Cineplex Events has today announced that the widely popular Great Digital Film Festival will now be known as Flashback Film Fest. The event is Canada’s only coast-to-coast festival, bringing a line-up of sci-fi, fantasy and fan favourites back to the big screen. This year, Cineplex Events and renowned film critic, Richard Crouse, curated a line-up of 17 of the most blood-pumping, thrill-inducing and heart-warming films in cinema that will screen in over 24 cities across the country from February 3-9, 2017.
Please click here for a message from Richard Crouse and Cineplex Pre-Show Host Tanner Zipchen.
“We wanted to give the festival a new name that better reflects how it has evolved and why it has been so popular over the years,” said Brad LaDouceur, Vice President, Event Cinema. “Flashback Film Fest fits perfectly with our Event Cinema business which offers guests exciting, unique content that ranges from classic films to renowned stage productions. We take them on tours of famous galleries and put them courtside at sporting events without them ever having to set foot on a plane, or in this case, a time machine.”
“The great thing about this festival is that audiences will have a chance to relive these movies in the way they were meant to be seen; on a big screen, with an audience,” said author and film critic, Richard Crouse. “The best and most powerful way to see a movie is to fully immerse yourself in the theatre experience, surrounded by people who are enjoying it just as much as you are. I’m personally looking forward to seeing films like Fight Club, Blade Runner – The Final Cut, Pulp Fiction and Shallow Grave in all their glory.”
The 2017 Flashback Film Fest Line-up includes:
Tickets for festival films cost $7.99, $6.99 for 5 or more films and new this year film fanatics can buy the “I Want It All” pass for $69.99 allowing them access to all 17 films for a price of $4.11 per admission. For a complete list of show times, or to purchase tickets, visit Cineplex.com/FBFF .
Participating theatres include:
Posts Tagged ‘Groundhog Day’
Richard and Cineplex pre-show host Tanner Zipchen announce this year’s Flashback Film Festival! More details to come… in the meantime watch Tanner and Richard HERE!
In the 1950s, author Robert Schnakenberg’s father was the letter carrier who delivered jazz legend Louis Armstrong’s mail. “Louis would say, ‘Hi Mr. Mailman’ and sometimes Louis and his wife would invite my dad in for coffee. That is sort of my claim to fame.”
It also began a career Schnakenberg says involves “lurking around the edges of famous people.” The author of more than a dozen books, including The Encyclopedia Shatnerica and Christopher Walken A-to-Z, Schnakenberg’s latest is The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray, a weighty tome analyzing the life and career of everybody’s favourite Ghostbuster.
“They’re more history books than puff pieces about celebrities,” he says on the line from his Brooklyn home. “I wanted to approach them from a quasi or mock academic perspective and treat them as if they were historic artifacts rather than just pop culture icons.”
Murray was a perfect subject for the pop historian. “I had done two previous A-to-Zs and was looking around for a third person to round out the trilogy. I had visions of a three volume slip case edition in my head.”
Murray fit the criteria. “Who has a long career? Who has left a paper trail of interviews and profiles? Who has an off-camera persona that is just as interesting as what they do onscreen? It just clicked last year. He reached a point of saturation with all these viral videos going around that (the publisher) said, ‘Let’s do the book now.’”
The volume provides an overview of Murray’s long and varied time in the public eye. From critical appreciations of his films, to interesting trivia, The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray spans decades of fascinating behaviour.
“His career provides a lot of entry points for people who want to get into him,” says Schnakenberg. “If you came of age in the ’70s, the way that I did, you remember the Saturday Night Live version of Bill Murray. If you were 13 in 1984 you probably think of him as Ghostbusters Bill Murray. If you were a proto-hipster in the ’90s your image is probably the guy in all the Wes Anderson movies. Now people know him as the dishevelled guy who crashes people’s parties.”
The point is, for almost forty years Bill Murray has been a constant in our lives. “Bill Murray never had to come back because he never went away,” says the author. “He was always cool; just cool in different forms over the years.”
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Traditional wisdom has it that January is a dumping ground for bad movies.
“Everyone is broke after shelling out for Christmas presents,” the studios say. “The weather is crappy and anyone leaving the house is going to the gym instead of the movies,” complain the suits.
