Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DVD Releases for February 28, 2012

Time to take a look at a selection of DVD releases for Tuesday February 28, 2012!

  • Bounty Hunters Action packed and totally awesome flick with wrestling & fitness star Trish Stratus who stars as a part of a trio of bounty hunters who work together to catch the baddies who skipped bail. So much fun (this film is also known as Bail Enforcers).
  • Sympathy for Delicious Feature film directorial debut from Mark Ruffalo, this drama centres on a wheelchair ridden DJ who suddenly has the power to 'lay on hands' but can not heal himself. Stars Christopher Thornton, Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis and Mark Ruffalo.
  • Mandrill I can't wait to see this action flick starring Marko Zaror and from director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza who brought us Mirageman & Kiltro. I'm so up for more! Mandrill is out on DVD this week (it came out on BluRay last week).
  • War of the Arrows (podcast review) South Korean historical action film that is arrow-centric, and that's a strong trend of late and I absolutely recommend checking this one out, fabulous action, great art direction and a compelling story.
  • Hugo Only 2 days from it's 5-time winning Oscar glory feels like perfect time for the film to hit DVD and I can't help but be ridiculously excited as it was one of our loved 2011 Book to Film Selections to boot.
  • Beauty Day Documentary from Jay Cheel centred on on local broadcast Ralph Zavadil aka Cap'n Video, who looks like he'll do just about any stunt there is (not currently available on Amazon.com).
  • Marécages / Wetlands This drama is yet another title from the 2011 Canada's Top Ten to hit DVD; stars Pascale Bussières, Gabriel Maillé, Luc Picard and is the feature film directorial debut from Guy Édoin (not currently available on Amazon.com.
  • Gamin A Velo / The Kid with a Bike This sweet looking drama follows a young boy and an unlikely friendship with a hairdresser, from writers/director duo of Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne (not currently available on Amazon.com).
  • Sea Wolf / Le loup de mer psychological thriller at sea, based on the Jack London novel and starring Sebastian Koch, Tim Roth and Neve Campbell (not currently available on Amazon.com).
  • Rabies /Kalevet Twisted horror film from Israel set in the woods, following a brother/sister pair and with a strong, survivalist tone; stars Lior Ashkenazi, Danny Geva, directed by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado.
  • Wolftown It's the first I've heard of this one but with a premise described as "Kyle, a shy college student finds himself and three of his friends trapped in an old western ghost town by a pack of ferocious wolves and has to overcome his personal fears to confront the wolves and lead his friends to safety.", I know I want to see it.
  • Klitschko sport documentary following brother boxers Vitali & Wladimir Klitschko. I really want to see this one (not currently available on Amazon.com).
  • Insight Paranormal-centric horror about a nurse who after a accidentstarts to remember another persons memories, stars Natalie Zea, Sean Patrick Flanery, Christopher Lloyd & Adam Baldwin.
  • Inkubus It's a week of a lot of random horror movies, like this demon in a police station flick starring Robert Englund, Williams Forsythe and Jonathan Silverman.
  • Johnny English Reborn Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike and Dominic West star in this spy-spoof comedy sequel to Johnny English.
Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):

Titles on Amazon.com (US):

Sunday, February 26, 2012

84th Academy Award Winners

The Oscars have come and gone for another year, and Billy Crystal hosted a very quick and to the point show that had the running them of embracing the art, memory and celebrating film. I actually quite liked the montages of people talking about film and considering the 2 lead nominee films (Hugo & The Artists) are films that celebrate film I can understand why they went with the memory focus. As it turns out, folks seemed to fully embrace those films and both Hugo and The Artist took home 5 awards each and The Artist won both Best Picture and Best Director. The only other multiple winner was The Iron Lady which actually won 2/2 with Make Up and Best Actress (Meryl Streep) giving it a 100% success rate from nominations to winners. All other winning films took home 1 award each.

