There’s not much on offer today in terms of new releases — unless you fancy watching this frightening pre-teen flick that involves, singing, dancing, ponies and children acting like adults.
But there are a few gems being re-released.
The Collector’s Edition of Mel Brooks’ 1968 cult classic The Producers, starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, is a must-see. This dark comedy was Brooks’ directorial debut, and it received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It tells the tale of a theatrical producer (Mostel) and an accountant (Wilder) trying to swindle money from investors by producing a play that is destined to be a flop.
John Landis’s 1977 anthology comedy film Kentucky Fried Movie is also getting the Blu-ray treatment. This flick isn’t really well known, but it’s responsible for launching the careers of several directors, writers and actors. Landis went on to do National Lampoon’s Animal House and The Blues Brothers. David and Jerry Zucker, along with Jim Abrahams (director of Ghost), appear in the film and went on to become a comedy filmmaking trio for films like Airplane!, Top Secret! and The Naked Gun. Leslie Nielsen and Donald Sutherland also make appearances in the film.
Since yesterday was Canada Day, I thought I’d also make a few patriotic suggestions for your viewing pleasure.
My absolute favourite Canadian film is Allan Moyle’s New Waterford Girl. It stars Liane Balaban as Agnes-Marie “Moonie” Pottie, a teen who plots and schemes ways of leaving her small-town. The film is currently only available on DVD.
Don McKellar’s Last Night is an end-of-the-world movie done Canadian-style. Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley and David Cronenberg grace the screen depicting how different individuals choose to spend their last few moments on Earth. Only DVD for this bad boy as well.
If you’ve somehow not watched Monsieur Lazhar, the Oscar nominated Philippe Falardeau film yet, please do. It’s about a teacher struggling with his own past, earning the respect of his students and helping them deal with the pain and confusion caused by the death of their previous instructor. ■