Cineplex Odeon is expanding its adult entertainment offerings. No, not that kind. The chain is launching three new 19+ “VIP” concepts in Toronto: one at Silvercity Yonge and Eglinton, with three screens, another at the Queensway Cineplex (of Justin Bieber–spotting fame) and an all-new, five-screen VIP-only theatre at the Shops at Don Mills. Cineplex’s VIP theatres offer bigger, plusher seats, a full menu service with appetizers and entrées (or just popcorn, if that’s your thing), and, of course, booze (oh yes: and higher ticket prices). The concept has quietly resided at the Varsity Cinema at Bay and Bloor for some time, allowing patrons to buy a drink instead of sneaking one in (something we’d never advocate, of course). With last month’s licensing of the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, and this new announcement, it’s a good time to be a cinephile who enjoys a glass of white wine with his Wes Anderson (or a bottle of Bud with his Michael Bay). Expect the Queensway expansion to open late next year, and the Yonge and Eg and Don Mills VIPs in late 2014.
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At long last, Cineplex’s Varsity VIP Cinema no longer stands alone in its fight against watching movies sober. The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema announced last week that it had secured approval for a liquor licence (which, unlike the one at the Scotiabank Theatre, say, extends to the theatre seating itself). Several tall cans from local microbreweries are available (they seem to be all the rage these days), along with vodka cocktails, whisky and two selections of red and white wine. Sure beats sneaking in a flask or a Nalgene filled with white wine (something we’d never advocate, of course).
Toronto Underground Cinema to close next month; Metro Theatre to diversify into non-porn programming
The Toronto Underground Cinema announced it’ll shut its doors next month. Despite garnering impeccable indie cred and hosting guests like Adam West and festivals like Images, competition from nearby cinematic giants, the need for expensive upgrades and claims on the space from “another group” brought the theatre down, according to co-owner Alex Woodside, who spoke to the Toronto Star. But it seems the cinema gods are not totally cruel: the Metro Theatre, Koreatown’s sleazy stalwart of a porn theatre, is getting a full cleanup and will begin showing more sophisticated programming in the evening, courtesy of the Studio Film Group, the people behind Gerrard East’s Projection Booth cinema. (The daytime repertoire will remain adults-only.) [Toronto Star]
I don’t think they are making them an elevated art form. I think it’s still Batman running around in a stupid cape. I just don’t think it’s elevated. Christopher Nolan’s best movie is Memento, and that is an interesting movie. I don’t think his Batman movies are half as interesting, though they’re 20 million times the expense. What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff…[but] the movie[s], to me, they’re mostly boring….It’s adolescent in its core.
—Director David Cronenberg in an interview with The Next Movie alongside Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson. Later in the Q&A, the Twilight hottie is asked if he’d ever consider playing Batman. His answer: “I’m not buff enough.” [h/t Vulture]
Atom Egoyan has an eye for gorgeously rendered depravity and kink, so we can’t help our befuddlement at his latest casting choice: fellow Canadian Ryan Reynolds, who seems about as vanilla as they come in Hollywood. Egoyan’s newest project, Queen of the Night, will feature Reynolds as a father who’s determined to find his daughter after realizing her abduction eight years ago may not have ended as tragically as he thought. Given Egoyan’s penchant for fanciful visuals and Reynolds’ action-ready torso, this just might be the happy marriage between avant garde and blockbuster we’ve been looking for. [Vulture]
Sure, Yann Martel may have won the Booker Prize for Life of Pi, but these early peeks at Ang Lee’s cinematic translation are making us wonder whether it shouldn’t have just been a movie in the first place. In this trailer alone, there’s an epic storm (reminiscent of one scary sea witch), stunning shots of an island and a very large hologram whale that’s probably best appreciated on screens tailored for such multi-million-dollar epics instead of YouTube. Yes, it’s a gorgeous piece of Oscar bait, but here’s hoping that Life of Pi has more soul than the last big 3D epic.
