Undiscovered Country, Unexpected Episode

Today’s Someone Else’s Movie was supposed to be a bonus show episode dropping later this week, but schedules are fluid things, maaaan.

And it’s just as well,  because now Hugh Gibson‘s take on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country gets a proper release window and a full week at the top of the page rather than a few short days. It’s a great conversation, ranging through 50 years of the franchise and taking in a few other cultural touchstones as well, and while the connection to Hugh’s excellent documentary The Stairs (which opens Friday at the Lightbox; please go see it) may be tenuous, art is a continuum and filmmakers can find inspiration in the oddest places.

Check it out on  iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or get it straight from the site. I expect you’ll enjoy this one even if you’re a green-blooded hobgoblin!

… And Scream Again

What with the Caribbean Tales festival and JFL42 taking over The Royal last month, we weren’t able to hold a NOW Free Flick Monday in September … but now we’re back with a vengeance, following up last year’s way fun Halloween offering  with the obvious choice: Wes Craven’s Scream 2.

Same drill as always: Doors open at 6:30 pm, first hundred guests get free popcorn, the show starts at 7:30 pm. I’ll be there with a snappy introduction and at least one fun anecdote, and everyone gets a free movie! (Also, I’m told there may be an extra treat before the feature.)

Full details are on Facebook. Check it out … and see you tonight.

Calmer Waters

There are only nine movies opening this week — a relative dearth! — but look at me, on top of everything.

Deepwater Horizon: Lone Survivor collaborators Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg reunite to show us how another bloody, pointless waste of American life and treasure was in fact a triumph somehow. I liked the first half, anyway.

Demon: Marcin Wrona’s psychological thriller (or is it a full-on horror movie?) arrives in theatres a year after its TIFF bow, hasn’t gotten any better with time.

Imperium: As a young FBI agent and the hard-case who drives him into an undercover operation, Daniel Radcliffe and Toni Collette are very, very good in a very, very familiar movie.

The Lovers and the Despot: The tale of Choi Eun-hee and Shin Sang-ok — South Korean cinema royalty abducted to North Korea to make movies for deranged admirer Kim Jong-Il — is rendered surprisingly flat in this British documentary.

Masterminds: Jared Hess’ heist comedy has been in limbo for a year and a half, but there’s a timeless quality to its idiosyncratic weirdness, so that’s nice. Plus, now it stars three of the four lady Ghostbusters!

Milton’s Secret: This Canadian drama is based on a children’s book by spiritualist Eckhart Tolle, which could be interesting. Or terrible. I dunno, it was a last-minute addition to the distributor’s schedule.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Another distracted live-action disappointment from Tim Burton.  Guys, just let him play in the animation studio, it clearly makes him so much happier.

Operation Avalanche: Matt Johnson’s new film is almost exactly the same as Matt Johnson’s old film, except for the location and the film stock. And if you haven’t seen The Dirties, you’ll probably enjoy it a lot more.

Sand Storm: Rad loved this Israeli drama at TIFF, which is good because we had a review available when the Lightbox slotted it in at the last possible second. I’m intrigued.

That’s that, movie-wise. But if you’re a comedy nerd you might want to check out a couple of In Conversation events I’m doing this afternoon (Friday) at Second City. At 2:30 pm I’ll be sitting down with Another Period‘s Natasha Leggero, and at 4:15 pm I’ll be chatting with Anthony Jeselnik. Fun fact: Both of them appeared in the first episode of Garfunkel & Oates!

Come on down! It’ll be awesome! I promise not to talk about movies too much.

Two Lights and a Battery

pulp_fiction_20_moments-quotes_640x360_342408771725On this week’s episode of Someone Else’s Movie, we tackle a title I’m surprised it took this long to get to: Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, the blockbuster indie that changed the face of American cinema.

(I mean, okay, probably it was Reservoir Dogs that started all the chatty-gangster knockoffs, but Pulp‘s financial success certainly made that subgenre more attractive.)

My guest is Noel Clarke, whom you may have seen as Mickey on Doctor Who a while back; he’s gone on to develop a substantial side career for himself as a writer and director of such movies as Adulthood, and The Anomaly. He brought his latest, Brotherhood, to TIFF earlier this month, which is how we got to sit down.

It’s a solid episode, and it’s available right now on iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or straight from the source. Pick a platform and enjoy!

The Herd Arrives

It happens every year: The film festival ends and a buttload of movies blast into theatres. So many movies. Here they are, reviewed in just six words apiece!

The Age of Shadows: Korean thriller with some great moments.

Command and Control: Nuclear doc is our last warning.

The Dressmaker: Messy Australian drama wastes Kate Winslet. [Rad]

Finding Altamira: Hugh Hudson’s latest! (Hugh Hudson lives?)

The Girl King: Silly historical drama wastes entire cast.

It’s Only the End of the World: Xavier Dolan wastes all our time.

Kicks: Kid loses sneakers, kid seeks revenge. [Rad]

The Magnificent Seven: Unnecessary Western  remake ain’t too bad.

Moments of Clarity: Indie comedy mistakes whimsy for substance.

Queen of Katwe: Disney’s latest and most shamelessly manipulative.

Storks: Andy Samberg as a CG bird? Okay. [Rad]

Transpecos: Border-patrol drama with Young Neil!

Aaaand that’s everything. Phew! Now to spend the weekend cramming for my JFL 42 ComedyCon In Conversation with Dan Freaking Harmon on Monday evening. (Passes still available!) Oh, except for noon on Sunday, when I’ll be at the Word on the Street festival at Harbourfront. Come by the NOW booth and say hi, why don’t you?

Stardate 50

September 8, 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of Star Trek‘s maiden voyage across the airwaves and into pop culture, and there’ve been all sort of events marking that half-century already. (Star Trek Beyond would be my favorite.)

But this week, TIFF kicks off a season-long salute to Gene Roddenberry’s nerdy brainchild, so in this week’s NOW I take a moment to think about what the show means to me. Turns out it’s pretty significant.

Queens of the Road

This week’s episode of Someone Else’s Movie was recorded immediately after TIFF, which explains why I’m stammering a little more than usual; I’m running on a sleep deficit of, like, a week.

But it’s a good episode just the same, because my guest is actor-writer-producer Kristin Wallace (whose new movie Moments of Clarity opens this Friday in Toronto), and she brought Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise to the studio.

Maybe you haven’t thought about Thelma & Louise in a while, but you really ought to. It’s a quarter-century old, but its themes are still very much of the moment … which is a pretty sad thought, honestly. We get into that, and a bunch of other stuff, so maybe check it out? Thanks, you’re the best.

You can find it on iTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher, or straight from the SEMcast site. Do that! Enjoy! Thelma and Louise would want it that way.

Dormant Properties

Three movies open today, and two of them attempt to prove there’s still life in old series after installments that everyone hated. It’s weird when that happens, huh?

Blair Witch: Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett ignore Book of Shadows to go back to the basics: Found footage, mounting dread and fracturing group dynamics in the woods. I thought it worked really well.

Bridget Jones’s Baby: Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth return for a third chapter in the romcom franchise Glenn finds there are a few things to like, and a few to be disappointed by.

Snowden: Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the NSA whistleblower Oliver Stone’s best movie in years — and yes, that’s kind of a low bar. But it’s true.

And that’s it! I’ll have a TIFF wrapup on the NOW site on Sunday, and I’ll post it here when it’s live. Otherwise, have a good weekend!

My other other gig.