Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Keep the Change, You Filthy Animal!" Home Alone Turns 24

Guest article by Brandon Engel. 

The fact that the movie Home Alone is soon turning almost a quarter of a century old will certainly date some people. Arguably, though, the subsequent career of director Chris Columbus contributed to a variety of successful, entertaining movies as well. Either way you look at it, Home Alone remains one of the most memorable holiday films of all time.

Home Alone inserts viewers into the chaotic but loving McCallister family. The youngest of the lot, Kevin, played by MaCaulay Culkin, feels picked on and misunderstood by his boisterous family members. Like many families during the holiday season, the family scrambles to get everyone and everything in place for a trip to celebrate the season. But, in the frenzy of their preparations, little Kevin gets overlooked and ends up alone in a rather large house for an 8-year-old boy.

At first, this seems like a gift in disguise, as young Kevin has the chance to engage in all the misbehavior his parents scold him about. He gets to try on some adult activities, like using aftershave, as well as jumping on the bed with impunity. When a couple of burglars show up, though, Kevin has to delve deep into his bag of childhood mischief to protect his house and himself in this comedy of juvenile genius and adult criminal ineptitude. Separated by the Atlantic Ocean in a pre-Internet era, Kevin and his family have very few ways to contact each other at all, so he is left to his own devices.

John Hughes, who was already famous for his movies from the previous decade, wrote the script for this hit, giving director Chris Columbus rich material for a blockbuster comedy production. From an estimated budget of about 15 million dollars, the film brought in over 17 million during its first weekend and eventually accounted for well over 200 million in revenue in the US alone. Besides being a financial success, the movie also won over most reviewers to some degree, despite some critics who lamented the more unrealistic aspects of the plot line – even before the advent of automated home monitoring systems like ADT, forgetting a child at home and failing to contact any authorities isn’t exactly the easiest storyline to believe. The outlandish premise didn’t stop most moviegoers from going to see what damage this young protagonist could inflict on a couple of middle-aged miscreants.

It’s hard to believe that MaCaulay Culkin, the actor portraying the movie’s protagonist, has become a grown man with his own projects and interests, aside from wreaking havoc on inept burglars. The movie launched him into almost immediate stardom as a household name all over the world, but the sequels were met only with mixed reviews. In the real world, Culkin’s troubles with his parents (who were entangled in a custody war over MaCaulay and his fortune) made national and international news as he tried to gain more control over his financial future. Eventually, Culkin was able to parlay his skill, fame and resources into other projects, including stints in theater and music.

These days, the movie still rates above average on many review sites. The lack of appeal relative to its popularity when it was released can be partially explained by changes in the culture, which involves far more home security awareness, and sensibilities over the years. That being said, kids still seem to love this holiday classic that delivers a dose of adult-directed schadenfreude, as will adults who just want a trip down the path of their childhood reveries.

Review: Paddington (Paul King, 2014)

From the beloved novels by Michael Bond, Paddington tells the story of the misadventures of a young bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who travels to London in search of a home after his idyllic Peruvian forest homestead is destroyed in an earthquake. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined, until he meets the kindly Brown family who take heed of the label around his neck – “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” – and offer him a temporary haven.

This is a fun, clever film and it is exceptionally well made. But, I take a look at the impressive pedigree working on it and wonder why I am surprised. Writer/director Paul King is the man behind Bunny and the Bull and The Mighty Boosh, which explains why Paddington is so funny. King worked with editor Mark Everson on the aforementioned projects, and this is a sleek, polished cut. Master DP Erik Wilson (The Double, 20, 000 Days on Earth and The Imposter) shoots the film beautifully, while the delightfully rewarding intricacies of the film’s design (for example, the Brown house reduced to a dollhouse model and a sequence where Paddington appears to walk through a projected image into a memory) and CGI/animatronic effects are seamlessly woven into the film’s fabric.

