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Young People Fucking (2007)
loved this movie
Straight up - I adored this movie. It's a razor sharp sex comedy that is extremely funny and has a soul. Structually it does something that you rarely see attempted in an ensemble film. The five individual strands do not interconnect. This is generally considered to be a recipe for disaster. If they don't interconnect - what stops it being five short films inter-cut? In this case - the theme (love) and narrative (negotiations about sex) replace the need for colliding narratives. And it works! The film is a cohesive whole. You don't have to waste screen time setting up clunky "small world" co-incidences (car crashes being the flavor of the month). The other thing that jolted me is that the entire cast is brilliant. There is no weak link. Disclaimer: I do have a family member in the cast - but trust me this is not the cause of my affection. I simply fell in love with the film. All the performances are subtle and leave lots of things for you to discover. Smart, funny, warmhearted. A real gem!
A joyous flesh munching good time!
Saw this movie at the Vancouver Film Festival and thought it was deadly smart, stylish, and FUNNY.
The cast was ROCK SOLID. Great work by Carrie Anne Moss, Dylan Baker, Tim Blake Nelson, Billy Connelly and up and comer, Alexia Fast.
Weirdly, I found myself thinking about the movie for days after seeing it.
Writers, Dennis Heaton, Robert Chomiak and Andrew Currie layered in a lot of political subtext - but didn't whack you over the head with it.
The world they created had depth, and made sense. There is a giddy carnivorous spirit to this movie.
FIDO is guaranteed to cure grumpiness.
Black Gold (2006)
I just saw this beautifully shot, emotionally restrained documentary at The Ridge Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. It makes a quiet case for the moral necessity of some sort of CODE of global conduct in doing business. The coffee farmers in Etheopia are getting 22 CENTS a Kilo. They are STARVING. The price is manipulated in New York, and WTO seems to think this is okay. I'm fairly confident that 95% of North America coffee drinkers would be willing to pay 25 cents more a cup, to fix this situation. Damnit, this is a wonderful piece of film-making. They find the little defining moments, like a close-up shot of an Etheopian worker, cutting a bag with a naked razor blade.
The Girl Next Door (2004)
I loved this movie. The script was tight as a Drum. ALL the performances were beautiful. Although it has same phoney conceit as Pretty Woman - a porn star (substituted for a whore) who is NOT deeply damaged. You just smile at her nicely and like a watered flower, she blossoms.
But this movie was made by people who find horny 17-year-old funny (and by God they not) NOT by people who dislike women.
Smart, good natured film. I hope it rocks the box office.
Cop Land (1997)
Stands multiple viewings
Please add me to the list of people who think this is a truely beautiful film. Check out Stalone's reaction shot in the first scene, after he loses the pin ball game - you can feel a whole lifetime of humiliations reverberating back from this tiny defeat.
Also, the beautiful scene scene where the woman Stallone loves, asks, "Why didn't you get married?" and he replies, "Because all the best girls were taken". It's just heart-breaking.
I cannot understand the generally luke-warm or negative critical response to this film. I think it's a fricken master piece.
See Grace Fly (2003)
My favourite movie of 2003
I saw SEE GRACE FLY the Vancouver Film Festival, and I fell for it in a huge way.
It's written and Directed by Pete McCormack, produced by Paul Armstrong and stars a bevvy of Canada's best actors: Gina Chiarelli & Paul McGillion, Jennifer Copping, Ben Ratner, Tom Sholte and Meagen Leitch. And it's scored by the amazing Dennis Burke.
Like most people, I go to the movies to be entertained (Charlie's Angels, Old School, Bridget Jones Diary etc.) or moved (Lost in Translation, Mystic River etc.)
SEE GRACE FLY fell into the latter category. It's a simple story about a delusional woman (Gina Chiarelli) and her brother (Paul McGillion) who is seduced by her delusions - because it's the only way to love her.
I have never, ever, been so moved by a film as I was by this one. It just got me right in the gut. Check out the roof top scene: "I got your message".
If Gina Chiarelli is not the best actor in Canada, I don't know who is. If she doesn't get a Genie nomination for this role (Canada's Oscars) I will mount a campaign of shame and humiliation against the academy. Seriously, I will raise an almighty stink. But I'm not too worried. No-one could fail to see the piercing beauty of this performance.
Tom Sholte is also great as the complicated, warm-hearted priest. He is one of those centered, unfussy actors who does his work so quietly and clearly, and with such subtle precision, that I fear he will never get his due.
See Grace Fly rocks.
Lonesome Joe (2003)
Funny, sweet, well-paced short film
I saw this film at The Pacific Cinemateque, in Vancouver, B.C, with a bunch of other good short films.
This one particularly impressed me because it was so technically proficient and TONALLY assured. There's a great moment in Lonesome Joe, when you are suddenly transported into the rather sad interior life of a tow truck driver.
I really dug this short film. I predict great things for the director, Mark Sawyers.
Old School (2003)
My gut hurts
There are probably about 50 legitimate reasons why I shouldn't have found this movie funny. But damnit, I laughed my butt off! This is a sharply-written, well-acted, well directed, well-edited low brow comedy. Every scene has a solid comic center, but there's also all kinds of sly, subtle, delicious stuff happening around the edges. Loved it! Ten out of ten.
Best Canadian Movie Ever Made
This is a perfect movie. The acting, the cinematography, the camera correography, the set design, the music. It's a gorgeous, sad, beautiuful piece of work. I am simply in awe of this movie.
A stunning, complicated, romantic movie
This beautiful, brave, honest movie will be difficult for many people to enter because the heroine, played by Cate Blanchett, makes SUCH a bad mistake at the beginning of the movie that she is unlikely to ever know happiness. A tight, disciplined script, superbly acted, sublimely shot. It makes me want to move to Italy and start a doomed relationship. Actually, why bother? I can do that right here in the drizzly logging town where I live. "Heaven" worked for me on every level. Simply delicious.