11 items from 2014
On February 1, 1976, Elvis Presley had a hankering for a sandwich.
It wasn’t any old sandwich, however. This sandwich was a full loaf of French bread hollowed out, covered in butter, and filled with peanut butter, jam, and about a pound of bacon. It was -- and still is -- called the Fool’s Gold Loaf, and on that fabled night in 1976, Presley spontaneously flew across the country to satisfy his very specific craving for it.
The Fool’s Gold Loaf holds a place of honour in The F Word, a Toronto-shot romantic comedy by Canadian directorMichael Dowse (Goon, Fubar). Wallace (Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe) and Chantry (Zoe Kazan, star and director of Ruby Sparks) become best friends and then (maybe, possibly) fall in love with the help of the jelly-infused mess.
- Sasha James
When I called Michael Dowse for our interview, I tried hard not to sound like a crazy person. I admit that I've been a bit vocal about his films on Twitter, and believe (without any sarcasm or irony) that a decade from now his name will be associated with the great directors that have come out of Canada. There's a deftness to his filmmaking that's refreshing, a wonderful blend of the silly and the serious that's often so hard to pull off. I first recognized the spark of genius when Fubar 2 played as part of Tiff's Midnight Madness programme back in 2010. While the first film was juvenile and silly, the sequel was in many way astonishing - yes, it's a stoner comedy,...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
"It's the essence of flirting." So how do you refresh and revitalize the romantic comedy genre? That's what I was hoping to find out from Canadian director Michael Dowse, the man behind the excellent film What If. I first saw this film at last year's Tiff 2013, and loved it, ranking it as one of my 5 favorite films of that festival. It was known as The F Word back then (and still is in Canada) but was retitled to What If for its Us release, which is something I had to ask him about. What If stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan as a young couple perfect for each other–their chemistry was a topic, too. View the full video interview below. Michael Dowse is also the director of the films Fubar, Fubar: Balls to the Wall, It's All Gone Pete Tong and Goon with Seann William Scott. If you've seen any of those films, »
- Alex Billington
Filmmaker Michael Dowse hasn't exactly broken out in the United States, although in his home country of Canada, he's known for a couple of cult favorites like the two "Fubar" movies and the hockey comedy Goon, starring Seann William Scott and Jay Baruchel. Neither of those movies could possibly prepare his fans for his decision to direct What If, a comedy that looks at the relationship between two young people whose situation forces one of them into "the friend zone." »
This rom-com is really an updated take on When Harry Met Sally . . . for millennials. Meaning, can a guy be friends with a babe without trying to boff her? Luckily, Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan spin sweet magic out of blah-blah-blah clichés. I like when that happens.
In this Toronto-set fable, Radcliffe plays Wallace, a med-school dropout, dumped by his Gf and – ouch! – living with his single-mom sister. Kazan, radiating smarts and seductive appeal, plays Chantry (great name), an animator Wallace sparks to at a party. She has a boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall). If she didn't, »
It has been 25 years since "When Harry Met Sally," the ultimate can-men-and-women-be-just-friends romantic comedy, hit theatres, and as we've recently discussed, few films of that sort have matched it in that time. But lately Hollywood has been taking a crack at that unique premise with mixed results, most notably with "Friends With Benefits" and "No Strings Attached," both released within months of each other and both not very good. So "Goon" and "Fubar" director Michael Dowse has a high bar to reach with "What If," and while the movie doesn't even make it to the same ballpark as the Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan classic, there's enough pleasure and small charms within its modest ambitions that it succeeds in putting an enjoyable spin on what has often proved a tired concept. While authenticity might be too strong a word, "What If" presents a world that feels inhabited by real characters in a real city (the. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
I was lucky enough to see an advance screening of What If this week, a romantic comedy with a quirky edge to it that makes if feel somewhat fresh, like Ruby Sparks (2012) or 500 Days of Summer (2009).
Based on a play by T.J. Dawe and directed by Michael Dowse (Goon, Fubar), this indie comedy with heart is heavy on conversationalist dialogue, wears it’s heard on its sleeve and is, throughout its just-over 90 minute running time, a delightful story of boy and girl meet, girl has boyfriend, boy wants to make a move but can’t, difficulties in their friendship occur. It seems, on the surface, and on paper, a little predictable and run of the mill, but feels much more out of the ordinary in »
- Chris Cummings
Marvel is still trying to find a replacement for Edgar Wright on their Phase Three adventure Ant-Man, which isn't going well so far. After Anchorman director Adam McKay passed on the project this past weekend, We're the Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber was said to be a lock for the position. That changed this morning with two conflicting reports, one that said he wasn't interested in signing on, and another that claimed he'd never even been approached. Now, Marvel is reportedly eyeing two more directors firmly embedded in the world of comedy.
Most familiar to fans will be Nick Stoller, who hails from the Judd Apatow camp. He recently scored with the box office hit Neighbors starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. He's also know for Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The later of which he worked alongside Ant-Man lead Paul Rudd on, with the two already having a strong rapport. »
With Edgar Wright out, Adam McKay and Rawson Thurber both passing, and Ruben Fleischer potentially doing "Ghostbusters 3," Marvel's race to find a director for "Ant-Man" continues. And this afternoon comes a couple more names you can toss into a hat. Deadline says that Nicholas Stoller and Michael Dowse are "making the rounds" as contenders for the gig. Both are certainly gifted comedy directors, with the former helming "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Get Him To The Greek," "The Five-Year Engagement" and the recent "Neighbors," while the latter has tackled "Goon," "Take Me Home Tonight," "Fubar" and the upcoming "The F Word." What neither have is tentpole experience when it comes to staging action, but then again, Marvel has that kind of support likely in place. At any rate, these are just a couple of names to argue about online, and you can do that below. Thoughts? Is "Ant-Man" really going to make its July 17, 2015 release date? »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Update: A CBS Films spokesman tell us: "CBS Films has not changed the title of 'The F Word' to 'If You’re Lucky.' " One movie we heard some good word about at Tiff last fall but just couldn't find room for in our screening schedule was "The F Word." The film from director Michael Dowse ("Fubar," "Goon," "Take Me Home Tonight") is a rom-com starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, about a young man stuck in the dreaded friend zone with a girl he likes a whole lot more than that. Buzz was good on the movie, and it even landed on Tiff's Top 10 Canadian Films Of 2013 list. But it looks like a big change is coming to the movie before it lands in U.S. theaters. Yahoo reveals that following a screening of the movie during Tiff's currently ongoing series celebrating those top ten movies, Dowse »
- Kevin Jagernauth
While those film titles may sound foreign to some, Canadian cult moviegoers have really come to embrace the work of Michael Dowse. While he branched off into American cinema with the little seen Topher Grace vehicle Take Me Home Tonight, his work remains very much Canadian. And that is why it is so odd to see him directing a romantic comedy like The F Word. It sounded interesting enough, but could the guy who gave us Fubar really deliver something that needs to be sweet and cheerful? Especially after the casual brutality of Goon? Well, the answer may surprise you.
Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) is a bit of a shut-in. He broke up with his girlfriend over a year ago, he dropped out of med school, and now he lives in the attic of his sister’s home in suburban Toronto. »
- David Baldwin
11 items from 2014
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