Tag Archives: Josh Hutcherson

Elliot The Littlest Reindeer

In fact – spoiler alert – Elliot is not  reindeer at all. He’s a miniature horse who lives on a petting zoo. His best friend is a tin can-eating goat named Corkie. But Elliot dreams big. The petting zoo is attached to a reindeer training centre, a ‘farm team’ from which Santa drafts his 8 reindeer each year. Elliot does his best to train along with them, though the other reindeer laugh and call him names (will reindeer never learn?).

Luckily, Blitzen announces his retirement 3 days for Christmas, and Santa decides to hold elliot-the-littlest-reindeeropen try-outs for all the aspiring reindeer stars. Elliot and Corkie have to do some fast-talking and some fairly amateur cosplay to even get him in the gates. But Elliot is fast and surprisingly agile. Is he actually a contender? And even if he wins, is it possible for a miniature horse to be accepted onto Santa’s team?

This is a cute little movie that’s sure to please young children. You can tell it’s a Canadian production because it likens the reindeer team to a hockey team – the two great pursuits of the north. The voice cast includes Morena Baccarin, Josh Hutcherson, John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham, and Samantha Bee. Packed with cuteness and with a protagonist the whole family can get behind, why not add Elliot The Littlest Reindeer to your family’s holiday rotation this year? It’s got a one-day only cinema engagement in the following cities December 2nd, and will be available on VOD as of December 4.

North Vancouver 🦌  Vancouver 🦌 Langley 🦌  Thunder Bay 🦌 Winnipeg 🦌  Calgary 🦌 Toronto 🦌 Edmonton 🦌  Regina 🦌  Scarborough 🦌  Halifax 🦌  Niagara Falls 🦌  Oakville 🦌 Guelph 🦌 Montreal 🦌 Barrie 🦌  Sudbury 🦌 Cote Saint-Luc 🦌  Windsor 🦌 Peterborough 🦌  Ottawa

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SXSW: The Disaster Artist

Before we talk about this movie, we have to talk about another: The Room. Not Room, the Brie Larson kidnap drama, but The Room, the worst movie ever made. Even better: the BEST bad tumblr_megxu99K4x1ry10fwo1_500movie ever made, the Citizen Kane of bad movies, a movie so bad it’s achieved cult status. Tommy Wiseau was obsessed with movies and had enough cash to get one made, so he did. And he did it with such earnestness and such a complete lack of talent that people love to watch it. Ottawa’s own Mayfair Theatre, one of Canada’s oldest surviving independent movie houses, an official heritage building in our fair city, champion of 35mm film, screener of indies and classics, has been showing it for 92 consecutive months now. Each midnight screening is a riot; this cult film draws fans that know the drill. Matt wrote a great review of it a while back, almost nothing about the movie itself, which defies reviewing, but about the experience of seeing, the rituals that go along with it, the things you yell at the screen, hell, the things you chuck at the screen, it’s all a wild ball of fun.

Greg Sestero, co-star in The Room and Tommy Wiseau BFF wrote a book about making this weird movie with its even weirder director. It’s called The Disaster Artist. Ever a sucker for a great Hollywood story, James Franco read this book one day and immediately got a boner. He brought the script to Seth Rogen on the set of their ill-fated movie The Interview, and the rest is history. Well, future history. I saw the one and only screening of The Disaster Artist at SXSW where it was still billed as a “work in progress.” Tommy Wiseau was in the house, and also seeing it for the first time. Big gulp.

Two things struck me about The Disaster Artist: 1. This film was made with love. It could easily mock The Room, as many have, but it doesn’t. This is a loving ode to The Room, and to the friendship that gave birth to it. 2. This film is fucking hilarious.

Even having never seen The Room, The Disaster Artist is still accessible and relevant. Tommy Wiseau is a goddamned character and James Franco is just the man to play him (although Wiseau pushed for Johnny Depp). Franco got into the part so deeply that he directed while in character too. He was in deep enough to fool Seth Rogen’s grandmother when she visited the set, and in more than deep enough to constantly annoy his little brother “Davey” who co-stars MV5BMjA4ZDZkNjEtNTFkZi00YjhjLWFjZTctNDZlOWVmYzZmZjhhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTM2Mzg4MA@@._V1_with him.  James and Seth debuted Sausage Party at SXSW last year, and for me it was a disappointment. The Disaster Artist, however, gave me continuous giggles. They’ve amassed an impressive cast, some with just bitty walk-on parts, which only proves the love Hollywood has for underdog Tommy Wiseau. Or perhaps for James “I’ll try anything once” Franco. Or maybe James Franco as Tommy Wiseau. In any case, I laughed until I cried, and then I slammed some Diet Pepsi just so I could cry-laugh some more. And I did! This movie will make you rabid for The Room but it stands on its own, a complete movie that probably benefits from NOT being written by Franco or Rogen. It’s an affectionate behind the scenes look at Hollywood gone wrong, but it’s also a kind of heart-warming tale about outsiders who can’t break in so they plow their own field, and even if it’s bad, at least they have potatoes. Know what I’m saying? Oh, hi Mark.

 

 

 

p.s. Check out the comments section for a delightful Q&A with James, Dave & Seth.

The Kids Are All Right

First of all, of course the kids are fine. Kids are resilient, not that having two loving parents has ever been a problem in the history of the world.

But it’s the parents we should be keeping our eyes on. Nic and Jules have been together a long, long time – since Nic (Annette Bening) treated Jules (Julianne Moore) in the ER for a sex injury. And that’s how their coupling goes: Nic is the serious, perhaps even controlling one, while Jules is free-spirited. In their years together, each has given birth using the same unknown sperm donor. Nic gave birth to Joni (Mia Wasikowska), who really takes after her (biological) mother, while Jules gave birth to Laser (Josh Hutcherson), who mostly takes after his. With Joni about to depart for college, Laser talks her in to searching for their biological father, the sperm donor. Enter Paul (Mark Ruffalo).

Now, Nic’s and Jules’ relationship has been stale for a while. Jules is in the middle of MV5BMTY2MDU4Mzg3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjQyNDk1Mw@@._V1_SX1759_CR0,0,1759,999_AL_starting up yet another business (landscape design) and Nic is barely tolerating the effort. But Paul’s arrival is completely destabilizing. Not only is their daughter moving away, they also feel like they’re losing their kids to a new, cool parent who has never had to discipline them or hurt their feelings. When Jules goes to work for Paul, it’s kind of the last straw. No wait: when Jules sleeps with Paul, that’s the very last straw.

Like any marriage,theirs has highs and lows. There are no histrionics; Nic is too staid, too reserved, too in control of her own emotions. Everyone is very, very sorry. So this is not about the drama, this is about who they are now, as people, as a couple. Julianne Moore and Annette Bening are such excellent actors that they can convey a 20 year marriage with an ease between the two of them that feels real and also effortless. Bening gets to show real range here, though her character plays things a little close to the chest. Moore is luminous as Jules and seems to really enjoy the freedom of playing someone so open and available.

Director Lisa Cholodenko is excellent at showing you a slice of life and making you feel like you’ve had the whole cake. An exceptional ensemble comes together to give this film emotional resonance. The couple is going through their own unique problems but their struggles of love, commitment, friendship, and family – those are universal. And in The Kids Are All Right, they’re memorably, endearingly executed.