Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Second Season for Fear Itself? Don't Hold Your Breath

In a story that's sort of akin to taking a lame horse out behind the barn, NBC-Universal Co-Chairman Ben Silverman has hinted in an interview with iFMagazine that the network's Thursday night horror anthology will most likely wrap up after the first season is over.

The lackluster series, which debuted in June as the red-headed cousin of Showtime's Masters of Horrorseries, has generally performed in the range of a 1.0 rating--which is not bad if your show is ECW on SciFi, but doesn't quite cut it for prime time on one the Big Three. Not sure about all of you, but I've yet to see a single episode that's engaged me from beginning to end, and that's a bad sign when the season is almost half over.

“We’re still debating,” Silverman told iFMagazine, in reference to whether or not Fear Itself will return next summer. “...You almost can’t lose at the business deal we have [ie. shooting the show in Canada and buying it cheap by selling off the DVD rights]. It’s whether we can do better, which we want to do.”

"Doing better" refers to the in-development Crusoe, a period action drama based on Daniel Defoe's 18th century novel (must admit, a pretty original idea, and that's rare for network TV.)

“We’ll definitely do scripted [programming] next summer,” said Silverman. “Not sure if we’ll do horror anthology again... Crusoe could perform better.”

There you have it, people. Forget vampires, ghosts and serial killers. Come summer 2009, thank God it's Friday.


If it’s nearing the end of July in Montreal, there are two things you can be sure of. The first is that it’s likely heavy and muggy outside. The second is that the city is about to gather in support of its boisterous gay community with the pride parade and festivities just around the corner. Sweltering heat and thousands of gay men – that can only go in one direction.

In honour of the yearly celebration and the fact that it is supposed to rain all weekend, I thought I might share a few words about some of my favorite gay films. (Ladies, I apologize as these suggestions are entirely male centric.) You would think that after the success of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, there would be a plethora of recent material to choose from. Sadly, this is not the case. Still, a trip to your local video shop can provide oodles of choices.

In 1996, movies that were gay themed didn’t play at the multiplex. In fact, if this movie were to come out today, it would probably still only find playtime at the repertory house. I saw Hettie McDonald’s BEAUTIFUL THING at a tiny theatre that was packed full and it still holds a special place in my heart. Based on Jonathan Harvey’s play, BEAUTIFUL THING is about exactly that. Two boys, Jamie & Ste (Glen Barry and Scott Neal), live next door to each other in the London projects. They find themselves one night sleeping head to toe and everything changes between them. The beauty they share goes much deeper than their young, innocent looks. The deeper beauty is found in the naïve discovery of what love is and that it can actually be found between two men. The picture itself never leaps past its stage roots and hasn’t aged gracefully but it has not lost its heart. When the two boys run through a forest with abandon before falling into a passionate kiss, innocence and discovery meet and are married.

Flash-forward to four years later and you will find that sexuality is still somewhat taboo but with a cast this vast, it is clearly making inroads. These particular inroads are in West Hollywood and this particular cast includes Timothy Olyphant, Zach Braff, Dean Cain, Justin Theroux and John Mahoney. The movie is THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB – A ROMANTIC COMEDY, a modern version of the seminal film, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, with slightly less self-loathing. This ensemble piece focuses on the ties that bond gay men together and turn them into an indispensable support network for each other. Common experiences like coming out and kissing a man for the first time are universal but while these friendships build confidence and self love, they also break it down with jealousy and smothering. From Greg Berlanti of “Dawson’s Creek” fame, the film does play out like a serialized drama but the performances and predicaments are so sincere that tears will flow for any one into a little sap.

While we’re heading down the road of cute, why don’t we travel across the country to a New York subway where aspiring musical writer, Gabriel (Christian Campbell) meets eyes with go-go boy, Mark (J.P. Pitoc). They stare and look away until it’s time for Gabriel to get off. Chancing it, Mark follows so that he might do the same. True to its title, TRICK is about two strangers who scour the city in search of a place where they can get down and naked. Here’s the kicker; they find something else entirely. What they find is that by spending all that time together without getting naked means you can actually get to know someone and if you try really hard not to try at all, you might actually spark. This modern romance is innocently told by director, Jim Fall and will inspire even the most dire of cynics, including this one (my therapist would be pleased). AND … AND … TRICK features Tori Spelling singing and tap dancing!