That’s why clunkers like One for the Money, a Katherine Heigl crime drama with a two per cent Rotten Tomatoes rating and Season of the Witch — which saw Nicolas Cage go all medieval on the forces of evil and strain his credibility as an actor — made the lives of critics and audiences miserable on long, cold winter nights in bygone Januarys. Why waste good movies when no one was likely to go?
Years ago studios threw the odd quality film into the January mix — Traffic, Good Will Hunting, Before Sunrise, Dr. Strangelove and Silence of the Lambs—but every good movie like Matinee (92 per cent on RT) was balanced out with a stinker like Body of Evidence and its paltry six per cent rating.
There is still that yin and yang as last week’s releases of The Boy Next Door and Mortdecai (two movies that will decorate Worst Of the Year lists) proves, but the tide seems to be changing. Perhaps that’s why Project Almanac, a time-travel drama from producer Michael Bay, moved from a prime July release date to the barren January slate. Surely Bay, as savvy a player as Hollywood has, wouldn’t allow his movie to be tossed out with the trash.
The reason given for the schedule move was that Bay himself wanted to sprinkle some of his Transformers’ fairy dust to pump up the film’s appeal to young audiences. But it’s also apparent that a micro-budget movie like Project Almanac, even with Bay’s name attached, could get lost in a summer filled with large-scale offerings like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, so why not release in a less crowded, but increasingly profitable field?
What used to be a time to fill screens with borderline cheesefests has become a viable month to release a movie.
Last year big crowds braved the polar vortex to help the Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along set a January opening record. This year the Oscar-nominated Selma and Still Alice have opened wide in a month usually reserved for Golden Raspberry winners. Perhaps the biggest story of 2015 so far is the success of Clint Eastwood’s Chris Kyle biopic, American Sniper, which has raked in upwards of $170 million in just two weeks. The success of that film is as strong an indicator as Hollywood needs that January is no longer a no-go zone.
“Project Almanac” has a lot going against it. It’s a found footage movie with loads of nausea inducing wobbly cam, characters who deliver cheeseball lines like, “So you’re telling me dad left a time machine in the basement?” and an over-played climax that drags on too long but it gets one crucial thing right. And that’s enough to earn a recommend for young sci fi enthusiasts.
Boy genius David Raskin (Jonny Weston) inherited his smarts from his late father, an engineer who was working on a top-secret project at the time of his death. Buried away in the basement are the schematics for a time machine David and his best friends Adam (Allen Evangelista) and Quinn (Sam Lerner), under the constant camera surveillance of sister Christina (Ginny Gardner), discover and build.
After a few test runs they do what every teenage boy would do; they allow the most popular girl in school (Sofia Black-D’Elia) to talk them into taking a big risk with the new machine and use themselves as guinea pigs. It’s the power of the pretty girl to influence and shape the actions of teenage boys, and the movie gets this absolutely correct.
Do they use the machine to go back and kill Hitler? Nope. Save JFK? Nuh-uh. They do what young guys would do. They party at Lollapalooza, use their unique powers to get even with bullies and rig the lottery so they can win big, buy Ferraris and “hire Kim Kardashian to have my babies.” They may be geniuses but they are still concerned with the stuff of youth—girls and being popular—not changing the world.
The movie takes a serious turn in the last third when reality skews and the consequences of time travel become apparent. David must take things into his own hands, but even then, as sentiment and sci fi match and mingle, the movie doesn’t lose track of its teen origins.
Part “Groundhog Day,” part “Project X,” “Project Almanac” has all the annoying traits of found footage movies—“You’re getting all this, right?”—and screams out for a tripod, but for the most part is a zippy young adult sci fi story with equal parts brains and heart.
On Sept. 5, the Reel Guys will be wearing our matching glow-in-the-dark Dr. Venkman khaki T-shirts to celebrate TIFF’s Bill Murray Day. Beginning at 10 a.m., the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto will feature free screenings of Stripes, Groundhog Day and, everybody’s favourite, Ghostbusters, in advance of the world premier of Murray’s new movie St. Vincent. “I’m a nut,” Murray says, “but not just a nut.” His movies, which range from nutty comedies to dramas and everything in between, show his range. Today, as we celebrate the genius that is Bill Murray, the Reel Guys select a few must-sees.
