Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

A little Vancouver Mc’Lovin’


Originally uploaded by Left over usa.

If you haven’t heard that the new comedy Superbad is based on the high school lives of screenwriters Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg and that those high school lives took place in Vancouver, then obviously you’ve not been reading The Province [vp]. Don’t worry I forgive you, neither have I.

Too bad it didn’t get filmed in Vancouver, but instead was shot in Glendale California and LA. That’s a nice ironic twist where Vancouver stands in for pretty much every city in the union. Having said that I should point out that while the movie is based on Vancouver lives I don’t think it’s actually set in Vancouver, but rather sort of anywhere.

Superbad opens today.

The Simpsons Vancouver: from Kwik-E-Mart to theatre


Originally uploaded by J!mbo.

The Simpsons are big right now. The show hasn’t been this big a cultural force since the early 1990s’ when it first appeared on Vancouver television screens thanks to Washington State’s new Fox Broadcasters. Now after nearly two decades of being a pervasive part of our culture it’s headed to the big screen and the marketing has swept Vancouver.

Coquitlam’s Kwik-E-Mart [mbv] was one piece of a continent wide promotion that has been nothing short of brilliant. It’s become sort of a mecca to the great show, and an unprecedented number of Vancouverites have made the trip to worship at the alter of Apu. Tired of hearing about it already? Well too bad because the Simpsons are translated into over 15 languages, including sub-sets such as French and Quebecios, so it’s not like you’re going to be able to avoid the show.

Vancouver author Douglas Coupland recently contributed the foreword to Calgarian Chris Turner’s book Planet Simpson [ac] a very enjoyable, if enthusiastic, look at how the show affected our current culture. The book is worth the cover price for the foreword alone, where Coupland demonstrates that just like the rest of us he is amused by a funny looking cartoon family.

Then we come to the movie, set to premier this weekend across North America. Downtown has been plastered with adverts from the Rio Theatre [rt] advertising the movie’s opening night where there will be contests, cosplay and other fan events [cl].

Where the heck are Homer’s arms?’s a big promotional display for the upcoming Simpsons movie at the Scotiabank (Paramount) Theatre. I knew something wasn’t quite right, but could put my finger on it for a moment – until I realized that Homer wouldn’t be putting his fingers on anything anytime soon.

Where the heck are his arms?

Then I started thinking, maybe the new movie won’t be a typical Simpsons kind of pop-culture funny-fest. Maybe it’s more like Saw (or Saw II or Saw III…). In a bid to boost the ratings for the TV show, in the movie they’re going to chop Homer’s arms off.

Another example of gratuitous violence in the film industry. Won’t it ever stop?

Documentary Film Festival

The Documentary Film Festival is on. I suppose it’s long past time once more to fill up my brain with enough stuff to make me interesting at parties again.

I do like this one comment from audience member Helen Kuk about the docs on right now that gets straight to the point: “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen films as entertaining, eclectic and smart as DOXA’s, and it’s not because I don’t have cable”.

Helen, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. But who the hell doesn’t have cable? I’m pretty sure that’s just what people say when they want other people to think they read more. No proof. Just a strong suspicion…

Due to weather conditions, this long weekend will include movies.

I’m all for a long weekend home. At least there will be no worries about traffic and other nuisances. We’ve just started using the movie rental service at so we have a couple of movies to watch for the rainy days predicted on the weather network. The service is working out great so far. We picked Videomatica because of their selection. They seem to have the more obscure stuff. Ever since we watched Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, we’ve been watching Russ Meyer movies non-stop. They have a good selection of many different types of movies – foreign, old school, martial arts movies, etc. We’ve only had one DVD come to us damaged, but I’m sure that’s bound to happen from time to time – just wear and tear in the mail. We were not charged for it and they sent us another one right away.

Other activities for me this weekend include a visit to the Trout Lake Farmers Market on Saturday, taking photos of anything I like and seeing an old buddy from high school on Sunday. There will be plenty of knitting involved as I picked up a kit at the Fibrefestival last weekend and I’ve been pretty preoccupied with that little project all week. I’ve been sneaking stitches in anywhere I can find the time.

The Documentary Film Festival

I just found out about the Documentary Film Festival happening May 22 to 27th at a few theatres around town. One documentary I’ll be seeing for sure is Saudi Solutions

Here’s a full list of the movies here and you can order tickets online right away. Looks like it will be a great event.

Everything’s Gone Green: Douglas Coupland at the movies

Douglas Coupland’s film, he wrote it so let’s just say it’s his, Everything’s Gone Green has been in Vancouver the last few weeks. It’s on a limited release schedule so who knows how long it will be in town, thus I’d suggest getting to it while the getting is good. It’s currently at the Cinemark Theaters in Tinseltown [trb]. If it’s anywhere else in town you’ll have to do your own research.

Citizen Sam

Citizen Sam, the documentary of our own Mayor Sam Sullivan and his successful 2005 electoral run, is still getting a lot of attention, with a recent screening at the Toronto’s Hot Docs documentary film festival.

As a politically opinionated Vancouverite, I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t yet got around to watching it, but this trailer has certainly piqued my interest.

Director Joe Moulins: “He’s really an interesting character. What I like best about the film now when I watch it is how complicated everything is. Nothing is black and white in his life, even the love story between he and his wife.”

Fox policy: Blame Canada?

Blame Canada

Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth.

We all know that Bill O’Reilly hates us [mm] but Fox’s film division might start to beat us with the legal stick soon because apparently people in Asian are getting recordings of major Hollywood films from Canadian theatres. This is of course complete nonsense, but more on that later. According to the Globe and Mail [gm]:

Bruce Snyder, Fox’s Hollywood-based president of domestic distribution, had spent the last few weeks steaming mad after his team pinpointed Canadian theatres — primarily in Montreal — as the source of illegal camcording of a steady stream of Fox blockbusters, including Borat, Eragon and Night at the Museum.

Snyder was sick of it. In the Nov. 30 letter, he warned Jacob, a friend and business associate for 20 years, to do something — or he would.

Then he threatened to do something unprecedented in Canadian distribution history: Fox could stop sending copies of all its films to Cineplex Entertainment’s 130 movie houses, with close to 1,300 screens. Or, Fox might decide to delay the Canadian release of popular films until a few weeks after their U.S. release.

The reason I say that this is mostly bullshit is that it’s more about Canada’s copyright laws than piracy. Most of the G&M article is about our copyright laws, and how Hollywood doesn’t like them. They’re using the fact that some pirated films come out of Canada as leverage in that debate. The fact is though that you can get DVD quality copies of most major Hollywood feature films in China before they’re released in theatres, which means that most pirated films are coming either from a lack of security at the DVD manufacturing plants or from DVD screeners sent out to critics, the media and members of the Academy.

All the pirated movies I’ve seen have had the writing indicating they were a screener for members of the Academy on them. Which means before Fox goes after Canada as the big bad, they maybe should take a look at their own. Still it’s one starts to think that it’s company policy over at Fox to blame Canada for everything.

Props to Metroblogging Montreal [mbm] for the heads up.

Who Wants to be an Amerikan

Congratulations to Vancouver Film School graduate Aaron Beckum for getting featured on Youtube’s homepage for his short film, Who Wants to be an Amerikan?

The film is a retro look at a fantasy Soviet-era game show where contestants compete to see who really deserves to get the big prize – a lifetime vacation in the land that begat Mark Twain, Thomas Edison and Britney Spears. Despite it’s short length, it is still a very compelling and surprisingly well-acted film.

Well done, comrade Beckum!

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