You are here: Home > Blogs > Movie Maniacs

Latest Posts

On Line

So long Mike Nicols

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The film world has lost a major talent with the recent passing of Mike Nicols.

He is one of only 12 people who can lay claim to having achieved the highly conveted EGOT and only one of 7 directors. This means you have won at least one in all of the four major entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. You can find the other winners here.

Two of his films are on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All time. They are Working Girl (1988) at #87 and Silkwood (1983) at #66. He has directed 17 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Elizabeth Taylor, Sandy Dennis, Richard Burton, George Segal, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, Ann-Margret, Meryl Streep, Cher, Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Cusack, Kathy Bates, Natalie Portman, CliveOwen, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

He won more Tony's for best direction of a play than any one else, a record 6.

While paying tribute to Nichols during his 2003 Kennedy Center Honors, Meryl Streep and Candace Bergen read Nichols' "Five Rules for Filmmaking":

1: The careful application of terror is an important form of communication.

2: Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.

3: There's absolutely no substitute for genuine lack of preparation.

4: If you think there's good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

5: Friends may come and go, but enemies will certainly become studio heads.

We don't have all of his films in the system at the moment, so do look for Biloxi Blues, Silkwood, Heartburn and Catch 22, all well worth your time.

However we do have:

The Graduate; Working Girl; Charlie Wilson's War; Who's Afriad of Virgina Woolf; Primary Colors; Closer.

Block Busters 2

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

Here we are with the second installment of Block Busters 2. These items are either in your branch already OR are in our catalogue and thus available for you to put a hold on. Do it sooner rather than later- there are a lot of great selections here. And thanks again to Mark for putting this latest list together for all his fellow Movie Maniacs.

Guardians Lucy Peabody Tammy

Hercules Hundered Foot Exp 3 Earth to Echo

Additonal Advanced Screening Passes

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Hope you are amongst the 60 people Movie Maniacs sent to see this and if you did drop me a line with your impressions

Managed to secure another 10 double passes to The Theory of Everything for a second preview.

Monday, November 17, 2014 Show Time: 7:00 PM Scotiabank Theatre Chinook 6455 Macleod Trail SW

Click here and enter the pin code MovieManiacsTheoryNov17

Block Busters 1

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Today marks the debut of a new stream, aptly named “Blockbuster Movie Arrivals at CPL”. The purpose is to twice monthly highlight DVDs & Blu-rays that will be in high demand due their box office popularity (you can see their box office haul under the picture). We won't bother with reviews at this time — this is just a nice fast way for you to grab it and hold it.

You'll no doubt notice that many of these titles already have lots of holds on them, but by Block Busters 2 we will have it streamlined. After all, once the title appears in our catalogue it is available to hold and we would like you to be among the first!

And a huge thanks to Movie Maniac Mark who scoured our new arrivals and compiled this nice easy visual guide to these hot new titles.


Transformers: Maleficent: X-Men: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Godzilla: 22 Jump Street: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: How to Train you Dragon 2

Crowfoot Monthly Film Night

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

Join us at Crowfoot on Thursday October 16th for Captain America, the Winter Soldier. This is the second installment of this Marvel character, although he does turn up in The Avenger storylines. It is rated PG 13 and runs a little longer at 136 minutes so we will be starting it promptly at 6:15. If you are familiar with the Marvel stories brought to film, you know that they are full of tremendous action, characters you can really root for, great bad guys, and implausible plots that don't really get in the way of just having a lot of fun watching as things unfold.


Four Jacks

by Moe - 2 Comment(s)

I always keep an eye out for a possibly overlooked series I can throw your way and I've found a couple of very good ones. And because they both happened to have in the starring role somebody named Jack, that led me to throw in two other well know Jacks- Reacher and Ryan.

