Bridge to Terabithia — better than the trailer?

You may recall that, three months ago, I was rather critical of the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia. Turns out I wasn’t alone — but it also turns out the movie might be better than the trailer leads us to expect. A few days ago I interviewed Katherine Paterson, author of the Newbery-winning book on which the film is based, and we had this brief exchange:PTC: One of the first things I heard about the… Read more

FoxFaith is giving churches free satellite TV!!

Two weeks ago, I quoted a couple of news stories which said that the way to sell movies to the Christian market is to go after pastors, and to let their congregations follow along like cattle.Now, it looks like the studios are really going out of their way to curry the favour of these leaders, based on this e-mail that FoxFaith sent to Greg Linscott, a self-professed “Fundamentalist Baptist pastor” who runs are like no other art form. It… Read more

Newsbites: Trek! Vinci! Water! HD VMD! Atlas!

Another batch of quickies before I get back to work.1. William Shatner has apparently confirmed to Sci Fi Wire that Star Trek XI will be “based on young Kirk” and that he will have a part in it once the producers “figure out how to put the dead captain in with the young captain”. Oh, and Shatner just happens to be in the middle of co-writing two books on Kirk and Spock’s Academy days with Star Trek experts Judith and… Read more

Apocalypto — controversy in Central America

Apocalypto continues to make waves and make news, now that it is moving into theatres in the region where it was set and shot. Variety reports that the locals aren’t too happy with it:Mel Gibson might be undergoing a rapid transformation from saint to sinner in the eyes of the Guatemalan people.Guatemala is an intensely religious country, and “The Passion of the Christ” was one of the most popular films in its history. The release was a phenomenon in a… Read more

Vancouver Film Critics Circle — the winners!

Who needs the Golden Globes? The Vancouver Film Critics Circle announced the winners of its own awards tonight, at a reception and ceremony held at the Vancouver International Film Centre.I was a member of the Circle for its first few years, when there was nothing more to it than a bunch of critics sitting around a few tables at a pub or restaurant and passing around notes of paper; but tonight, for the second year in a row, the winners… Read more

Yet another movie not screened for critics.

Might as well get this one out of the way now. It seems the only new wide release this Friday will be The Hitcher — a remake of the 1986 film, with Sean Bean in the Rutger Hauer role — and, as often happens with horror movies and their remakes, this movie will not be screened for critics in advance. Unless, that is, you count a Thursday-night preview, which is too late to meet the deadline for the Friday-morning newspapers.On… Read more

Canadian box-office comparison 2007

See introductory post here.These are the Canadian and North American box-office totals for films that played in 2007, as of their last appearance in the Canadian top ten. Click here for 2005, and here for 2006.Since Canada has about 9.7% of the combined Canadian-American population, red indicates the films that made over 10.7% of their money in Canada, orange the films that attracted about the same proportion of Canadians as Americans, and green the ones that made less than 8.7%… Read more

Canadian box-office stats — January 14

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.Casino Royale — CDN $24,644,449 — N.AM $162,525,000 — 15.2%Blood Diamond — CDN $7,047,687 — N.AM $47,899,000 — 14.7%Children of Men — CDN $2,859,059 — N.AM $21,398,000 — 13.4%Alpha Dog — CDN $775,351 — N.AM $6,142,000 — 12.6%Arthur and the Invisibles — CDN $516,578 — N.AM $4,300,000 — 12.0%The Pursuit of… Read more

Indiana Jones: a hero for the ’50s or ’60s?

A number of people, including my CT Movies editor Mark Moring, have asked whether a new Indiana Jones movie can work, given Harrison Ford’s age. But I think an even bigger question than the age of Indy is the question of when the movie will take place.The two questions are related, of course. And how we answer them is further complicated by the fact that, in addition to the three earlier movies, Ford also played Jones in the framing narrative… Read more

To fight piracy, we’ll cut off Canada: Fox

To judge from this Globe and Mail story, it looks like times could get tougher for freelance film critics like me, who live and work in Canada and write day-of-release reviews for American outlets:It was the kind of letter that can ruin a guy’s day.Late in November, Twentieth Century Fox fired off a blunt, one-page missive to Ellis Jacob, the Toronto-based chief executive of Cineplex Entertainment, Canada’s biggest cinema chain.Bruce Snyder, Fox’s Hollywood-based president of domestic distribution, had spent the… Read more

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