Stuff To Look Forward To!

Morning All!

Just wanted to share a quick post before I settle into the work day.

I’ll be posting our review of episode 2 of Bomb Girls this evening, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Shaw Media publicly for all the support they’ve been giving us, we’ve been dealing with two wonderful women there, and if they’re reading this, you know who you are!

In terms of podcasts, we have some fantatsic guests coming up, I don’t want to jinx it by giving away names, but I’m giddy knowing we get to chat with them.

We’re just putting the finishing touches on my chat with Anna Silk (Bo), that will be up for the weekend to tie in with the launch of Lost Girl on SyFy. She’s a lot of fun, and has one of the best laughs!

Then we’re gonna follow that up with some more interviews, that we’re not talking about yet (talking about it jinxes it!) next week.
But we did have a chance to sit down last night at the gorgeous pub C’est What and chat with Paul Amos (Vex), and that podcast will be coming to you soon as well!
Like I said though, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, January is shaping up to be a great month for us here on The Mind Reels, and we can’t wait to share it all with you!

I’ll tell you what Sue and I are looking forward to… more Bomb Girls!!

But also, we’re very excited about Hunger Games, as we’re both fans of the books, and can’t wait to see how the material is adapted.

We’re also looking forward to the release of friends’ latest film… April Mullen and Tim Doiron proudly bring us Canada’s FIRST all 3D movie… Dead Before Dawn 3D. We had a set visit and a cameo in one of the sequences, wait til you read our post about that as well as some of the pictures we are allowed to share. It’s going to be so much fun.

Carrying on with our support of Lost Girl cast members, which returns to Canadian stations on the 22nd of this month, we’ll be off to the theater to see Underworld: Awakening (though for me Kate Beckinsale is enough to get my bum into a seat for this movie) and support Kris Holden-Ried in his latest theatrical outing!

We’ll take a look at J.J. Abram’s new series, though he is simply serving as producer, and not a show-runner, he does have a lot on the go afterall… Alcatraz, which starts January 16th, with a two hour premiere. PVR it those who live State-side and support Lost Girl by watching it on SyFy!

I’m also very excited for War Horse, the stage play to open here in TO in the next few weeks, I’ve read the book, seen the movie, let’s finish it up with the play! Also showing up on stage, and we’re trying to find her, Megan Follows is starring in Penelopiad!

AND there are two cons coming up here in town that Sue and I will be attending as well, make sure you say hi to us!

We’ll be going to Toronto Comic-Con (http://www.comicontoronto.com/) and Toronto’s WizardWorld (http://www.wizardworldcomiccon.com/home-toronto.html) hope to see you!

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Tim’s Tops of 2011

I’m gonna take a page from my creative partner, Sue, and give a run down of my favorite films of the year; though it appears that we do have a lot of the same films on our list.

1) The Muppets – This movie is sheer joy, and by far the best time at the theater I had all year. Sure you can blame that on nostalgia if you like, but I also believe it was a truly well written and well made film. Seeing my old friends on the big screen again made me laugh and smile. Call backs to the series made me teary-eyed and reminded me of how much fun these characters are. And that’s why we let them into our hearts in the first place.

 

2) The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard – This film is linked in my mind eternally with our site. Jeremy Lalonde the film’s director was kind enough to give us our first interview, and helped us launch our podcast format, and putt us in touch with some wonderful people. Thank you for that! But beyond that, this wonderful Canadian film is witty, fun, and has oh, so much heart. Even now, thinking about my favorite scenes makes me smile, and gives me shivers when I think about the performances. The longing for a DVD of this film may soon be fulfilled, and then everyone can share in it!

 

3) War Horse – A beautiful film made by one of my favorite directors. Spielberg works with an adaptation of the cherished children’s novel and brings to life the story of a horse named Joey who goes to war, and sees the good and the bad on both sides. Spielberg’s magic is on full display here and the film is touched with heart-touching and heart-breaking moments. Everything you’ve come to expect from a Spielberg film.

