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Tribeca 2012: ‘Revenge for Jolly!’ unpolished but undeniably entertaining

22 April 2012 4:58 PM, PDT

Revenge for Jolly!

Written by Brian Pestos

Directed by Chadd Harbold

USA, 2012

Revenge for Jolly! carries with it the promise of a clever premise. It involves the gruesome rampage of two homicidal young people out to avenge the unjust murder of an innocent loved one. The twist here: the innocent loved one is a dog. Pet lovers everywhere can probably relate. On several points, this revenge fantasy delivers a highly enjoyable experience. However, it also conveys a nagging impression of a potentially hilarious script rushed to screen slightly before it was ready.

One mark in the film’s favor is the lead actors’ choice to play their parts totally straight. Brian Pestos’ dead-eyed portrayal of Harry, the wronged party and vengeance seeker, convincingly embodies the trope of a man on the edge with nothing left to lose. His cousin, played by Oscar Isaac, is no less amoral, a little more alcoholic, »

- Kenneth

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Tribeca 2012: ‘Graceland’ a brisk and gut-wrenching thriller

22 April 2012 4:28 PM, PDT

Graceland

Written by Ron Morales

Directed by Ron Morales

Philippines/USA, 2012

Graceland, the new film from the Philippines’ Ron Morales, contains so much corruption and suffering that viewers will be forgiven for thinking at first that they’ve wandered into an Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu film. However, Graceland is helped by the fact that it gets in and out in a brisk 83 minutes, about half of the time of a misery-palooza such as Babel. That’s all which is needed to change a film’s delivery from “wallowing” to “riveting.”

Arnold Reyes is fantastic as Marlon Villar, a driver for a Filipino congressman who becomes entangled in a kidnapping plot. To go much further into the film’s plot would involve spoiling events which are better experienced than read; it suffices to say that Reyes captures perfectly the balance of being at the mercy of fate while blaming himself for his misfortune at the same time. »

- Mark Young

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Tribeca 2012: ‘The Revisionaries’ a bracing, detailed look at educational reform in Texas

22 April 2012 2:04 PM, PDT

The Revisionaries

Written by Scott Thurman and Jawad Metni

Directed by Scott Thurman

USA, 2012

Social-issue docs, even the effective ones, tend to be subject to certain pitfalls. Sometimes, in their haste to exude hope, they tack on sunny post-scripts that undercut their effectiveness as agents for change (this is particularly true of many eco-docs). Some cater to liberal audiences too obviously, resulting in a distasteful sense of smug superiority. Many rely on stylistic or editing quirks to enliven what might come across as quotidian or arcane subject matter. The Revisionaries, a sterling doc on educational reform debate in Texas, generally manages to avoid these and other common missteps, even if it misses opportunities to make its look at a very worthy issue quite as encompassing as it might have.

Every eight years, the Texas State Board of Education re-assesses its current requirements for the textbook materials that will make up statewide curriculums, »

- Simon Howell

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Grimm Ep. 1.18, “Cat and Mouse”: Finally the big picture emerges

22 April 2012 5:47 AM, PDT

A Wesen freedom fighter seeks refuge in Portland, but it looks like he’s guilty of murder. Nick must choose whether to help him or turn him in.

Grimm Review, Season 1, Episode 18: “Cat and Mouse

Written by Jose Molina

Directed by Felix Alcala

Airs Fridays at 9pm Est on NBC

Ever since “Three Coins in a Fuchsbau” revealed Hitler as not only a very bad person, but a Wesen (and not the nice meek, mousy kind – more the kind with sharp teeth and a surly attitude), I’ve been impatiently waiting for that revelation to be worked into the plot. This episode, my hunch is proved correct.

The angle which lets us into the inner workings of Wesen politics is the flight of a crusading journalist Ian Harmon (Neil Hopkins faking a Brit accent for extra authenticity) from a contract killer Hundjager (Sebastian Roché taking a break from shapeshifter »

- Cath Murphy

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Supernatural Ep. 7.19, “Of Grave Importance”: Moody ep focuses on character and world-building

21 April 2012 8:51 PM, PDT

Supernatural Review, Season 7, Episode 19: “Of Grave Importance”

Written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner

Directed by Tim Andrew

Airs Fridays at 9pm (Et) on the CW

This week, on Supernatural: Bobby’s back, ghosts can die, and the guys have more in common than they’d like

Since the inconclusive end of “Death’s Door”, fans have been speculating that Bobby decided not to cross over. Last episode, this was confirmed. This week, we finally get to spend some time with GhostBobby. It’s been a while (9 episodes, or since the beginning of December) and Bobby’s absence has certainly been felt, by the characters and the audience. Jim Beaver’s addition to the cast is one of the best moves creator Eric Kripke made and this reviewer, for one, was skeptical the show would work long-term without him. It seems this isn’t a concern, however- if this episode is any indication, »

