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Remember Alliance Atlantis? It was the Canadian distributor whose logo you saw in front of tons of American movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It changed its name, then was bought by another Canadian distributor Entertainment One a.k.a. eOne which started out as Records on Wheels way back when. Well, it seems Hasbro, the American toy giant, has bought Entertainment One. It’s not like eOne was flooding the country with Canadian content, but it did try. Now, with Hasbro in charge, who knows what will happen. /Shane Hnetka
FANTASY ISLAND Blumhouse studios has taken an old TV show about fulfilling people’s fantasies (I think that’s what it was about) and turned it into a horror movie just in time for Valentine’s Day.
THE PHOTOGRAPH This is another “just in time for V-Day” movie. It’s an actual romance, though — written and directed by Stella Meghie. The set-up sees the estranged daughter (Issa Rae) of a famous photographer get contacted by a journalist (Lakeith Stanfield) who is doing a story on her late mother.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG I know a woman who has a hedgehog as a pet. His name is Fred, and he’s a pygmy hedgehog. He’s also an albino, so not blue like the title character here. Feedback on the first trailer was scathing, and Paramount did a total redesign. Response to the second trailer has been more positive. So I guess we’ll see.
BRAHMS: THE BOY II The first Boy movie in 2016 was okay. Nothing special, but in the tried and true tradition of the demon doll genre it tried to be creepy. Still, “Brahms” didn’t really merit an encore.
THE CALL OF THE WILD Harrison Ford teams up with a not very convincing looking CGI dog in this latest adaptation of Jack London’s classic novel. It looks pretty family friendly, so I’m not sure how they are going to end the movie.
THE INVISIBLE MAN Blumhouse has taken the classic 1933 Universal horror based on H. G. Wells’ 1897 novel and turned it into some dumb story about an abusive husband who makes himself invisible to terrorize his wife. I know Universal has struggled to revitalize its proud tradition of monster movies — The Mummy with Tom Cruise, for instance, was crap. But I’m not sold on this. I love Wells’ novel and the original movie with Claude Rains is a masterpiece. I love the idea of a scientist experimenting on himself and going mad. This just looks like a twist on Sleeping with the Enemy.
Cineplex Flashback Film Festival
6:30 TWELVE MONKEYS Terry Gilliam directs this 1995 cult classic where Bruce Willis gets sent back in time to try to prevent the outbreak of a deadly virus. Additional screenings Feb. 22 at 10 p.m., Feb. 25 at 10:10 p.m., March 1 at 9:25.
7:00 THE GOLDEN GLOVE This German movie by Fatih Akin isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s based on the real-life story of a serial killer in Hamburg in the 1970s, and I guess it’s pretty grim.
9:00 TEMBLORES This Spanish-language film by Jayro Bustamante is set in Guatemala, and sees a highly respected evangelical Christian father of two come out to his family as gay.
7:00 COME TO DADDY Elijah Wood tries to reconnect with his estranged father Stephen McHattie in this weird low budget horror. Additional screenings Feb. 15, 18, 20 at 9:15 p.m., Feb. 17, 19 at 7 p.m.
9:00 AND THE BIRDS RAINED DOWN Three elderly men living in a remote cabin in Quebec find their hermit life changed by wildfires and the subsequent arrival of two women — one an octogenarian, the other a young photographer doing a story on the fires. Additional screenings Feb. 15, 18, 20, 23, 26 at 7 p.m., Feb. 17, 19 at 9 p.m., and Feb. 25 at 9:30 p.m.
7:00 THE TRAITOR This biopic by Marco Bellocchio looks at the first Sicilian mafia boss to turn on the organization and become a police informant in 1984. Additional screenings Feb. 23, 26 at 9:15 p.m., Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.
7:00 2019 CANNES LIONS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF CREATIVITY The yearly collection of commercials from around the world is here. Second screening Feb. 28 at 9 p.m.
7:00 GUNS AKIMBO Daniel Radcliffe finds himself forced to fight after bad guys bolt guns to his hands.
CLEMENCY Alfre Woodard stars as a prison warden who begins to doubt the morality of the death penalty in this drama written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu.
ROSIE Directed by Paddy Breathnach, and scripted by Roddy Doyle, this Irish drama sees a woman (Sarah Greene) struggle to protect her family when she and her husband and their four children suddenly become homeless.
63UP The latest in the Up series of documentaries by last issue’s cover man British director Michael Apted.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE Set in late 19th century France, this film by Céline Sciamma opens with a woman painter reflecting back on a portrait she painted years earlier of another young woman who was about to be married off against her will. Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel star.