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The Screen Actor's Guild Awards

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The 19th annual SAG's (Screen Actor's Guild Awards) were this past weekend and a lot of the people making a trip up to the podium were just up there for the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Anne Hathaway for Les Mis, Claire Danes for Homeland, Kevin Costner for Hatfields and McCoys.

Once again Argo got top honours under the category 'Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture'. Now I guess that isn't quite the same as winning for best picture, but it certainly is gathering momentum leading up to the Oscars. If you read my earlier post you know that I thought that Argo was marginal at best as a movie, and as anything closely resembling history, sadly lacking. There is a very interesting article in the January 28th Maclean's magazine about the movie, called Movies That Make History (Volume 126 issue 3). There is a quote from the real Ken Taylor (former Canadian ambassador to Iran), who says "the filmmakers stole a good story and gave CIA spy Tony Mendez the credit of Canada's role in engineering the escape of 6 US diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis." Affleck has been insisting that his movie is 'extremely accurate and relevant' but when he heard this he went into damage control mode, made Taylor the guest of honour at a Washington premiere and hailed him as a hero. Then Victor Garber who played Taylor in the movie weighed in, more words were exchanged and on and on.

As I mentioned, the article is very good and well worth the read. Do you know that you don't have to buy the magazine on the newsstand, or even look for it on our shelves. You can get it free on-line with your handy dandy library card. Just go to E-Library from our homepage, then Newspapers and Magazines. Now click on Academic Search Elite (an EbscoHost database). At the top go into Publications, and then click on "M" for Maclean's. Click on Maclean's and then click on "+Jan 2013" on the right, under "All Issues", and there it is: Volume 126, Issue 3, and all the articles from that issue, including Movies That Make History.

Have a read of this very well written article — and now that you know how to find magazines, spend some more time in this great database — one of hundreds that come free with your library card.


6 Degrees of Separation...With a Twist

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Thanks to guest blogger ALEX, who always gives us these great 6 degree posts. She's come up with a real mind bender this time...

It’s been a while since we've done a 6° of Separation, and who better to get us back in the swing of things than the man of the hour, Benedict Cumberbatch! But since it’s a new year, let’s put a new twist on this game… instead of following just Benedict through filmdom, we’re going to follow famous pairings – people who collaborate on flicks with each other again and again – or, for our purposes, Dynamic Duos!

Now I know that Moe just posted about BC a couple of weeks ago, but it's a testament to how popular this guy is that here we are with him again. You won’t be able to turn on a TV or go to the movies in 2013 without seeing him EVERYWHERE. We’d be remiss to mention his popularity without also mentioning his partner-in-crime[solving], Martin Freeman. While both have been heavy on the Brit set for years, they’re enjoying new-found recognition on this side of the pond thanks to the success of their hit BBC serial “Sherlock”. If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, don’t let knock-off CBS “Elementary” throw you off the scent… it is absolutely worth your time, especially if you’re not necessarily a fan of other recent offerings like the Robert Downey Jr redux.

Cumberbatch’s success in Sherlock no doubt had a hand in his casting in the upcoming “Star Trek: Into Darkness” flick, set for release in May. The movie comes out in five months, and after months and months of rumours about who he'd be playing, we only found out just very recently. Brilliant marketing ploy?! Look to the genius of J.J. Abrams, who’s mastery of suspense has provided such gems as “Lost”, Fringe”, Super 8” and of course, “Heroes”. (AND NEW UPDATE! J.J. has just signed on to do the new Star Wars! BOTH of the Star franchises?? If anyone can mend the rift between Trekkies and Warsies, it would be him...)


Which brings us to our next dynamic duo:

While coupling Cumberbatch with Abrams is an out-of-this-world combo, there is a more fitting Jelly to Abram’s Peanut Butter. I’m talking about Zachary Quinto, who played the horrifying Sylar in “Heroes”, and the wonderful “Spock” in the new Star Treks. These two are friends off-set, and Quinto is reported as having said that returning to Star Trek without Abrams would be unimaginable. Quinto appears in the Star Trek movies with half of another dynamic duo, Simon Pegg (the hilarious Scotty).

