MOVIES

August Movies: You Sunk My Beevership

By Gregg Beever

I’m back, baby! Before I get started, how about a big round of applause for Mr. Jay Runham who filled in brilliantly for me last month.

Are you done clapping yet?

Okay, good.

So, has everyone watched the Battleship trailer? Somehow I missed Liam Neeson being cast as Admiral E5. Did he lose a bet? Maybe he’s having a “Who can be in the shittiest alien invasion flick?” competition with Aaron Eckhart.

That brings us to the $200 million dollar question (yes, that is the budget), what does the board game, Battleship, have to do with aliens? What the frack is the tie-in there? Wait. Aliens are nebulously destroying battleships from the heavens, just like players of the board game. Right? Is director Peter Berg trying to say that we are the true aliens?

I don’t get it.

All I know is when I’m watching this film in the theater and Liam Neeson utters the line “You sunk my battleship.” I’m going to stand up and slow clap.

But Battleship doesn’t premiere until May of next year and we’re concerned with movies coming out now. What can we look forward to in the month of August with Thor, Transformers, Captain America, Harry Potter and the end of Jim Carrey’s career passing us by?

Two words: Spy Kids! (more…)


H, I, J n’ J

Friend of the website (and sometimes movie-reviewer) Jay Runham has teamed up with another J – Jordan Blackburnto talk movies in your earbuds.

The second episode of Jay n’ J. is out now, with guest Paul Matwychuk. Paul is an Edmonton movie-genius, who you may know from his work on CBC Radio and the DVD Afternoon podcast he does with The Videodrome’s Heather Noel. (Side note on Paul: You want this guy on your trivia team.)

(Side note on the second episode: Metro Cinema is settling into its new home at the Garneau Theatre, and will begin showing movies at the end of the first week in August.)

The first episode of Jay n’ J. featured another friend of the website, and movie-guy, Gregg Beever.

The podcast (so far) focuses on one movie – Super 8 and Harry Potter in episodes 1 and 2. And the hosts jump into conversations that make sense for their guests, which will likely lead to a diverse entertainment podcast. Basically, the Js are two for two on guests, and are going to add to the great movie discussions happening online and in podcasts in Edmonton.


Jay’s July Jovies

(We mean “movies.” What? Too much alliteration? – Jeff S.)

By Jay Runham

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Beever-filled Movie preview for this comedy and comic book-fueled sequel fest.

Sequels, comic book adaptations and comedies: the lifeblood of this summer Blockbuster season. With original movies like Super 8 and Beginners behind us, we look towards July with some hope that a low budget comedy or the end of a major franchise will bring us some summer joy. But like Shia LaBeouf says “No… No no no. No, no no!”.

Mutt’s Scooter

Why not start with the good old Mutt WilliamsTransformers barely slips into July and will probably make a crap metric tonne of money, but you and Gregg have already been touched by those Robots in Disguise. Opening on the same weekend, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts‘ new romantic comedy Larry Crowne scoots it’s way onto the big screen. So, if you’re not a fan of explosions, the army, robots, Shia LaBeouf, Victoria’s Secret Model #3, or America, maybe Larry Crowne is for you. I think the chicks might dig it (Or at least my Mom seems to be looking forward to it). If you have a Beilieber or Twi-hard in you house, Monte Carlo is for them. Them and Mutt Williams. (more…)


In Blackest Night…

By Jay Runham

“Wait… this is a cartoon?”

I feel like this was a reaction a lot of people had the other night as a small theatre full of us sat down to watch Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (GL: EK). No, this is not the Ryan Reynolds live action Summer Blockbuster, it is a collection of shorts as narrated by Nathan Fillion (Edmonton born and raised). Fillion plays Hal Jordan (the character Ryan Reynolds will also be portraying) as he teaches a new Green Lantern about the beginnings of the Green Lantern Corps.

Lost yet? I’m sure a couple people at the theatre were too. Emerald Knights gives the viewer some backstory into the events about to unfold in it’s live-action counterpart. The difference between the two being that GL:EK serves as both a prequel AND a sequel. Furthermore, it is animated and shows a lot of the stories that couldn’t fit into the live action film.

