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).

Blog birthdays, belated and otherwise.

My CT Movies colleague Josh Hurst is marking the second birthday of his blog today — and in doing so, he reminds me that I completely forgot to mark the third birthday of my own blog a couple weeks ago.

I began this blog on March 16, 2005, barely a month after I had gotten married. Now, three years later, I have three kids and a bigger apartment and I no longer live a few blocks from the major arthouse theatres — so I no longer go to the movies with anywhere near the frequency that I used to, and I no longer experiment with the more eclectic movies to the degree that I used to.

But, I still go to movies, watch them at home, and write about them, here and elsewhere — and so the blog goes on.

Incidentally, two years ago, I marked this blog’s birthday on the day itself. Last year, I neglected to do so until two days after the fact. And now, this year, it has taken me just over two weeks to get around to doing so. At this rate, I should be marking the blog’s fourth birthday about two months after the fact.


I hate April Fool’s Day. But if what I posted in this space before turns out to have been genuine, I’ll post it back.

Justice League Mortal redux.

Peter Suderman responds to my earlier post on Justice League Mortal and the rumoured casting of Hayden Christensen as Superman therein:

I’m not sure the casting Christensen, if confirmed, would be particularly good news, but I don’t see why this project ought to be sunk. Yes, it’s low on star power, but the first X-Men film showed you could make a fine superhero picture without any A-list performers. (Hugh Jackman, an unknown at the time, was catapulted to his current status by that film’s success.) And I’d rather see something made rather than nothing at all. More than that, I’m just curious what would happen if you gave the director of Mad Max and The Road Warrior $100 million and said “Go make a superhero movie!”

For what it’s worth, I will grant that the involvement of George Miller is the one thing about this franchise that gives my skepticism pause. But how much pause, I could not say. Apart from the Mad Max trilogy (1979-1985), Miller has directed only four non-documentary feature films — The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Lorenzo’s Oil (1992), Babe: Pig in the City (1998) and Happy Feet (2006) — and I had mixed feelings about the three that I saw.

As for the question of whether the original X-Men (2000) had any A-list actors, I would suggest that talented thespians such as Star Trek veteran Patrick Stewart, the Oscar-winning Anna Paquin and the Oscar-nominated Ian McKellen brought a certain cachet to their superhero movie that none of the rumoured cast members in Justice League Mortal have.

But the more important point here is that the actors in X-Men were completely appropriate to their characters, whereas this does not seem to be the case with Justice League Mortal, which has reportedly been skewing so young that a number of online pundits have said the film looks more like a big-screen version of Teen Titans than anything else.

Yes, Hugh Jackman was a complete unknown when the first X-Men came out. But he was, quite decidedly, a man and not a boy, already in his 30s when he first played Wolverine. (He will be 40 when the prequel comes out next year.) Most of the actors rumoured to be involved in Justice League, on the other hand, are in their early to mid 20s — including, yes, Christensen, who is still best-known for playing whiny post-adolescents, even in justly acclaimed films such as Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass (2003).

And on the rare occasion that someone over the age of 30 is associated with Justice League Mortal, it turns out to be someone like Common, who is a rapper and not an actor, per se. (And on points like this, I defer to Samuel L. Jackson.) Again, contrast that with Hugh Jackman, who certainly knows his way around musical theatre but was trained primarily as an actor.

Finally, in response to Suderman’s statement that “something” is better than “nothing at all”, I offer these clips from the decade-old TV-movie Justice League of America (1997):

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Too cute.

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(Hat tip to Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew.)