RANDALL KING / MOVIES
You've got to hand it to Ben Affleck. The guy won't play it safe. And certainly, it would have been safer to stay out of the whole Batman issue than submit to the outpouring of fanboy chagrin accompanying the announcement he would play Batman/Bruce Wayne in the sequel to Man of Steel. By contrast, Canadian chagrin, raised in the distortion of facts of the so-called Canadian caper as presented in his movie Argo, was, at least, polite.
ALAN SMALL / ARTS
Impressions of a Labour Day street party
The Winnipeg Art Gallery has plenty of reasons to celebrate on Monday, Sept. 2. Not only is the gallery in the midst of its 100th year, but its 100 Masters: Only in Canada exhibition has proven to be its most successful event ever. So the gallery is hosting a street party in conjunction with the exhibition's final day, Labour Day. Live music and chalk artists will be among the things to see outside the gallery, and inside there will be a one last chance to see the Picasso, Renoir and Rembrandt that have attracted more than 52,000 people to the WAG this summer.
BRAD OSWALD / TV
Franco gets fricasseed
When you're thinkin' hilarity, James Franco's might not be the first name that comes to mind (OK, there was that unintentionally amusing co-host thing at the Oscars a couple of years back, but still...). But clearly, there are some funny folks in the cable-TV world who think the 127 Hours actor is worthy fodder for a full-on comedy-roast celebration. Need proof? Well, The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco, which features skewerings by Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Nick Kroll, Jeffrey Ross and Sarah Silverman, airs Monday, Sept. 2, on the Comedy Network (check listings for time).
MORLEY WALKER / BOOKS
Salinger floodgate almost ready to open
It appears that J.D. Salinger fans are going to get what they have long hoped for. As many as five new books by the late great American author-turned-hermit nutbar could be released starting as early as 2015. This is the contention of a new biography, Salinger, and documentary film, both slated for release next week. Salinger is best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye. He died in 2010 at age 91 after having published not a word for 45 years, although he continued writing.
ANTHONY AUGUSTINE / WEB
I Forgot My Phone
In a society where nearly every important moment is recorded, usually by a couple of people, what are we are missing with our faces buried behind a screen? Is it better that have a slightly shaky video clip with poor audio of Paul McCartney's blockbuster stadium show or just the memory you take away from that evening? Why do we need to be staring into our phones when we are surrounded by friends? I Forgot My Phone is a short film about the modern condition and our smartphone-saturated times by actress/comedian Charlene deGuzman. You can view it on-demand at bit.ly/phone_vid.