- Kate Kulzick

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Tribeca 2012: ‘Chicken With Plums’ returns Marjane Satrapi’s work to the big screen

21 April 2012 8:22 PM, PDT

Chicken With Plums (Poulet aux Prunes)

Written by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

France, 2011

The last time she adapted her own graphic novel into a film, Marjane Satrapi deftly translated her memoir Persepolis into an animated feature that struck a careful balance between poignant coming-of-age realizations and the often-harsh political and social realities that are part and parcel of growing up amidst political and religious turmoil. This time around, once again joined by co-conspirator Vincent Paronnaud (with whom she shares writing and directing duties), Satrapi tackles what would seem to be nearly as personal a project, a tribute to her great-uncle, but Chicken With Plums doesn’t aim for the kind of cultural specificity and political import of Persepolis; instead, it feels as much a film about the possibilities of film, specifically live-action film, which she here tackles for the first time.

In fact, »

- Simon Howell

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Tumblr Round-Up: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ – ‘Psycho’ – ‘This Cabin In The Woods’ – Dick Clark – William Klein – ‘Blue Velvet’

21 April 2012 7:58 PM, PDT

The Tumblr round-up is a compilation of images, links, posters, stories, videos and so on, taken from the Sound On Sight Tumblr account. We simply do not have the man power nor time to write articles on every interesting movie related goody we find, so this is our way of still promoting some of the stuff we love.

If you have any interesting items that you think we should plug, please email us at admin@soundonsight.org

****

Here is a poster for Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional by JackFlag

 

Here is the Needle Design poster for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom - Psycho poster by Daniel Norris

This Cabin In The Woods Rubik’s cube is more twisted than the actual film.

Dick Clark One-sheet poster for Because They’re Young

Painted contact, Gun. 1, New York 1955.. by William Klein

Blue Velvet poster by Maxime Chillemi.

Check out this »

- Ricky

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Shaw Brothers Saturdays: ‘The Boxer from Shantung’ somehow goes for something new, yet lacks originality

21 April 2012 7:49 PM, PDT

The Boxer from Shantung

Directed by Chang Cheh and Pao Hsueh Lieh

Written by Chang Cheh and Ni Kuang

Hong Kong, 1972

Anyone who has seen just a few Shaw martial arts films has noticed a trend: all of the stories transpire centuries ago, during the era of the many Chinese dynasties. The beautiful costumes, the intricate set designs, the legendary figures upon which writers and directors can find inspiration, the admiration of tactical warfare during the times, all of these and much more are reasons why the studio chose to set its stories in the distant past. As with all rules, there are exceptions. Just as not every single Shaw film is martial arts based, not every one is a period piece either. This week, the column takes a look at yet another Chang Cheh picture, The Boxer From Shantung, although this one is set in the 20th century in the city of Shanghai. »

- Edgar Chaput

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Tumblr Round-Up: ‘Pulp Fiction’ – ‘Heathers’ – French Poster Art – Alfred Hitchcock – ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

21 April 2012 7:00 PM, PDT

The Tumblr round-up is a compilation of images, links, posters, stories, videos and so on, taken from the Sound On Sight Tumblr account. We simply do not have the man power nor time to write articles on every interesting movie related goody we find, so this is our way of still promoting some of the stuff we love.

If you have any interesting items that you think we should plug, please email us at admin@soundonsight.org

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Pulp Fiction poster by The company of wolves

The following photo set perfectly captures my personal confusion with the ending of Titanic

Via theinturnet

The Social Network poster by Tim Masterson

Heathers poster by Adam Juresko

Alain Bossuyt’s posters for Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Spy Who Loved Me, Soylent Green, Duel and Live and Let DiePsycho, Spy Who Loved Me, Soylent Green, Duel and Live and Let Die

I don’t know »

- Ricky

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Hot Docs 2012: ‘Big Boys Gone Bananas!’; Episode Two – Fredrik Gertten Strikes Back

21 April 2012 6:54 PM, PDT

Big Boys Gone Bananas!

Directed by Fredrik Gertten

Sweden, 2011

Not so long ago in a country not so far, far away…

A Swedish journalist publishes a fiery polemic against a large, multi-national corporation. In response, said corporation successfully alleges fraud, effectively burying his work and blacklisting him from various media and journalistic syndications. To try and clear his name, the journalist embarks on a crusade against his own crusade, hoping to regain his own credibility, while trying to discredit the claims of his accusers.

You’ve heard of this story before. But this is not Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This is Fredrik Gertten’s Big Boys Gone Bananas!.

