Category Archives: movies

Trailer Time – Avengers: Age of Ultron

AvengersAgeofUltronAfter leaking yesterday evening, the hi-rez, official trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron is here, and it is spectacular. Take a look below and let us know if you’re excited to see the stringless Ultron take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes this spring.

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31 Days of Horror: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Biff Bam Pop’s 31 Days of Horror continues to stalk its prey (that’s you, gentle victims readers) from the shadows of the interwebs! Today, I’m going to take a look at a truly classic horror film from the early days of the art form itself: Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Promotional poster for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Promotional poster for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

The end of the First World War saw an explosion of artistic innovation in Germany. Harrowed by the war and defeat, artists began to revolt against not only the traditional strictures of German society, but against representational traditions as well. Expressionism was a movement and a style designed to oppose Impressionism’s ideal of portraying things as they appear to the eye with revelations of inner realities. Not things as they seem then, but things as they are (or at least as the artist views them). It was a perfect form for challenging the rigid traditions of German culture, and of criticizing the governments of both the Kaiser and the nascent Weimar Republic. There was something of shock art about Expressionism, showing people the world in an unaccustomed and often uncomfortable manner.

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31 Days of Horror 2014: See No Evil 2 (2014)

soskas-webBack in the 1980’s, Stephen King famously said that he had seen the new face of horror and that it belonged to Clvie Barker. Now, while I know I’m not anywhere the Master’s league, whenever I think about the work of Jen and Sylvia Soska, I feel as though they’re the new “new” face of horror. If that’s the case, the genre is in good hands.

Like many, I first discovered the Soska Sisters with their groundbreaking, body modification horror film, American Mary. A low budget movie that doesn’t look it, American Mary features a stellar performance by the luminous Katharine Isabelle as a med student who enters the lucrative world of body modification surgery. The film is often gruesome, but it doesn’t rely on the gore; this is a character driven horror flick at its finest (it’s on Netflix and TMN in Canada and is absolutely worth your time; even my mom thought it was “interesting”, which, believe me, is high praise).

This week, the Soska Sisters return with their latest directorial effort, See No Evil 2, a sequel to a film I never saw in the first place. The original stars WWE superstar Glenn “Kane” Jacobs as serial killer Jacob Goodnight, who was apparently killed at the end of the first film, but you know how these things go. Instead, Goodnight returns to terrorize a bunch of students at a morgue where birthday girl Amy (Danielle Harris) has to work late.

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Free Spirit: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Any film from Studio Ghibli is a treat. The Japanese anime house has put out some great movies over the years, including Hayao Miyazake’s films Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). Now officially retired, Miyazake’s worked slowly but steadily, putting out a film every five years or so. His Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata is even less prolific. The director of the masterful WWII story Grave of the Fireflies (1988) has only made three films since, his last My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) released over fourteen years ago. His return at age 78 with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) shows that Takahata hasn’t missed a beat. Beautiful and moving, he delivers another anime masterpiece.

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31 Days of Horror 2014 – Phantasm (1979)

Oh Phantasm, Don Coscarelli’s cult classic masterpiece. What is it about this movie and this franchise? Why can’t I quit you?

These are not good movies. Come on, you know it too. Phantasm makes no sense, the plot strays, no loose ends are tied, the dialogue, special effects, and sound effects are way out of the normal acceptable cheese range. But it works. I think that’s what it is, the magic of Phantasm. It doesn’t need you to understand. It doesn’t care if you get it or not. The first instalment is 88 minutes of unapologetic spooky, sexy entertainment and that’s that. Phantasm keeps it simple while still managing to be anything but ordinary. It lets you simply sit back, turn your brain off, and immerse yourself in the nightmare of the Tall Man, killer dwarves from another dimension, and as the main character learns is the scariest thing of all: fear itself.

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Fury Over Gone Girl: Biff Bam Pop’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up Report

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Our Box Office Predictions from a few days back had Gone Girl remaining at the top of the heap over Brad Pitt’s new war flick, Fury. Did Brad flip the script on Ben? And what kind of competition did the Books, Bad Days, and Beginning Vampires put up against the big two? Find out after the jump!

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31 Days of Horror 2014 – Clive Barker’s Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut (2014)

In March of 1990, I had just recently turned 13 years old. I was on a family trip to Houston to visit some friends of my father, but for me, the most important thing to accomplish this trip, aside from studying for my imminent Bar Mitzvah, was finding a movie theatre that was showing Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. The film had been rated R in Canada, which meant nobody under 18 was allowed to see it (screw you, Big Brother!). On one of our final nights, Dad (ill at the time), his friend and me schlepped to some out of the way movie theatre, where the film was still playing. Walt, my Dad’s friend, hates horror movies, so he opted to see Look Who’s Talking, while we went and sat through Clive’s monster movie equivalent of Star Wars. Having read both the original novel, Cabal, and the Epic Comics adaptation, I was psyched to see the creatures of Midian come to life. And when they did, I thoroughly enjoyed. Admittedly, I was also thrilled to be seeing a film some watchdogs seemed to think I wasn’t ready for (up yours, Big Brother!). However, my enjoyment was slightly curtailed as the film’s conclusion, when I asked Dad if he liked it.

“No,” he scoffed. “It wasn’t even scary.”

Not scary! Not scary! What do you mean, not scary. It was…it was….

Look, Dad had a point, ok. Even if I loved it.

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Fury vs The Book Of Life – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

Two new releases want you to pick them this weekend, but as we know, only one can hit the top of the box office. Which will it be? Here are our predictions:

Fury_2014_posterBrad Pitt has been making the rounds promoting his World War II film Fury, about a group of group behind enemy lines, manning a tank called, you guessed it, Fury. Now, here’s the thing about Brad Pitt – he’s a Hollywood star, but I don’t view him as a bankable movie star, so how a film he’s top-lining performs is always a crap shoot to me. I’m of the belief that this one is going to under perform – the trailers haven’t been outstanding, and I feel that awareness isn’t huge. Look for a second place showing with $20 million.

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