Sunday, February 28, 2010

Director Seth W. Owen Talks About 'Peepers'


Two days ago, the comedy Peepers had its world premiere in San Jose, California during the Cinequest Film Festival and its story was created by Automatic Vaudeville, a Canadian clique made of Seth W. Owen, Mark Slutsky and Daniel Perlmutter.


The story follows a group of voyeurs - or "peepers" (Joe Cobden, Paul Spence and Howard Bilerman) - who like to sneak across rooftops with binoculars at night. Moreover, they have an eye on women. However, an university student (Janine Theriault) plans to give to the "peepers" a taste of their own game. With a plot like that, needless to say that the film's story has been compared to Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.

The film also stars Jessica Paré, Ricky Mabe and Amy Sobol. The film will also be screened at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival on March 6 and 7. Moreover, Peepers's commercial release will be taking place later this year.



One Love


Honestly, I had a really hard time with the online screener of this short, for it's a really huge file. Other than that, watching this fifteen-minute short was such a great pleasure because One Love is a fascinating exploration of what it means to be waiting for a child.


The story briefly follows different people who are either facing the fortune or the misfortune of starting a family.

Lucy (Vanessa Matsui) is a woman who severed her ties with her family. Because her waters have broken, Joe (Jon-Paul Khouri), a bar customer that asked Lucy if she was okay, takes her to the hospital. However, she doesn't the help of "a terrorist". Secondly, Olivia (Polly Shannon) is about to give birth to a child. Besides, Jeff (Josh Kimmel), her husband, is by her sides. Obviously, they're both really happy and are waiting for the baby to finally come out of Olivia's womb. Thirdly, Eric (Russell Yuen) is waiting at the hospital, because his nose is badly bleeding. However, after his operation, he finds his wife (Linlyn Lue) sitting on the floor of a bathroom with blood on her thighs. Fourthly, Malcolm (Benz Antoine) and Alicia (Natacha Noël) have always tried to give birth to a child. Now, they turn to adoption.

As I said it, if you like well-acted dramas, you should consider watching this sweet fifteen-minute short. In such a short period, scriptwriters Denise DePass and Victoria Minkoff are definitely not afraid to explore all the possible feelings that anybody might go through when they're about to start a family. Obviously, the sub-plots in One Love might not seem original for many people. However, director Daniel-James Matrundola manages to turn these sub-plots into true assets in that they all feel real. In addition to that, Matrundola really did a good job by pulling out a solid performance from the cast.

Finally, don't forget that since this is a short, you might also think that One Love looks like a long recap of a film. However, like most shorts, it leaves you with enough informations on the characters in order to keep your curiosity alive. Moreover, if the short's subplots are developed into an anthology movie à la Toronto Stories or even Paris, je t'aime, I'd be interested to see it.

Other informations: One Love's official web site.


Origin:Canada (2009)
Length:15 minutes
Genre:Drama
Screenplay:Denise DePass and Victoria Minkoff
Director:
Daniel-James Matrundola
Starring:Polly Shannon, Russell Yuen, Larry Day, Josh Kimmel, Vanessa Matsui, Benz Antoine, Linlyn Lue, Jon-Paul Khouri, Natacha Noël and Emma Stevens


Friday, February 26, 2010

A&E Orders 'Sugarloaf'


A&E, an American cable network, has greenlit a new original drama called Sugarloaf (working title). This upcoming series is produced by Fox Television Studios will begin production shortly on its 13 episodes in Miami, Florida. Moreover, Sugarloaf's premiere is slated for summer 2010.


The leading stars of the show are Australian actor Matt Passmore (McLeod's Daughters, Underbelly), Kiele Sanchez (Lost, Samantha Who?) and Carlos Gómez (Shark, Sleeper Cell)

In Sugarloaf, Passmore stars as Jim Longworth, an attractive, brilliant, yet hard to get along with homicide detective from Chicago who after being wrongfully accused of sleeping with his former Captain's wife is forced into exile. Longworth relocates to Sugarloaf, a sleepy small resort town in the middle of nowhere on the Gulf Coast of Florida where the sunshine and golf are plentiful and crime is seemingly at a minimum. Yet life in Sugarloaf is not as beautiful as it may seem.

In the pilot episode, the easy life quickly falls by the wayside when a decapitated, unidentifiable woman is found in a creek, begrudgingly dragging Longworth off the golf course in pursuit of her killer. Complicating matters more is his relationship with Callie (Sanchez), a quick-witted, beautiful med student with a 12 year-old son and a husband in prison. With a Titleist sitting on the fourteenth fairway waiting for him to break eighty for the first time in his life, Longworth needles, cajoles, and harangues everyone in his path, including his golf partner and department medical examiner Carlos (Gómez), as he puzzles out the facts surrounding the mysterious killing to try and identify the victim and bring her killer to justice.

Finally, Sugarloaf is produced by Fox Television Studios for A&E Network. The series will be executive produced by Clifton Campbell ("White Collar," "The Profiler," "21 Jump Street") and Gary Randall ("Saving Grace") for Grand Productions, Inc. The pilot was written by Clifton Campbell.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best Shorts From Sundance 2010 Coming to Montreal

Did you miss the Sundance Film Festival this year? The best of the 2010 Sundance shorts will be playing this Saturday in Montreal, Quebec. In fact, the event "Prends ça court!" is back at the Nuit blanche du Festival Montréal en lumière on Saturday, February 27, at the Monument-National from 8 PM to 3 AM.


