|| Print ||
|Written by April Yorke|
|Friday, 01 June 2012 13:16|
Each month, (Cult)ure movie nerd April Yorke chats with Mayfair co-owner and geek-in-chief Josh Stafford about what's playing at Ottawa's home of stuff you won't see anywhere else. For June, we push the Mayfair's blatant capitalist agenda, plan a visit to Predator Planet, and bully some unsuspecting monkeys.
(Culture): Can we walk about the most exciting thing happening this month?
JS: Is it Indy double bill?
JS: A movie directed by Bobcat Goldthwait?
(C): No, although that's cool, too. Put a pin in that.
JS: It must be that we're going full circle, and, after its fans complained about Battle Royale, we have Hunger Games.
(C): A close second but still no. It's The Raid: Redemption.
JS: Ah yes, the highly anticipated most crazy violent movie you might see in a while.
(C): Exactly! It's like the finale of Punisher: War Zone is an entire movie!
JS: Even though it's not a video game adaptation, I thought it was the most video game movie I'd ever seen.
(C): I've yet to see a good video game to movie adaptation anyway, so why not go with this? It's clearly bananas in the best possible way.
JS: I've seen a lot of overly violent movies in my day, but something about this one really made it stand out from the crowd. It felt like a simple video game structure with bosses to fight as the levels got higher. It sounds like a backhanded compliment, but movies like The Raid don't really need characters or a plot. It's like watching dancers or acrobats . . . just with a little more impaling and gun firing.
(C): Yes! If you get one thing really right, you can get away with getting other things wrong.
JS: Again . . . this sounds rather negative, but, at the end of the movie as the credits rolled, I wasn't quite sure what just happened but thought that I sure did see some awesome martial arts and cops and bad guys shoot at each other in new and inventive ways.
(C): Expecting movies to constantly make sense is overrated anyway.
JS: Yeah, sometimes movies are allowed to just be awesome.
(C): Meanwhile, I lied about the second most exciting June Mayfair thing.
JS: Why do you hate The Hunger Games!? Tweens will be sending you angry rambling e-mails for sure now that that is out.
(C): They can all wait for my in-progress book vs. film to find reasons to tell me off (and, believe me, they will). It's just that I am more excited about the Fake Trailer Festival.
JS: Oh . . . well, yes . . . that is much more awesome. And not just because I'm responsible for slapping it together. It's one of those Mayfair things that just kind of happened last year. I had read about another similar fest in Seattle (if I remember correctly) and had enough interest from local and semi-local filmmakers. Mayfair patrons love trailers, so it's going to be 45 minutes to an hour of fakes, then the same for real ones -- old long lost grindhouse stuff, bizarre ones from the 80s, classics.
(C): How's the crop look this year?
JS: It'll be a good diverse batch of fake-ness. As per usual, I'm sure some great stuff will come in at the deadline crunch. Meanwhile, we get to dig through the Mayfair catacombs looking for awesome real ones to showcase.
(C): I don't know, man. I think that Mark Hamill/Annie Potts car movie is going to be hard to beat.
JS: We will try to rise to that challenge.
(C): I look forward to it. Wait, I need to admit that I am excited about another non-movie thing happening this month.
JS: Poster sale?
(C): Poster sale.
JS: Come and buy all the posters!
(C): Well, seriously. 1000s? How far do they go back?
JS: I dunno, but we get a hell of a lot of posters. Rough estimate . . . if we show like 25 movies a month, multiply by 12 months. And we've been at it since January 2009. Plus we get a ton of posters for stuff we never even ended up screening. Plus old stuff from the vaults. I'll save you a Hunger Games poster.
(C): You're going to be really sorry about all this mockery if you end up liking that movie.
JS: I only mock out of enjoyment of . . . uhm . . . mockery. It's right up the alley of stuff I like, so wouldn't be too shocking.
(C): If the world can sustain two movies in which Jennifer Lawrence kills, cooks, and eats a squirrel, I think we're a better place for it.
JS: I wonder what the odds are that it'll lead to a Hollywood remake of Battle Royale?
(C): Not good? There's still three more Hunger Games movies to compete with.
JS: That's fine by me. They should do a crossover movie like Freddy vs. Jason.
(C): Only the winner of Battle Royale would battle the victor of the Hunger Games?
JS: Yeah . . . and toss in a Predator for good measure.
(C): Obviously it would all take place on Predator Planet, so Adrien Brody would be there, too.
JS: Green light!
(C): Yippee! Am I given to understand that instead of showing movies from the 30s this month, you are showing movies set in the 30s?
JS: Our best of 30s will be much later in the year, so I will pretend that a 30s theme was planned and not coincidence.
