Blog Posts by Will Perkins

  • ‘The Phantom Menace’ at 15: The five best things about the worst ‘Star Wars’ movie

    In the flurry of “Star Wars Episode VII” news and rumours, it’s easy to forget important anniversaries related to everyone's favourite galaxy far, far away.

    This past weekend, “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” turned 15. Released on May 19, 1999, the George Lucas-directed prequel followed the adventures of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and introduced audiences to young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), the boy who would become the feared Sith Lord Darth Vader.

    Though the film has its defenders, there’s very little to really like about “Episode I.” Between its paper-thin characters, mind-bogglingly terrible dialogue, endless space politicking, and Jar Jar Binks, we could go on for hours about everything wrong with the movie (many people already have). But instead, let’s look at the positives. Here are the five best things about the worst “Star Wars” movie - “The Phantom Menace.”

    John Williams’s score

    Good old reliable John Williams. While “Episode I” itself left much to

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  • ‘Corner Gas: The Movie’ turns to Kickstarter for ‘enhanced’ experience

    When the award-winning sitcom “Corner Gas” ended back in 2009, it left a gaping hole in Canadian airwaves that still hasn’t been filled.

    The Brent Butt-created comedy series about the strange and hilarious town of Dog River, Sask. certainly wasn’t for everyone. But it was a rare bird for Canadian television, lasting an impressive six seasons (107 episodes) and gaining legions of fans around the world in the process.

    Though it's been off the air for five years, there's good news for “Gas” fans this week. Butt and friends are set to return to Dog River next month when production on “Corner Gas: The Movie” begins - and they want fans of the show to get in on the action.

    “Corner Gas: The Movie” already has all of its financing in place, but Butt and the producers wanted to find a way to engage with longtime fans of the show -- so they've turned to the crowdfunding service Kickstarter to do just that. Backers of the project will earn all manner of "Corner Gas"-related swag and get

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  • Joss Whedon mails gifts to fans who watch 'In Your Eyes'

    Director Joss Whedon. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/Files)

    The folks behind the Joss Whedon-scripted indie drama “In Your Eyes” have been randomly sending out some pretty awesome gifts to people who paid to watch the film online, including posters, scripts, and even video game consoles. As if fans of Whedon needed more reasons to like the guy!

    “In Your Eyes” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, and was quickly made available online shortly thereafter, eschewing the traditional theatrical distribution in favour of a video-on-demand rental model. That move wasn’t all that groundbreaking for an indie film like this, but what happened next was pretty unusual.

    People around the globe who rented “In Your Eyes” on Vimeo soon started receiving unusual thank you packages from Whedon and company.

    "The cast and crew of ‘In Your Eyes’ thank you for supporting the film by renting it on Vimeo On Demand,” the notes said. ”Enclosed is a little token of our appreciation."

    Tweets from as far away as Germany, New Zealand, and Dubai soon started

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  • Cineplex to charge more for the best seats: 4 other ideas movie theatres should embrace


    Want good seats for your night out at the movies? It’s first come, first serve, right? Not for long. If a new Cineplex pilot project succeeds, you can forget about arriving early or lining up. Canadian moviegoers may soon need to pay extra to get the best seats in the house.

    This week, Canadian theatre chain Cineplex unveiled plans to start charging patrons $2 to $3 on top of their current regular admission prices ($11.99 CAD) to secure the coveted middle row seats. Similar to the more expensive UltraAVX and VIP options already offered, the pilot project will kick off later this year at Toronto’s Varsity cinema. Cineplex claims the new strategy is about offering their customers choice, though how exactly charging people more money for an already expensive night out is supposed to benefit consumers is a bit of a mystery.

    The company has inexplicably compared the plan to tiered seating on airlines, where customers who want more leg room, better food, and amenities can pay a premium for

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  • Good news, 'X-Men' fans: 'X3' and the first 'Wolverine' movie don’t count anymore

    The events of 'X-Men: The Last Stand' (2006) are no longer considered canon. (20th Century Fox)

    With the mutant extravaganza “X-Men: Days of Future Past” hitting theatres on May 23, fans of the series will no doubt be spending the next week or so brushing up on previous entries in the X-franchise to prepare. But don’t worry about watching “X-Men: The Last Stand” or “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” -- according to series producer Lauren Schuler Donner, they don’t count.

    “Just forget about 'X3' and the first 'Wolverine' - forget about that, too!" Donner said at the U.K. premiere of “Days of Future Past.” He had been asked about confusing continuity like the death of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and the previous adventures of Logan (Hugh Jackman).

    Donnera dded: “['Days of Future Past'] will be putting all that right.”

    Though "X3" and "X-Men Origins" were two of the most financially-successful films in the series, the movies are widely considered the worst in the franchise by both hardcore fans and critics.

    On top of that, the continuity of the “X-Men” films can get pretty confusing.