There exists great voice acting talent in the film. As mentioned above, Nathan Fillion plays Hal Jordan and does an excellent job of narrating the separate stories. Elisabeth Moss seems like she is having fun playing the new recruit, and does a great job providing a gateway to the tales of the Green Lantern’s past. The tough as nails Sinestro is voiced by Jason Isaacs, who is best known for his evil role in the Harry Potter Franchise.

This film is definitely worth the rent if you’re jonesing to go see the live-action adaptation. But if you haven’t read the comics or aren’t familiar with the Green Lantern lore, you may want to wait until after seeing Ryan Reynolds in his CGI jump suit.

Renter beware and Geeks geek-out.

3.5/5

Jay Runham is a movie reviewer, hourly tweeter, and lover of Nonja Turtles. More from him at J-Run.ca/Blog and @MondoJay.


Gregg’s Sci-Fi Touch

By Gregg Beever

Hold on to your mutant pantaloons, this weekend the X-Men are back, and  Brett “Rush Hour” Ratner has been expelled from Professor Xavier’s school.

After two successful films, a forgettable third installment and one abysmal spin-off, 20th Century Fox turned to Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) to breath life back into its super-hero ensemble. Strong leads in James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were cast, while writers Ashley Miller and Zach Stentz (from the under-appreciated Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) round out a screenplay team that also includes Jane Goldman, who co-wrote Kick-Ass with Vaughn.

With that level of talent it is not surprising X-Men: First Class is being met with stellar reviews, likely handing Marvel two hit movies in as many months. Should Captain America also set boxes offices a blaze it will be an unprecedented blockbuster hat-trick for the comic book publisher.  (more…)


You could be in the movies

Local go-getter Jordan Schroder dropped us a line about a movie he’s working on (you may remember Jordan from such productions as “Rock the Vote“).

ImagiNation Film & Contraption Studios is starting work, this Monday, on a new movie about a Canadian journalist who died in Lebanon, covering that country’s civil war in the 1980s.

ImagiNation produced one of my favourite Canadian TV movies; Selling Innocence. They also produced a movie based on the book “100 Days in the Jungle,” which is a better-known local production about oil workers kidnapped in Ecuador.

You can help out in a number of ways:

  • Kitchen & Craft Services
  • Props, Painting & Set Decoration
  • Electrical or Rigging
  • Professional Drivers
  • Housekeeping & Janitorial
  • Carpentry & Construction
  • Lighting & Equipment
  • Hair & Make-up
  • Wardrobe & Costumes
  • Digital, 3D & Compositing
  • Runners & General Help
  • Office Administration & Co-ordination

Interviews are this Saturday. So you’ve got to act now to make your movie (crew) debut.

Also, help them bring a little more Edmonton to that Vancouver-heavy production.


Bridesmaids

By Gregg Beever

“Chick flicks don’t have to suck,” the poster for Bridemaids loudly states. Sounds like good news for boyfriends and husbands the world over who have suffered through Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, or whatever else Jennifer Lopez has been in. A chick flick with an abundance of dick jokes? Yes, please. That’s something we can get on board with.

Bridesmaids is very much a comedy for women, by women. Writer and lead actress Kristen Wiig has recruited a female comedic ensemble, including Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and Jackie Q herself, Rose Byrne, to fill out all the major characters. In fact, there is only one notable male role in Officer Rhodes, played hilariously by Chris O’Dowd as Wiig’s love interest.

Yes, Jon Hamm is also here, being stupidly handsome as usual, but his role is quite minimal.

The result of this heavily feminine cast is a dirty, yet charming, comedy about friendship, love, redemption, and the methods in which men ask for oral sex. Most importantly, Bridesmaids is funny and willing to travel where few chick flicks are willing to go, featuring a very epic collection of poop jokes in the second act.

Wiig still relies on some played out movie tropes. Spoiler alert; the bride goes missing on her wedding day. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, and Wiig’s character, Annie, has a good thing going with Officer Rhodes but, wouldn’t you know it, she screws it up and has to win him back.

