Maple syrup. Ice hockey. Adorable Olympic mascot Mukmuk. You get the feeling Canada's been building up to something special for quite a while. It turns out it's this: the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 line-up.
Terrence Malick's To the Wonder. Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Rian Johnson's Looper. Ben Affleck's Argo, Joe Wright's Anna Karenina. Monty Python's animated autobiography, Midnight's Children, Tom Tykwer's Cloud Atlas, Noah Baumbach's new film starring Greta Gerwig...
In short, Canada wins at film this year. (Despite not being a real country anyway.)
So if you catch anyone trying to Blame Canada in the next few months, just show them this list. It's so full of awesome I can't remember why we were ever blaming Canada in the first place. Probably something to with Bryan Adams, eh?
For the full line-up, head over to the TIFF website.
Prometheus is almost here. In case you hadn't guessed from the millions of teasers and trailers - mostly for other teasers and trailers. So it's probably about time someone did a themed series of blog posts over a week (well, it's Wednesday now, so let's say a couple of days) and gave it a stupid name. Like Promethweekus. Or something.
With Ridley Scott returning to his best genre, the temptation is to write long, ineloquent articles analysing what makes the original Alien such a superb film. A part of me walks to talk almost exclusively (and at length) about Ridley Scott's use of tracking shots and how he shoots empty corridors like no other director. Another part of me wants to then contrast that with James Cameron's Aliens and talk about how the Avatar director tries to imitate Ridley's corridor-based camera movements - and mostly fails.
It's also hard not to debate the character development of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley: the careful juxtaposition of her against Veronica Cartwright's hysterical fellow female crew member in 1979; the unsubtle use of Carrie Henn's "Newt" in the loud, bombastic 80s; the transformation from mother to Queen Bitch at the turn of the decade; the move from Queen Bitch to scientific freak in 1997's muddled finale by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
But I was so busy rewatching the Alien series that I didn't have time for all of that. So instead, here's a quick and easy way to remind yourself what happened in the franchise before going back to the myth's origins.
Here is the Alien Quadrilogy - in Haiku.
If you go down in the woods today, you're bound to see a cabin COVERED IN DIRTY FILTHY SPOILERS. From The Hollywood Reporter to Village Voice, grumpy folks the world over are dishing the dirt on Drew Goddard's endlessly surprising horror flick in rubbish film-ruining reviews.
In response, geeks the world over are desperately trying to avoid spoilers of any shape or size. Some people have even evolved a hard, shell-like covering within which to cower, thus deflecting any spoilers that may have been bitten by a radioactive fly and become airborne.
But wait! Before you crawl under a rock/walk around blindfolded/gouge out your faceholes to block out all visual and acoustic stimuli, help is at hand with our patented The Cabin in the Woods De-Spoilerificator.
Afraid the site you're looking at doesn't have a spoiler-free Cabin in the Woods review? Simply whip out our handy tool to avoid all potential plot twists. Try it now by clicking the De-Spoil button...
"I have an army," smirks Tom Hiddleston's Loki in this new Avengers Assemble clip.
"We have a Hulk," retorts Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark.
<squee>Joss Whedon/Marvel's Avengers Assemble looks better and better with every day that goes by.</squee>
Head over this way to watch the full Avengers Assemble trailer.
Director: Drew Goddard
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Bradey Whitford, Fran Kranz
Worried the mere mention of The Cabin in the Woods could spoil the surprises? Head this way for a 100% spoiler-free review of Cabin in the Woods, involving robots, Danger Mouse and Morgan Freeman. (This review is 97% spoiler-free.)
"The lambs have passed through the gate. They are come to killing floor," recites Richard Jenkins' redneck harbinger of doom as a truckload of teens pass by his home. That's the kind of knowing dialogue you can expect to hear in Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's horror-comedy-post-modern masterpiece. That and words like "virgin" or "blowhole".
Less a film about teens dying in the woods and more a total deconstruction of the genre, Drew Goddard's movie is a smart beast; in between making you jump and laugh, it successfully explains the reasons behind every stupid decision made by every dumb character in every horror movie you've ever seen.
After watching this new Avengers Assemble clip of Black Widow kicking butt (while on the phone to Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson), I have one thing to say to Scarlett Johansson: MARRY ME.
This offer is also extended to Joss Whedon - here's a spoiler-free Cabin in the Woods review to explain why.
Marvel Avengers Assemble is out on Thursday 26th April - head this way to watch the full Avengers Assemble trailer.
As The Hollywood Reporter taught us over the weekend, it's a cruel and unfair thing to write a review of Joss Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods that contains a ton of spoilers. Reciting every key plot twist in full detail not only ruins the experience for the viewer but also shows a lack of imagination on the writer's part.
So here, using the pure power of imagination, is the world's most guaranteed 100% spoiler-free review of Cabin in the Woods:
Imagine a talking monkey riding a Nyan Cat next to Danger Mouse fighting a T-Rex on top of a dragon that fires LASERS FROM ITS EYES, while watching The Princess Bride AND eating bacon - narrated by Morgan Freeman. On Mars. (Inside a giant robot.)
The Cabin in the Woods is more awesome than that.
The Cabin in the Woods is out on Friday 13th April in the UK. We'll have a full (and equally spoiler-free) review then.
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: Thursday 26th April
Marvel Studios presents “Marvel Avengers Assemble”—the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel Avengers Assemble” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel Avengers Assemble" hits UK cinemas on April 26, 2012.
In “Marvel Avengers Assemble” superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.
The Avengers Assemble (yeah, that's the title in the UK now) has a new trailer. That trailer goes BRRRRMMMMMM.
It also contains a pretty massive spoiler, uttered by Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner halfway through:
OMG. THEY'RE A TIME BOMB. Who's got the explosives? Does it go off when Iron Man flies at less than 50 miles per hour? What does this time bomb look like? Maybe it's that Giant Robot out of Transformers that turns up near the end. And more importantly, what happens when the time bomb goes off? I'm betting that Josh Brolin turns up and does imitations of everybody in the cast circa 1963.
Read on for the rather awesome new Avengers trailer. And make sure you rewind it at least three times to hear Bruce Banner's crucial line.
With Joss Whedon on course to bring us a whopping THREE films this year - The Avengers, that surprise Much Ado About Nothing and this bloody horror - there's never been a better time to throw questions at the Firefly/Buffy/Dr. Horrible genius.
But why do that when Sean Penn is around?
Mr. Film Actor's Guild himself, Penn's an amazing actor, but his unwavering ability to comment on non-cinema issues just keeps on going. Now, it stretches all the way from the Falklands and poverty to gay rights and Venezuela. So who better to ask about Cabin the Woods?
All you have to do is send us your questions and we'll chuck them into the big question pit, which Sean will work his way through in an epic fan interview.
Example questions you could ask:
Where does he stand on the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot?
Why did Joss Whedon keep his Shakespeare adaptation so secret?
How does Sean sleep at night now when Alan Tudyk keeps dying?
Oh fine, we'll just ask Joss Whedon instead. Tweet any questions you have @iFlicks (use the hashtag #cabininthewoods), post them on our Facebook page or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cabin in the Woods is out on Friday 13th April - head this way to see The Cabin in the Woods trailer.