Archive for October, 2009

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Ghosts and Miners- New Snowboard Canada article out now!

October 24, 2009
go find this article

go find this article

Last February straight-shootin’ photographer Mark Gribbon and I drove out to the Kootenays for a few days to hit up a bunch of old abandoned mines and ghost towns for an article in Snowboard Canada. The article is in the Nov 09 Issue of Snowboard Canada so go check that out. Gribbon has a bunch of shots from the trip on his site but here are a few others.

Eric Greene over the suicide bus

Eric Greene over the suicide bus

That is the ghost of tommy thomas in the back there. Or it could be me....

That is the ghost of tommy thomas in the back there. Or it could be me....

question– What do Ghosts spit up?   answer– BOO-gers!  Hahahhahahahha

question– What do Ghosts spit up? answer– BOO-gers! Hahahhahahahha

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Notes from the Back Row- Chicks, Guns, Controversy

October 23, 2009

Hannie Caulder

I write this movie column for Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine and every so often people write in with complaints.

This time, i missed a column because my supermodel girlfirend was having our baby, so i asked a colleague at the paper, Jesse, to stand in for me. He did a bang up job, saved my ass really. And i was very thankful. Then this letter came in to the paper, and was printed.

“Wow, I love my movies, and for the first time in many years I was actually able to read a movie revue column in Pique that did not make me drop my paper and walk out of the room absolutely disgusted. Jesse actually talked about the movies and actors, and not just go on about how hot the girls in the movie are or how much gun shooting action we get to witness. Seriously, I do not mean to insult Feet, but a small child could write a better movie revue. I am finally excited about the thought of reading next week’s column. All hail Jesse, for he is our new king.

– Colin Wyniarsky, Whistler”

A small child could spell “review” too. But allow me to retort.

Notes from the back row- Oct 20- by Feet Banks

“All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun”

~ Jean-Luc Godard

Godard was the godfather of the French New Wave, a movement in the 50’s and 60’s that reinvented how the French made films and how the rest of the world watched them. Apparently though, there’s a cat here in town here named Colin Wyniarsky who disagrees with Godard, and me, so much that he wrote a letter last week claiming my columns disgust him and all I ever do is “go on about how hot the girls in the movie are or how much gun shooting action we get to witness.”

Guilty as charged. Mr. Wyniarsky then claimed, “a small child could write a better movie review.” Which I don’t doubt. The kids are pretty advanced these days, google “rainbow parties” if you don’t believe me. I wish we’d thought of that.

Colin then implies that he wants Jesse Ferreras to write all the columns, essentially be taking food out of my kid’s mouth. Why you gotta mess with a man’s paycheck? Usually, in this circumstance, I’d come up with a clever way to tell Colin to eat a bag of dicks but he’s obviously testicularly handicapped (what guy doesn’t like hot chicks and guns??) so what do i say? It’d be like arguing with a rainbow. Instead the DVD of the week goes out to him.

The Adventures Priscilla: Queen of the Desert is a fantastic Aussie drama about two drag queens and a transsexual on a balls-out (literally) road trip into the outback. It stars Hugo Weaving, Guy Pierce and Terrence Stamp and, aside from fantastic costumes and make-up, is also a really sweet flick. I’m not even kidding, check it out Colin– no chicks, no guns

Now for the rest of us, here are the top ten “Hot Chick with a Gun” movies of all time.

  1. Wanted-(Angelina Jolie. I could also list Tomb Raider, Mr & Mrs Smith, Foxfire,The Bone Collector and a handful more. Angelina understands what old Godard was talking about.)
  2. Sin City– Ever since seeing Son in Law twice in a row at the old Rainbow theatre I’ve had a real thing for Carla Gugino. And you will too after her topless gun-toting psychiatrist scene in this classic. Don’t even get me started on the “Whore’s Ambush” scene at the end. Alexis Bleidel even shoots a gun!
  3. Coffy– Pam Grier has great guns. See also Foxy Brown.
  4. Chicks Who Love Guns – Not even a real movie, but this is featured in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and is basically just chicks in bikinis talking about automatic weapons and shooting stuffed animals and cookie jars. Find it on Youtube.
  5. Avenging Angel– 80’s outfits, big hair, synth soundtrack and, you guessed it GUNS! 80’s brunettes are so much hotter than contemporary ones.
  6. Hannie Caulder– Gun-toting Rachel Welch revenge western!!!
  7. Swordfish– Travolta blows but Halle Berry in her ginch shooting guns doesn’t.
  8. A History of Violence– Maria Bello doesn’t get enough credit for how hot she is, or how she handles a shotgun in this Cronenberg classic.
  9. Once Upon a Time in Mexico– Eva Mendes and Salma Hayek. Schwing!
  10. 10. Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death – I haven’t seen it but the title sells me. Plus it has chicks with guns!!!

