For what it’s worth, I have received official word that Epic Movie, which opens this Friday, will not be screened in advance of its release date at all. Ordinarily, I would shrug my shoulders and say who cares, but this particular parody takes aim at some of the franchises that I have been paying close attention to lately, so I kind of feel obliged to see it in a way that I never felt obliged to see Date Movie, Not… Read more

Congratulations to Deepa Mehta on becoming the first Canadian director whose name isn’t Denys Arcand to get nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Three of Arcand’s films — Decline of the American Empire (1986), Jesus of Montreal (1989) and The Barbarian Invasions (2003) — have been nominated over the years, and on the third try, he got lucky. But until Mehta’s Water (2005) was nominated this morning, no other director of a non-English film produced by… Read more

Whoa. I am so far behind on my blogging, what with my wife going back to work this week and me becoming the “primary caregiver” to the twins and all, but I really, really, really cannot pass up the opportunity to link to this story from the Hollywood Reporter:MGM has acquired North American distribution rights to “Myriam, Mother of the Christ,” the biblical story of Mary. The screenplay is written by Benedict Fitzgerald, who penned “The Passion of the Christ.”The… Read more

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.Blood Diamond — CDN $7,780,615 — N.AM $50,743,000 — 15.3%Children of Men — CDN $3,728,853 — N.AM $27,481,000 — 13.6%Alpha Dog — CDN $1,526,813 — N.AM $11,697,000 — 13.1%Arthur and the Invisibles — CDN $1,026,637 — N.AM $9,296,000 — 11.0%The Pursuit of Happyness — CDN $11,967,242 — N.AM $146,511,000 — 8.2%Pan’s… Read more

Ouch. Not only were the cartoons featured in the most recent Walt Disney Treasures sets badly framed, is now reporting that the series may be discontinued altogether.The evidence for this is an e-mail purportedly written by Leonard Maltin, who has hosted all the installments of this DVD series:Hi… Thanks so much for your kind words; they’re very much appreciated. I have been told that there will be no more Treasures, and of course I’m disappointed. I have the exact… Read more

Mark Steyn was a pop-culture expert — films, theatre, songs, he has reviewed it all — long before he became a political pundit, and he has been going on and on about demographics and declining birth rates for so long that I could not help but wonder what he would make of Children of Men, the new movie in which the entire human race has been unable to procreate for nearly 20 years.At last, I have my answer, via his… Read more

I recently got an advance copy of the “definitive edition” of The Passion of the Christ, which comes out January 30, and I couldn’t resist capturing this typo that appears in the text commentary:Now why am I imagining this actress vandalizing museums — and maybe libraries! — as part of her research for her role?I’ll post a proper review of the two-disc set in the near future. Read more

A colleague of mine in Chicago mailed me a copy of the Nativity Story soundtrack album on December 6. It arrived here in Vancouver today. That’s right, it took 43 days to get here. I know there were two or three statutory holidays in that time, and the mail can be sluggish around that time of year, but still…Anyway, hearing Mychael Danna’s score for the first time since I last saw the film — and that was back in November… Read more

Just for the record, I have now seen the “Richard Donner cut” of Superman II, and, um, if I ever had any thought of buying that 14-disc “ultimate collector’s edition” of the Superman movie franchise, it has now pretty much passed from my mind.The basic story is still just as silly as it ever was, and some aspects of Donner’s film are even sillier than their counterparts in the other version of this film, which Richard Lester directed after he… Read more

I’ve been awfully busy lately, but I thought I’d give a heads-up to anyone in the Vancouver area who might be interested in Philip Gröning’s Die Große Stille (2005), AKA Into Great Silence. The film, a mostly silent documentation of the prayers, services and chores performed by the monks of the Grande Chartreuse monastery in the French Alps, is playing at the VanCity Theatre next week, but only on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.FWIW, I watched this film on a… Read more

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