Little Terrors
Week 2 Reviews – Servitude, The Chocolate Farmer & Millions It’s midpoint in my merry challenge with six movies under the belt which also includes my favourite so far.  How often do you start a Monday morning watching a R rated comedy at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in the company of legend Ivan Reitman?  This time last week I was doing just that after seeing an invite pop up on the Facebook fan page for Servitude – a new Canadian comedy set in the world of  waiting tables.  I’d first heard about the movie last year when a contest was running to win a cameo in the project, where the best video confessional about working as a server could rescue your from dish delivering duties & land you on the big screen in a meta movie moment.  Servitude is the story of Josh the star waiter at the Ranch Steakhouse as he tries to quit his job & head back to school.  With a rodeo for the theme of the restaurant it’s more than the mechanical bucking bronco in the waiting area that he & his colleagues have to tame in a weekend from hell, full of hungry patronizing patrons.  About to hand in his server’s bib, Josh is called on for one last favour from manager Godfrey (Dave Foley) as the Ranch has an inspection from a new German owner.  If you’ve ever worked in the industry of filling ungrateful bellies you’ll get an extra kick out of seeing the exaggerated characters that really are out there.  Serving up dirty potatoes & “cuppies” on the team are Tommy – a pretty boy with more mature taste for the ladies, Barb – a frazzled working mum who’s patience  clocked out before her shift even started, Krissy – a gum chewing by the book cowgirl who uses mostly text message/internet speak abbreviations rather than syllables & Simon – the wannabe actor who gives his best performances in the washroom.  As if balancing these personalities & plates wasn’t  enough alone cue a ravenous rabble of customers and the restaurateur version of the  Third Reich threatening to deplete more than a 15% tip at the end of the meal.  Staging a mini revolution Josh & cohorts decide to start giving as good as they get & stop biting their lips when they discover their jobs are for the chop.  Speaking of lips Margo Kidders are plumped & pouting as the martini gargling table for one lady that steals the show in every scene. It’ll probably get a lot of comparisons to American Pie but this maple flavoured tart is a full course serving of funny rather than a just desserts, gross out gag routine audiences have come to expect.  The wait time to be seated for Servitude is a little while away, February/March 2012 is what we were told in the screening.  Be sure to Like & Follow the movie to be kept up to date. Second up was a more serious situation at the NFB Mediatheque for the last of this year’s Green Screens.  The Chocolate Farmer was quite apt for December considering we’re all about to stuff ourselves full of the stuff during the festival season.  A moment on the lips & a lifetime on the hips but how much time between those two are you spending on thinking where this sweet treat came from?   Eladio Pop works the land in southern Belize, recognising that he isn’t cash rich on a monetary level but the land sustains him and his fifteen children and wife.  The documentary follows his machete swipes through the jungle foliage as he farms cocoa beans.  These were once the gold for his Mayan people and now in present day are traded for modern currency.  Two of his son’s, a female cultural activist & a co-op owner are also introduced in to the story of the community being changed by globalization.   After the screening a presentation by ChocoSol Traders gave some added insight to the processes & the responsible trading & interactions with these communities. Last up in the week that was, I called the NFB Mediathque home again for a sneak peek of Millions, a kickstarter webisode/TV based project about twenty-something Asian-Canadians living in Toronto who decide to reignite a high school pact & become millionaires by the age of 30.  The 15 min teaser introduced a few characters on the road to establishing this quest as we learn about their unfulfilled lives working the 9 to 5.  The cliff hanger ending of the pilot left me wanting to find out more, which luckily the website expands upon & relieves some of the frustration left as such a short running time. Six movies left in my festive quest, any recommendations of other Canadian films screening in the weeks ahead?  What did you see over the weekend?

Week 2 Reviews – Servitude, The Chocolate Farmer & Millions

It’s midpoint in my merry challenge with six movies under the belt which also includes my favourite so far.  How often do you start a Monday morning watching a R rated comedy at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in the company of legend Ivan Reitman?  This time last week I was doing just that after seeing an invite pop up on the Facebook fan page for Servitude – a new Canadian comedy set in the world of  waiting tables.  I’d first heard about the movie last year when a contest was running to win a cameo in the project, where the best video confessional about working as a server could rescue your from dish delivering duties & land you on the big screen in a meta movie moment.  Servitude is the story of Josh the star waiter at the Ranch Steakhouse as he tries to quit his job & head back to school.  With a rodeo for the theme of the restaurant it’s more than the mechanical bucking bronco in the waiting area that he & his colleagues have to tame in a weekend from hell, full of hungry patronizing patrons.  About to hand in his server’s bib, Josh is called on for one last favour from manager Godfrey (Dave Foley) as the Ranch has an inspection from a new German owner.  If you’ve ever worked in the industry of filling ungrateful bellies you’ll get an extra kick out of seeing the exaggerated characters that really are out there.  Serving up dirty potatoes & “cuppies” on the team are Tommy – a pretty boy with more mature taste for the ladies, Barb – a frazzled working mum who’s patience  clocked out before her shift even started, Krissy – a gum chewing by the book cowgirl who uses mostly text message/internet speak abbreviations rather than syllables & Simon – the wannabe actor who gives his best performances in the washroom.  As if balancing these personalities & plates wasn’t  enough alone cue a ravenous rabble of customers and the restaurateur version of the  Third Reich threatening to deplete more than a 15% tip at the end of the meal.  Staging a mini revolution Josh & cohorts decide to start giving as good as they get & stop biting their lips when they discover their jobs are for the chop.  Speaking of lips Margo Kidders are plumped & pouting as the martini gargling table for one lady that steals the show in every scene.