(C): Best thing to do, really, with a pair of aces like your Indy double bill.
JS: At the Big Lebowski fundraiser, any mention of Indy made during hosting duties was met with glee and happiness. Raiders of the Lost Ark is just everything movies should be. Everything about it, including the posters, are just pure movie magic.
(C): Pretty much. More Nazi face melting!
(C): 31 year-old spoiler!
JS: I think Marion is my favorite woman character in a movie ever. Oh! And amidst our collection of memorabilia at the Mayfair are a couple of shot glasses from Raiders. I saw Temple of Doom at the perfect age so that I think Short Round is awesome and not a forced sidekick.
(C): I'm pretty sure I've never watched Temple of Doom.
JS: Whuh!? Now is your opportunity then.
(C): I guess so. Okay, we've talked a bit about what I'm excited about at the Mayfair this month. Maybe I should hand over the mic to you.
JS: Well, for new stuff, I'm very intrigued by God Bless America. It's directed and written by Bobcat Goldthwait, who movie geeks will remember from the Police Academy series, and, of course, he was in Scrooged. But he's been directing for about 20 years, starting with Shakes the Clown, a true cult classic that I saw at the Mayfair back in 1991. He's directed stuff for Chappelle's Show and Important Things with Demetri Martin and other comedic TV. His latest effort here has been getting some good festival and critical buzz. It's a dark comedy, guns a-blazin' revenge tale.
(C): One of my favourite subgenres is the merry serial killer, plus Joel Murray is cool beans.
JS: He is my 2nd or 3rd favorite Murray!
(C): After Bill and . . .
(C): Of course. What kind of non-sequel, I ask you, has a subtitle?
JS: Does Captain America: The First Avenger count?
(C): I guess it has to, but I think we should agree that subtitles are unnecessary the first go-round. I'm looking at you, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. I mean, they're pirates. Of course they're misfits.
JS: Yeah, that and The Raid: Redemption are weird titles.
(C): I like to pretend that The Raid: Redemption is a sequel to The Raid, a movie where a raid went bad, and now they need to be redeemed. Through violence.
JS: I'm pretty sure kids wouldn't look at a poster that says "Pirates!" and be confused as to the theme, but I actually thought The Raid might be a sequel to an Indonesian action movie I had never heard of.
JS: Maybe the subtitle means they're hoping for a sequel?
JS: I hope it's a little more violent. I didn't think it was violent enough.
(C): Yes, that's likely to get past the censors. But seriously, I like the enthusiasm behind The Pirates! I can tell they're not sissies when it comes to fun.
JS: Well, they have a pretty good track record. I loved Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit stuff. Most importantly, David Tennant is in it.
(C): That IS the most important thing.
JS: There are quite a few other geek movie / TV alum in it, too -- Brian Blessed, Martin Freeman, Anton Yelchin . . . but all that stands out to me is that Doctor Who is in it.
(C): But Dr. Watson!
JS: He was also in Shaun of the Dead AND Hitchhiker's Guide! And that there Hobbit movie that's upcoming.
(C): Yes, that, too. Point is, you get good geekdom PLUS pirates. Win-win.
JS: Stop motion pirates! The bestest kind!
(C): Naturally. Sorry, I just got distracted by Tom Hiddleston. He's so hot right now.
JS: Yes. Not so shockingly, I saw the trailer for Deep Blue Sea and exclaimed "Loki!"
(C): He's in other stuff that you've shown.
JS: Deep Blue Sea seems to have a distinct lack of giant man-eating shark . . .
(C): I keep getting it confused with The Deep End of the Ocean. You know, depressing movies with ocean metaphors.
JS: Movie titles are funny like that. Like Crash and Crash are two very different movies. This Deep Blue Sea is a little different then one involving Sam Jackson fighting super sharks.
(C): A fight he -- spoiler alert -- does not win. But it's still got Tom and Rachel Weisz, which is nothing to sneeze at.
JS: They will have their shark revenge.
(C): Yeah, I think that's what it's about. Getting revenge on the shark that ate Sam Jackson.
JS: Or it's a haunting World War II romantic drama or something. Either or.
(C): Why can't it be both?
JS: Yeah, Hollywood. C'mon!
(C): Mash-ups are très cool, so you're welcome, Hollywood.
JS: Another film with a strong female presence we have upcoming is The Lady.
(C): Michelle Yeoh!
JS: Michelle Yeoh in a Luc Besson movie in which there's no kicking!
(C): Well, there is probably some kicking, but it's not the focus. And it has David Thewlis, whose name is a delight.
JS: Luc Besson seemed to go away from directing for a while, focusing on producing and writing a billion action movies, but he seems to be back in director mode now.
(C): It's odd that this is what he came back to.