That's the wrap up and number crunching and all the winners are below, but first here are some memorable moments and thoughts that chronological popped up in my head while watching the show....
  • Cinematography first ? Wha? What happened to supporting actor/actress? ...that's usually first! Just when I think I've got the patterns down they switch them up!
  • Awesome moment: Octavia Spencer getting a standing ovation when accepting her award for Actress in a Supporting Role for The Help
  • I loved how editors Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall kept their speech short and sweet noted "Yep, we're editors" and left the stage post-thanks for their win for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
  • Sad moment of realizing Drive didn't win it's 1 possible award.
  • Cirque du Soliel interpretation of what it's like to go to the movies 1 time only performance, which I literally couldn't take my eyes off the screen although I'm sure it read better live.
  • Pretty funny intro with Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr. present the Oscar for documentary all genuine and 'real like' with RDJ saying they were doing a film or role of "The Presentor"
  • The Documentary (Feature) team of TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas who won for Undefeated got a bleep, a music swell and their audio cut out! WOW. And they were the only ones that did.
  • Emma Stone being ridiculously cute presenting for the first time.
  • Jason Isaacs talking about Harry Potter and the creation of the world in the intros for both Make Up and Visual Effects, he spoke with such passion it literally brought tears to my eyes.
  • Christopher Plummer and his delight acceptance speech for "Beginners"
  • "Thank you to my parents for never telling me to get a real job" - Bret McKenzie, during his acceptance speech for Best Original Song for Man or Muppet, from The Muppets (and the OMG moment of realizing he's Bret from Flight of the Conchords)
  • I loved father/daughter team acceptance speech for The Shore for Short Film (Live Action) Terry George and Oorlagh George, where the father says he doesn't have to wait for a wedding to tell the world how wonderful his daughter is.
  • Woody Allen was the only winner not in attendance (won Best Original Screenplay for Midnight in Paris).
  • I had a moment of panic when we were a healthy ways in but still no shorts awarded, but they finally did present live action, animated and documentary one after another after another, awarded by the cast of Bridesmaids.
  • "You understand something that you didn't understand before, about life" - Edward Norton
  • I really thought Demián Bichir from A Better Life was going to cry from Natalie Portman's introduction of him for Best Actor.
  • And wow again and complete GRRR moment for the end-reveal of The Artist (in at least 2 ways) with the Best Actor lead in speech. Sigh. Why do they do that?
  • "You are unreasonable good" Colin Firth describing Meryl Streep.
  • Standing Ovation for Meryl Streep.
  • Sad realization that The Tree of Life goes home with no awards.
  • And it ends with in an unusual yet even split of 5 awards for both Hugo & The Artist.
84th Academy Awards Winners
In the order in which they were presented


"Hugo" Robert Richardson

Art Direction
"Hugo" Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

Costume Design
"The Artist" Mark Bridges

"The Iron Lady" Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Foreign Language Film
"A Separation" Iran

Actress in a Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer in "The Help"

Film Editing
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Sound Editing
"Hugo" Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

Sound Mixing
"Hugo" Tom Fleischman and John Midgley

Documentary (Feature)
"Undefeated" TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Animated Feature Film
"Rango" Gore Verbinski

Visual Effects
"Hugo" Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christopher Plummer in "Beginners"

Music (Original Score)
"The Artist" Ludovic Bource

Music (Original Song)
"Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets" Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"The Descendants" Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Writing (Original Screenplay)
"Midnight in Paris" Written by Woody Allen

Short Film (Live Action)
"The Shore" Terry George and Oorlagh George

Documentary (Short Subject)
"Saving Face" Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Short Film (Animated)
"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg

"The Artist" Michel Hazanavicius

Actor in a Leading Role
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist"

Actress in a Leading Role
Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"

Best Picture
"The Artist" Thomas Langmann, Producer

The 84th Academy Awards were presented on Sunday February 26, 2012 .

27th Annual Spirit Awards Winners


I actually didn't watch the Spirit Awards this year but I was still very excited to hear the winners!

The 27th Annual Spirit Awards Winners are....

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the producer)
THE ARTIST - Producer: Thomas Langmann



BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
MARGIN CALL - DIRECTOR: J.C. Chandor; PRODUCERS: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto


Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer

MICHELLE WILLIAMS - My Week with Marilyn


SHAILENE WOODLEY - The Descendants



BEST DOCUMENTARY Award given to the dir ector and producer

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM Award given to the director
A SEPARATION (Iran) DIRECTOR: Asghar Farhadi

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD Award given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast
DIRECTOR: J.C. Chandor; CASTING DIRECTORS: Tiffany Little Canfield, Bernard Telsey
ENSEMBLE CAST: Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci




Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray

The Spirit Awards
ceremony took place on February 25, 2012.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Film Fan Fridays for Friday February 24, 2012

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!

Welcome to Film Fan Fridays for Friday February 24, 2012! It is a busy week for film fans with not only having The Oscars this weekend (see my handy three different detailed Oscar lists: detailed list by category, a film list with detailed nominations by film, and a simple film list with # of nominations), but we also have 12 new films hitting theatres and five of those are Canadian or Canadian co-pros! Busy times, and great choices.

In limited release this week we have 7 films in releases including 4 Canadian releases starting with Doppelgänger Paul (Or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself) (see podcast review here) which is really funny, intelligent dark comedy that not only got me laughing but also had me thinking about interesting ideas about identity, artistic ownership, and of course doppelgängers. We also have Snow, a documentary style film following a woman who comes to Canada after a tsunami, Donovan's Echo starring Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood and the 3D animated film The Prodigies 3D with a gaming feel but also teens-on-revenge theme which looks pretty interesting and I'm surprized it's only opening in 1 theatres. More limited releases this week include Rampart, a 1999 Los Angeles set film following a renegade veteran cop played by Woody Harrelson, biography documentary Shalem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness and The Flowers of War starring Christian Bale as a man who pretends to be a priest in 1937 Nanjing.