From one night to one full summer of love, the next film on the list is France’s PRESQUE RIEN (COME UNDONE). This is the most poetic and artistic of the bunch. It is calm and it takes its time to tell the story of Mathieu and Cédric (Jérémie Elkaim and Stéphane Rideau). These two beach beauties meet and fall in love in the way only a summer romance allows. It is what follows the summer that forces each of them to grow up much faster than they imagined they would have to. While the film is at times quite sensitive, it is at others quite steamy. The first time I saw the film was in a theatre and the projection went out of sync and into a half frame during a particularly intense beach scene. Let me assure you, I’d never heard so many men holler at the projectionist so quickly and so loudly. Still, director, Sebastien Lifshitz tells this story of first love with candor and insight, allowing for a beautifully paced and engrossing experience.

Staying with the language but leaving the country for a city I call home, the last film on a list that could include oh so many more wonderful gems is Montreal director, Jean-Marc Vallée’s C.R.A.Z.Y. This film hits particularly close to home in more than just its setting. It may be just another coming of age story to some but Vallée’s script is sweetened with so many beautiful flourishes of memory, the tiniest details described with a magnitude that exposes its creator as a man of grace and understanding. Zac Beaulieu (played as an adult by Marc-André Grondin) is the fourth of five brothers. His mother believes he has been blessed by God as a healer; his father simply believes he is special. Neither of his parents wants to accept what they see developing in him but Zac wants it even less. Even as a young child, he knows there’s something different, cannot identify what that is but knows he has to pray to God every night until it goes away. C.R.A.Z.Y is subtle, sincere and heartbreaking. It is certainly a standout Canadian film.

Like I said, the list could go on and on and with the rain that seems to be doing the same these days, there could be plenty of time to rent these fabulous films as well as, I don’t know, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH … or LILLIES … or THE VELVET GOLDMINE … or TARNATION … or MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO … or THE CRYING GAME … or BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, even. I think you get my point though, as colorful as it may be.

Beasts Of Burden Show


Great show of customising madness with the Yoka Panda toy series. The Beasts of Burden show was a great success and had some mad mad art for the public to check out.

Abe Lincoln Jr.

Steve Chanks

Alex Willan

Chris Ryniak

Doktor A

Kelly Vivanco

Angelina Wrona

N8 Van Dyke

The original toy by Adfunture Workshop. Photo from HERE.


N.E.R.D. Drive Thru Video

Nice 2D cut out paper effect on this video.


Ato Matsumoto Sneakers

Ato Matsumoto's take on a sneaker has produced a stunning, functional and beautifully styled piece of footwear that has yet to make it out of Japan until now. They are known as the Ato Cow Hide Boot; This high top features 2 velcro straps and comes in a mix of patent leather and regular premium leather. Not due to be released in europe or the states until January next year, they are available only straight from Japan.

Props to the Paperboi crew for bringin' these puppies to my attention!

old vs panels graffiti cc

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trailer: Harry Potter Takes a Turn for the Dark with the Half-Blood Prince

Not strictly horror, I know, but don't you just love it when an established entertainment property dabbles in more sinister territory? The Harry Potter series started out as safe family fare, but this brand-new trailer for the sixth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, shows us a much more horrifying side of the mythos. Decidedly grown-up in tone, it focuses on the young Voldemort (as played by Ralph Fiennes' nephew Hero Fiennes-Tiffin), before he became J.K. Rowling's personification of evil. And I'll be damned if that last shot isn't a tip of the hat to The Exorcist...

Addicted To Details Show

The Intoxicated Demons Gallery in Berlin plays host to some damn good shows over the next 6 months which I will definitely be posting about. This Aug 6th - Sep 7th will be a show entitled "Addicted To Details" by German super-artists Dome, Hombre & Teeth Project. Below is a sample of what these artists have to offer......

Please please check this PAGE to see the whole range of everyone's work. So many amazing images to gawp at!

Find out more details about the artists and show HERE.

Tamashii Nations Booth SDCC 08

Toysrevil has a great set of fotos from the SDCC event goin on at the mo and these pics of the S.I.C. Imagination Dioramas, (I'm going to post some of my fave S.I.C. figures in the next couple days) over at the Tamashii Nation booth.

