Blog Posts by Will Perkins

  • Exclusive ‘Enemy’ Trailer: ‘What if you could meet your exact double?’

    What if you discovered that somewhere out in the world you had an exact double? Same face, same voice, different person, different life. Would you want to meet them? What would you do when you did? How would they react?

    That’s precisely the unlikely situation that Toronto man Adam Bell finds himself in “Enemy,” a mind-bending psychological thriller from “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve.

    After spotting an actor in a rented movie who appears to be his exact double, meek college professor Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal) becomes obsessed with finding his lookalike. Adam’s double is Anthony Clair (also played by Gyllenhaal), a fiery Mississauga-based actor who, save for their appearance, is the professor’s opposite in almost every way. The pair’s eventual meeting ultimately sends both them and their loved ones down a very dark and dangerous path.

    The best way to categorize “Enemy” would be to call it a mash-up of David Fincher, David Lynch, and David Cronenberg movies. It has the intensity of

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  • Just when you thought the insanely catchy music from Disney’s Oscar-winning animated adventure “Frozen” couldn’t get any catchier, along comes star Idina Menzel, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, and the legendary Roots crew. The group delighted viewers with a version of the Academy Award-winning ballad “Let It Go” that is guaranteed to get stuck in your head.

    Menzel stopped by “The Tonight Show” this week and joined Fallon and house band The Roots for a very special version of "Let It Go" -- one accompanied by what can only be described as kid instruments like kazoos, triangles, toy blocks, and xylophones.

    Menzel provides the much needed “Let It Go” vocals (along with not-so-essential triangle dings), Fallon clops toy blocks together and jams on a Casio keyboard, Questlove toots on a kazoo, Black Thought plays the tambourine, and the rest of the Roots add xylophone, melodica, ukulele, lemon shaker, and bongos to the musical mix. It’s a far cry from the orchestrated version that

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  • "12 Years a Slave" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

    Can Toronto International Film Festival audiences pick ‘em or what? As industry watchers predicted back in September, Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” became the fifth TIFF People’s Choice award winner in the festival’s history to go on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The slavery drama is also the twelfth winner of the People’s Choice overall to be nominated for Oscar’s top prize.

    Past Best Picture nominees that began their Academy Awards run in Toronto include “Chariots of Fire” (1981), “The Big Chill” (1983), “Places in the Heart” (1984), “Shine” (1996), “Life Is Beautiful” (1998), “American Beauty” (1999), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), “Precious” (2009), “The King's Speech” (2010), and “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012). Of those nominated films, “Chariots of Fire,” “American Beauty,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech,” and now “12 Years a Slave” have gone on to win Best Picture.

    The "12 Years a Slave" cast at TIFF 2013. (Getty Images)

    Although TIFF’s People’s Choice award is no

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  • Oscar night filled with uncharacteristically long acceptance speeches

    Was it just us, or were last night’s Oscar speeches a little on the long side?

    In past years, the producers of the show have been notoriously stingy with the time allotted for winners’ acceptance speeches, often attempting to “play off” the stars with music when their remarks went on too long or cutting off mics altogether when multiple people won an award.

    Not so on Sunday night, though, when even the winners of the most obscure categories were given ample time to deliver their thanks. Many of Sunday night’s speeches also seemed longer because after their names were announced, it took the winners around 40 to 60 seconds to get from their seat to the stage.

    Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) kicked off the night with what felt like an extremely lengthy acceptance speech. Thanking his mother, brother, director, and his band 30 Seconds to Mars (not to mention giving a shout-out to the people of Ukraine and Venezuela), the two-minute and 24-second speech set

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  • Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallée thanked by ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Oscar winners

    Jean-Marc Vallée at the Academy Awards. (Getty Images)

    It was a bittersweet night at the Oscars for "Dallas Buyers Club" director Jean-Marc Vallée. The Montreal filmmaker was not nominated for Best Director, but he did make the cut in the Best Film Editing category under the pseudonym John Mac McMurphy. Unfortunately, both Vallée and fellow "Dallas Buyers Club" editor Martin Pensa lost out to Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger for "Gravity."

    It wasn't all bad news for the Quebec director, though, as "Dallas Buyers Club" dominated in the acting categories. Jared Leto kicked off the night winning the Best Supporting Actor trophy, and Matthew McConaughey took home the coveted Best Actor prize. Both actors took a moment during their speeches to thank Vallée.

    Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey accept their Oscars. (Getty Images)

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling winners Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews also thanked their "Dallas Buyers Club" director. The film's makeup budget was an astoundingly small $250 U.S.

