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Archive for the ‘Rachel West’ Category

Summer Movie MegaCalendar: July Part 2

Posted by film On July - 3 - 2010

By: Caesar Martini, Rachel West, Sean Kelly and Isaac Mills

The crew is back, finding reasons for hope (Inception) and doubt (Salt) and plenty to gawk or gander at in the ever-changing landscape of late July.

JULY 16th

I barely have any idea what this is about but I am so fucking stoked to see it. Leo Dicaprio, Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are, like, dream thieves or something? Most of the movie seems to take place inside a dream world where city blocks fold in on themselves and gravity barely exists and shit is blowing up everywhere in slow motion. Hell, yes. Also, it’s directed and written by Christopher Nolan and that dude has an awesome track record; and not just with Batman. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Movie MegaCalendar: July Part 1

Posted by film On June - 30 - 2010

By: Caesar Martini, Rachel West, Sean Kelly and Isaac Mills

The crew is back at it with the welcome first appearance of comics-section heavyweight Isaac Mills. The gang punches in on The Last Airbender, Predators, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and piles more. Check in shortly for more expert speculation and conflict galore when we size up the releases of latter July.
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Oscar Prediction Spectacular 2: Writing and Directing

Posted by film On March - 5 - 2010

By Rachel West, Sean Kelly and Shane McNeil

Best Adapted Screenplay
District 9 – Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
An Education – Nick Hornby
In the Loop – Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious – Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air – Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Rachel: It would be great to see Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell win for District 9. And Nick Hornby delivered a witty and insightful screenplay for An Education. But the award will likely go to Jason Reitman for Up in the Air. Up in the Air was an all-around enjoyable film, a little unremarkable, but still an intelligent script.
Will win: Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Should win: Nick Hornby, An Education

Sean: If Up in the Air wins any Oscars, it will be this one. I also wouldn’t mind if the screenplay for District 9 wins.
Will win: Up in the Air
Should win: District 9

Shane: Up in the Air was the early frontrunner and the AMPAS just seems to love Jason Reitman. This is their chance to do it despite my personal vendetta against the guy and my stance that Nick Hornby’s script was far superior and lasting.
Will win: Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Should Win: Nick Hornby, An Education

Read the rest of this entry »

Oscar Prediction Spectacular 1: Acting

Posted by film On March - 5 - 2010

By Rachel West, Sean Kelly and Shane McNeil

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Penélope Cruz for Nine
Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air
Mo’Nique for Precious

Rachel: Mo’Nique should win and will win this award. She’s picked up pretty much every trophy this awards season, each one well-deserved for her role as the abusive mother in Precious. She’s terrifying on screen, and often hard to watch. Look for her to collect the gold.
Will win: Mo’Nique, Precious
Should win: Mo’Nique, Precious

Sean: This is another Oscar that was essentially pre-picked. I have no immediate plans to see Precious, but based on the clips I’ve seen, Mo’Nique is definitely the most deserving.
Will Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
Should Win: Mo’Nique, Precious

Shane: While I’d love to whine about the Julianne Moore, Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger snubs, Mo’Nique was clearly the standout performance among the group. It doesn’t hurt that the AMPAS loooooves when comedians go very, very dark.
Will Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
Should Win: Mo’Nique, Precious
Read the rest of this entry »

A Christmas Carol Reviewed

Posted by film On November - 22 - 2009

christmas_carolA Christmas Carol
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Walt Disney Pictures, 2009

By Rachel West

With the early November release of A Christmas Carol, the Christmas season is upon us sooner than ever. This faithful yet novel adaptation is a sure-fire way to bring in the holiday spirit, even if your neighbours still have their rotting jack o’lanterns displayed on their porch.

A tried-and-true story, adapted onto screens big and small over the years, a simple title search on IMDB reveals that there are over 35 filmed versions of the Charles Dickens’ classic, from the made-for-TV movie A Diva’s Christmas Carol (sadly, I’ve seen it), to childhood favourite Mickey’s Christmas Carol, to gems like Scrooged. You may think you’ve seen it all before, know the dialogue by heart, and another adaptation is superfluous at best, but this time, the film is in show-stopping 3D.

