Blog Posts by Will Perkins

  • TIFF 2014: What were the major themes of this year’s festival?

    As the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival starts to wind down, the trends of this year's movie lineup begin to emerge. From brilliant people to homecomings to scary settings, here are a few of the major themes to come out of TIFF this year.

    Misunderstood genius

    Biopics involving great geniuses in various fields have been a big theme this year. "The Imitation Game" stars Benedict Cumberbatch as persecuted WWII codebreaker and father of the computer Alan Turing; "The Theory of Everything" features Eddie Redmayne as disabled astrophysicist Stephen Hawking; "Pawn Sacrifice" stars Tobey Maguire as elusive U.S. chess master Bobby Fischer; and "Mr. Turner" centers on the life of famed British painter JMW Turner (Timothy Spall). Unsurprisingly, these misanthropic performances have all earned their respective portrayers critical raves and serious awards season talk. If there’s one thing Hollywood understands, it’s good acting.

    Tumultuous times

    War and civil strife have always been

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  • TIFF 2014: Jack O’Connell is one to watch in Toronto

    Jack O'Connell stars in '71. (Getty Images)Jack O'Connell stars in '71. (Getty Images)

    A lot of great movies have passed through the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival so far, and one of the most-buzzed-about films is “‘71,” an intense military thriller featuring rising star Jack O’Connell. The film is set for its Canadian premiere on Sept. 10.

    Directed by first-time feature filmmaker Yann Demange, “‘71” is set against the backdrop of “The Troubles” in early 1970s Belfast. Demange’s directorial style has been favourably compared to the work of “Bourne” series director Paul Greengrass, so unsurprisingly, the film is an intense and violent story that required a lot from O'Connell.

    “There’s nobody else that could have played this part,” Demange told Yahoo Movies Canada about the actor. “I met a lot of boys, but when I met Jack -- we went to a pub and had a couple of pints-- straight away I was like this guy has an old school masculinity that you just don’t see nowadays in boys of his generation. They all grow up waxing and doing bikram now, even the working class

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  • TIFF 2014: Mark Ruffalo accidentally made Channing Tatum go deaf on the set of 'Foxcatcher'

    The stars of Foxcatcher recall their on-set injuries. (Photo courtesy of Noah R. Taylor/noahrtaylor.com)The stars of Foxcatcher recall their on-set injuries. (Photo courtesy of Noah R. Taylor/noahrtaylor.com)

    “Foxcatcher” star Steve Carell is getting a lot of buzz at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival for his transformative performance as eccentric and ultimately violent millionaire John du Pont. Less talked about, however, is the physical transformation that co-stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo underwent to become real-life Olympic wrestlers Mark and David Schultz in the upcoming sports drama from “Moneyball” director Bennett Miller.

    “My knees will never be the same,” Tatum revealed at a panel discussion with the cast of “Foxcatcher” on Sept. 7. “My neck will never go back to its normal size. I think we [myself and Ruffalo] have the beginnings of starter kits for actual real cauliflower ear. And god knows the scars that are on my soul that Bennett has given me!”

    All three leads (Tatum, Carell, and Ruffalo) described making the dark movie as a mentally and physically demanding task. Carell compared the whole process to playing multiple games of multi-level chess with himself

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  • Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, and Adam Driver in This Is Where I Leave You. (Warner Bros.)Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, and Adam Driver in This Is Where I Leave You. (Warner Bros.)

    At first glance the star-studded family dramedy “This Is Where I Leave You” bears little resemblance to future blockbusters like the upcoming Marvel superhero movie “Ant-Man” or the highly-anticipated “Star Wars Episode VII.” But at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, actors Adam Driver and Corey Stoll pointed out that their quirky family drama has more in common with their superhero movies than you might think.

    Adam Driver at the 'While We're Young' premiere on Saturday, Sept. 6. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Adam Driver at the 'While We're Young' premiere on Saturday, Sept. 6. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Granted, on paper, it doesn't sound a whole lot like "Star Wars" or "Ant-Man." “This Is Where I Leave You” follows four siblings (played by Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Driver, and Stoll) who return home to mourn their recently deceased father. A series of personal crises, combined with cramped quarters and their overbearing mother (Jane Fonda), quickly turns the house into an emotional powder keg that frequently explodes in hilarious, heartwarming, and sometimes violent ways.

    So how, exactly, does the upcoming "Star Wars" sequel compare? After all, Driver is set

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  • Home Alone: Lost in New York (Christopher Moloney)Home Alone: Lost in New York (Christopher Moloney)

    There’s something magical about visiting the spot where your favourite movie scene was filmed. It gives you a direct connection to a film and its characters and somehow makes the movie seem more real.

