Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire had its gala screening at the Toronto International Film Festival and in attendance was director Lee Daniels, actors Paula Patton, Sherri Shepherd, Mariah Carey and newcomer Gabby Sidibe, and of course, executive producers Tyler Perry and Oprah. Mary J. Blige, who wrote the song “I Can See In Color” on the movie’s soundtrack, and Sapphire, author of Push, were also in attendance for the screening. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to not only see them on stage to introduce the film, but also watch this incredibly powerful movie before it was released into theatres nationwide. Now the winner of TIFF’s People’s Choice Award!
Posts Tagged ‘review’
Dear Zachary is a powerful documentary by Kurt Kuenne, whose sole intent for creating the film was to memorialize his murdered best friend. But as the story unfolds, the film evolves into so much more. At its premise, Dear Zachary is about how one man’s life was needlessly and viciously taken away from his loved ones, an act that we later on learn was entirely preventable, had the system been more stringent. There are moments of joy, moments of anger and moments that will leave you in tears. Word of advice: have a box of tissues handy. It’ll also make you wonder why. Why did the system fail, and so tremendously so, causing innocent lives to be lost?
Coopers’ Camera, which premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, is a film brimming with Canadian talent. It’s written by The Daily Show‘s Jason Jones and Billable Hours‘ Mike Beaver and directed by Warren P. Sonoda. It was also filmed in Canada. But don’t let all the “Canadian-ness” scare you, it’s not a film with obscure references about Canadian culture (nor do Mounties make an appearance). Coopers’ Camera happens to tell the comedic story of family dysfunctional in a universal way.
I’ve been an iPod user for years. After chucking my old 64MB (yes, that’s 64 megabytes) Rio 600, which was, at the time, quite the spiffy gadget and considered cutting-edge technology in a time when most people used discmans for their portable music, I moved onto my beloved 4th generation 20 GB iPod. It served me well for a year, until I decided to upgrade to the new 5th generation iPod video (in the 30 GB capacity). And since 2004, that same iPod has been with me almost 24/7. It’s seen me through the rest of my university career and the beginning of my professional career. It’s an inanimate object, but it could very well be my baby… my baby that happens to carry within it the soundtrack to my life.
Recently, I came across promotion for the Microsoft Zune, the newest generation that would also be the first Zune product to be released in Canada. Even though I think of myself as more of an “iPod person” than not, although I would not necessarily care to admit that because I would like to believe I am a consumer who hasn’t been completely brainwashed by Apple’s brilliant marketing ploys, but who am I kidding? I am a fan of Steve Jobs’ little music player.
But that wasn’t to say I wasn’t intrigued by the Zune the minute I read about it and saw pictures of the device. Wireless synching? A customizable and, may I add, one sexy user-interface? The integration of the social aspect of music listening? And a radio too? These features were enough for me to at least think about moving on from my iPod in favour of the Zune. Lucky for me, I was chosen by Matchstick Marketing’s new Zune Influencer program and so I was sent my very own 8 GB Microsoft Zune to “share and show off,” in the hopes that people realize there’s actually another option for mp3 players than just the iPod. Gasp.
Followers of my blog (all two of you!) may remember my previously voiced criticism and discontent over news of the live-action adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks. I understand the dilemma of trying to remold something that was popular many years ago to something that bears relevance to the culture and society of today, while still trying to keep the “essence” of that thing in tact. But what can I say? It’s a segment of my childhood that is so ingrained into my memories that the mere thought of Hollywood potentially ruining the formerly popular franchise was just exasperating and yet, I’m guilty to admit, somewhat intriguing. I wanted to see what they came up with and if my worst fears would come true.
Pushing Daisies: Wednesday nights at 8:00/7:00c on ABC
Pegged as a “forensic fairy tale” and acclaimed by critics, Pushing Daisies is easily the best new television show of fall 2007. It’s not very often I become instantly enamored with a new show, particularly with the way network execs love to toy with new shows and cancel them at the drop of a hat, thus devastating those who were starting to become invested in said shows. This show, though, I think has real potential (worthy to note: I am writing this a few minutes after its first broadcast on ABC so the ratings have not yet come in).
Child labour has never been this entertaining!
The Bridge is a controversial film that documents the “suicide phenomenon” at The Golden Gate Bridge. In the span of January through December 2004, filmmaker Eric Steel continously filmed this bridge, known to be a mecca of sorts for those who want to end their lives, and was able to capture 23 of 24 suicides on film. It features real footage from these real suicides and suicide attempts, along with interviews with grieving family members, friends and witnesses to those suicides. The keyword here is “real”. It’s unlike comfortably watching a Hollywood movie with its professional stunts as a detached viewer, knowing it is all “just for show”. At first glance, it sounds kind of morbid and in many ways, it is. We are, after all, witnessing the final moments of someone’s life and this is all presented as a form of entertainment. But there seems to be some morbid curiosity innate in all of us, a curiosity about death, and this film really addresses that curiosity.
You might remember, back in 2003, the huge uproar caused by one Dixie Chick’s dissenting words against George W. Bush. Words from one single person said in jest in a London concert made its way overseas and back home resulting in huge controversy. Treason, they called it. Un-American! Traitors! Every single adjective and noun related to unpatriotism was slung against the group. This was in the days before the anticipated invasion of Iraq. It was a time when approval ratings for “Dubya” was high and patriotism was in full swing.
The Boys of Baraka is an inspiring documentary that follows the lives of four 12 to 13 year old boys from the, quite literally, “urban ghettos” of Baltimore, Maryland. It’s an area inundated with crime and poverty but even amidst such hardships and with all the odds stacked up against them, these four boys have hopes and dreams that transpire above it all. Aspiring for more than what Baltimore and its educational system can offer them, they are offered an opportunity of a lifetime.
An opportunity to study abroad at the Baraka School in Kenya, East Africa for two years.