Check out my ‘Wynonna Earp’ Recaps over at The Mutt! (Updates)

Greetings and salutations, you beautiful humans!

It has been a hot minute since I’ve posted on this blubbering mess of a baby I oh so adore. Some quick life updates, after writing for sites like CRAVEOnline and ComingSoon, I decided to take a break from the writing world as some personal issues arose that I couldn’t ignore. I sporadically wrote here and there as an outlet for whenever I needed some stress relieving and if you’ve been following me on Twitter (particularly for the last few months), I’ve been engulfed in the #RenewEverythingSucks campaign that stemmed from Netflix’s premature cancellation of one of its best original shows…

… Still super salty about that but I digress. 

 

After being fortunate enough to have the time off I needed, I decided it was time to possibly look into gradually becoming an adult at 20-something years old. I’ve recently entered the working world, being hired at my local DMV and damn it, do I love interacting with people who are superbly stressed out on a consistent basis.

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Wynonna Earp | Space Channel

During my training process which was in a city two+ hours away from me – commuting is an ugly bitch and I sympathize entirely with those that have no other choice but to do it on a daily basis – I needed some form of solace to sink my tired woes into when I’d arrive home dead tired.

All Hail The Earps

I ultimately found out about a show called Wynonna Earp that ticked off every possible box I needed to bring me out of my slump in the form of a sarcastically witty female-led series who sends demonic spirits back to the underworld complete with compelling characters all set in a glorious Canadian backdrop. This thing was basically made for me. 

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Wynonna Earp | Space Channel

After devouring the first two seasons, I was utterly psyched for its third season. While perusing its subreddit, I came across a thread asking for anyone interested in writing recaps for it for a website dedicated to Canadian film & TV productions called The Mutt. It had been a little while since I had written any long-form pieces, however I knew that Wynonna Earp was a series I wanted to jot my thoughts down on and send off into the wide world of the interwebs. I expressed my interest in potentially joining their team and after talking to their fantastical editor, I was welcomed aboard to write recaps for Season 3 starting with Episode 4, “No Cure For Crazy.”

So this is basically a long-winded way of me saying hello again! If you’re at all interested in reading what I’m working on, check out my recaps for the series over on TheMutt.ca! I try to come up with clever headers and like to think I could potentially make you chuckle with my words… No promises though.. However if I do make you laugh, please clap let me know.

If not, you can always send me a telepathic message, I will definitely receive those.

featured image source: space channel

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9pm EST on both SYFY and Space Channel, for all you fellow Canucks. It has also been renewed for a fourth season so thank the television Gods for their mercy.

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Wynonna Earp | Space Channel

For Lovers Of The ‘Non-Quel’: A Guide To 15 Awesome Summer 2018 Films That Aren’t Sequels, Reboots Or Superhero Flicks

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying and relishing in the glory that is a popular superhero flick, another installment of a franchise or a remake of a classic. Now of course, while these kinds of films will certainly always be around, there are those that may prefer watching a good Non-Quel flick on a weekend.

Non-Quel” meaning movies that aren’t sequels, remakes/reboots or new additions to the superhero/comic book genre… Not that there’s anything wrong them. One may also refer to them as being “original movies” but I like using “Non-Quel” because… It just sounds nicer to me. YMMV.

The summer season looks to be jam-frogging-packed starting the month of (it’s gonna be) May to the conclusion of my birthday month in August. With films like Avengers: Infinity War (releasing the tail end of April), Solo: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man And The Wasp etc. set to most likely dominate the box office, I thought it prudent to list some of the Non-Quel flicks I’m most looking forward to.

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Wade Wilson Forever | Credit: 20th Century Fox

Check the list out and let me know if you too can’t wait to delve into Armie Hammer‘s mysteriousness in the upcoming Sorry To Bother You.


1. Tully – May 4th

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[Credit: Focus Features]
  • Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass and Ron Livingston.
  • Directed by: Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air, Young Adult).

So is there any role that Charlize Theron can’t execute phenomenally?

Jason Reitman re-teams with his Juno writer Diablo Cody for the upcoming dramedy Tully starring Academy Award winner Charlize Theron. The film follows the friendship between Marlo (Theron), a mother of three, and her babysitter Tully as portrayed by Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049). Filming began back in September 2016 and Theron reportedly gained nearly 50 pounds for the role within a 3 and a half month period, eating round the clock in order to keep the weight on.

The film currently has an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 14 Fresh reviews out of 15 and an average rating of 8.1/10.

See The Trailer Below:

2. Breaking In – May 11th

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[Credit: Universal Pictures]
  • Starring: Gabrielle Union, James Lopez, Craig Perry and Sheila Hanahan Taylor.
  • Directed by: James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, The Raven).

Gabrielle Union seemingly does not take kindly to individuals who terrorize her and her family.

Union portrays Shaun Russell, a mother of two who takes her children on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded, high-tech estate in the countryside in order to settle his estate. She soon finds herself in a desperate fight to save all of their lives when four men break into the house who are intent on stealing the deceased’s goods.

V For Vendetta helmer James McTeigue directs the thriller while Union tackles both starring and producing duties. Will Packer is also a producer on the film which marks the fourth time Union and Packer have collaborated on a project – Their other films include 2012’s Think Like A Man and its 2014 sequel along with 2016’s Almost Christmas.

3. Adrift – June 1st

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[Credit: STXfilms]
  • Starring: Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin.
  • Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns, Everest).

At this point I’m convinced Sam Claflin’s agent exclusively seeks roles where their client portrays the “devoted partner who must be taken care of by his equally devoted partner.”

Based on the true story of two avid sailors who set out on a journey across the ocean in 1983, the film follows the gorgeous coupling of Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin) as they end up sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. “In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins, and must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved.”

Miles Teller was originally in talks to star as Richard, however he ended up dropping out due to scheduling conflicts which led the way to Claflin nabbing the role. If you’re keeping track, had Teller portrayed Richard it would’ve marked the fifth time he and Woodley appeared together on-screen as they previously starred in 2013’s The Spectacular Now and the Detergent trilogy.

4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – June 8th

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[Credit: Focus Features]
If you managed to get through the trailer without turning into a pile of literal mush, I salute you.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is an upcoming documentary from Academy Award winning director Morgan Neville (The Cool School, 20 Feet From Stardom, Best Of Enemies)The film takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mr. Fred Rogers. “A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.”

The doc currently boasts a whopping 96% on RT, with 22/23 Fresh ratings and an average score of 8.8/10. If you’re planning on watching this in theatres, prepare to hold the person sitting next to you tenderly as you softly caress their head while whispering “won’t you be my neighbor?” under a fog of snot mixed with tears.

5. Hotel Artemis

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[Credit: Global Road Entertainment]
  • Starring: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Sterling K. Brown, Jenny Slate, Charlie Day and Zachary Quinto.
  • Directed by: Drew Pearce.

Academy Award winner Jodie Foster stars as a nurse who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals… Aaaand I’ve already bought my tickets.

Hotel Artemis is the directorial debut of Drew Pearce who previously co-wrote the screenplay alongside director Shane Black for 2013’s Iron Man 3 as well as writing the story for everyone’s favourite Mission: Impossible installment, 2015’s Rogue Nation. While the upcoming action thriller boasts an impressive ensemble cast, one of the main reasons I’m most excited is the inclusion of Cliff Martinez who is set to compose the film’s score.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Martinez has reguarly scored the works of director Nicolas Winding Refn whose previous collaborative credits include Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon. I listen to these films’ scores on a consistent basis so I cannot wait to see what he brings to Artemis.

6. Tag – June 15th

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]
  • Starring: Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb and Jeremy Renner.
  • Directed by: Jeff Tomsic.

Tag is the directorial debut of Jeff Tomsic whose previous TV credits include Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and 2 episodes of Broad City.

The upcoming comedy is based on the true story of a group of ex-classmates meet up and organize a game of tag that finds them traveling across the country. After their story was profiled on The Wall Street Journal in 2013, offers to adapt the story in a feature-length motion picture obviously arose because the story is amazingly insane.

Jeremy Renner stars in the film and apparently whatever stunts appear in it are going to be wild because he fractured both of his arms while filming in 2017 due to a “stunt gone wrong.”

7. Under The Silver Lake – June 22nd

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[Credit: A24]
  • Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, Zosia Mamet and Jimmi Simpson.
  • Directed by: David Robert Mitchell (It Follows).

Four years after the immense success of his supernatural psychological thriller It Follows, director David Robert Mitchell teams up with Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough for the upcoming A24 neo-noir dramedy Under The Silver Lake.

The film follows young and disenchanted Sam (Garfield) when he meets a mysterious and beautiful woman who’s swimming in his building’s pool one night. When she suddenly vanishes the next morning, Sam embarks on a surreal quest across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal and conspiracy.

8. The Hustle – June 29th

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[Credit: MovieWeb]
  • Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp and Ingrid Oliver.
  • Directed by: Chris Addison.

Alright, this is a bit of a cheat but it everybody gets one.

The Hustle is the gender swapped remake of the 1988 classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which starred Steve Martin and Michael Caine as two men competing to swindle an American heiress out of $50,000 – A bunch of no-good dirty and rotten scoundrels, you ask me.

The upcoming comedy stars Oscar winner Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson and is the directorial debut of English comedian Chris Addison whose previous TV directing credits include Veep and Fresh Off The Boat. From an outline by Deadline, the lead actresses portray “two female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who compete to swindle a naive tech prodigy out of his fortune.”

No trailer is available yet for The Hustle.

9. Sorry To Bother You – July 6th

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[Credit: Annapurna Pictures]
  • Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun and Armie Hammer.
  • Directed by: Boots Riley.

Lakeith Stanfield leads an ensemble cast including Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson and one of my favourite humans on Earth, Armie Hammer, in the directorial debut by Boots Riley with Sorry To Bother You.

In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, the sci-fi comedy follows telemarketer Cassius Green (Stanfield) as he discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe. The film currently holds a stellar 92% on RT with 33/3 Fresh ratings and an average rating of 7.3/10.

Ant-Man And The Wasp is set for release the same weekend as Sorry To Bother You.

10. Skyscraper – July 13th

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[Credit: Universal Pictures | BoredPanda]
  • Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Pablo Schreiber, Byron Mann, Hannah Quinlivan and Noah Taylor.
  • Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber (DodgeBall, We’re The Millers, Central Intelligence).

Skyscraper AKA the-film-whose-poster-makes-no-scientifical-or-physical-sense re-teams The Rock (who seemingly never sleeps) with his Central Intelligence director Rawson Marshall Thurber in an action/disaster movie where he must save the lives of those he loves.

The film follows FBI agent and amputee Will Sawyer (Johnson) who lives in the tallest and “safest” skyscraper in Hong Kong with his family. The skyscraper itself, known as “The Pearl” houses several floors that function as their own society and despite the risks highlighted by Sawyer, who is the building’s head of security, his bosses insist that it is impenetrable. True to Sawyer’s belief, the building comes under attack by terrorists, forcing Sawyer to take action. Matters are complicated further when he finds himself framed for the attack, and his family trapped above the resulting fire line.

I will probably watch this movie solely because fellow Canadian and Party Of Five/House Of Cards alum Neve Campbell stars as Sawyer’s wife, Sarah… There are a few people in this world that I’d sacrifice everything for and Neve Campbell is one of them.

11. Hot Summer Nights – July 27th

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[Credit: A24]
  • Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe, Maia Mitchell, William Fichtner and Thomas Jane.
  • Directed by: Elijah Bynum.

Yet another A24-distributed film is set for release this summer and I am hyped.

Timothée Chalamet, the breakthrough star of last year’s critically acclaimed (and my favourite of the year) Call Me By Your Name, stars alongside It Follows lead Maika Monroe in Elijah Bynum’s directorial debut, Hot Summer Nights.

The film follows Daniel (Chalamet), a shy out-of-towner who gets in over his head flipping weed with the neighborhood rebel (Alex Roe) while pursuing his new business partner’s enigmatic sister (Monroe). With a hurricane looming in the wings, tensions rise against a backdrop of drive-ins, arcades, and crashed parties as the stakes (and temperatures) grow ever higher.

Only 5 reviews have been written so far on the film which currently has an 80% on RT, however 4 of them have given it a Fresh rating with an average rating of 9/10.

12. The Spy Who Dumped Me – August 3rd

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[Credit: Lionsgate Films]
  • Starring: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Sam Heughan, Justin Theroux and Hasan Minhaj.
  • Directed by: Susanna Fogel (Life Partners).

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon team up on an action-comedy and I am here for all of it.

Directed by Susanna Fogel and releasing one day after my birthday (hint hint for people who want to buy me gifts and are too nervous to ask when my birthday is), The Spy Who Dumped Me follows Audrey (Kunis) and her best friend Morgan (McKinnon) who find themselves embroiled in a major international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend unexpectedly re-enters her life with a team of assassins on his trail and reveals that he is actually a CIA agent.

Both Kunis and McKinnon are hysterical human beings so I am ecstatic to see how they tackle this project.

13. The Meg – August 10th

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[Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
  • Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Masi Oka and Cliff Curtis.
  • Directed by: Jon Turteltaub (3 Ninjas, While You Were Sleeping, National Treasure).

This is one of those movies you hear about being in production like eight years ago but believe it’ll never come to fruition… Thankfully for movie audiences, it’s here and it’s big – or should I say – Megalodon?

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[Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Based on the 1997 sci-fi book, The Meg follows a deep sea submarine as it’s attacked by Megalodon, a giant 75-foot shark that was thought to be extinct for over millions of years. With the ship disabled at the bottom of the sea, a rescue diver and oceanographer must quickly work to rescue the crew.

It looks ridiculous, it looks like Jason Statham is going to be doing some shit to a shark and I just may use my accumulated Cineplex SCENE points to purchase a ticket for it without using any actual money from my wallet.

14. BlacKkKlansman 

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  • Starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Jasper Pääkkönen, Corey Hawkins, Paul Walter Hauser and Harry Belafonte.
  • Directed by: Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Inside Man).

As soon as I heard about veteran director Spike Lee and soon-to-be-veteran-if-he-keeps-up-the-phenomenal-work Jordan Peele teaming up for this story, I was immediately hooked.

BlacKkKlansman follows the remarkable true story of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who works under cover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. Stallworth and his partner Flip Zimmerman risk their lives to penetrate the KKK at its highest levels. The film is based on the book “Black Klansman” written by Stallworth himself. Ballers star John David Washington is set to portray the lead while Adam Driver will star as Zimmerman.

No trailer is available yet for BlacKkKlansman.

15. Slender Man – August 24th

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[Credit: Screen Gems]
  • Starring: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, Talitha Bateman and Javier Botet.
  • Directed by: Sylvain White (I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, Stomp the Yard, The Losers).

Finishing off the summer season strong with… Slender-Man! From the director of such a horror gem as I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, I can’t wait to see how he tackles this Creepypasta tale.

The film tells the story of a malnourished man who is a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face known as Slender-Man, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens.

While it may be good for a few jump scares, Joey King is one of my favourite up-and-coming talents as she surprised me with her incredible performance in 2013’s The Conjuring. I look forward to seeing how she tackles her role as “teenager who doesn’t realize summoning spirits is a bad idea.”


Which of these Non-Quel flicks are you most anticipating? Let me know in the comments below!

featured image source: The Meg | Warner Bros. Pictures

“We’re Not In This Life For Peace”: How An Episode Of ‘The Golden Girls’ Encouraged Me To Hold On When I Needed It Most

“You wanted me to be here for your death, how about letting me be here for your life?”

Sitcom classic The Golden Girls aired on NBC during the height of the sitcom boom from 1985-1992 and featured the hysterical musings of four stellar women: Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White) and Sophia (Estelle Getty). These fictional characters felt like real, complex individuals with their own distinct personalities, providing frequent bouts of hilarity that kept fans entertained for 180 episodes.

While there are many examples of TV shows that would fall into the discussion of greatest sitcom properties, I would place The Golden Girls in the top-tier realm and personally refer to it as my No. 1 favorite sitcom of all time. Besides the obvious comedic aspects, there were occasional episodes that dealt with the more taboo subjects of the time (and some that are even considered taboo today). From adultery to homosexuality to deportation, The Golden Girls never shied away from focusing on these issues – One particular episode stands out to me the most from its fifth season.

The One Where Sophia’s Friend Wants Her There When She Commits Suicide

Season 5, Episode 7, titled “Not Another Monday” tackled the issue of suicide and what choice one has when a friend wants you there when they take their life. This episode focused on Sophia’s friend, Martha Lamont, a woman who believes that she can no longer stand the pain and loneliness of her physical world, choosing to end her life by her own hand rather than waiting for any more sicknesses to afflict her. In her own words, she doesn’t “want to see another Monday.”

As Sophia struggles with the ethical and moral obligations of her dear friend’s request, the B plot centered around Dorothy, Blanche and Rose caring for a newborn while her parents were away. The episode contains one of the funniest moments of the entire series: the three women attempt to calm the baby down by performing “Mr. Sandman” totally a capella. Watch it below:

(It’s no coincidence the writers decided to place the paralleling story lines of birth and death in this one episode, and I love them for it.)


Let me give you some background of my relationship with the show and delve into some personal territory of where I was in my life a few years back:

For A Number Of Years, I Was Lost

In 2010, my dear grandma passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. Prior to her final night, we would visit her on a daily basis, and I would always arrive home just in time to catch a syndicated episode of The Golden Girls. It comforted me watching these older women in the prime of their lives. I needed some sort of escape for that half an hour.

My grandma’s death hit me hard and continued to stay with me even as I entered university – The years spent in post-secondary was one of the most difficult times of my entire life. For the first 4 years of attempting to get my Bachelor’s (I finally graduated in my fifth year with a BA in English) I struggled with virtually every aspect of what was going on in my life at the time:
  • The Financial (“Am I able to afford this class?” “God, I don’t want to look at my financial statement right now… Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away?”)
  • The Course Load (“When were we assigned this?” “Is this syllabus for this class or..?”)
  • The Future (“Why am I even in school right now?” “Maybe I can take a year or three off and everyone will forget I was enrolled in the first place…”)

A myriad of personal problems just hovered over me and made me sympathize with Sisyphus (that Greek figure you’ve heard of whose best friend is a boulder for all eternity). I would have honestly done whatever it took to be able to pick up the phone and call my grandmother. Just to hear her voice would calm me down when I needed it the most.

I refused to tell anybody about my struggles; I thought it would be better to keep it in and occasionally have a nice cry in bed at 2am when my hourly you-aren’t-going-anywhere-in-life thoughts popped into my head. While I never specifically had suicidal thoughts, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t sporadic instances where I briefly thought, “I mean, what if I just don’t wake up tomorrow morning? Like I want to wake up, obviously, but… just what would it be like to not have to deal with this anymore?”

Why This TV Episode Means So Much To Me

When I was home alone one night, I suddenly felt the urge to watch an episode of The Golden Girls. There were probably exams or something going on that had me at the peak of my anxiety.

The episode was “Not Another Monday” and my jaw dropped when I heard Martha ask Sophia to be present during her suicide. She seemed happy and so sure of herself that she didn’t want to live to see another day. Watching Sophia (who reminded me way too much of my grandma, by the way) reminisce with Martha by pleading for her to “remember life” stung me. Sophia reminded her (and, by extension, me) that “we’re not in this life for peace” when Martha reasons that their departed friend Lydia looked so peaceful at her funeral.

Hard-as-nails and badass Sophia Petrillo had tears in her eyes as she attempted to convince Martha that this wasn’t her time. An exasperated Martha reveals the loneliness she feels on a constant basis, and — after Sophia’s pleas and vow to invite her over to the bustling Golden Girl abode — Martha states, “I don’t know what to do.”

The following line is what stuck with me then, and continues to stick with me now:

“That’s the point, if you’re not sure, you can’t change your mind tomorrow.”

While the entire above sequence makes me tear up, that quote convinced me to keep a laser focus on the finish line regardless of how far away that damn, stupid line seemed to be – “School isn’t forever; these struggles I have aren’t forever; those who care about me would want me to hold on with everything I have because I will come out of the putrid funk I happen to be in at this moment.”

I’m now a university graduate, continuing my writing and gradually dabbling in Toronto real estate (because I just love having clients irritated with me). This is a story and an experience I have courtesy of a TV show from the 1980s.

To conclude in the most cheesy way possible: thank you for being a friend!

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[Credit: NBC]

What TV shows have meant the most to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

‘Alias Grace’ Is A Must-Watch For Fans Of Complex Protagonists & Compelling Storytelling

With the state of the world being what it is today, escapism through Margaret Atwood television properties seems to be the only form of solace we have.

This year’s spectacularly executed The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu recently swept at the Emmys and another Atwood adaption is on the horizon at another monstrous streaming service. Alias Grace is the novel every high schooler was tasked to read and its small screen adaptation shares a similarity with its Hulu counterpart in that it’s one of the best executed shows you will watch this year. The six-part miniseries aired weekly for Canadians on CBC and is currently available for a 6 hour binge globally on Netflix.

Alias Grace tells the story of Grace Marks, a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant living in Upper Canada during the 19th century who finds herself accused of murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Grace insists she has no memory of the murders, however she is ultimately convicted and imprisoned at Kingston Penitentiary. The miniseries features American doctor, Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) who is commissioned with writing a report on her following a sequence of interviews where she shares her experiences leading up to and following her conviction.

Producer and writer of all six episodes, Sarah Polley, has been a fan of Grace Marks since the novel’s original release over 20 years ago and describes why she views her as “endlessly fascinating“:

“She conveyed her experience with this gallows [humor] and ladylike poise at the same time. You could never figure out how aware she was of herself; whether she was a brilliant mastermind or completely innocent was always a mystery.”

 

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[Credit: Netflix]

This underlying question of deception is exactly where the intrigue of this slow-burning series flourishes – is Grace Marks an innocent pawn suffering at the hands of those around her or is there a more insidious part of her we’re not seeing? As Grace relays the memories she chooses to relay with Dr. Jordan and the viewer sympathizes with her plight, there is still an inkling of suspicion present because of the doubts of those around her… Not to mention, the double murder conviction doesn’t really help her case.

Everyone’s favorite narrative technique, the unreliable narrator, is implemented brilliantly in Alias Grace as you’re given the word of a murderess in the eyes of the law to progress the story. You’re occasionally reminded that a proper investigation with science and hard facts were simply nonexistent during the time so although that label of “murderess” is hung over her head, as a viewer in 2017 you’re somewhat conflicted as to whether Grace is the criminal many believe her to be. This back and forth inner struggle is only heightened by the spectacular performances by virtually everyone in the series and gorgeous Canadian landscape that makes Alias Grace a must watch.

Can You Trust Grace Marks? Sarah Gadon’s Perfect Portrayal Makes It Difficult Not To

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[Credit: Netflix]
Fellow Toronto-native Sarah Gadon has been in the acting game for years, most notably starring alongside James Franco in last year’s Hulu miniseries, 11.22.63. She has also starred with Jake Gyllenhaal in Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy and is a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg, appearing in such films as A Dangerous Method, Cosmopolis and Maps To The Stars. While she’s appeared in a number of mainstream flicks including Dracula Untold and The Amazing Spiderman 2, Gadon has seemingly excelled in smaller, more intimate roles that require her to test out every facet of her acting capabilities.

“Gadon further cements her place in the club of Canadian royalty”

With her phenomenal portrayal of Grace Marks under her belt, Gadon further cements her place in the club of Canadian royalty which boasts an impressive list of names including the Goddesses of music, Celine Dion & Shania Twain, and our 2 favorite Ryans, Gosling & Reynolds.

Legions of novel fans may already have some kind of idea as to who they believe Grace Marks is and what her live-action portrayal should contain. In my humble opinion and as a fan of the novel, Gadon excels at whatever preconceived beliefs one may have about the character. Her keen ability at expressing the most subtle of nuances is simply mesmerizing, particularly during the sequences where there is only Grace and Dr. Jordan present. As she rarely blinks when discussing her experiences, the audience is left with feeling a sense of entrapment because you are fixated on her eyes. No matter how much you try to look away, you are locked in completely which is a major testament to Gadon’s ability.

The importance of featuring the perfect Grace cannot be overlooked, if the audience doesn’t believe they are watching Grace Marks, everything will fall apart. Gadon’s performance captivates you from start to finish and working alongside a roster of talented costars is certainly a huge plus.

The Various Familiar Faces Are An Added Delight

Throughout Alias Grace, I found myself occasionally thinking “wait… is that who I think it is?” The inclusion of the following famous faces only enhanced the enjoyment of my watch particularly because they were doing such a fantastic job in their respective roles.

Zachary Levi as Jeremiah Dupont

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[Credit: CBC]
Best known for his role as Chuck Bartowski in the NBC series Chuck, Zachary Levi stars as Jeremiah Dupont, a handsome peddler who has an affinity with carrying around enormous trunks. As a huge fan of his geekcentric series (during Halloween when I was in grade 11, I came to school dressed as Chuck in full Nerd Herd gear), seeing him with a beard initially threw me off. He portrays the travelling salesman with such charisma, you’re left wanting to go on adventures with him yet remain hesitant because this is clearly not a feasible way of life for a family.

Anna Paquin as Nancy Montgomery

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[Credit: Netflix]
Anna Paquin portrayed the sweetly Southern, vampire-loving Sookie Stackhouse on HBO’s True Blood for seven seasons. Paquin manages to possess the perfect amount of friendliness with ruthlessness in her role as Nancy Montgomery, the woman whose bonnet is full of secrets. You’re constantly wondering what the nature of her relationship is with the Master of the Household, Thomas Kinnear, and are left fascinated by the various revelations made by Grace.

Paul Gross as Thomas Kinnear

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[Credit: Netflix]
Every Canadian mother’s hunk o’ burnin’ love, Paul Gross, has matured into a silver-haired fox who, like virtually every other character in the series, harbors a sinisterness about him that makes it difficult to trust his hunky wiles. Just as needing a credible actress to portray Grace Marks is crucial for the success of the series, Thomas’ relationship with Nancy is integral to its believability factor. Thankfully both Gross and Paquin work incredibly well off each other, ultimately adding to what is already an incredibly enjoyable watch.

Margaret Atwood’s Cameo

And, of course, the Hitchcockian-esque cameo made by Queen Atwood herself. She also appeared in the pilot episode of The Handmaid’s Tale so she clearly can’t stay away from the recent adaptations of her brilliant works (not that we’re complaining). For those wondering which episode of Alias Grace the veteran author makes a brief appearance in, look no further than below:

Atwood is spotted in Episode 4 as an “outraged” church-going woman who is clearly not a fan of Grace and co.

Ensure Alias Grace Is On Your Must-Watch List

With some undeniably brilliant talent both in front of and behind the camera, Alias Grace is the perfect watch for fans of character-driven stories that want to be challenged by these complicated characters. As a Canadian and lover of fantastic TV, I consider it my patriotic duty to suggest works that tick those specific boxes, something this miniseries accomplishes and then some.

Every episode of Alias Grace is available to stream on Netflix.

Will you be watching Alias Grace? Let me know in the comments below!

From Dating JFK To Potentially Portraying Peter Pan: Here Are 7 Interesting Facts About The Great Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn has remained an icon for generations due in part to her remarkable on-screen charisma, fashion sense and awe-inspiring philanthropic work. As the embodiment of grace whose image remains a staple on virtually every young woman’s wall in the form of a Breakfast At Tiffany’s poster, Hepburn managed to captivate the movie-going audience in such classics as Roman Holiday, Funny Face and Sabrina, just to name a few.

Her journey to super stardom certainly wasn’t a simple one, as many are aware of the harrowing experiences she suffered through. These included the Nazi occupation during World War II and the subsequent Dutch famine of 1944-1945 which resulted in her developing numerous health ailments.

Her inspirational rise to fame ultimately came to a heartbreaking end in January of 1993 when Hepburn passed away from appendix cancer at the age of 63. She left behind a marveling legacy and for those familiar with Hepburn, here are just a few facts about her life you probably never knew.


1. She Is Part Of The Elite EGOT Club

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Audrey Holding Up Her Oscar At The 26th Academy Awards, 1954

Hepburn is one of 12 people who have earned the rare honor of winning four of the major annual American entertainment awards – an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. She is also the first to join this elite club posthumously, earning an Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn in September 1993 and her Grammy Award in 1994 for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.

She is perhaps best known for earning a Best Actress Academy Award for her first starring role as Princess Ann in 1953’s Roman Holiday, an achievement only a few exceptional talents can say they’ve earned. Hepburn was awarded her Tony Award for Best Actress in a Drama for her performance in Ondine the following year where she worked alongside her future husband, actor Mel Ferrer, on Broadway.

2. Givenchy Created A One-Of-A-Kind Perfume Just For Her

 

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[Credit: Givenchy]

Hepburn met French designer Hubert de Givenchy during the production of 1954’s fashion-centric Sabrina. Givenchy was reportedly expecting to meet another Academy Award winner, actress Katharine Hepburn (no relation to Audrey) to discuss clothing options for the film. Although he was initially a bit disappointed by the confusion, Givenchy and Hepburn ended up becoming the best of friends for the remainder of her life.

Givenchy created an exclusive perfume for Hepburn in 1957 titled L’Interdit which translates to “the forbidden” in French. She adored the fragrance, wearing it for years and ultimately becoming the face of its advertising campaign when it was finally released to the public in the 1960s.

3. She Dated John F. Kennedy And Informed The Crew On Set Of My Fair Lady Of His Death

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My Fair Lady | Warner Bros.

You’re probably familiar with the Breakfast At Tiffany’s tidbit that Marilyn Monroe was original author Truman Capote’s first pick for who should portray Holly Golightly – the role that solidified Hepburn’s place in pop culture and film history. This discord between the film’s casting and Capote is not the only similarity shared between the two actresses. Interestingly enough, the beloved 35th President of the United States is where they both align as well.

Former President John F. Kennedy and Hepburn dated when he was a senator with no love lost between them when they ultimately split, as Kennedy was once quoted saying Roman Holiday was his favorite film. Monroe’s relationship with Kennedy is a bit different as he allegedly had an affair with her while married to Jackie O. Her seductive recitation of “Happy Birthday” remains one of the most talked about events in all of human history. Hepburn actually performed the song in a less scandalized matter the following year, however since it was a private event there is unfortunately no record of it.

When Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, it was Hepburn who made the distressing announcement to the cast and crew on set of My Fair Lady during production. She reportedly asked everyone to pray for him and when she went into a carriage on-set with co-star Jeremy Brett, she apparently lowered the shades and cried.

4. Disney Threatened Legal Action Against A Live-Action Peter Pan Film Starring Hepburn In The Titular Role

You read that right, we would’ve gotten to see an Audrey Hepburn-starring Peter Pan film if Walt Disney himself hadn’t threatened legal action against the London Hospital for Children.

The Hospital proposed a live-action film adaptation of J.M Barrie’s play in hopes to generate funds to improve patient care facilities. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, gifted the rights to the Hospital in 1929. The proposed film was to star Hepburn as the boy who never grew up and Laurence Olivier as Captain Hook. Hepburn’s My Fair Lady director George Cukor would have directed the film, however the project was ultimately scrapped courtesy of the King of the Mouse House.

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]
Disney essentially claimed their studio owned all the cinematic rights to Peter Pan following the release of their classic animated Pan film in 1953. They did pay for the rights to make the animated movie, although it was only a small amount in 1939. When they learned about the Hospital’s plan to develop a live-action Pan adaptation, Disney reportedly threatened legal action against them and that was enough to say goodbye to the idea of a flying Hepburn. If there’s anything we know about Walt Disney, it’s that he could utterly ruthless when anything related to his business arose and this was definitely a taste of just how harsh he could be.

5. Her Salary For Breakfast At Tiffany’s Made Her The Second Highest Paid Actress Of Her Time

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Breakfast At Tiffany’s | Paramount Pictures

While Hepburn portraying Holly Golightly in Blake Edwards’ Breakfast At Tiffany’s may not have been Capote’s first choice, her charismatic magnetism just radiated on screen which led to her earning what she rightly deserved for the role.

She was reportedly paid $750,000 for Tiffany’s, a number that placed her second behind Elizabeth Taylor’s record-setting contract of $1 million for the epic Cleopatra (1963). Actresses earning these numbers were simply unheard of at the time, however these two films ride entirely on the performances of the main lead actresses. Hepburn particularly enchanted critics and audiences alike with her incredible talent which only assisted her for future deals, earning a staggering $1,100,000 for My Fair Lady.

For anyone wondering how monumentally impressive this achievement is, she reportedly earned $12,500 for her starring role in Roman Holiday. Not every famous face who makes the big bucks in future projects are given the same sum during their debuts, no matter how impressive it may be. It goes to show how important those initial starring debuts are since the trajectory of Hepburn’s career managed to skyrocket following that role and subsequent Oscar win.

6. She Didn’t Understand Why People Thought She Was Beautiful

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Sabrina | Paramount Pictures

In one of the more unbelievable things learned about this brilliant woman, she experienced self-esteem and body issues throughout her life. According to her son, Luca Dotti, his mother didn’t know why people thought she was beautiful, revealing in a Vanity Fair interview that she “thought she had a big nose and big feet, and she was too skinny and not enough breast.”

She apparently would “look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t understand why people see me as beautiful'” to which I say, she was easily one of the most gorgeous-looking human beings to ever grace the Earth. A sentiment I know I’m not the only one to share.

7. Her Debilitating Health Caused Her To Miss The Presidential Medal Of Freedom Ceremony Honoring Her Humanitarian Work

audrey hepburn unicef
[Credit: UNICEF]
Hepburn retired from acting in the 1970s, choosing to spend more time with her family and focus on the plight suffered by millions around the world. Hepburn was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador in 1989 and in December of 1992, she was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.

She frequently visited some of the most impoverished parts of the world in her later life and the honor was to primarily recognize her incredible role as Goodwill Ambassador. Unfortunately, her rapidly declining health rendered her unable to attend the reception honoring her at the White House. Her philanthropic legacy lives on at UNICEF’s New York headquarters where a statue dedicated to her was unveiled in 2002 named “The Spirit of Audrey.”