In wide release this week we have 5 releases including the Canadian co-pro Hockey film Goon which follows a player whose literally there to be a fight instigator and this one got tons of press yesterday about the controversy to take down these posters with Jay Baruchel for Goon here in Toronto. It got people talking about a Canadian film so... there is that :) Also out in wide relases we have Gone starring Amanda Seyfried as a non-often believed survivor who is up against all odds to save her own sister from the man she escaped from, Act of Valor which is going with a real-feel being based on real events, but still narrative film about SEALs, CIA and terrorists. Also out in wide releases is Tyler Perry's Good Deeds and Jennifer Aniston/Paul Rudd comedy Wanderlust.

Have a great Oscar weekend! I'll be live-tweeting & Facebook-ing throughout the show, so come & say Hi or follow along for winner (and pretty dress) updates.

Edit: 2 late adds that I missed the first time round: Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya & Jodi Breakers. I look carefully for the Bollywood films, but sometimes they miss the first pass. I'm happy I found them in the listings!


Festival Watch

Reel Artists Film Festival
February 23 - 26, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival
February 26 - March 9, 2012 at TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday February 24, 2012 Releases

Act of Valor
Dir: Mike McCoy & Scott Waugh - feature film directorial debuts
Cast: Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Donovan's Echo
Dir: Jim Cliffe - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Danny Glover, Bruce Greenwood, Natasha Calis, Sonja Bennett
Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

Doppelgänger Paul (Or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself)
Dir: Kris Elgstrand and Dylan Akio Smith (The Cabin Movie)
Cast: Brad Dryborough, Tygh Runyan, Ben Cotton, Matty Finochio

Limited Release
Official Film Site & Trailer, IMDb Page

The Flowers of War
Dir: Zhang Yimou (House of the Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower / Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia)
Cast: Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Zhang Xinyi
China/Hong Kong
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Dir: Heitor Dhalia (Adrift, Drained)
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Daniel Sunjata, Wes Bentley
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds
Dir: Tyler Perry (I Can Do Bad All By Myself, My Did I Get Married?)
Cast: Tyler Perry, Thandie Newton, Brian White, Gabrielle Union, Eddie Cibrian
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Dir: Michael Dowse (Fubar, Fubar II)
Cast: Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, Liev Schreiber, Marc-André Grondin, Eugene Levy
Official Film Site, IMDb Page
, Trailer

The Prodigies 3D
Dir: Antoine Charreyron
Voices: Jeffrey Evan Thomas, Lauren Ashley Carter, Moon Dailly
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Dir: Oren Moverman (The Messenger)
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Shalem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness
Writer/Dir: Joseph Dorman (Arguing the World)
Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Writer/Dir: Rohan Fernando (Trudeau's Other Children)
Cast: Sobaz Benjamin, Himaly Fernando, Mohan Fernando

Limited Release
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

Dir: David Wain (Role Models)
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Malik Ackerman
Official Film Site, IMDb Page, Trailer

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as of February 24, 2012**

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Movie Moxie Podcast 62: The Secret World of Arrietty,Doppelgänger Paul and Sequels x 2


This week on the Movie Moxie Podcast Shannon shares spoiler free reviews of recent releases The Secret of Arrietty, Doppelgänger Paul (Or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself), Journey 2: Mysterious Island, Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance plus chats about the experiential nature of watching the trailers in the theatre. The reviews keep coming with triple awesome DVD reviews of Café de flore, Chalet Girl and London Boulevard plus chats live chatting plans of The Oscars on this weekend.

0:00 - 0:30 Intro
0:30 - 7:50 News
7:50 - 13:15 The Secret of Arrietty
13:15 - 19:25 Doppelgänger Paul (Or A Film About How Much I Hate Myself)
19:25 - 23:10 Trailer Talk: The Hobbit
23:10 - 27:25 Journey 2: Mysterious Island
27:25 - 35:55 Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance
35:55 - 41:10 DVD Review: Café de flore
41:10 - 42:55 DVD Review: Chalet Girl
42:55 - 48:10 DVD Review: London Boulevard
48:10 - 50:30 More DVD Releases for Feb 22, 2012
50:30 - 52:24 Outro

Movie Moxie Podcast - A 100% spoiler-free film review podcast
You can also subscribe to the Movie Moxie Podcast here:
Subscribe through iTunes here.

