Randall King

  • A show of cinematic strength

    In terms of cash, total North American box office was down in 2014 compared to the previous year, with an accumulated US$10.5 billion in ticket sales, down from 2013's $10.9-billion haul, according to estimates from the media measurement company Rentrak. But if you're betting on the figures, you shouldn't put money on another decline in 2015.
  • Rhythm & blues

    Given that this movie is about a relationship touched with sadism, the title may be subject to misinterpretation. Whiplash is a big-band jazz tune by Hank Levy that happens to make particularly heroic demands of the percussionist.
  • As holiday season approaches, multiplexes start to fill with cinematic gifts

    After years of hiding in its shadowy lair, the dragon Smaug will finally reveal itself in its full destructive glory in the last chapter of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Movie-wise, December is like that, teasingly saving its family-friendly blockbusters and low-budget Oscar contenders to manifest themselves for the very last of the year... along with a component of genre filler.
  • Playing PR game handy in sci-fi, fantasy realms

    With the opening of the penultimate Hunger Games saga Mockingjay Part 1, actress Natalie Dormer finds herself in the Venn diagram intersection of two different impassioned cults. In Mockingjay, the London-based, classically trained actress plays Cressida, a savvy propagandist assigned the task of packaging Jennifer Lawrence's heroine Katniss Everdeen as a revolutionary hero.
  • Get your arty-film fix at annual WNDX festival

    The ninth annual WNDX Festival of Moving Image, Winnipeg's most unapologetically artsy celebration of art in motion, begins Wednesday and runs to Sunday with a multi-fronted assault on the senses incorporating film, performance, art installation and even some friendly creative competition. Typically, the event is too massive to neatly encapsulate. (The full program is downloadable at www.wndx.org.) Notable events include:
  • Fest features teen lust, walrus masks and a bit of Boogaloo

    If you're working press at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I mean Working press, the festival passes in a blur, like sped-up film. The days consist of races from hotel to screening room to press conference to interview to Bell Lightbox press room and back to hotel room to tap out stories.
  • Manitoba film fête lacks fizz

    Poor timing at the Toronto International Film Festival turned the potential of a celebration at the Manitoba party into a relatively quiet affair on Sunday. Holding the gala on its traditional first Sunday spot meant the Manitoba features being feted -- Astron-6's giallo parody The Editor and the horror-comedy Teen Lust -- weren't represented.
  • Williams a creative whirlwind

    In the course of a couple of decades covering the movie beat, I've seen Robin Williams multiple times. Or rather, I bore witness to Robin Williams. The first time was at a junket for the Disney animated movie Aladdin in 1992. The thing one had to keep in mind about Williams throughout his career was a press conference was just another audience for him. The room might have been much smaller than the auditoriums he usually filled. But he took the duties of the round-table interview as an opportunity to perform.
  • Goon director Dowse willing to put the team on ice again

    The last guy you'd expect to make a romantic comedy, filmmaker Michael Dowse was in Winnipeg on Thursday night to preview his new Daniel Radcliffe comedy, The F Word at Polo Park Silver City. Bear in mind that in these parts, Dowse is better known as the director of the raucous hockey comedy Goon, which was shot in southern Manitoba in 2010.
  • Demigod or not, Herc's got the goods

    Hercules may look like just another swords-sandals-'n'-sorcery movie, but that's a clever bit of misdirection. There is precious little sorcery or godly magic here. In fact, this may be the first Hercules movie to openly question the existence of Zeus.
  • Irish actor treads carefully when playing a Newfoundlander in Canadian comedy

    To use an apropos cricket expression, the prospect of Brendan Gleeson coming to Canada to star in the comedy The Grand Seduction had "sticky wicket" written all over it. Gleeson, 59, is an Irish actor best known for playing Mad Eye Moody in the Harry Potter films or maybe for playing Mel Gibson's savage lieutenant Hamish in Braveheart. He is more fervently celebrated for his work playing closer to his Irish roots as a conflicted hit man in In Bruges or a sketchy cop in The Guard.
  • Goofy Sandler singing the same old 'toon

    Occasionally, Adam Sandler will dip his toes into the realm of the feature-length cartoon (Hotel Transylvania, 8 Crazy Nights). But such projects are superfluous when you look at the big picture of his career. The non-animated movies he makes under the banner of his production company, Happy Madison, are really live-action cartoons. This has never been more apparent than it is with Blended, his third rom-com team-up with Drew Barrymore after The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.
  • Other vampire films pale in comparison

    Admittedly, I am not exactly the target market for the Twilight movies. But I can tell you where they lost me. It was right at the start, when new kid Bella moves to an isolated town and discovers a family of vampires attending her high school.
  • What's a premium seat worth to you, Winnipeg?

