TUESDAY DECEMBER 12, 2017
 
INSIDE TORO
Blog DAILY TORO
Vampire.jpg

[html]Look, filmmaking is a collaborative process and chances are not everyone involved in the creation of Vampire Dog is completely thrilled about it. “What are you doing today?” “I’m going to get in my car, drive to work, and make sure nothing gets in the way of Vampire Dog being a complete and total success.” That’s a conversation like 200 people are having right now.

So the human beings who dreamed of creating and/or promoting beautiful movies with heartfelt messages but woke up to find Vampire Dog in their bed are doing the best they can. 

Wait ... is that supposed to be the moon? ‘Cause it kind of looks like the sun. YOU GOOFED IT UP PEOPLE PAID TO PROMOTE VAMPIRE DOG AND I HAD SO MUCH FAITH IN YOU!

Blog DAILY TORO

[html]

While performing at Reflex Gallery last week, Moby refrained from shocking the audience and instead turned his electric personality (sorry) inward. It’s even weirder than you’re imagining:



“Thankfully” he still managed to perform his Unplugged Coffeehouse Remix version of “Natural Blues”. Watch the full set, complete with a very passive-aggressive introduction, here.

Blog DAILY TORO
gothamist_katyrussell.jpg

Millionaires are standing up against billionaires lately, with Occupy Wall Street protests in Manhattan now established as the place to be seen!

Just look at this Gothamist piece on Katy Perry and Russell Brand visiting this veritable Lollapallooza of uprisings — and in the process getting to hang with the very old, fairly cool entrepreneur/music magnate Russell Simmons.

Russell and Russell wandered around the protest holding a placard reading “TWO RUSSELLS DON'T MAKE CAPITALISM RIGHT.” If that were true it would be a very cute photo op. I love the support OWS is getting, and so does Oliver Stone, although he wishes more people had occupied theatres for his Wall Street sequel.

By the way, can we give these protesters bathrooms? The only people happy about the photos of occupiers doing their thang on cop cars are German scatophiles and fans of the little known Ice T song "Cop Kar Killa."

Photo Gallery DAILY TORO
IMG_4650_cropped.jpg

TORO brings you a look at Robert Graham for Spring 2012. We checked out the expectedly colourful collection during LG Fashion Week in Toronto.

Blog DAILY TORO
Cohen.jpg

This ridiculous 3-D TV ad aside, we haven’t heard much from Leonard Cohen recently. His last album Dear Heather came out way back in 2004, and while the last few years have seen some lows and highs, no new music seemed forthcoming from the 77-year-old icon.

Cohen fans will finally get some fresh tunes when album no. 12 Old Ideas drops this coming January, he revealed from a recent press conference in Madrid. In researching this piece I was reminded Cohen has only released 11 studio albums in 44 years, and that’s not a lot, relatively! So, welcome news all around. Below listen to my favourite of his tunes, ‘cause what else do you have to do at 3:30 on a rainy Thursday afternoon? That might actually be a Leonard Cohen lyric ...

Blog DAILY TORO
Lana.jpg

[html]While her recent Toronto show garnered mixed reception around the TORO office (but one heckuva gallery!), indie pop’s newest queen Lana Del Rey is yet to drop an actual album, so the title is still hers to lose. In the meantime here’s a video / animated GIF thing for title track “Born to Die.” Album drops January 23. I give it a preemptive 7.3828 out of 10.

Blog TIFF 11
Tiff2Lead.jpg

[html] DangerousInsert.jpg

A Dangerous Method
(dir. David Cronenberg, eOne, 93 minutes)

A Dangerous Method takes a hard, cold look at the roots of psychoanalysis both in the way it has liberated truly repressed people like Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) and excused immoral behaviour in others (pioneer Carl Jung himself, here played by Michael Fassbender.)

Apparently based on true events and brought halfway to life by David Cronenberg, the film dramatizes a few years in Jung’s career, wherein he was drawn into the young patient Spielrein’s bedroom and the inner circle of elder psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen.)

