Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Amazing stuff in week's pop culture

  • Print
The first episode of Amazing Race Canada airs on CTV tomorrow.

THE CANADIAN PRESS Enlarge Image

The first episode of Amazing Race Canada airs on CTV tomorrow.

MOVIES

Big release: R.I.P.D. (July 19)

Big picture: This one's Lethal Weapon meets Men in Black meets Ghostbusters. The title is almost self-explanatory. R.I.P.D. is a mash-up of the supernatural and buddy-cop genres (I assume some Hollywood executive's 12-year-old son wished for this movie for Christmas). Ryan Reynolds plays a brave officer killed in the line of duty. But instead of earning his divine right to play a harp on a sleepy cloud, Ryan suddenly finds himself working for the Rest in Peace Department, a force of undead cops assigned to Earth to protect the living from the "bad souls who've escaped judgment." (If St. Peter is a film snob, I can think of a couple actors in this film whose souls might one day be in peril.) Based on the comic by Peter M. Lenkov, Reynolds clearly isn't afraid to tempt fate after the debacle that was Green Lantern. Then again, how can anyone resist working with Jeff Bridges, who plays his scene-stealing partner? Bridges looks like he's having the time if his life playing a monster-hunting maverick with a southern drawl and cowboy hat. He looks and sounds like the inexplicable love-child of The Dude from The Big Lebowski and Colonel Sanders. Bridges plays the "cool, eccentric" partner -- the Will Smith character from MIB -- to Reynolds' straight man. Together, the pair hunt down wicked spirits disguised as mortals (If I were Oprah, Kristen Stewart or Shia LaBeouf, I'd watch myself... I'm just saying).

Forecast: If you're going to embrace a lightweight popcorn flick, you might as well do it for The Dude.

Honourable Mention: The Conjuring: Based on a true story, real-life "ghostbusters" Ed and Lorraine Warren investigated thousands of haunted house cases. This film is based on the one case that "got away" from them. The psychically-gifted Lorraine is played by Vera Farmiga (who deserves an Emmy for her work on TV's Bates Motel). She gives this creepfest instant credibility. Too bad she wasn't in R.I.P.D.

TV

Big Event: Amazing Race Canada (July 15, CTV, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Big picture: Nine brave Canadian pairs are poised to race around Canada in this new series. They have my deepest respect given I can barely make it to the mailbox without wheezing. Contestants include actress Vanessa Morgan (My Babysitter's a Vampire, Degrassi: The Next Generation) and her "bikini-model sister" Celina, and hippy couple Darren and Kristen (she lists her strengths as "making people smile, handling reptiles, identifying plants and basketball" and her good luck charm as a "pine cone"). No, I'm not making this up. Their opponents include a doctor duo, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod (the married fitness gurus from Body Break), as well as teams that feature a police officer, a police sergeant "highly trained in firearms" and a "retired army sniper." It could be lambs to the Amazing Race slaughter. These daring duos beat out thousands of applicants in order to race more than 9,000 kilometres in locations across Canada, from Alberta's Badlands to the Rockies, from Maritimes oceanfront to B.C rainforest. (The real lesson I've taken from all this is put "bikini model" on your resum© when applying for reality shows. I've already added it to my LinkedIn page).

Forecast: Hosted by Canadian Olympic champion Jon Montgomery, this is a must-watch of the summer. Enjoy the spectacle of seeing these eclectic groups navigate our vast, diverse country. Most of them will see more of Canada in the course of this game than any of us do in our lifetimes. I'd like to see the next federal election settled on Amazing Race Canada. Imagine Stephen Harper and John Baird trying to hail a cab with a $90,000 cheque in the middle of a snowstorm on the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan, or locked in a two-legged snowshoe race in Nunavut against Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau.

MUSIC

Big release on July 16: Pet Shop Boys (Electric)

Big picture: The Pet Shop Boys aim to get us moving with their 12th studio album. Band members Chris Lowe (53) and Neil Tennant (59) are no spring chickens, but they remain English pop princes. Their latest effort proves they still belong on the dance floor -- or at least their music does. Sadly, Chris Brown's new album, X, which I presume is largely about pirate treasure, was due out this week but has been delayed yet again. Treasure hunters and parrot enthusiasts everywhere will be extremely disappointed.

Forecast: The boys are back in town. With witty track titles such as Love is a Bourgeois Construct and a promising cover of Bruce Springsteen's Last to Die, this album could be electric.

On a side note, if our future government is ever decided by Amazing Race Canada, I'd like to see the Pet Shop Boys enter (we can fast-track them to citizenship). I'm game for co-prime ministers. And imagine the speech from the throne written in the form of a hazy club track (I'm not sure Governor General David Johnston could pull it off, but I know I'd pay good money to see him try.)

 

twitter.com/PopForecast

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 14, 2013 A11

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google