Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nominations for the 2010 Gemini Awards

Today, the Canadian Academy revealed the nominees for the 25th Gemini Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy Awards. So without further ado, let's reveal those who have graced our land of television in fall 2009 and winter 2010.

1. Best Animated Program or Series:
* Glenn Martin, DDS
* Guess With Jess
* Johnny Test
* Kid Vs Kat
* Wapos Bay

2. Best Children's or Youth Fiction Program or Series:
* Degrassi: The Next Generation
* Overruled!
* Pillars of Freedom
* That's So Weird!
* Total Drama Action

3. Best Children's or Youth Non-Fiction Program or Series:
* A World of Wonders
* Canada's Super Speller
* Survive This
* TVOKIDS: Mark's Moments

4. Best Comedy Program or Series:
* Dan for Mayor
* Less Than Kind
* Little Mosque on the Prairie
* Pure Pwnage
* The Rick Mercer Report

5. Best Dramatic Miniseries:
* Alice
* The Phantom
* The Summit

6. Best Dramatic Series:
* Durham County
* Flashpoint
* Republic of Doyle
* Stargate Universe
* The Tudors

7. Best Music, Variety Program or Series
* 2009 Much Music Video Awards
* The 2010 Juno Awards
* Battle of the Blades
* Canadian Country Music Awards 2009
* So You Think You Can Dance Canada

8. Best Original Program or Series produced for digital media - Fiction:
* My Pal Satan
* The Vetala

9. Best Reality Program or Series:
* Canada's Next Top Model
* The Cupcake Girls
* Dragons' Den
* Love It or List It

10. Best Talk Series:
* The After Show (CTV)
* The Hour with George Stromboulopoulos (CBC)
* MTV Live (CTV)
* Spectacle with Elvis Costello (CTV)

11. Best TV Movie:
* Abroad
* Deadliest Sea
* The Good Times Are Killing Me
* She Drives Me Crazy

12. Best Achievement in Casting:
* Deirdre Bowen - Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures
* John Buchan (CSA) and Jason Knight - The Summit
* Stephanie Gorin - Guns
* Andrea Kenyon, Wendy O'Brien, Marissa Richmond, Randi Wells - Durham County
* Marissa Richmond - Flashpoint

13. Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series:
* Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice - Kenny Vs. Spenny
* Cathy Jones, Gavin Crawford, Mark Critch, Geri Hall and Shaun Majumder - This Hour Has 22 Minutes
* Peter Keleghan, Erin Agostino, Carl Alacchi, Angela Asher, Ellen David, Stacey Farber, Al Goulem, Tiio Horn, Jesse Rath, Michael Seater and Arielle Shiri - 18 To Life

14. Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series:
* Benjamin Arthur - Less Than Kind
* Lisa Durupt - Less Than Kind
* Wendel Meldrum - Less Than Kind
* Rick Mercer - The Rick Mercer Report
* Pete Zedlacher - Just For Laughs Gala Series 2009

15. Best Drama Actor in a Continuing Leading Role:
* Robert Carlyle - Stargate Universe
* Louis Ferreira - Stargate Universe
* Allan Hawco - Republic of Doyle
* Luke Kirby - Cra$h & Burn
* Michael Riley - Being Erica

16. Best Featured Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series:
* Clé Bennett - Guns
* Greg Byrk - Deadliest Sea
* Colm Feore - Guns
* Matt Frewer - Alice
* Christopher Plummer - The Summit
* Vincent Walsh - The Good Times Are Killing Me

17. Best Featured Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series:
* Clé Bennett - The Line
* Sergio Di Zio - Flashpoint
* Genadijs Dolganovs - The Bridge
* Sebastian Pigott - Being Erica
* Mark Taylor - Flashpoint

18. Best Actor in a Guest Role (Dramatic Series):
Enrico Colantoni - Cra$h & Burn - Lawyers Guns & Money
Christopher Heyerdahl - Sanctuary - Haunted
Michael Riley - Flashpoint - Coming To You Live
Hugh Thompson - Flashpoint - Business As Usual
Kristopher Turner - Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures - Family Practice

19. Best Leading Actor in a Dramatic Miniseries:
* K.C. Collins - Guns
* Bruce Greenwood - The Summit
* Jared Keeso - Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story
* Andrew Lee Potts - Alice
* Peter Outerbridge - Deadliest Sea

20. Best Leading Actress in a Dramatic Series:
* Lynda Boyd - Republic of Doyle
* Caroline Cave - Cra$h & Burn
* Hélène Joy - Durham County
* Grace Park - The Border
* Victoria Snow - Paradise Falls

21. Best Featured Supporting Actress in a Miniseries:

* Wendy Crewson - The Summit
* Sarah Manninen - Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story
* Debra Lynne McCabe - Guns

22. Best Featured Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series:
Catherine Disher - The Border
Eve Harlow - The Guard
Reagan Pasternak - Being Erica
Jessica Steen - Flashpoint
Rachel Wilson - Republic of Doyle

23. Best Actress in a Guest Role (Dramatic Series):
* Ona Grauer - Flashpoint - The Fortress
* Laurence Leboeuf - Flashpoint - The Perfect Family
* Tatiana Maslany - Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures - All Souls
* Debra Lynne McCabe - Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures - All Souls
* Anastasia Phillips - Murdoch Mysteries - Me, Myself, & Murdoch

24. Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries:
* Liane Balaban - Abroad
* Sun Li - Iron Road
* Caterina Scorsone - Alice

25. Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series:
* Charlotte Arnold - Degrassi: The Next Generation
* Landon Liboiron - Degrassi: The Next Generation
* Kayla Lorette - That's So Weird!
* Melinda Shankar - How To Be Indie
* Jamie Watson - Peep And The Big Wide World

26. Best Performance in an Animated Program or Series:
* Kristin Booth - Producing Parker
* Kim Cattrall - Producing Parker
* Sean Cullen - Jimmy Two Shoes
* Cory Doran - Jimmy Two Shoes
* DerRic Starlight - Wapos Bay

27. Best Achievement in Main Title Design:
* Kevin Chandoo - Durham County - Little Lost Children
* Peter Gentile, Mikey Lalonde - Clubland
* Trevor Hembrey - Less Than Kind
* Shane Kinnear, Kevin Chandoo, Sam Komaromi, Brent Whitmore - The Listener
* Shane Kinnear, Kevin Chandoo, Tim Dormady, Sam Komaromi - Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures

28. Best Achievement in Make-Up:
* Kevin Chandoo - Durham County
* Peter Gentile, Mikey Lalonde - Clubland
* Trevor Hembrey - Less Than Kind
* Shane Kinnear, Kevin Chandoo, Sam Komaromi, Brent Whitmore - The Listener
* Shane Kinnear, Kevin Chandoo, Tim Dormady, Sam Komaromi - Bloodletting And Miraculous Cures

29. Best Costume Design:
* Joan Bergin - The Tudors
* Debra Hanson - Cra$h & Burn
* Patti Henderson - Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story
* Luis Sequeira - Being Erica
* Angus Strathie – Alice

30. Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series:
* Jim Allodi - Little Mosque on the Prairie
* James Dunnison - Less Than Kind
* Michael Kennedy - Little Mosque on the Prairie
* Ian MacDonald - Pure Pwnage
* Henry Sarwer-Foner - Rick Mercer Report

31. Best Direction in a Children's or Youth Program Series:
* Stefan Brogren - Degrassi: The Next Generation
* Phil Earnshaw csc - Degrassi: The Next Generation
* Liz Haines - The Ocean Room
* John May - How To Be Indie
* Craig Pryce - Family Biz

32. Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series:
* Nick Copus - The Summit
* T.J. Scott - Deadliest Sea
* Sudz Sutherland - Guns
* Jeff Woolnough - Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story
* David Wu - Iron Road

33. Best Direction in a Dramatic Series:
* David Frazee - Flashpoint - One Wrong Move
* Andy Mikita - Stargate Universe - Air Part 1
* Adrienne Mitchell - Durham County - Little Lost Children
* Jeremy Podeswa - The Tudors - Episode 308
* Stephen Surjik - Flashpoint - Aisle 13

34. Best Direction in Animated Program or Series:
* Robin Budd - Producing Parker - Eat, Pray, Parker
* Trevor Cameron - Wapos Bay - The Hardest Lesson
* Faruk Cemalovic - Stoked - O Broseph, Where Art Thou?
* Ken Cunningham - Glenn Martin, DDS - The Tooth Will Set You Free
* Johnny Darrell, Clint Butler - Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 - Junkyard Dogged

Here's the complete list of nominees.

Winners of the Giveaway of 'Durham County' Season 2 and 'Pontypool'

Dear readers, this is the moment you've been waiting for ever since The Cultural Post announced its intention to organize the first DVD giveaway in its history. As you all know it, the first prize was the complete second season of Durham County and the second prize was the zombie film Pontypool.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come to announce the winners.

The winner of the first prize, which is the complete second season of Durham County on DVD, is... Gary Anderson.

The winner of the second prize, which is Bruce McDonald's Pontypool, is... Daniel M.

So, without further ado, I'd like to thank all of you for participating and above all, for making this first experience so memorable for me. Moreover, I'd also like to thank Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell, two of Durham County's producers and creators, for sending me the copy of Durham County's second season (which will be given to the winner of the first prize). As a loyal fan of the show, it's an honour for me to spread the word about one of the smartest TV series ever made.

Will this be the last DVD giveaway? Hell no! In fact, the next time I organize a giveaway, I'll include more prizes. See you next time no matter where you, dear fan of Canadian films and TV series, come from!

By the way, if you made a comment in the post about the giveaway with your Twitter account, send me your mailing address at anhkhoido@hotmail.com.

Un prophète (2009)

Without a doubt, Jacques Audiard's Un prophète is bound to become a classic of crime drama. Obviously, this French film doesn't reinvent the genre of films that take place in prisons. However, the film astonishes because it manages to put substance over useless grittiness.

The story introduces us to Malik (Tahar Rahim), an illiterate nineteen-year-old boy of Arabic heritage who was sentenced to six years. On the day he becomes considered as an adult by French laws, Malik is transferred to a prison for adults. Once inside, Malik has the feeling that he doesn't fit in. Indeed, despite his heritage, Malik is not accepted by the prisoners of Arabic heritage, because he's not much of a Muslim.

Then enters César Luciani (Niels Arestrup), the leader of a group of convicts who are members of the Corsican mafia. Obviously, César takes Malik under his wing and guarantees him protection. In exchange for that, César expects Malik to do some dirty work for him. This is why he asks Malik to kill a prisoner of Arabic heritage, Reyeb (Hichem Yacoubi), who is to testify in court against César and his gang. While he looks like César's puppy, Malik, at the same time, toughens himself and builds his own network of contacts in and out of the prison in order to survive.

Without a doubt, French director Jacques Audiard gave us this film - which is a little bit predictable - because he wanted to denounce the appalling conditions in French prisons. As a film with a clearly universal resonance, Un prophète brings nothing new in the ongoing debate about how prisons are dumps. Indeed, we get to see a character - i.e. Malik - who gradually loses his innocence as time goes by. This means that while he has only committed petty crimes, Malik will become a dangerous mind. All in all, expect to hear the not-so-subtle message that prisons are the best universities specializing in crimes.

Nonetheless, despite borrowing the path taken by countless other films, Un prophète is a tour de force. The reason for that is because Tahar Rahim's incredible performance is a good companion to Un prophète's story. By showing Rayeb, Malik's first victim, reappearing as a ghost, Audiard skilfully canvassed the psychological evolution of Malik. While he doesn't feel at ease the first time Rayeb's ghost appears, Malik will gradually become accustomed to his presence. In a nutshell, this narrative technique reveals quite a lot about Malik.

Finally, Un prophète doesn't really revolutionize the genre of prison dramas. However, Jacques Audiard handles its subject matter with care without over-glamourizing life in prison.

Rating: 4.5/5

Origin:France (2009)
Length:155 minutes
Screenplay:Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard and Abdel Raouf Dafri
Director:Jacques Audiard
Starring:Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup and Adel Bencherif

Monday, August 30, 2010

Creation (2010)

Given the very touchy subject matter of Jon Amiel's Creation, many people made a scene before the film's U.S. release. Needless to say that the film was very anticipated up here in Canada. However, Creation fails to live up to its expectations.

The story brings us before the day when English naturalist Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) had decided to send his controversial book On the Origin of Species to a publisher. In his research, Darwin developed a new theory on evolution. He came to the conclusion that there's no such thing as a plan devised by "God" for human beings, animals and the world we live in. Moreover, he added that some species survived through time because they adapted themselves to their environment and are stronger than other creatures surrounding them.