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  • 'Godzilla' turns Toronto's Yonge Street into a disaster zone

    The Godzilla attack at the corner of Yonge & Elm in Toronto. (Warner Bros.)

    An impressive guerrilla marketing stunt for “Godzilla” is giving Toronto an up-close look at how a giant monster attack might affect the city.

    The destructive installation at the intersection of Yonge and Elm includes a heavily damaged full-sized subway car jutting out from the road, wrecked cars, airplanes littering the rooftops, and giant creature claw marks covering the nearby building.

    Situated right in the heart of downtown Toronto, the stunt has understandably attracted a lot of attention. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, it’s not every day that you see a smashed subway sticking out of the street. The “Godzilla” installation has been a popular subject on Twitter and social feeds.

    One user caught crews installing the subway car earlier this week. (You mean it wasn’t actually Godzilla?)

    Other users were more interested in the chewed-up

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  • 'Sad Batman' takes over Twitter

    Why so sad, Batman?

    That’s the question that countless Twitter users were asking this week after director Zack Snyder released the first image of Ben Affleck’s Batman online:

    Zack Snyder/Twitter

    black-and-white photo, taken by Snyder, shows a bulky and brooding Caped Crusader posed next to the Batmobile. Fans were quick to note the “Dark Knight Returns”-style Batsuit, complete with stubby ears and oversized insignia.

    But people also remarked on how sad Affleck’s Batman looks. Naturally, this quickly spawned the #SadBatman hashtag on Twitter, with users digitally altering Snyder’s photo to put Batman in various sad or serious situations. Here are some of the highlights:

    Inevitably the #sadbatman and #sadkanye memes met head on, with a little help from “Star Wars":

    Larry Wright/Twitter

    We get it. Sure, Bruce Wayne has a lot to be upset about (dead parents, violent crime taking over Gotham City, super villains running amok, etc.), but we’ve always thought of Batman as more a scowling character. The Dark Knight should be

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  • Canada brings out the big guns for Cannes 2014: Gosling, Cronenberg, Egoyan, and Dolan

    Getty Images

    The 2014 Cannes Film Festival is going to be one of the biggest ever for Canada. The star-studded film festival kicks off this week, and Canadian filmmakers and actors are finding themselves extremely well represented.

    Canuck exports in competition at Cannes this year include David Cronenberg’s "Maps to the Stars," Xavier Dolan’s "Mommy," and Atom Egoyan’s "The Captive." The high profile hat trick marks the first time that three Canadian films that have screened in competition at Cannes in the same year.

    Cronenberg's latest film, "Maps to the Stars," is a Hollywood set tale (the first time the legendary Toronto-based filmmaker has ever shot a movie in Los Angeles) that follows two former child-stars struggling to survive the entertainment industry. Co-starring Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, and Olivia Williams, the film is the second collaboration between Cronenberg and "Twilight Saga" star Robert Pattinson, their previous effort being 2012's "Cosmopolis."

    Egoyan's “The

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  • ‘Neighbors’: Do Hollywood-style college fraternities even exist?

    Where would classic college comedies like “Animal House,” “Legally Blonde,” “Old School,” and now “Neighbors” be without fraternities and sororities?

    The booze-and-boob-filled antics of these undergraduate societies have been entertaining moviegoers for decades. But is Hollywood perpetuating a myth? Are these Greek Letter Organizations really so debaucherous? And are they still as big a part of university life as flicks like “Neighbors” would have us believe? Let's take a look:

    Universal Pictures
    Party harder

    In "Neighbors," Teddy (Zac Efron), Pete (Dave Franco), and their party-loving Delta Psi brothers don’t do a whole lot of studying. Although fraternities and sororities are ostensibly academic organizations, the groups do have a bit of an image problem when it comes to things like binge drinking and hard partying.

    It’s a rep that Hollywood movies have both played up and somewhat encouraged in a roundabout way by consistently depicting Greek Letter Organizations as places where the behaviour is the

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  • The U.S. Air Force reveals how they would fight Godzilla

    How would a real-life government and military deal with the appearance of a giant, city-destroying monster like Godzilla?

    Hopefully Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Godzilla” reboot is the closest we’ll ever have to come to answering that question, but we'd still like to know. Presumably wondering the same thing, the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine recently asked members of the U.S. Air Force at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan that very question: How would they handle Godzilla?

    “Kadena is the keystone of the Pacific,” Master Sergeant Jason Edwards told Air & Space. “Due to our strategic location we are able to quickly respond to any threat in the region, including Godzilla -- should he come to Japan."

    How many aircraft and personnel would be needed to mount a cohesive assault against Godzilla?
    "Probably all the F-15s we have here and maybe some of the Cobras from up at Futenma [a nearby U.S. Marine air station],” Senior Airman Mark Hermann said. “At the very least!"

    There are currently

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