    That’s part of the idea behind FILMography, on ongoing art project by Canadian photographer and movie fan Christopher Moloney. The Brampton, Ont., native recreates famous film scenes by matching stills with the real-life locations where they were shot.

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  • ‘Shutter Island’ to become an HBO series: How to make sure it doesn’t suck

    Leonardo DiCaprio in "Shutter Island" (2010). (Paramount Pictures)

    Good news for fans of the 2010 psychological thriller “Shutter Island.” Maybe.

    A new HBO series called "Ashecliffe,” based on the Martin Scorsese film, is currently in development. Set prior to the events of the movie, the TV show will revolve around the isolated mental hospital that was the setting for the Leonardo DiCaprio-headlined film and the staff and patients who inhabit it. According to Deadline, Scorsese will produce and direct the pilot episode, much like he did for his other HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” (No word on whether DiCaprio will be involved, but it's probably safe to assume that he won't.)

    Small-screen movie adaptations have historically not made for very good television. With the exception of ratings hits like “M.A.S.H.” (adapted from the Robert Altman film of the same name) and critical darlings like “Friday Night Lights,” TV land is littered with failed attempts to bring big screen magic to living rooms on a weekly basis. For every “M.A.S.H.” there are a dozen terrible “Planet of the Apes” or “Timecop” TV shows that barely make it past the pilot stage or their first season.

    "Ashecliffe" has a lot of potential, but what does the show really need to do to succeed where other TV adaptions have failed?

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  • VIDEO: How are texting and the Internet depicted on film?

    Compared to activities like talking on the phone or writing a letter, texting and instant messaging relatively new phenomena in human society. These forms of communication are also still pretty new for the movies.

    The latest video from editor Tony Zhou (the guy behind the most excellent “What is Bayhem?” video), “A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film” explores how everyday interactions like text messaging and computer use are handled in movies and TV -- namely with the new convention of depicting text and instant messages on-screen.

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  • 'The F Word': How Daniel Radcliffe made a Toronto-set romantic comedy possible

    Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in The F Word. (eOne)Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan star in The F Word. (eOne)

    “The F Word” features something that most Toronto-shot, Toronto-set movies don’t have: a major international star in the form of “Harry Potter” actor Daniel Radcliffe.

    Radcliffe plays Wallace, a young Brit living in T.O. who befriends a girl named Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Wallace and Chantry get along extremely well, but the two quickly have their friendship complicated -- he may have romantic feelings for her and she’s in a already in a relationship. It's a familiar movie scenario, but one that hasn't really been done well in a long while.

    Directed by Michael Dowse (“Fubar,” “Goon”), “The F Word” is to Toronto what seminal rom-com “When Harry Met Sally” was to Manhattan. But despite the film being both extremely funny and a fantastic showcase for the city, Dowse and screenwriter Elan Mastai admitted that getting the movie seen outside of Canada was only really possible because of its star.

    “You need big, big star actors or else,” Dowse told Yahoo Movies Canada. “Occasionally there’s a

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  • The next movie theatre ‘innovation’: On-screen texting!

    Thinkstock/Getty Images

    If you’re one of the many moviegoers whose pet peeves include people texting or talking during a screening, then the following news may very well send you into a rage.

    In an effort to attract texting and app-obsessed youth, several movie theatre companies in China are currently experimenting with a technology called “bullet screens," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The system allows moviegoers to comment on the film via text message and have that message projected onto the screen as the movie plays.

    Think of it like a newsfeed of sorts that allows viewers to silently engage in a community discussion about the movie they’re watching. Each message costs about 10 cents (USD) to send.

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  • Chloë Grace Moretz refuses to be your typical damsel in distress in ‘If I Stay’

    Chloë Grace Moretz stars in "If I Stay." (Warner Bros.)

    In her brief but prolific Hollywood career, “If I Stay” star Chloë Grace Moretz has played all sorts of characters, from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s wise-beyond-her-years little sister in “500 Days of Summer,” to a foul-mouthed tween superhero in the “Kick Ass” movies, to a telekinetic teenager in “Carrie,” and more.

    But there’s one character the up-and-coming actress has absolutely no interest in playing: the stereotypical damsel in distress.

    “I’m not one to play a damsel, I kind of hate that,” Moretz told Yahoo Movies Canada. “The woman who’s always calling on the man to save her - I’ve turned down so many roles because of that. I want to portray characters that young girls can, in some sense, look up to. Even the characters I’ve played who are not people I’d like them to look up to, at least they’re forthright. I don’t have a good time playing someone who I’m not, which is this boring damsel character.”

    Moretz's next project "If I Stay" (based on Gayle Forman’s bestselling young adult

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Pagination

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