Unfortunately, even before the publication of his book On the Origin of Species, Darwin and many people around him don't see eye to eye. First of all, his very religious wife, Emma (Jennifer Connelly), implores him not to send his work to a publisher. Indeed, she fears that her husband will burn in hell. Secondly, Darwin no longer gets along with Reverend John Innes (Jeremy Northam), who believes that the Bible contains the truth about how the world became the world. All in all, as much as he wants to publish his work, Darwin also hesitates to do it.

Even though natural science is not your cup of tea, I don't need to repeat why Darwin is one of the most interesting fathers of modern science as we know it. While some people complained that we learn very few things about how Darwin developed his theories in the first place, the problem is actually somewhere else in the script. By trying to deal with so many aspects of Darwin's life before the publication of On the Origin of Species, the film gave me the feeling that it should have been made into a miniseries. In fact, we get to know about Darwin as a husband, a scientist, a man who visited the New World and, most of all, a father. As a result of that, it's an understatement to say that the controversy around his theory of evolution and his apostasy are explored in a perfunctory way. All in all, in the best world, Creation would have dealt only with Darwin as a scientist and a husband, which are the most interesting facets of the film in my opinion.

Finally, besides being well acted, Creation is certainly a film that sheds a little bit of light in Darwin's life. However, although the film isn't necessarily a masterpiece, it doesn't put its priorities at the right place when it comes to choose what to reveal about Darwin's life. All in all, the film looks like a buffet that tries to please to so many people.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:UK (2010)
Length:108 minutes
Genre:Historical drama
Screenplay:Jon Amiel and John Collee
Director:Jon Amiel
Starring:Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly and Jeremy Northam

First Teaser of 'Bumrush'

After he had directed two films, which means Hochelaga and Histoire de Pen, Canadian director Michel Jetté comes back with another film about crime. In fact, we can already see the first teaser of his new independent film Bumrush.

This independent film takes place in Montreal in 2009. During that year, a lot of investigations led by Montreal's police will severely hit this city's underworld that was dominated by criminal bikers and the Italian mafia. However, other wars of territory will involve new protagonists: street gangs.

These street gangs will wage a war against each other in a bar called Kingdom. In order to keep any street gangs - especially a gang called I.B. 11 - at bay, the owner (Patrick Lemaire) of the Kingdom will recruit a special team of bouncers. In fact, these bouncers turn out to be this owner's former brother in arms in the Canadian army. These five bouncers are led by a man called The Kid (Emmanuel Auger).

The film also stars Dara Lowe, Bad News Brown, Sylvain Beauchamp, Constant Gagné, Alain Nadro, Jézebel Drolet, Paul Dion, Robert Pace, Jacques Léonard, Giuseppe Giancaspro, Sadiki Burke, Jerry François, Louis-David Morasse and Sheilla Azmitia.

Finally, a release date has yet to be announced for this film. Moreover, you'll find other informations on the film's official web site.

First Clip of 'La galère' Season 3

While no trailer for La galère's upcoming third season hasn't been released online, Radio-Canada, a French Canadian TV network, has released a clip of the third season's first episode.

In this show written by Renée-Claude Brazeau, we follow four women - Stéphanie (Hélène Florent), Mimi (Brigitte Lafleur), Claude (Anne Casabonne) and Isabelle (Geneviève Rochette) - who move into a big house with their seven children. Each of these women want to take a break from their respective husband (or three ex-husbands in the case of Stephanie).

Speaking about the clip, we're seeing Isabelle practising her speeches. As a matter of fact, it was revealed in the second season that she intends to compete against her husband, Jacques (Jeff Boudreault), during the upcoming election in Quebec.

The show also stars Anne-Marie Compagna, Rose Adam, Daniel Parent, Pierre-Luc Lafontaine, Patrick Drolet, Jeff Boudreault, François Chénier, Catherine Proulx-Lemay, Marc Paquet and Patrice Godin.

Finally, here's the first clip (click in the middle of the video player's screen to play it). Moreover, the third season will premiere on Radio-Canada on September 20 at 9 PM.

'La galère' Season 3 Premieres Sept. 20 on Radio-Canada

Fans of La galère, one of the smartest Canadian comedy series will return on Radio-Canada, a French Canadian TV network, on September 20 at 9 PM.

In this show written by Renée-Claude Brazeau, we follow four women - Stéphanie (Hélène Florent), Mimi (Brigitte Lafleur), Claude (Anne Casabonne) and Isabelle (Geneviève Rochette) - who move into a big house with their seven children. Each of these women want to take a break from their respective husband (or three ex-husbands in the case of Stephanie).

While Radio-Canada hasn't revealed any details about the third season's script, here's what we should remember from the second season:

* Isabelle divorced from her husband, Jacques (Jeff Boudreault). Since Jacques is Quebec's Labour minister, Isabelle intends to compete as an independent candidate against Jacques in the same riding during the upcoming provincial election.
* Claude was about to marry Antoine (Gabriel Sabourin), her long-time boyfriend. However, Antoine revealed to her that he no longer has "a fucking penny". What will Claude choose to do?
* Stéphanie broke out with Marc (Denis Bernard), Quebec's Premier. Since the media is about to reveal that she's writing cheap sex novels for a living, will her new boyfriend (Cédric Ben Abdallah) manage to protect her?
* After trying to find the one, is Mimi's new boyfriend (Marc Paquet) the one with whom she should raise her newborn?

The show also stars Anne-Marie Compagna, Rose Adam, Daniel Parent, Pierre-Luc Lafontaine, Patrick Drolet, Jeff Boudreault, François Chénier, Catherine Proulx-Lemay and Patrice Godin.

Finally, Radio-Canada will air the last episode of the second season on September 13 at 9 PM. Moreover, here's an interview (press in the middle of the video player's screen to play it) with three of the show's leading ladies during Radio-Canada's 2010 fall launch.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thirst (2009)

As much as Park Chan-wook's films entertain us, they also probe with probity our culture of violence. While I haven't seen Oldboy, I think that Thirst is his most character-driven, mature and subtle work.

The film introduces us to Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a Catholic priest. Even though the world depresses him, Sang-hyun is well respected in his community, because of his obvious faith and the time he gives for suffering people. One day, this man makes a trip in Africa to take part in a medical experiment. The objective of the latter is to find a vaccine to a deadly virus. However, this experiment fails and Sang-hyun is the sole survivor of it. Back in South Korea, Sang-hyun discovers that the virus has made him a vampire. Instead of killing people to get his fix of blood, Sang-hyun gets it by drinking blood by licking the wounds of unconscious patients or by drinking from an infusion tube for patients in a coma for instance.