In addition to screenings of films, musician SLIM WILLIAMS will be performing. Other guests include: Ben Charest, Al Baculus, Eric Roberts, Orson Clarke, Coco Thompson, Al Prater, and Dan Martel.


BEST OF SUNDANCE SHORTS 2010

* LET'S HARVEST THE ORGANS OF DEATH ROW INMATES, from Chris Weller and Max Joseph.
* MARY LAST SEEN, from Sean Durkin.
* MY MOM SMOKES WEED, from Clay Liford.
* THE SIX DOLLAR FIFTY MAN, from Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland.
* SEEDS OF THE FALL, from Patrik Eklund.
* LOGORAMA, from H5.
* MY INVISIBLE FRIEND, from Pablo Larcuen.
* N.A.S.A (A VOLTA), from Alexei Tylevich.
* THE ARMOIRE, from Jamie Travis.
* CHARLIE AND THE RABBIT, from Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck.
* PLEASE SAY SOMETHING, from David O'Reilly.
* ONE SQUARE MILE OF EARTH, from Jeff Drew.
* OLD FANGS, from Adrien Merigeau.
* MADAGASCAR, UN CARNET DE VOYAGE, from Bastien Dubois.
* CAN WE TALK?, from Jim Owen.
* FIDDLESTIXX, from Nathan Zellner.
* DOCK ELLIS & THE LSD NO NO, from James Blagden.
* HOW I MET YOUR FATHER, from Alex Montoya.
* MY RABBIT HOPY, from Anthony Lucas.

Moreover, this event will also be the world premiere of I Shot Your Ex-Girlfriend, from Patrick Boivin. The stars are Rémi-Pierre Paquin and Ève Duranceau.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trailer of Upcoming TV Series 'Hiccups'


Six hours ago, actor Brent Butt (Corner Gas) announced on his Twitter page that you no longer need a password to visit the web site of Sparrow Media, his production company. Isn't that great? In other news, the trailer of CTV's upcoming half-hour comedy Hiccups - which was created by Brent Butt - had been released online. Moreover, the show premieres on March 1rst at 8 PM on CTV.


In Hiccups, Nancy Robertson (Wanda from Corner Gas) plays Millie Upton a popular children's author who just happens to have anger issues and several other emotional "hiccups." On a whim, Millie impulsively enlists the aid of a life coach Stan Dirko (Brent Butt). Unfortunately, Stan isn't a particularly good life coach. In fact, Millie is his first client ever. So, essentially we have a woman with no idea how to behave, being guided by someone who has no idea what he's doing. It's the lost leading the lost, with the best of intentions, high expectations, and very little success.

The regular members of the cast also includes Laura Soltis (The Guard) as Joyce, David Ingram (Smallville) as Taylor Rymes, Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps) as Crystal, and Paula Rivera (Flashpoint) as Anna.

Finally, the show will premiere on Monday, March 1rst at 8 PM on CTV. Moreover, if you missed the show, you can either watch the full episodes online on CTV's web site or on Saturday at 8 PM on The Comedy Network, a cable network.



Trailer of 'An Insignificant Harvey'


According to the latest news, the independent film An Insignificant Harvey is in post-production and it will be over in March. Moreover, no release dates had been announced yet, but the film should be out this year.



The story is about an isolated man called Harvey Lippe (Jordan Prentice), a man who grew up in an orphanage. Moreover, he stands three feet four inches, lives in a trailer and is in his early twenties. In order to earn his bread, he works as a janitor at a ski resort. Harvey's life dramatically changes when he comes across Dakota Dixon (Kristin Adams), an exotic dancer. He takes Dakota in and falls for her. However, can both Harvey and Dakota be more than just friends?


The film was shot in and around the town of Duntroon, located approximately 1.5 hours north West of the city of Toronto, Canada (very near Collingwood).

The film was directed and written by Jeff Kopas, a young director who is described as "an up and coming Atom Egoyan".

Other stars of the film include Lee Rumohr, Steven McCarthy, former Canadian Idol contestant Anna Cyzon, Julie Sype and Philip Williams.





Sunday, February 21, 2010

Les sept jours du talion (7 Days)

Die hard fans of Patrick Senécal and movie goers alike will definitely like Les 7 jours du talion . Indeed, this is by far the best adaptation of a work from Canada's own Stephen King. However, if you have a weak stomach, avoid this film at all cost because of its very graphic scenes of violence.


Bruno Hamel (Claude Legault) is a surgeon by trade. He happily lives with Sylvie (Fanny Mallette), his wife, and Jasmine (Rose-Marie Coallier), their daughter. During one day, Bruno allows Jasmine to go outside in order to deliver invitation cards for her upcoming ninth birthday. Of course, he'd like to accompany his daughter, but he's too exhausted by his job and neither can Sylvie. However, as times goes by, Jasmine is unaccounted for. In the evening, Jasmine is found dead in the woods after she had been raped.

When Jasmine's killer, Anthony Lemaire (Martin Dubreuil), is arrested and ready to go in court, Bruno has one idea in his mind: he wants to take the chance to kidnap the "monster". Besides, while in hiding (with the "monster" as a hostage), he tells to the police that he'll torture the killer for seven days. Afterwards, Bruno plans to turn himself in after he had killed Lemaire. Nonetheless, will Sgt. Det. Hervé Mercure (Rémy Girard) manage to arrest Bruno as the clock is ticking?

