TIFF organizers pick Canada’s Top Ten of 2007

Variety reports that the Toronto International Film Festival’s organizers have released their picks for Canada’s Top Ten of 2007 — and I have seen only about three-quarters of one of them. Yikes.

Here is the list; the one I have sort-of seen is in bold:

Amal (dir. Richie Mehta)
Continental, a Film Without Guns (dir. Stephane LaFleur)
Days of Darkness (dir. Denys Arcand)
Eastern Promises (dir. David Cronenberg)
Fugitive Pieces (dir. Jeremy Podeswa)
My Winnipeg (dir. Guy Maddin)
A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman (dir. Peter Raymont)
The Tracey Fragments (dir. Bruce McDonald)
Up the Yangtze (dir. Yung Chang)
Young People Fucking (dir. Martin Gero)

All ten films will be shown at the Cinematheque Ontario in Toronto January 25 – February 5, and presumably elsewhere as well.

Click the years for my posts on the 2006, 2005 and 2004 lists.

A new twist on the “man-crush rom com”?

Variety reports that Paul Rudd has signed on to star in a comedy called I Love You, Man:

Hamburg-penned script centers on a man about to get married who actively seeks out a male friend to be his best man for the wedding.

This, of course, cannot help but bring to mind that article by Justin Shubow that I quoted here two months ago, on the emerging genre of “man-crush romantic comedies” such as Wedding Crashers, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Superbad — and note Shubow’s last sentence in particular.

But consider also this paragraph, also from Shubow’s article:

Having been described in these ways, there can be little doubt that the friendship at the center of all three movies follows the conventions of the romantic comedy, with the exception of the meet cute. In lacking that sort of an introduction, the movies are specifically versions of the romantic comedy of marriage, in which the central question is whether the already-existing couple can stay together.

What’s striking about this new film is that, since the Paul Rudd character does not yet have a male friend and will have to find one to fill a certain social role in his life, it sounds like this film could have the “meet cute” that was missing from those other films.

Two more movies not screened for critics.

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post reports that 20th Century Fox will not be screening Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem for critics before the film opens two weeks from now. There is a precedent for this, inasmuch as the previous film wasn’t screened in advance either when it opened almost three and a half years ago — though Fox did have a “courtesy screening” for critics just before the matinees for that film began on opening day. Somehow I don’t think they’ll be going that extra mile on Christmas morning.

Meanwhile, I just got an invitation to a preview screening of One Missed Call, the latest American remake of an Asian horror movie … and it’s taking place at 10pm on Thursday, January 3, mere hours before the film opens to the public. In fact, given the difference between our time zones, the Vancouver preview won’t begin until after it is already opening day on the east coast. In any case, as we all know, night-before screenings “don’t count“.

Canadian box-office stats — December 9

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

The Golden Compass — CDN $2,670,000 — N.AM $25,783,232 — 10.4%
Awake — CDN $1,020,000 — N.AM $10,743,207 — 9.5%
American Gangster — CDN $11,420,000 — N.AM $125,553,670 — 9.1%
No Country for Old Men — CDN $2,520,000 — N.AM $28,744,592 — 8.8%
Beowulf — CDN $6,720,000 — N.AM $76,119,822 — 8.8%
Hitman — CDN $3,130,000 — N.AM $35,822,721 — 8.7%

Bee Movie — CDN $10,230,000 — N.AM $121,021,546 — 8.5%
Fred Claus — CDN $4,590,000 — N.AM $65,536,922 — 7.0%
Enchanted — CDN $5,850,000 — N.AM $83,868,421 — 7.0%
August Rush — CDN $1,600,000 — N.AM $25,133,572 — 6.4%

A couple of discrepancies: Bee Movie and American Gangster were #8 and #9 on the Canadian chart, respectively (they were #11 and #12 in North America as a whole), while This Christmas and The Mist were #3 and #10 on the North American chart, respectively.

Indy IV plot details — a producer speaks, again.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull producer Frank Marshall has spilled a few more details about the film — this time to USA Today — and once again, he’s basically just confirming what the rumour mill has been saying for months now. He even teases us with a possible reference to those alien rumours:

The artifact of the title is inspired by real quartz sculptures of disputed origins that are carved in a way that defies the natural structure of the crystal.

“The theory is they are shaped by higher powers or alien powers or came from another world, or an ancient Mayan civilization had the powers,” Marshall says.

The Cate Blanchett character also has a name, now:

The Nazis are no longer Indy’s chief foe — he’s racing for the Crystal Skull against operatives from the Soviet Union, including Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the seductive Agent Spalko. “Indy always has a love-hate relationship with every woman he ever comes in contact with,” Marshall says.

I must also nitpick one little detail here:

When last we saw Indy, he was riding off into the sunset in 1989′s The Last Crusade, set in 1938 near the start of World War II. The new movie, due this spring, is set at the height of the Cold War in 1957, so the character has aged in real time — 19 years.

While it may be true that both Indiana Jones and Harrison Ford have aged the same number of years since the last movie, the last movie was produced 8 years after the first movie but was supposedly set only 2 years after it, so Harrison Ford would still be about 6 years older than the character he is playing. So Indy has aged in “real time” — but only to a point. No big deal, though.

Jim Hill on Disney and Pixar in-jokes

Click here for a post at Jim Hill Media that is full of screen captures from various Pixar short films and feature films, showing how the stars of one film often tend to pop up in other films, sometimes even before their primary film has come out.

And click here for a much briefer post on a reference to an upcoming Disney cartoon in their current hit Enchanted; along the way, Jim Hill says it looks like the upcoming straight-to-video Tinker Bell movie might not give its title character a voice after all.

Oh, and speaking of Disney and screen captures, check out this exhaustive visual synopsis of the classic educational film Our Friend the Atom (1957), over at the Liverputty blog.