To Wiig’s credit, both of these tired plot points are written well. Wiig has Rhodes essentially tell Annie to fuck off and is legitimately difficult to win over, setting up some genuine tension for the film’s climax.

I’m a big Kristen Wiig fan, and I maintain that MacGruber was hilariously awesome. After a successful opening weekend, I hope Bridesmaids means more big gigs and continued success for her.

So, even if you are a dude, go check out Bridesmaids. You won’t be disappointed.


EIFF Screening Room Series Starts this Thursday

 

As you may know, the summer season is often referred to in the movie biz as “blockbuster season.”

But what IS blockbuster season? Why, it’s a very special time of year when people pay $38 dollars for a bucket of popcorn and a delicious beverage, and have the choice of watching either Shia LeBeouf fighting robot cars, or Vin Diesel driving robot cars*.

But this summer, you’re going to have a few new options at the box office, thanks to the crew at the Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF). Their Screening Room series will be held the third Thursday of the month – in May, June and July –  and features some pretty exclusive content. (more…)


Thorsday

Thor posterBy Gregg Beever

I thought I might try giving some feedback on all these movies I’ve been talking about for the last year, particularly since it is blockbuster season. Unfortunately I picked a very difficult movie to start with in Thor. (more…)


Let the Blockbusters Begin!

You'll have to read ahead to see what Gregg thinks of, what is essentially, his namesake movie.

By Gregg Beever

We’ve suffered through the Yogi Bears and Hops; been disappointed by Battles Los Angeles and the Sucker Punches; completely mystified by yet another Big Momma sequel; but finally our long winter of suffering will come to an end. Rejoice, fellow moviegoers, for it is blockbuster season!

But before I get to all the sweet movies hitting theatres this month, let’s you and I jump into the ole’ WABAC machine with Mr. Peabody and travel back to November 2010. It was a time of wide-eyed anticipation for a sequel to cult classic TRON: Legacy. (more…)


Let’s Talk About Text, Baby

Hey you, sexy, swinging Edmontonians. When the good people at WIND Mobile had a few Blackberries to give away, they knew you guys were the ones to talk to (and we were the ones to offer up the provided phones).

Recently, Textuality opened in select theatres (not in Edmonton to my knowledge). It’s a Canadian movie starring starring Jason Lewis (Smith Jerrod to you Sex and the City fans), Canadian actors Carly Pope (Young People F**king, Popular), Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, Lonesome Dove), and Liam Card (also the film’s writer). The movie looks at dating in the age of smartphones. And texting (obviously).

It looks like this:

 

Now, just because Edmonton wasn’t on the movie’s release schedule, doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun. (That might just be a double-entendre.) Details on getting you a new phone after the jump. (more…)


April Showers Bring May Blockbusters

By Gregg Beever

We kick-off this month’s movie preview with some rather curious news from Warner Bros. and DC Comics. In light of Marvel’s epic superhero team-up, The Avengers, set to premiere next summer, DC and Warner Brothers have announced development of their own superhero team-up, The Justice League of America (JLA).

No one is terribly surprised DC would want to follow in Marvel’s foot-steps, but what is curious about this announcement is the timeline. The Justice League is tentatively planned for a 2013 release, just one short year after Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, and Zach Snyder’s Superman reboot.

Batman is obviously an integral part of The Justice League, but the gritty tone of Nolan’s Batman does not suggest an allowance for characters with super powers like Superman, Green Lantern, or The Flash within that universe. To that end, Warner Bros. has intimated Batman will be “re-invented,” which I assume means giving the character a new stand alone movie before JLA hits.

If that is the case, it would mean a new Batman film must be in development right now in order to make a release date sometime before the summer of 2013.

The alternative is that a Justice League movie will be a launching pad for the re-introduction of Batman.

Zach Snyder was recently quoted as saying his Superman would not be connected to the JLA movie, making Warner Brothers’ plans even more confusing. Does that mean there will be an alternative Superman film as well?