Unlike Sur le seuil and 5150, Rue des ormes, this film won't disappoint you. Furthermore, Patrick Senécal's script in this film is rather faithful to his novel by being at a time an intimate drama (the relation between Bruno and Sylvie), a traditional crime thriller (Hervé Mercure's hunt of Bruno) and an extreme film à la South Korean (the torture scenes). Moreover, the film doesn't judge what any of the characters are doing. Of course, some will probably complain about the absence of music in the film and the installation of a slow pace by the time Bruno begins to torture Jasmine's killer. In the end, who cares?

After all, with Daniel Grou's outstanding direction, Les sept jours du talion sustains our interest with its ability to set a disturbing atmosphere. In fact, with terse dialogues (and sometimes none at all), Les sept jours du talion, the film brings us in the four characters' (Bruno, Sylvie, Hervé and Anthony) psyche without much difficulty. Moreover, the cast's performance also contributes to reinforce that feeling. In fact, Claude Legault's eye expressions single-handedly tells us how much his characters got pushed to his limits by the events depicted in the story.

Finally, expect Les sept jours du talion to be unrealistic at times. Indeed, just think about the scenes in which Bruno captures a woman in order to make her see Anthony Lemaire or the short period of time he had in order to buy scrambler for phones (and anything else). Despite that, Les sept jours du talion is still a movie that one appreciates for the intensity of the performance from the cast as a whole. As a hero who feels that he has nothing to lose regardless of what will befall, Legault's contribution elevate this contemporary tragedy without judging violence whether it comes from a criminal or Bruno.

Rating: 4/5



Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:110 minutes
Genre:Thriller
Screenplay:Patrick Senécal
Director:Daniel Grou
Starring:Claude Legault, Rémy Girard, Martin Dubreuil and Alexandre Goyette


Friday, February 19, 2010

'Aveux' On DVD On April 20

Did you miss Aveux, which was penned by Serge Boucher? Well, the most acclaimed French Quebecker TV series from this fall is coming on DVD on April 20, 2010! Until then, you can watch the show on Tou.tv, Quebec's equivalent of Hulu until February 26, 2010.

Aveux is the story of Carl Laplante (Maxime Denommée), a 33 years old man. He ran away from his adoptive family and his friends from La Tuque at 18 years old after a shocking event. Fifteen years later, he lives in Montreal, is married with Brigitte (Catherine Proulx-Lemay), has a new first name (Simon) and hasn't talked to his relatives from La Tuque ever since. Besides, Simon/Carl tries to live in peace because he created a new past for himself.



From left to right: Marie-Ginette Guay and Evelyne Brochu.

However, as he was delivering an appliance with his colleague, he finds out that the owner of the house is his former neighbour, Micheline Dubreuil (Marie-Ginette Guay), and also comes across Olivier Dubreuil (Benoît McGinnis), his childhood friend who now lives in Montreal. Besides, as soon as they can, Micheline and Olivier will warn Simon's adoptive parents (Guy Nadon and Danielle Proulx) and sister, Joliane (Evelyne Brochu), about Simon's existence. Why did Simon leave his adoptive family fifteen years ago? Is it because of the death of Jean-Pierre, Micheline's husband?



Front row from left to right: Evelyne Brochu, Steve Laplante, Danielle Proulx and Guy Nadon. Back row: Maxime Denommée.

Finally, the DVD is already available for pre-order on Amazon.ca and on Radio-Canada's shop. Moreover, you can also download the original music of the show on ITunes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Teaser of 'Le poil de la bête'


Admit it: You've been waiting for this. The teaser of the upcoming film Le poil de la bête is already online. Moreover, this film directed by Philippe Gagnon will be released on October 1rst, 2010.


The story, which was penned by Stéphane J. Bureau and Pierre Daudelin, takes place in 1665 in New France at a time when a part of Canada was colonialized by France. Joseph Côté (Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge) escapes from a prison in order to avoid death by hanging. Moreover, while some colonial soldiers are chasing him, Joseph takes the identity of a jesuit and hides in the seigneury of Beaufort where most men are waiting for "daughhters of the king"(French women who were sent to Canada in order to find a husband).

At night, Joseph finds out that there are werewolves that terrorize the village. Besides, things get complicated when he falls in love with Marie Labotte (Viviane Audet), a "daughter of the king" that no one wants to marry. All in all, by simply trying to protect his life and Marie's, Joseph will end up fighting against the werewolves.

Speaking about the budget, the film cost $4,500,000 CDN to produce.

Besides, the film also stars Antoine Bertrand, Patrice Robitaille, Marc Beaupré, Martin Dubreuil, Marie-Chantal Perron, Mirianne Brûlé, Gilles Renaud, Gilles Renaud, Sébastien Huberdeau, Michel Barette, Marie-Thérèse Fortin, Patrick Drolet and Benoît McGinnis.

Finally, the film comes out in Quebec on October 1rst, 2010. Other informations about the film can be found on its official web site.



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Exclusive Premiere of 'Musée Eden' on Feb. 26


Unlike what we believe, the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois isn't just a film festival. It's also an opportunity to see the pilot of upcoming TV series before everybody. In fact, on Friday, February 26, the pilot of Musée Eden will be presented in the auditorium of the Grande bibliothèque at 7 PM.


