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Archive for January, 2009

Watch Full Canadian Movies at NFB.ca

The National Film Board of Canada has recently made a number of Canadian films available for free, high-quality online viewing. The repertoire includes documentaries, shorts and full-length dramas.

Not many of the films available for viewing are in Criticker’s library (yet), but that’s no reason not to check out the works which are there. Carts of Darkness, for example, is an excellent full-length documentary about homeless men who’ve created their own extreme sport to pass the time.

Carts of Darkness, Murray Siple

With hundreds of films available, a trip to NFB.ca could easily absorb an entire afternoon. So be careful… and if you do check it out, make sure to share any discovered treasures with the Criticker Community!

Website: http://www.nfb.ca/

Merchandise: Speed Racer Racing Track – Yoda String Lights – Wooden WALL-E

Speed Racer Racing Track


Go, Speed Racer! Go! Once the track is assembled, switch on the boosters and drop the sleek red and white Mach 6 race car into the sky jump cone. The cool rotating tunnel automatically sets the car upright and shoots it through the first set of speed boosters onto the track. Quadruple loops with all kinds of inverted twists and turns pave the way to a vertigo-inducing jump that sends cars flipping and twisting up to 30 inches in the air, where they hit a sturdy canopy and are deflected back into the sky jump cone for another round of action.

Link: Speed Racer Race Track

Planet of the Apes – The Ultimate DVD Collection


This should be the set that every "Apes" fan wants. It collects every bit of "Planet of the Apes" ever committed to film, including all the episodes of the never-before-released animated series "Return to the Planet of the Apes" and the hard-to-find live-action television series that starred Roddy McDowell. All five of the original movies, plus the 2001 version, are presented in digitally remastered, animorphic widescreen and are THX certified. And there are tons of commentaries and extras, including the feature-length documentary "Behind the Planet of the Apes." All in all, the set includes 14 discs and comes packaged in a specially-designed ape head.

Link: Planet of the Apes – The Ultimate DVD Collection

Yoda String Lights


Love them you will. Each of the ten tiny Jedi Grand Masters shines with gentle light, lest you be tempted by the Dark Side. 3½"H plastic Yodas on a 10’ UL listed cord.

More info: Yoda String Lights

Wooden WALL-E


They should send this wooden WALL-E into mass production. Neat piece of art.

Source: Wooden WALL-E

Star Wars Fighter Watch

Star Wars Fighter Clock

This beautiful clear and chrome Sterling and Noble clock boasts 12 vintage classic Action Fleet Micro Machine battleships and vessels. They are finished in a pewter color. If you have some favorite ships or vehicles in mind, let me know so I can include them if I have them in stock. Time to do battle!

More info: Star Wars Fighter Watch

DVD Report – January 27th

A couple of strong films set in Europe head up this week’s batch of new releases to DVD. Penelope Cruz has been nominated for an Oscar for her work in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. And though it hasn’t predictably hasn’t picked up any awards, Guy Ritchie’s Rocknrolla has unpredictably garnered favorable reviews from the Critcker user base. Worth a look.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona365 Rankings – Average Tier 6.70
Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture. Vicky Cristina Barcelona @ Amazon

RocknRolla116 Rankings – Average Tier 6.20
In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, naturally attracting the attention of some of the city’s scrappiest tough guys (Butler, Elba) its more established underworld players (Wilkinson), and others — all of whom are looking to get rich quick. RocknRolla @ Amazon

Lakeview Terrace53 Rankings – Average Tier 4.17
An LAPD officer (Jackson) will stop at nothing to force out the interracial couple who just moved in next door. Lakeview Terrace @ Amazon

The Rocker45 Rankings – Average Tier 4.56
The Rocker tells the story of a failed drummer who is given a second chance at fame. Robert “Fish” Fishman is the extremely dedicated and astoundingly passionate drummer for the eighties hair band Vesuvius, who is living the rock n’ roll dream until he is unceremoniously kicked out of the band. The Rocker @ Amazon

Pride and Glory43 Rankings – Average Tier 3.86
A saga centered on a multi-generational family of New York City Police officers. The family’s moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney (Edward Norton), investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law (Colin Farrell). For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora’s Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD. Pride and Glory @ Amazon

Other New Releases This Week
Closing the Ring
Open Season 2
The Lucky Ones
Just Buried
The Gene Generation

Minnesotans, Unite!

We have an early front-runner for worst movie of the year. If you have a high tolerance for idiocy, or have removed all sharp objects from grabbing range in case you’re suddenly overtaken by the desire to self-mutilate, then please watch the trailer for the new Renée Zellweger movie, New In Town.

There are so many things that annoy me about this “movie” and its “plot”. (Yes, the scare quotes are meant to signify that it is neither a real movie, nor possessing of a true plot). But trump among them is the fact that I am from Minnesota. So fuck you, Renée Zellweger.

Har-dee har! City girl moves to Meenysota, and encounters a lot of flannel and cold! Cause that, and funny accents, are pretty much all that Minnesota has to offer. Har-dee har!

The only people who might laugh at this kind of stupidity are the very rednecks and hillbillies that the film purports to be making fun of. “Criminy, ‘dem Minnesotians shore is some dummies, har har!”

Oh, but hey, New In Town isn’t saying that all Minnesotans are backwards idiots who spend their days ice fishing! After all, one of them is hunky dreamboat Harry Connick, Jr.

… excuse me.


Coraline – HD Trailer

Now this looks like it’s going to be an excellent movie. Henry Selick, who brought us The Nightmare Before Christmas, is directing a stop-motion animated version of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning graphic novel Coraline.

Gaiman’s work is usually extremely dark, and Selick doesn’t appear to have pulled any punches in his adaptation — the creepy button eyes, the menacing music and the cast of characters will surely give children nightmares for weeks. And we heartily approve of anything that terrifies children.

The animation may be stop-motion, but it’s anything but old-school. New animation and camera techniques have been developed for Coraline, which is going to be the first stop-motion film every shot in 3D.

IGN has been the place to go for up-to-date Caroline news, and they have an excellent set of exclusive preview videos. Personally, the mood and imagery remind me of Shane Acker’s excellent short 9, which is on Criticker in full, and well worth 10 minutes of your time.

MovieMaker Subscription Raffle Winner

Last week, we featured a great offer from MovieMaker magazine — a year’s subscription at 75% off — and held a raffle for a free subscription. The only condition was to name the film you’re most looking forward to in 2009. Well, we’ve looked through all the entries, and it seems The Watchmen is the coming year’s most-anticipated film. That was also the film chosen by the raffle’s winner, Armak. Congratulations, Armak!

2009’s Most Anticipated Film?

Other films which received multiple entries were Star Trek, Inglorious Basterds, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and The Lovely Bones. Here’s hoping they’re all worth the wait.

The Oscars 2009 – Nominations

The nominations for the Oscars ceremonies came in this morning. And the nominees for best picture are:


We already know what the users of Criticker think… 2008’s best film was The Dark Knight! But apparently, the “academy” would rather honor melodramatic pap like The Reader (the nominee least favored at this site), than the Nolan’s genius and universally-loved action flick, or the magnificent Wall-E. Of the nominees, only Milk managed to break into our Top 5 of 2008.

Fine. The Academy Awards aren’t necessarily a reflection of quality (Crash?! Braveheart?! Chicago?!), but they do always serve as a great way to get conversation going. In fact, the debate is already on over at the Criticker Forums. Go share your opinions!

The full list of nominees can be found here. Can I just say something, though? If Angelina Jolie wins Best Actress, we’re shutting Criticker down. Forever.