Their movie realisation of Batman and more importantly, his Batpod are off the hook.


Pikachu Music Maker

Kaseo is a Japanese musician/hacker that likes Pinkachu. He has managed to give them all MIDI jacks and create "music" from their cute "Pikachu!" warblings. All I can say is that this guy is mad!

His Yellow Mouse Orchestra play a version of 'Rydeen' by the real Yellow Magic Orchestra


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Goyer to Adapt H.G. Wells' Invisible Man

I'm specifically saying "H.G. Wells' Invisible Man" for a reason. And no, it's not to differentiate from the Ralph Ellison novel. Rather, it's to differentiate from the 1932 Universal film. Fan-boy fave screenwriter David S. Goyer spoke to yesterday at Comic-Con (last time, I promise) about a new adaptation that he's currently working on which will be much more about Wells' original novel, incorporating Griffin's coveted notebooks containing the secrets of invisibility, which are mentioned at the end of the book, but never found.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've heard this story before. You know, the one about the guy who plans to take a horror property associated with an old Universal flick, go back to its literary roots and make a "faithful" adaptation. And while Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (1992) and Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein (1994) might be a bit truer to their sources than their 1930s Universal counterparts, they are both far from faithful (and both largely inferior, although the former is a great film.)

If you read the interview at, it sounds like Goyer's concept will probably fit into the same category. Still, even if it isn't what Wells intended, with Goyer penning, it stands a chance of being quite good.

The screenwriter recently finished up scripts for next year's Magneto movie, as well as 2010's cinematic arrival of The Flash.


Written by Howard A. Rodman
Directed by Tom Kalin
Starring Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane and Eddie Redmayne

Barbara Baekeland: One of the uses of money is that is allows us not to live with the consequences of our mistakes.

When I was growing up, my mother could be a little over involved in my life but she’s got nothing on Barbara Baekeland (Julianne Moore). SAVAGE GRACE tells Barbara’s story and that of her incalculable influence on the direction of her very tight family. Together, Barbara, Brooks (Stephen Dillane) and Tony (Barney Clark as a boy, Eddie Redmayne as an adult), exist in a tiny bubble where they can be seen by and perform for the rest of the world but ultimately exist solely for each other. Rich beyond their own comprehension, the Baekeland’s exude an air of arrogance and thrive on the act of acting. And even though, as the years pass on, the friends, acquaintances and passersby will have run far away, the Baekeland’s still have us.

The Baekeland’s come from money. Well, at least Brooks does. His father was the inventor of Bakelite, a popular plastic. Barbara, a former model and almost famous actress, married into the fortune and it suited her just fine to do nothing but be seen. With no real drama to occupy their time, the Baekeland’s must create their own and they become experts in the craft. And like the entirely selfish parents they are, they teach their young son, Tony, everything they know. First time feature filmmaker and brave soul, Tom Kalin, tells their revolting yet tragic story in a manner that neither glorifies nor condemns their demented ways. All the while though, he centers his attention on Tony so that we never forget who the real victim is. This makes it all the more deplorable when Tony abandons reason to embrace his family heritage.

SAVAGE GRACE is not for all. Make no mistake, when I say that the Baekeland’s ruin each other and bring about all of their own misfortune, I am not speaking lightly. This is a family that shares baths, beds and lovers. Kalin is mindful of his audience’s likely discomfort but also never afraid to show that audience the dirty details. Besides, when all the debauchery becomes too much to handle, one can always look to Moore and bask in her brilliance. Moore is flippant one moment and affected the next. Her performance is so delicately balanced between calculated control and callous chaos that one never knows which way she’ll turn and one is always shocked to find out. Both Dillane (who is practically unrecognizable) and Redmayne (who could so easily be related to Moore in reality with his pale, freckled skin) do more than simply hold their own. They complete the trio and it is a delight to watch them play off of each other, albeit a disturbing delight.

Kalin has not only crafted an engaging film but also a bizarre experience. If you can stomach this true story, then you will be treated to a frankness that is not common in American cinema. You will also get to spend time in dark places you may not be accustomed to. However, when you inevitably arrive safely on the other side, you will know the drastic differences in what it means to be fortunate.

two stolen youtube clips graffiti xxx

westcoast graffiti xzc