Continue reading at An Online Universe. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Favourite Male and Female Performances of 2014

Male Performances

Male Performer of the Year:
Jake Gyllenhaal (for three brilliant performances in two films)
Honourable Mentions (In No Particular Order): Steve Coogan - The Trip To Italy, Jonah Hill - The Wolf of Wall Street, Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club, Jim Broadbent - Le Week-End, Russell Crowe - Noah, Jeff Goldblum - Le Week-End/The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tom Hiddleston - Only Lovers Left Alive, Jesse Eisenberg - The Double, Dominic West and Ben Schnetzer - Pride, Alfred Molina - Love is Strange, James McAvoy - The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, Ciaran Hinds - The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him, Tom Hardy - The Drop/Locke, Bill Hader - The Skeleton Twins, Chris Evans - Snowpiercer, Ben Mendolsohn - Starred Up, Jemaine Clement - What We Do In The Shadows, Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbel - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Mathieu Amalric - Venus in Fur, David Gulpilil - Charlie's Country, Casey Affleck and Christian Bale - Out of the Furnace, Cliff Curtis - The Dark Horse, Al Pacino - The Humbling, Ben Stiller - While We're Young, Aleksei Serebryakov and Roman Madyanov - Leviathan, Bill Murray - St Vincent, Ben Affleck - Gone Girl, Robert Duvall - The Judge, Ewan McGregor - Son of A Gun, Miles Teller and J.K Simmons - Whiplash, Johannes Kuhnke - Force Majeure, Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman - Fury, Eddie Marsan - Still Life, Keanu Reeves - John Wick, Timothy Spall - Mr Turner, Riz Ahmed - Nightcrawler, Pierre-Yves Cardinal - Tom at the Farm, Zach Galifainakas - Birdman, Ethan Hawke - Boyhood and Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game

15. Edward Norton - Birdman

14. Haluk Bilginer - Winter Sleep

13. Toni Servillo - The Great Beauty

12. Ralph Fiennes - The Grand Budapest Hotel/The Invisible Woman

11. Brendan Gleeson - Calvary 

10. Oscar Isaac - Inside Llewyn Davis

9. Jack O'Connell - Starred Up

8. Channing Tatum and Steve Carell - Foxcatcher

7. Robert Redford - All is Lost 

6. Antoine-Olivier Pilon - Mommy

5. Joaquin Phoenix - Her/The Immigrant

4. Leonard DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street

3. Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher/Begin Again/Infinitely Polar Bear

2. Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler/Enemy

1. Michael Keaton - Birdman

Female Performances

Female Performer of the Year:
Scarlett Johansson (she WAS everywhere, and nowhere)
Honourable Mentions (In No Particular Order): Judi Dench - Philomena, Lindsay Duncan - Le Week-End, Paulina Garcia - Gloria, Emmanuelle Devos - Domestic Life, Felicity Jones - The Invisible Woman, Rose Byrne - Neighbours/Adult Beginners, Mia Wasikowska - Only Lovers Left Alive, Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza - Ida, Patricia Arquette - Boyhood, Marissa Tomei - Love is Strange, Viola Davis - The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her, Sarah Snook - Predestination, Keira Knightley - Begin Again/Laggies, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D'Anna - The Duke of Burgundy, Naomi Watts - While We're Young/Birdman, Elena Lyadova - Leviathan, Brit Marling - The Keeping Room, Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens - Gone Girl, Reese Witherspoon - Wild, Lisa Loven Kongsli - Force Majeure, Emma Stone - Birdman, Alicia Vikander - Testament of Youth 

15. Imelda Staunton - Pride 

14. Rene Russo - Nightcrawler

13. Karidja Toure - Girlhood

12. Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart - Clouds of Sils Maria 

11. Emmanuelle Seigner - Venus in Fur 

10. Melisa Sözen and Demet Akbag - Winter Sleep

9. Jessica Chastain - The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her

8. Tilda Swinton - Only Lovers Left Alive/Snowpiercer

7. Margot Robbie - The Wolf of Wall Street

6. Essie Davis - The Babadook

5. Gugu Mbatha-Raw - Beyond the Lights/Belle

4. Julianne Moore - Still Alice

3. Scarlett Johansson - Under the Skin/Her/Lucy

2. Marion Cotillard - Two Days, One Night/The Immigrant

1. Anne Dorval and Suzanne Clement - Mommy

Note: There are a few films I won't get the chance to see this year - A Most Violent Year, Inherent Vice, Selma, The Theory of Everything, '71 and Unbroken - so those performers will be a part of next year's considerations.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Releases 11/12/14

In cinemas this week: Paddington, Horrible Bosses 2, The One I Love and Folies Bergere

Paddington - From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (Harry Potter), Paddington tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says "Please look after this bear. Thank you," and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. 