It is difficult to think of Simon Pegg without also picturing buddy Nick Frost hovering somewhere nearby. The pair seem to be inseparable when working on comedies, with titles such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” being perennial favourites. They have also voice-acted together in “Tintin” and “Ice Age: Continental Drift”. For my next jump I’ll use the rather insignificant “Snow White and the Huntsman” to link Nick Frost with good ol’ Toby Jones, as they both played dwarves.

Toby Jones is memorable for his character-acting and the fact that he takes on a lot of bit roles in a lot of big movies. Also famous for this? Stanley Tucci. These two very talented actors keep taking relatively small roles, which continually surprise and delight me. I always want more of them, so I suppose they’re choosing their roles perfectly after all. Two movies I can use as examples that feature both of these actors are “The Hunger Games” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”.

Another surprising appearance in “Captain America” is Richard Armitage as Heinz Kruger. Richard who? He was only on screen for about three minutes so he was easy to miss. But once you've found him, you'll just want more. For the next three years we’ll be inundated with his glorious, studly face as he plays Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit” trilogy.

And to wrap it all up with a nice little bow, Richard Armitage’s Thorin is the leader of the motley crew including Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins, all setting off to reclaim their loot from the desolation of Smaug—voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch (There is Oscar Buzz for old' Benedict in this role... After studying Komodo dragons to research his role as Smaug, we've heard rumours that his voice-acting is brilliant and might get a nod!)

WHEW—that was exhausting!

All things Python

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

I had the pleasure of recently seeing FRC 's (Front Row Centre) production of Spamalot. Familiar as I am with Monty Pythons in general and The Holy Grail in particular, until now I had not seen this musical. I thought it was tremendous- cheeky, funny, just plain silly. To quote Eric Idle "it is lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Idle, a member of the original Monty Python troupe wrote the musical's book and lyrics and collaborated with John Du Prez on most of the music. If you are a MP fan you will no doubt recognize the "Always look on the bright side of Life"- one of the most hummable tunes ever.

CPL has a huge assortment of all things Python, including the original series, most all of their movies -Holy Grail- and many other productions once the original 6 disbanded, such as Fawlty Towers. We also have a collection of personal faves from all of the members: Terry Jones's Personal Best, Graham Chapman's PBest, Terry Gilliam's PBest, Michael Palin's PBest, John Cleese's PBest, Eric Idles PBEST.

I am reliably informed by FRC people that there are still some good seats left for Spamalot. If you can make it down, you won't be disappointed, but it only runs till the 26th.


2012 Favourites

by Trevor - 3 Comment(s)

Hi guys. Trevor here, telling you about some of my favorite films over the past year. Despite a few disappointments (cough, cough, The Dark Knight Rises), 2012 was a pretty good year for film. Here are a few that stood out for me.

Looper is a smart and exciting time travel flick that stars the always excellent Bruce Willis and the up and coming Joseph Gordon Levitt…who both play the same character. With a tight plot and a concept as original as anything I’ve seen this year, Looper isn’t one to miss.

Or…if you like your time travel quirky and romantic rather than violent and gritty, give Safety Not Guaranteed a try. As much about nostalgia and regret as it is about time travel, this one is just as good as Looper but in completely different ways.

Argo – Ben Affleck once again proves his versatility by both directing and starring in this taut, tense, and true tale of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital. You’re guaranteed to be on the edge of your seat throughout this one. (I can't link to this one yet as we don't have it in yet, but check the catalogue in the coming weeks to be the first on the hold list).

Avengers – If you haven’t seen the Avengers yet, do so right now! This film set the bar for which all future super hero movies will be judged. And oh my…that bar has been set high. We are now living in a post-Avengers world. We’d better get used to it!

For a change of pace you could also try Chronicle. A super hero film that’s not a super hero film, Chronicle follows the found footage approach to tell the tale of three high school students who stumble upon super powers. Things quickly escalate from fun telekinetic pranks to super powered mayhem. This low budget film really is much better than it has any right to be.

