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Police Academy (1984)

Police Academy (1984)“You will have live ammunition but there will be no call to use it.”

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I suppose I always knew Police Academy was shot (and possibly set) in Toronto. The Bank of Montreal building is there in the opening scene of the movie. And although I was too young when I first saw it to know the city well, in retrospect even more landmarks are frequent and familiar.

It wasn’t until just recently, reading World Film Locations: Toronto, that I was reminded of the runaway success I’d neglected to consider.

Plus I couldn’t get Robert Folk’s theme song out of my head.

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Suck (2009)

Suck (2009)

 

“I’m from a much older breed. What you kids call ‘old school’.”

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Suck is not the film I expected it to be. And that’s okay, because it truly rocks.

First, here are some things that it is not. It is not Blood Ties, a supernatural procedural set in night-time Toronto. It is also not a gothic Nancy Baker tale of life on Queen Street West. And it features little dark home-grown music, say The Viletones, National Velvet, An April March, or Front Line Assembly.

In fact, you would be ill-advised to expect any Cure or Siouxsie here. Instead, expect references to The Beatles, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, and Van Halen. Expect borderline-country, folk, Flamenco, pop, and singer-songwriting. Expect a cameo by a prog rocker from Rush.

Still here? Fine, because you’re going to have a lot of fun anyway.

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Enemy (2013)

Enemy (2013)


Local film . . . keep it in mind.

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Enemy is a film so rich — so complex, layered, and smooth — I feel utterly incapable of doing it justice. I’d rather just watch it again.

One of the only things which struck me as “off” about the experience was the city of Toronto rendered in a golden sepia. Residents might imagine it to be more colourful, and detractors would probably call it a dirty grey. And yet it works for that sepia tone is the colour of memory, ephemera, ideals, of reality eaten away.

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Cosmopolis (2012)

“Talent is more erotic when it’s wasted.”
cosmopolis-poster

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It was a very brave creative move on David Cronenberg’s part to make a 14-hour film.

Okay, okay, I know it wasn’t a 14-hour film. That’s only what it felt like.

What was that piece of dialogue from the film again? “Everything is days.” Yes, yes, it was.

I didn’t know much about this movie other than a movie still of Robert Pattinson’s cool alabaster visage graced the cover of World Film Locations. I also knew that it was about a man going to get a haircut.

Robert Pattinson going to get a haircut? I thought that could make a great movie. Okay, maybe that’s not so clear in retrospect.

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Cosmopolis (2012)

Cosmopolis (2012)


“If he was any dreamier, we’d have to put him on life support.”

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It’s Canadian content. It’s by David Cronenberg. It’s a microcosmic, minimalistic attempt to transcend easy craft. It has Jay Baruchel, Paul Giamatti, and a Bond villain channelling Dave Foley.

I want so much to love it, or to like it, or just to appreciate it. Heck, I’m willing to concede I simply don’t understand Cosmopolis. But even if someone could explain it to me, would my right brain follow my left?

It’s a bit like religion, I suppose, I just don’t feel it.

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Corner Gas: The Movie (2014)

Corner Gas the Movie (2014)

“I love this stupid town”

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Now this is how it’s done.

Corner Gas: The Movie stands as a wonderful example of how to adapt a TV comedy to feature film duration. In stark contrast to the mean spirit of Duct Tape Forever and the flailing provocation of Don’t Legalize It, this crowd-funded reunion embraces and extends what made the series beloved.

Of course we’re reacquainted with the cast of familiar faces, as well as a few new ones in cameos or larger roles. Personal favourite actor Don Lake is among them, playing a sympathetic sort-of-antagonist.

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A Six Pack of CanCon Stubs

Hacker RendersThis year was over with quickly, but was also unusually full. We did — and saw — more than we could reasonably describe in just a brief introduction.

It was a year of unusual transitions, when our once-predictable lives were unbalanced, leaving us less free time than in recent memory, and more activities to compete for those dwindling moments. Our posts have dropped in frequency to roughly one a week, down from an average of every other day.

But we haven’t stopped, we’ve even diversified, with book launches, streamersfilm festivals, crowd-funding, and meeting a personal hero.

We also saw more Canadian content than we got to write about. Some things we’d rather forget. Others deserve the recognition, so here are six stubs to acknowledge them . . . at least until we get to write some more.

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