Movie affirmation time.

My wife listed Dear Frankie (2004; my review) among the videos she wouldn’t mind getting for Christmas last month, and since that film happened to top my own top ten list last year, I was happy to oblige. Today she watched it while she played with the kids, and since I was working off to the side, every now and then I peeked at the screen and savoured a moment or two. Fine performances, intelligent script, enchanting music — it’s… Read more

New Line Cinema blacklists Peter Jackson

Oh, how could I have neglected to link to this item that’s been making the rounds. It seems Bob Shaye, who co-founded New Line Cinema in 1967, has resolved never, ever, ever to work again with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson:”He got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right, and this guy, who already has received a quarter of a billion dollars, turns around without wanting to… Read more

Newsbites: De Carlo! Devil! Children! Writers!

Here’s another batch to keep you all going.1. Variety reports that Yvonne De Carlo, the Vancouver-born star of The Ten Commandments (1956; she played Moses’ wife) and The Munsters (1964-1966), has passed away at the age of 84. While she may be better known for roles like those, among my siblings she will always be remembered for her performance as Peter Ustinov’s flirtatious wife in the World War II comedy Hotel Sahara (1951).2. Ever hear about The Devil and Daniel… Read more

Genie Awards 2007 — and the nominees are …

The nominations for this year’s Genie Awards came out yesterday, and surprise, surprise, four out of the five Best Motion Picture nominees are from Quebec.It is interesting to see how this list matches — or doesn’t — the top ten list that was issued last month by the team that runs the Toronto film festival. Only two of this year’s Best Picture nominees were on that list, namely Un dimanche à Kigali and Trailer Park Boys: The Movie — though… Read more

Don’t read the book — it’ll only confuse you!

Thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet at the Looking Closer Journal for catching Steve Greydanus catching this interview with Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón in Filmmaker magazine:Filmmaker: Your adaptation of the novel is quite loose. How did you approach your source material?Cuarón: Once we decided to do this exploration on the state of things – and you don’t have to go very far to realize that the environment and immigration are pretty much on the top of the list – then… Read more

Newsbites: Apocalypto! Invisibles! Verhoeven!

Just a few quick items before I head off to bed.1. Apocalypto was deemed fit for children in Italy the other day, but Variety reports that a court has now overturned that ruling:ROME — A national outcry in Italy over the release of “Apocalypto” with an unrestricted rating prompted a Rome court to rule Monday that Italo kids under 14 will not be admitted to see the Mayan blood-and-guts saga. . . .Meanwhile, amid the brouhaha, “Apocalypto” opened strong in… Read more

Canadian box-office stats — January 7

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 $23,904,071 — N.AM $159,837,718 — 15.0%Blood Diamond — CDN $6,161,330 — N.AM $43,894,082 — 14.0%Children of Men — CDN $1,490,773 — N.AM $11,902,000 — 12.5%Rocky Balboa — CDN $5,588,149 — N.AM $60,892,000 — 9.2%Eragon — CDN $5,513,692 — N.AM $67,043,851 — 8.2%The Pursuit of Happyness — CDN… Read more

The NeverEnding Story and B.C. Place

All the storms and whatnot that have come Vancouver’s way lately have taken their toll on the city’s skyline, as the roof of the B.C. Place Stadium suffered some major tears and was deflated entirely while the people in charge figure out how to fix it.The stadium has been a key part of the city’s profile ever since it was completed in 1983; it is currently slated to host both the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics.Thinking… Read more

Shooting Dogs — re-named for Christians!

The opening paragraph’s reference to “North America” is a wee bit misleading, since Shooting Dogs (2005; my review) already played in Canada last summer, but anyhoo, Variety says the film is finally coming to the United States — under a new title:IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME coming, but “Shooting Dogs,” the “other” Rwandan genocide movie, has finally secured a North American theatrical release.New York-based Adirondack Pictures has acquired the rights and teamed with IFC Films to handle distribution.Directed by Michael… Read more

Newsbites: Writers! Grace! Mexicans! Italians!

Just a few more newsy nibbles.1. The New York Times reports that Armand Jones, one of the teen actors recruited for Freedom Writers — for one of the more minor roles — was shot dead in a Denny’s several months ago, shortly after shooting on the film had been completed. Sad.When [casting director Margery Simkin] and Richard LaGravenese, the writer and director of “Freedom Writers,” first watched the movie’s promotional trailer a few months after Mr. Jones’s death, they saw… Read more