Cabin in the Woods – If you’re a fan of the Avengers, this one might be right up your alley. Written and produced by Joss Whedon of Avengers fame (and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse, and others), Cabin in the woods is a scary, smart, and funny satire of the horror genre. If you liked Scream back in the day, chances are you’ll like this one.

Moonrise Kingdom – This tale of a 1960’s tween-age romance is so captivating, so heartfelt, and so whimsical that it could only have come from the mind of Wes Anderson. It’s poignant and unique in a way few movies can even aspire to. It also doesn’t hurt that you can pause the movie at any point, print off the screen, and frame it as a beautiful work of art!

Were there any of your favorites that didn’t make the list?

Golden Globes Gowns Gawking

by Melanie - 0 Comment(s)

I have to agree with Moe. I'm not sure about this award show. I mean, Ben Affleck for best director over Ang Lee and Spielberg? Come on! Good thing the real business of the show is to show off all those great dresses. Even so, there's so much chat and a big rush to seat everyone, that we miss a lot of them. We can't show them here, but here's a list of my favorites:

Best black and gold:

Kate Hudson and Helen Mirren looked like super-heroines in Alexander McQueen and Badgley Mischka respectively.

Best reds (Isn't red a neutral?):

Jennifer Garner in sparkling strapless Vivienne Westwood

Claire Danes in plunging Versace

Naomi Watts' 1940s style crepe and satin gown was lovely but few commented on it sadly.

Best white:

Anne Hathaway in 2 piece Chanel corset with skirt looked great

Best Colour:

Tracey Pollan was classically elegant in fuschia silk one shouldered Ralph Lauren

Jessica Alba was fresh in peach Oscar de la Renta. Anyone who can pull off peach, taffetta and a ruffle deserves an award.

You couldn't argue with Jodie Foster in her knockout blue beaded gown.

Best Nude:

Helen Hunt in Dolce and Cabana. The column style and horizontal beading made this one a little different.

Best showing lots:

Juliana Margulies in sheer black Pucci.

Best showing little:

Adelle in a black Burberry floor length with 3/4 sleeves suited to her 1960s style.

Best short:

For sure Rachel Weiss' short sleeve long sheer polka dot over black was the best.

Best Black:

Rosie Huntington Whitely's Saint Laurent bow tied sleeveless was super cool.

All of Tina Fey's dresses were sensational on her. Nobody can pull off a 3/4 length and she looked great in L'Wren Scott. Plus she's smart and hilarious.

You can view all 100 dresses at:

Here are just a few topical library books to go with the outfits: Bossypants, The Party Dress, The Naked and the Dressed: 20 years of Versace, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Ralph Lauren, Chanel: Collections and Creations, Dolce and Gabbana Fashion Album, and Couture Techniques, in case you want to try this at home...

Coming Soon

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

We just finished the Golden Globes and for the most part, as an event I rate it as mediocre. I was not happy to see Argo get best picture nor Ben Affleck best director. I have a real problem with this typical Hollywood rewriting of an historical event, all done with far too much flag waving and the down playing of the important part that Canada played in the real story. Largely retold as a chase caper I thought it a disappointing choice given some of the other really remarkable films in this category. I'll hope for better from the Oscars.

The nominees for this years Oscars were just announced on January 10th. The 85th annual event airs on Sunday February 24th with Seth MacFarlane (creator Family Guy) and Emma Stone (The Help) acting as hosts.

Closer to the date we will have a more detailed post with links to titles that CPL carries. If you want to get a head start, pop in to the nominees link above, grab the titles and then cruise on back to our catalogue to see what we have available right now. As you know we constantly add new titles so remember to check back regularly.

And speaking of coming soon................................

Trevor has been guest blogging with us for awhile now, and Movie Maniacs is pleased to announce that he has agreed to be a regular contributor. I've popped in and had a peek at some of what he has ready to go for us and you won't be disappointed. If you want to catch up on some of his previous posts you can find them here, along with the always fun '6 degrees' by our other guest blogger, Alex. Or just jump in fresh and watch for his new insights and suggestions. Either way, we're happy to have him on board.