This upcoming TV series from Radio-Canada opens with the brutal murder of a man, Félix Courval, in the Montreal of the 1910s. He has two nieces - played by Laurence Leboeuf (Durham County) and Mariloup Wolfe (Ramdam) - who lives in St-Boniface, Manitoba. After Courval's death, the two women come to Montreal, the city where he lived, in order to know the content of his will. The oldest of the two women will inherit from a few buildings and above all, a museum where crime scenes are reproduced (even with the real blood of the victims).

Moreover, as they have to handle the museum, the two sisters also attend to the trial on their uncle's murder. Needless to say that the answers about the identity of the killer are nearly non-existent. However, a young and determined journalist (Éric Bruneau) will lead an investigation on his own in order to get to the bottom of it.

Finally, also note that during this exclusive event Mariloup Wolfe, Laurence Leboeuf, Éric Bruneau (Les pieds dans le vide) and Vincent-Guillaume Otis (Babine) will be there to take your questions. Furthermore, Alain Desrochers (Nitro), the director, Gilles Desjardins, the creator of the show, and Sophie Deschênes, the producer, will also be there.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

List of Nominees for the 2010 Jutra Awards


This afternoon, the nominees for the Jutra Award, Quebec's own Oscars, were announced. Unlike last year, there are two new things that we should expect to see. The first one being that the jury will be formed by 18 people. Secondly, all members of the jury have seen the films that are nominated. Besides, the host of evening will be Patrice L'Écuyer and the ceremony will take place at La Tohu on March 28. Also note that the Jutra Award will be broadcasted live on Radio-Canada. Anyway, the following is the list of nominees.


Best feature film:
* 1981.
* Dédé, à travers les brumes.
* J'ai tué ma mère.
* Polytechnique.
* Le jour avant le lendemain (Before Tomorrow).

Best director:
* Ricardo Trogi for 1981
* Marie-Hélène Cousineau et Madeline Piujuq for Before Tomorrow.
* Jean-Philippe Duval for Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Xavier Dolan for J’ai tué ma mère.
* Denis Villeneuve for Polytechnique.

Best actress:
* Céline Bonnier in Je me souviens.
* Marie-Thérèse Fortin in Les Grandes chaleurs.
* Élise Guilbault in La Donation.
* Anne Dorval in J’ai tué ma mère.
* Isabelle Guérard in Détour.

Best actor:
* Jean-Carl Boucher in 1981.
* Michel Côté in De Père en flic.
* Normand D’Amour in 5150, rue des Ormes.
* Xavier Dolan in J’ai tué ma mère.
* Sébastien Ricard in Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best supporting actress:
* Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc in Je me souviens.
* Sandrine Bisson in 1981.
* Bénédicte Décary in Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Fanny Mallette in Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Sonia Vachon in 5150, rue des Ormes.

Best supporting actor:
Stephen McHattie in The Timekeeper.
Rémy Girard in De Père en flic.
Normand Daneau in Suzie.
Maxim Gaudette in Polytechnique.
Dimitri Storoge in Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best screenplay:
* Xavier Dolan – J’ai tué ma mère.
* Jean-Philippe Duval – Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Bernard Émond – La Donation.
* André Forcoer et Linda Pinet – Je me souviens.
* Ken Scott – Les doigts croches.

Best cinematography:
* Bernard Couture – Cadavres.
* Pierre Gil – Polytechnique.
* Daniel Jobin – Je me souviens.
* Sara Mishara – La Donation.
* Ronald Plante – Grande Ourse: La clé des possibles.

Best art direction:
* Jean Babin – Grande Ourse: La clé des possibles.
* André-Line Beauparlant – The Timekeeper.
* Jean Bécotte – Cadavres.
* Danielle Labrie – Les doigts croches.
* David Pelletier – Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best sound:
* Cadavres.
* Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Polytechnique.
* The Timekeeper.
* Un ange à la mer.

Best editing:
* Michel Arcand – Love and Savagery.
* Glenn Berman – Un ange à la mer.
* Richard Comeau – Polytechnique.
* Michel Grou – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Linda Pinet – Je me souviens.

Best score:
* Benoît Charest – Polytechnique.
* Bertrand Chenier – Love and Savagery.
* Normand Corbeil – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Kate and Anna McGarrigle – Before Tomorrow.
* Dédé Fortin, les Colocs and Éloi Painchaud – Dédé à travers les brumes.

Best costume:
* Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Le jour avant le lendemain.
* Les doigts croches.
* The Timekeeper.

Best make-up artist:
* Djina Caron – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Sophie Leblanc – Martyrs.
* Jo Pat Parris – 5150, Rue Des Ormes.
* Colleen Quinton – Cadavres.
* Fanny Vachon – The Timekeeper.

Best hairdressing:
* Andre Duval – Grande Ourse: la clé des possibles.
* Linda Gordon – 1981.
* Martin Lapointe – Serveuses demandées.
* Marie-Lyne Normandin – Dédé à travers les brumes.
* Martin Rivest – Je me souviens.

Best documentary:
* Antoine.
* Hommes à louer.
* Last Train Home.
* Silence, on vaccine.
* Une Tente sur mars.

Best short:
* Danse Macabre.
* La Chute.
* La Neige cache l’ombre des figuiers.
* L’Ordre des choses.
* Mon cher Robert.

Best animation film:
* M.
* OKO.
* Playtime.
* Robe de guerre.
* Le Tiroir et le corbeau.