This goes without saying that even though he left his priesthood behind, Sang-hyun doesn't want to kill anyone. Besides, he's been having sexual relations with Taeju (Kim Ok-bin), a despondent woman who wants to kill her husband (Shin Ha-kyun) and her mother-in-law (Kim Hae-sook). While Taeju was dying, Sang-hyun saves her by making her drink his blood, because he doesn't want to be alone. As a result of that, Taeju becomes a vampire. Unfortunately, Sang-hyun will have regrets, because while he believes that killing is not an option to get blood, Taeju, on the other hand, finds so much pleasure in killing.

First of all, those who are fascinated by vampires should be elated, because Thirst introduces us to two vampires who have no business being exposed to the sunlight. Despite its subject matter, Thirst, doesn't just merely contents itself with displaying Sang-hyun's ability to keep his wildest penchants in check and Taeju's justification of violence. As a matter of fact, the use of two vampires as the leading protagonists brilliantly serves as a metaphor for our desire to feel superior (or even invincible) to the rest of the society. With that said, Park's marvellous writing shows us that the evolution of Taeju from a despondent person to a vampire has definitely made her lose her humanity.

As another film about violence, Thirst is the best film I've seen from South Korean director Park Chan-wook. As much as Thirst will appeal to fans of violent films, it will also seduce cinephiles who like subtlety. Besides, the sick performance by Kim Ok-bin is worth your time because of her knack for finding the right tone to look like a psychopath.

Rating: 4.5/5

Origin:South Korea (2009)
Length:133 minutes
Screenplay:Jeong Seo-Gyeong and Park Chan-wook
Director:Park Chan-wook
Starring:Song Kang-ho and Kim Ok-bin

'Party Down' Season 2 on DVD on Sept. 28

Fans of cable comedies, the second season of Party Down will be released on DVD on September 28.

This comedy series from Starz, an American premium cable network, follows a group of caterer from Los Angeles who work such a shitty job while trying to make it big in Hollywood. After he had failed to launch his own business, Ron (Ken Marino), the former head of an unit of caterers, want his old job back. However, this job has been given to Henry (Adam Scott), a man who has lost any hope of becoming a great actor. In this season, Casey Klein (Lizzy Caplan) hopes to break out as a comedienne. Kyle (Ryan Hansen) believes that he's going to be a star in Hollywood because of his charm, but he now has difficulties with women in this season. Roman (Martin Starr), he hopes that one day, the world will recognize his nerdy genius in scriptwriting. As for Lydia (Megan Mullally), she joins the unit in order to make a living and help her daughter to be an actress in Hollywood.

Finally, despite acclaimed by critics, Starz didn't renew Party Down for a third season (boo!).

'Sherlock' Season 1 on DVD in North America on Nov. 9

Not only the British TV series Sherlock will be aired in Canada on Showcase, a cable network, on September 10 at 10 PM, but it will also come on DVD. In fact, BBC, a British TV network, announced that the show's first season will come out on DVD and Blu-Ray in North America on November 9, 2010.

This TV series based on the popular character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a modern take on the novels. The TV series is set in the London of the 21rst century and we learn that Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a "consultant" who helps policemen when they don't have a clue on how to close an investigation. In his adventure, Holmes is obviously helped by Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman).

The show also stars Una Stubbs, Loo Brealey, Rupert Graves and Zoe Telford.

Finally, Warner Home Video will distribute the TV series on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On the Set of Upcoming Series 'Prozac'

One can tell that V, a French Canadian TV network, is dying for the premiere of its new original series Prozac. Besides, the network has also released online a video that brings us on the set of this show created by Sophia Borovchyk and Karina Goma. In this video, the writers and a few members of the cast talk about the show's story.

The show's story is centred on Philippe (Patrice Robitaille), a columnist in his thirties who have always had everything in life. However, because of a major failure in his professional life, Philippe gets fired and even contemplates committing a suicide. This is why his relatives and close friends urge him to seek help.

This is why Philippe joins a group therapy for depressed people. he group is made of Marie (Sandrine Bisson), a morally naughty woman, François (Jean-Pierre Bergeron), a depressed crooner, and Mireille (Louise Portal), a patient with a Mother Teresa syndrome (i.e. wanting to help people at all cost even when they don't need it). Mathieu (François Létourneau), an economic journalist and Philippe's best friend, supports Philippe. However, Philippe's downfall will take its toll on the two men's once friendly relation. After all, Mathieu's career will soar right after Philippe had been laid off.

Besides, the leading cast also includes Isabelle Blais and Louis Morissette. As for the supporting cast, it also includes Gilles Renaud, France Castel, Martin Laroche and Sophie Cadieux.

Finally, while no premiere date has been formally announced for Prozac by V, it's very likely that the show will premiere on September 7 at 8:30 PM. Moreover, here's the show's Facebook page.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Short Film Review: Rope (2010)

I personally am not an enthusiast of short films. However, when I have the chance to see one, I'm rarely disappointed. In fact, Ian Clay's Rope is one of those shorts that make you wish it was developed into a feature film.

While it lasts only four minutes, the short film follows a young man (Jason Britt). While he's on a highway, the man pulls over and goes in the woods. Before he commits his suicide by self-hanging, the young man converse with himself and he implies that he no longer can bear life.

Given its short length, some might reproach the short film for not giving a brief back story explaining why the young man wants to die. However, despite its rather short running time, Rope intrigues - in the good sense of the term - thanks to the cloud of mystery surrounding its character. Besides, the short film is even more captivating thanks to the performance (or should I say voice-over) by Jason Britt that manages to convey the young man's inner pain without outward theatrics.

Finally, even though you may have prejudices about short films Rope is definitely worth your time not because of its short running time. Indeed, the short film is well edited and well acted. Unfortunately, it's just too bad that the short film's idea is not a feature film, because Ian Clay, a Canadian director, manages to handle the topic of suicide with a lot of care and originality.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:USA (2010)
Length:4 minutes
Screenplay:Ian Clay
Director:Ian Clay
Starring:Jason Britt

Giveaway of 'Durham County' Season 2 and 'Pontypool'

To celebrate the end of summer, the The Cultural Post organizes its first give away of DVDs for fans of Canadian films and TV shows. Winners will be chosen from a random draw of all eligible entries in each of 2 categories. Leave a comment or mention @anhkhoido in your tweet (with a reference to the giveaway, naturally) in order to have a chance to win.