From 2012 let’s start with Tom Cruise bringing life to Lee Child’s very popular anti-hero, Jack Reacher. Cruise stars as the title character, a former Major in the US Army Military Police Corp who has opted out of a life of duty but still attracts trouble like a magnet. This series was ripe to be made into a movie, and came with a built in audience of legions of fans from around the world. But when word first leaked that the diminutive Cruise was going to be playing the 6’ 5” behemoth, fans were outraged. There were talks of boycotts and other such nonsense, but then fans really do not like their legends messed with. Also people do seem to divide into the two Cruise camps, 'love him or hate him' more readily than for a lot of other actors. Because I try hard to disassociate actors from their real life personalities I can say I almost always enjoy Cruise's performances. And not being a particular fan of the books, I didn't have a lot invested in the character, so I was able to take this movie on it’s own merit. It worked for me, was worth my two hours and did well enough at the box office that a sequel is planned.

Jack Irish is an Australian television series originally broadcast as made for t.v movies and did well so they pulled it together into sets. It stars Aussie Guy Pearce, an actor who first came to North American audiences' attention as the ambitious Ed Exley in 1997’s excellent LA Confidential. Pearce is another actor I have always enjoyed and rarely does he miss the mark.

A great way to find unexpected recommendations is to pick up one thing- like Borgen or Jack Irish- watch the trailers and then get directed to more unexpected and potentially unnoticed series. So with help from Sue, this is how Jack Taylor came to my attention. This one stars Iain Glen who you will recognize from many things--- like Jorah Mormont in all four seasons of Game of Thrones and in the first season of Downton Abbey.

Now Jack Ryan has been kicking around a long time in film, in many incarnations and over a varied time line. He first made his appearance in 1990 in The Hunt for Red October and was played by Alec Baldwin---good movie. He next appeared in 1992 in Patriot Games and again in 1994 in A Clear and present Danger, both times played by Harrison Ford---I still go out of my way to watch these. Then Hollywood did something strange in 2002 and brought out a prequel starring Ben Affleck, The Sum of All Fears--- if you’ve seen it you’ll know what I mean about strange time lines. Nonetheless, good enough to invest your time in. Then nothing until 2014 when the character was resurrected for Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit, starring Chris Pine, StarTrek’s rebooted James Tiberius Kirk. I’ll let you make up your own minds about this one.

David Tennant

by Moe - 0 Comment(s)

The deceptively young-looking David Tennant is a remarkably versatile actor, but the same can be said of many actors who are classically trained. When he was 16 he auditioned for and won a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the youngest student to ever do so. A three year stint as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company helped hone his skills.

At the advanced age of four he decided to become an actor, inspired by his love of the BBC show Doctor Who. How ironic then that he would play the iconic Doctor and in the process make himself a household name.

Since leaving Doctor Who his career has continued to rise, with lead roles in films, TV series and theatre. He also voices many audiobooks ranging from Shakespeare to the popular children’s ‘Dragon’ series by Cressida Cowell.

Check him out in 2014’s Masterpiece Mystery, The Escape Artist. This is a dark, taut and well-crafted mini-series with a devilishly good unexpected ending.

United is based on the true story of Manchester United, the youngest championship team in English soccer history and their rise from the ashes of a tragic plane crash that devastated the team.

He seems to really like doing mini-series and Casanova, The Secret Smile and Spies of Warsaw are all well rated in IMDB. A little harder to get your hands on due to current popularity (but worth the wait) is Broadchurch, now starting its second season in Britain, with season one available for holds at Calgary Public Library.

Also, check out the documentary Earthflight narrated by Tennant. Earthflight is a nature documentary filmed with a bird's-eye view of the natural world, joining the journeys of snow geese, cranes, albatrosses, eagles and other birds across six continents. It's very good and worth a watch.


by Moe - 1 Comment(s)


Our good friends at eOne Entertainment have provided us with 25 (double) advance screening passes. Up this time is the new Simon Pegg movie Hector and the Search for Happiness.

