There seem to be two different versions of director Steven Soderbergh. One version is the director of the Ocean’s movies, Out of Sight and Contagion who seems to be able to make standard Hollywood fare better than most other directors. The other is the indie wunderkind who broke onto the scene with Sex, Lies, and Videotape and has continued experimenting with the cinematic form through movies like The Limey, Full Frontal and The Girlfriend Experience. Surprisingly, Haywire, a female-centric action movie starring mixed-martial arts fighter Gina Carano as a double-crossed black ops freelancer, is a product of the experimental Soderbergh.
Not every upstart band in Saskatoon has an indie music bent and eyes CBC Radio 3 as its goal. Sometimes bands are purely driven by their interest in the music, in the effect it has on an audience and in having a good time doing what they love. This is the case with Misterfire, a genre-defying band with ska and funk elements who are releasing their debut album at Louis’ on Jan. 21. Refusing to pin themselves down musically and aim only for a niche audience, Misterfire’s hope for their album is just to spread the music and get their product to a larger audience.
The winter movie season in January and February always feels like a letdown. This is to be expected after the abundance of middle-brow, awards season films that flood the cinemas around Christmas. But there’s another, perhaps more obvious, reason for this. Most of the movies the studios release in January are terrible. Looking at the past three years of January releases, you begin to see a trend for the month’s releases. The winter movie season is filled with cheap horror movies, shallow romantic comedies and bigger films that obviously displeased the studios and have no box office potential.
From alien invasion movies, to documentaries, to classic children's tales revisited, just because it's not a huge Hollywood blockbuster, doesn't mean a film is not worth your time. Here's a list of movies that skipped the multiplex but still deserve your attention.
It’s hard to imagine a heroine as peculiar and intriguing as Lisbeth Salander. She speaks in brief, monotone monosyllables. She dresses like a member of some kind of underground Goth band. She is a genius computer hacker with a photographic memory. She’s practically a sociopath. She’s anything but conventional. But, basic plot aside, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is hardly a conventional film.
In recent years, there have been few national cinemas as intriguing and accomplished as South Korean cinema. Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho, the directors of Oldboy and The Host, are among the world’s finest directors of genre film. While Lee Chang-dong isn’t a genre filmmaker and is not quite the same caliber a director as his South Korean brethren, his latest film, Poetry is the kind of complex, quiet character study that you won’t find in North America.
There are few things as vulgar as talking about past sexual exploits and alcohol and drug-induced antics. Luckily, when told by the right person, there are also few things as funny. On Dec. 10, the Jay and Silent Bob comedy duo from Clerks and Mallrats, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, made their way to Saskatoon to perform Jay and Silent Bob Get Old at the Odeon Events Centre. The event was two hours of Smith and Mewes sitting on stage with microphones and recounting endless stories about evertying from the finer points of intimacy to shitting yourself while passed out.
When the lights go down and Jill Barber glides onto the stage of the Broadway Theatre, you could be excused for thinking you’re in a more glamorous place than Saskatoon in November. Barber cuts a striking figure. There is something both sensual and playful to her. She wears a delicate dress. She seems to have a sparkle in her eyes. But it’s her voice that really shines.
Whenever a new Twilight movie comes out, I see it on opening night. This isn’t because I think they’re good movies. It’s because I know they’re bad, and hilariously so. Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is the fourth film in the much-loved, much-reviled teen vampire romance series based on novels by Stephenie Meyer. The film can be described in one line: Edward and Bella get married, have sex on their wedding night and Bella gets pregnant. That’s it.
After the Civil War tore North and South apart, America was repaired by a union of East and West through the Union Pacific Railroad. That’s the history lesson behind Hell on Wheels, the latest creation from the cable broadcaster that brought us such distinguished programs as Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead — and The Killing, which is a bizarre, compelling, idiotic, utterly watchable entity in its own right.