    Would you pay an extra $2 for the privilege of getting better seats in a movie theatre? The average Winnipegger would likely say, "That kind of thing might go over in Toronto..."
  • Superhero sequel doesn't do whatever a spider can

    “2” should be a magic number, webslinger-wise. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy a decade ago peaked in the middle in Spider-Man 2 (2004) when Tobey Maguire’s iteration of Peter Parker/Spider-Man faced off against Alfred Molina’s Dr. Octopus.
  • How do you spell 'obnoxious'?

    Jason Bateman is taking a calculated risk with the comedy Bad Words when you consider it shares a certain quality with his last screen comedy, the consistently unpleasant Identity Thief. Both movies feature an obnoxious protagonist.
  • Doc a cautionary tale about ego

    To have watched the available movie version of The Thief and the Cobbler is to subject yourself to one of the great mysteries of animated feature films. How did a project more than two decades in the making end up becoming such a hodgepodge of insipid cartooning coupled with a few moments of animation genius? What went wrong?
  • Winnipegger crafts fresh take on classic tale

    The classic fairy tale has been in vogue of late, with reinventions appearing on television (Grimm, Once Upon a Time) and film (Snow White and the Huntsman, the upcoming Angelina Jolie epic Maleficent). Winnipeg filmmaker Danishka Esterhazy takes a refreshingly different take on the genre. She cuts out fantasy and delivers a raw, realist approach to a beloved tale.
  • New on DVD/VOD

    The Wolf of Wall Street The movies Mean Streets, Goodfellas and Casino proved no one delineates the inner workings of the Mob with the brutal brio of Martin Scorsese.
  • Dystopian flick beats the competition

    1. Dystopian future society. 2. Plucky, resourceful female heroine.
  • Most Wanted? Well, maybe that's a tad too strong

    Star and scriptwriter Jason Segel's lovingly crafted reboot of The Muppets pulled off a magic trick worthy of Gonzo the Great back in 2011. Segel's trick was to relaunch the moribund Muppet empire in the context of a sunny musical comedy. The film got the tone especially right: a kid-friendly adventure that also addressed a grown man's distracting love affair with his childhood comedy heroes.
  • Fast and ludicrous

    EARLY in the brainless movie Need for Speed, we see gearhead hero Tobey Marshall attending a drive-in theatre screening of the 1968 Steve McQueen movie Bullitt. This is a car movie, so naturally all we see of it is that hellfor- leather chase scene through the streets of San Francisco. It's always dangerous when bad movies invoke good ones. The makers of Need for Speed invited the comparison. So allow me to detour on Bullitt:
  • Enemy a daring doppelganger mystery

    Within a single year, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has collaborated with Jake Gyllenhaal on two films. The first was Prisoners, a harrowing Hollywood studio drama about two fathers searching for their missing children. The second, Enemy, is very much a Canadian film. It is set in Toronto, has a lower budget and is oblique in its narrative. And it's a little depressing.
  • Grecian formula: Sequel to swords-and-sandals epic delivers similar slaughter on the seas

    Given that Zack Snyder's 2006 comic-book-peplum-epic 300 did not exactly invite a sequel (spoiler alert: the titular sum of heroes died), you have to give some credit to the makers of 300: Rise of an Empire. This sequel stands on its own as a savage, sexy variant that expands on the original in an organic way. It helps that the movie changes its focus on its heroes. When the marauding Persian army threatens Greece, Gen. Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) visits Sparta to enlist the assistance of its bloodthirsty Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), while her husband and his fellow soldiers are still defending the country from Xerxes's kinky hordes at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae (as seen in 300).
  • Clancy franchise takes youthful but solid turn with Pine as Jack Ryan

    Befitting a spy thriller, one comes to the rebooted Tom Clancy hero Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit with suspicions a-tingle, exacerbated by the casting of Chris Pine as the celebrated CIA analyst. Pine, 33, was already cast as Capt. James Tiberius Kirk in the rebooted Star Trek franchise to bring youth and sexy vigour to one of science fiction's grand old men. It appears Paramount didn't even venture outside their own studio gates to find a new Ryan.

About Randall King

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

His dad was Winnipeg musician Jimmy King, a one-time columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. One of his brothers is a playwright. Another is a singer-songwriter.

Randall has been content to cover the entertainment beat in one capacity or another since 1990.

His beat is film, and the job has placed him in the same room as diverse talents, from Martin Scorsese to Martin Short, from Julie Christie to Julia Styles. He has met three James Bonds (four if you count Woody Allen), and director Russ Meyer once told him: "I like your style."

He really likes his job.


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