• (Photo credit: Warner Bros.)(Photo credit: Warner Bros.)

    While it might have just missed out on the top box office spot this past weekend (that honour belongs David Fincher’s much-talked-about big screen adaptation of “Gone Girl”), “The Conjuring” spin-off “Annabelle” pulled in an impressive $37.2 million in ticket sales. That’s more than enough to make the micro-budget horror movie a big hit and all but guarantees a sequel.

    But when “Annabelle” was first announced, many wondered just how the producers would be able to base an entire movie around the titular possessed doll. Sure, her appearance in “The Conjuring” was extremely scary, but how could you possibly sustain that for 90 minutes?

    However, those critics obviously forget Hollywood’s long big screen history with terrifying dolls and creepy puppets. Here are five other spine-chilling playthings that were thrilling and frightening movie audiences long before “Annabelle” came along.

    Fats the Dummy - "Magic" (1978)

    Before he was an on-screen cannibal, a real-life Oscar-winner, and a

    Read More »from 'Annabelle' is a hit: Hollywood's long history with creepy, killer dolls
  • The poster for Hit By Lightning.The poster for Hit By Lightning.

    They say it’s never right to judge a book by its cover. But does the same logic apply to judging a movie its poster? In the case of “Hit by Lightning,” we’re willing to make an exception.

    The upcoming comedy, starring Jon Cryer (“Two and a Half Men”), Stephanie Szostak (“Iron Man 3”), and Will Sasso (“The Three Stooges”), features what might be the worst movie poster of 2014. The poster features what appears to be the three leads together in bed -- or, at least, stills of their heads plopped onto awkwardly-posed bodies using photo manipulation software. Whether its Cryer’s troublingly hairless chest, Szostak’s impossibly placed arm, or the fact that Sasso looks like he’s standing up in bed, it’s hard to pinpoint just one thing wrong with the “Hit by Lightning” poster.

    A good poster is so important for a movie. On billboards and buses, newspapers, websites, and cinema lobbies, the poster is how a company creates awareness for movies. It doesn’t matter if the film is good or bad,

    Read More »from Does 'Hit by Lightning' have worst movie poster ever? (Spoiler: Nope)
  • (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)(Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

    A classic “Star Trek” reunion more than 20 years in the making might be happening very soon. If the stars align, William Shatner may reprise the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the upcoming “Star Trek 3."

    According to Badass Digest, the “Star Trek 3” script (co-written by new director Roberto Orci) currently includes a scene that reunites the classic versions of Kirk and Spock (played by Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, respectively). Nimoy made cameo appearances in both 2009’s “Star Trek” and its sequel, 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” but the pair hasn't been seen together as those characters since 1991's "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." Shatner last played Kirk on the big screen since 1994's "Star Trek: Generations," and when it comes to the "Trek" reboots, he's had a somewhat rocky relationship with them.

    Whether the Canadian actor decides to return to the final frontier is still unknown, but it appears Orci has left the door open for him. But is it a good idea for Shatner

    Read More »from 3 reasons why William Shatner shouldn't return as Captain Kirk in 'Star Trek 3'
  • Though “Gone Girl” doesn’t hit theatres for a few weeks, the Oscar talk has already begun as the first reviews hit the web over the weekend.

    Directed by David Fincher, “Gone Girl” is the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel of the same name. The film stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne, a picture-perfect couple whose true colours are revealed when Amy vanishes and Nick becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance.

    Best Picture?

    “Gone Girl” will premiere at the New York Film Festival later this week, but rave reviews are already pouring in. Variety’s Justin Chang calls the film a “mesmerizing adaptation” with Fincher, Affleck, and Pike all operating at the “top of their game.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy calls it “sharply made, perfectly cast and unfailingly absorbing.” The Guardian’s Xan Brooks delightfully compared “Gone Girl’ to a “storm in a teacup,” writing “but what an elegant, bone-china teacup this is. And

    Read More »from 'Gone Girl' enters the Oscar race with a slew of positive reviews ahead of its premiere
  • The Maze Runner star Will Poulter took issue with a review of the film written by a Toronto film critic. (20th Century Fox)The Maze Runner star Will Poulter took issue with a review of the film written by a Toronto film critic. (20th Century Fox)
    A Toronto journalist considered walking out of "The Maze Runner," but star Will Poulter was not about to let him get away without a fight.

    On Dork Shelf* on Thursday, film editor Andrew Parker published a withering review of the Young Adult novel adaptation, which he called "one of the worst films I have ever had the immense displeasure of ever sitting through." And Will Poulter, a 21-year-old English actor who stars in the film, was not happy.

    The latest teen blockbuster revolves around a young man, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien), who is suddenly transported, with no memory of his past life, to a "Lord of the Flies"-type situation, where a dangerous maze is the only way to escape. (Poulter plays Thomas's arch enemy Gally.)