Horrible Bosses 2 - The follow-up to the 2011 hit comedy reunites Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis as Nick, Dale and Kurt. Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey also reprise their Horrible Bosses starring roles, while Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz star as new adversaries standing between the guys and their dreams of success.

The One I Love - The highly anticipated debut feature from acclaimed author Charlie McDowell, The One I Love is an original tale that continues to showcase McDowell's keen observations of human relationships with a distinct and comedic voice. Written by Justin Lader, The One I Love was produced by Mel Eslyn and executive produced by Mark Duplass who stars opposite Elisabeth Moss. On the brink of separation, Ethan (Duplass) and Sophie (Moss) escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to save their marriage. What begins as a romantic and fun retreat soon becomes surreal, when an unexpected discovery forces the two to examine themselves, their relationship, and their future. ★★

Folies Bergere - Brigitte and Xavier are a couple of cattle farmers living and working together in Normandy. They have always got on well but now that their two children have left the household routine and weariness have set in. One night, Brigitte, who has been invited to a party by a group of Parisians in the house next to their farm, lets herself be wooed by Stan, a witty, cool attractive young man. Some time later, giving a visit to a dermatologist as an excuse, she goes to Paris to meet him. But things do not go according to plan. Stars Isabelle Huppert. 

Weekly Recommendation: I have been recommended Folies Bergere and anything with Isabelle Huppert is usually worth watching. I really liked The One I Love. What a clever and fun film that is odd enough to keep you guessing but not so twisted it starts to become indecipherable. Duplass is such a funny guy, but Elizabeth Moss is terrific in an unusual role. It is a very interesting look at a relationship in trouble, and how desiring your partner to change isn't the answer unless you're willing to change too. And then there's Paddington, which is getting very positive reviews. I am now very much looking forward to it. A surprisingly interesting week. December is usually a bit of a graveyard - though last year American Hustle swept in a blew open the box office - in the lead up to the Boxing Day and the new year.  

15 Favourite Albums of 2014

 Over the last few months I have spent many hours catching up with some of the best received albums of the year. More time than watching films, I would say. Some didn't take my fancy, but many I enjoyed immensely. My second listen of my #2 ranked album was one of the most rewarding 40 minutes of the year.

Even though I barely scratched the surface of all of the music out there, here my top picks of 2014 with a Pitchfork rating out of 10.0:

Just missed the cut: G I R L - Pharrell Williams, Are We There? - Sharon Van Etten, Too Bright - Perfume Genius, Rips - Ex Hes, Pinata - Freddie Gibbs and Madlib

15. Tough Love - Jessie Ware 8.2

14. St Vincent - St Vincent 8.2

13. Syro - Aphex Twin 8.3

12.  pom pom - Ariel Pink 8.4

11. Deep Fantasy - White Lung - 8.4

10. I Never Learn - Lykke Li 8.5

9. Sunbathing Animal - Parquet Courts 8.5

8. Ploughing into the Field of Love - Iceage 8.6

7. Atlas - Real Estate 8.6

6. Benji - Sun Kil Moon 8.8

5.  They Want My Soul - Spoon 8.8

4. It's Album Time - Todd Terje 8.9

3. Lost in the Dream - The War on Drugs 9.1

2. Run the Jewels 2 - Run the Jewels 9.4

1. To Be Kind - Swans 9.5

What are your favourite albums of the year? 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Releases (4/12/2014)

In cinemas this week: Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Captive, The Congress, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, Human Capital and The Green Prince.

Exodus: Gods and Kings - From acclaimed director Ridley Scott comes the epic story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses (Christian Bale) as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. It's not a good film. I felt every one of those 150 minutes trickle by. It is very boring and unintentionally goofy. Impressive early scale and design swallowed up by a dull script with horrendous dialogue and character. There's nothing going on here. The key events in the story are all there - Moses' banishment, the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments - but the lulls in between are as vacant as Moses himself.

The Captive - Matthew steps briefly into a diner and comes out to find that his young daughter Cassandra has vanished without a trace from the back of his truck. Her unsolved abduction destroys Matthew's once-happy relationship with his wife, Tina, who, haunted by mementos of Cassandra that appear mysteriously at her work, suspects her husband of foul play. Years later, when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey discover recent images of Cassandra online, Matthew risks everything to ensure his daughter's safe return-and to save himself and Tina from the limbo of unrelenting despair.