Toronto actress becomes famous for playing a three-breasted mutant prostitute in Total Recall remake
Twenty-four-year-old Toronto actress Kaitlyn Leeb made an impression at this year’s San Diego Comic Con when she revealed her outfit from the Total Recall remake—a costume that includes three breasts. Yes, the famed triple-breasted mutant prostitute from the original 1990 film is also a part of the remake, and according to the actress, several fittings were required in Los Angeles to craft her custom prosthetic. The breasts take up to five hours to put in place and cover with body makeup so they blend with her skin tone. “They’re not mine,” said Leeb. Well, duh. [Toronto Star]
Tonight, no movies will be shown at three AMC locations across Toronto and the GTA as they’re transformed into Cineplex theaters. According to a press release, AMC Courtney Park, AMC Yonge and Dundas, and AMC Winston Churchill have been acquired by Cineplex and will reopen Friday afternoon under the operation of “Canada’s largest and most successful theatre exhibitor.” Guests can continue to use AMC gift cards, corporate coupons and movie passes at the new Cineplex locations. Thank goodness for Netflix and Jiffy Pop.
Found footage films have become very popular these days, and Toronto is getting in on the action: 388 Arletta Avenue, which was shot in Toronto, is opening in theatres on Friday. The film stars Nick Stahl and Toronto-born actress Mia Kirshner, and the story is very creepy. A stalker’s cameras are tracking every move they make, Stahl’s character gets weird phone calls from someone who says he can see him, and Kirshner looks pretty unhappy being taped up in what appears to be a closet. It’s a lot of action, which, in a found footage film, means the camera is very shaky and almost dizzying. It’s nice to see Stahl revisiting Gavin Strick–like roles, but we wish Kirshner would give comedy another shot.
TIFF Bell Lightbox Fan Expo Canada has announced that Torontonians will get the opportunity to preview snippets of Tim Burton’s upcoming feature film, Frankenweenie, in August. The touring exhibit, which was organized by New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, will be in Toronto from August 23 to 25, well before the film opens in October. Guests will be able to see the real sets and puppets used in the film, which of course will include the title character, Frankenweenie.
The anticipation we’ve felt for Ang Lee’s upcoming film adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi has just increased tenfold. The film’s visual effects are apparently so ambitious and extraordinary that scenes from the film will be previewed uncut throughout the summer in lieu of a traditional trailer. Film distributors have decided to release the three uncut 3D scenes before other 3D summer blockbusters: Prometheus (this Friday); Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22); and Ice Age: Continental Drift (July 13). This is certainly a vote of confidence for Life of Pi, as this practice debuted with VFX game-changer Avatar. We await with bated breath. Life of Pi is scheduled to be released November 21. [New York Times]
Tonight’s premiere of Cosmopolis takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and Sarah Gadon, Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg are all expected to arrive around 6:30 p.m. There will be no official red carpet, but fans of the stars should arrive before six to catch a glimpse of the pretty young things. Pattinson joined George Stroumboulopoulos just 30 minutes ago for a taping of his prime time show, arriving by a fleet of black SUVs. Something to note, if you’re playing a game of “do you think that’s him?” later tonight. (Most people do not travel by fleets of SUVs, so you’ll be sure it’s him.)
The moody nihilism of Cosmopolis still lingers in the blogosphere like a weird perfume, but David Cronenberg has already moved on to his next project: Maps to the Stars. The cast will include Robert Pattinson, who’s evidently proven himself to be a thespian worthy of roles outside the Twilight franchise, and Cronenberg hopes his bestie Viggo Mortensen will sign on. The Canadian director describes Maps to the Stars as a “hard sell,” which we imagine he does with a wink and a nudge. (We expect that Cronenberg is in a position to make whatever he wants, whenever he wants to.) A synopsis describes the film as a “dark comedic drama about two children ruined by Hollywood depravity.” Does that mean there’s going to be more sex than Cosmopolis? If yes, that’s crazy. [Indiewire]
Malin Akerman of, um, 27 Dresses and Couples Retreat, is confirmed to play Debbie Harry in Randall Miller’s CBGB musical biopic. As pretty and blonde as Akerman is, the transition from rom-com slapstick to being queen of the dirtiest decade of all time seems overly ambitious. (Perhaps Miller was confused by Akerman’s upcoming role in Rock of Ages, in which she plays a rather square journalist? Or maybe he was a super-big fan of her role outfit in Watchmen? Rupert Grint (a.k.a. Ron Weasley) has also been cast, and is set to play Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome, while Alan Rickman (a.k.a. Snape) will play the well-suited role of Hilly Kristal, legendary owner of CBGB. No word yet on who Emma Watson (a.k.a. Hermione Grainger) and Daniel Radcliffe (a.k.a. Harry Potter) will play.