Randall King

  • 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.
  • Subversive sci-fi

    With his second feature film, writer-director Neill Blomkamp cements a specialty for himself in science fiction that is also, front and centre, social critique. With explosions.
  • One hero, hold the cheese

    CHRISTOPHER Nolan, director of the Dark Knight trilogy, sits in the producers's chair on the Zack Snyder's Superman movie Man of Steel. But his influence is felt. In reinventing Batman, Nolan's approach was to mostly scrub all memories of the ironic TV Batman of the '60s and the unglued Gothic awfulness of the later movie franchise under Joel Schumacher's dubious creative control. Nolan's esthetic strategy was to remove the winking humour and the cartoony villains, reasoning: If superhero stories are the mythology of our age, let the myth be a myth.
  • Sixth street-racing sequel injects international intrigue into silly but thrilling high-speed action

    Whenever a character in a movie disparagingly mentions James Bond, you know that movie will be doing all in its power to emulate the James Bond oeuvre. So it is in Fast & Furious 6, a franchise unique in Hollywood in that it morphed before our eyes, starting out as a series of movies about illegal street racing for gearheads and changing into a kind of blue-collar 007.
  • Director takes ‘Roaring ’20s’ literally with loud, garish Gatsby adaptation

    IN the first minute of this film, keep your eyes open for the logo of director Baz Luhrmann’s company Bazmark Films. It includes the excellent motto, lifted from his 1992 film Strictly Ballroom: “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” So, if nothing else, expect fearlessness in Luhrmann’s film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In translating the book to film, Luhrmann boldly turns it into a 3D spectacle: Fitzgerald’s timeless prose is transposed to an outsized, gaudy, pop-up storybook.
  • Downey, director Black hookup no coincidence

    Los ANGELES -- Make no mistake: Iron Man 3 is a sequel to the preceding two movies featuring heavy-metal techno-industrialist Tony Stark. But just one minute into the film, as you listen to Robert Downey Jr.'s dipsy-doodling narration as he recalls the apocalyptic events of the movie, you might swear you're about to watch a sequel to the 2005 cult noir-comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
  • Winnipeg brothers turn filmmaking into all-in-the-family affair

    There was just too much talent in the Kushnier family not to take advantage of a collaboration. Apparently, that's the reasoning behind a short film coming from writer-director-actor Serge Kushnier.
  • J.Lo back in crime-movie element, but Statham fails to humanize anti-hero

    For a few moviegoers, it is enough that the poster for the movie Parker features a gun-toting Jason Statham front and centre. The Brit actor seems to churn out a new action movie every few months, and he can be relied upon to deliver a certain kind of roundhouse-kick energy to fans of the genre. But there are better reasons to be excited about this latest adaptation of novelist Richard Stark's violent but fiercely principled anti-hero.
  • 10 Reasons to Go To Movies in 2013

    For Winnipeggers, going to the movies in the year 2013 is a more diversified prospect than in 2012. With the opening of the Cineplex Odeon McGillivray and VIP cinemas this fall, there are more first-run theatres. And thanks to those three VIP cinemas in the 11-cinema complex, there are unprecedented wine-and-dine options, as well.
  • Gold on the silver screen: 2012's best movies

    It sure was easier picking a list of the best films of 2012 than it was in franchise-heavy 2011. This is encouraging, given that Hollywood always favours the familiar to the surprising. In this list, a few good filmmakers demonstrate they will not be deterred from creating something new and different... even in a Bond movie.
  • Humour carries thread of affection as characters reach 40

    Only two things evoke laughter: familiarity and surprise. Judd Apatow's 2007 film Knocked Up was largely an exercise in surprise, detailing how a one-night stand between a career-oriented woman and a slacker guy becomes a transformative experience when she becomes pregnant.
  • Short tale told tall

    "All good stories deserve embellishment." So says no less an authority than the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and he should know. He is himself a character of one of the all-time great stories: The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • Santa Claus without his pipe

    "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
  • Political impasse in Spielberg's Lincoln invites comparisons to current D.C. gridlock

    Los ANGELES -- The usual film disclaimer at the end of most films reads: Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental. Obviously, any resemblance between America's 16th president and the way he is presented by British actor Daniel Day-Lewis in director Steven Spielberg's Lincoln is painstakingly deliberate.
  • Sick flicks click with chick

    "What happens when you feed crazy with more crazy?" Winnipeg-born film programmer Kier-La Janisse poses that question in her newly published book, House of Psychotic Women, tellingly subtitled "an autobiographical topography of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films."
  • Hot, sweaty and -- lordy! -- kinda depraved in here

    In his last movie, Precious, director Lee Daniels troweled tragedy on top of calamity on top of nightmare, but thanks to a realist style and a touching central performance, the movie found both an audience and critical esteem. Someone evidently got the bright idea that what Daniels needed was a mainstream Hollywood cast to take him over the top.

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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