And I never even got to Milla Jovovich’s career, or Kate Beckinsale’s foray into leather, guns and Vampires.  Regardless, if you hate hot chicks, or guns, or me, or all three then don’t come to the B-Grade Horrorfest on Oct 30. Instead, maybe stay home and rent Prizzi’s Honor. No, wait… Kathleen Turner uses a pistol in that one, never mind.

Raquel Welch in a Revenge Western with Ernst Borgnine and Christopher Lee. Fuck Yeah Man

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Movies- Saw Marathon

October 23, 2009

Shawnee Smith falls into a pit of dirty hypodermic needles. The best part of Saw II

Alex Vo, of Rottentomatoes.com is watching all five Saw movies in a row leading up to tonights release of Saw 6.

check it out here

Personally, I gave up on the Saw Franchise sometime in the middle of Saw 3 but you have to kind of admire them for creating such a sequel-friendly concept and give Saw credit (for better or for worse) for popularizing off the ‘Torture Porn” school of filmmaking (see also Hostel.) Saw1 was pretty awesome but for me the scariest part of the whole series is when Shawnee Smith falls into that pit of dirty hypodermic needles. True terror. Saw has given more than a few of those horrorific scenes over the years and even though the series has slipped down the shitter a bit, they still usually have awesome posters and can be counted on for some Halloween Gore.

check out Rotten Tomatoes list of other films that have made it to sequel number 6         here

and while i don’t put Jigsaw in anywhere near the same league as Freddy, Jason, or Michael Myers, you have to admit he has had a pretty long run.

Feet

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notes from the back row- Wild Things Arrive!

October 15, 2009

Notes from the back row- Oct 13

by Feet Banks

Firstly, I’d like to apologize for not posting a review last week. Instead i was present while my supermodel girlfriend delivered our baby boy.

Secondly, I’d like to add that The Heavy Hitting B-Grade Horrorfest is happening Oct 30 in Whistler and there are tickets available at www.heavyhitting.com. If you are not familiar with the unadulterated awesomeness that is B-Grade Horrorfest check out the article here and be warned, these are badass local short horror films designed to offend and weed out the weaker elements of the audience– Cinematic Darwinism in a 1000-seat theatre, with 8 bars.

Thirdly, finally, Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the 1963 Maurice Sendak children’s book Where the Wild Things Are hits screens this Friday. Among film geeks this is probably the most anticipated flick of the year. Jonze, (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) jumps right into things with a punk-rock sensory assault follow-cam of Max as he rips around doing the stuff that kids do. Instantly drawing us into a true sense of childhood, Jonze, working from a script by hit-and-miss scribe Dave Eggers (Away We Go) portrays Max as a 9-year-old, smart, sensitive and highly energetic kid at a crossroads in life. The childhood era of the do-anything, be-anything mentality is beginning to be displaced by the hard shittyness of the way things really are. Where suddenly your sister ditches you for older kids and your mom’s got a new boy friend and wearing a wolf suit doesn’t really make you a wolf.

Scared and feeling a bit guilty about biting his only parent, Max runs away, hops in a sailboat and ends up where the Wild Things are, an island he quickly claims to be king of and orders the rumpus begin. Child actor Max Records carries the film but the actual Wild Things are equally amazing – real people in giant, Jim-Henson-designed muppet costumes with CGI facial expressions and excellent name-brand voice acting. The Wild Things noticeably exist physically, but are enhanced and attain a super-realness. SOOOOO much cooler than straight CGI effects.