And here we thought the Spider-Man reboot was hasty! Now, instead of five years in between reboots we’re potentially going to get one year, or less. Warner Bros. also wants to slap together a Flash and Wonder Woman movie, presumably before the JLA film debuts. At least that’s what I would assume.

There’s just one word for this plan…clusterfuck.

But enough about movies that might be, let’s talk about the films you’ll be able to watch in the next four weeks. (more…)


Orgasm Inc. (safe for work)

Orgasm Inc., movie poster

I know you like a good freebie, Edmonton, and a free movie is pretty sweet.

Over at at the University of Alberta tonight you can watch Orgasm Inc., a documentary about the pharmaceutical industry’s push to cure female sexual dysfunction, medical marketing campaigns, and, of course, sexual pleasure. Following the screening there will be a discussion and presentations from smart folks from places like CJSR’s Adamant Eve, and our friends at The Traveling Tickle Trunk.

Documentary and discussion? Smartest Tuesday night ever.

While the movie is free, donations will be accepted for local feminist group the Edmonton Rebelles.


March Movies, or Gregg is a super film-genius

By Gregg Beever

If you’ll check last week’s episode of The Unknown Studio you’ll hear me successfully predict this year’s best pictures winner as The King’s Speech; without seeing the film, even! It takes a hefty set of balls to choose the heavy favourite; I have those balls…and they are hefty.

While talking to Adam and Scott, I also predicted the Oscars to be wildly boring and unfunny. 100% correct there. As the major body which judges the quality of show biz talent, cannot the Academy find writers who can craft a funny joke? About the funniest bit was Kirk Douglas’ turn at presenting an award, but I suspect his best jokes were unscripted, and thus unintentional.

I flipped back and forth between the Oilers game and the Oscars, each becoming a larger and larger source of irritation. With the Oilers down (again) and Anne Hathaway about to sing, I wondered briefly if bludgeoning myself with the empty dinner plate laying on my coffee table might provide adequate relief. (more…)


Beever vs. Bieber (and other February movies to avoid)

By Gregg Beever

With films like Just Go with It, I Am Number Four, and something called Gnomeo & Juliet – about…umm…gnomes, I guess – it may be wise to stay away from the theaters entirely this month. Use this lull to walk over to the Movie Studio and rent a few of those films you were too lazy to drive to the theatre for last year.

Personally, I’ll be using the time to catch up on movies I missed like The Last Exorcism, Catfish and Monsters, which I’ve been waiting to see since it began its film festival run last year.

But it hasn’t been all dullsville in Hollywood recently. The big news in January was the casting of Clark Kent in Zach Snyder’s Superman reboot. Henry Cavill of Showtime’s The Tudors will be donning the red cape to leap over tall Metropolis buildings in a single bound.

I know so little about The Tudors I thought it was a Canadian production from the CBC. I don’t watch a lot of cable, but when I do it’s usually a hockey game, and the CBC flogs The Tudors on Hockey Night in Canada like it’s the only show they’ve got.

I should have realized as soon as Cavill was cast as Superman that The Tudors was not Canadian. Canadian television generally won’t garner an actor the kind of exposure needed to be cast as a Superman. It might get you on as a presenter at the Junos, or maybe star in one of those Canadian heritage commercials.

Those heritage commercials could use a lot less facts and a whole lot more robots and/or ninjas.

In news closer to home, it seems Zach Snyder may be bringing his production to Alberta. The Edmonton Journal reports a $200-million budget film, suspected to be Superman, will shoot scenes in Alberta. My guess is Alberta would play the roll of Smallville. May I suggest to Mr. Snyder my home town of Vegreville? No town can get smaller than Vegreville.

Last month’s Sundance Film Festival saw the premiere of Kevin Smith’s Red State, but it was another film horror film, Silent House, that peaked my interest. The entire film is shot in one continuous take (supposedly, but actually probably not), which is an extremely challenging and interesting way to shoot a scary movie.

Silent House also stars one Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister to Mary-Kate and Ashley. I had no idea there was a younger Olsen, yet I find myself routing for Elizabeth, hoping she possesses the raw talent and skill to be a success. I’m unsure why, exactly. Maybe because the twins are such a talentless mess it would be nice to see someone from that family contribute to pop-culture in a positive way.

I’m sure that won’t happen, of course. No, I suspect lil’ Lizzy Olsen will be flashing her vajay-jay for some lucky paparazzi in due course.

That about wraps it up for this month folks, pretty sad-sack collection new releases this month; unless you were really looking forward to Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

It’s true, you should never say never; unless you are saying “I will never see Never Say Never.” Then you can say never.


December Movies

By Gregg Beever

Fresh off a bitter defeat at the hands of Adam Rozenhart, your lovable movie critic, and his moustache, are back to deliver the rundown, the skinny, the inside scoop, some other metaphor for preview, on what to watch in December. This month features the latest project from the brothers Coen, Jonhny Depp teaming with the poor British accent of Angelina Jolie, and a movie that surely has Tron Guy performing big cosplay cartwheels.

But first let’s take a look back at movie news in November. (more…)


Gregg vs. Sally: UNSTOPPABLE!

Nobody knows movies like Gregg and Sally. Alright, they mostly see movies that most would consider bad, or watch movies they know they won’t like just for the post-viewing laughs.

But after seeing the trailer for Unstoppable this summer, the duo knew they would have to see a movie that included people shooting at a speeding train in an attempt to stop it.

Will the bullets stop the train? Will Gregg and Sally actually see a movie they like? Only one way to find out.

Denzel and Captain Kirk, meet Facebook chat. (more…)


Remember, remember the movies of November

By Gregg Beever and Gregg’s moustache


Hi, I’m Gregg’s moustache.

Normally you’d find me riding shotgun with his beard but this month, Movember, as you’ll hear it called, is my month to shine.

I’m finally rid of that face-hogging beard and get to show off my talents. One of those such talents is introducing Gregg’s November movie previews. I see a lot of movies with Gregg, so I think I’ve got the experience to pull this off.

November is sometimes a month that can be full of forgettable movies. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are going to be forgettable movies in the next few weeks. It’s just that November 2010 has at least one Oscar contender and some blockbuster potential. That’s nice to see, but hopefully it doesn’t leave us with a wasteland of feature films to end the year.

Alright, I’ll step aside for Gregg’s actual previews now. Besides, he got some gum stuck in me and I should get rid of that.

(more…)


Gregg vs. Sally: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Earlier this summer, our resident movie expert Gregg Beever took one for the team and accompanied me to a screening of Sex and the City 2,  then exacted his revenge by dragging me to The Expendables.

This has somehow spiraled into the two of us regularly attending movies that most people probably don’t want to see, and acting all superior, as if we could’ve done a better job.

What follows is our review of the film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, as conducted via Facebook Chat. (more…)


Scary Movies

edmonton, film festival, city centre

Don't forget about the Edmonton International Film Festival. 1.5 more days of that left!

By Gregg Beever

Hello, my lovelies. This month we have one film already receiving Oscar buzz, and not a whole lot else. Here. We. Go.

The Social Network – October 1st

Director: David Fincher

Writers: Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich (book)

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield

Trailer

In his “new rules” segment last week, Bill Maher stated “nobody wants to see a movie about Facebook…if this is a hit, what’s next? Google the musical?”

I don’t really see Google as a musical, more of a suspense/thriller starring Clint Eastwood solving crimes on the internet.

“I’m feeling lucky, punk.”

Did the entire internet just groan?

Anyway, Maher is wrong. If the The Social Network was about Farmville and high-angle self portraits, than yes, nobody would want to see it. But the story of Mark Zuckerberg and his meteoric rise to billionairehood is packed with enough lies and deceit to fill a week’s worth of soap opera scripts. That’s the kind of melodrama 500 million Facebook users feed off of to sustain themselves.

Potential for Awesome?

You may remember director David Fincher from such pants-droppingly amazing films as Fight Club, Zodiac, The Game and Se7en. Fincher is paired with writer Aaron Sorkin, who some of us my know as the brilliant TV writer who’s projects (Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) are repeatedly and unjustly canceled.

