Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quebec's Nipplegate perks up!

This story's got, er, legs. I can tell because my traffic is up again...

So, for the many people who are arriving here looking for T: Lucie Laurier wants a public apology from MusiquePlus. They've got 24 hours and then she's going to sue.

In other Bon Cop, Bad Cop news (have you notice BCBC is my new Drowsy Chaperone?), the bilingual buddy cop flick is now the third most successful Quebec film of all time in Quebec. It has earned $7.1 million in Quebec -- and $780,000 in the rest of Canada.

Meanwhile, co-screenwriter Alex Epstein has an idea why Bon Cop, Bad Cop is doing less well in English Canada. Or, more specifically, why it did less well on the opening weekend.

Recall the opening numbers: $1.4 million in Quebec and $350,000 in the ROC. The producers may have spent $1-million on promotion in Quebec and an equal mount in the ROC, BUT the ROC has (a little more than) three times the population of Quebec. About 25 million people live in ROC to Quebec's 7.5 million.

So, if you think in terms of advertising $$ per capita, BCBC's producers spent 3 times more per person on promotion in Quebec than they did in the ROC. They spent four cents trying to convince each individual person in Canada to go see the movie, but a little over 13 cents trying to convince each Quebecer to come. Is it any wonder that they had (over) three times as much success in Quebec? Maybe Quebec's cinema-supporting culture and language firewall really only has to do with 1/4 of the film's success...

What if the producers had spent an equal amount per capita on promotion in English Canada, ie. $3.3 million?

Seems the lesson is the same as always: if you want Canadian films to do well -- you gotta spend the money to promote them! It's expensive though, obviously... Most Canadian films don't have a $3.3 million filming budget, never mind advertising budget.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Open the envelope.... OPEN THE ENVELOPE!!!

What a weekend for creative Canucks, I tell ya. Keifer's Emmy for playing Jack Bauer on 24 is well deserved; he and his crazy terrorist-fighting antics totally hooked me this season.

I'm even more proud that former Juice Pig Phil Nichol (N-I-C-H-O-L) won the top comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Toronto's Volcano theatre picked up the Best of the Fringe award for their production of Michael Redhill's Goodness.

A Canadian sweep at an international theatre festival? Pinch me.

Ouch! What the -- Geez, was I sleep-blogging again?
Will Bon Cop, Bad Cop become the most commercially successful Canadian movie of all time?

I'm talking domestic gross here, and I think it just might. I'm basing this prediction entirely on the fact that my mother went to see it in the theatres. My mother. I don't know if she's ever been motivated to see a Quebec movie in theatrical release before. (Mom loved it, too. As did my step-father, Henri. It's the perfect date movie for franco/anglo couples.)

Bon Cop, Bad Cop
(according to estimates) passed Les Boys to become the third highest-grossing Quebecois movie of all time this weekend, with a box office haul of $7-million. That leaves La Grande Séduction (#2) and Séraphin (#1) to overcome. (Séraphin grossed $10 million.)

Now: Séraphin's in its sights, but will Bon Cop, Bad Cop somehow beat Porky's, which earned $11 million dollars domestically (and a whole lot more internationally)? Not if you take inflation into account, but I say we forget about inflation. I think everyone is tired of the fact that a 1981 teen sex comedy set in Florida is the highest grossing Canadian film of all time domestically...

Allez Bon Cop! Go Bad Cop! Go!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Comme ci, comme ca.

A few posts down in the comment, Zeke asks if I have any thoughts on Bon
Cop, Bad Cop
or if it's all about the nipples for me. I was just savin'
them for the newspaper -- I weigh in in today's Popcorn Panel, which is free online.

You must also check out Torontoist's excellent Franglais review of the

I also have a few posts up at Theatre Eaters.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm a grown monkey wastechain.

Bedtime stories by Thom Yorke.
In which I pull an Allemang.

I sincerely apologize for reporting in the form of a poem on the big-name stars coming to this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Originally, I had:
V is for Vince Vaughn, the Swinger who taught us everything good is “Money!”

W is for Will Ferrell, a comic who’s more popular, but, IMHO, much less funny.
... but then I realised that I had skipped 'N' and had to go all the way back to M and do the whole thing over again. Which is probably just as well, because I also had:
T is for Tom Hanks, whose Oscar shelf is sure full;

U is for Ulrich Mühe, who once played noted Nazi Goebbels;
... originally. Ouch! My rhyming scheme!
Bob Dylan: Voice of youthful protest.

