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Showing posts from February, 2011

Empire List #463: Juno

The least that can be said about “Juno” is that its cast and crew all come from a unique background. The screenwriter, Diablo Cody, was offered the job after writing a blog about her days as a stripper. The director is Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman who directed comedy classics such as “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters.” Good genes right there. And of course there is the star, Ellen Page, a young actress from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who before “Juno” was best known for a supporting role in “X-Men: The Last Stand.” I thought she deserved more recognition for “Hard Candy” in which she plays a 14-year-old that lures herself into a photographer’s home and threatens to do permanent damage to his nether regions. Now the whole world knows her and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

“Juno” got a lot of hype in 2007 for its actors, story, and witty dialogue written by its unusual screenwriter. The characters intrigued me, even though I am not exactly the target audience. The story deals with a 16-yea…

Empire List #465: 12 Monkeys

Here’s a pitch for a movie: Bruce Willis is a convict sent back in time to find information about a virus that nearly wiped out all human life on Earth and Brad Pitt is a madman who may or may not have unleashed the virus. Sounds like a cool summer action movie right? But what if the director is Terry Gilliam, the man behind films such as “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “Brazil”, and “The Fisher King” and he is basing his work on a short French film from 1962 called “La jetée”? Now we’re cooking.

I first watched “12 Monkeys” on a rented DVD at my mother’s place in Quebec City, which was fine, but it was a lot more fun watching it a second time at the University of Sherbrooke with members of OMASUS (Obscure Movie Appreciation Society of the University of Sherbrooke). The story is so intricate, filled with so many great performances, and has such a mind-blowing ending that you simply have got to watch it with other people. You will be thrilled, you will laugh at certain parts, and yo…

Empire List #466: Snatch

Ever watch a really cool trailer for a movie, tell yourself you should see it when it comes out, but you just never get around to watching it? That was the case with “Snatch” Guy Ritchie’s gangster movie that put him on the map outside of the U.K. I saw the trailer around the year 2000 in Peru, loved the one-liners, kept hearing people quoting it for the next ten years, but just never bothered to actually rent the damn thing. Luckily for me, my brother is just about as big a movie addict as I am and this one time when I was at my mom’s place in Quebec City during one of my breaks from university, he just so happened to have a copy in his ever-expanding collection. It just goes to prove that some of the best things in life are free. Just remember to say “thanks.”

I had been to London once before seeing this movie, but I had never seen any people who resembled the characters in the film since it takes place in the criminal underworld, not a place most tourists like to visit. Whether or …

Empire List #468: The Crow

With the DVD market slowly crumbling away to make way for Blu-ray, you can sometimes find a really good movie at a cheap price while browsing at HMV. I made such a find last summer in Quebec City while I still had money left from my tax returns. In hindsight, maybe I should have been saving every cent I had for college, but sometimes you just can’t argue with that voice in your head that says “Buy it, it’s on sale.” Plus, we’re talking about “The Crow” here and I had wanted to see this one for years.

From Alex Proyas, the director of “Dark City” and “I, Robot,” the crow is infamous for being the last movie starring Brandon Lee, son of legendary martial arts expert Bruce Lee. An accident with a stunt gun cost the life of the late actor, but that did not stop Proyas from making a successful adaptation of J. O’Barr’s comic book (or graphic novel, take your pick).

Lee plays guitarist Eric Draven who, like all heroes in comic books, suffers the loss of a loved one sending him on the road …