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Monday, 20 June 2016 00:14

The Damned: Don't You Wish We Were Dead Review

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The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead is a fascinating documentary that looks at the rise, decline and resurrection of the United Kingdom’s seminary lords of the punk rock scene. They helped give rise to it mid to late 70’s, and the people they influenced included Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders — who played with The Damned albeit briefly before finding her own road to success. Although I would have liked to hear more from her brief stint, many well-known names were interviewed about the influence this band had back then. They were very introspective. Appearances from Billy Idol, Lemmy, Son Letts, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Mick Jones of The Clash and Clem Burke of Blondie are just some of the names who lend their insights to what this group represented. Although they never attained the global success that bands like the Sex Pistols attained, that may be in part to the image the founding members — Dave Vanian, Brian James, Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies — wanted to project. They seemed rather schizophrenic early in their inception.

2016 Victoria Film Festival 

Fri, Feb 12th 8:45pm

The Vic Theatre

808 Douglas St,
Victoria, BC

The movie Girl in the Photographs fondly recalls films like Halloween in its no holds barred approach to possibly reigniting the slasher genre. This detail makes this film worth noting. It’s directed by Nick Simon, a relative newcomer to the scene and it was the last movie that Wes Craven (Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street) had his hands on as an executive producer. Most of his films have a trademark style to them and while it’s sad he’s passed on, the lessons Simon learned will most likely carry on in the next projects he works on within the horror film genre.

2016 Victoria Film Festival 

Fri, Feb 12, 6pm
Sun, Feb 14, 4pm

The Vic Theatre
808 Douglas St,
Victoria, BC

In 2014, the Albertan punk-metal-country band The Smalls reunited for a true farewell tour and for directors Trevor Smith and John Kerr, they nicely captured the rawness and love Western Canada has for this group in their documentary The Smalls: Forever is a Long Time. Through candid interviews with the band and industry observers, viewers come to understand where each member has come from, where are they now, and why they decided to perform one last time. Whatever the reason was behind the break-up, the explanations are alluded to instead of spelling it out point-blank.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015 14:24

Wacken 3D is coming Oct 29th, 2015 - A Preview

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Please check local listings for which Cineplex Theatre is playing this film near you.
Opening for a one week run at Mayfair - Ottawa

Wacken 3D is a very nicely made and introspective look at one of the biggest heavy metal open air festivals held in Europe. The story is told from the point of view of visitors from outside of Europe (from America to Thailand to India) and it's getting a special Cineplex-wide shout out in theatres in a limited engagement on Thurs, October 29, 2015.

Thursday, 15 October 2015 18:05

Explaining the Tense Sicario to Nerds, A Review

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There’s a nerdy connection in the movie Sicario that fans of Marvel Entertainment will like. They will get to see just how wonderfully talented Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they play Thanos and The Collector. In the movie made universe of the Sicario, where the cartel wars in Mexico are explored, they are special agents Matt Graver and Alejandro attempting to control the situation. But just how well will they succeed? Both of whom have secret motives that's subtly explored, and these actors are not alone in this tiny club. Jon Bernthal plays The Punisher in Netflix’s Daredevil.

Sunday, 11 October 2015 10:56

Achieving Deathgasm!

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Metalheads will certainly love the pointed stab at which bands truly belong to this musical subgenre in the movie Deathgasm. This film is now out on Video on Demand (VOD) in select markets like iTunes USA, and it’s worth checking out for the absurdities that goes on. I had to laugh when Poison‘s Look What the Cat Dragged In is hurriedly put back in the record stacks in favour of one of Autopsy‘s albums when this film’s hero Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) meets Zakk (James Blake) for the first time. From bashing glam metal to loving death metal, that’s a detail few will pick up on and I have to praise that kind of attention to detail by writer/director Jason Lei Howden in a movie that’s truly dedicated to the music. From its Frank Frazetta-style cut scenes of the heroes posing powerfully atop a mountain to the anime-inspired gore-fest that goes on, this movie is a gem coming out of Kiwi-land that also unleashed the vampire mockumentary What We Do In Shadows last year. I suppose more tentacles could be used, but I’m glad this film did not go down that vein.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015 22:39

Turbo Kid to Race Into Theatres August 28th!

