Get Connected

HOME / PLANET S BLOG

Comments: 0Friday, September 19, 2014 04:08:35 AM
Before you start complaining about yet another movie about Liam Neeson’s “particular set of skills”, know that A Walk Among the Tombstones is a couple of notches above his recent output. Tombstones is a little darker, a bit more mean spirited, and a lot more entertaining.Oddly enough, Neeson himself seems lighter on his feet, as opposed to the grim, preternaturally obfuscated Nee
Comments: 0Saturday, September 13, 2014 02:05:20 PM
Early on, my favorite section at TIFF was Midnight Madness. A collection of horror films or gonzo documentaries, it was the place to be if you were a genre fan.In the last couple of years, the quality of the selection hasn’t been all that solid (Die Cheerleader Die comes to mind). Or could it be the mild thrills of a scary flick couldn’t match the complexity of other TIFF selectio
Comments: 0Friday, September 12, 2014 12:17:57 PM
Other than a couple of curio media junkets (somehow I'll participate in both), TIFF is coming to an end. It wasn't a fantastic year. No title generated so much interest you couldn't get a ticket. On the other hand, I haven't run into anything downright horrible, like 2013's La Ultima Película. Pasolini comes close, but Willem Dafoe redeems the film a
Comments: 0Thursday, September 11, 2014 05:49:17 PM
 As the herd of journalists and industry people starts to thin a bit, I have now the chance to catch up with some of the festival’s oddest titles. None more strange thanThe Editor, an hilarious Winnipeg production that’s easily the best Canadian title I’ve seen this year at TIFF. The Editor is an homage to the giallo films Mario Bava and Dario A
Comments: 0Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:05:04 PM
Star-studded Tuesday: Had interviews with Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell for Foxcatcher, and J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller for Whiplash. Tatum and Simmons were the highlights (Carell, surprisingly low key). I asked Tatum about what was on his mind while smashing his head against a mirror (the scene is in theFoxcatcher trailer, look it up).Tatum: Have you ever bee
Comments: 0Tuesday, September 9, 2014 12:51:13 PM
Today was a day full of interviews, some of which you should be able to read in Prairie Dog and Planet S in the near future. It’s the case of the one I had with Robert Kenner. Kenner, an Oscar nominee for Food Inc. has another potential nominee in the cutting Merchants of Doubt. An outgoing fellow, the documentary filmmaker is as merciless as Michael Moore, but not as antagoni
Comments: 0Monday, September 8, 2014 01:48:14 PM
On Saturday night I attended the premiere of Roger Waters The Wall, a concert movie with the latest iteration of the musical masterpiece (less Pink, more war). Besides dozens of Waters’ fans , a small but loud group of Israel supporters  stood at the opposite side of the street and complained about the presence of the musician at TIFF (their signs were somewhat clever: &l
Comments: 0Sunday, September 7, 2014 03:10:33 PM
 If there is a sticking topic in this edition of TIFF is bad mothers. You can find them everywhere: In American dramas about the dangers of the internet, Danish tragedies, indie flicks, British comedies, Xavier Dolan movies, you name it. Mommy issues galore.Men, Women and Children (USA, 2014): Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You for Smoking) has managed to make six fil
Comments: 0Saturday, September 6, 2014 12:24:53 PM
Summer arrived late to Toronto, to the point two heat warnings have taken place just last week. This also means misery to me, carrying a massive computer across Hogtown in my equally oversized black backpack. This wouldn't be a problem if I didn't had to interview Jennifer Garner. My only consolation: Everybody is sweaty in this town. Except Jennifer Garner, who is too pretty to sweat.Ill-
Comments: 0Friday, September 5, 2014 10:49:51 AM
This is my fifth year covering TIFF and I must confess, it's getting a bit old: The four hours of sleep, the rejections (few of my interview requests can ever be accommodated), the persistent hunger, the beyond-the-pale washrooms, the snobby journalists who eat all the food at catering before you can get a crack at it... It's hard. But then you come across two superb films before the rest
Comments: 0Tuesday, August 26, 2014 01:45:09 PM