 

 

4) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – As stated yesterday in my review, I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed this film, being such a fan of the original novel and film. But Fincher showed a deft hand and delivered a tightly wrapped thriller that was incredibly faithful to the book, and Craig is likable as Blomkvist and Mara’s turn as Lisbeth, while not a carbon copy of Noomi Rapace’s original effort is fairly close and is exactly what you think Lisbeth would behave and act like. Though as a personal side note, I preferred Rapace’s dragon tattoo on her back than the shoulder one given to Mara.

 

5) The Adventures of Tintin – Enjoyable Spielberg fun for the whole family! This film was an enjoyable romp that gave Spielberg his first animated film, as well as his first 3D film. Based on the beloved French comic this film could launch a whole new tent pole series, as long as the big players remain involved, I’m on board. And where else can you see Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as identical police officers? Brilliant!

 

 

6) Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part II – I just finished rewatching the entire series yesterday, and Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a wonderful cap to the entire series. In fact this time through it affected me even more emotionally that it had the first time through. It’s easy to brush these off as simple family movies, but from the beginning the books and the films have spoken to the important themes of friendship, loyalty, belief in oneself, and doing what is right. And of course, this film allows for Alan Rickman’s finest performance as Severus Snape, proving what an amazing actor he is.

 

7) Super 8 – The Goonies and Stand By Me meets E.T. and even that comparison does the film a disservice. Lovingly made by J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, the film recalls moments from many Spielberg films, and took us back to a time when you didn’t have to lock your doors at night, and neighbors looked out for one another. Filled with a nostalgia that made me recall my own youth, and performances from children who seem able to act beyond their years, Super 8 was, for me, a magical film experience.

 

8) Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – I’ve been a huge fan of this series since its launch, and was very eager to see Brad Bird’s first live action film. I was delighted that it paid off as much as it did! What have you got next for me Brad? This is a highly enjoyable spy romp that embraces everything about the original series, updating it for today, and had some truly fantastic sequences. It also saw my favorite character, Simon Pegg’s Benji as a full field agent, hopefully to reappear in the potential sequels with Jeremy Renner.

 

9) Hugo – Martin Scorsese made a truly beautiful film about the love of movies and their origins. Wrapping it in a mystery for a young boy to solve, the film brought to life the early days of cinema. It showed us once again that if a movie is done right, it can transcend popcorn entertainment and revitalize the love of an art form that far too often gets shunt aside in the desire to make a fast buck.

 

 

10) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – An old school cold war thriller, the film is a slow burn that constantly ratchets up the tension as George Smiley attempts to flush out a Russian mole inside MI6. The film had a stellar cast rounded out by the always amazing Gary Oldman, a chameleon of an actor who buries himself in each and every role he takes on. It also didn’t play the viewer for a fool or pander to the audience. A smart spy thriller about an age seemingly long gone.

 

 

So there you have it, my top ten films of the year, I would be remiss however if I didn’t give a few honorable mentions to other films I loved this year…

-Hanna, young actress Saoirse Ronan looks to have a long and amazing career ahead of her.

-Paul, featuring the ever awesome Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as two geeks on a cross-country road-trip who have a close encounter. I love these two guys working together, they are always a sheer delight, and I would love to go for a pint with the two of them anytime!

-Source Code, Duncan Jones’ follow-up to Moon, Code was a fun temporal tale featuring Jake Gyllenhaal.

-Thor & Captain America, ramping us up for next year’s Avengers these two Marvel adaptations expanded the growing comic book universe and were good popcorn entertainment.

and finally the surprising X-men: First Class, another comic book film that introduces us to Xavier and Magneto before they turned against each other, both James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are top form in this movie and of course there’s January Jones, as Stan Lee might say… ‘Nuff Said

A Spielberg Double Feature – Tintin & Joey

The Adventures of Tintin is the perfect Spielberg primer for families. It has all the wonder, mystery and fun one expects from The Beard, but is safe for families who may be worried about showing them odd looking E.T.s, violent fisticuffs in the 1930s, or menacing sharks.
It’s Spielberg’s first animated film, though he has served as exec on a number of them, and the first film he’s done in CG.
He brings along Peter Jackson, Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat, Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and of course John Williams.
Based on the French comic series by, Hergé,  who gets a nice nod in the opening titles as Tintin’s other adventures are hinted at, as well as the first sequence which features a familiar artist.