With such a powerful duo steering the ship, it’s not hard to understand why, as of this writing, the The Social Network sits at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. I had the fortune of catch the screener this week, Fincher does not disappoint.

The Social Network also co-stars Andrew Garfield, for those comic book geeks out there looking to get a glimpse of the next Spidey’s acting chops.

Let’s see what else we’ve got… (more…)


Piranha 3D

By Gregg Beever


Maybe it’s a little late to post a review on Piranha 3D, as it was released back on August 20th and has already fallen into the basement of box office rankings. However, the beauty of being bloggers is that we are accountable to no one. Well, I’m accountable to Jeff, but he let me call a 600-word sexual fluid gag a movie review, so I think it’s safe to say I can do whatever I want…except rip on See Magazine. (Editor’s note: He’s not going to let that go, is he?)

Piranha 3D knows what it is. And what it is is an effective 70’s throw-back horror film, replete with dodgy acting, convenient plot devices and an implausible monster; or in this case monsters.

Oh, and titties, lots and lots of titties. (more…)


The September Spectacular

(Editor’s note: We have no idea why we keep calling Gregg’s movie previews “spectaculars.” But now we can’t stop. They are, however, spectacular.)

By Gregg Beever

Summer technically stretches well into September, but nothing about this month feels like summer. Shadows stretch long, days feel shorter and already I can feel the thermometer in free fall when the sun sets.

The movie industry feels the same way, running out the clock on blockbusters by the end of August. September is a month were studios dump projects they are less confidence in, sheltering films from the stiffer competition of an Iron Man II or Inception.

Going the Distance, the Justin Long/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy I previewed last month, is case in point. The film was pushed back to September 3rd to get “some distance from the other female-driven films releasing in August” according to Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman. That “female-driven” film, of course, was Eat, Pray, Love.

However, September isn’t completely devoid of potentially good cinema, there are a couple films I’m excited about. There is also a franchise sequel, however, that somehow manages to repeatedly pull in an audience and thoroughly confuse me.

Let’s get to it! (more…)


The Semen, err, we mean The Switch

A movie review by Gregg Beever

The Switch tells a story each of us, I think, can relate to. We’ve all been there, accidentally spilling a hopeful single mom’s donor semen and replacing it with our own so no one is the wiser. If I had a quarter for every replacement-semen-baby I’ve got, let me tell you, that’s a lot of quarters.

Supplying the semen for this film is Jason Bateman as Wally Mars, the quick-witted, awkward best friend of Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston). No longer willing to wait through the standards steps of baby-making, Kassie jumps all those pesky relationship hurdles, opting for artificial insemination.

When a drunk Wally exchanges Kassie’s bottled baby-gravy for a load of his own, the premise is on. Seven years later, his best friend moves back to New York, and Wally begins to realizes he hijacked Kassie’s pregnancy and little Sebastian is his son. (more…)


Gregg vs. Sally: The Expendables

Earlier this summer, our resident movie expert Gregg Beever took one for the team and accompanied me to a screening of Sex and the City 2.  He’s since been crouched in the shadows, waiting for the perfect movie that would allow him to exact his revenge on me.

Which is how I wound up at The Expendables last Saturday.  What follows is our review of the film, as conducted via Facebook Chat.

Sally: okey doke. so. the expendables. this was my payback for making you endure sex and the city 2.

Gregg: It was basically the polar opposite of Sex and the City 2.

Sally: gender wise, i agree. in terms of being awful, i’d say they’re cut from the same cloth.

Gregg: Can’t argue that…although it was easier watching Expendables as my lust for explosions and needless gore were being pandered to.

Sally: i will say that steve austin was a triumph!

Gregg: If they handed out Oscars for best former wrestler to marginally handle four lines of dialogue, he would certainly get my vote.

Sally: ha ha, i wonder who else would be nominated in that category.

Gregg: Stallone, for having the balls run a bridge at age sixty. “Running” is probably not the term.

Sally: wobbling?

Gregg: Waddling briskly? Shuffling, maybe

(more…)