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Friday, February 15, 2013

Fw: Oscar-caliber ferns

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Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 14:05:37 -0600
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February 15, 2013

Leftover Love


Of all the actors to portray James Bond, which one had the highest number of kills in his films?

Get the answer to this vexing question at the bottom of the newsletter.


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Oscar nominees do their time between two ferns

Unless you've been living in a cave these last couple of years, you're well aware of the awesomely awkward series of videos from the fine folks over at But just to be safe, I'll fill you in.

Zach Galifianakis "interviews" other celebrities on a set that is basically two cheap chairs with two ferns serving as bookends. The "Between Two Ferns" series is hilarious because Zach employs a facade of indifference and likes to ask odd or uncomfortable questions that really serve no purpose than to make his "guests" uneasy.

The series hits it high spots when the guests return volley, so to speak, and dish back some uncomfortable questions back at Zach.

For the latest episode, Zach invited some of the Oscar hopefuls such as Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz and Anne Hathaway to join him between two ferns. However, the highlight of the video for me is Amy Adams and "Cinnamon Muff."

I'm still laughing.

This is labeled as "Part 1," so there's hope that there will be another installment in the next couple of weeks before the Oscars are handed out on February 24.

Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition Part 1 from Zach Galifianakis

See web site for video mentioned in this story

Originally posted on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM by John Couture
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Project 52: 'Goon'

There isn't a hockey movie out there that I won't watch. Yes, even Senseless.

For the longest time, I never thought anything would approach the greatness of Slap Shot. Then, the news broke that Kevin Smith was making a hockey movie about a fighter who aspires to score one goal in the NHL.

Seann William Scott was slotted to play the lead and then things got delayed. Seann William Scott moved on and decided to take this film written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg that tackled similar territory to Smith's Hit Somebody.

Fast forward a couple of years and Hit Somebody has gone through a myriad of development detours while Goon went the indie route and came out last year to little fanfare.

While it only scored $4 million at the box office, it really made its mark on DVD and Bluray. So much so, that a sequel is on its way.


The reason that Goon works is that it really hits it out of the park on so many levels. Is it ridiculous and unbelievable? Absolutely, but it's also allegedly based on a true story.

And that could be true. The art of the enforcer in hockey is a dying breed, but back in the heyday of hockey thuggery (the 1970s and 1980s), it wouldn't be uncommon for a fighter to come out of nowhere and become a fan favorite in no time.

But the sport of hockey, especially the NHL, has gone through a metamorphosis in the last 20 years and fighting is slowly being weeded out of the game. So Goon is a throwback to a simpler time when the biggest attraction was to see how much blood was spilled on the ice each night.

And if it's blood you're looking for, then Goon will satiate your desire as there are enough slow-mo blood splatter shots that would make most horror flicks envious. Speaking of blood, I think the biggest reason that this film is a hit is that they didn't cut any corners at the behest of the MPAA.

This is an R-rated film from the get-go and it doesn't apologize for being one. There's a ton of swearing, plenty of nasty locker room talk and enough bloody fights to make even the fans of MMA want to take a look.

"Gay-porn hard!"

But, where Goon really knocks it out of the park is the treatment of the game of hockey itself. I play hockey and I'm a goalie and we are all crazy. Not since Keanu Reeves in Youngblood has there been a more accurate portrayal of a loony goalie.

"No glory holes tonight."

Speaking of the goalie, there's great banter between him and the Russian brothers. As my friends like to point out, goalies don't matter until the red light comes on. Sadly, that's true to a point. Usually if a goalie is doing his job and the team wins, no one notices. But if a goalie gives up weak goals than the entire momentum is altered.

One recurring scene in particular is how the players respect the team logo in the locker room. When Doug gets to Halifax, most of the players have no respect for the logo, but Doug's positive influence brings the players around and they all eventually come to respect the Highlanders logo.

"You know why we're losing? Because you're fucking shit."

I love the coach in the film because he reminds me of so many coaches that I had growing up. There was probably a wee bit less swearing than in the movie, but the tone was dead on.

Beyond all the hockey action, there's a really sweet romance between Seann William Scott's Doug Glatt character and Alison Pill's Eva. Alison is Jay Baruchel's real-life girlfriend, so it's not surprising that he wrote a great spin on the traditional puck bunny.

But, the real star of the film is hockey and fighting. What most people who don't follow hockey might not realize is that there's a real unwritten book of mutual respect between fighters. The chit chat between fighters as seen in the movie is as real as it gets. Sometimes, fighters make a pact before a faceoff that they are going to drop the gloves.

Liev Schreiber's portrayal of a veteran fighter making his last tour of the league is probably the biggest standout performance from the cast. I love that he knows exactly what he is and sees himself in the younger Glatt. Yet, at the same time, he has evolved beyond the role of an enforcer and represents what Glatt can become.

In the climatic game, Rhea continues the education when he baits Glatt into a penalty when he refuses to drop his gloves. While the savvy play is rewarded with a goal, the main event is the eventual battle between Rhea and Glatt. And boy is it worth it.

What amazes me most about Goon is that it simply wants to be a silly hockey movie, but it constantly elevates into something so much more. The film works on many levels and whether that's intentional or not, it really makes me curious to see where the sequel takes the story.

There are some pretty easy stories that they could opt for, but my money is that the boys will continue to surprise, perhaps even themselves.

See web site for image mentioned in this story

Originally posted on Feb 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM by John Couture


Monday Morning Mixer: 'Identity Thief' robs box office blind


Skyfall (PG-13)

Bond must track down and destroy a new threat to MI6.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13)

A group of friends help each other navigate through life.

Silent Hill: Revelation (R)

Teen learns the truth about her past and must fight.

The Man with the Iron Fists (R)

Lone outsider much destroy the clan traitor in China.

The Sessions (R)

Man confined to iron lung wants to lose his virginity.

Robot & Frank (PG-13)

Retired cat burglar is cared for by a humanoid robot.

Bully (PG-13)

A look at five families dealing with bullying issues.


COMING NEXT TUESDAY: It's a movie about the making of a fake movie to get hostages out of 1979 Iran.

What the heck are we talking about? Get the answer along with all of next week's releases.



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According to an infographic published in The Economist and reported by CinemaBlend, Pierce Brosnan had the most kills as James Bond. He averaged nearly 20 people killed in his four films as 007.

We certainly do not condone violence but the chart is an interesting study of the storied film franchise. It also includes conquests (wink wink, nudge nudge) and martinis. By a wide margin, it appears Daniel Craig is the booziest of them all.

Craig is back as the famous spy in Skyfall. This action thrill ride is the biggest Bond ever. Catch it today on DVD and Blu-ray.


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