It’s truly no surprise why Audrey Hepburn is as beloved as she is. An icon in every sense of the word be it through her fashion sense, the way she conducted herself or her emphasis on the struggles experienced by the less fortunate, Hepburn has and will continue to remain an inspiration. While she easily could’ve went down the route of a typical Hollywood starlet, she chose roles that challenged her abilities and didn’t allow her various insecurities to stop her.

Whether you feel a sudden inkling to laugh hysterically, cry uncontrollably or anything in between, there is always an Audrey Hepburn film guaranteed to satisfy whatever film craving you may have.

(Sources: Biography | Everything Audrey | Ranker)

What’s your favorite Audrey Hepburn factoid? Share them in the comments below!

‘IT’ Gets The Anime Treatment As Fan’s Pennywise Artwork Is Transformed Into A Video

No one could have possibly predicted just how successful the recent adaptation of Stephen King’s IT has been. Its continual breaking of box office records doesn’t seem to be slowing down and fans are showing their appreciation for the killer clown by utilizing their talents to freak us all out.

Mike Anderson is one of these talented artists who took his love for Pennywise and created an incredible #anime rendition of one of the film’s most noteworthy scenes.

When Talents Collide

The drawing caught the eye of one creative fan, vocalist KevChelios, who viewed the image and rather than running away in fear, decided the best course of action would be to animate it, of course. The brief clip sees a dubbed Pennywise infamously clutching Georgie’s paper boat and is masterfully executed to resemble a Japanese anime.

It’s truly remarkable how perfect Kev managed to construct the clip using only Mike’s drawing. The flawless edits made and emphatic voice over may cause the viewer to keep rewatching it because it is just that good.

With more than 130,000 retweets, fans clearly want more than the 13 seconds of quality content provided. Hopefully we’ll see a possible collaboration between the two artists in the future or at least another rendition because it is simply too great of a prospect to give up on.

featured image credit: Mike Anderson

What other horror films should be given the anime treatment? Let me know your picks in the comments below!

These Behind-The-Scenes Images From ‘Stranger Things’ Season 1 Will Get You Ready For Season 2

Caution: This Article Contains Spoilers From Season 1 Of Stranger Things

Can someone just place me in the Upside Down until October?

As we eagerly await the newest season of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, the good folks behind the official Stranger Things Twitter account have provided us with some behind-the-scenes images from its first season. The pictures feature some of our favorite actors from the series breaking character to pose — and possibly goof-off — for a photo while they let loose.

Nothing is better than seeing the inner workings of popular shows/movies and the talented individuals who grace the screen. This sentiment rings true especially when the series is as much of a phenomenon as Stranger Things is offering us a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to shoot Season 1. Using the hashtag #StrangerThursdays, the show’s official Twitter unleashed the photos on us all, using some helpful Do’s and Don’t’s tips accompanied by the Stranger Things pictures and GIFs. Here are some of the best that feature bts shots.


Nancy Epitomizes “Words Will Never Break Me”

Natalia Dyer (who portrays Nancy) and crew brush off the horrid words spray painted across the film marquee for All The Right Moves as seen in Episode 6, “The Monster.”

Steve’s Beauty Knows No Boundaries

Even in the aftermath of a bloody fight (in the same episode as above) Joe Keery’s (Steve) hair remains perfectly coiffed. The handsome talent flashes a million dollar smile, prompting this twitter user to accurately express my thoughts during this grueling wait:

Solid Advice For Any Eggos Shoplifters

It’s interesting that this is what is deemed “acting natural” for a potential shop lifter, however Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) clearly knows more about acting than I will ever know so I trust their judgement. Eleven’s Eggo-and-pink-dress ensemble is certainly one of the more popular icons to come out of the series, garnering Halloween costume acclaim and different iterations of Funko pop figures.

Behold The Glory Of MiLeven

The generous Gods in charge of the twitter account knows what we want to see: adorable behind-the-scenes shots of IT’s Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Brown. The relationship between their two characters truly was the heart of the #Netflix series, causing fans to creatively invent the ship name, “Mileven.”

This group of blooper shots caused a massive response from fans because they are just so adorable together. Despite how successful the series becomes, the young actors are still kids who occasionally can’t control the need to pull the classic Bunny Ears behind a friend’s head. Many simply couldn’t contain their excitement at seeing the pictures:

https://twitter.com/sparklymillie/status/905964789368852480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fmoviepilot.com%2Fp%2Fnetflix-stranger-things-season-1-behind-the-scene-photos%2F4367779

Others are wondering when we can expect an actual blooper reel because hysterical bloopers are truly the key to the hearts of legions of fans:

… If you’re curious about the “kissing sucks” reference in the above tweet, make sure you see the the interview from the time the Stranger Things cast visited The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

And this final tweet is probably my favorite one because it is the one that speaks for us all:

Season 2 of Stranger Things releases on Netflix on October 27th, 2017. In the meantime, check out its brilliantly atmospheric trailer below:

Which behind-the-scenes image is your favorite? Let me know your pick in the comments below!