To call the film lifeless would be overstating it but there’s a dry, clinical feel throughout that is never relieved, even in the moments of intense intimacy between Knightley and Fassbender. True to a movie about people who are better prepared to sit around and talk about sex than to actually have any, A Dangerous Method is annoyingly well-mannered and not very dangerous.

But I can admire the way Cronenberg engages with the theories of Jung and Freud in his academic way. He is probably more interested in the esoteric details of these thinkers than his audience will be, and that trips him up more than once, but he knows the material and brings some honest drama out of Christopher Hampton’s script. 3/5


MarthaInsert.jpg

Martha Marcy May Marlene (dir. Sean Durkin, Fox Searchlight, 103 minutes)

Here is a film unsuited to the festival experience; Sean Durkin’s debut Martha Marcy May Marlene is designed to be contemplated and not followed immediately by successive screenings. Like another TIFF puzzler Dreileben it is made up of subtle, almost subliminal details that I’m sure illuminate the confounding plight of Martha (Elizabeth Olsen), an escapee from an abusive hippie commune (or cult, though no religious activity is apparent) led by Patrick (John Hawkes.)

At first pass, the story is elusive and open-ended. After two years away from home Martha finds shelter with her sister (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy.) But their affluent lifestyle doesn’t do much to calm her damaged nerves. In some ways she’s no better off in either environment. Meanwhile Patrick and his disciples may be closing in, but their unstated motivation for Martha's return is I think one of the keys to unlocking this story.

Martha doesn’t arrive at an apparently satisfying conclusion, but its deeply coded final scene says a lot. I’m just not sure I’ve translated the message yet. 4.5/5


DriveInsert.jpg

Drive (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn, Alliance, 100 minutes)

Nicolas Winding Refn’s graphic, dopey action movie Drive stars Ryan Gosling as a stoic Stunt Driver With No Name who splits his employment between Hollywood and the mob. He falls for a troubled mother (Carey Mulligan) and plays protector for her family. Protection from the very same mobsters who want to put him behind the wheel of a stock car, one of many plot contrivances the story just breezes through.

For a moment in its final act, Drive appears to be getting away with something great by revealing its apparent hero to be a complete Taxi Driver-esque nutcase, but that is sidestepped for a predictable conclusion. Every character is required to act like a complete idiot up to that point to invite violence upon themselves, violence handled without grace by Refn. The sight of comic actor Albert Brooks slicing up flesh with a razor might seem edgy to some, but it’s really just awkward and grotesque. 1.5/5

More DAILY TORO

Moammar Ghadafi has allegedly been shot and killed in his home country of Libya.gaddafi3_1780857b.jpg

I'm happy to hear this, although I do feel a tinge of guilt for never having been paid a huge sum of money to perform for him or his family, as Nelly Furtado once got the chance to - and later apologised for.

I really think my material on elite teams of female bodyguards would have resonated with him. With his neat outfits and cool hair, he joins the likes of Chairman Mao Eazy-E and Vlad The Impaler on the 'most stylish dead tyrants' list.

Blog DAILY TORO
FX_CanadaLaunch.jpg

With apologies to Toronto Fashion Week, last night’s FX Canada launch party was the place to be in the city.

The Rogers Media-hosted presentation took place at the Scotiabank Theatre where programming suits first took the stage to sell the channel before a choice was given to the advertising execs and media in attendance to sample either Wilfred/Louis in one theatre or American Horror Story in the other. Guess you were out of luck if you were there to catch a Moneyball matinee.

Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media said that while the company wanted to bolster its specialty channels, its primary focus was on the shows themselves and it was this desire that led to the acquisition of FX – an extension of the FOX brand that features superb and risqué programming with the awesome liberality of cable.

Rogers programming head honcho Scott Moore described the shows coming to FX Canada as “unique, quality, thought-provoking and horrifying.”

There was also some talent in attendance as the original Australian “Wilfred” (and the U.S. one as well for that matter) Jason Gann and his co-star Fiona Gubelmann waved to the crowd.