The Congress - More than two decades after catapulting to stardom with The Princess Bride, an aging actress (Robin Wright, playing a version of herself) decides to take her final job: preserving her digital likeness for a future Hollywood. Through a deal brokered by her loyal, longtime agent (Harvey Keitel) and the head of Miramount Studios (Danny Huston), her alias will be controlled by the studio, and will star in any film they want with no restrictions. In return, she receives healthy compensation so she can care for her ailing son and her digitized character will stay forever young. Twenty years later, under the creative vision of the studio's head animator (Jon Hamm), Wright's digital double rises to immortal stardom. With her contract expiring, she is invited to take part in "The Congress" convention as she makes her comeback straight into the world of future fantasy cinema.

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day - Follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life - a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he's not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one.

Human Capital begins at the end, as a cyclist is run off the road by a careening SUV the night before Christmas Eve. As details emerge of the events leading up to the accident, the lives of the well-to-do Bernaschi family, privileged and detached, will intertwine with the Ossolas, struggling to keep their comfortable middle-class life, in ways neither could have expected. Dino Ossola (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), in dire financial straits, anticipates the birth of twins with his second wife (Valeria Golino). Meanwhile, Dino's teenage daughter's relationship with hedge-fund manager Giovanni Bernaschi's playboy son complicates an already tricky social dance of status, money and ambition. Paolo Virzi's taut character study deconstructs the typical linear narrative, observing transformative events from each character's perspective. The result is a nuanced account of desire, greed and the value of human life in an age of rampant capitalism and financial manipulation. I caught this at the Sydney Film Festival, and though it has diminished considerably since the viewing, I got wrapped up in this quite clever screenplay. ★★

The Green Prince - Set against the chaotic backdrop of recent events in the Middle East, Nadav Schirman's The Green Prince retraces the details of a highly unprecedented partnership that developed between sworn enemies. In the style of a tense psychological thriller, this extraordinary documentary recounts the true story of the son of a Hamas leader who emerged as one of Israel's prized informants, and the Shin Bet agent who risked his career to protect him. I admired the way this was film put together - just the two testimonies, Mosab and his Israeli SS handler - and sat quietly in shock as the revelations were revealed. ★★★1/2

Weekly Recommendation: The Green Prince and Human Capital from what I have seen, but I am dying to see The Congress. Been on my radar for 18 months. Exodus is another misfire from Ridley Scott - don't say I didn't warn you.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monthly Round-up: November 2014 Viewing

I watched 30 films in November.

In other news we have completely finished Entourage. I had never ventured beyond Season 7, because I was disappointed by what the show had stooped too. But, on a re-watch Season 6 is the show's weakest season. Vince going out of control in Season 7 has a much more convincing and authentic progression than I remember, and both Drama and Turtle have interesting arcs. Ari aside, because Piven is so good, Turtle has grown into the show's unlikely MVP. S7 ends with one of the show's greatest celeb references - following Vince's altercation with Eminem at a party he gatecrashes. Drama defends Vince and gets beaten up in the process, despite being held back. He has this to say about this situation:

"If it wasn't for Jordan Farmar and that guy Kevin Love, I think I would have killed somebody." - Drama.

Who thought of this? NBA players Farmar and Love (who played for the Lakers and Timberwolves respectively at the time) appear as themselves, but in the mess of bodies it is hard to identify them. Every ep has oodles of references to celebs past and present, and guest involvement, but this might be my favourite of them all.

Anyway, here's what I saw in November.

-------- Essential Viewing --------

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (Kurt Kuenne, 2008) - One of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen. I can't believe I didn't hear about this back in 2008. Devastating.

Why Don't You Play in Hell? (Sion Sono, 2013) - The better of the Sono pair I watched this month. How can you not enjoy this? It's a fast and furious ascent into the ridiculous, but you have to admire its manic energy and ability to fuse informed commentary on the transition into the Digital era, and it's idolization of an era passed, with a story that is so impressively complex. And the ending is full-on chaos. Sono knows exactly what he is doing - technically genius, it is so well constructed and consistently hilarious. One of the most enjoyable cinema experiences I have had this year.

