Category Archives: movies

How Will The November Man See In September? Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

It’s the end of September but Pierce Brosnan is hoping November proves a magic month for his latest film. How will the former James Bond perform? Here’s our prediction:

The_November_Man_posterThe November Man is a new spy flick staring Brosnan, based on the series of books with the same name. The film is a “one last mission” sort of deal, a concept that is ideally suited for the actor who, in my opinion, was unceremoniously dumped from the James Bond franchise after helping reinvigorate it. Will audiences check him out in a familiar genre – possibly, but we’ve to remember that it’s the last weekend of the summer box office season, typically a dumping time for films. This is one film that will likely find its audience overseas and on Netflix, though a sequel is already in the works. Look for a second place showing with $13 million.

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FAN EXPO Canada 2014: An Event Agenda

Fan Expo Canada logoRejoice! FAN EXPO Canada is back, T-Dot (resident and visiting) peeps!

What’s “T-Dot”, you ask? Well, that’s just me shouting out the glorious city of Toronto with my best urban inflection. FAN EXPO Canada, of course, is the third largest pop culture event in North America, a worthy happening for any lover of comic books, sci-fi, horror, anime or gaming.

Now entering its 20th year (you’re all grown up!), and boasting over 1000 exhibitors over 750,000 square feet comprised of both the north and south buildings that make up the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, FAN EXPO Canada expects to host well over 100.000 fans.

If you plan to be one of them over the next four days, follow me after the jump for a highlight list of some exciting events on a schedule brimming full of exciting events!

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Doubling Down 2: More of TIFF’s Best Sequels

A few weeks back I took a look at a great sequels program TIFF is running in Toronto: Second Coming: Cinema’s Greatest Sequels. And sure enough, like a Hollywood mogul counting box office receipts with a wicked glint in his eye, that Pavlovian response kicks in. More! There must be more sequels, with more guns, and more villains. And Megan Fox! No, not Megan Fox. Leave her out of this. Forever maybe. But give us another hit of those truly awesome sequels, back to the well, one more sweet, sweet time…

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Andy Burns on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Deleted Scenes

the-amazing-spider-man-2-blu-rayOf all the big summer releases, the one that actually let me down was The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After coming off what I felt was a successful reboot, full of great action and wonderful chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, the second instalment sadly just seemed to revel in getting things wrong. Having gone back and watched it a second time on Blu-ray, the things that bothered me (Jamie Foxx, the sloppy writing) haven’t gone away.

However, what the new home release does demonstrate is that there was if not a good movie, at least a better one that was filmed and left on the cutting room floor. Never have I enjoyed super-hero deleted scenes more than when I watched those that belong to The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

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Sin City Crashes And Burns – Biff Bam Pop’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up Report

Well, when I’m wrong with a prediction, I’m REALLY wrong. I may feel a little bad about bombing, but I’m pretty sure Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller feel a hell of a lot worse this weekend.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For absolutely struck out at the box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated (not to mention horrible) $6 million for its opening weekend. Yes, that’s its three day gross! Clearly, I didn’t gage interest in this film well at all, as I predicted a first place showing with $30 million. Nearly a decade between instalments and lacklustre reviews helped sink this one like a proverbial stone. Just an absolute disaster.

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Will Audiences Return To Sin City? Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

It’s been nearly a decade since Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller unleashed Sin City upon the cinematic world. Will it’s long-awaited sequel find an audience or is it too late? Here’s our prediction:

Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-teaser-posterSin City: A Dame To Kill For has everything going for it – style, stars and source material. 9 years may be a long time to wait for a sequel, but the original still maintains high regard among genre fans, which could help this installment find an audience. Some speculate that the film’s time may have come and gone, but I’m going out on a limb and will predict a first place showing with $30 million.

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Friendhood: Double Play hangs with James Benning and Richard Linklater

Double Play follows directors Richard Linklater & James Benning and their charming friendship

There’s really two schools of indie. That’s what you realize watching director Gabe Klinger’s Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (2013). The documentary is charming and laid-back, much like the two directors it spends time with. Richard Linklater is emblematic of the, forgive me, mainstream of indie filmmakers. He isn’t wholly part of the Hollywood machine, but his films pick up studio distribution. He pushes at the boundaries of conventional narrative with films like the 1991 plotless classic Slacker and his current hit Boyhood (2014). Then there’s truly avant garde filmmaking, as indie as you can get. James Benning follows the just a man and a movie camera tradition, experimenting with film form to make a radically personal, abstract cinema. Two very different directors, but good friends, with more in common than you’d think.

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The Ten Percent: Just Whistle

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

Hello, and welcome to another installment of “The Ten Percent,” a regular column where every other week we’ll take a look at the inverse of Sturgeon’s Law; in other words, the small portion of everything which is not crud. Remember, for each film or television show that gets people talking years or even decades after its premiere, there are hundreds of others that peeked out just once and then (thankfully) disappeared. These are the works which stand the test of time. Genre doesn’t matter to the Ten Percent – slapstick comedy has a place, along with high-toned drama. Quality animation rubs shoulders with science fiction and over there you can find show-stopping musicals chatting with bloody horror. The Ten Percent last because they are high quality productions which demand more of their viewer than simple passive reception. These rare birds are the “Ten Percent.”

Nowadays, aspiring filmmakers have multiple avenues to reach the golden ticket of wide distribution. It’s still not easy, but between contests, film schools, the lowered cost of equipment, and the proliferation of film festivals, it’s possible for a new filmmaker to break through the static. Further, we have all heard fairy-tale-like stories of films made on a shoestring which, through imaginative marketing, have catapulted their stars and creators into the stratosphere. It was not always so. For decades, Hollywood had a stranglehold on what films were made, who became a star in those films, and how those films were seen. It was possible, albeit highly unlikely, for an unknown to skyrocket to fame. Staying there was another story entirely.

Betty Joan Perske was a striking girl who was modeling in New York while also taking acting lessons. Nancy Hawks, the wife of Hollywood director Howard Hawks, saw Betty’s picture on the cover of the March 1943 issue of Harper’s Bazaar and brought her to the attention of her husband, who was in the early stages of a film version of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. Hawks agreed with his wife that Betty was worth investing in. She came to Hollywood and the Hawks molded her into the elegant, husky-voiced Lauren Bacall. To Have and Have Not would be her first screen role. She was 19 and cast opposite the accomplished Humphrey Bogart. Supremely nervous, she pressed her chin downward to keep her head from quivering and tilted her eyes up to face the camera. The effect (simply called “The Look”) became her trademark and caused the teenage Bacall to simultaneously appear confident and vulnerable. Both Bacall and To Have and Have Not are part of the Ten Percent.

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