Sunday 15 December 2019
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What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler

Gore Reads the Global Warming Riot Act, Remembering Detroit Burning, Family Ties, Food, Drink and Spain!

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Paramount – Noticing ever new fires, droughts, floods and upheaval in the earths systems? Al Gore offers a devastating, galvanizing and passionate view of what’s happening to our precious home because of manmade climate change.  It’s well underway, he says.  Gore makes its case in an easily understood and dramatic manner, showing us exploding ice sheets disintegrating from heated water seeping under them, once in a thousand year storm hitting four times in as many years as agriculture and industry emissions threaten us and human villains work against our future on this planet.  Gore’s easily understandable and jaw dropping doc explains the ripple effects of these events on our planet that won’t stop until it is stopped by us. The former US VP has triumphs and disappointments and shows it all.  You feel his frustration but you can help by going to this site: Opens 8/4 – Toronto (Varsity), Montreal (Forum) and Vancouver (5th Avenue) and expands August 11th.

Kathryn Bigelow’s gritty, hard to take, fact based drama Detroit will not add spring to your step but it may teach you some hard truths about racism. It’s the story of the 12th Street Riots and the Algiers Motel Incident at the height of the city’s race wars July 25, 1967. Young innocent black men who did nothing but attend a party were trapped, captured, put thorough a “death game” and two were murdered. It was a conspiracy led by a psychotic lead cop that the National Guard and State law enforcement chose to ignore even though they were on site and knew what was happening. You’ll choke on the barbarity of the events, the police investigation and the legal outcomes that are incomprehensibly racist. It’s a powerful, extraordinarily well told story but not for the faint of heart.  The young actors including John Boyega, Will Poulter, Ben O’Toole, Jason Mitchell, Jack Reynor, Anthony Mackie, Jacob Latimore and Algee Smith put their all into their performances. A shameful chapter in American history and a certain awards contender.

Landline is the funny, warm and often aggravating story of a close-knit family in New York starring Abby Quinn and Jenny Slate as sisters who discover their father (John Turturro) is having an affair. It sets off alarms for both girls, as Slate, the engaged one, is having an affair of her own and the other has fallen in love with the drug lifestyle. Edie Falco plays their mother who treats her entire family with remote iciness especially her husband. So do the girls tell her what’s going on? Or do they stalk and confront him in the act.  It’s the 1990s, a more innocent time, when phones were attached to walls and parents couldn’t digitally track their kids and things were different. Can they sort it out? Landline has plenty of heart and Slate is irritating but completely adorable at the same time.  It’s sweet and cute, a winning trifle.

Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Spain reunites old pals and frenemies, British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in hilarity and food.  The pair wisecracked their way through England and Italy previously, and now Spain is their intended victim. One’s making a doc on the country, the other’s reviewing restaurants but together over glorious food and wine in some of Spain’s top restaurants, they deliver reliably outrageous comic gold.  Can their zingers be made up on the spot? If so, we’re darned impressed.  They excoriate one another in the funniest terms while indulging in their signature impressions. There’s kind of a plot – Coogan’s romantic and professional troubles as Rob, the happy married father’s star begins to rise but the sexiest part is the food and wine.

Brigsby Bear is a strange little tale of a boy raised in a desert geodesic dome by his kidnappers, whose only contact with the outside was the never ending TV series Brigsby Bear. He’s perfectly content with life, not realising his parents use a secret studio outside to record the show with the help of compliant actors then feed it to his computer.   But one day the cops break in and rescue him, sending him to live with his natural parents whom he hasn’t seen since he was an infant.  His world is shattered because, mostly because they’ve never heard of Brigsby Bear which has not apparently been cancelled.  We follow him in his efforts to “normalise” as a twenty something.  It’s whimsical and sweetly entertaining and rather slight.  Greg Kinnear, Claire Danes, Mark Hamill and Andy Samberg co-star with Kyle Mooney in the lead.

An unlikely and frankly bizarre offering from Amazon that I highly recommend takes us back thirty, tongue firmly in cheek, to the Cold War. The original Romanian detective seriesComrade Detective created by the Communist government has been remastered and dubbed into English by Channing Tatum,  Joseph Gordon Levitt and a team of American A-listers.  It offers a remarkable glimpse inside the mind of the east during that tense period of insular Communism doctrine in the form of a standard cop drama. Two complementary streetwise police detectives investigate the murder of a fellow officer and soon all signs are pointing to – what else? – American capitalist infiltration.  The party line is extolled, sometimes with a wink – street gangs in athletic wear battle for gymnastic dominance – in this wild ride.  Vocal talent includes Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Fred Armisen, Bobby Cannavale, Kim Basinger, Nick Offerman, Chloë Sevigny and Debra Winger. Run don’t walk to see Comrade Detective.

Acorn’s The Good Karma Hospital follows an English Indian doctor (Amrita Acharia) whose boyfriend leaves her prompting her to make a rash decision. She grabs a suitcase, a single suitcase, and runs away to India where she hopes to work in a modern clinic. But not so fast, it’s actually a hard scrabble cottage hospital that’s woefully understaffed and bursting at the seams with patients. The amazing Amanda Redman from New Tricks plays the hospital boss whose quick with a sharp retort and takes no prisoners. The young doctor faces Indian problems like the low value placed on female babies,  child drug dealers struggling to stay alive and much more. Meanwhile British ex pats are mostly just happy to be far from home.

Sundance Now streaming service is offering a programme of some of our best films to celebrate Canada 150.  Watch for two superior Canuck films, Laurence Anyways Filmed in Ontario, Montréal and Québec and stars Canadian talent; a drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a male-to-female transsexual’s relationship with her lover.

Guy Maddin’s silent horror film, the fabulous and deeply eccentric Brand Upon The Brain! follows a young man raised in an orphanage confronting his past. Sort of.. You’ll go to a thousand theatres and never see anything like this. Dee-lightful!

Hollywood Suite has been celebrating Canada 150 all summer long with a solid lineup of films from home focusing on our best directors.  But there are also plenty of tasty morsels from the wide world of film. Cabaret, Braveheart, Footloose, Taken launch this weekend and in the coming weeks, Fatal Attraction, District 9, Foxcatcher, Bridges of Madison County, Whiplash, Space Jam and Indochine. 

August 8th marks Dustin Hoffman’s 80th birthday! (I know, I can’t believe it either) and in his honour HS will show Kramer vs Kramer, All the President’s Men, Marathon Man, Tootsie, Ishtar, Family Business and the ground-breaking The Graduate.

Elvis Presley’s honored on the 40th anniversary of his death August 16 with Kissin’ Cousins, Viva Las Vegas and Jailhouse Rock.

by @annebrodie

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