    The director may not have gone home with any Oscars himself, but the fact that both Leto and McConaughey took home

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  • The ‘Toy Story’ theory that will blow your mind


    Every once in a while, a wild movie theory comes along that is almost too plausible to ignore.

    Pixar movies are full of Easter eggs, in-jokes, and secrets that don’t always register on first viewing. For instance, the Planet Pizza delivery truck from the original “Toy Story” appears in some form or another in every other Pixar movie except “The Incredibles.” Similarly, nods to other Pixar films can be found throughout the “Toy Story” movies and vice versa: A slightly older version of Boo from “Monsters Inc.” can be see at the daycare in “Toy Story 3,” and “Toy Story” baddie Lotso makes a much friendlier appearance in “Up.” The list goes on.

    But there’s one major Pixar Easter egg that may have eluded eagle-eyed fans until now (since “Toy Story 2” hit theatres in 1999 to be exact): The true identity of Andy’s Mom.

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  • Sony wants to release a ‘Spider-Man’ film every year

    Columbia Pictures

    If the ambitious plans of studio Sony Pictures pan out, moviegoers will be seeing a whole lot more of their favourite wall-crawling superhero.

    Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal recently told Variety that when it comes to Spider-Man, the studio intends to take a page out of the Marvel Studios playbook. In addition to the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and the already planned sequels “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” and “4” (set for 2016 and 2018 releases, respectively), Sony wants spin-off movies featuring other Spidey characters to share a single continuity. That follows the similar plan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe featured in the “Avengers,” “Iron Man,” and “Thor” family of movies.

    “We are expanding the ‘Spider-Man’ universe into ‘The Sinister Six’ and ‘Venom,’ so that we have ‘Spider-Man’ movies every year,” Pascal said.

    A “Spider-Man”-related movie every year? The lack of major Marvel superheroes that Sony owns the film rights means the studio will be basing the spin-offs

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  • How much does an Oscar really help a movie career?

    “Starring Academy Award winner…”

    “From the Oscar-winning director of…”

    Winning an Academy Award is generally considered to be one of the highest honours that an actor or director can earn. But is winning an Oscar all it’s cracked up to be? Can a gold trophy and a memorable acceptance speech really help take a Hollywood career to the next level?

    In most cases, the answer is yes, an Oscar win and sometimes even a nomination can definitely give a performer or filmmaker a major career boost. Just look at Jennifer Lawrence's Best Actress nomination for "Winter's Bone": the nod sent her career into the stratosphere and led to her Academy Award-winning role in "Silver Linings Playbook" and Oscar nominated turn in "American Hustle," plus led to her headlining the massively popular "Hunger Games" franchise.

    However, an Oscar win always comes with some major caveats. Sure, an Academy Award opens up a lot of doors, but a winner generally has to continue to work at a very high level in order to

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  • See Benedict Cumberbatch pretend he’s a dragon for ‘The Hobbit’ performance capture sessions

    Many fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth already know that it was English actor and current Hollywood “It Dude” Benedict Cumberbatch ("Star Trek Into Darkness") who provided the voice of the fearsome dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” But most Tolkienites probably don’t know the lengths that Cumberbatch went to get into character.

    As the “Desolation of Smaug” behind-the-scenes video seen above shows, Cumberbatch not only breathed fiery life into the gold-coveting dragon with his voice but also with his body. Much like Jackson and Andy Serkis did with Gollum, Cumberbatch's entire performance was digitally captured for the role of Smaug. His facial expressions and body movements were digitally tracked by visual effects studio Weta and translated by animators into the enormous dragon’s performance.

    "Using our motion-capture stage, we recorded his performances, which focused on the conversation with Bilbo sequence,” Weta animation supervisor David

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  • The Oscars: How does Academy Award voting work?

    Getty Images

    For most Oscar watchers, there are two days of every year that are of special concern: the morning the Academy Award nominees are announced and then Oscar night itself. While these two occasions are the most public face of the Academy Awards, there is much more to the the Oscars process than meets the eye. Ever wondered about who the Academy voters are? Want to know how the nominees and winners are picked? Here’s a primer on how Oscar voting works.

    Who are the Academy?

    Getty Images

     Though a full list of AMPAS membership has never officially been publicized, the names of new members are published when they join the Academy, as are the names of members who join the Board of Governors.

    There are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, if an actor, actress, or other person in the film business has ever been nominated for an Oscar, it’s almost guaranteed that they are a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Members invited to join over the past several years include

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