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…
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.
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 Earpthat 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.
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 Earpwas 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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 OfEnemies). 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
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 Forgivesand 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
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
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
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
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’sTessa 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
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
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 Followslead 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
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
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?
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.
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 Peeleteaming 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
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
“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-lifethoughts 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!
What TV shows have meant the most to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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.”
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
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
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
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
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!
The monster money machine that is Paramount’s Transformers franchise hopes to continue its ridiculously successful run at the box office with its upcoming slate of prequels and spinoffs that will form the Transformers Cinematic Universe.
Despite the latest installment of the series, The Last Knight, failing to achieve the same financial feats as its predecessors, the franchise as a whole has totaled over $3 billion which indicates the audience that does adore the Michael Bay-powered depiction of robotic violence adores it hard.
The upcoming Bumblebee will kick start the TCU (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) and we now have the names of the young cast that will lead the spinoff. THR reports Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Abby Quinn (Landline), Rachel Crow (Rio 2), Ricardo Hoyos (Degrassi: Next Class) and Gracie Dzienny (Zoo) are all in various stages of negotiations. While these names may not necessarily be cause for celebration, others who are involved in the production and the rumored plot details of the film definitely generates some sense of intrigue… As much intrigue as a Transformers spinoff may ever generate.
‘Bumblebee’ Has The Power To Successfully Usher In A New Audience For Transformers
When it comes to the past decade of Michael Bay’s “critic-proof” Transformers films, I haven’t been a fan myself, however I do enjoy hearing the sheer joy it brings to many moviegoers. Although the financial performance by The Last Knight certainly isn’t terrible, audiences may be growing tired of witnessing the same bombastic visual junk (with little focus on having any sort of emotional core) that the franchise has become infamous for. Even those who voice their disdain for the Transformers franchise the most may admit the first installment with Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox wasn’t that bad. Truly the relationships depicted between the otherworldly metallic species appealed more to certain audience members than any of the human characters.
Among the previously mentioned bunch, the Bumblebee prequel/spinoff will also star Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and most notably, the incredibly talented Hailee Steinfeld who exceeded all expectations in last year’s Edge Of Seventeen. As we’ve seen time and time again, a great cast is never a promise for an equally great movie (as evidenced by Sir Anthony Hopkins whose wallet miraculously wandered its way into the latest Transformers). As there are a number of new talents sprinkled throughout Bumblebee, expectations for the film will be lowered drastically since audiences will now be happy if the new cast simply doesn’t suck. The addition of Steinfeld is a major advantage for those interested in her phenomenal work and hope to see her in a big budget blockbuster.
The director for the film is frankly why I’m as excited as I am. Travis Knight’s directorial debut was last year’s criminally under-appreciated Kubo And The Two Strings – an example of an “original” movie people clamor for yet never take the time out to watch it because it’s an original property. Besides all the brilliant components of that stop motion picture, what Knight managed to accomplish with the emotional aspect of Kubo and its enchanting world made it as great as it was, hopefully that brilliance is able to be captured in Bumblebee.
Plot details have not been released officially yet, however the rumored details surrounding it sounds next to perfect – Bumblebee will serve as aprequel to the main film series and focus on Bumblebee’s life during the 1980s. The film will follow Steinfeld’s character and a group of her friends as they team up to help Bumblebee. Watching a straight prequel for one of the greatest autobots in the franchise set during an exhilarating time period with a (hopefully) talented young cast? Call me crazy but sign me up!
Bumblebee is slated for a June 8th, 2018 release and if it does well, expect 14 more Transformers spinoffs that will most likely range from When Optimus Prime Visited The DMV to Mr. Magorium’s Robotic Testicle Emporium.
Emilia Clarke is no stranger when it comes to projects that require her to stay quiet about virtually every single detail. In fact, her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO series Game Of Thrones has fully prepared the Mother of Dragons for how to dodge questions about her mysterious female lead in the upcoming Han Solo anthology film.
For both Star Wars and Game of Thrones, remaining tight-lipped about every aspect is a requirement for cast and crew. Both have become known for their ‘spoiler free’ approach in order to please fans. Well, for anyone wondering which ridiculously anticipated project is the most intimidating to talk about during interviews, Clarke has the answer for you.
In an interview with The Independent, Clarke revealed what she’s allowed to tell the press:
“I genuinely can’t tell you anything other than Alden [Ehrenreich, who plays Han Solo] is magnificent, and it’s a delight to do something on that level with really cool actors and nice people. But it’s even scarier talking about that than Game of Thrones.”
As a seasoned veteran of keeping secrets about the biggest series on television, this is incredibly telling of just how much Disney wants to keep details under wraps. Unlike what she experiences with Game of Thrones and the latest season, Clarke read the screenplay for the film, which means she technically knew more about what will happen to Han Solo than many Game of Thrones characters.
According to the actress, the creative team on the TV series strives to keep everyone – including the actors – in the dark about what will occur during the upcoming seasons. Funnily enough, this makes it easier for her to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers because she has genuinely no idea what will happen next:
“No one knows anything. No one is told anything. It’s all crazy. It’s a secret from the cast. We generally can’t be trusted. They pretty much have told us so.”
What We Know So Far About Solo
As is with every upcoming Star Wars property, if anyone even contemplates uttering a detail they will probably be silenced by a skilled bounty hunter. The film is still referred to as the Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film, but there are rumblings that a fan favorite Jedi named Drysdon Vos may appear.
What we definitely know is that the film will cover a six-year time period, taking the beloved character from 18 to 24. We will learn how Han befriends a Wookiee named Chewbacca and see the game where he wins the Millennium Falcon from a young Lando Calrissian, portrayed by Donald Glover.
The Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Joonas Suotamo and hits theaters on May 25th, 2018.
While we wait for the return of Han Solo on the big screen, you can see Emilia Clarke reprise her role as Daenerys Targaryen in season 7 of Game of Thrones which currently airs Sundays on HBO.
Disney’s biennial D23 Expo gives fans a sneak peek into the upcoming film slate that is housed over at the Monstrous Mouse House. Disney is known for its unbelievably tight hold on their properties and when your company generates over a ~gazillion dollars a year with the various franchises it has under its belt, you’re truly not going to trust anyone with your financially lucrative babies except for a selected few.
This year’s event had a ton of news within the animated realm including directing duties for Toy Story 4, possible titles for the sequel to my absolute favourite Frozen 2 (no shame, guys) and FINALLY SOME KIND OF WORD ON THE INCREDIBLES 2 – It’s only been like 15 years, no rush or anything! Of course, while other Disney properties are all well and nice (like your various Marvel films et al), the franchise everyone is ridiculously anticipating is the upcoming addition to the Star Wars saga,The Last Jedi.
Similarly to the tight grip held for last year’s The Force Awakens, plot details surrounding the installment are kept within the grasp of those included in its production and the movie Gods up above. As someone attempting to avoid any spoilers like it’s a Romulan-created plague, the good Disney folks released a featurette for individuals like myself which gives a behind-the-scenes look at Episode VIII. This installment seems to take a similar tone as everyone’s favourite sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, with emphasis being placed on how game-changing its story will affect the entire Star Wars universe. Daisy Ridley (Rey) states that despite The Last Jedi being the second in its trilogy, it “feels like its own thing” which is arguably one of the most vital components the film can have. This component indicates that TLJ will stand on its own with its respective merits rather than relying solely on nostalgic callbacks, an issue many had with TFA. There are also glimpses of the late, oh so great Carrie Fisher in full General Leia-garb concluding the featurette with what she believed made the film so powerful- family. *Cue the ugly sobbing tears from legions of humans*
Check Out The Featurette Below:
Character Posters: When You Have Such Stylish Capes On, Eye Inclusions Simply Are Not Needed
Along with the brilliant featurette, a handful of character posters were released. The posters feature key characters of the upcoming Episode and intriguingly neglects to include the eyes of the characters. There is probably some deeper meaning for this decision, however we’ll save that for when I have my tinfoil hat on.
And My Personal Favourite…
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi stars Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Oscar Isaac and is directed by Rian Johnson. The Last Jedi will release on December 15th, 2017.