mission Impossible series, Ritchie opts for a sardonic retro pastiche. Unquestionably cool, find out after the jump if The Man from U.N.C.L.E. delivers on its premise, or the emperor’s only sporting exquisite new clothes.

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TIFF 2015: In the Mouth of Midnight Madness

Jeremy Saulnier’s tense siege shocker Green Room opens this years Midnight Madness program

The Toronto International Film Festival just released their upcoming Midnight Madness roster. If your taste runs to horror, fantasy, shock and grand guignol with a capital jeezus this shit is intense, then boy has TIFF got the movies for you. Take it from Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival, “From adrenaline-filled action and untamed horror to twisted comedy and darkly blurred lines of reality, this year’s lineup welcomes back celebrated masters and fresh visionaries of renegade genre cinema.” The big nasty list after the jump!

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I could hardly keep watching Always Watching

Remember the day when found footage films were actually unique and original? I’m talking about The Blair Witch Project, or even the first Paranormal Activity movie. I walked out of both of those shrugging my shoulders, thinking “they ain’t all that,” only to be haunted for weeks afterwards by both of them. I literally lost sleep thanks to what lurked in the shadows of those films.

Though released years apart, both left their mark on the horror genre, leading to more and more films utilizing the hand held video style of filmmaking. While there have been some solid ones to be sure (Monsters, REC and Willow Creek are all stand-outs), so many forgettable ones continue to come and go, often boring and lacklustre.

Unfortunately, Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story is one of those guilty parties.

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