1rst Prize:

Durham County is a very dark crime drama that takes place in a fictitious suburb of Toronto. There's a killer in the suburb of Durham County and Det. Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon) tries to find him/her. Besides, Mike also deal with his inner demons. Note that Michelle Forbes (True Blood) delivers a legendary performance as a manipulator.

2nd Prize

Pontypool takes place in a real small town from Ontario that is named Pontypool. This film directed by Canadian director has the reputation of creeping you out in a rather effective way even though the leading characters (Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly and Hrant Alianak) don't see for quite a while the "zombies".

Rules of the contest

Since both prizes are zone 1 DVDs, the contest is technically opened to Canadians and Americans. However, if you don't live in North America but can read zone 1 DVDs, then feel free to participate. Secondly, in order to participate just leave a comment and, above all, your e-mail address (which will not be seen by others). Of course, you can always tweet, but don't forget what I've previously said. Finally, winners will be revealed on August 31, 2010.

Grown Up Movie Star (2010)

I don't know what's with Newfoundlanders, but they seem to not only enjoy making coming-of-age stories, but also excel in it. Obviously, Adriana Maggs's Grown Up Movie Star isn't perfect, but it sure has its charms.

Set in Newfoundland, a Canadian province in the Atlantic Ocean, the film is about coming out of the closet as much as it is about the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Ray (Shawn Doyle) is a former NHL player whose career ended after being convicted of drug trafficking. Now, he's back in his childhood town, has no sense of purposes and tries to raise his two daughters - Ruby (Tatiana Maslany) and Rose (Julia Kennedy) - in any possible way. In fact, Shawn's wife (Maggie Meyer) left him in order to make it big in Hollywood.

Ruby, who is the film's heroine, dreams of leaving her small town. At school, she develops a crush for Will (Mark O'Brien). Obviously, because he comes from the USA, Ruby believes there's something glamorous to it. Besides having practised kissing on her best friend, Ruby develops an intimate relation with Ray (Jonny Harris), her father's best friend. In fact, she asks him to take headshots of her so that she can build a portfolio before moving to Hollywood. However, because of her discovery of sexuality, Ruby will hardly knows how to deal with these photo sessions.

From this last point, Canadian director Adriana Maggs wonderfully manages to link the two sub-plots together. While Ray is having a homosexual relation with a minor-league hockey coach (Steve Cochrane), Ray still believes that Ruby is just a kid. With that said, without demanding Shawn Doyle to overact, director Adriana Maggs manages to illustrate this refusal from many adults to admit that their children get older as time goes by and will eventually be introduced to sex. All in all, even though many might feel that the cast's performance doesn't reveal a lot, Grown Up Movie Star is one of the few dramas I've seen that feel so real and yet painful.

Obviously, since the film is evenly divided between Ruby's discovery of her own sexuality and Ray's gradual acceptance of his own homosexuality, both Maslany and Doyle end up carrying the whole film on their shoulders. Without a doubt, Tatiana Maslany excels in the comedic parts of the film. Speaking about the dramatic parts, I personally thought that she dealt with them in a rather ordinary way, with the exception of the few last scenes which were played with a lot of intensity. As for Shawn Doyle, I don't need to affirm how good he is in playing such a conflicted character who looks so strong on the outside. All in all, with a script that just does the job and a solid performance from the two leading actors, Canadian director Adriana Maggs delivered an amazing first feature film that is pleasant to watch. Besides, it should also be said that the viewing experience is even more pleasant given that the pace is rather quick.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:95 minutes
Screenplay:Adriana Maggs
Director:Adriana Maggs
Starring:Shawn Doyle, Tatiana Maslany and Jonny Harris

The Joneses (2010)

So far, there hasn't been a lot of films that can be called as "events" in Hollywood and Canada. Despite a few weaknesses in its plot, Derrick Borte's The Joneses is, so far, one of the most clever films from 2010. It's just too bad that the film didn't get a wide release.

Steve (David Duchovny) and Kate Jones (Demi Moore) form a perfect couple. Along with their teenagers - Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) - they make people in their suburb green of envy. In fact, while Kate looks well-dressed, Steve looks like a wealthy businessman who's got the latest "toys", a big house and a beautiful wife. As for Mick and Jenn, they're very popular in their school, because many students want to have what Mick and Jenn have.

Scratch a little bit and you get a totally different picture: the Joneses are not a family. In fact, all the four "Joneses" are sellers who were hired by some corporation to sell anything you can imagine. Moreover, Kate and Steve sleep in separate bedrooms; Jenn wants to do to Steve what a daughter wouldn't dare to do to her father; and Mick doesn't talk a lot to anybody in the "Joneses family".

The least we can say is that The Joneses tries to be intellectually audacious and entertaining. As a matter of fact, through the supporting characters (especially the ones played by Gary Cole and Glenne Headly), the film delivers a social commentary about the consumerist nature of the American society. Besides, the film is not shy to use caricatures. Of course, such a tone might look dismissive. However, in the case of The Joneses, this approach works quite well.

As a bold film, The Joneses deals with the materialism inherent to the pursuit of the "American dream" with so much honesty. Besides, you can tell that this film wouldn't have been made in Hollywood, because The Joneses doesn't hesitate to openly talk about the biggest problems of the USA: maxed out credit cards, debts and even foreclosure. With that said, without promoting austerity, the film asks these questions:

  • Are we happier if we consume more?
  • Are some Americans going too far in their attempt to "buy" the "American dream"?

All in all, The Joneses is definitely a must because of the brilliant it handles its topic and its "take no prisoners" tone. The only reproach that can be made to the film is the fact that it ends in a rather predictable way. Moreover, while Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth pretty much plays second fiddles to Duchovny and Moore, they sure do a fine job.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:USA (2010)
Length:96 minutes
Screenplay:Derrick Borte and Randy T. Dinzler
Director:Derrick Borte
Starring:Demi Moore, David Duchovny and Amber Heard

Friday, August 20, 2010

'10 ½' Will Open the FNC

The organizers of Montreal's Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) announced that 10 1/2, the second feature film by Canadian director Daniel Grou, will open this festival. The FNC will take place in Montreal from October 13 to 24.

The film was produced by Pierre Gendron and was scripted by Claude Lalonde (Les 3 p'tits cochons).

It tells the story of Tommy (Robert Naylor), a ten-years-old-and-a-half boy. Because he is prone to have a violent behaviour, Tommy has always been handled by social services. However, Gilles (Claude Legault), his social educator, believes that Tommy's life can be put back on track.