I'll be back next week to chat Oscar results and whatever new films come my way! It will be a mysterious week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book to Film Club Film: The Secret World of Arrietty


Book to Film Club February Film Selection: The Secret World of Arrietty

Our first official* film of the 2012 Book to Film Club is the February film selection is The Secret World of Arrietty based on The Borrowers by Mary Norton, and it is many firsts for us. It's our first animated film, our first major title change from book to film and our first Japanese film (although in the UK, Australia & North America it's been voiced in English). The book it's based on is a children's fantasy novel about tiny people that live in the floorboards of the houses of humans and borrow little things like sugar and such but need to remain unseen by human eyes.

I was so excited to hear about this film as it was an early-in-the-year-releases adaptation which mean we would have something to read and set the year off right. I actually saw the trailer for it before I even anything else about it, and so from that I always had sense of what it was about. The book The Borrowers is the first in the series, however the film is an adaptation of just the first novel which was nice as we only read the first book. The film adaptation into The Secret World of Arrietty, an animated film from Japan from Studio Ghibli, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and was released on February 17, 2012.

The film has been known by other names including Kari-gurashi no Arietti in Japan, Arriety the Borrower in the UK and Arriety in Australia, and has had different voice casts in different areas. The voice cast for North American version includes Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett. I really enjoyed the portrayal of the characters, the story, the gorgeous animations and also seeing a particularly adventurous young, female protagonist.

Here are some things to ponder when thinking, writing and/or journaling about the film:
  • Did you enjoy the film?
  • Was the film what you expected from reading the book?
  • How did you feel about the tone of the film?
  • Were the characters what you expected?
  • Did you enjoy the animation?
  • Which version did you see?
  • Were there characters, moments or ideas you liked better in the book? If so, what were they?
  • What was your favourite thing about the book?
  • Were there characters, moments or ideas you liked better in the film? If so, what were they?
  • What was your favourite thing about the film?
  • Was there anything you understood more after seeing the film?
  • Was there anything you felt was missing from the film?
  • Did the film capture the spirit of the book?
  • Who would you recommend the book to?
  • Who would you recommend the film too?
  • Are you happy you read the book before seeing the film?
  • Would you recommend people read the book before seeing the film?
  • What was the impact of reading the book before seeing the film?
The Movie Moxie Book to Film Club is going strong here in 2012, and we are currently reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien in anticipated for it's December (Part 1) 2012 release. You can join in the fun at any time. For title announcements, Book to Film Club news and monthly selections you can sign up for email updates here.

*we also had The Woman in Black earlier this month, although it was technically part of the 2011 Book to film Club

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DVD Releases for February 21, 2012

Time to take a look at a selection of DVD releases for Tuesday February 21, 2012!

  • Café de Flore Canadian film from Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y., The Young Victoria) and the top nominee for this years Genie Awards with 13 nominations including best film, director, writing and 3 acting awards and it truly deserves it. One of the most beautiful, heartfelt and creative films I've seen in a long time and a film that truly understands the magic of human nature and love (not currently available on Amazon.com).
  • Chalet Girl Really cute romantic comedy following an ex-snowboarder girl who takes up the not-her-type-of-dream-job being a chalet girl. Great across the tracks/coming of age story starring Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Billy Nighy and Brooke Shields.
  • London Boulevard A very interesting crime drama following a recently released criminal that's not very interested in crime, based on the book of the same name by Ken Bruen; stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, David Thewlis & Ray Winstone.
  • Durham County Season 3 I love the surreal feel to this Ontario set crime drama series, and if you are new to it you can dive right in with the Durham County Season 1-3 Set (not currently available on Amazon.com).
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene I'm really kicking myself that I didn't see this one theatrically last year, as it looks like such a fascinated strong female protagonist driven film and that would be solo as they appear to be all facets of 1 person. Can't wait to see it.
  • The Fades: Season One BBC brings supernatural horror series with a post apocalyptic flavour as it follows a young man who was an interesting connection with his dreams and the even being able to see the dead while waking. This one is totally up my alley.
  • Underbelly - Season 1 - War On The Streets I totally want to see this one; and Australian crime drama set in 1995 (Not currently available on Amazon.com)
  • More TV to enjoy with Nurse Jackie having it's Season 3 DVD releases and Weeds with Season 7; where does the time go?
  • Honey 2 I had no idea that there was a sequel to Honey, which is one of the few dance films I've not seen. This sequel stars Katerina Graham (Vampire Diaries) and is definitely on my radar
  • Retreat psychological thriller/virus film starring Cillian Murphy Thandie Newton and Jamie Bell adds to the every growing list of films I want to see!
  • Puss in Boots Really cute looking animated film with Antonio Banderas voicing the adventurous title characters who looks like he has a unique, and enthusiastic approach to adventure. I like!
  • The Way family drama about walking El camino de Santiago, starring Martin Sheen and Deborah Kara Unger; directed by Emilio Estevez.

Titles on Amazon.ca(Canada):

Titles on Amazon.com (US):

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