It’ll probably get a lot of comparisons to American Pie but this maple flavoured tart is a full course serving of funny rather than a just desserts, gross out gag routine audiences have come to expect.  The wait time to be seated for Servitude is a little while away, February/March 2012 is what we were told in the screening.  Be sure to Like & Follow the movie to be kept up to date.

Second up was a more serious situation at the NFB Mediatheque for the last of this year’s Green Screens.  The Chocolate Farmer was quite apt for December considering we’re all about to stuff ourselves full of the stuff during the festival season.  A moment on the lips & a lifetime on the hips but how much time between those two are you spending on thinking where this sweet treat came from?   Eladio Pop works the land in southern Belize, recognising that he isn’t cash rich on a monetary level but the land sustains him and his fifteen children and wife.  The documentary follows his machete swipes through the jungle foliage as he farms cocoa beans.  These were once the gold for his Mayan people and now in present day are traded for modern currency.  Two of his son’s, a female cultural activist & a co-op owner are also introduced in to the story of the community being changed by globalization.   After the screening a presentation by ChocoSol Traders gave some added insight to the processes & the responsible trading & interactions with these communities.

Last up in the week that was, I called the NFB Mediathque home again for a sneak peek of Millions, a kickstarter webisode/TV based project about twenty-something Asian-Canadians living in Toronto who decide to reignite a high school pact & become millionaires by the age of 30.  The 15 min teaser introduced a few characters on the road to establishing this quest as we learn about their unfulfilled lives working the 9 to 5.  The cliff hanger ending of the pilot left me wanting to find out more, which luckily the website expands upon & relieves some of the frustration left as such a short running time.

Six movies left in my festive quest, any recommendations of other Canadian films screening in the weeks ahead?  What did you see over the weekend?


What are you watching tonight?
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Off to watch the sneak peek pilot of @MillionsSeries a little later tonight http://millionstheseries.com/
Trying cacao at @NFBMediatheque #Awesome (Taken with Instagram at National Film Board of Canada Mediatheque)
The Chocolate Farmer
Free app from @ServitudeMovie (Taken with instagram)
#Servitude screening at @TIFF_NET #Lightbox #cdnfilm  (Taken with Instagram at TIFF Bell Lightbox)
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Just on my way to @TIFF_NET Bell Light Box to watch Servitude from @AllianceFilms. 
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Borrowed Blu-ray @eOnefilms’ #Splice, makes me wonder how many #CdnFilm titles exist on this format… (Taken with instagram)
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Three - NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY Deciding to take a break from the theatre going experience, where it’s often hard to find a Canadian film outside of a film festival or special set of programming, I decided to find a movie to take out & home.  Luckily Toronto has a host of indie video stores, much like Rep Cinemas, that specialise in hosting a great library of titles.  Big Daddy’s DVD Shop on Dundas Street West was the closest place to browse the boxes hoping for something to jump out and catch my eye.  The “Canadian Eh!” easily assisted me on my mission to watch.  Noticing the bright type capitalised title on the spine of the case I chose NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY, the first time feature from Charles Officer who also appears in Made in Canada.  Each titular punctuated character is introduced through colour as we meet Jude raising her son Ceil.  She’s working in a hospital taking on a night shift when she treats Silence a trained boxer & street fighter.  Mature for his age Ceil finds magic everywhere from conjuring tricks to his hidden den of a stage like space.  By chance Jude & Silence connect again as she rides her bike between the alleys of neighborhoods in Toronto on her way to work, pausing to listen to the music leaving the window from his apartment.  At first unwilling to let her guard down they both take the chance to let each other inside their lives.  I normally prefer watching a movie with an audience as a communal event but this film felt perfect for a more intimate viewing.  I’d almost forgotten about special features on a disc & enjoyed learning about the production experience & watching a family of crew members retell their memories on set with some stills and video diaries.  Two short films were also included that worked well as an introduction & follow up to the feature.  

Three - NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY

Deciding to take a break from the theatre going experience, where it’s often hard to find a Canadian film outside of a film festival or special set of programming, I decided to find a movie to take out & home.  Luckily Toronto has a host of indie video stores, much like Rep Cinemas, that specialise in hosting a great library of titles.  Big Daddy’s DVD Shop on Dundas Street West was the closest place to browse the boxes hoping for something to jump out and catch my eye.  The “Canadian Eh!” easily assisted me on my mission to watch.  Noticing the bright type capitalised title on the spine of the case I chose NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY, the first time feature from Charles Officer who also appears in Made in Canada.  Each titular punctuated character is introduced through colour as we meet Jude raising her son Ceil.  She’s working in a hospital taking on a night shift when she treats Silence a trained boxer & street fighter.  Mature for his age Ceil finds magic everywhere from conjuring tricks to his hidden den of a stage like space.  By chance Jude & Silence connect again as she rides her bike between the alleys of neighborhoods in Toronto on her way to work, pausing to listen to the music leaving the window from his apartment.  At first unwilling to let her guard down they both take the chance to let each other inside their lives.  I normally prefer watching a movie with an audience as a communal event but this film felt perfect for a more intimate viewing.  I’d almost forgotten about special features on a disc & enjoyed learning about the production experience & watching a family of crew members retell their memories on set with some stills and video diaries.  Two short films were also included that worked well as an introduction & follow up to the feature.  

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