Director Fredrik Gertten

In 2009, Gertten, a Swedish filmmaker, made a documentary called Bananas!. The film, which has nothing to do with Woody Allen’s 1971 comedy of the same name, was about the Dole Food Company’s use of dangerous pesticides in Nicaragua, »

- Justin Li

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‘Footnote’ a pitch-perfect dual character study

21 April 2012 6:14 PM, PDT

Footnote

Written by Joseph Cedar

Directed by Joseph Cedar

Israel, 2011

A tale of two Shkolniks, Joseph Cedar’s perfectly paced and wryly observed dramatic comedy follows father and son professors locked in a bitter rivalry. Uriel Shkolnik (Lior Ashkenazi), the son, is well on the path to greatness. A newly inducted member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, renowned lecturer, and physically imposing figure, he’s the polar opposite of his father. Eliezer Shkolnik (Shlomo Bar-Aba) is taciturn, socially awkward, and consistently shunned for public recognition…until he receives word that he’s finally – after 20 years of rejection – been awarded a prestigious Israel Prize. The announcement brings plenty of past resentments to light.

Featuring dazzling montages that make great use of slide projectors, newspaper typography, photographs, and any other type of archival material imaginable, Footnote is very much about cataloging. Where both men have devoted their lives to some sort of historicism, »

- Neal Dhand

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Fringe, Ep. 4.19, “Letters of Transit”: Fun episode offers intriguing glimpse at show’s future

21 April 2012 5:43 PM, PDT

Fringe Review, Season 4, Episode 19: “Letters of Transit

Written by Akiva Goldsman, J. H. Wyman, and Jeff Pinkner

Directed by Joe Chappelle

Airs Fridays at 9pm (Et) on Fox

This week, on Fringe: Etta’s lost her parents, Walter’s lost his marbles, and humanity’s lost their freedom

After weeks of build up in the most recent David Robert Jones arc, Fringe takes a week off from the Multiverse drama to give a preview of what a season five might look like, should the Powers that Be decide to bring the struggling series back next year for a final 13 episodes. Set 24 years in the future, we’re introduced to Etta and Simon, Fringe agents in charge of monitoring the human population. Observers have taken over the world and subdued the populace, quashing any signs of rebellion. Played by Georgina Haig and Henry Ian Cusick, Etta and Simon make »

- Kate Kulzick

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Hey Canada: Score Tickets to ‘Safe’ starring Jason Statham in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Halifax

21 April 2012 5:26 PM, PDT

English born, London raised, Jason Statham might just be the only reliable action star working in Hollywood today. Ever since his starring role in the hit film The Transporter (2002), a film that shot him to leading man status, Statham has appeared in more action films (most box office successes) than any other actor of the past decade. His latest, Safe will be release wide this week, and thanks to Alliance Films, we have ten doubles passes to give away to the following Canadian cities: Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg; to be eligible to nab one, email admin@soundonsight.org and simply let us know that you are following us either on Twitter of Facebook. Please remember to specify which movie and city you want to put your name in for.

Screening info:

 

Toronto

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Show Time: 7:00 Pm

AMC Yonge & Dundas 24

10 Dundas Street East

Toronto, On M5B 2G9

 

Halifax

 

Thursday, »

- Ricky

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Extended Thoughts on ‘Cool Runnings’

21 April 2012 2:00 AM, PDT

Cool Runnings

Directed by Jon Turteltaub

Written by Lynn Siefert, Tommy Swerdlow, Michael Goldberg, and Michael Ritchie

Starring John Candy, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, Leon Robinson, Rawle D. Lewis

Throughout my lifetime, there have been a number of heartbreaking deaths in popular culture. I won’t rank them in terms of least to most heartbreaking, for myriad reasons, but one of the saddest has always been John Candy passing away in 1994. I was sad about this at age 9 even though, looking at his filmography, I can’t imagine I would’ve seen most of the movies Candy was known for when he passed on. Certainly, I saw Home Alone and The Rescuers Down Under as a kid, but I didn’t see most of his movies—Canadian Bacon, Stripes, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles—until after he passed away. But even as a child, I »

- Josh Spiegel

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Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 42: ‘Cool Runnings’

21 April 2012 2:00 AM, PDT

It’s the middle of April, the heart of spring, so there’s no better time to talk about a movie set at the Winter Olympics, right? If that sounds crazy, here’s something crazier: bobsledders…from Jamaica! Yes, this week on the podcast, Josh and Michael take a look at the 1993 sports comedy Cool Runnings, based on the crazy-but-true story of four men from Jamaica who went to the 1988 Winter Olympics to be the first bobsledders from that country. Finally, with such a wild combination, Josh and Michael are on the same page about a Disney sports movie! There are some typically nutty tangents this week, with German accents and Bad Boys II coming into play. Check out the new Mousterpiece Cinema!