Thief (Michael Mann, 1981) - Hotshot criminal caught between professional allegiance and clean sanctuary, to the sounds of Tangerine Dream. Caan at his big-ego best and it looks amazing. They don't make them like this anymore. Mann's credible world and characters resemble Cassavetes and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Mann's career greatness to follow contained within his debut.

Pride (Matthew Warchus, 2014)

Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono, 2014) - I don't know what to say. Tokyo Tribe is one of those experiences you can't believe happened. Amazing.

We are the Best! (Lukas Moodysson, 2013) - The confidence here. Gets that 13-14 year old awkwardness spot on. Forming a band is just a form of antagonistic rebellion to begin with - until the pair begin to have a blast with the idea, discover that punk is a real ideal, forge a new friendship and mold their identity and independence as a result. The three girls, all non pros, are perfect. I had a smile on my face through most of this. Good stuff.

Phase IV (Saul Bass, 1974) - I liked this trippy classic sci-fi, but I don't really know why. The conception and execution of the ant sequences is incredible. How was this even done? Even the human story was fascinating for the most part - the implosion of humanity when threatened by one of the smartest of Earth's creatures, and the aggressive obsession to understand and communicate with a force outside of the claustrophobic lab, when the answers lie within. I watched the alternate ending on Youtube afterwards. WTF. Better than the other one, though.

-------- Essential Viewing --------

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Releases (27/11/2014)

In cinemas this week: Nightcrawler, Men Women and Children, Particle Fever, Fat Pizza Vs. Housos, A Thousand Times Goodnight, Serena and Jimmy's Hall.

Nightcrawler - A pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling -- where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story. Quite simply one of the elite films of the year. Absolutely blown away by this one. 

Men Women and Children - Follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose - some tragic, some hopeful - as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.

Particle Fever - Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity. For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist? Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, from the inspiration and initiative of producer David Kaplan and masterfully edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient), Particle Fever is a celebration of discovery, revealing the very human stories behind this epic machine. It successfully turns the analysis of complex theories into an accessible and inspiring document of grand, and revolutionary, scientific breakthrough. ★★1/2

1000 Times Good Night - Rebecca (Juliette Binoche) is one of world's top war photojournalists, capturing dangerous and chilling images in the most dire landscapes, all in an effort to shed light on the real cost of modern war. But she's also a wife and mother, leaving behind a husband and two young daughters every time she travels to a new combat zone. After a near-death experience chronicling the ritual of a female suicide bomber, husband Marcus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) levels an ultimatum: give up the dangerous profession or lose the family she counts on being there when she returns from each assignment. Yet the conviction that her photos can make a difference keeps pulling at Rebecca's resolve, making it difficult for her to walk away entirely. With an offer to photograph a refugee camp in Kenya, a place allegedly so safe that daughter Steph (Lauryn Canny) is allowed to join her, Rebecca comes face to face with just how much she risks each time she steps back into the fray. 

Serena - Adapted from the novel by Ron Rash, director Susanne Bier's romantic period drama Serena details the deteriorating relationship between North Carolina timber magnate Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) and his fiercely independent, entrepreneurial-minded wife Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) following a devastating miscarriage. A woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind and relishes the opportunity for manual labor in the forest, the enigmatic Serena subsequently grows intensely jealous of the woman who previously bore her husband a son, and quickly begins to unravel over suspicions that Pemberton is sheltering his illegitimate family.

Jimmy's Hall - In 1921 Jimmy Gralton's sin was to build a dance hall on a rural crossroads in Ireland where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream... but above all to dance and have fun. Jimmy's Hall celebrates the spirit of these free thinkers. The film is set in 1932 and follows events when Jimmy returned from a decade in New York and re-opened the hall. The film is freely inspired by Jimmy's life and turbulent times. 

Weekly Recommendation: Nighcrawler is brilliant. If you don't see it, you are seriously missing out. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is incredible. I fear I have oversold this, having been blabbing about it since I saw it at TIFF, but I hope you enjoy it. Particle Fever isn't essential cinema viewing, but it is a very interesting documentary that makes large volumes of stats and data pretty accessible to an inquisitive viewer. I have Serena and Men Women and Children lined up this week so we will see how they go (reviews are poor), but if I get the chance to see Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall I won't pass that up either.