I like it when my daughter laughs at a video.

My daughter happened to be sitting on my knee as I was scouring the web for references to films that had mixed animation with live action, or used traditional animation as a special effect, prior to the invention of CGI. I came across this video clip from Anchors Aweigh (1945), a film that my siblings and I grew up with — my sisters and I still sing the somewhat naughty ‘If You Knew Susie’ every now and then — and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Elizabeth enjoyed it so much, she even laughed out loud once.

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Nim’s Island — the review’s up!

My review of Nim’s Island is now up at CT Movies.

Fanboy Raiders remake coming to Vancouver!

Oh, sure, “sweding” may be popular nowadays, thanks to films like Be Kind Rewind and Son of Rambow — but all of those home-made re-creations of classic Hollywood films were all beaten to the punch years ago by Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, a shot-for-shot remake of the original film produced by some teenaged fans over the course of six or seven years. I have never seen this film myself, but I may get a chance to do so soon, since my fellow former CUPpie Jason Kurylo is sponsoring a benefit screening here in Vancouver May 2. Details at his blog.

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BC Christian News — April 2008

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which includes brief, brief notes on Bella, Billy: The Early Years, Agora and Year One.

This issue also includes an amusing article by the paper’s founding editor Lloyd Mackey on the shift in Christian attitudes towards film over the past half-century:

I have a couple of Odeon stories to tell, even though I grew up in a home where attendance at the theatre was virtually verboten.

The first occurred when I was about 13. Elizabeth II had been crowned queen of, among other places, Canada. A Technicolor Cinemascope documentary of the event had top billing at the Odeon.

My parents were part of Oaklands Gospel Hall (now Oaklands Chapel, a Christian Brethren assembly). They had decided that the no-movie rule could be broken to attend The Coronation.

My mother had checked out the idea with Mrs. Thompson, one of the assembly matriarchs. Mrs. Thompson congenially suggested that, in ascending the throne, Elizabeth had become defender of the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

We would see, she promised, the implications of that defender status in the coronation liturgy, making the film a remarkable Christian education opportunity.

Thus began the slippery slope into an appreciation for good film – which I would contend is widely shared among evangelical Christians today. . . .

I doubt Mackey remembers it, but I actually phoned him way, way back in 1986, when I was 15 or 16, to ask if he had any interest in running any film reviews. That would probably make him the first editor I “pitched” anything to. After making the pitch, I remember writing a “demo” review of The Great Mouse Detective (1986) — which I still have on my hard drive! — but I can’t remember if I actually sent it in. My first published review, of A Cry in the Dark (1988), appeared in the paper two years later.

Finally, I interviewed Kevin Miller, co-writer of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, for BC Christian News‘s sister publication In The World a few months ago. The article has been online for a while now, but since I am unfamiliar with that publication’s schedule, I neglected to look for it or to link to it earlier. You can read it here.

It was a Freddie Highmore business trip.

The in-flight movie on my way down to the States: August Rush.

The in-flight movie on my way back up to Canada: The Golden Compass.


Canadian box-office stats — March 30

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.

Run Fat Boy Run — CDN $363,364 — N.AM $2,340,743 — 15.5%
Never Back Down — CDN $2,810,000 — N.AM $21,249,499 — 13.2%

10,000 B.C. — CDN $8,660,000 — N.AM $84,992,525 — 10.2%
The Bank Job — CDN $2,420,000 — N.AM $24,084,605 — 10.0%
21 — CDN $2,170,000 — N.AM $24,105,943 — 9.0%
Superhero Movie — CDN $848,360 — N.AM $9,510,297 — 8.9%

Drillbit Taylor — CDN $1,600,000 — N.AM $20,487,226 — 7.8%
Shutter — CDN $1,460,000 — N.AM $18,998,604 — 7.7%
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! — CDN $8,270,000 — N.AM $117,589,254 — 7.0%
Stop-Loss — CDN $317,878 — N.AM $4,555,117 — 7.0%

A couple of discrepancies: Run Fat Boy Run and Never Back Down were #6 and #9 on the Canadian chart, respectively (they were #12 and #11 in North America as a whole), while Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and College Road Trip were #4 and #9 on the North American chart, respectively (the former film was nowhere in the Canadian Top 20, and the latter film was #11 in Canada).