Download the show in a new window

iTunes »

- Josh Spiegel

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Thursday Comedies: Community 3.16 & Parks and Rec 4.19

20 April 2012 9:08 PM, PDT

Community, Season 3, Episode 16: “Virtual Systems Analysis”

Written by Matt Murray

Directed by Tristram Shapeero

Airs Thursdays at 8pm Et on NBC

Community seems to flourish when it brings Abed’s autistic tendencies to the forefront. They played a crucial factor in the recent “Pillows and Blankets” two-parter, but it’s episodes like “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas,” “Critical Film Studies” and “Intermediate Chaos Theory” that “Virtual Systems Analysis” calls to mind, wherein Abed’s antisocial tics inform not just the plot but the actual structure of the episodes. Whether the resulting episode is deeply introspective (as in “Film Studies” and “Systems Analysis”), appropriately cutesy (“Christmas”) or merely wildly entertaining (“Chaos Theory”), it’s hard to argue that these aren’t singular episodes, Not just for Community, but for any recent TV show.

The cleverness with which Dan Harmon and company go about making the audience painfully aware of the conceptual »

- Justin Wier

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‘The Avengers’ triumphs over its predecessors through character focus and superior spectacle

20 April 2012 2:11 PM, PDT

The Avengers

Written by Joss Whedon

Directed by Joss Whedon

USA, 2012

The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor and Captain America; all of these Marvel Studios-produced superhero films were made with their own aspirations and goals, most of which were achieved to varying levels. Alongside each picture’s own aims, Marvel created its own self-sustaining hype machine which fanned the flames of anticipation at the prospect of all these superheroes coming together to fight alongside each other. The massively anticipated The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon, is the end result. Typically such heated anticipation would suffocate most films, which makes it all the more satisfying to confirm that this ensemble blockbuster is everything fans could hope for.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., assembles the group of superheroes, almost making those post-credits sequences in the earlier Marvel films redundant, but not quite. Loki (Tom Hiddleston »

- Rob Simpson

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Friday Noir: ‘Double Indemnity’ shows a cool cat’s frightening dual nature

20 April 2012 1:08 PM, PDT

Double Indemnity

Directed by Billy Wilder

Written by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler

U.S.A., 1944

There is a perverse sort of delight a film viewer can extract from witnessing the fall of someone too cool for school. How many times have vintage film noirs featured a protagonist which always had the right words to say at the right time, who could juggle aloofness with a total capacity to gauge and react to any imaginable predicament? Those character are typically the ones to end up on top. The Maltese Falcon has the greatest example of them all, with the Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade being the coolest cat around. Seeing that archetype character suddenly stumble, show signs of severe weakness, both of the emotional and psychological variety, makes for a fresh twist. Fred MacMurray, had the behest of director Billy Wilder, suffers that very fate in the highly acclaimed Double Indemnity. »

- Edgar Chaput

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The Vampire Diaries Ep. 3.19, “Heart of Darkness”: Character returns marred by musical missteps

20 April 2012 11:20 AM, PDT

The Vampire Diaries Review, Season 3, Episode 19: “Heart of Darkness

Written by Brian Young and Evan Bleiweiss

Directed by Chris Grismer

Airs Thursdays at 8pm (Et) on the CW

This week, on The Vampire Diaries: Jeremy’s back, Rose’s back, Tyler’s back, Esther’s back. It’s a big ol’ Vampire Diaries reunion.

For many, the highlight of this episode will be the big ol’ makeout session between Elena and Damon. It’s significant forward progress in the shipping wars one assumes must be waging in certain corners of the Vampire Diaries fandom. However, despite the lovely scene of Elena and Damon talking that precedes this *ahem* progress, the scenes that result from it are, for the most part, the weakest element of this episode, and they’re far from helped by the soundtrack choices.

Pop music soundtracks are fairly common, particularly on younger-skewing series or shows aimed towards a female audience. »

- Kate Kulzick

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This Week in Soundtracks – April 17, 2012, includes ‘Treme, Season 2′

20 April 2012 12:12 AM, PDT

A review of soundtracks and scores released the week of April 17, 2012.

Marley – Original Soundtrack by Bob Marley & the Wailers

Marley is a new documentary that chronicles the life of the man who brought Reggae to the world, Bob Marley.  This two-disc soundtrack is a companion piece to the film.  It is essentially a greatest hits album that includes a combination of studio and live recordings by Bob Marley and his band The Wailers.  The soundtrack provides a gateway into Bob Marley’s music for the casual fan or those who are curious about his work.  A fanatic won’t find much need in purchasing the album, already owning most of his music.  They should however purchase the previously unreleased version of “Jammin’” found only on this soundtrack.  It was recorded at the One Love Peace Concert in 1978 where Marley famously brought two Jamaican political rivals together to shake hands in an act of peace. »

- Christopher Laplante

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