Exclusive Screening of Two New Episodes of 'Tactik'


Télé-Québec, a TV network, had announced that Laurence Carbonneau and Alexandre Bacon - who respectively play the characters of Rose Boucher and Mikaël Vesko in the TV series Tactik - will meet young movie enthusiasts at the International Children Film Festival of Montreal (ICFFM). In fact, they will be at the Cinéma Beaubien on February 27, 2010 at 11:40 AM.


During this event, two new episodes of Tactik, a show which was created by Vincent Bolduc and Alex Veilleux, will be exclusively presented on the big screen. The first one will be titled Dalie et ses hommes and the other one Rencontre d'une troisième type. Unfortunately, Télé-Québec hasn't revealed the synopsis of these two episodes. Therefore, if you're a fan of the show, attend to this event.

Tactik is a teen show that also stars Emmanuel Bilodeau, Pier-Luc Funk, Kathleen Garcia-Manharres, Vincent Gratton, Guy Jodoin, Frédéric Pierre, Frédérique Dufort, Pierre-Luc Brillant and Stéphane Crête just to name a few.


Don't Miss 'Day Before Yesterday'


As you've probably heard it, the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois has already begun. However, if you're a fan of shorts you may want to consider having a look at Day Before Yesterday, a 11-minute short directed by Patricia Chica.


In the story, a woman (Michelle Boback) is found unconscious in the middle of downtown Montreal. Since she seems to suffer from a memory loss, she's taken to a police precinct. Besides, she's interrogated by two officers (Jacques Godin and Richard Robitaille) who try hard to find out who she is despite the gargantuan lack of clues.


Honestly, I'm not the kind of person you'd expect to review a short. However, Patricia Chica's work positively astonishes us by its production value. Obviously, from its cinematography to the care for the details (ex: the use of a free newspaper that actually exists), this short can certainly amaze us as much as a feature film. However, the short is - well - too short for its own sake for its interesting concept could be adapted into a web series, because the leading character's mysterious past is worth exposing.

Anyway, that was my two cents worth thoughts.

The short will be screened at the Cinémathèque québécoise (in the Claude-Jutra room) on February 20, 2010 at 9:45 PM. For those who don't know, the Cinémathèque québécoise is in Montreal and can be found at the 335, boulevard de Maisonneuve Est.

***

Here are other informations about the short.

* Nominated by Danny Lennon for Best Quebec short of 2009 - Prix Prends ça court!
* Best Film - Director's Chair Film Festival, NYC
* Best Director - Director's Chair Film Festival, NYC
* Best Actress - Director's Chair Film Festival, NYC
* Best Sound - Director's Chair Film Festival, NYC


Monday, February 15, 2010

A New Film Studio Will Adapt a Literary Classic

Jacques Blain, the founder of the production studio Cirrus Communications, has announced the launch of the studio Lusio Films. Besides, this company is preparing the adaptation of a Canadian literary classic.


First of all, Lusio Films will specialize itself in the production of films and TV series. Besides, it will work in partnership with Zone 3, another production company. As the founder of Cirrus Communications, Mr. Blain was the producer of C.R.A.Z.Y., which was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (The Young Victoria).

Secondly, Lusio Films submitted a feature film project to Telefilm Canada, a federal agency that funds Canadian films. This project will be titled Le torrent, an adaptation of a short story written by award-winning Canadian writer Anne Hébert.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rachid Badouri To Guest-Star In 'Une grenade avec ça?'


On February 16, 2010, the 200th episode of the teen sitcom Une grenade avec ça? will be aired on Vrak.TV, a teen-oriented cable network, at 5 PM. Moreover, Rachid Badouri, a humorist, will be the guest star for this episode.


In this special episode, a contest for the employees is organized at the Captain Creighton, a chain of fast food restaurants. This is done in order to celebrate the 200,000,000th "burdog" that will get sold. Each restaurant of the chain must produce an advertisement clip based on a script written by one of its own employees. Of course, everybody expects Anaïs (Catherine Proulx-Lemay) to win the contest. However, the winner is Marine (Caroline Gendron).

Obviously, Marine sees this contest as an opportunity to make it big in Hollywood. Besides, a known director named Bad-R (Rachid Badouri) accepts to direct her advertisement clip and wants to modify its concept behind it. Will Marine manage to stand up before Bad-R?

***

For this special episode, the regular cast of the show recorded a music clip called 200 millions de fois.

Moreover, during the day when the 200th episode is aired, viewers can take part in a live-chatting period. This will be time for them to ask any questions that they've always wanted to ask about the show Une grenade avec ça?, which also stars Marilyse Bourke, Rose-Maïté Erkoreka, Yan England, Michel Laperrière, Éric Paulhus and Pierre-Luc Houde.

Finally, don't forget that the 200th of the show will air on Tuesday, February 16 at 5 PM.


Friday, February 12, 2010

'Defendor' In Canadian Theatres On Feb. 19


Many months ago, Defendor had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Now, this hero film - which was turned down by Hollywood majors and shot with a budget of $4 million - will premiere in Canada on February 19. As for the U.S. release of the film, it will happen on February 26.


In this film, we follow Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson), your typical average guy. However, Arthur is also a delusional man who believes he's a superhero named Defendor. This is why he sees a psychiatrist (Sandra Oh). At night, he fights crime in the streets of Hammer Town (Hamilton, Ontario?) and searches for Captain Industry, a drug and weapon dealer who he mistakingly blames for the death of his mother. Besides, Defendor also takes the time to protect Kat (Kat Dennings), a young prostitute.