Selected quotations
from a new interview with Jonathan Lethem in Rolling Stone.

On them new-fangled Compact Discs: "You do the best you can, you fight that technology in all kinds of ways, but I don't know anybody who's made a record that sounds decent in the past twenty years, really."
"You listen to these modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like — static."

On music downloading: "I remember when that Napster guy came up across, it was like, 'Everybody's gettin' music for free.' I was like, 'Well, why not? It ain't worth nothing anyway.'"

Speaking of Bob Dylan, how come we never see him and Danny Finkleman in the same room at the same time?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

And in other news...

The very mention of Lucie Laurier's nipple earned me 3,400 hits yesterday. So from now on, more mamelons, moins Mamet.
Absolutely Fabulous meets Street Legal.

Remember Joseph Briante, the too friendly, too gay, too fashionably dressed West Coast lawyer? Well, he's back in business, co-founder of the Hardcore Superstar Legal Management Corporation. You've really got to check out the Web site, if only for the shots of Joe's Outrageous Joy chest tattoo. Also, his bio notes:
Look for Joseph’s lyrical prose and installments of his tell-all, on-line autobiography about his laughable misadventures as an associate onboard intergalactic slave ship paper factories and as a “faggotty dress up party” (© 1998 the Hon. Justice Ian Binnie) appearing shirtless in dirty gay clubs across the globe.
Look, you may not personally want to hire Hardcore Superstar Legal Management as your lawyers, but I have no doubt that they will find a real niche.
Favourite Sketch Show Title of the Year.

Jihad Me at "Hello."
(One last show at the Calgary Fringe tonight.)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Street for a one-armed juggler.

Well, that didn't take long: Eight months after his death, poet Irving Layton is getting a street named after him in Montreal's Côte St-Luc district. I wonder what's taking so long for Rue Richler?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bon Cop, Blog Cop!

Forget the flying reptiles: I can't wait to see Bon Cop, Bad Cop when it opens here in Toronto on Friday. Ever since I first read its corny title last year and learned it was a bilingual buddy cop comedy, I've been licking my chops in anticipation. (The conceit: A body is found draped over the Welcome to Ontario sign; a Quebec and a Ontario cop have to team up to solve the hockey-related murder.) The fact that it is breaking box-office record after record in Quebec is only whetting my appetite. The film got in the North American box office Top Twenty on its first weekend -- even though it was only open in Quebec! (Here's are the trailers: 1, 2.)

But will R.O.C.-ers go to see this movie at the local multiplex? Maybe... The fact that the English screens (with subtitles for the French lines) pulled in an average of $11,000 in Quebec on its opening weekend bodes well. The fact that I can only find the French-language trailers online bodes not so well.

Listen folks: This is our Snakes on a Plane! (Which, by the way, loses much of its kitch appeal when you see the French ads for Serpents a bord.) Our so-bad-it's-wicked-cool action movie! The tagline is: Shoot first translate later! Come on! How can you not see this movie?

In related not-suitable-for-work news, here's a YouTube video making the rounds of the Queblogosphere -- a cutting-room floor clip from a MusiquePlus interview with Bon Cop, Bad Cop star Lucie Laurier's nipple falls out of her dress. To date, it has been viewed close to 11,000 times. Firing offence for the MPlus staffer who leaked this to the Internet? Or viral ad campaign? (Note: BCBC's actual trailer has only been viewed 650 times on YouTube.)

And hey! The guy who did the production rewrite has a blog!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

J. Kelly Nestruck Presents...

Roger Toupin: épicier variété, Benoît Pilon's 2003 documentary about the last days of a dépanneur in the Plateau Mont-Royal.

Location: NFB Cinema, 150 John Street
Date: Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Time: 7:00pm
Admission Price: Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and National Film Board members FREE, Adults $5.

The ACCT asked me to present a film as part of the Academy Critic’s Choice Screening Series. I chose this doc because, with the exception of a single screening in Edmonton, as far as I can tell it has never been shown in Canada outside of Quebec... I blogged about it back in December of '03.

So: if you're not doing anything tonight and are in Toronto, come on down to the NFB -- $5 for a good doc about changes (in one person's life, a neighbourhood, a city, a province and a world) that is rarely screened. And you get to hear me yammer on a bit.

And, yes! Acquaman is down! The Bob Rae endorsement was a surprise! But I just got back from Las Vegas and will have to blog about it once I regain my bearings...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Okay, I know I said I was on vacation...