Hector’s life seems perfect, but it’s not. Hector (SIMON PEGG) is a successful, well-meaning and eccentric professional, filled with childlike wonder, but he’s stuck. He’s a busy psychiatrist with a thriving practice, living with his beautiful girlfriend, Clara (ROSAMUND PIKE), in a fabulous London flat; but he’s losing patience with his patients, who aren’t getting any happier, and his romantic relationship isn’t going anywhere. Hector feels like a fraud. How can he help his patients be happier when he doesn’t really know what happiness is? And so, Hector sets off on a global quest in search of happiness.

You know the drill. Go to this external site enter the exclusive Movie Maniacs password CaptureHappiness967 and have your double pass sent directly to you for printing. The night of the movie turn up early, exchange this pass for an actual ticket at the box office, and in you go.

The screening will take place:

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Show Time: 7:00 PM
Cineplex Odeon Westhills Cinemas
165 Stewart Green SW
Calgary, AB T3H 3C8

If you claim tickets and find yourself unable to use them, please pass them on. They do not check ID so there is no need to worry about a different name.

Drop me a review through comments if you are one of the lucky ones to go. Want to see more Simon Pegg- we have a good selection here at CPL. He's quite versatile but does lean towards outrageous black comedies like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and World's End. He also plays 'Scotty' in the new Star Trek franchise.

The Charming Insanity That is The Muppets

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

I have always been a huge Muppet fan and during the 70's I went out of my way to make sure I caught the Muppet Show. I even have an original Fozzie and Gonzo coffee mug. Each week they brought on a new headliner, and put them in very silly skits into which they threw their heart and soul. Anybody who was anybody appeared on this show over the next five seasons.

The names of the headliners are a little faded now, but in todays terms it would be like having Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth as your fall line up — on a televison show — with puppets! It ran from 1976-81 and won many, many awards.

Although cancelled from syndication there were almost two dozen television specials plus theatrical releases in 1979, 1981, 1984, 1992, 1996, and 1999. This was followed by a serious dry spell until funny man Jason Segel, himself raised on the Muppets, decided to ressurect lovable Kermit and company. He wrote a tremendous script and introduced a whole new generation to the charming insanity that is the Muppets. For all things Muppet at the Library click here.

The newest offering is Muppets Most Wanted, and I have to say it has lost none of its charm over the years. Of course it helps that the characters don't age and you can just pop in your A-listers de jour, but the writing itself remains faithful to the original themes and gags we love—like Gonzo and his chickens, ways to explode Beaker and Miss Piggie's unwavering love for her Kermie.

On Thursday September 18th for our regular film night at Crowfoot we will be showing this absolutely delightful movie in the open area in the Kids Zone. No registration required, the movie runs 107 minutes and is rated Family.

Grand Budapest Hotel

by Moe - 1 Comment(s)

Wes Anderson is one talented guy. In fact no less an icon than Martin Scorsese chooses him as his favourite director, and when pressed in an Esquire magazine article Marty says he may be the next Martin Scorsese. High praise indeed.

He started in his childhood writing plays and making Super-8 movies. While attending the University of Texas, where he majored in philosophy, he met Owen Wilson. They became friends and began making short films together. One of their shorts was Bottle Rocket (1994), which starred Owen and his brother Luke. The short was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was successfully received and from this he got funding to make a feature length version.

He frequently casts the same actors while also being able to draw upon the talents of many A listers. Like Woody Allen, it is becoming a feather in your cap to be chosen to appear in one of his films.

His most recent offering is the delightful The Grand Budapest Hotel. Starring among others, Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Saorise Ronan, and Jude Law, there are many more fine actors in it and half the fun of watching his films is spotting performers who are often on only for a very brief period. This movie is quirky, charming and original and is Fiennes' best role in years.

Among some of his others — and he takes his time in between films so they don't come out as fast as his fans might wish — are The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited. If you don't want to commit to a full retrospective of his films, treat yourself to Grand Budapest. It may be enough to hook you, and if it doesn't I don't think you'll regret the two hours spent.

12345678910Showing 1 - 10 of 406 Record(s)