27 September 2007

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2007: Lineup Announced

The second annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival returns to The Bloor Cinema just in time for the festival of Samhain, offering an amazing 50 new horror and fantasy films--seven of them Canadian premieres--over 7 fun n' fear-filled nights.

Adam Lopez and his team (of which I am now a latecoming member) have toiled through the nights, dawns, and days of the dead to bring you the following lineup:

Scheduled Features:

Friday, October 19:

Mulberry Street (Premiere Gala)

Saturday, October 20:

Aachi & Ssipak
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Blood Car (Canadian Premiere)

Sunday, October 21:

Audience of One (Canadian Premiere)
Automaton Transfusion
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Monday, October 22:

The Rebel (Canadian Premiere)
The Tripper

Tuesday, October 23:

Alone (Canadian Premiere)

Wednesday, October 24:

Simon Says (Canadian Premiere)
Nightmare Detective

Thursday, October 25:

Murder Party (Closing Night Gala)

Short Films:

TAD offers three programmes showcasing the finest in short-form horror from Canada and around the world:

Cutting Edge Horror (Sat, Oct. 20, 1.45pm)

The best new horror shorts from around the world. Highlights include It Came From The West, a puppet zombie western!

Cutting Edge Fantasy (Sun, Oct. 21, 1.30pm)

The best new international sci-fi and fantasy shorts from around the world.

Cutting Edge Canada (screening before features throughout the fest)

Outstanding new Canadian horror and fantasy shorts, with several of the filmmakers in attendance.

(The complete lineup of titles will be announced shortly).

Zombie Walk!?

And of course, don't forget the second annual Official Toronto Zombie Walk! Last year's "Million Maimed March" was attended by over 500 fans in full zombie regalia. This year, the event lasts even longer with the afternoon walk, a break for food and drink (or to track down human prey), and an evening of two premiere zombie films (here's a fan's Flicker portfolio of last year's walk).

So while you're at it, why not buy tickets and passes here, where the complete TAD 2007 schedule is now online.

I've heard great things about the opening night film Mulberry Street, which (along with the upcoming The Signal) could mark the emergence of a new era of brave and distinctive horror voices the likes we haven't seen since the advent of Carpenter, Cronenberg, Hooper, and Romero (if not, well, what the hell--it's probably pretty entertaining...).

Keep checking this site throughout the event for daily news and reviews.

21 September 2007

Der Kingster is 60!

Stephen King--bestselling author, journalist, screenwriter, actor, one-time director, philanthropist and all-around cool guy is 60 today. Check out his latest column for Entertainment Weekly here, where he talks about his sojourn to the Australian Outback and lived an entire month without access to popular culture...

18 September 2007

Brett Somers Gone To The Big 'Blank' In The Sky...

Brett Somers, a regular on "Match Game" during its classic 1973-1979 run and frequent verbal sparing partner of the late, great Charles Nelson Reilly, passed away yesterday at her home in Westport, Connecticut at the age of 83.

She was born Audrey Johnston in New Brunswick, and grew up in Portland, Maine. At age 17 she settled in Greenwich Village and changed her named to "Brett" after the lead female character in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises." Somers was her mother's maiden name.

She was married for a time to actor Jack Klugman, who was responsible for getting her onto the game show. Klugman suggested she be brought on when he appeared during the show's first broadcasts and she soon became a regular part of the panel.

I'm not the biggest fan of panel game shows but I try not to miss Match Game reruns on The Game Show Network--I've always enjoyed Gene Rayburn's exasperated, insulting tone towards the (dim) contestants and the antics of the classic panel--lead by Somers and Nelson Reilly (who died this past May), of course--especially during the "afternoon" tapings when the witty tongues would be well-lubricated with alcohol.

Here's her obit from CNN.