But just wanted to point you to Theatre Eaters, the now permanent blog on the National Post where Alison Broverman and I will be jibber-jabbering about Toronto theatre.

I'm REALLY going now.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

On Vacation!

No blogging until August 15. Have a good week.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Two articles in the National Post.

First, there's my piece about The Wrecking Ball, including views on political theatre by organizer Andrew Soren, double Dora winner d'bi.young and playwright Morris Panych.

Secondly, my review of The Descent, a truly terrifying British horror movie about spelunkers gone wild.
Political Theatre News... dee dee, dee dee.

-- American writers are fleeing to Britain to get their political plays produced, the New Statesman reports.

-- Except, I guess, for the political playwrights discussed in this New York Observer article.

-- Meanwhile Michael Billington summarizes the past 50 years of British theatre through a distinctly political lens and issues a plea for plays about global warming.

-- And, in Toronto, the city prepares for another edition of The Wrecking Ball. I'm actually going to catch it this time too... For real.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

How digital film is changing movie acting...

Interesting post by Chris Andersen.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

An actual conversation about the heat

S- It's hot.
K- It's friggin hot.
S- It's really friggin hot.
K- Man, oh man, is it ever hot, eh?
S- It's so hot, I want to take my clothes off.
K- It's so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.
S- It's so hot you could fry a sidewalk on an egg.
K- This hot weather is making my beer warm.
S- Is it hot enough for you?
K- Call the firefighters, because I'm so hot it's like I'm on fire.
S- My brain is melting.
K- I wish I hadn't worn a turtleneck today.
S- I don't smell good. Do you smell bad?
K- No, the weird thing about me is that I don't smell bad when I sweat.
S- Even in your armpits?
K- That has no correlation to the heat... It's like a sauna.
S- That's a cliche.
K- It's too hot to come up with anything but cliches.
S- My favourite thing in Mad Magazine was The Lighter Side of...
K- Yeah.
S- They would do something on heat. The teenager would walk in and the Dad would be in front of a fan with his feet in ice water and he'd say something. Like, "Hot enough for you?" And the teenager would say something about having to wear less clothes. And he'd be like, "Kids these days... Sluts."
K- Hmmm.
S- Imagine someone going to Las Vegas in this heat.
K- I'm going to Vegas next week.
S- That's assinine.
K- You know that book Chicken Soup for the Soul. I feel like my soul is made of boiling chicken soup.
S- You know that line from Rosie Perez in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing: "Mookie, it's too hot to f***."
K- I've never seen Do the Right Thing.
S- I read that on a food blog this morning. It also said it's too hot to eat.
K- "Too hot to hoot" is a palidrome.
S- Too hot to trot.
K- Too hot to get shot.
S- Damn straight. It's too hot to bring tuna sandwiches on the bus, that’s for sure.
K- Maybe that's why I'm not feeling too well.
S- My friend keeps saying, "I don't want to complain, but it's really hot." I don't know why she keeps saying that. She does complain a lot.
K- I was invited to a pool party.
S- A public pool?
K- Yeah, it's one of those hipster events though, so ...
S- Yeah, but the kids were in it earlier. You know what that means.
K- That's why they put chlorine in.
S- It's as hot as the water Mel Gibson's standing in. Sugar tits.
K- Here's how Dan Rather would sign off a newscast tonight. "Good night, and it's hot."
S - How would Barbara Walters sign off? "Hewwo Fowks.... It's weewee howt." How would Tom Cruise say it's hot? "Oh yeah, I love hot! It's hot!"
K - Paris Hilton would say, "It's hot. No really."
S - No, she says, "That's hot." So she'd say, "That's hot, for real this time."
K - Jim Carrey in The Mask would say, "It's hot-time."
S - What does he really say?
K - "It's showtime!" Wait, maybe I'm thinking of something else. "Smokin'!" Oh, he says, "Smokin!" That works on a hot day with no changes.
S - How does a pirate say it's hot?
K - "Arrrrr, it be hot." This is kinda stupid. So, Sam. What do you sleep in when it's hot like this?
S - I have A/C so it's the same as always. A Santa suit. So Kelly, how do you beat the heat?
K- I drink lots of apple juice. And beer, but then I get dehydrated.
S - I put Coors Light on my Cheerios. That's stupid, I don’t really do that.
K - Okay.

**but seriously, folks, make sure not to leave your pets out in the heat!