The film also stars Mélanie Desjardins-Chavaudier, Eugénie Beaudry and Albert Kwan.

Finally, no release date has been announced for this film.

'Yamaska' Season 1 on DVD on Sept. 14

TVA, a French Canadian TV network, has announced that the first season of its soap opera Yamaska will come out on DVD on September 14.

Yamaska is the story of three families from Granby, Québec, suddenly thrown into darkness. A terrible accident will in fact transform forever the life of these four friends (François Arnaud, Adam Kosh, Pascal Darilus and Emile Mailhot) and of the people around them. In one single night, their destiny is changed forever…

This soap opera written by Anne Boyer and Michel d'Astous also stars Yan England, Denis Bernard, Michel Dumont, Chantal Fontaine, Sylvie De Morais-Nogueira, Roxanne Gaudette-Loiseau, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Normand d'Amour and Élise Guilbault.

Finally, the show will return this fall for a second season on TVA.

'Mauvais Karma' Premieres Sept. 8 on Radio-Canada

Radio-Canada, a French Canadian TV network, has finally announced that its new original comedy series Mauvais karma will premiere on Wednesday, September 8 at 9 PM.

The show - which was created by created by Isabelle Langlois (Rumeurs) - follows three women: Nathalie (Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc), Kim (Julie LeBreton) and Sarah (Anick Lemay). Nathalie wanted love, Kim, success in life, and Sarah, peace. However, they'll all end up having the opposite of what they wanted. Besides, by a quirk of fate, these former ex-friends are reunited, after 18 years, for a funeral that will... end in a police precinct.

Nathalie, who recently got married, lost her husband in tragic circumstances. She inherits her husband's mistress, business company and his 15-year-old daughter. Kim, the group's top dog, is going to learn how it feels to fall when she'll get fired by force from her office. As for Sarah, she sabotaged her relation with her long-time spouse. For want of better people to turn to, Nathalie, Kim and Sarah will rely on each other and rekindle, little by little, their friendship.

Other members of the cast include Raymond Bouchard, Rémi-Pierre Paquin, Marc Paquet, Benoit Gouin, Marilyse Bourke and Geneviève Brouillette.

As of now, the show's web site is not yet online. However, the folks at Radio-Canada thought about creating a Facebook page for Mauvais karma. Finally, here's the promo of the show and if you don't see the "play" button, just click in the middle of the video player and you'll see the promo.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Promo of HBO Canada's 'Call Me Fitz'

A second trailer of the Canadian comedy series Call Me Fitz is now online thanks to HBO Canada, a Canadian premium cable network. Moreover, the show will premiere on September 19 at 8 PM on HBO Canada.

In this Canadian show, we follow Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (Jason Priestley), a used car dealers who has a knack for having a morally unacceptable behaviour at times. After Fitz botches a test drive and puts his latest customer in a coma, he finds himself face to face with a new salesman on the lot: Larry (Ernie Grunwald), a man with a heart of gold. Besides, Larry believes he's Fitz's conscience and that Fitz can change.

The show was shot in the city Halifax and the Annapolis Valley, which are both located in the province of Nova Scotia.

Finally, Call Me Fitz also stars Kathleen Munroe, Rachel Blanchard, Brooke Nevin, Joanna Cassidy, Peter MacNeill, Tracy Dawson, Mark A. Owen and Gillian Ferrier.

Finally, here's the promo.

Behind the scenes of Rookie Blue - The Writers

Global, a private Canadian TV network, is releasing online videos that bring us behind the scenes of its original series Rookie Blue. In this video, we finally get to meet two of the writers - Morwyn Brebner, and Ellen Vanstone - who talk about the idea behind the show.

The TV series follow five rookie police officers (Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Enuka Okuma, Travis Milne and Charlotte Sullivan) who just made it out of the academy. Now, they're living the dream: policing in Canada's biggest city, which is Toronto. However, while they're excited to embrace the job of policing, they feel that every day on the job is a first day.

Other regular cast members include Ben Bass, Eric Johnson, Matt Gordon, Noam Jenkins and Melanie Nicholls-King.

Finally, this TV series created by Tassie Cameron, Morwyn Brebner, and Ellen Vanstone is aired Thursday nights on Global, a private Canadian TV network, and ABC, an American TV network, at 9 PM.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Clips of Bruce McDonald's 'Trigger'

Although the trailer of Trigger, the next film by Canadian director Bruce McDonald, isn't online, the folks at Twitch have found the first clips from the film.

First of all, this Canadian film's storyline was penned by Daniel MacIvor (Marion Bridge).

According to the information provided by New Real Films, the studio behind the film, the story two rock n' roll women who once shared a friendship, a band and a whole lot of chaos. Now a dozen years later they meet again, and over the course of one evening rediscover friendship, remember rock n'roll and reignite chaos.

The film's leading actors are Tracy Wright, Molly Parker, Don McKellar. Other members of the star-studded cast include Sarah Polley, Callum Keith Rennie, Julian Richings, Aislinn Paul, Melinda Shankar, Samantha Munro, Lenore Zann, Marline Yan and Daniel MacIvor.

Obviously, this Canadian film will premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, which will take place from September 9 to 19.

Third Trailer of Global's 'Shattered'

As you all know it, the Canadian TV series Shattered will premiere will premiere Wednesday, September 1rst at 10 PM. Before watching this show, let's have a look at the third trailer.

This show created by Rick Drew was slated to be aired by Showcase, a Canadian cable network. However, CanWest, the corporation that owns Global and Showcase, moved Shattered to Global. The story follows Ben Sullivan (Callum Keith Rennie), a homicide detective from Vancouver with a multiple personality disorder. Obviously, he doesn't want to reveal that psychological disorder to his colleagues.

In the first moments of the series, Ben and his new partner, Amy Lynch (Camille Sullivan), pursue a murder suspect and Lynch is forced to shoot. The resulting SIU investigation bonds the two partners in blood. Moreover, as Ben and Amy work on homicide cases, he doesn't know which personality will surface or when it will.

The TV series also stars Molly Parker, Clé Bennett, Martin Cummins, Karen LeBlanc, Ty Olsson, Nimet Kanji and Brian Markinson.

Finally, here's the third trailer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'Republic of Doyle' Heading to Australia

CBC, a Canadian TV network, has announced that its original police comedy series Republic of Doyle will be heading to Australia.

While no Australian premiere date has been announced for this Canadian TV series, it's confirmed that Republic of Doyle has been acquired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Australia's public TV network.