    Watch the trailer:


    Wrote Parker: "This might be the most clichéd film to attempt to cash in on the race for studios to land the next 'Harry Potter,' 'Hunger Games,' or 'Twilight' . . . Every character is stock and worthless, performed by actors who are largely too green and

    Read More »from 'The Maze Runner' star Will Poulter calls out Toronto critic Andrew Parker for scathing review
  • The London premiere of "Goldfinger," James Bond's third big-screen adventure, occurred exactly 50 years ago on Sept. 17, 1964. To celebrate this auspicious anniversary for everyone's favourite super spy, here are (00)7 things you probably didn't know about "Goldfinger."

    Charles Foster Goldfinger

    Orson Welles in 1967's Casino Royale (Columbia Pictures)Orson Welles in 1967's Casino Royale (Columbia Pictures)

    German actor Gert Fröbe wasn’t the first choice to play “Goldfinger's” titular villain, as Bond producers originally wanted legendary actor/director Orson Welles to play the role of Auric Goldfinger. Unfortunately, Welles turned out to be too expensive for the production, so they went with Fröbe instead.

    Welles would eventually play a Bond villain -- sort of. The actor later portrayed Le Chiffre in the unofficial 1967 version of “Casino Royale” starring David Niven.

    Nein, Herr Bond...

    United ArtistsUnited Artists

    “Goldfinger” was one of actor Gert Fröbe first major English language roles. The German actor had previously worked primarily in German, French, and Italian movies, and as a result spoke very little English.

    Read More »from 'Goldfinger' Turns 50: (00)7 things you didn't know about the classic James Bond film
  • TIFF 2014 By The Numbers

     (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images) (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

    It’s all over! The awards have been handed out and the red carpets have been rolled up. After ten days of star-studded movie premieres, seemingly endless line-ups, and plenty of raucous late-night parties, the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival is officially a wrap.

    With the dust still settling on fest, we thought now would be a good time to take a look back at the event. This is TIFF 2014 by the numbers.

    Number of movies screened at the 2014 festival: 392

    There were nearly 400 films from 79 countries at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (284 features and 108 shorts). That’s up from the 366 films that played at the TIFF 2013, and close to an all-time record for the fest (an astounding 460 movies played in 1984).

    Hollywood was out in full force at TIFF 2014. Family dramas like “The Judge” starring Robert Downey Jr. and “This is Where I Leave You” starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey took top spots in the festival’s Gala Presentations programme. Future Oscar contenders

    Read More »from TIFF 2014 By The Numbers
  • Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley promote their Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game at TIFF 2014. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley promote their Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game at TIFF 2014. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

    As the Toronto International Film Festival comes to a close every year, it usually becomes pretty clear which fest films are bound for glory come awards season. In 2013, it was TIFF People’s Choice Award winner “12 Years a Slave” that went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the year before that it was Toronto hits like “Argo” and “Silver Linings Playbook” that made the most noise come Oscar time, and so on, going back to 1997’s “American Beauty.”

    TIFF 2014 is a little different, though. While there have been plenty of well-reviewed movies premiering at the festival, no clear Best Picture favourite has emerged out of Toronto. Films like Jean-Marc Vallee’s drama “Wild,” Bennett Miller’s sports thriller “Foxcatcher,” and Morten Tyldum’s Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game” might be candidates for the Best Picture nominations, but there’s been no one film at TIFF that has stood out as an Oscar slamdunk. Why is that?

    It’s all about the acting
    If TIFF 2014 has been one

    Read More »from TIFF 2014: Why weren't there any obvious Best Picture Oscar contenders at 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

    Read More »from TIFF 2014: What were the major themes of this year’s festival?
  • Though the films and red carpet appearances get most of the attention at the Toronto International Film Festival, the press conferences that take place every day are always good for a laugh -- and, sometimes, even a cringe or two. Here are the best moments from this year's press TIFF conferences:

    Al Pacino Spills

    REUTERS/Fred Thornhill REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

    "Hello! I'm out of here!" Al Pacino's famously booming voice split the air at the "Manglehorn" press conference when he accidentally spilled co-star Holly Hunter's water. He then proceeded to clean it up, before co-star Harmony Korine knocked over another glass, sending Pacino off on a little jig. "They're destroying the press conference!" he yelled. "They just threw stuff all over the place!"

    Benedict Cumberbatch Complains

    REUTERS/Fred ThornhillREUTERS/Fred Thornhill

    He is one of the most beloved stars in Hollywood right now, but even Benedict Cumberbatch has a breaking point. When asked at the press conference for "The Imitation Game," in which he plays logician Alan Turing, why he is so often cast as a genius (he has

    Read More »from Top 10 Press Conference Moments from TIFF 2014

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