14 days of film. Updated every second Thursday.
Long-time Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne passed away recently at age 84. His friendly nature and encyclopedic knowledge of film made his intros required viewing. In many ways, he was TCM, and his loss will be felt by the channel and movie lovers. /Shane Hnetka
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Disney has been on a kick lately where they turn all their animated movies into live action films. The results have been mixed, but the box office is there, so they keep doing it. The original 1991 Beauty & the Beast was the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, so director Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson and Dan Stevens have a lot to live up to. Then there’s the whole “controversy” over the “gay moment” involving villain Gaston’s manservant LeFou (Josh Gad) which has got Christian loons from Russia to Alabama talking boycott. Yeesh!
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT Hey look, it’s an office version of Battle Royale! Written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and directed by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), this looks like it might be entertaining. White collar workers in a Bogotá building are locked inside and ordered to kill or be killed as part of some insane experiment. Makes me glad I don’t work in an office.
CHIPS Feeling nostalgic for cheesy 1970s/80s cop shows? No? Well, tough, because here’s a comedic remake of that highway police motorcycle buddy show that starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox. Directed and starring Dax Shepard, with Michael Peña playing “Ponch”, this looks mediocre.
LIFE Freaky alien life from Mars hitches a ride on a space probe returning to Earth and invades the International Space Station where Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and company fight for their lives. Kind of reminds me of another aliens-attacking-humans-in-space movie. Hmmm. What could it be? Anyway, there’s a chance this might be better than the latest unnecessary sequel to that other movie that hits theatres in May.
POWER RANGERS It was bound to happen sooner or later. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers gets an upgrade from TV series to big budget movie featuring new cast, an origin story, evil bad guys and Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston cashing juicy paychecks.
7:00 GHOST IN THE SHELL This classic 1995 Japanese animated film was based on the legendary comics and was an excellent film to boot — probably infinitely superior to the upcoming whitewashed live action version.
9:00 GHOST IN THE SHELL
7:00 REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG A documentary that looks at the life of Jewish-American photographer/theorist/activist Susan Sontag.
7:00 ANGRY INUK Part of the Hot Docs Showcase, this film looks at the role of seal hunting in the lives and traditions of the Inuit and how the anti-sealer campaigns have hurt the Inuit. Co-presented by Paved Arts and Saskatchewan Intercultural Association.
7:00 MEAN STREETS First up in this Martin Scorsese double bill is the 1973 classic about two small-time hoods in New York’s Little Italy. One (Robert De Niro) is constantly getting into trouble, forcing the other (Harvey Keitel) to bail him out. Fantastic film.
9:00 TAXI DRIVER Next up is Scorsese’s brilliant 1976 thriller with Robert De Niro playing a dishonourably discharged U.S. Marine/loner taxi driver in New York who gets obsessed with a woman (Cybill Shepherd) and involved with a child prostitute (Jodie Foster) and ends doing some not so nice things.
7:00 CONTEMPORARY COLOR Part of the Six Degrees of Jazz series, this film documents a performance David Byrne staged with contributions from pop stars such as Saint Vincent, Nelly Furtado and Ad-Rock and 10 high school color guards with flags, rifles and sabers.
LION This Oscar-nominated biopic sees a five-year old boy from India get separated from his family and adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty years later, he returns home to look for his family.
PATERSON Directed by Jim Jarmusch, this film stars Adam Driver as a bus driver/aspiring poet who lives a routine life with his wife (Golshifteh Farahani) in New Jersey until one day… .
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI This cool looking animated film follows a young boy who tries to make friends after his mother disappears and he’s placed in a foster home.