Friday, April 27, 2007

Film Fan Fridays for Friday April 27, 2007!!!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Just the facts this week. Enjoy!

Festival Watch

Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
Continues until April 29, 2007

Have a great weekend !!!


Friday April 27, 2007 Releases

Black Book / Zwartboek
Dir: Paul Verhoeven (Hallow Man, Starship Troopers, Showgirls, Basic Instinct)
Cast: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch , Thom Hoffman, Halina Rejin, Waldermar Kobus
Netherlands / Belgium / UK / Germany
Limited Release

The Condemned
Dir: Scott Wiper (A Better Way to Die)
Cast: 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones, Rick Hoffman, Robert Mammone

Everything's Gone Green
Dir: Paul Fox (The Dark Hours)
Cast: Paulo Costanzo, JR Bourne, Steph Song, Aidan Devine
Limited Release

The Invisible
Dir: David S. Goyer (Blade: Trinity)
Cast: Justin Chatwin, Margarita Leviena, Marchia Gay Harden

Kickin' it Old Skool
Dir: Harvey Glazer - directorial debut
Cast: Jamie Kennedy, Maria Menounos, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Michael Rosenbaum

Dir: Lee Tamahori (Die Another Day, Along Came a Spider, Once Were Warriors)
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 27, 2007**

Friday, April 20, 2007

Film Fan Fridays for Friday April 20, 2007!!!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Lots of releases and the continuation of 2 film festivals give everyone lots of film options out there! I am thrilled to see that there is not one but two Canadian releases this week: That Beautiful Somewhere as well as Crossing. Which to choose? Maybe both would be a good idea!

One highly anticipated releases this week is Hot Fuzz, which had me at the preview which claims that it's "Brought to you by the guys who watched every action film". The premise seems hilarious and charming all at once and also bears quite a resemblance to the April 6/07 release Young Triffie. Bizarre.

One of the weirder sights seen in this week's releases is Meg Ryan as 'the Mom' in In the Land of Women. I'm not sure if I can handle that! It does look quite charming though. On the total flip side of charming is Vacancy which when doing my research the majority of the character names were 'victims', I know that it will not go on my to see list. Too scary for me!

Festival Watch

Toronto International Film Festival for Children
Continues until April 22, 2007, Toronto

Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
Continues until April 29, 2007

Have a great weekend !!!


Friday April 20, 2007 Releases

Avenue Montaigne / Orchestra Seats
Dir: Danièle Thompson (Jet Lag / Décalage Horaire)
Cast: Cécile de France, Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Claude Brasseur, Sydney Pollack
Limited Release

Dir: Roger Evan Larry (Tested, Knocking on Heaven's Door)
Cast: Sebastian Spence, Fred Ewanuick, Alan C. Peterson, Crystal Bublé, Bif Naked
Limited Release

Dir: Gregory Hoblit (Hart's War, Frequency, Fallen, Primal Fear)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Anthony Hopkins, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz

Hot Fuzz
Dir: Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead)
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Bill Nighy

In the Land of Women
Writer/Dir: Jonathan Kasdan - directorial debut
Cast: Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart, Meg Ryan, Olympia Dukakis

That Beautiful Somewhere
Writer/Dir: Robert Budreau - directorial feature film debut
Cast: Roy Dupruis, Jane McGregor, Gordon Tootoosis, David Fox, Ron Payne
Limited Release

Dir: Nimrod Antal (Kontroll / Control)
Cast: Luke Wilson, Kate Beckinsale, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry

Year of the Dog
Writer/Dir: Mike White - directorial debut
Cast: Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Regina King, John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2007**

Friday, April 13, 2007

Film Fan Fridays for Friday April 13, 2007!!!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

What a week!! 6 films, 4 festivals and a special screening, oh my! I think my pick of the week would have to be After the Wedding, which received an Oscar nomination for Best foreign language film of the year. Or the Canadian Sleeping Dogs. Or Pathfinder with Karl Urban (who played Eomer in Lord of the Rings). So many films to choose from, so little time!