The tale follows the boy reporter and his trusty dog Snowy as they seek the mystery of the Unicorn, a three master lost at sea centuries ago.
He’s joined on his quest by the captain’s lone descendant, the drunken Archibald Haddock, played by CG’s Lon Chaney – Andy Serkis as well as two police officers from Interpol, Thompson and Thomson (Pegg & Frost). They are menaced by Daniel Craig in a wonderful turn as a villain.
The story moves quickly, the locations are exotic, and the action sequences are big, bold and fun, everything you would expect. One sequence stands out in that it is composed of one single long shot, once it gets rolling. It’s a giant chase sequence that allows Spielberg to stay with the action without cutting away, awesome.
The other sequence that was a highlight was the flashback battle aboard the Unicorn, as they light and extinguish a line of gun powder set to blow the ship.
Snowy, as expected, is adorable, and as devoted and smart a dog as you want as a sidekick.
It’s a perfect outing for the family, and I loved Williams’ jazzy title music before launching us into all his symphonic glory with a sweeping adventurous score.

Then I settled in for War Horse… Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, this is Spielberg magic, having read the novel I knew exactly what I was getting when I went into this film and it did not disappoint.
Set at the beginning of the first world war, the story follows a spirited horse named Joey by the lad, Albert, who raised him. Sold into service to the British Army, Joey serves as the mount of one Captain Nichols.
But war is cruel, and Joey soon ends up behind enemy lines where he is used to haul the wounded by the German army, before escaping to the French countryside and taken in by Emilie and her grandfather.
In this way we see all aspects of the war, the bad and the good which is rare and heart touching when it comes.

The sequence I most looked forward to was the one set in No Man’s Land, beginning with Joey’s desperate run from a tank to running the lines until he becomes trapped, tangled and finally held by barbed wire placements and finally when men from both sides arrive to cut the wounded horse free.
Both films are faithful to the spirit of the source material, if differing on certain bits, but as both media differ from one another, it’s not a surprise. As I said though the spirit of the source material is very prevalent in both.
If Tintin is youthful, exuberant Spielberg, fun, adventurous and happy endings, then War Horse is a grown up Spielberg, knowing that life is full of grey and that there are good people on both sides of the battle.
I, myself am just delighted that Spielberg has two movies in the theater at once!

The Hunger Games Trailer

Is it March yet?

In the words of Sue Maynard, the site’s co-creator and fellow writer, “I haven’t been this excited about a movie, or book series in a very long time.”

And you know what? I agree with her.

Yes, there are films I’m looking forward to, The Muppets on the 23rd, Brad Bird’s live action debut with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and while not the biggest Tom Cruise fan, I do like the series, and it has Simon Pegg, plus. I’m also looking forward to Tintin (Spielberg, Jackson, Pegg and Frost – OK!), The War Horse and Canada’s Wango Films latest effort… Dead Before Dawn (in which Sue and I had a chance to be extras!).

But nothing right now, is ramping up my levels of excitment like The Hunger Games, which was almost brought to a head yesterday with the release of the first full-length trailer.

And I have to tell you, it hits all the notes I want it to hit. I think this could be a fantastic adaptation of this trio of novels, which taking a page from modern film making is gonna be four films.

For those who haven’t read the books, I’m sure it looks like a fairly decent trailer for what one will hope is a fairly decent movie, but if you’ve read the book, then I’m sure there are moments in it that affected you much as they did me.

The moment when Prim is chosen, and Katniss’ voice, the raw emotion and the way it almost breaks with her first declaration (there’s a reason Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Oscar), causes my throat to tighten, and then when she gives the salute to thank Rue’s District, there were tears in my eyes. This, if done right, will be fantastic!

The last time a moment did that to me was in the first Lord of the Rings, with the reveal of Hobbiton, I was stunned that it was exactly the way I saw it in my mind’s eye, it was a dream realized. And I think this film has the potential to do the same. If it’s faithful to the source material and doesn’t veer from it, and doesn’t shun the subject matter, this could be an event.

Another thing that blew me away is Elizabeth Banks as Effie, you can’t even tell it’s her in the shots we’ve seen in the trailer.

I have high hopes for this film.

Please don’t let me down…

and…

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor….