Thursday, February 28, 2008

A country in crisis

My second-to-last DVD review before I go on hiatus has been posted today, for an excellent documentary on the genocide currently underway in Darfur. If you're at all interested in how this tragedy has unfolded, check out this rather informative piece of filmmaking (give me a call and I'll loan it to you). Some of the images are disturbing (which is, of course, the point), but if you can stomach it this is a worthwhile doc.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coming soon to Sportsnet-HD

The latest sport competing for Olympic recognition - speed-cabling!

You've won this battle, Canada Post...

I've decided to take a hiatus from writing reviews for DVD Verdict, since the mail delays are just out of control.  The studios who provide our product require reviews to be posted within a certain window for marketing purposes, and if we miss this window we risk getting blacklisted - so I'm reluctant to request anything even remotely high profile, since I can't guarantee I'll have the critique in on time.  So, sadly, I'm calling it quits for a while.  When the mailing times settle back to normal, I'll probably go back.

In the meantime, my review of the political drama Rendition will be on the site tomorrow.  Check it out if you like.

Not in Kansas anymore...

So I just ran to the nearby Mac's for some stamps, and as I'm paying the bill 'Dust in the Wind' starts up on the radio.  One of the clerks, organizing plastic coffee mugs, abruptly breaks into song, warbling off key with an impressive amount of confidence.  A couple of bars later and  her older co-worker joins in the melody with an equally questionable grasp on the concept of pitch.  And as I walked out, the third clerk, behind the counter, completed the harmony.  The only thing that could've made this bizarre interlude better would've been a guest appearance by jazz hands.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Setting the tone

Rob put me onto this great article from CBC about the dearth of opening credit sequences in today's 'serious' movies.

Interesting that they missed what I think is probably the best credits sequence of 2007, that is The Kingdom, wherein we get a condensed history of the US' involvement with Saudi Arabia from the 1920s to now.  It's superior, so check it out.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

You've (Eventually) Got Mail

The website for which I write movie reviews,, is US-based, meaning that my review product has to be sent from LA to here.  Mailings typically go out on Thursday, and some writers in the States, including those on the other side of the country, get their packages the next day; almost all of them have discs in hand by Saturday (mail is delivered 6 days a week there).

For us Canadians, however, it seems totally random when deliveries will arrive.  Sometimes it's the following Tuesday, sometimes later that week, and sometimes several weeks go by with no explanation.  My latest review disc - the review of which is supposed to be finished today - was sent on January 31 by US priority Mail.  It hasn't shown up yet.  Monday being a holiday here, the earliest I expect it is Tuesday, meaning 19 full days in transit.  Canada Post claims t's Customs fault, the USPS says it's CP's fault, Customs won't talk about it.

Could it be time for privatized mail delivery in this country?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flowers & Chocolate

Anyone interested in a little Valentine's history may enjoy Wikipedia's article.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip

Just announced today, you can visit on or after Thursday to see the new teaser trailer for Indiana Jones and the Long, Unwieldily Title!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rambo: First Post, Part II

What better way to start things off than with some Oscar predictions, now that the writers' strike is more or less behind us.  Here we go:

It's got to be either No Country for Old Men or Juno, and my money's on No Country.  A fantastic, complicated movie that deserves all the credit it's getting, even if a lot of people don't get the ending.

Ellen Page, for Juno.  Her lovable wiseass is an instant classic.

I'll join the rest of the world and call this one for Daniel Day Lewis.

Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not Here.  Kudos for Todd Haynes thinking way outside the box with this one.

Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford.  Affleck's a revelation in this movie, totally fearless.

Animated Feature
Ratatouille, a movie that, if this category didn't exist, would probably be up for Best Picture.

Art Direction
Sweeny Todd - Tim Burton movies are all about the art direction.

Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford.  Deakins is one of my favorite DPs, so it's great to see him get two well-deserved nominations this year.  

Costume Design
A bit of a toss up, but I'm going to say Atonement.

Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men, although it could really go to any of them this year.

Documentary Feature
Although the smart money might say Sicko, I'm picking No End in Sight.

Film Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum - it's basically a two hour chase scene, yet never gets tiring.

Pirates.  If Norbit wins an Oscar, the plague of locusts can't be far off.

Atonement, although I'd like to see Ratatouille get some love here.

"Falling Slowly" from Once - this song comes at an absolutely integral moment in the film, and if it wasn't as good as it is, the film wouldn't have worked.

Sound Editing
Transformers, it's gotta be.

Sound Mixing
Transformers again: millions of home theatre show-offs can't be wrong.

Visual Effects
More love for Transformers.

Adapted Screenplay
No Country for Old Men

Original Screenplay

I left a few out that would've been total guesses, but it's my blog and I'll do what I want to.
Feel free to agree or disagree.

First Post

So, I've finally joined the 2000s and have started a blog.   Let's see if I keep it up to date...