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Coming to select theatres in Canada starting August 27th.

Also Arriving on VOD on August 28th on Bell, iTunes, Rogers, Shaw and Vimeo.

Back in the 70's, bicycle motocross racing became very popular and it's become the only mode of transporation in an aptly created post-apocalyptic world in Turbo Kid. This realm looks like it belongs in the 80's, and that's part of this film's charm. It waxes tribute all the way and wanes with a cinemagraphic style to make it belong to the low budget category to make it a class of its own.

In this world, there's no gas to move vehicles along. Everything depends on people using their own feet to get anywhere either in life or to destinations unknown. In this Mad Max inspired world, a lone boy simply known as The Kid (Munro Chambers) wants to survive. He trades junk — vestiges of a ruined world and perhaps also his youth — to survive. In what doesn't get traded are his comic books, as they represent a dream world for him that he hopes to become part of.

 

Monday, 25 May 2015 00:00

Poltergeist the 2015 Remake is not Remade, A Review

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Even poltergeists have trouble vying for attention these days. We're not talking about how the 'remake' compares to the original Steven Speilberg produced and Tobe Hooper directed film but instead, the Enfield haunting (the basis for the next The Conjuring film) suggests that targeting paranormal enthusiasts to earn box office coin is a good way to manifest dollars. Next year's ghostly themed product has the potential to do far better than this rehash of a familiar tale.

Monday, 23 February 2015 17:13

What We Do In Shadows, A Review

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Special Week-long
Screening
in Victoria, BC

Feb 27 - Mar 5
The Odeon Theatre
780 Yates


The Vic Theatre

Modern life is very rough for the ancient vampire. In Wellington, New Zealand, just What We Do in the Shadows presents a comical look into what life is truly like for these creatures of the night in a more humanist kind of way. They allowed a small crew of cameramen to follow them around to record their antics and to see them acknowledged time to time gives this movie an air of authenticity that can be appreciated. When the film is presented as a mockumentary, the laughs are well earned, and some horror lore enthusiasts will recognize the world that these creatures, along with the werewolves and zombies, belong in.

Fans of minimalist horror will love what’s created in a simple tale of terror, It Follows and to find where it will screen next requires carefully paying attention to this movie’s own Facebook page for where it will play next.

Students of the occult will want to figure out what the entity is and to figure out what the monster represents can be studied in film analysis class but is any of the above really needed at all? Most likely not, but in a film that certainly delves into themes about sexual awakening, this tribute to 80’s sentimentality certainly delivers the thrills in an effective manner that even John Carpenter would approve of.

Monday, 09 February 2015 17:44

[VFF'15] Fly High with BASE Jumping in Sunshine Superman, a Review

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9:45pm Feb 10
Odeon Theatre

The art of free-falling as an extreme sport can be dangerous. When done right, the euphoria experienced might be like that of experiencing heaven shine upon one’s face like a bright sparkling diamond. Sunshine Superman is an aptly titled documentary about Carl Boenish, the father of BASE jumping. His work in the 70’s and 80’s helped further interest amongst the masses, and the challenges he faced typically meant disobeying the law. Not everyone in enforcement liked the idea of miscreants breaking into buildings or climbing high mountaintops only to leap off it.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 00:00

Playing in Yakuza Hell is Dangerous, a Movie Review

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Forget trying to get praise from Quentin Tarantino, filmmaker Takashi Miike might want to put his support into Shion Sono’s (Suicide Club, Love Exposure) action comedy Why Don't You Play in Hell? (地獄でなぜ悪い) that will be arriving in video stores and video on demand January 28th. This over-the-top gonzo madcap film features Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa) as an aspiring guerilla style filmmaker intent on making a masterpiece ala Bruce Lee's Game of Death with his film club. Sasaki (Tak Sakaguchi) is cast into the yellow jump-suit leading role, and Kill Bill this movie is not. To make a film within a film about two feuding Yakuza clans is a fun approach to see how Hirata's movie crew stumble into a gang war. To see what transpires next is hilarious, like it was lifted from a Japanese cartoon, and the fallout is not without some classic moments taken from traditional theater.

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