Month: April 2016

Goon

April 20th is #CanFilmDay (a bit late on the uptake here). So to celebrate, many a cinephile threw on a Canadian flick.
The lesser known hockey comedy, Goon, was my Canadian film of choice.

Based on the real life minor hockey player, Doug Smith, Goon tells the heart warming story of Doug Glatt, a bouncer turned enforcer with a heart of gold who goes on to have a career as a goon in minor hockey.

After thinking there weren’t enough “hockey comedies,” Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg (you’ll know him from penning Seth Rogen flicks like Superbad and Pineapple Express) took to adapting Smith’s autobiography for the big screen.

Sean William Scott plays the sweeter than sugar, Glatt, paired up against his hero/ rival, Ross Rhea played by Liev Schreiber. Marc- Andre Grondin is in the part he was meant to play, a drugged out parody of Kris Letang. And, of course, Kim Coates as my mentor, Coach.

When you combine an unlikely hockey hero story with the comedy styling of this cast and crew, you’re left with a hilarious version of every pickup game you’ve ever played, and every bar you’ve ever been to with hockey players (not NHL players… something about the NHL takes away comedic hotheadedness and replaces it with cockiness).

On top of that, there is more than a light dusting of hilarious Canadian humour like references to Donair sauce and phrases like “yeerrr feckin alright, eh.”

Goon is absolutely hilarious no matter who you are, but especially if you are from the great white north or have ever been near a hockey team. (The “divorced guys” locker room pep talk is a staple in many a locker room I’ve seen).  Check this one out if you’re looking for a laugh.

Great if you liked:  Slapshot, The Mighty Ducks, Youngblood, American Pie, The Love Guru, Happy Gilmore, Wayne’s World, Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, Funny People, The Green Hornet, 50/50, The Watch, This is the End, Neighbors, The Interview and The Night Before

Son of Batman

If you have your ear anywhere near the comic book grindstone, you will have heard that they are FINALLY making a Batman animated film for “The Killing Joke” which has just gotten itself an R rating. (This is so insanely exciting because it’s my fave comic book ever and is absolutely twisted).

If you’re not familiar with the Batman animated films, well…. you’re welcome for telling you about them.  Batman animated films are not quite what you would expect.  They tend to borrow heavily from the comic book ethos and are often a page by page retelling of the dark comic books up on the small screen.  There are a lot of amazing ones (and a chunk of them are on Netflix) so if you’re a comic book fan looking for a lazier way to digest some reading, or a casual fan looking to scope the comic book vibe, these are for you.

Son of Batman makes the list because, while it follows the comic book retelling onto the small screen, it’s actually kind of a distant cousin to its comic book counter part, Batman and Son. (Guys, the Batman and Son comic story line is a whole other article for a whole other website…).

Ra’s Al Ghul, his daughter, Talia, and his grandson, Damian, are training the League of Assassins when attacked by a rival terrorist group, lead by Slade Wilson (yes the very same character Deadpool is parodying). Ra’s is killed, and Talia brings her son to Gotham to be protected by his father, Batman.  Damian possesses the raw skill of his father and mother and the training of the League, but the defiance associated with being raised by the Al Ghul clan.

Story takes off from there and unreal characters pop by like Killer Croc (you’ll know him from the Suicide Squad trailers) and (*heart melts*) Nightwing. Also, those voice actors, tho.

This is a great one to cut your teeth on, or if you’re a hard comic book fan and have read all the print stories and want something different.  It’ll be perfect to make you a fan just in time for The Killing Joke.

Fun Fact, watching this is how I learned I have been pronouncing “Ra’s” wrong for 25 years. (Raysh? Yeah right).

Great if you liked: Batman, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Attack on Arkham, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman and Robin, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Batman v Superman, Man of Steel, Batman Beyond, The Avengers, The Winter Soldier

The World’s End

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright never fail to make movie magic, and The Worlds End is no exception.

You might recognize this dream team from Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz (both of which will for sure pop up on here eventually).

Before he was stealing our hearts as Benji in the MI franchise or as Scotty aboard the Enterprise, Pegg was making comedy magic with a weird horror vibe with this dream team.

The World’s end is a beautiful story about five friends who fell out of touch after some real life turmoil.  Gary King (Pegg) wants to get the group together to take another attempt at their legendary pub crawl in the guys’ hometown.  After lots of begging, they agree, and set upon their mission to have a pint at The First Post, then on to The Old Familiar, The Famous Cock, The Cross Hands, The Good Companions, The Trusty Servant, The Two-Headed Dog, The Mermaid, The Beehive, The King’s Head, and The Hole in the Wall for a measure of the same, all before the last bittersweet pint in that most fateful terminus, The World’s End.

Along the way, they notice that their town has changed in a way they can’t quite put their finger on.  People seem ageless, strange, and… robotic.  The gang tries to solve the mystery, and survive it, but King never allows them to lose focus of making it to that last fateful pub.  Wright’s style really shines here in the doomsday at a pub niche he has created.  (His pint pouring quick cuts are a thing of beauty).

A hilarious romp about drunken friends that is more gifable than anything you’ve ever seen, non stop laughs, and a strange end of the world sub plot you don’t plan for, but on top of that, a really heart warming story about growing up, the troubles with our pasts, addictions, loss, and friendship.

I love this flick more than words, and could listen to Pegg fumble his way through the names of pubs non stop. And if you’re wondering, yes, he falls trying to climb a fence.

Great if you liked: Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, This is the End, Zombieland