Festival Watch

Images Festival
Continues until April 14, 2007, Toronto

Reelworld Film Festival
Celebrating diversity in film, video, and new media
Continues until April 15, 2007, Toronto

Toronto International Film Festival for Children
April 13-22, 2007, Toronto

Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
April 19-29, 2007

Special Screening

The Abandoned
Dir: Nacho Cerdà
Cast: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentine Ganev, Carlos ReigSpain
Thursday April 19, 2007, 9:30pm at the Bloor Cinema, Toronto
Cinemacabre Movie Nights Presented by Rue Morgue
This film I've included on my list of the Scariest Movies of all Time. Click here to read my review.

Have a great weekend !!!


Friday April 13, 2007 Releases

After the Wedding / Efter brylluppet
Dir: Susanne Bier (Brothers / Brødre, Open Hears / Elsker dig for evigt)
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Stine Fischer Christensen
Limited Release

Dir: D.J. Caruso (The Salton Sea, Taking Lives)
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss

Journey to Armenia / Le Voyage en Arménie
Dir: Robert Guédiguian (The Last Mitterrand / Le Promeneur du champ de Mars)
Cast: Ariane Ascaride, Marcel Bluwal, Gérard Meylan
Limited Release

Dir: Marcus Nispel (Texas Chainsaw Massacre <2003>)
Cast: Karl Urban, Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood, Nathaniel Archand, Jay Tavare

Perfect Stranger
Dir: James Foley (Confidence, The Corruptor, The Chamber, Fear)
Cast: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Portnow, Gary Dourdan

Sleeping Dogs
Writer/Dir: Terrance Odette (Saint Monica, Heater)
Cast: Brian Stillar, Tony Adah, K. Alan Sapp, Jennifer Daniels
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 13, 2007**

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Dir: Jafar Panahi (Talaye Sorkh / Crimson Gold, Dayereh / The Circle, Badkonake Sefid / The White Balloon)
Cast: Sima Mobarak Shahi, Safar Samandar, Shayesteh Irani, M. Kheyrabadi, Ida Sadeghi
Iran, 2007

Seen: September 6, 2006 as part of TIFF

Reason to see: it fit in my schedule

This review mentions the plot of the film.

The setting for this film is girls trying to get into a qualifying game for the World Cup, although women are banned from all sporting events. It's a fascinating subject and the film is very layered. Why do these girls go? What are the varied reactions they receive? Who will help, take advantage, turn a blind eye or turn them in?

For me it inevitable brought up more questions or answers. For one, why are they banned? What would happen to them? There was always did feel like there was an undercurrent for the concern of their well being which I didn't expect.

I have to say while researching this film I found a lot of references that is considered a comedy, funny or a satire (see examples here, here and here - check under Now Playing). I did not get that from it at all. Although, I didn't see it as a dry drama, but I don't think I (or anyone else) in the theatre laughed at any one point. To me it felt like a serious look at a social issue, albeit in a sport situation. I could maybe go as far as saying that sometimes it was light-hearted, but a comedy? I don't think so.

Shannon's Overall View:
I found it thought provoking
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it

More Film Reviews here

Return to Film Fan Fridays


Writer/Dir: Rob Stewart - directorial debut
Canada, 2007

Seen: April 10, 2007 with Jamie & Justin at the Varsity

Reason to see: I was invited (thanks Jamie!) Who could say no? It's has been on my 'to see' list as it's Canadian, it is a selection from Canada's Top Ten, the preview rocked, I always get drawn into films that are blue and it is week 16/52 of #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. Is that enough reasons for ya?

Amazing documentary and personal journey film about sharks, and the growing concern for dwindling existence. Who knew that the shark population is quickly becoming smaller and smaller so much so that the great white shark is now considered, endangered? Well, you do now! There is so much more, but the film says it much better than I. It is a truly heartfelt look at something we normally think of as scary, but really sharks are creatures too and don't they deserve to live their lives? I think they do! And I bet you will too.

Warnings: Creatures in distress

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was great!
I'll buy it
I highly recommend it

Want to know more? Check out the Sharkwater website here.
How can you help? Check out the Saving Sharks website here.

