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Monday, May 30, 2011
The Canadian film The Whistleblower will hit theatres on August 5.
This film directed by Larysa Kondracki will be released in the USA.
The film tells the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz), a police officer by trade hailing from Nebraska. In 1999, she becomes part of a team of DynCorp, a private corporate army, and is sent to Bosnia, a country that had been torn by war. This American private corporate army's duty is to train Bosnian police officers.
As times goes by, Bolkovac notices alarming signs regarding the existence of an underground sex industry. Afterwards, Bolkovac finds a woman who escaped from a human trafficker who sell sex slaves to hidden brothels in the area. As she gathers more evidence, she discovers that UN officers and employees of DynCorp are involved in the sex slavery that has been lucrative after the war in Bosnia. Besides, to top it all, Bolkovac finds that UN officers and employees of DynCorp can't be held accountable for their actions. Will she manage to expose the truth?
The film also stars Monica Bellucci, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, David Hewlett, Liam Cunningham, William Hope and Benedict Cumberbatch.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011
Manuel H. Da Silva's thriller, The Unleashed, will have its world premiere in Toronto on June 25.
The screening will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at 6 PM. Afterwards, The Unleashed will come out in theatres on July 8.
Here's the story according to the film's web site:
Madison Kennard, a troubled woman dealing with her dark past, must venture home after an 8 year absence following her mother's death. Almost instantly after her return, Madison must cope with the haunting memories of a childhood best forgotten. Lindsay, a childhood friend of Madison's with an adventurous past, hears of Madison's arrival and has every intention of reconnecting a friendship once had. Bizarre and unexplainable events occur within the house after old friends come together and dabble with the infamous Ouija board. With the help of Andrew Porter, a renowned writer and expert on paranormal phenomena whom she met by chance, Madison soon discovers that there is more to the board than she realized and must uncover truths of her family's past to contain what had been unleashed.
Finally, the film stars Trisha Echeverria, Jessica Salgueiro, Colin Paradine, Caroline Williams, Malcolm McDowell, Suzanne Farla, Shane Harbinson, Peter Valdron and L.A. Lopes.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
With his feature debut, Daydream Nation, director/screenwriter Michael Goldbach wanted to find a voice of his own. Although the film has a few flaws, it is one of the most memorable films from 2011 that I've seen so far.
Caroline Wexler (Kat Dennings) moves from the city to a small town with her widowed father. She's to finish High school and most of her classmates try to figure out how to get high in order to escape their quotidian boredom. Caroline decides to seduce her English teacher (Josh Lucas) and have sex with him.
To cover it up, she starts dating Thurston (Reece Thompson), probably the most sympathetic of her stoner classmates. However, both the English teacher and Thurston end up vying for Caroline's love. As life goes on, people in the town also try to cope with an industrial fire in a nearby town and a serial killer with a white suit on the loose.
One remembers Daydream Nation more for Kat Dennings's performance as Caroline. With the right dose of arrogance, confidence and fragility, Dennings illustrate Caroline's cynicism in such a natural way. She reminds us of any extremely smart teen we've come across in high school with this particularly funny line: "There's more incest in this town than in an Atom Egoyan movie."
While the script smartly switches between drama and comedy, one may find Daydream Nation a little bit too long. This is because the film goes a little bit too much into some sub-plots that provide back-stories about some female students who got killed or other supporting characters' issues. Of course, Goldbach's objective was to show the anxiety in the small town and the feeling that there's nothing to do, but these sub-plots could have been trimmed down without hurting the director's vision.
While the film is not necessarily perfect, Michael Goldbach has brilliant future ahead. Overall, the depiction of the three leading characters' issues (Caroline, Reece and the English teacher) might seem heightened for entertainment purposes. However, guess what? It works, because the actors don't over-act! The film Daydream Nation is a nice and quirky coming-of-age story about characters who suffer before realizing that happiness might just be around another corner.
|Starring:||Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas and Reece Thompson|
Monday, May 23, 2011
The dance flick Sur le rythme, the soon-to-be brother in arms of the Canadian dance flick How She Move, will come out on August 12 in Quebec's theatres. Moreover, a full-length trailer has been released.
Delphine Lamarre (Mylène St-Sauveur) is twenty years old. She has to make a choice between living her dream as a profesional dancer or taking the path imposed by her parents, which means studying medecine. However, her encounter with Marc Painchaud (Nico Archambault) will give her hope. In fact, she'll take part in more and more auditions and she'll stand up before her parents.
Nico Archambault, the season 1 winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, will take part in the choreography of the dance scene.
This film was penned by Caroline Héroux (À vos marques, party!) and was entirely produced with private funds.
Moreover, Sur le rythme also stars Marina Orsini, Paul Doucet, France Castel, Miles Faber and Lina Roessler.
After being broadcasted on IFC, an American cable network, the Canadian miniseries Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town will come out on DVD tomorrow in the USA.
Before getting an idea about what this Canadian show is all about, have in mind that the Kids in the Hall - a Canadian comedy group made of Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson - described it as a cross-over between Corner Gas and Twin Peaks.
In Death Comes to Town, Death gets off a Greyhound bus in the small Canadian town of Shuckton (the show was shot in North Bay, Ontario). The whole town is drawn in when one of its most distinguished is discovered murdered. As a suspect is arrested and the trial begins - the town's dark secrets begin to tumble out.