The film is directed by Vancouver-born Peter Stebbings.

The stars of the film - besides Woody Harrelson and Kat Dennings - are Sandra Oh (Blindness), Elias Koteas (The Thin Red Line), Lisa Ray (Water), Michael Kelly (Changeling), Charlotte Sullivan (Across the River to Motor City) and Kristin Booth (Crackie).



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Filming Begins For 'Notre Dame de Grace'


Remember that director Jacob Tierney declared on October that we should be expecting an upcoming film of his that takes place in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a district in Montreal. Well, Jay Baruchel, one of the film's stars, just confirmed this morning in an interview that production is underway for this dark film.


First of all, the film is adapted from the novel Chère voisine, which was written by Chrystine Brouillet. According to Myriad Pictures, the U.S. distributor, the story goes like this: In the dead of winter, a serial killer is on the loose in the small Montreal neighborhood of Notre Dame de Grace. The tenants of an old apartment house must figure out who they can trust and who they can't, in this thriller directed by Jacob Tierney.

The film stars Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire, Gary Farmer, Kaniehtiio Horn, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Pat Kiely and Sean Lu.

Moreover, Myriad Pictures will handle international sales for this film at the European Film Market in Berlin, Germany. Note that the European Film Market begins tomorrow and ends on February 21, 2010.


'The Bridge' Premieres March 5 On CTV


Although The Bridge was supposed to be simulcasted on CTV (in Canada) and CBS (in the USA), CTV decided to go on its own. As a result of that, this one-hour drama will have a two-hour premiere after the Vancouver Olympic Games on March 5, 2010 at 9 PM. Afterwards, The Bridge will move to its regular timeslot at 10 PM on March 12.



After the rank and file unanimously vote tough and dedicated street cop Frank Leo (Aaron Douglas) into office as the police union’s dynamic leader, he begins his quest to put street cops first and clean up the force from the ground up as he battles criminals on the street, police department brass and corruption in the ranks. But the old boys’ network running the police force and the city’s self-serving politicians are not about to sit idly by while a former street cop makes up his own rules. Frank walks the thin blue line as he battles criminals on the streets, corruption in the ranks and the politically motivated department brass, letting nothing stop him from fulfilling his unwavering vow that when cops are in trouble, he will be there to protect the protectors.

Note that The Bridge is written by Alan Di Fiore and is more or less based on the life of Craig Bromell, a former head of the Toronto police union.

Moreover, the show also star Paul Popowich, Inga Cadranel,Genadijs Dolganovs, Frank Cassini, Theresa Joy, Ona Grauer, Michael Murphy and Stuart Margolin.



Two Teasers of "Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec"


For those who don't know, Adèle Blanc-Sec is a heroine created by comic book writer Jacques Tardi. The film Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec, which is a live-adaptation of the comic books, will come out in France on April 14, 2010. Moreover, it was directed by none other than Luc Besson.


The film takes place in 1912. Adèle Blanc-Sec (Louise Bourgoin) is a young French journalist who is ready to do anything to get her job done even if it means going in Egypt and fight against mommies. At this moment, in Paris, France's capital city, a 136 million years old egg had hatched on a shelf in the Jardin des plantes and a pterodactyl (a bird) just got out of it. Besides, while the French government try to keep this thing secret, the bird is terrorizing people in Paris.

Finally, the film will hit theatres in France on April 14, 2010. Besides, other members of the cast include Mathieu Almaric, Gilles Lellouche (as Inspector Caponi), Philippe Nahon (as Professor Ménard), Jean-Paul Rouve and Frédérique Bel.



By the way, here's the link to the film's official web site.

"Le bonheur de Pierre" In France's Theatres on Feb. 24


Although this comedy is available on DVD in Canada, it will be coming in theatres in France on February 24, 2010. Moreover, Robert Ménard's film is going across the Atlantic ocean one year after its release in the Great White North.


Pierre (Pierre Richard), a quantum physics professor, inherits an inn located in Canada from his aunt. Both his daughter (Sylvie Testud) and him will leave Paris and will move to Sainte-Simone-du-Nord, a small northern village with 400 inhabitants. Of course, Michel (Rémy Girard), the village's mayor, wants to keep this inn for him and will give hell to Pierre and his daughter.



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here Are "Les invincibles" From France


Greetings to all the French, my cousins from the other side of the pond! Arte, a French-German over-the-air TV network, has released online the trailer of Les invincibles. This French TV series is adapted from a Quebecker TV series of the same name.


Mano (Jean-Michel Portal), Hassan (Jonathan Cohen), F.X. (Benjamin Bellecour) and Vince (Cédric Ben Abdallah) are four old friends at the end of their twenties. Moreover, they're engaged in a stable relation with their respective girlfriend. However, the four "men" believe that they haven't lived their youth as if they were no tomorrow before the beginning of their thirties. This is why they seal a deal together: on a given day, they simultaneously break up with their respective girlfriend of the moment at 9 PM. Obviously, this will be hard, but they do it in order to quench their desire for freedom (and problems?). However, the girls won't have it that way.

Finally, the first season of the show will premiere on March 9, 2010 on Arte at 10:20 PM. Moreover, the show also star Brigitte Bémol, as Meïke, Lou Doillon, as Zoé, Eve Chems de Brouwer, as Isabelle, and Marie-Ève Perron, as Cathy.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stephanie Daley

How can you tell that this film is an independent one? Obviously, it deals with a topic that many Hollywood studios want to avoid. Regardless of these two facts, I wouldn't watch Stephanie Daley a second time because the film bored me to death.


