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Gingers Invade Hollywood

29 Aug

For years, I believed everything South Park told me about gingers. Gingers were vile, vampire-like creatures that had to be stopped. I feared for the sanctity of Hollywood as more and more gingers congregated in the famous city; however, that fear subsided when I realized that many of these gingers were surprisingly talented actors. Maybe it’s the lack of a soul that allows them to transform so easily and believably into different characters? We may never know, but it’s important that you recognize some talented and potentially dangerous gingers.

Jessica Chastain

In 2011, Jessica Chastain starred in six movies, including her Oscar-nominated turn in The Help and the actress’s popularity only continues to grow. Unlike other new celebrities, Chastain is serious about acting and has the same credibility and presence as respected actresses like Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. This month she stars alongside Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy in Lawless.

Christina Hendricks

You probably know her as the saucy and tough Joan from AMC’s Mad Men, but Christina Hendricks starred in Nicholas Winding Refn’s critically acclaimed drama Drive alongside Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston and Ron Pearlman. It’s unfortunate that she’s only in Drive for about 20 minutes, but its obvious that Hendricks can pull off roles on the big screen.

Amy Adams

I didn’t like Amy Adams for a long time and then I saw Sunshine Cleaning. Adams plays a struggling single mother who’s having an affair with her married high school boyfriend. Normally, extramarital affairs don’t inspire much sympathy, but her character was surprisingly well-rounded and seemed more lost and desperate than a home-wrecker. Watching her sing and dance in the new Muppet movie is what completely won me over. Next she’ll star with Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake in the baseball drama, Trouble With the Curve.

Caleb Landry Jones

To date, Caleb Laundry Jones has starred in a couple of movies, most notably as Sean Cassidy/Banshee in X-Men: First Class, but apparently the 23 year old is a talented musician and can play the drums, guitar, bass and harmonica. He’s also a true ginger – red, RED hair, pale as the moon and covered in freckles. This convinces me he’s soulless along his ability to transform himself from adorable (see above) to downright creepy (see below).  Next you can see him in Brandon Cronenberg’s murder mystery, AntiviralAntiviral will be screened at the Calgary International Film Festival’s Black Carpet Gala on Friday September 28th. Buy tickets online at calgaryfilm.com

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Top 100 Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes

22 Aug

Can you tell me which awesome Arnold one liner is missing?

The CIFF Diaries – Entry 1

22 Aug

In late May, I sent an email to the Calgary International Film Festival offering to be an administrative volunteer. I was working full-time from home at the time and I needed an excuse to leave the house for a few hours a week. Attached to the email was my resume which outlined my experience including, volunteering for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and all my past office management and volunteer roles. For three months I heard absolutely nothing – no reply, no rejection.

I was upset that I didn’t hear anything and debated skipping the festival. Just before I left for holidays, Marc Binkley, the CIFF Volunteer Coordinator, emailed me.  Marc apologized for the massive delay in contacting me and promised to send volunteer updates within the next two weeks.  Shortly after his email I received two more emails outlining how to sign-up on the CIFF Volunteer site and when the Meet and Greet will take place.

I have a background in volunteer management and I have to say Marc’s quick, efficient and even through email, likable. I’m still not convinced  that I’ll enjoy volunteering with CIFF since disorganized non-profits frustrate the hell out of me.  So I’ve decided to create a diary outlining my experience volunteering for the 2012 film festival.  It’s going to be an honest look at the festival and if it’s worth attending and volunteering at.

If you want to endure the joys, sorrows, trials and tribulations with me, check out the CIFF website and volunteer page: www.calgaryfilm.com

Remember When…The Frat Pack was Awesome?

2 Aug

The Watch was released this past Friday. As many people expected, critics tore the movie apart and it earned an overall rating of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yikes.

Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, The Watch follows four regular guys who discover that their town is being overrun by aliens posing as ordinary suburbanites and they have no choice but to save the suburbs from the alien menace. The movie’s premise isn’t promising, which is unfortunate since the script was penned by Seth Rogen. The only selling feature for audiences was that “Frat Pack” members were in it.

