Blog Posts by Will Perkins

  • Will ‘Noah’ offend religious moviegoers?

    Director Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic “Noah” finally hits theatres this week, but the big-budget retelling of the Old Testament tale has been stoking controversy since it was first put into production.

    Despite an A-list cast that includes Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson -- not to mention the fact that it’s helmed by the critically-acclaimed director of “The Wrestler” and “Black Swan” -- studio Paramount seems very concerned about the potential flood of complaints against the film from religious moviegoers. In fact, the studio is so worried about how the film will be received by devout viewers they have started attaching the following disclaimer to trailers and other marketing materials:

    "The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book

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  • Where are the movies about great Canadians?

    When was the last time you went to the movie theatre and saw a Canadian story?

    We don’t mean a movie that happens to be set in Canada or simply features fictional Canadian characters (there are thankfully no shortage of those). Rather, we mean a film based on actual Canadian events and people. Is that the sort of film that audiences even want to see when they go to the cinema?

    There are plenty of movies that get produced in the Great White North -- so many, in fact, that Vancouver and Toronto have collectively become known as “Hollywood North” due to the number of films and TV shows produced in each city. Major American blockbusters like “300,” “Pacific Rim,” “Man of Steel,” and more were produced north of the border.

    But when it comes to local productions there’s a distinct lack of truly “Made in Canada” movies making their way to the big screen.

    Sure, there are Canuck movies about fictional characters, like Denis Villeneuve’s psychological thriller “Enemy,” heist flick “The Art of

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  • ‘Divergent’ director Neil Burger gives commentary on the aptitude test scene

    Think you’ll have to wait until the DVD to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on “Divergent”? Think again.

    "Divergent" director Neil Burger recently sat down with the New York Times to provide a mini-commentary track for a pivotal scene in the young adult sci-fi film. Narrating the scene in which Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is given her faction aptitude test, Burger details the conception and creation of the trippy and frightening on-screen moment.

    In the post-apocalyptic world of “Divergent,” young people are given an aptitude test at the age of 16 to determine which faction they are best suited to: Abnegation, for the selfless; Amity, for the peaceful; Candor, for the honest; Dauntless, for the brave; or Erudite, for the intelligent.

    For those who may not be aware, many films released on DVD and Blu-ray include an audio commentary track, often featuring the director and other members of the cast and crew. What makes this “Divergent” commentary offered by Burger special is that it’s

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  • Arnold Schwarzenegger really wants to 'Get to the choppa!' with Jimmy Fallon

     

    Credit where credit is due: Arnold Schwarzenegger, the body builder turned action hero turned politician turned actor again, is now taking full advantage of his status as a living Internet meme.

    The Governator appeared on “The Tonight Show” this week to promote his upcoming film “Sabotage,” and took part in a ridiculous Home Shopping Channel-themed sketch with host Jimmy Fallon. Fallon took on the role of QVC host Zack Stryker, while Schwarzenegger played an overly enthusiastic pitchman version of himself. The pair demonstrates the features of two faux kitchen appliances - a blender and a vegetable chopper - but when Fallon’s character takes too long to describe the blender, Schwarzenegger begins yelling that it's time to "Get to the choppa!"

    That quote, of course, is a reference to Arnold's famous catchphrase from the 1987 action film "Predator," a line that has since become a meme unto itself. Naturally, the former California governor and "Terminator" star closed out the silly

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  • Paul Walker will still appear in ‘Fast & Furious 7′: The ethics of replacing an actor with CGI

     

    Despite not completing work on “Fast & Furious 7” due to his untimely death in November 2013, late actor Paul Walker will still appear in the upcoming installment of the blockbuster action-adventure franchise.

    The New York Daily News reports that Walker’s character, Brian O’Connor, will still be a major part of “Fast & Furious 7,” thanks to the use of body doubles and computer generated imagery.

    “They have hired four actors with bodies very similar to Paul’s physique and they will be used for movement and as a base,” an insider close to production told the newspaper. “Paul’s face and voice will be used on top using CGI.”

    While it’s admirable that the producers of “Fast 7” want to give Walker’s character a satisfying send-off (Brian will reportedly retire from the professional car mercenary business at some point in the film), the lengths to which the production seems to be going to include the character borders on exploitation. The true extent of Walker’s role in the upcoming movie

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  • 5 reasons why ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ underwhelmed at the box office

    "Muppets Most Wanted" had a muted debut at the box office. (Disney)

    Does the failure of 'Muppets Most Wanted' at the box office spell the end of newly-rebooted family franchises? The film performed far worse than its predecessor (2011's "The Muppets") this weekend, taking in just $16.5 million at the box office. The reason? Stiff competition and a number of other factors.