Stephanie Daley (Amber Tamblyn) is a 16-year-old girl who had her waters broken while being on a ski trip with her classmates. Stephanie will face murder charges in connection with the death of her baby. Eventually, Lydie Crane (Tilda Swinton), a pregnant forensic-psychologist, is tapped to get to the bottom of this story. As Lydie's inquiry advances, Stephanie claims that she wasn't aware of her pregnancy. Moreover, we also learn that Stephanie never talked about a sexual relationship that she once had with a guy from the town during a party.

Unlike what we're inclined to believe, the film actually has two stories: the one involving Stephanie and the other one with Lydie. Moreover, both stories are related by the moments when Stephanie is being interogated by Lydie in her office.

Unfortunately, scriptwriter/director Hilary Brougher gives us the feeling that she inserted two stories just for the sake of it and also to follow that trend established by Paul Haggis's Crash. While we get a clear view on Stephanie's perspective of what her pregnancy means in the story, we don't get to see Lydie questioning herself that much. After all, since Lydie is pregnant, it would have been really interesting to have a piece of her views on religion, abortion and motherhood while she tries to stay impartial. All in all, be aware that the film has a little plot hole.

Besides, the film might bore you to death because of its extremely slow pace. Other than that, the film can hopefully rely on the performance of its cast, especially from Amber Tamblyn. With an incredible dose of subtlety, Tamblyn manages to suggest both Stephanie's surprise and also her guilt caused by her pregnancy. Of course, even though the film takes place in a small town where people seem to care about religion, the story doesn't judge Stephanie's choices. In fact, it lets the main character judge herself through implicit statements.

Finally, the film certainly has its share of intelligence. However, have in mind that the pace is excruciatingly slow to the point that it makes it hard for you to feel thrilled by Stephanie Daley.

Rating: 3/5


Origin:USA (2006)
Length:92 minutes
Genre:Drama
Screenplay:Hilary Brougher
Director:Hilary Brougher
Starring:Amber Tamblyn, Tilda Swinton, Timothy Hutton and Halley Feiffer


How Would the Super Bowl Look Like...

... if it was directed by people like Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Jean-Luc Godard, Werner Herzog and David Lynch? Have a look at this video.




Production Has Begun for 'Score: A Hockey Musical'


For those who don't know, the film Score: A Hockey Musical has been on production since February 1rst in Toronto. The shooting of the film will wrap up on March 8, 2010.

In this film, Olivia Newton-John (Grease) and songwriter Marc Jordan both play the parents of a teenager (Noah Reid). This kid's mom home-schools him, feeds him with organic foods, takes him to the art gallery and becomes dismayed when he reveals a love for Canada's national sport. Moreover, with his talent, this kid will get out of obscurity to become a hockey celebrity.

The film also stars singer Nelly Furtado, as a hockey fanatic, Stephen McHattie (Maurice Richard), Dru Viergever (Would Be Kings), Hawksley Workman (The Real Howard Spitz) and Dave Bidini (Five Hole: Tales of Hockey Erotica). Besides, it will be directed by Michael McGowan (One Week).

Finally, the film is slated for a release in Canada on October 22, 2010.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Teaser of 'Southland' Season 2


Even though NBC pulled the plug on Southland, TNT, an American cable network, decided to purchase the broadcasting rights of the second season. Besides, since a few days, its teaser has been online.


To be honest with you, I haven't seen the first season. However, I'm aware that it centres on Ben Sherman (Benjamin McKenzie), a rookie officer of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), his training officer. Moreover, the show also follows Det. Lydia Adams (Regina King) who tries to find the balance between work and motherly responsibility; Officer Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis) who aspires to be the first woman on the elite SWAT team; and Det. Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy), whose private life interferes with his work.


Finally, the second season will premiere on TNT on March 2, 2010 at 10 PM (9 central). By the way, if you're a fan of the show, can you tell me what I'm missing, because I plan to watch the first season once it comes out on DVD?


Canadian Films Available On iTunes

Believe it or not, Mongrel Media, a Canadian film distributor, puts its products on iTunes. Moreover, as far as I know, downloading a film on iTunes is legal. The following is the list of some films and there are Canadian films among them.






Wednesday, February 3, 2010

5150, Rue des Ormes (5150 Elm's Way)

Don't miscontrue my words: I'm a total fan of Patrick Senécal's novels and I own all of them. However, the mention of Éric Tessier, the director who slaughtered Sur le seuil, in the credit left me icy. Honestly, 5150, Rue des Ormes sure has its strong moments, but it remains an entertaining film at most.


Yannick Bérubé (Marc-André Grondin) just got accepted at a cinema school. After he had moved in an appartment, he begins to film his first film project for school. While he was bycicling in a residential neighbourhood, Yannick falls of his bike. Because of the scratches on his hands and his elbow, he asks Jacques Beaulieu (Normand D'Amour), a cab driver who is not on a shift, to call a cab for him.

Since he has to wash the blood off his hands, Yannick does the mistake of entering Jacques's house. Furthermore, because he discovered an agonizing man kept in an empty room, Yannick will get locked in this room by Jacques for the time being. Obviously, Jacques's family looks normal on the surface. However, Jacques is, in actuality, a psychopath (he kills people "who deserves it") who believes he's the last of the Just Assassins (a reference to Albert Camus's play?); Michelle (Mylène St-Sauveur), the teenager, looks more dangerous than her father; Maude (Sonia Vachon), Jacques's wife, blindly obeys to him and is a Jesus freak. As for Anne, the youngest daughter, she's mute.