The DVD is already out in Canada.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Ingrid Veninger's indie film, Modra, is now available on DVD, iTunes and Amazon.ca across Canada.
The film follows a girl from Toronto who decide to travel in order to find out where she comes from.
Lina (Hallie Switzer) is seventeen years old and lives in Toronto with her mother. For one week during the summer holidays she plans to visit her extended family in Modra, a small town in Slovakia. When Lina is dumped by her boyfriend she invites Leco (Alexander Gammal) instead, a cute boy from school.
Not long after arriving in Modra, Lina and Leco discover they have little in common. To make matters worse, Lina's family mistakenly assumes they're a couple, setting off a chain reaction which leads to an explosion of repressed desire and confusion.
Finally, here's the link on iTunes.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Global and ABC, respectively a Canadian and an American TV network, released the first promos of the cop drama Rookie Blue. This show will premiere on both networks on Thursday, June 16 at 10 PM.
The first seasons follows five rookies from a police department (Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, Travis Milne and Enuka Okuma). In the second season, they've got more experience, but they face other challenges in the streets.
Other regular cast members include Eric Johnson, Matt Gordon, Noam Jenkins, Ben Bass, Lyriq Bent and Melanie Nicholls-King.
New cast members for the second season include Camille Sullivan (Shattered) and Lauren Holly (NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service).
Moreover, the first season of Rookie Blue will come out on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 31.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Michael Goldbach begins his directorial career with an independent feature film on life in a small town. However, this film, Daydream Nation, "is not a documentary".
After Childstar (2005), which he co-wrote with Don McKellar, Goldbach wanted to direct a film. It took him 7 to 8 years to find the financial support. "It's very difficult to raise money for a first film," he mentioned. Although "Daydream Nation is not an auto-biography", it still contains a few references to what he has known in high school in Arva, a small town in Ontario near London.
During the first minutes of the interview, Goldbach speaks quickly and with enthusiasm. After all, Daydream Nation will be released tomorrow in select theatres in New York and Los Angeles.
As he was in the city of angels to promote his first feature film, Goldbach explained on the phone that he wanted to offer a different vision of what we're used to see about small towns in our collective imagination.
"Small towns seem to be idyllic for many people. However, in small towns, I can tell you that a lot of drugs do find their way in schools," Goldbach said. "I wanted to create a world for teenagers with an edge to it. It's a heightened world."
Although the film, added Goldbach, is neither an autobiography nor a documentary, it contains "hinge of things that happened in Ontario" in the 1990s. For instance, in the film, an industrial fire ceaselessly burns near the town and a serial killer is after teenagers.
While the latter refers to the crimes of serial killer Paul Bernardo between 1990 and 1992, the former is based on an industrial fire in Hagersville, Ontario (about 130 km from Arva), involving 13 million tires that took weeks to extinguish in 1990. These veiled references are used to illustrate "the anxiety that the characters in the film live".
While 19th century French novelist Gustave Flaubert gave life to Emma Bovary in one of his masterpieces, Madame Bovary, Goldbach also made the choice to have a heroine in Daydream Nation in the form of Caroline Wexler (Kat Dennings).
"This idea to have a leading lady started with a question period, because I knew some girls who were like Caroline Wexler. In fact, she mirrors smart, beautiful and mysterious girls I knew when I grew up. Through Caroline, I wanted to explore who that mysterious girl in real life was. Back then, I didn't understand that girl, because I didn't have enough life experience."
Any comparison with Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone), the character in Easy A? "As Olive, Emma Stone did a great job. However, while Olive is confident, Caroline is troubled," clarified Goldbach.
Let's point out that Caroline is bored by life since she came to live a small town. Most of her classmates are stoners in search of the next big thing that will get them high. She seduces her English teacher (Josh Lucas) behind curtains and also engages in a relation with another troubled classmate (Reece Thompson).
Daydream Nation comes out on DVD on May 17 in Canada and the USA.
Monday, May 2, 2011
The winners of the 26th Artis Gala, Quebec's own People's Choice Award in television, were announced yesterday on TVA, a Quebecker TV network. Besides hosting the event, Charles Lafortune even won the award for best host of a game show.
Here's the list of winners.
Best news anchor: Pierre Bruneau (TVA 18 heures)
Best host of a public affair show: Charles Tisseyre (Découvertes)
Best host of a service show: Gino Chouinard (Mon plan Rona)
Best host of a variety show: Véronique Cloutier (Les enfants de la télé)
Best host of a talk show: Guy A. Lepage (Tout le monde en parle)
Best host of a game show: Charles Lafortune (Le cercle and La classe de 5e)
Best host of a sport show: Marie-Claude Savard (La série Montréal-Québec and Le défi des champions)
Best actor in a TV series: Claude Legault (19-2)
Best actress in a TV series: Hélène Florent (La galère and Toute la vérité)
Best actor in a soap opera: Daniel Brière (Les Parent)
Best actress in a soap opera: Anne Dorval (Les Parent)
Best artist in a youth show: Yan England (Une grenade avec ça?)
Male Personality of the Year: Charles Lafortune
Female Personality of the Year: Véronique Cloutier
Source: The 2011 Artis Gala