    Shailene Woodley in "Divergent." (Summit)

    Competition from "Divergent"
    While this is hardly the fault of “Muppets Most Wanted,” Disney should have known better than to put the Muppet gang against the young adult power of “Divergent.” The futuristic action-adventure based on Veronica Roth’s novel of the same name had a huge opening weekend, pulling in close to $60 million. The popularity of “Divergent” meant that “Muppets Most Wanted” was mostly left with box office scraps.

    The film tread familiar Muppet territory
    If “Muppets Most Wanted” felt like familiar territory for longtime Muppets fans, there’s a very good reason for that. There are some striking similarities between the new film and 1981’s “The Great Muppet Caper,” which

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  • How much does Thor’s hammer weigh?

    Anyone who has seen a Marvel movie in the past five years knows the awesome power of Thor’s hammer. It can bat baddies into the stratosphere and even give the Hulk quit a wallop.

    Moviegoers have seen the big man’s hammer “Mjolnir” (don’t bother trying to pronounce it) in action in three films now: “Thor,” “The Avengers,” and most recently “Thor: The Dark World.” (OK, it's four films, if you want to count the post-credits scene from “Iron Man 2.”) We all know this fictional weapon is extremely powerful, but a new video explains just how strong - and insanely dangerous - the hammer of Thor would be if it existed in real life. Jake Roper from YouTube channel Vsauce put together a handy, fact-filled explanation of how heavy the hammer would be if it had actually been forged from a dying star.

    So how how much does the hammer weigh?

    Based on Mjolnir’s dimensions and neutron star construction (the densest and heaviest material in the known universe), Roper estimates that the hammer weighs in

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  • Why you should care about about the Hot Docs film festival

    George Pimentel/WireImage

    Canada’s Hot Docs will never have the glitz or the glamour of its sister event, the Toronto International Film Festival. Nevertheless, the thriving documentary film fest is one of the most important events of its kind on the planet.

    What Hot Docs may lack in red carpets and celebrities, the festival more than makes up for in the fascinating and compelling documentaries department.

    One could easily argue that Hot Docs (now the largest documentary film festival in North America) has become to the documentary film what fests like TIFF and Cannes are to narrative feature films. Movies that bow at TIFF frequently end up going on to win Academy Awards (as was the case with recent Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave”); quite often, documentaries that play at Hot Docs end up winning the Best Documentary Feature prize on Oscar night. Recent examples include James Marsh’s 2008 doc “Man on Wire” and Louie Psihoyos’ 2009 doc “The Cove” (winner of the Hot Docs Audience Prize), which both went on

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  • Which unlikely ‘Jurassic Park’ character is returning for ‘Jurassic World’?

    Universal Pictures

    Sorry, “Jurassic Park” fans: If you were hoping for the return of franchise characters like Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), or Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) in the upcoming “Jurassic World,” then writer/director Colin Trevorrow has some bad news for you.

    “I know a lot of fans want to see the original characters back. They’re iconic,” Trevorrow recently said in an interview with IGN. “But I respect those actors too much to shoehorn them into this story for my own sentimental reasons. Jurassic Park isn’t about the bad luck of three people who keep getting thrown into the same situation.”

    Though we may not be getting any of the central characters from the previous three “Jurassic Park” movies, there’s one minor character from the first movie who most definitely will appear in Trevorrow’s series reboot: Dr. Henry Wu.

    Henry who?

    BD Wong (right) will return for "Jurassic World." (Universal Pictures)

    Henry Wu (BD Wong) was the InGen geneticist responsible for the dinosaur cloning science that lead to the creation of John Hammond’s ill-fated

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  • Ivan Reitman quits ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel: What does the movie still have going for it?

    Columbia Pictures

    A third “Ghostbusters” movie is officially on track to start filming sometime in early 2015, but already the sequel is facing quite a few obstacles.

    For one, “Ghostbusters” co-star and co-writer Harold Ramis recently passed away. It goes without saying that a new film just wouldn’t be the same without the presence of the bookish Dr. Egon Spengler -- or without Ramis’s contributions behind the camera, for that matter.

    Then there is the glaring fact that filmmaker Ivan Reitman (the comedy movie legend who directed the first two “Ghostbusters” films and one of the third film’s strongest proponents) quit the project this week in the wake of Ramis’ death. The director revealed to Deadline that the third film only featured the original Ghostbusters in very minor roles anyway, and that given recent events, his heart simply wasn’t in the film any longer.

    Reitman will remain a producer on the upcoming film, but his directing was a key ingredient in the success of the first two “Ghostbusters”

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