Thursday, July 29, 2010


Made for television drawn out look at the war between Germany and Italy back in the middle ages with Romania subbing for both and some fantasy shit thrown in to make it interesting. Fan of medieval war flicks may enjoy this but despite the presence of F. Murray Abraham and Rutger Hauer the whole thing was pretty lack lustre. Nice to see Elena Bouryka but alas she can't carry this clunker and I guarantee the music will make you want to ram a pan flute up somebodies arse!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

R.I.P-Maury Chaykin

He may have been American born but he was all Canadian at heart. He will be sadly missed by the Toronto acting community and restaurateurs alike.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gypsy 83

There is usually a good reason why a cult film is just that and that reason is often they aren't very good. GYPSY 83 is no exception. If it wasn't for the goth aspect and the gay themes this snore fest would probably have remained in the cursed development stage. While Todd Stephens may be an icon in the gay community it doesn't automatically make him the next John Waters and I find with his work he seems to be doing just that. I may be wrong there, the man certainly has talent but I just don't like his films. Karen Black was the only thing of interest to me, great to see John Doe but while both Sara Rue and Kett Turton are fine actors there just wasn't enough of a script here to work with and ultimately you couldn't care less what happens in the story and end up falling asleep.



Angelina Jolie is smart, sexy, successful and just so happens to be a Russian sleeper agent who is a one-woman wrecking crew. Sounds great and man oh man I'm there but hey, very little we haven't seen before. As an action film SALT more than delivers as director Phillip Noyce knows how to deliver in this genre but there were three things I found frustrating about this film. First, there was enough to deliver a straight espionage piece and indeed SALT starts out that way but then turns into a simple Jolie vehicle becoming a cross between TOMB RAIDER and WANTED. This is a shame as Jolie could easily carry a serious action picture and with the new JAMES BOND film on indefinite hold I couldn't help but thing the studios simply MUST pair her up with Daniel Craig again. Soon! My second problem is with Jolie herself...lose the bloody high heels will you please. I'm sorry but you just don't go doing the whole parkour thing in a pair of heeled boots. We all get that ya gots them smoking hot walking sticks baby but help us suspend or sense of disbelief and gran some sneakers dammit. My final complaint is with Liev Schreiber, who I'm a great fan of but shit on a stick fellows, if you are going to borrow from THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (remake) do you really think it's wise to cast Liev in the part you did? All in all SALT is a fine little summer thrill ride and of course it's left open with a sequel in mind. Fun stuff but you can wait for the DVD.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Excellent on all levels. An absolute visual feast wrapped in a great brain buster. Worth every damn cent to see!
Detailed review to follow when time permits

and at this point is there need to say anymore? This is indeed the blockbuster of the summer. While smart in presentation it doesn't let the "science" get in the way of the action and as one critic said this is "THE MATRIX meets JAMES BOND" and that about sums it up. So much so you'll see where Nolan borrows from both. While there are a couple of visuals we've never seen before I'm of the mind many of you will experience the Escheresque sense of deja vu I did. This is not a bad thing but I did walk out wondering when we will next get something truly unique from American cinema.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Karate Kid

I never thought the day would come when I'd be looking forward to a KARATE KID movie but I must confess to doing just that ever since I saw the first preview. I hated the Ralph Macchio/Pat Morita original and in all fairness this was a personal thing and I honestly can't remember if it and the subsequent sequels were good films or not but what grabbed me about the new one, and I say "new one" as this seems to be only a slight remake using the title for marketing reasons more than anything else, was the immediate chemistry I saw between Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. I'm happy to say it was just in the trailer, it translated to the film itself and makes this one stand out from so many other tweenie offerings of the sort. I gather they got along so well the Smith can are off to Japan to spend the summer with Chan. I haven't confirmed this but I like the idea. THE KARATE KID deals with a serious basket of human issues in a simplistic haiku type fashion and the performances are fine enough, especially from Chan in an atypical dramatic role, they may well garner some awards later in the year. Harald Zwart directs this one in an interesting style straddling the need t have a commercial studio success and still deliver a legitimate piece of work. One scene in particular stands out when Wenwen Han is singing Lady Gaga on the arcade karaoke game to Smith. It packs more sexual punch than you can imagine and does so without being trite or sleazy, a rare feat in any genre. One of the most satisfying films out there at the moment and suitable for all ages.

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Those who had a shit-fit with the series finale of THE SOPRANOS will be pulling their bloody hair out when they see how this second part of the Stieg Larsson MILLENNIUM series. On the upside it doesn't look like we'll have to wait long for the North American release of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST but the cliff hanger they use here, or should I say "broken film reel" drove me so nuts I'm tempted to say if you've not seen the first wait for the whole kit and kaboodle to be available or find a good bootleg source and grab the last instalment BEFORE checking out the cinema. As far as FIRE goes, it's one damn convoluted mess of a picture, stylish for sure but it looks like something is missing and I'm not buying that whole "you have to read the book to make sense of it" bit. It's a should be able to stand on it's own legs. Speaking of legs, Noomi Rapace is back swinging those pretty ones of hers and when you boil it down this is the only reason the series works at all. Like I said about THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, it's only special because of the characters of which she is the main one. I enjoyed Daniel Alfreson's directing and he not only directs HORNET but a spin-of television set which will no doubt be released here shortly after the final hits the screen. I'm not going to pan this one but no need to run to the cineplex to catch it and perhaps it will make a bot more sense when you have the last piece in hand.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

When You're Strange

Much as been said of late about Tom DeCillo's latest examination of the legend behind THE DOORS toting this as a counter point to Oliver Stone's supposed biopic. While any DOORS flick is a good DOORS flick in my mind WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE does not live up to the claims. Despite a rather wooden narration provided by Johnny Depp and some cleaned up footage from Morrison's alleged lost art film HWY: AN AMERICAN PASTORAL (which, besides what's seen in this pic I've still to date only seen fuzzy VHS boot fragments) there isn't much here to set this aside from a crass cash-grab. Nothing wrong with that mind you and it is a great look at rock & roll suicide 101 or as an introduction for the tweenie-bops to the works of THE DOORS but for us old acid casualties there will be little new of interest though there is an interview with Jim's father in the extras.

When in Rome

Under normal circumstances I would trash a chick flick like this one but there was something I found oddly compelling about WHEN IN ROME. Aside from the stargazing aspect and there are many, this reminded me of the old romantic comedies such as THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN which this is obviously a homage or rip-off of. While it starts out slowly and Kristen Bell is annoying as all hell, it quickly picks up and she does win your heart. The more jaded of my readership will certainly not enjoy this baby so stay clear but those you still enjoy the classic laughers of the '50s will find this light hearted fare to their tastes.