While it’s true James Bond is a tough act to follow, Pierce Brosnan seems to be having a hard time finding a niche following his stint as 007. Not a gifted comedian or dramatic actor (how many businessmen can this guy play?), Brosnan has attempted a number of variations on his suave British spy persona. The November Man is the most blatant and the least successful, by a mile.Retired CIA agen
Comments: 0Friday, August 15, 2014 01:44:51 AM
It seemed The Expendables would never live up to the concept that launched the franchise: Aging action dinosaurs collaborating for a final go-around. The first two movies didn’t reach the level of brutality and tongue-in-cheek mayhem children of the Eighties were hoping for, but also made clear there was a market for unapologetically violent romps as such.The third chapter of the saga is by
Comments: 0Monday, August 11, 2014 05:56:18 PM
 When Zach Braff launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his second feature at the helm, the strategy wasn’t all that well received. While the Scrubs vet achieved his goal, some called him on using a tool for rookie filmmakers in circumstances he had enough contacts and clout to get the movie financed by regular channels.The criticism was off base. Not only people continue to find finan
Comments: 0Saturday, August 2, 2014 06:58:44 PM
The space opera was a popular subgenre following the smashing success of Star Wars. It never deviate far from the original model: Rogue heroes, scantily clad princesses, walking carpets, megalomaniac villains with a chip on their shoulders (Flash Gordon, Krull). They weren’t any good and seldom found success, but over the following decades gained in camp value. Even inspired a few remarkable
Comments: 0Friday, July 18, 2014 06:49:29 AM
It seems The Purge saga is destined to not live up to its premise. The notion that America would agree to an ‘anything goes’ evening of murder and mayhem in exchange for economic prosperity is quite revolutionary, particularly for a summer movie. The franchise, however, stops short from advocating gun control or denouncing extreme right policies. This half-assed job becomes counterprod
Comments: 0Friday, July 11, 2014 06:04:43 PM
The Sheepdogs' drummer has been writing a guest blog on my blog since they made it to the big time, regaling us with their adventures.  Last week, it was announced that guitarist Leot Hanson was leaving the band, which surprised many.  Sam wanted to say his piece and let us know what's happening with that.  It's worth noting that these are Sam's thoughts and words an
Comments: 0Friday, June 27, 2014 11:11:11 PM
Now that Climax’ own Willie Desjardin is the Vancouver Canucks new coach, expect a lot more postings about the three-time Stanley Cup finalists. Also, I live vicariously through them.Draft Day. The Canucks new GM Jim Benning made a series of big moves this morning. Benning sent Selke Award winner Ryan Kesler to Anahaim in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and a third-round pick. True
Comments: 0Friday, June 27, 2014 05:38:31 AM
If there is a franchise thoroughly impervious to criticism, that would be the Transformers saga. Never mind director Michael Bay inability to create a remotely compelling story, or the fact the robot clashes are impossible to follow. People attend in droves. The previous three films are among the 33 most successful in the history. Isn’t that depressing?Transformers: Age of Extinction is some
Comments: 0Friday, June 13, 2014 07:15:26 PM
Even though a follow-up to 21 Jump Street wasn’t that preposterous of an idea, 22 Jump Street treats it as if it was. The outcome is a fun send-off to sequels everywhere, but as a proper movie leaves a lot to be desired.As it’s overtly uttered time and time again, 22 Jump Street is basically the same movie than the first time around, only bigger and more expensive. Schmidt and Jenko ac
Comments: 0Tuesday, May 20, 2014 06:26:44 PM
Yipes! This was the scene at (in, when you think about it) Marvel Beauty School on 21st Ave. between 2nd and 3rd streets (about a half a block from Planet S World Headquarters) this morning!Not sure exactly what happened to make this car shoot over the curb, across the sidewalk and right into the glass front of Marvel, but I’m betting it had something to do with an accelerator issue—ei
Comments: 0Sunday, May 18, 2014 04:48:07 PM
 By:
