Friday, March 4, 2011

At The Movies: Indie Picks This Weekend

This Canadian indie had barely been released in the U.S. when Paul Giamatti was awarded with a Golden Globe for Best Actor/Comedy earlier this year.

Based on the novel by Mordecai Richler, the film spans three decades in the life of Barney Panofsky. In reaction to a "tell-all" novel published about his life, Barney tells his side of the story. A major difficulty in remembering all the details in his story is that he's been quite drunken during many key moments along the way.

The film comes to life thanks to its stellar cast, including Dustin Hoffman as Barney's father and Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike who portray all three of Barney's ex-wives. Bursting with political incorrectness, this is not your only chance to see Giamatti's excellent work this year. His next film, Sundance favorite Win Win, debuts locally during SXSW and will open on area screens April 8th.

Giamatti's Golden Globe win did not translate into any love from the Academy (the film's lone Oscar nomination was for Best Makeup), but Barney's Version is a nominee in eleven categories (including Best Picture and Best Actor) at next week's Genie Awards, which is the Canadian film industry's answer to the Oscars.

With the SXSW Film Festival beginning next week, we're putting this column on hold for the following two weeks. It will resume on March 25th. Our staff writers will be posting previews, reviews and feature articles about many festival selections, so be sure to follow us for breaking SXSW coverage.

Bleszinski: 'Only AAA or indie matter'

Epic Games' design director Cliff Bleszinski has told the GDC this week that the "middle class game is dead," saying it's now triple A, indie or nothing.

In that regard we're like the movies industry he says, where "an event movie" or an indie film pull in the crowds - others Bleszinski will just " f***ing rent".

"I'm going to go on the record and say that I believe the middle class game is dead," Bleszinski told a GDC audience this week.

""It needs to be either an event movie – day one, company filed trip, Battlefield: LA, we're there. Avatar – we're there. The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell and Marky Mark? Nah, I'll f****** rent that, I don't really care - right?"

"Or it has to be an indie film. Black Swan – I'll go and see that. I'll go to The Rialto or I'll go to the AAA Imax movie. The middle one is just gone, and I think the same thing has happened to games." Gears of War 3 releases exclusively on Xbox 360 this year.

A lot of big name publishers says they are reducing their fiscal line-ups to ensure quality is high for every release they do have and recently Activision canned the near-complete True Crime: Hong Kong from United Front Games for being too 'meh' for their tastes.

VIEWS 'Ghetto' fabulous Anthony Paull

This month, I'm not writing about myself. I don't want to come off as conceited, even though I have nothing to be conceited about. I mean, hello, I live with my dad, and that's not cool after the age of 30, especially when your dad goes in your room without permission, only to stumble upon your spankerchief, because he nothing else going on. Mind you, it was an accident, he states. He wasn't snooping. He was merely vacuuming the sheets on my bed.

"Please Dad. I'm not shedding."

"No, but you sure are staining things," he replied. And if that's not mortifying enough, he begins a speed round of 21 questions, beginning with, "Anthony, are you having enough sex?"

"Of course not. I have a boyfriend…."

But seriously, who stops jacking off even if they are having enough sex? I mean, yes, masturbating can seem a tad superfluous in between consistent, sexual encounters, but it's super fun. I have nothing for which to be ashamed. In fact, my efforts should be applauded. Masturbating keeps me smiling and disease-free. Plus, it's convenient, and I can avoid petty banter afterward.

But that isn't enough for dad. No, he thinks I'm sick—that I'm isolating, building up walls in order to keep from getting hurt in my relationship. Therefore, he wants me to start doing that sort of dirty thing outside of the home. Then maybe, I'll have to screw my boyfriend. The problem is: my boyfriend and I are trying to find other things to base our relationship on other than sex. Too bad, he's out of town.

So fine! I'm taking dad's advice, and I'm going out. Of course, I don't know where I'm going, but I'm going somewhere. So I call my friend Doug, and at midnight, he agrees to see a movie as long as we agree to skip the movie and get drunk, which seems like a splendid idea. That is, until we opt to attend a keg party in the "ghetto" ( where most of the college kids, young people—particularly "indie" kids—live who can't afford the wealthier housing in the city ) .

Granted, it's one of those "bring your own drink, because no one can afford to share" parties. But it seriously rocks, because we're already drunk, and we don't know better. I figure that's why I tell him about my dad finding my handkerchief; my inhibitions are down. Still, he fails to react. Why? Well, you see, he's the calm, collected type, and he's already had his fair share of drama for the night. It appears, he was in a fight with a love interest earlier. According to Doug, the guy was insensitive; he didn't care that Doug had just found out his best friend had been in a car accident. Instead, he got angry at Doug for being sad about it. Therefore, Doug broke up with him. No big deal. There's already another guy texting.

"Want to get piledrived tonight?" Mr. Text wrote.

"Not really," Doug replied. You see, he's too consumed with hanging out with me, and according to him, the key to having a lot of sex is to completely ignore the person who wants to have sex with you. The problem is: lately, Doug seems to be ignoring most everything, including important things, like the fact there's a gang of men charging at us from the darkness as we drunkenly sway along the road in search of the party.

"Oh God, we're going to get killed," I muttered.

Doug is nonchalant, sipping his vodka from a stadium cup as if it were chamomile tea. "What?" he questioned—his blue eyes, so serene.

"Um, HELLO. We're about to get jumped," I said. Yet, he acts as if he doesn't care if he dies, or about anything else.

Luckily, the gang bypassed us to vandalize the Christmas decorations on a nearby yard, consisting of plastic, glowing elves and blow-up snowmen. Pop, pop, pop, that's all I heard. Meanwhile the party is nowhere to be found, and Doug is verbally listing off the things Mr. Text plans to do to him later tonight. "He's going to slam me in a wall. He's going to choke me with his snake. Oh, and he's going to disrespect me orally and anally." Reading the list, Doug yawned as we trekked to my house. "Damn, I just don't know if I want to have sex tonight."

"WHAT?" I asked. "Don't you want sex, like all the time?"

"No," he said. "Do you?"

And I think normally, no. Yet, since I've reunited with my boyfriend, sex seems to be my primary focus. At work, I'm typing, and voila, I'm hard. At the market, I spy a ripe banana, and boom, my mind wanders. It's all-consuming, every second of every day, and it only seems to be getting worse, to the point where I feel guilty for being a slut.

"Yes, I want it all the time," I admitted.

To which, Doug downed additional vodka. "That's because you're with someone you trust," he said. "I forgot how to trust when my ex fiancée cheated on me two weeks before our wedding."

I can't help but fall silent, since this is the first I've heard of this. "Sorry to hear," I finally manage.

"No problem," he said, trudging along. "It helps to hear there are guys out there like you, guys with handkerchiefs who feel slutty even if they're only cheating with themselves."

Saturday, February 12, 2011