Metro, SPACE and Cineplex have teamed up to present the Great Digital Film Festival, starting this Friday and running through Feb. 10 in Toronto.
We asked InnerSPACE host Teddy Wilson to give us the inside scoop on some of the films being screened.
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Back to the Future
Responsible for introducing “gigawatts” into the teenage lexicon, making DeLoreans cool and explaining the genesis of Chuck Berry’s guitar sound, Back To The Future is easily the most fun time-travel film ever made. Interestingly, Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly and actually shot several scenes before director Robert Zemeckis replaced him with Michael J. Fox.
Alien and Aliens
Though the sequel continues the story of Sigourney Weaver’s alien-killing heroine Ripley, these films are stylistically very different. The first is a suspense-horror set in space, while James Cameron’s sequel is an all out action gore-fest. But they’re both really, really good. In space, no one can hear you scream, but in the movie theatre they certainly can.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
With Peter Jackson at the helm, J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary odyssey became an engrossing cinematic treat. And as the trilogy’s record 17 Oscars and $3 billion in box office sales proved, it is indeed possible to satisfy fans of the book, the general masses and the critics.
Holding the weird distinction of starring two future U.S. governors (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura) and one gubernatorial hopeful (Sonny Landham), the film’s titular alien antagonist proved far more menacing than any political attack ad or scandal. With visual effects by the late (and very great) Stan Winston, Predator remains a sci-fi horror classic.
“Goonies never say die!”?This Steven Spielberg-produced hit not only led to record sales of Baby Ruth chocolate bars but, more importantly, struck a balance between adventurous fun and moments of heartfelt poignancy. Characters like Mikey, Data, Mouth, Chunk and, of course, Sloth are indelibly etched in the minds of anyone who came of age in the ’80s.
Ghost manages to retain its unabashedly romantic core — it is, after all, about the power of love to cross celestial boundaries — without venturing into overtly maudlin sentimentality. That’s a tough task, and this is one of the few films to pull it off really well. And who would’ve thought that making pottery to Unchained Melody could be so damn sexy?
The Usual Suspects
Who is Keyser Söze? If you’ve never seen this film and don’t yet know the answer to that question, I envy you — you’re in for one hell of a ride. Brilliantly written and directed, with a great ensemble cast and a twist-ending that is devastatingly awesome, and that’s putting it mildly.
What a bizarre experience it would be to look inside the mind of filmmaking auteur Terry Gilliam. Each of his movies gives us a little glimpse, and 12 Monkeys is my favourite peek yet. A dystopian time-travel mind-bender featuring Brad Pitt at his unhinged best, it’s actually based on an obscure French short film from 1962 called La Jetée.
With heaps of praise for The Social Network, director David Fincher is having a very good year. Fight Club stands out as an early gem in his filmography, mixing stellar performances by Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter with a darkly surreal script based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel. The final scene set to Pixies’ Where Is My Mind is amazing.