Godzilla turns 60 this year and to celebrate Warner Brothers has made a new American movie that is currently stomping on the box office. Having already talked about the original, today's Sunday Matinee looks at the first sequel the 1955 film Godzilla Raids Again.There have been a total of 28 Godzilla movies from Toho and two American movies for a grand total of 30 films. That's a whole lot
Comments: 0Friday, May 16, 2014 02:44:24 AM
Even though the buzz surrounding the new Godzilla incarnation was largely positive (those trailers were brilliant), there were reasons to be concerned. Director Gareth Edwards previous film, Monsters, was kind of boring until the final fifteen minutes. The protagonist, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, continues to be shoehorned in high-budget Hollywood flicks despite being fiercely uninteresti
Comments: 0Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:46:58 PM
Terrible day for the artistically inclined. Swiss designer H.R. Giger, better known for the creature that terrorized the crew of the Nostromo in Alien, died today from injuries sustained in a fall. While the acid-spouting extraterrestrial made him famous, it's barely the tip of four decades of work.Unlike the prolific Giger, documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul only
Comments: 0Sunday, May 11, 2014 06:45:47 PM
 By:
It's funny that the special effects spectacle had been around forever but it was also considered more of a B-movie. It didn't matter how spectacular it was, it was never the big box office draw like they are now.Producer, director and writer Irwin Allen made a ton of films like today's Sunday Matinee the 1961 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Other films included the 1960 remake of The
Comments: 0Wednesday, May 7, 2014 05:20:32 PM
You can have your Sharknados or Piranha 3-Ds, Hollywood: real-life sea monsters kick your ass.I was reading The Guardian online last night (if you don’t read it, you should — it’s a brilliant newspaper) when I came across this story about a Florida shrimp fisher who pulled this freaky-as-shit beast up onto his boat in April.Apparently (and appropriately) it’s called a gobli
Comments: 0Tuesday, May 6, 2014 08:35:34 PM
Audiences and critics’ may not be in agreement regarding The Amazing Spider-Man 2, yet almost everyone concurs on the excellence of the craftsmanship. The quality of the special effects is beyond reproach: Very few movies manage to destroy Times Square without making New York look like Cleveland (wink wink).The Vancouver-based FX and animation company Sony Pictures Imageworks has been involv
Comments: 0Sunday, May 4, 2014 10:13:13 PM
 By:
One of the all time great film noir films Double Indemnity (1944) has made its way onto Blu-ray thanks to the good folks at Universal Studios. Last week's Sunday Matinee Touch of Evil was also released on Blu-ray the same day making it a very awesome day for fans of classic cinema.Double Indemnity is one of those classic films that everyone has ripped off and paid homage to but being a black a
Comments: 0Sunday, April 27, 2014 07:21:36 PM
 By:
I can't believe that I haven't written about Orson Welles' 1958 masterpiece Touch of Evil yet. Fortunately Universal Studios has just recently released Touch of Evil on blu-ray.Touch of Evil was one Orson Welles work for hire jobs. There are two stories that circulate over why Welles returned to work for Hollywood. One story was that Charlton Heston was only interested in starring in t
Comments: 0Sunday, April 20, 2014 06:40:01 PM
 By:
Warner Brothers is releasing one of my favourite crime films on Blu-ray this week. Writer / director Mike Hodges 1971 crime thriller classic Get Carter.Not to be confused with the super crappy remake that starred Sylvester Stallone, the original Get Carter starred Michael Caine as Carter, a hitman for the London mob. Carter is seeing his boss' girlfriend Britt Ekland behind his boss' back.
Comments: 0Saturday, April 19, 2014 09:15:57 PM
At this point of the weekend, is pretty clear Transcendence has bombed: Barely over 12 million dollars (est.) at the box office against a $100 million budget. The directorial debut of Wally Pfister (Christopher Nolan’s favorite director of cinematography) was particularly expensive, but thoroughly hollow. Where did it all go wrong?The plot: Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost resea