The Golden Globes kick off the awards season

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The Golden Globes air Sunday January 13th with funny ladies Amy Poehler and Tina Fey sharing hosting duties. Always more relaxed than the Oscars, they start off the awards season. Some people believe them to be precursors to nominations for Oscars, some find them entirely without merit, and some feel they heavily favour A-Listers, like when Angelina Jolie got a best director nod for the mediocre In the Valley of Elah. But this marks their 70th year, so they must be doing something right.

And with the Globes coming up, Oscar nominataions aren't far behind. In fact the nominees will be announced at 5:30 in the morning this Thursday. The actual event will air on Feb 24th with Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane sharing hosting duties.

Following is an abbreviated list of nominees, but for the full meal deal visit them at their official site. It is just loaded with all things past and present about the GG's. The nominations are for both feature films and television so it is quite a mixed bag. Many of the feature films nominated are still currently in theatres.

If it is in the CPL collection, either already on the shelves or on order and available to place on hold, it appears in bold.

Best Picture, Drama:
Argo, Django, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Moonrise Kindgom, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Animated Feature Film:
Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Rise of the Guardians, Wreck-It Ralph

Best Television Series, Drama:
Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey: Season 2, Homeland, The Newsroom

Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical:
The Big Bang Theory, Episodes, Girls, Modern Family, Smash

Best Miniseries or Television Movie:
Game Change, The Girl, Hatfields & McCoys, The Hour, Political Animals

Crowfoot Movie Night

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)



We are starting a second year of our popular Movie Night at Crowfoot. Over the past 12 months we have shown some wonderful films- blockbusters, new releases, things you meant to see at the theatre and just didn't get to.....


The titles are selected with care by yours truly, and are usually ones that you would have to place a hold on and wait several weeks for, if not months. So avoid the wait and come join us at Crowfoot this Thursday at 6:30 in our program room. No registration is required.



This month we have a truly charming and whimsical film. Copyright restrictions prevent me from naming the title in this post, but to find out just give us a call at 221-4125 and we will tell you all about it. I can tell you it is rated G and really is delightful.

Hope to see you on the 10th.

Benedict Cumberbatch

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Benedict Cumberbatch is popping us everywhere these days. He is currently Sherlock in the very modern retelling of Holmes solving crimes in 21st century London. This is a popular series and we have blogged it more than once.

He is the voice of Smaug and The Necromancer in Peter Jackson's latest- The Hobbit. (Sherlock's sidekick John Watson is played by Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo in The Hobbit). He is to be the next heavy in the new Star Trek. He had smaller roles in The War Horse, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy earlier this year. He's been in Atonement, The Whistleblower, The Other Boleyn Girl. With the exception of TTSSPY, I enjoyed everyone of these movies. He is a fine dramatic actor.

I quite liked The Last Enemy, a 2008 BBC mini series, which first aired on 'Masterpiece Contemporary'. He plays a disaffected researcher who returns from abroad after the death of his brother, only to find an England he barely recognizes. A government bent on controlling its citizens at all costs, information gathering technology run amok, and a deadly plague. What more can you ask for in a thriller?

And speaking of The Hobbit, I saw it opening night — in glorious Imax, 3D, 48 frames per second. I am a rabid LOTR 's fan and was happy to return to Middle Earth with Peter Jackson at the helm- a few minor complaints such as it was a lot darker than I was expecting for the more light hearted Hobbit, but then that's P Jackson isn't it. Let me say this. While I enjoyed it very much, I do not feel compelled to rush right back to the theatre to see it again like I did with the other three LOTR installments.

Free Movie Passes

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)


Let's start the new year with some free advanced screening passes. Short notice, but if you are free tomorrow (January 3rd) at 7:00 PM we have some passes for the new Matt Damon movie.

Promised Land is the new contemporary drama directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk). Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, an ace corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company’s expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Promised Land explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge.

To get your free double passes visit this external site and enter the code CALGARYLAND. Print your pass and take it to the box office ahead of time for redemption. Good cast in this, looks like it's got potential. Enjoy.