11 minutes of preshow with 5 commercials and 3 previews: Paris, Je T'aime (looked absolutely compelling), Evan Almighty and The Kingdom (this one has been 'coming soon' for quite a while...)

More Film Reviews here

Return to Film Fan Fridays

Monday, April 09, 2007

Blood Diamond

Dir: Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall)
Cast: Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly
USA, 2006

Seen: February 14, 2007 at the Carlton

Reason to see: Numerous Oscar nominations, recommended by a few people as a good film and part of third attempt of #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is from week 8/52.

First off, I'd have to say I did almost leave the theatre. Not for the reasons listed in the warnings but the fact I went to see it on Valentine's Day and when I walked in there was only 1 couple there. I thought to myself "If no one else comes in, I'll leave and let them have their night". But, there ended up being quite a good crowd so I stayed and watched it.

I found myself really conflicted while watching this film. All the trailers really made if feel like an action adventure flick but on the recommendation of a few different people that insisted it actually had a message I decided to give it a go. I found it very hard to watch. The situations and the violence was very disturbing, but it wasn't really just that. What I wasn't expecting was to see child soldiers - and I found that truly horrific and those scenes still disturb me.

I would have to say that it was well done though, the story is compelling and the acting is good. I thought Leonardo DiCaprio's accent was a little hit and miss but was better than I expected. Am I happy I saw it? Not really, it's not a film for me. The awareness of issues are always good but for me this format made it too hard to take in.

Warnings: Extremely violent, maiming, torture, drug use, child soldiers, brainwashing

Shannon's Overall View:
It was better than I expected, however....
I watch not watch it again
I recommend it to people interested in films about moral issues and the world at large

More Film Reviews here

Return to Film Fan Fridays

Less than 5 min of preshow with 1 commercial and 2 previews (The Kingdom, Breach)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Host / Gwoemul

Dir: Joon-ho Bong (Memories of Murder / Salinui chueok)
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hai-il Park, Du-na Bae, Ah-sung Ko
South Korea, 2007

Seen: April 5, 2007 at Paramount

Reason to see: South Korean Monster film that smashed domestic box office records, very cool preview as well as working towards #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is week 15/52.

This is going to be a tough review to write, as I really don't want to tell you the story. Maybe I'll start with what did I get from it? I was thoroughly entertained. I laughed, I gasped, my heart panged and my eyes widened. It made me think and feel, which was delightfully more than I was expected. A wonderful cast of characters and a good story that really goes further than just a monster movie but touches on many more things including the strength of the human spirit.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I highly recommend it, and recommend to see it in the theatre if you can for the sound and the experience as a whole

More Film Reviews here

Return to Film Fan Fridays

10 minutes of preshow with 3 commercials and 3 previews: Hostel II (too scary!), Grindhouse and Hot Fuzz (can't wait for it!)

Old Joy

Director: Kelly Reichardt (Ode, River of Grass)
Cast: Daniel London, Will Oldham
USA, 2006

Seen: March 29, 2007 at the Bloor Cinema

Reason to see: Heard about it from a few different sources, and I am on my third attempt of #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is from week 14/52.

This review does mention the plot of the film. You have been forewarned :)

I was a little surprized to find out after watching this that it was only 76 minutes long, it really felt like a full 2hr film. The pace often feels like real time or possibly longer but I don't see that necessary as a negative. The film is set around two friends venturing to a hot springs, but the friends are old friends. Not as in 'known each other forever and get together every weekend', but more like 'someone you ran into, decided to meet up and now notice you are different people than you once were'. It is an interesting exploration but I'm not sure if it was trying to get to more than just that exploration, I think it was because I often felt a vague sense of tension that continued through the film. Both actors are quite good, and it does feel very realistic relationship. The outdoor scenes were beautiful and made me think of when I visited my sister in B.C., however it was filmed in Portland Oregon (according to it's info on imdb).