JS: Well, much better than Arthur and the Invisibles.
(C): Anything free of terrifying troll people is bound to be better.
JS: Maybe this'll put him a step closer to the completely made up but fan wished Professional / Matilda spin-off movie. In the doc section, I'm looking forward to The Island President, which I first heard about thanks to The Daily Show.
(C): What's this poor man going to do, though? His island is going under.
JS: It's one of those truth stranger than fiction kinda things, which so many great docs fall under. Islands sinking are usually under more of a 70s disaster movie kind of deal.
(C): But I think those are more rapid and, therefore, somehow less depressing.
JS: Most of our docs seem to be about the world coming to an end / humanity is filled with monsters. Great docs but not exactly uplifting. With a doc like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it's a bit of a sense of relief. "A movie about sushi! That won't remind me of the impending apocalypse!"
(C): Or will it? Dun dun DUN!
JS: I knew sushi was the key to our destruction!
(C): Because it is so delicious?
JS: Maybe because it costs so much. The subject of this doc runs a Tokyo subway sushi bar that seats 10, has a 3 month waiting list, and a meal cost $300 U.S.
(C): And is worth every penny. You have to fall in love with your work, Josh.
JS: Maybe we should increase ticket prices to $300.
(C): You're not old enough yet. You need to work it at longer.
JS: Some day . . . Our other docs are involving chimpanzees and bullies.
(C): I choose Bully.
JS: Everyone loves monkeys!
(C): Everyone does not, especially not bonobos.
JS: Why do you bully monkeys?!
(C): I do that instead of bullying people. It's kindness, really.
JS: I think that they named the main chimp Oscar is a little bit asking for reward on their part.
(C): It's downright demanding!
JS: "An Oscar for Oscar!" That's what the publicity department is hoping someone says. Wait . . . I just said it. Do I get a poster quote now?
(C): Absolutely. Your moment in the sun has finally come. Then you can sell signed copies at the next poster sale!
JS: I'll just keep saying that for every movie.
(C): "An Oscar for . . . " until you see it in print?
JS: Yup, our interviews are going to get much more singular from here on in. "An Oscar calibre Bully of a movie!"
(C): I'll leave the blatant pandering to you and stick to the admiration of many fine men.
JS: I like that in the States Bully fought to not get an R. In Canada it got a PG.
(C): Yes, someone kept the audience in mind for once. I gotta tell ya, that might be the most depressing doc yet.
JS: That's quite an accomplishment.
(C): Well . . . yeah. The eco docs are generally of the mind that the world's going to hell in a handbasket, but you can feel like you do what you can in that regard. With bullying, what can you do?
JS: Yup, kids are monsters.
(C): Put that on your poster!
JS: It seems to be a constant that always has and always will be.
(C): This is going down a depressing well. Quick, think of something upbeat!
JS: Um . . . Indiana Jones! Wait, we already talked about that!
(C): A Bullet for the General?
JS: It's about "the insanity of violent revolution," so I dunno if it's upbeat per se.
(C): Potentially humorous? We need something!
JS: The Hunter! Wait . . .
(C): Nope, definitely not upbeat. Just cold and depressing. It's like The Hunger Games with a tiger.
JS: That sounds awesome! And it's got the Green Goblin in it.
(C): I never understood why they hired Wilem Dafoe for that and then made him wear a mask. His face alone gets the job done.
JS: Well, Hollywood doesn't want any of their comic book characters in masks, so it is surprising. He always brings his A game, though, no matter what kind of movie.
(C): Exactly. Actually, it also reminds me of The Clearing.
JS: But less Redford-y and more tiger-y?
(C): Yes, though an argument could be made for similarities there as well.
JS: Amidst all the bullying and hunting I forgot about Jesus Henry Christ.
(C): Michael Sheen!
JS: That's not depressive and gloomy (not that there's anything wrong with depressive gloom cinema).
(C): No, but families coming together is okay sometimes, too.
JS: And Michael Sheen and Toni Collette bring the talent.
(C): And that adorable little child vampire from Being Human (US).
JS: Looks like good indie fare. It's amazing the stuff that is of no interest to the multiplex.
(C): With a title like that? Won't play in middle America.
JS: Foolish Americans. At least they'll have their Hunger Games. Nothing controversial there.
(C): Oh, no, not at all. Just a little light death.
JS: You just gotta sneak in the controversy under the guise of summer blockbuster. Make 'em think there's no thinkin' involved.
(C): Ooo, tricksy!
Tags: adventure, an oscar for, bobcat goldthwait is back, cinema, extended punisher finale, get your signed copy today, mayfair, merry serial killers really bring the fun, movie crushes, ottawa, out on the town, pure movie magic, who doesnt love trailers