Showing posts from January, 2012

@themovies/ 'The Grey'

Liam Neeson and a pack of territorial wolves may be on the forefront here, but it's our fundamental pursuit to survive that Joe Carnahan's thriller is truly based on


"ONCE more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this and die on this day." That's not only a poem from Joe Carnahan's The Grey, but perhaps the film's thesis. It's a theme that flows along this scarcely musty, delightfully indelible action-thriller feature set in an unforgiving region of Alaska.

Liam Neeson, who'll turn 60 this summer, is John Ottway, lonely and in despair, working as part of an oil drilling team, hunting wolves who pose a real threat to his men. It's just minutes into the 2-hour film that Ottway, on the final day of his mission, places the barrel of his gun into his mouth, a letter to his wife Ana in his coat pocket. A wolf howls in the background, and he pulls the rifle away. He'll leave that f…

New Arena Pics?

A picture says a thousand words, as they say, but I'm guessing that in this case most of those words are going to be curse words...


JUST in case you haven't heard enough about the proposed downtown arena district, here's more! Last Thursday (Jan. 19) ICON Venue Group, the project managers of the new area, released conceptual illustrations of what the project could look like. Not a guaranteed blueprint, but rather some ideas to play around with.

Personally, I think they look pretty cool. But, of course, there'll be plenty of folks who'll beg to differ, some just because they can. But that's alright, we're a free country afterall. All I am saying is don't get all caught up in the politics of this whole issue, or the 'propaganda' mumbo jumbo, or whatever other accusations others may brainstorm along the way. Just be a little more open-minded is all I'm asking.

On their website ICON explained their concept behind the design of th…

@themovies/ 'Haywire'

Former Gladiator TV star is better than to be expected in Soderbergh's worldly action take, though the tough girl route is starting to wear thin


IT'S pretty much its own genre these days. Leading ladies who kick ass, a strain of action cinema that started when Sigourney Weaver scowled, "Get away from her, you bitch!" in James Cameron's Aliens, circa 1986. Okay, so it started seven years prior, with its 1979 predecessor Alien. I just wanted to say that sweet line, so....

Some might say these kick-assinerators were born even earlier than that though (i.e. Pam Grier), but Weaver arguably paved the way, setting the stage for the likes of torch bearer Linda Hamilton, a.k.a. Sarah Connor, in the Terminator films. Over the years we've seen similar representations by everyone from Charlize Theron (AEon Flux) and Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) to Kate Beckinsale (Underworld series) and even 13-year-old Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass). Even as recent as last year…

Edmonton's Biggest Challenge

An unconventional branding blueprint for Edmonton


AS I write this, it's our last night in Cozumel. Soft sands, gorgeous skies. The friendliest fish this side of Caribbean--a diver's paradise. As I site here, the cool evening breeze is taking just enough edge off of the heat of the day to make it blissfully comfortable. Tomorrow we travel home. In the space of twelve hours, the temperature we experience will drop by over sixty degrees celsius. Eeep. But that's okay. Why?

I'm going home. To Edmonton. YEG as many of you know it. Where the heart is. And I love it.

My love affair with Edmonton started as any other would. As a kid coming from a small town I was infatuated by the possibilities of the 'big city.' It grew on me. Close enough to my parents to have ready support. Far enough to enjoy independence. And in the last couple years, I have really started to make fascinating, valuable connections with amazing people. Driven people. People of visio…

@themovies/ 'The Devil Inside'

There doesn't seem to be a year that goes by in which Hollywood drops an exorcism movie on us...this year is no exception, except that this year's is far from exceptional


MORE than 12 years ago we eagerly welcomed in a new breed of scary movies, when The Blair Witch Project made composed fear seem real. In fact, they all but told us it was. The hand-held camera effect had become the technique to turn to when filmmakers truly wanted to taunt our nearly immune nerves. And it worked.

And so that's why director and co-writer William Brent Bell (Stay Alive) chose the "found footage" route that is already starting to get a lil' old. But Bell's supernatural horror feature, which is not based on true events, neglected to offer up anything fresh to pass on to the next generation of documentary-styled scary movies (precautions if anything!). And I assure you, there'll be plenty more.

If you haven't already seen the previews or read the endle…


Some of the latest happenings in Edmonton (winter festivals, Bridal Fair, Motorcycle Show...)


THE United States, China, the Netherlands, Russia, Mexico, Latvia, and of course, Canada will have appointed teams who'll be competing in this year's ice carving competitions for the annual Ice On Whyte Festival. Mexico?! Anyways, the 11-day event will also include a skating rink, ice slides, an interactive children's play area, the indoor YESS Cafe, and the Northlands Stage featuring live storytelling and music, from Thursday, January 12 to Sunday, January 22 (2-10PM Mon-Fri/ 10AM-10PM Sat-Sun). $5 tickets ($2.50 ages 2-12/ free under 2) are available at the gate, which has relocated this season to the end of Steel Park, at 103 St. & Tommy Banks Way.

Speaking of winter festivals, Alberta Avenue (between 92 and 94 St.) will soon welcome Deep Freeze-A Byzantine Winter Festival, the free family celebration from Saturday, January 7 to Sunday, January 8. The 5th an…

@themovies/ 'We Bought a Zoo'

Matt Damon tries on a new hat as a single dad-slash-zookeeper in this family-friendly (but not overly friendly) Cameron Crowe drama, and although it disguises itself as though it offers something new, it really doesn't


I'M sure there'll be all sorts of film critic puns for this befittingly-titled Matt Damon family drama, so I'll sidestep that (for now) and get right into it. You're probably not going to like this movie if: a) you despise movies with non-talking animals, b) you want to be caught off guard by a dramatic plot twist, or c) you like Matt Damon movies. But, if you don't really care about any of that stuff, then you just might like a trip to Damon's Zoo.

Damon's not solving ludicrous math equations, dodging innocent bystanders in an erratic car chase, or being stuck to Greg Kinnear, but he's comfortable in his role as a vulnerable father of a 14-year-old son (Colin Ford) and a 7-year-old daughter (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) wh…

A Few Minutes With...Stephen Mandel

Did the Mayor just serenade me? Not exactly, but he did tell me that he wants to travel more, that he doubts his kids will follow his political footsteps, and that he probably doesn't even know what a PVR is...


IT seemed as though he didn't really want to be there--as though me and my casual questions were just another laborious errand in a day earmarked with 'em--when he sat down next to me in his very own boardroom. I can't say that I blamed him though, considering just how many folks like me he answers questions for...and I'm sure a lot of the very same ones. He is the Mayor, afterall.

Erica, his (I assume) personal assistant, sat across from us with a notepad in her lap, and remained practically mute for the 30-minute appointment. I set my tiny digital recorder on the table in between my seat and the Mayor's, and then read off the first question I scribbled down in my own notepad.

His voice was quiet a lot of the time, and there were moments …