In this TV series that takes place in St-John's, Newfoundland (an Atlantic province of Canada), we follow Jake Doyle (Allan Hawco), a private detective, and his dad, Malachy (Sean McGinley). Together, they try to crack cases that give headaches to the police department of St-John's. In his daily life, Jake has to deal with a wife, Nikki (Rachel Wilson), that he has divorced from and constable Leslie Bennett (Krystin Pellerin).

Other regular members of the cast include Lynda Boyd, Marthe Bernard, Mark O'Brien and Bob Cole.

Finally, a second season is currently in production and is very likely to be aired this winter on CBC.

Director Patricia Chica Awarded in Rhode Island

More than a week ago, we learn that Canadian director Patricia Chica will be going to the Rhode Island Film Festival. Besides having her short film Day Before Yesterday being the festival's opener, Chica's short film definitely got noticed.

In fact, the film attracted more than 500 curious people for its two screenings. Besides, the opening night took place in the presence of Marc-Antoine Bédard, the public affairs attaché of the Quebec Government Office in Boston. Thirdly, Joseph Bohbot, Day Before Yesterday's editor, won the award for Best Editing at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Finally, Day Before Yesterday is still touring the festival circuit. Indeed, it will drop by at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10 at the Winchester Theatre at 7:00 PM. Furthermore, if you're interested by this short film, you can visit its official web site.

'Shattered' Premieres Sept. 1rst on Global

It's official: Global, a Canadian TV network, has announced that its original procedural TV series Shattered will premiere Wednesday, September 1rst at 10 PM.

This show created by Rick Drew was slated to be aired by Showcase, a Canadian cable network. However, CanWest, the corporation that owns Global and Showcase, moved Shattered to Global. The story follows Ben Sullivan (Callum Keith Rennie), a homicide detective from Vancouver with a multiple personality disorder. Obviously, he doesn't want to reveal that psychological disorder to his colleagues.

In the first moments of the series, Ben and his new partner, Amy Lynch (Camille Sullivan), pursue a murder suspect and Lynch is forced to shoot. The resulting SIU investigation bonds the two partners in blood. Moreover, as Ben and Amy work on homicide cases, he doesn't know which personality will surface or when it will.

The TV series also star Molly Parker, Clé Bennett, Martin Cummins, Karen LeBlanc, Ty Olsson, Nimet Kanji and Brian Markinson.

Finally, don't forget that the show will premiere on Wednesday, September 1rst at 10 PM.

Monday, August 16, 2010

'Murdoch Mysteries' Season 4 In Production

Shaftesbury Films, a Canadian production company, has announced that production has begun on the fourth season of the Canadian period/procedural TV series Murdoch Mysteries. The show will premiere in early 2011 on CityTV, a cable network, in Canada and Alibi in Great Britain.

The fourth season will throw some difficult challenges Detective Murdoch’s (Yannick Bisson) way. To start, pathologist Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy), who departed for a new job at the Childrens’ Hospital of Buffalo at the end of season three, may have found a compelling reason to stay in Buffalo. Her replacement, brought in from Scotland Yard - the ill tempered Dr. Francis (Paul Rhys) - will frequently clash with the even-tempered Murdoch. In other episodes, under tragic circumstances, an old flame from Bristol, England, Anna Fulford (Lisa Faulkner) will return to pay Murdoch a visit; a crime spree leads to a Gypsy camp and a mysterious "wise woman" (Lisa Ray)"; mysterious Canadian Spy Terence Meyers (Peter Keleghan) will once again show up as Murdoch investigates a case that harkens back to the American Civil War and could threaten Canadian-American relations; Murdoch gets helps from the butler (Simon Williams) when a wealthy businessman is murdered and his son, Nicholas Jenkins (Craig Olejnik) is questioned; and in the season finale a wedding will take place… but who will be walking down the aisle?

Moreover, it was also announced that Victor Garber (Alias) will be a special guest star in the fourth season. In the season opener, Garber will play Murdoch's predecessor, the prematurely-retired Malcolm Lamb. He will help Murdoch with a grisly murder.

Poster of 'Le sens de l'humour'

Alliance Vivafilm, a Canadian distributor, has released the first poster of the upcoming comedy Le sens de l'humour. While it is currently in production, the film will be released in Quebec on July 8, 2011.

First of all, director Émile Gaudreault, actor Michel Côté and comedian Louis-José Houde team up for a second time after the success of De père en flic, the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time.

The story follows two comedians who decide to work together. Needless to say that these two guys will have success. One day, they make fun of a member of the audience. However, that person turns out to be a serial killer.

Finally, the film also stars Anne Dorval, Pierrette Robitaille, Benoît Brière, Zaccari-Charles Jobin, Luc Senay, Pierre Collin, Marilyse Bourke, Alexandre Goyette, Sonia Vachon, René Richard Cyr and Éveline Gélinas.

First Stills of 'You Are Here'

Regular visitors of the web site IMDB.com can find the first stills of the Canadian film You Are Here, the first feature film by Daniel Cockburn. While no release date has been announced, the film will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, which will take place from September 9 to 19.

According to the film's press kit, the storyline has many sub-plots that follow:

  • An obsessive, hermetic Archivist (Tracy Wright) roams the city collecting strange documents – films, videotapes, audio recordings. But her Archive has taken over her living space, there are indications that it’s begun to think on its own, and worst of all, it doesn’t seem to want her around any more.
  • An office of Tracking Operatives keeps tabs on the whereabouts of Field Agents roaming the city… but one day a monkey wrench gets thrown into their archaic operation, and they experience a collective system crash.
  • Alan (Scott Anderson) is a simple man with a simple life… or, more accurately, lives. Over the course of a day in his life, he realizes that he’s actually many people, a whole city contained in one person, never inhabiting the same body for more than a few seconds. He views this (as you well might were you in his numerous shoes) as something of a problem.
  • A Lecturer (R.D. Reid) tries to spread enlightenment through a series of lectures and instructional videos, but his methods backfire when he meets a trio of kids who blind him with his own science.
  • An Experimenter (Anand Rajaram) constructs a room-sized working model of the human mind. But he spends longer inside than he should, and the room proves smarter than he.
  • An Inventor (Peter Solala) creates a prosthetic eye which grants sight to the blind. But he is less benevolent than he seems – and when he enacts his secret plan, “Do You See What I See?” takes on apocalyptic new meaning.
Finally, if this film interests you, you can learn more about it by visiting its official web site. Moreover, note that this is one of the lasts films starring Canadian actress Tracy Wright, the deceased wife of Canadian actor Don McKellar.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

[TV Review] Durham County - Season 2

Despite being the most violent and darkest crime TV series you're very likely to see, Durham County finds a magic way to put substance over grittiness. Besides, the show contains the best performance I've ever seen in crime dramas.