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<em>Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans</em> Reviewed

Posted by film On October - 2 - 2009

badlieutenantBad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Directed by Werner Herzog
Edward R. Pressman viagra tabs Film / Millenium Films

By Rachel West

I love Nicolas Cage. If you’ve read my review of Knowing, you’ll remember that I am the one person who enjoyed Bangkok Dangerous, paid money to see Next, and will line up to see Kick-Ass in 2010. My love for Nicolas Cage doesn’t stem from his resume of work, because, let’s face it, he hasn’t been in a good movie since 2002’s Adaptation. I love Nicolas Cage because you never know what you’re going to get from him. He’s often over-the-top and crazy with his dead-eye gaze, spouting one liners in a halting manner, frequently while wielding a gun. Cage seems to perfect this persona in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans since it has all of that and more.

A remake in name only, Bad Lieutenant is a wild ride through the seedy underbelly of post-Katrina New Orleans, and Cage is our tour guide, steering us through crime, guns, drugs, and bad cops. Promoted to lieutenant for acts of bravery during Hurricane Katrina, Terrence (Cage) is seemingly a rather bad cop — he snorts cocaine on the job, steals from the seized inventory locker at the police station, takes sexual bribes, dates a prostitute, and deals drugs with thugs. All of this and yet you can’t help but like the guy and even empathize with him. As he and partner Stevie (Val Kilmer) investigate the drug related murders of a family of fresh immigrants, Terrence begins to spiral more deeply into his drug addiction. At a roadblock with suspects, Terrence begins to befriend them for financial gain to pay off his crippling gambling debts. Through a series of plot turns, Terrence has the chance to redeem himself and become one of the good guys, and the crux of the film hangs on his decision.

Read the rest of this entry »

TIFF 2009: The Joneses Reviewed

Posted by film On September - 25 - 2009

The Joneses
Directed by Derrick Borte

By Rachel West

The talent of The Joneses

The talent of The Joneses

The Joneses brings new literal meaning to “keeping up with the Joneses” as neighbours do battle to gain superstar status within their lush community in this social satire.

Meet the Joneses: they’re the postcard-perfect new neighbours in an affluent gated community. They have the latest in home furnishings, high-tech gadgets, and sports cars. To top it off, they are incredibly good-looking and highly likeable people who throw such amazing parties that their neighbours can’t help but clamor to be like them. The Joneses are who we as the audience aspire to be. Kate (Demi Moore) and Steve Jones (David Duchovny) makes friends with their neighbours, Larry and Summer, who — more than anyone — seek the approval of their affluent new friends, and will stop at nothing to be like them. When catastrophe strikes, both families must re-evaluate their lifestyles and make difficult choices that define who they are and who they want to be.

A smart film, The Joneses is both a commentary on and satire of American consumer society, Read the rest of this entry »

TIFF 2009: Whip It Reviewed

Posted by film On September - 16 - 2009
Barrymore aglow!

Barrymore aglow!

Whip It
Directed by Drew Barrymore

By Rachel West

Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with the ensemble film Whip It, which follows one girl’s odyssey through the Texas roller derby circuit.

A chick flick on wheels, Whip It tells the tale of misfit Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) trying to find a place to fit in, in her suburban Texas town. Not one for the beauty pageants her former beauty queen mother (Marcia Gay Harden) has her competing in, Bliss is turned on to the world of the bad ass chicks in the roller derby circuit. With inifinitely more grrrl power than pageants can offer, the striking ladies of the Hurl Scouts derby team have Bliss enamoured with the sport. Lying about her age, Bliss makes the team and enters the world of the over-21 derby, balancing her boring home life with her wild nights on the skating track as Babe Ruthless.

Triple-threat actress, producer, and director Barrymore is impossibly hard not to like, especially after hearing her speak at the film’s world premiere. Read the rest of this entry »

TIFF 2009: Perrier’s Bounty Reviewed

Posted by film On September - 15 - 2009

perriersbounty02Perrier’s Bounty
Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon

By Rachel West

Crime and comedy collide in the streets of Dublin in the new film Perrier’s Bounty, being screened at TIFF.