17 September 2007

Alex Ross Does "Heroes"

Here's a look at Alex Ross' cover art for the upcoming "Heroes" hardcover from DC Comics, which will collect all of the online comics that were published concurrently with last season's episodes (still available here on the official site), as well as some new stuff. The inevitable Absolute Edition is being planned, too, I'm sure. Jim Lee is reportedly contributing an alternate cover, or somesuchthing (not like he's working terribly hard on Frank Miller's "All-Star Batman And Robin", or anything...).

And we are assured by the show's producers that even though prophetic artist Isaac is dead, Tim Sale's art will still be featured this coming season.

I just hope that Global HD actually plays "Heroes" in true high-def this year, considering the money I'm forking out for these digital channels...

16 September 2007

Rogers Cable: Converting Viewers To Bit Torrent Is Job One...

So I'm enjoying tonight's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" an hour later than its original broadcast and suddenly, it's like I'm watching"The Sopranos" conclusion without the Journey song. Larry utters a line, then there's the PVR menu asking me if I want to save or delete.

What gives? This hasn't happened in a while--if Rogers sets up the schedule, why can't their hardware chase the programming block? I had this problem with Heroes on HD Global this past season and had to set up a manual event as a workaround, but what a pain in the *ss for something for which I'm paying good money for convenience and reliability.
(I called Rogers but the somnabulistic drone I got on the other end couldn't answer my question...)
You didn't hear it from me folks, but there's a thing called BitTorrent from which you can not only get all of your HBO shows complete and the HD format (unlike Rogers, which isn't broadcasting "Curb" in HD after all but is still charging subscribers for it) but their also 100% free.
Listen up, Canadian cable barons. It's not that people don't want to pay for entertainment--it's just that we expect quality and consistency for our hard-earned cash. Spread it around.

06 September 2007

Happy Birthday, Werner Herzog!

The unclassifiable German filmmaker (who resides in LA) turns 65 today--but may he entertain no plans of retiring! In addition to being one of our greatest living filmmakers in both the fiction and non-fiction realms, Herzog gets my vote as the ultimate bad ass:

During a BBC interview to promote his acclaimed documentary "Grizzly Man”, a loud pop was heard and Herzog calmly observed "someone is shooting at us". That someone was a crazed fan with a sniper rifle, who struck the filmmaker in the leg. Herzog dismissed the bullet as "insignificant" and with his wound festering, finished the interview.

One month earlier, he rescued Joaquin Phoenix from a car crash in Laurel Canyon...

So for all you non-cineastes reading this, let me put it another way: "Chuck Norris" lives because Werner Herzog lets him…
I'll be catching his new documentary "Encounters At The Edge Of The World" at this year's TIFF---review to come.

03 September 2007

Woo-Hoo! It's The First Lineup Of The Film Fest!

Oh, what a wonderful way to spend the last day of a long weekend: baking in the sun for several hours to pick up whatever TIFF tickets you were awarded if you didn't get completely screwed by Friday's lottery draw.

While I attend the event as a member of the media, I always get a few tickets to public screenings so I can see some movies with friends and my Significant Other.And truth is, I don't mind it at all (the lining up part--the lottery is the subject of another posting...)--we got to chat with fellow enthusiastic film buffs about our previous TIFF experiences, our favourite titles of the year so far (although I always get the feeling that I'm the only cinema freak in GTA who goes to Hollywood blockbusters and enjoys them....), books we've read, the things we hate the most about the Fest (the lottery, 'natch), and of course, what we're looking forward to the most at this year's extravaganza (seems everyone's game for The Coens' No Country For Old Men and Brian DePalma's Redacted).

Because we were lucky to get all of our choices (nothing less than a modern miracle, considering we were box 48 of 75, with the lottery starting with box 66!), we didn't have to move to the second, considerably more disgruntled line to hurriedly select alternate screening choices. With so many fewer screens downtown, the seats are sure to fill up quickly. So best of luck to those poor devotees still in line--remember, folks, they're only movies, and most will come out to theatres or at least DVD anyway...

Individual tickets--those remaining, anyway--will go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Manulife Centre Box Office (Bay and Bloor) and online at the official site at 7 am (remember, VISA is the only card accepted by the festival).
Complete details and schedules here.