The show takes place in a fictitious suburb of Toronto called Durham County. After the events of the first season, Det. Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon) got promoted; Ray Prager (Romano Orzari) is in prison because of his murder attempt on Sadie (Laurence Leboeuf), Mike's daughter; and Sadie is still reeling from her traumatizing encounter with Ray. As the second season begins, we're only a few days before Ray Prager appears in court. However, Mike's personal life isn't going the way he wants. As Mike tries to keep his family together, his wife, Audrey (Helen Joy) is seeking a divorce. No wonder Mike, while he's at work, cheats on his wife by sleeping with Dr. Peneloppe Verity (Michelle Forbes), a forensic psychiatrist with dark secrets and, above all, a twisted mind hidden behind an armour of lucidity.

Like the first season, the second season of Durham County is magic. The writing is still first-rate. Above all, some will find that the second season's pilot has way less difficulty to set the tone because the "villain" doesn't have a dichotomous personality. Besides, in the second season, the TV series goes way further when it comes to dealing with violence. In fact, while the first season dealt with violence expressed in an extroverted way, the second one talks about people who commit it by manipulating other people.

With that said, despite its very heavy topic, Durham County's charms lie in its way it works with its gallery of disturbed characters. While many shows (especially French Canadian TV series) feel the need to show how monstruous criminals are, Durham County shows them as human beings doing monstruous things. This means that Durham County illustrates its characters (especially the ones played by Michelle Forbes, Hugh Dillon and Romano Orzari) with the same maturity director Oliver Hirschbiegel had when he dealt with Adolf Hitler in the German film Downfall. All in all, expect to see a performance full of depth from the actors, especially from Michelle Forbes (True Blood).

Finally, Durham County is definitely not a mindless TV series that try to be dark just for the sake of it. In fact, the creators use the show's dark tone at its advantage in order to explore the darkest corners of the human mind. By the way, stay tuned, because I will organize a give away in which you can win a copy of Durham County's second season on DVD.

Rating: 4.5/5

Origin:Canada (2009)
Genre:Crime thriller
Screenplay:Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Inception (2010)

Aside from films I saw at this year's Fantasia Film Festival, Hollywood and Canada didn't have interesting films galore in store for this summer. However, Christopher Nolan's Inception is the only summer film that is worth waiting for and lives up to its hype.

In an unspecified future, shared dreaming is a possibility and a technology exists to enter the human's mind. Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a professional thief who's specialized in entering people's dream. By designing a dream for a given victim, Cobb expects that person to fill this dream with his/her subconscious. Afterwards, Cobb expects to retrieve that victim's secret (i.e. a safe's code or the location of confidential documents) in order to perform a theft in real life. In the first minutes of the film, Cobb, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Nash (Lukas Haas) fail to extract information from the subconscious of a wealthy man named Saito (Ken Watanabe). Nevertheless, because he's impressed by Cobb's skills, Saito proposes to Cobb a mission.

Maurice Ficsher (Pete Postlethwaite), a tycoon, is on his deathbed and his son Robert (Cillian Murphy) is about to inherit his father's empire. In order to have the Fischer empire out of his way, Saito wants Cobb to venture into Robert Fischer's subconscious and plant the idea of selling off pieces of his father's business. Besides, Cobb accepts the mission, because Saito can arrange behind the curtains Cobb's legal return to the USA, where Cobb is a wanted man. Besides Arthur, Cobb hires Eames (Tom Hardy), an expert in assuming other people's identity in dreams, and Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architect who will design the dreams. Afterwards, Cobb hires Yusuf (Dileep Rao), a chemist who will allow the team to into dreams within dreams within dreams because the process of inception is harder than that of extraction.

Obviously, unlike The Dark Knight, another film by Christopher Nolan, Inception might look like a less complete film. Indeed, the film looks pretty much centred on the characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard. Therefore, the supporting characters seem to be only there to play second fiddle to DiCaprio and Cotillard. Moreover, these supporting characters are also there to react to any problems created by the characters of DiCaprio and Cotillard. However, such a minor flaw can be forgiven. This means that Inception is a damn good blockbuster in which all the actors work as a team and deliver the kind of impeccable performance you'd expect from a good action film.

Furthermore, although it doesn't use its supporting characters a lot, Inception's storyline will keep your attention. Although the ending is very predictable, Christopher Nolan came up with a script that knows how to keep us pinned to our seat. In fact, given the fragility of Leonardo DiCaprio's character, the film will make you wonder whether his mission will succeed or not. This means that as the characters go deeper and deeper into Robert Fischer's subconsciousness, they risk being trapped in the unconscious indefinitely or that they'll no longer be able to tell reality from the dream state.

With that said, Inception is a beautifully challenging film that can be understood quite easily provided that you do some efforts. Despite the scores of criticisms the film has received, Inception is one of the few films that actually knows how to use the beautiful complexity (and even ambiguity) of its script to turn attention away from the film's minor flaws.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:USA (2010)
Length:148 minutes
Screenplay:Christopher Nolan
Director:Christopher Nolan
Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page

Friday, August 13, 2010

Poster and First Stills of 'Everywhere'

Remstar, a Canadian film distributor, revealed yesterday the poster of the upcoming Canadian romantic comedy called Everywhere. Besides, you'll also find the first stills from the film.

First of all, this will be the second feature film directed by Alexis Durand-Brault (Ma fille, mon ange). According to Telefilm Canada, a federal funding agency for films, the story is this:

Jim Fenton is the portrait of success. Good-looking, smart and rich with an incisive sense of humour, he is set to marry Isabelle, the love of his life. Scratch the surface, however and a different image emerges. Jim is terrified of aging and visits a private clinic for injections more often than others go to the gym. He is also terminally jealous. The memories of former failed love affairs emerge and push his jealousy to new extremes. Technology might be the solution to his insecurities if it lets him know where Isabelle is at every minute of the day.

The film stars Julie LeBreton, Patrick McKenna, Véronique Le Flaguais, Amy Sobol and Joel Miller.

Finally, while Remstar upholds that Everywhere will be released on August 27 on its Facebook page. However, it has been confirmed that the release date will be August 20.

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