Where The Wild Things Are is a non-conventional kids movie, the book didn’t spoon-feed a moral and neither will the film. The plot meanders, sometimes the visuals take over the story, but it doesn’t matter, that’s point even. This is a film about being a kid and how it feels when it everything changes. The exciting and happy segments are offset with scenes sloshing melancholy. The Wild Things, big teeth and all, carry emotions, problems, and family dynamics of their own and there are no clear empathies where the wise old Chicken Monster explains to Max the difference between good and bad. Instead, Jonze reveals the pain of childhood, the loneliness, and then shows a child beginning to realize things like empathy, love, and self-control.  Everything is subtle, nothing is spelled out or smacked over our heads and the result is refreshingly different from almost every other children’s movie going.

Will kids understand the themes of the movie? Probably not outright, but the same allure that made Sendak’s book one of the best stories ever will stick with the kids walking out of this film until long after they’ve found and left, their own worlds where the wild things are. Jonze has crafted an instant classic.

Also opening at the Village 8, a decent revenge flick called Law Abiding Citizen and Michael Moore’s Capitalism, a look at the flawed system and division of wealth in America (and we are not far behind.) Great movie, but depressing as hell. Hopefully this “great” society of ours gets our shit together before my kid grows up.

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Notes From the Back Row- Zombie, Love, Lies

October 1, 2009
i want to eat your brains...

i want to eat your brains...

Notes from the back row- Sept 29

by feet banks

The bad news– Whip It, the Drew-Barrymore-directed chick rollerderby movie starring Ellen Page is not coming to Whistler this week. Which is too bad because I did some research and did you know there were three badass chick rollerderby movies released in 1972? One starring Raquel Welch (One Million Years BC) and another starring Playboy’s Miss November 1969 Claudia Jennings, whose real name was the much porny-er sounding Mimi Chesterson. There’s a lot to learn about rollerderby movies but we’ll save that for another day.

The good news– the Village 8 is opening a couple bangers this week, starting with the latest zombie comedy Zombieland. The film’s tagline is “Nut up, or Shut up” and it delivers a near-perfect mix of violence, humour, gory deaths and even a bit of sweet romance.

First-time director Reuben Fleischer proves he has a good sense of timing with this fast-paced stompfest but it’s really the acting that elevates this flick, as the plot – band of misfits heads for California, killing zombies along the way– is secondary. Woody Harrelson knocks one out the park as Tallahasse, a Snake Plisken-esque tough guy who just really loves killing zombies (and devouring a certain snack food.) Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) slips into his usual sincere-neurotic-social-outcast role but he wields a shotgun well enough to avoid the sameness that has plagued Michael Cera’s (Juno) career. Emma Stone (Superbad, House Bunny) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) turn up as a couple of shifty scam artists in lesser roles who join in on the fun. Emma Stone is still my favourite up-and-coming actress (more talent than Megan Fox, and almost as hot.) Add in a fantastic cameo from a deadpan comedy legend and you have a character driven zombie tour de force that shouldn’t be missed.

Set in the near future (like next month– a theatre marquee advertises Roland Emerich’s 2012 in the background) Zombieland doesn’t provide any new takes on zombie mythology but you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even care. If watching a zombie puke up its gory, dead stomach contents is your idea of awesome then this is one of the best flicks of the year, in any genre.

In the romance genre, Marc Webb’s 500 Days of Summer is finally opening up here. It’s been out since early July and has already hit the Drive-In circuit but better late than never because this smart, dynamically put together post-breakup rom-com is honest, intelligent and really well crafted. (It’s also a tiny bit emo and slightly pussyish at points but most of the time it really sings.) Zooey Deschanel and Joesph Gordon-Levitt perfectly enact both the good and bad sides of infatuation.

What makes the film is how relate-able it is. The joyful feeling of pure bliss when you’re walking home the morning after nailing someone you’re really into and you want to start high fiving strangers on the street– that’s in there. The crushing sadness when your boyfriend desperately tries to replicate something that once you made you laugh and shiver but this time it doesn’t work–also in there. These are real moments captured perfectly and there are literally dozens of them throughout the flick. For a non-love story, 500 Days of Summer is a perfect date movie with one of the best endings of the year.

Also opening at the Whistler Village 8, Ricky Gervais’ latest, The Invention of Lying, about an alternate universe where everyone tells the truth, until one day one guy doesn’t. Smart premise. Lots of religious themes. Hugely talented cast. PG-13. Your parents will love it.

Not as much as your dad probably loved Miss November 1969, but that’s a hard act to top.

nuff said.

nuff said.