I started my weekly viewings with a horror film, as one does. Girls Against Boys is the story of a duo of women who have been wronged one too many times and decide it is time for payback. This is a lower budget indie feature but I’ll be damned if it didn’t look like 10 times its budget. What a great looking film this was in terms of production value. Aside from that though, Girls Against Boys was also a really fun ride of a revenge flick. Danielle Panabaker is a likable lead and is easily identifiable as the good person driven to madness, helped along of course by a new friend played by Nicole LaLiberte. Nicole on the other hand is a definite psycho. No regard for anyone and willing to do anything to push forward her twisted agenda. A great little horror thriller, Girls Against Boys started my week out right.
Afterwards, like a good Canadian boy, I sat down with a mini marathon of the CBC series Mr. D: The Complete First Season. What a great show this is. I have always been a fan of comedian Gerry Dee and I was delighted to hear he was getting his own series. Better yet, it is based on his own real life experience as a teacher, which by his own admission, he was terrible at. The show is downright hilarious and a rightful successor to the other hit Canadian show, Corner Gas. I actually prefer Mr. D; the humor is not as wholesome as and a little edgier than Corner Gas. Dee himself is charming as the dullard Gerry Duncan and his interactions with his students in particular are priceless. I simply can’t get enough of this show; I think it is much funnier than any network sitcom currently on the air.
Since it was a slower week I backtracked a bit and checked out a couple titles I missed in previous weeks. Lay the Favorite was a cool little gambling flick about a Vegas dancer with a head for numbers that takes up with a bookie. Rebecca Hall plays against type as the slightly ditzy dancer with Bruce Willis taking the bookie role. I was surprised at the amount of charm in Lay the Favorite. Hall was great and Willis wasn’t just phoning it in this time around, giving his character Dink (yes, Dink) a great personality and a lot of charisma. In fact, his relationship with his estranged wife played by Catherine Zeta-Jones was very sweet and endearing. It definitely didn’t follow the typical path for a story such as this. Lay the Favorite is a fun little gem that I am glad I didn’t miss.
Lastly, I casually drifted over to the On Demand on my cable box and checked out a little documentary called Paul Williams Still Alive. I have been a fan of Paul Williams since I was a kid thanks to The Muppet Movie and Phantom of the Paradise, but this doc really endeared Williams to me. The director was a fan and started out making a film about Paul, but ended up getting permission to follow him around and film for quite some time, becoming friends with him in the process. The movie is a fascinating look at a guy who was hugely famous at one time, who you could find on TV pretty much any night of the week and who guested on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson over 50 times. I had no idea just how much success Williams had in the day, with huge number one hits written for huge artists. Nowadays he plays small concerts in small venues and mainly keeps to himself. But his story is a fascinating one and hearing about transitioning from that fame to where he is today is very interesting indeed. But the best part of the film by far though is watching Williams himself, how private he is, how funny he is, and how genuine he is. The film was so well done and such a love letter to the man himself, I was really impressed with it. That ended my week, but I think I have to revisit The Muppet Movie and The Phantom of the Paradise now. A movie lover’s work is never done.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 26, 2013
Barbie in The Pink Shoes
Company of Heroes
Girls Against Boys
Man from Shaolin
Mr. D: The Complete First Season
Nobody Gets Out Alive
The Client List: The Complete First Season
War of the Dead
Wild Horse Wild Ride
• Quebecois comedies get the Hollywood remake treatment
• Media Impact: prizes and awards (or how Monsieur Lazhar came to a theatre near you)
• TFS Awards Quickie: Shawn Christensen, Oscar-nominated Director of Curfew