The latest offering by director Ian Fitzgibbon is a black comedy crime thriller featuring some of the United Kingdom and Ireland’s top stars. Michael McCrea (Cillian Murphy) is a petty crook who owes his local gangster more than he can afford. After taking on a small job and being shut out of the payoff, things take a turn for the worse and suddenly Michael, his father Jim (Jim Broadbent), and neighbour Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) are on the run through the gritty streets of modern Dublin. Gangster Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) and his cronies are hot on the heels of the trio as thrills and comedy ensue over the course of a disastrous two-night span.

TIFF programmers likened Perrier’s Bounty to Guy Ritchie’s crime caper Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, but Read the rest of this entry »

TIFF 2009: An Education Reviewed

Posted by film On September - 14 - 2009

An Education
Directed by Lone Scherfig

An Education is one of TIFF 2009’s opening night films. The film takes the standard coming-of-age tale and breathes new life into it. The picture, directed by Lone Scherfig, features a fantastic ensemble cast and a cleverly adapted screenplay by writer Nick Hornby.

Jenny, a bright girl on the verge of leaving her childhood behind as she turns 17, finds herself drawn to the charismatic and handsome older man, David. The bookwormish and gung-ho student gets drawn into David’s lavish lifestyle of supper clubs, museum visits, and romantic trips to Paris. Jenny’s immature and mousy school-boy suitor is suddenly passé, as is her dream of studying at Oxford. Why study a dead language like Latin, only to become a civil servant in the British government, when you can live the jet-setting high life instead? David is part of the well-heeled crowd, offering a life of luxury, which will have most women swooning in five minutes flat. Of course, as Jenny soon realizes, things aren’t always as they seem, and she soon finds herself not only questioning David, but also her own dreams, desires, and identity. Read the rest of this entry »

TIFF 2009: Movies, People and Movie-People!

Posted by film On September - 12 - 2009

By Rachel West

TorontoI love TIFF. First and foremost, I love the films. They’re the reason I give up my precious 8 hours of sleep a night and balance a 40-hour work week with 15+ movies on average. Movies are the reason I run solely on trail mix, granola bars, and fast food for ten malnourished days. The tabloid-driven gossip-lover in me adores the red carpet glamour and celebrities at film premieres. I’ll even show up at a premiere with other fans to get a glimpse of my favourite actors, but more than that, I love the people. People who love movies.

Not the media and industry types, but regular Joes who line up, excited to see film premieres and movies that may never get a wide release. Torontonians, whom for the rest of the year I ignore in public and scowl at on the TTC, are suddenly my closest friends, united by TIFF. These people are my fellow movie-goers, waiting in line and sitting next to me in crowded theatres, that I end up striking up a conversation with. And it’s not just the people of Toronto whom I trade stories with, but also those who have travelled from near and far — from the world beyond the GTA, Ontario, and even Canada. These people become my best friends for ten days. We may not exchange names or intimate details of our lives, but we exchange thoughts, opinions, and reviews on TIFF films.

Waiting in line isn’t so bad when you have someone to chat with. Like many others, I usually fly solo during TIFF, not so much by choice as by necessity. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Movie MegaCalendar: August

Posted by film On July - 29 - 2009

cold_souls01By Rachel West, Caesar Martini, Sean Kelly, and Leo K. Moncel

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the final edition of the Summer Movie MegaCalendar. As Sean said, “It’s a doozy”, and as Rachel said, “I think I’ll use August to get caught up on films I missed in July.” Well, however you pre-assess the final blast of Summer 2009, from the small — Paper Heart, Julie & Julia, to the medium — Cold Souls, Ponyo, The Time Traveller’s Wife, to the large — District 9, G.I. Joe, to that whopper Inglourious Basterds, let’s hope you find something that fits you just right.
Each piece here was written seperately, mine included, and it’s a testament to our shared psychic link that they often read as a dialogue. Read the rest of this entry »



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