While he has always tried to escape, Yannick will receive a proposal from Jacques. The only thing he has to do is to beat Jacques once in chess.

Unlike Sur le seuil, which was a total mess, 5150, Rue des Ormes surprises us with its fairly good combination of Misery and the TV series Dexter. However, the script has a minor problem. In the first half, we sense that the film's pace is not as quick as that of the novel. This is why it takes time for the film to install its sources of tension and to make Yannick fall into madness. In short, if you really lack patience, you might lose interest for the film very quickly.

On another note, while Sonia Vachon's character is as interesting as any given home appliance, the performance from the other members of the cast makes this film a treat in the second half. Obviously, pretty much everything has been said about the marvelous confrontation between Marc-André Grondin, who portrays well the loss of sanity, and Normand D'Amour, as an average Joe who hides a dark secret. While Yannick is obsessed in beating Jacques in chess, Jacques, on the other hand, is obsessed to prove that he's not out of his mind by winning at chess. As for Mylène St-Sauveur, besides looking very lovely, she sure knows how to play a character who can't suppress her psychopathy.

Finally, 5150, Rue des Ormes is far to be as intense as the novel. However, if you're patient enough, just wait for the second half of the film, because it really is, in the end, the only part that is worth watching. Moreover, the film is lucky enough to have competent actors.

Rating: 2.5/5



Origin:Canada (2009)
Length:110 minutes
Genre:Psychological thriller
Screenplay:Patrick Senécal
Director:Éric Tessier
Starring:
Marc-André Grondin, Normand D'Amour, Sonia Vachon, Mylène St-Sauveur and Élodie Larivière


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nominations Announced for the 2010 Oscar

This morning, the nominees for the 2009 Oscar ceremony were announced. Note that the ceremony will be held on March 7 (the day of my birthday, mind you) and there's one Canadian film among the nominees, which is The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Furthermore, this is not a thorough list, for I only put categories that matter to me. Finally, here comes the list.


1. Best motion picture of the year:
* Avatar.
* The Blind Side.
* District 9.
* An Education.
* The Hurt Locker.
* Inglourious Basterds.
* Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
* A Serious Man.
* Up.
* Up in the Air.


2. Best actor in a leading role:
* Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart.
* George Clooney in Up in the Air.
* Colin Firth in A Single Man.
* Morgan Freeman in Invictus.
* Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker.

3. Best actor in a supporting role:
* Matt Damon in Invictus.
* Woody Harrelson in The Messenger.
* Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
* Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones
* Christopher Waltz in Inglourious Basterds

4. Best actress in a leading role:
* Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side.
* Helen Mirren in The Last Station.
* Carey Mulligan in An Education.
* Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
* Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia.

5. Performance by an actress in a supporting role:
* Penélope Cruz in Nine.
* Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air.
* Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart.
* Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
* Mo'Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

6. Best animated feature film of the year:
* "Coraline".
* "Fantastic Mr. Fox".
* "The Princess and the Frog".
* "The Secret of Kells".
* "Up".

7. Achiement in art direction:
* Avatar.
* The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
* Nine.
* Sherlock Holmes.
* The Young Victoria

8. Achievement in cinematography:
* Avatar.
* Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
* The Hurt Locker.
* Inglourious Basterds.
* The White Ribbon.

9. Best director:
* James Cameron (Avatar).
* Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker).
* Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds).
* Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire).
* Jason Reitman (Up in the Air).

10. Best original screenplay:
* Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker).
* Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds).
* Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman (The Messenger).
* Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man).
* Screenplay by Bob Peterson and Pete Docter. Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and Tom McCarthy. (Up)

11. Best adapted screenplay:
* Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (District 9).
* Nick Hornby (An Education).
* Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche (In the Loop).
* Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious).
* Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner (Up in the air).

12. Best foreign language film of the year:
* Ajami (Israel).
* El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina).
* The Milk of Sorrow (Peru).
* Un prophète (France).
* The White Ribbon (Germany).

13. Best documentary feature:
* Burma VJ.
* The Cove.
* Food, Inc.
* The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
* Which Way Home.


Slap Chop: Not As Seen On TV


Remember those advertisements about the Slap Chop? According to Vince Offer (i.e. the ShamWow! Guy), the presentator, you should be able to easily chop vegetables, fruits and even meats. However, a test by Consumer Reports shows that the product is not as effective as it looks. Finally, after I've seen the following video, I no longer plan to rent a comedy for tonight.



Monday, February 1, 2010

MusiquePlus Organizes a Lip Dub Competition


If you live in Quebec and are a CEGEP or university student, here's a contest that might interest you. MusiquePlus, the Quebecker equivalent of MuchMusic, invites you to create your own lip dub clip. The winning team will have the privilege to party with their friends and the VJs in MusiquePlus's studio.


Of course, here are some rules that must be observed:

  • The maximum length for a clip is two minutes.
  • The clip's appearance on MusiquePlus must be at its first appearance.
  • The deadline for the registration and the submission of a clip is on February 7, 2010. Here's where you have to go if you're interested.

Finally, the clips will be shown by the hosts of the show L'univers. Each week, two schools will face off each other through these clips and you'll get to vote online for your favourite lip dub.


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