Tag Archives: BRUCE MACDONALD

Ken Branagh reunites Tony and Colm for a comic book epic, & Dame Elizabeth reviews This Is It

TOGETHER AGAIN: Savvy screen-stealers Colm Feore and Anthony Hopkins, who last worked together on screen in Julie Taymor’s flawed but

HUARD & FEORE: Bon Cop, Bad Cop

fascinating take on Titus Andronicus, have teamed up again for director Kenneth Branagh’s production of Thor, which will bring the Marvel comic book hero to life and, no doubt, box office glory. Before winging to the movie set, Feore received a rollicking reception last week at the Ursula Franklin Academy when hundreds of high school students gathered to watch him cavort with Patrick Huard in Bon Cop,

HOPKINS: reunion for Thor

Bad Cop. And he wasn’t the only one winning cheers. Director Bruce MacDonald and leading lady Lisa Houle were in another gathering, taking questions after the screening of MacDonald’s latest opus Pontypool. And filmmaker Michael McGowan (St. Ralph) was in another assembly room, taking questions after the screening of his Joshua Jackson odyssey One Week. Making all three events happen, and simultaneously at that, was Reel Canada, a remarkable organization now in its fifth year of introducing young people to Canadian film achievements by bringing the films and the filmmakers to the classroom. Now that’s show business.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I loved genius in my lifetime. God was so good to me. I will love Michael forever and so will you, if you don’t already. God kissed

JACKSON: genius?

him. There will never, ever be the likes of him again.” The speaker? Dame Elizabeth Taylor, tweeting about the Michael Jackson concert film This Is It. Sez Liz: “You owe it to yourselves and your loved ones to see this again and again. Memorize it and say to yourselves, ‘I saw genius in my lifetime.’ I truly believe this film should be nominated in every category conceivable.” Yup, she likes it. She really likes it.

HOPE LIVE: Newfoundland news junkies Rick Mercer and Seamus O’Regan are headlining tonight’s Hope Live black-tie charity gala in Ottawa in

O'REGAN: in Ottawa tonight

support of Fertile Future, which helps young women and men who have had   cancer can find ways to have their own children. Among the perennial Mercer targets and political playmates expected to attend: Peter MacKay, Jason Kenney, Helena Guergis, Maxime Bernier and Scott Brison. Incidentally, Mercer was one of four sparklies honoured by the University of Ottawa last week at an AGO dinner in Toronto, picking up a Distinguished Canadian Leadership Award with high-note master Michael Burgess and high-flying astronaut Julie Payette. (CTV National Affairs

MERCER: with his Montreal posse

correspondent Lisa LaFlamme picked up U of O’s special Alumni Achievement award at the same bash.) Now on his Christmas break, Mercer resumes SRO tapings of his top-rated Rick Mercer Report in January, but wait ‘til you see him crash (you should pardon the expression) a women’s roller derby competition (ouch!) in Montreal (!!) tomorrow night at 8 pm on CBC Television.

FOOTLIGHTS: How much does New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley love Fela!, the new musical that opened last Monday night on Broadway? “There should be dancing in the streets,” sez Brantley — and that was merely the first

THE MADONNA PAINTER: rave reviews

line of his ecstatic rave review. According to Brantley — no easy sell — there’s never been anything like it on Broadway. Which should bode well for producers Will & Jade Pinkett Smith and their comrade in showbiz arms Jay-ZRisking The Void, the touring art exhibit showcasing the work of Canadian stage designer Cameron Porteous, is set for a 10-week run Jan 20-April 4 in Guelph, Ontario at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre … and Factory Theatre has done it again. Good news is, Linda Gaboriau’s new translation of Michel Marc Bouchard’s The Madonna Painter opened to rave reviews from the Toronto Star, the Globe & Mail and Now magazine – how’s that for a range of opinions? Bad news is, the show must close in two weeks.  To secure your tickets now, click here!

TOMORROW:

Mamma Mia! Here we go again!

My, my, how can we resist you?

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Wow — it’s Watchmen and wowOwow!

Based on the much-lauded graphic novel, Watchmen is one of those rare page-to-screen translations that actually lives up to all its advance hype.

Visually eye-popping settings, spectacular special effects and just enough squirm-making suspense (yes, there will be blood) to keep it real. Plot twists are frequent and surprising, and the setting – America reeling under Richard Nixon’s fourth (!!) term in office — offers an intriguing mix of political fact and ficton. One of the nicest surprises is the tunefully clever soundtrack featuring, among others, Leonard Cohen and Simon & Garfunkel, whose songs are used to unexpected advantage here.

AKERMAN: Watchwoman

AKERMAN: Watchwoman

Director Zack Snyder (300,) an old hand at this, keeps the pot on such a high boil that despite its substantial running time Watchmen holds us entranced from start to finish. And he gets stellar support from his cast. Transplanted Toronto charmer Malin Akerman, who graced the Warner Bros. sneak preview at AMC Dundas Square last night, is a stand-out as Silk Spectre II, and Grey’s Anatomy scene-stealer Jeffrey Dean Morgan probably gets the most screen time as The Comedian.

Because Watchmen also provides back-story bios of its key protagonists, viewers are bound to pick their own favourites.  Happily they’ll have lots to choose from, because Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley and Stephen McHattie also make the most of their complex graphic comic book characters.

(McHattie will be doing double-duty this month. He stars in Bruce MacDonald’s TIFF tongue-wagger Pontypool, also opening this weekend.)

Not for the kiddies, Watchmen is nonetheless great fun, exquisitely executed.

BTW, the website is kinda neat too. You can check it out here.


* * *

Where have I been?

Up until Liz Smith got fired last week, I’d never even heard of wowOwow.com.

So if I can‘t read Liz in the New York Post  — their loss, her gain – and can’t always be near a TV set for her showbiz reports on NBC, where else can I find her?

BERGEN: blogger

BERGEN: brainy blogger

“I will contiuue to blog,” said Liz last week, “on wowOwow.com” – an internet address that looked like a major typo to me.

Au contraire, mes amis!

Yes, Virginia, there really is a wowOwow.com. It stands for Women On the Web, and on it Liz serves up her Daily Dish with her usual style and panache. And she’s in very good company, because her fellow wowOwow.com bloggers include such brainy belles as Candice Bergen, Lily Tomlin and her brilliant partner Jane Wagner, Whoopi Goldberg and Marlo Thomas, just to mention a few.

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, yes, it’s true, they’re all painfully shy girls, far too reticent to share their opinions.

No, wait, that’s wallflower.com.

I always get those two confused.

In the meantime, check out www.wowOwow.com  for yourself. Because it’s lots of fun.

And considering who lives there, why wouldn’t it be?

What a difference a dame makes.