“The Frat Pack” is a group of comedians that includes Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. Some honourary members or “Junior Varsity” are Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, James Franco and Justin Long.

The term “Frat Pack” was coined after 2003’s Old School – a movie about three men (Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell) who decide to relive their college years and start a fraternity. When it was released, Old School was financially and critically successful. Thus “The Frat Pack” was born.  There’s never been a movie that starred all “Pack” members but with this group of comedians constantly collaborating, their numbers continue to grow.

For a few years audiences were treated to hilarious movies. Some of the best movies include Dodgeball: An Underdog Story, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Wedding Crashers and my personal favorite Tropic Thunder. In the last two years though, “Frat Pack” members have been making garbage i.e. Megamind, Little Fockers, The Big Year and now The Watch. I’m not saying these actors aren’t funny: I’m saying they’re lazy. It feels like they just want an excuse to get together and screw around. Since they have star power on their side, it doesn’t matter to them if their movies are good or not.

Stiller, Hill and Vaughn don’t seem to care about The Watch’s reviews because they figure it’ll be a commercial success. So it’s time to teach them a lesson. Don’t go see The Watch or any of their new movies until reviews are released. Let one of their movies flop – HUGE. It’s time they see audiences want quality, not quantity. Hopefully, one major box office failure will make “The Frat Pack” realize they have to work for our money. Nobody wants to see The Watch. I’d rather see Simple Jack.

 

Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman

31 Jul

Yesterday I started reading Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman by Harrison Cheung. Beginning with Bale’s success a child star, the book delves into the actor’s relationship with his father, his explosive temper and eventually the commitment Bale shows to his acting.  The author also reveals that Leonardo DiCaprio has been Bale’s long time rival along with Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregor. Cheung worked as Bale’s publicist for more than a decade and claims he was treated for post traumatic stress syndrome after resigning.

According to the author, Bale consistently upset his fans and family. He writes:

“Pity the fan who recognized Christian at a restaurant.”

“He refused to sign autographs while he was seated. He would lecture little  girls about being rude and intrusive until tears streamed down their faces  and their parents tugged them away from our table.”

As for his method acting, Bale obsessively prepared to play serial killer and sadist Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Apparently Bale constantly worked out, practiced his American accent daily and left creepy messages for friends and family in character.

Even after reading Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman, I still like Christian Bale…a lot. He’s good-looking, talented, committed and he picks interesting mainstream and indie roles. That doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the fact Bale probably has some serious personal issues and a volatile temper, i.e. his rant on the set of Terminator: Salvation. 

 

I believe almost everything that Cheung says about Bale and his family, yet I can’t help thinking that Cheung was extremely naive to think working for a Hollywood star would be glamorous and fun.  Really, have you ever thought of movie industry as a nice place to work? It’s a demanding business and if Cheung was working as a publicist, he should have prepared himself for temper tantrums and troubled actors.

Do I think Bale’s personality will affect his success? No. There are plenty of successful actors known for being difficult on set i.e. Edward Norton, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman and Julia Roberts.  Actors’ careers only really suffer, in the short or long-term, when their personal lives become public and they start commenting on it, i.e. Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.

In recent years, Bale’s personal life has become more prevalent in the news, but he rarely comments on any incidents or rumors. Since Bale’s notoriously private, I think he’ll have a long and successful career.

Toronto Batman

25 Jul

For the last few days, I’ve been sick and it’s been difficult to sleep.  That means I’ve been up to 3 or 4 in the morning watching YouTube videos of talking animals and movie trailers.  During one of these late night video sessions, I stumbled across my new love, Toronto Batman.

How can I describe him…

1. He’s Batman in Toronto.

2. He harasses people on the street.

3. He loves beef jerky.

4. He yells random things like “My parents are dead!”, “Rachel”, “I have two balls”…and many more.

Perhaps you should love him too.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Opening Sequence

26 Jun

This morning I started thinking about the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  It’s a great movie despite being hard to watch at times.  If you’re too squeamish to watch it that’s understandable just don’t deprive yourself of the amazing opening sequence.

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