Richard: Mark, I feel happy just knowing that I live in the same world as Bill Murray. I’ve never met him, but his very existence and the existence of films like Meatballs, Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation and any of his movies with Wes Anderson make my world a better place.
If I had to choose one little-seen Murray movie to tout, it would be Where the Buffalo Roam — his take on the life of the high priest of Gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson. It’s not a great film, but it’s worth it to hear Murray say the famous line, “I hate to advocate drugs or liquor, violence, insanity to anyone, but, in my case, it worked.”
Mark: Richard, here’s my pick for a little-known film starring Murray: The Razor’s Edge. At the height of Murray’s first round of fame, he managed to miscast himself in a Somerset Maugham costume drama about a man’s search for spirituality.
His acting style is completely at odds with the rest of the material, as he’s playing the part as a louche 19th-century wiseass. And you know what? I love it!
Also from this time period, the mid-’80s, is the underrated Scrooged, a great retelling of A Christmas Carol. Traditionalists who fondly remember Alistair Sims would be aghast, but Murray really knows how to shake off the cobwebs and make the movie funny and oddly touching.
RC: Have you seen Murray in Hyde Park on Hudson? He plays Franklin D. Roosevelt and he gives the kind of effortless performance that made me wonder what might have happened to his career if The Razor’s Edge hadn’t been such a flop, forcing him back into comedy. But he can switch back and forth easily.
The same year he played an undertaker in Get Low, he also played an exaggerated version of himself as a man who plays at being a zombie during the apocalypse so he can continue playing golf unbothered by the undead in Zombieland.
It’s a surreal cameo that, like most of Murray’s appearances, is worth the price of admission.
MB: There may be bad movies that Bill Murray is in but there are no bad Bill Murray movies. He consistently rises above the material. But when the script is top-notch, there is no beating him.
I’m thinking here of Groundhog Day — one of the best and smartest comedies of the past 30 years.
He takes a clever idea and turns it into something transcendent, even philosophical. Great movie, great performance.
RC: In the transcendent and philosophical pile, I’d throw in Broken Flowers, where Murray plays a man on a journey to reconnect with all the women he knew before he became a burned-out Don Juan.
Ebert gave this four out of four stars; I give it five out of four. It’s that good.
MB: Yes, a great role for him. But consider this: his supporting role in Tootsie, where he nearly steals scenes from the great Dustin Hoffman.
SYNOPSIS: If you’re like the Reel Guys you don’t see the long weekend as the last chance to head up to the cottage for a final blast of summer, but more of a three day sprint to catch up on all the movies you missed over the last three months while you were too busy jumping off docks, BBQing or basking in the wondrousness of warm weather. With this list the Reel Guys say sayōnara to the silly season and serve up one last refreshing sip of the summer’s best air-conditioner movies we took in while the rest of you were slathering on SPF 110.
Richard: Mark, the summer’s biggest hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, is a lot of fun and deserves all the attention it’s getting, but for me the two best sci fi films of the season were Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Snowpiercer. Apes is a smart movie about race, gun usage and xenophobia that doesn’t shy away from big ideas while Snowpiercer is an environmental thriller about a revolution on a train that is unapologetically weird. For me it’s the nerviest actioner to come along in a season crowded with movies that go crash, boom, bang. What grabbed you this summer?
Mark: Richard, I usually cringe at the beginning of the summer expecting nothing but comic book adaptations and sequels. But this summer those kinds of films turned out to be among the best. The three you mentioned were excellent, but I’d also like to add X-Men: Days of Future Past and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, both of which were smart, exciting, and had time travel motifs. Heck, even the latest installment of Transformers was a major step forward: I didn’t run screaming for the exit. But here are two smaller films that I thoroughly enjoyed: Begin Again, about a burnt out music producer trying to reinvent himself in hipster New York, and Chef, the story of a burnt out gourmet cook who is fired and is forced to start over with his own broken down food truck. Hey, notice a theme here?