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was interesting
I may watch it one more time
I'd recommend it to people who like calmly paced films about friendships

More Film Reviews here

Return to Film Fan Fridays

No commercials, no previews, lots of latecomers (all per norm for this theatre)

The Reaping

Dir: Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space, Predator 2)
Cast: Hilary Swank, Idris Elba, David Morrissey, AnnaSophia Robb
USA, 2007

Seen: April 6, 2007 with Jamie at the theatre formerly known as Paramount at Queen & John

Reason to see: Looking for some 'shlock' on a holiday afternoon. This also falls into my See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is the second film for week 15/52.

This was way more interesting and a lot better than I had expected. I was really surprized to see that one day after opening it was already in one of the little-r theatres. It was still big enough to get completely absorbed into it though, so that was a plus. As this is another strongly seeped in a plot film I'm not doing to talk about that, but if you are interested in thrillers this is a good bet. The only thing I wasn't impressed by was some of the effects were so CGI. I know it may date me but it just doesn't do anything for me, I don't even usually find it scary I just think to myself "That isn't real, it's CGI" and I wait for the scene to end. The complete reverse to that I was delighted to see the friendship between Hilary Swank and Idris Elba's characters. It is so great and refreshing to see a genuine woman-man friendship.

Great quote:
"I've heard you're not much of a bible reader"
"I've read it"

Shannon's Overall View:
I was surpringly entertained
I'd watch it again
I recommend it to thriller fans

More Film Reviews here

Return to Film Fan Fridays

Preshow had 5 commercials and 5 previews:
Vacancy (too scary!)
28 Weeks Later (sequel to 28 Days Later)
1408 (looks interesting, based on Stephen King something....)
In the Land of Women (Meg Ryan playing 'the Mom'? Now that is a first....)
Lucky You (preview appeared to show the whole film)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

CaC - Getting to Know You - Let's go to the movies!

Thank you Tammy for this weeks Getting to Know you - Let's go to the Movies at Create a Connection. Due to the film nature of this post I decided to post it here on my film blog, however most of you know me from my ah.. 'regular' (?) blog over at Planet Shannon.

Name your all-time favorite movie! (Or if you're like me, narrow it down to your top five!)

Wow,... I've not done fave's yet I don't think! I've got a list of my The most influential films to me, Scariest Movies of all Time and Movies to Cry By, but just cut-to-the chase fave's? It'll be hard to pare it down but here goes:

Star Wars
The Professional
Harry Potter
Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion
Pitch Black
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

What genre of movie do you like best?

Sci-Fi Fantasy

What movie made you cry the most?

Hard call, I'd have to say it's between Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Pratical Magic and Whale Rider.

Have you ever applauded during a movie in the theatre? Which one? If not, what would make you do that?

Yes, several. Star Wars: Episode One The Phantom Menace and Dreamgirls for sure. Often people applaud when you see a film at a festival so I know I've done that numerous times as well. I also know I've cheered in movies, like in X-Men when a family friend who played an extra we could see him I know I yelled 'WOOHOO!!'

Do you own any soundtracks from movies? Which is your favorite and why did the music inspire you?

Empire Records
Tank Girl
The Crow
Dance with Me
All the Real Girls (on of my favourite albums of all time)
Pulp Fiction
Laurel Canyon
The Replacement Killers (the score).

I'm not sure I would say the music inspired me. I know two of them I got for free at screenings, the rest it was mostly because they were popular music at the time and I liked the songs but didn't know any of the artists and/or it was a genre I was just coming to know. I find the score to The Replacement Killers very soothing, even though I'm not a fan of instrumental music in general.

Is there a particular actor or actress who inspires you? Why do you like him or her?

Again, I'm not sure I would say inspire but I do tend to like:

Cate Blanchett, Maggie Smith, Meg Ryan, Parker Posey, Sandra Bullock, Jean Reno, Russell Crowe, Antonio Banderas, Vin Diesel, Clive Owen

I take that back, I do find Roy Dupuis inspiring (from The Rocket / Maurice Richard)

On the whole, I'm more likely to go to a film based on a director than actor. Luc Besson, Ridley Scott and Michael Mann are all high on that list.

Is there a particular actor or actress who you just dislike and will not see their movies? Why?

I will shy away from this question, I prefer not to flame. I also don't really 'get' why people dislike people they don't even know so strongly, especially when it's usually due to media coverage of their lives and not the work they do as actors.

On a weird side note I have an uncanny inability to recognized Gary Oldman.

Have you ever dreamed of being an actor? Which role would be your dream role?

I actually did try out for an acting program when I was about 16 and took drama in high school. It's not really for me, if I was to perform it would be to dance not to act, I'm not overly verbally articulate :)

If there was ever a movie made of your life, who should star as you?

The only person people ever say I look like is Christina Ricci, so I would go with her.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Film Fan Fridays for Friday April 6, 2007!!!!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

We have oodles upon oodles of releases this week! I wonder if it is for the holiday weekend, perhaps? Out of the many options we have three Canadian films: Young Triffie, Who Loves the Sun and The Marsh. We also have numerous limited releases: The Page Turner / La Tourneuse de Pages (at The Royal), God Grew Tired of Us (at The Bloor), First Snow (at Canada Square) and Offside (at Carlton). I had the opportunity to see Offside at the TIFF last year and it is a very expressive film exploring the different tales of girls in Iran trying to sneak into watch Soccer.

On a complete flip side to that tone, I'm sure Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez will be out and about to see Grindhouse. Those who do choose to see it, you might wanna make note of the running time - it clocks in at just over 3 hours.

If you are looking for a monster movie that is more than just a thriller, I would recommend last weeks release of The Host / Gwoemul (playing at the Scotiabank 'formally known as Paramount' theatre in Toronto). It's worth it to see on the big screen not only due to the nature of the type of film it is but also because the sound is just awesome.

Festival Watch

Images Festival
April 5-14, 2007, Toronto

Reelworld Film Festival
Celebrating diversity in film, video, and new media
Apri 11-15, 2007, Toronto

Have a great Easter & Passover weekend !!!


Wednesday April 4, 2007 Releases

Are We Done Yet?
Dir: Steve Carr (Daddy Day Care, Dr. Dolittle 2)
Cast: Ice Cube, Nia Long, John C. McGinley

Firehouse Dog
Dir: Todd Holland (The Wizard)
Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Josh Hutcherson, Bill Nunn

Thursday April 5, 2007 Releases

The Reaping
Dir: Stephen Hopkins (Lost in Space, Predator 2)
Cast: Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, AnnaSophia Robb

Friday April 6, 2007 Releases

First Snow
Dir: Mark Fergus - directorial debut
Cast: Guy Pearce, Piper Perabo, William Fichtner, Shea Whigham
Limited Release

God Grew Tired of Us
Dir: Christopher Dillon Quinn (21 Up Ameriuca) Tommy Walker - film directorial debut
Documentary of the journey of four boys from Sudan to the US
Limited Release

Dir: Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction)
Cast: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Danny Trejo, Freddy Rodriguez, Michael Biehn

The Hoax
Dir: Lasse Hallström (An Unfinished Life, Chocolat, The Cider House Rules)
Cast: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis

The Marsh
Dir: Jordon Barker (My Brother's Keeper)
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Gabrielle Anwar, Justin Louis
Limited Release

Dir: Jafar Panahi (Talaye Sorkh / Crimson Gold, Badkonake Sefid / The White Balloon)
Cast: Sima Mobarak Shahi, Safar Samandar, Shayesteh Irani, M. Kheyrabadi, Ida Sadeghi
Limited Release

The Page Turner / La Tourneuse de Pages
Dir: Denis Dercourt (Mes enfants ne sont pas comme les autres / My Children Are Different)
Cast: Catherine Frot, Déborah François, Pascal Greggory, Xavier De Guillebon
Limited Release

Who Loves the Sun
Writer/Dir: Matt Bissonnette (Looking for Leonard)
Cast: Lukas Haas, Molly Parker, Adam Scott, R.H. Thomson
Limited Release

Young Triffie
Dir: Mary Walsh - directorial debut
Cast: Marthe Bernard, Fred Ewanuick, Rémy Girard, Andrea Martin, Colin Mochrie

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 6, 2007**