RC: Then there was the story of the burned out comic. Obvious Child came to theatres with a reputation. In its film festival run it got labeled “the abortion rom com.” While that shorthand description is technically accurate, it’s also reductive, ignoring the film’s well-crafted and hilarious coming-of-age story about accepting responsibility, to concentrate on the more sensational aspect of the story. I know you weren’t a fan, but I liked it and thought Jenny Slate was terrific in the lead role.
MB: Didn’t work for me, but I did like the James Brown biopic Get On Up. The movie lurches around trying to find its groove but Chadwick Bozeman deserves an Oscar nomination for his total immersion in the role. 22 Jump Street was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t care for 21, but this one had a sharper, funnier script and more evolved performances from Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. And I mostly liked Zach Braff’s unofficial sequel to Garden State, Wish I Was Here. The kickstarter funded indie had too much going on to succeed but there were some great sequences that a lot of critics seemed to miss.
RC: I started off talking about Guardians, which, deservedly so, has become the biggest hit of the summer. But another movie gave it a run for its money in the entertainment department, but not in the money department. Edge of Tomorrow may sound like the title of a soap opera, but it’s actually the name of a Tom Cruise alien invasion flick. In it Cruise battles nasty space bugs called Mimics but the story is more Groundhog Day than it is War of the Worlds. The first two reels are packed with energy and invention it’s only when the conventions that made the story enticing are put aside in the last reel that the movie becomes a standard Cruise action flick. But it’s still a good Cruise action flick and deserved a bigger audience.
MB: I know I’m going to like Boyhood. Haven’t seen it yet because I’ ve been too busy raising an actual boy.
SYNOPSIS: Set at the height of a worldwide battle between the human race and seemingly indestructible aliens called Mimics, Tom Cruise plays William Cage, a marketing genius whose ads have inspired millions of people to enlist by telling them the story of hero Rita (Emily Blunt), a legendary warrior with more Mimic notches on her belt than the rest of the army combined. When pressed into combat something strange happens. Cage gets caught in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over. Eventually he’ll learn enough to beat this unbeatable foe. Trouble is, he has to die every day…
Richard: 4 Stars
Mark: 3 Stars
Richard: Mark, two thirds of Edge of Tomorrow is as Un-Cruiselike a movie as Tom has ever made. The Groundhog Day been-there, done-that section of the film is inventive, often played for laughs and presents Cruise in a way we’ve rarely ever seen him—as a coward. It’s a refreshing twist for him and gives him a chance to exercise his rarely used comedic chops. You know he’s going to turn heroic sooner or later, but it’s a blast to see him do something just outside his usual wheelhouse.
Mark: Richard, I enjoyed his cowardly weasel schtick as much as you. I didn’t find the Groundhog Day type plot as inventive, though—it’s been done in other movies like Source Code and About Time, but the mashup with Starship Troopers was different. The problem I had was that the necessary repetitiveness became inevitably boring after a while, and I felt like I was watching someone slowly get very good at a violent videogame.
RC: It does rely a bit too heavily on videogame style violence at the end, but I have to disagree with you on the repetitiveness of the time loop. I thought director Doug Liman figured out clever and entertaining ways to show the same thing over and over, keeping it exciting with interesting editing and changing perspectives. The first two reels are packed with energy and invention it’s only when the conventions that made the story enticing are put aside in the last reel that the movie becomes a standard Cruise action flick. A good Cruise action flick but still more standard than the promising first hour.
MB: Cruise has been in some dogs lately, but this isn’t one of them. And normally I would have dismissed the last third as too conventional, but at least it’s the only part of the movie that puts Cruise and the viewer on the same level—neither knows what’s going to happen next. I just found the time-loop a bit boring, which I also felt in Groundhog Day. I’m in the minority here, Richard, and I know it. What did you think of Emily Blunt?
RC: I’m a fan, but this is something different for her, and for action movies in general. Big budget blockbusters don’t usually make room for female characters unless they are sidekicks or girlfriends. Here Blunt avoids being objectified and is as strong, if not stronger than Cruise.
MB: I also liked Bill Paxton. Even liked watching him do the same dialogue again and again, but with a growing sense of befuddlement and disassociation as the scenes progress.