Really, FX programming is so good that it didn't need the hard sell. Based on the critical acclaim that American Horror Story has received south of the border, it was an easy decision to pick it to screen and the show lived up to the hype.

American Horror Story is the brainchild of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.  (I always knew that there was some repressed rage in the guys who also created Glee and this show is obviously the by-product.)

The series centres on the Harmon family, Ben (Dylan McDermott), Vivien (Connie Britton) and their daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga), who relocate to Los Angeles from Boston after Ben has an affair and Vivien has a miscarriage. They move into a restored mansion, unaware that the home is haunted. 

While the scary mansion premise seems played out, the show was suspenseful and creepy.  It was terrifying, but in the Blair Witch way where you didn’t know what was coming next.  In the first episode, there is a ‘rubberman’ costume that resembles ‘The Gimp’ in Pulp Fiction and when the episode ended, an actual rubberman showed up to shock audience members.

Another Horror Story highlight was the housekeeper, who philandering Ben saw as a 20-something sexpot but everyone else saw as a 60-something Molly Maid. Rogers wisely played off of this at the post-show party at Embassy nightclub. Food servers were dressed as versions of the ‘old maids’ while the bartenders were,… well, let’s just say not old maids (translation: hot).

The mistaken identity theme is obviously an FX mainstay. Wilfred is about a guy (Elijah Wood) who takes care of a neighbour’s dog only to learn that he is the only one who sees the mutt as an actual person where everyone else sees …  a dog. The show — which mixes juvenile humour with witty banter — is smart, clever, and funny.

Both shows, along with the spectacular Sons of Anarchy (stay tuned for my interview with star Kim Coates) are strong enough to carry the network by itself. The fact that other standout shows like Louie, Lights Out and The League will also air here make the channel not only worth watching, but a mainstay in your lineup.

FX Canada launches on October 31.

Blog DAILY TORO

MOSCOW — A plane that crashed in western Russia, killing 43 of 45 people on board, was carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team, local officials confirmed.

Names of the 37 passengers and eight crew members have not been released.

Former NHL player and coach, Brad McCrimmon, was hired as the Kontinental Hockey League's head coach in May. McCrimmon, a 52-year-old native of Plenty, Saskatchewan, spent three terms as an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings before his contract expired at the end of last season.

Also listed on the team's current roster are former NHLers Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins and Josef Vasicek.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the jet crashed immediately following take-off from an aiport near the city of Yaroslavl, about 150 miles northeast of Moscow.

The team was headed for Minsk where it was to play Dinamo in its KHL's season opener.

Blog DAILY TORO

[html]

It’s nice to know that grown men competing to lead the free world and play chicken with nuclear superpowers can’t agree on how long 30 seconds actually is. Nice and terrifying. Also this:

Slackjaw.jpg



Photo Gallery STYLEBOOK
holtrenfrew_main.jpg

Holt Renfrew's celebration of Canadian fashion started off this season's LG Fashion Week not with a whimper but a bang.

At least in the men's department.

TORO Fashion Photographer, Naphtali McKenly, captured the looks of Wings & Horns as the casually clad men flew down the runway and kept the shutter blinking for the dudes in denim by Naked & Famous.

Check out the spring looks.

 

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

[page]

Blog DAILY TORO
PlaylistLeadOct17.jpg

[html] This week on the TORO Playlist, Drake undergoes a series of awkward interviews for SNL, Class Actress previews her debut album, and Roach Gigz has something for your mouth, mouth, mouth.

Drake - “SNL Interviews” (New album Take Care out November 15)



Roach Gigz - “Gina” (From the Bitch, I’m a Player EP, out now)



Dirty Beaches - “Lone Runner” (Single, out now)



High Places - “Sophia” (From Original Colors, out now)



Class Actress - “Weekend” (From Rapprocher, out October 18)



Sonic Youth - “Teenage Riot” (R.I.P.)



More DAILY TORO

kelly_osbourne_christina_agilera.jpgI like feuds, having kept family grievances alive for years just to see the fireworks at our bi-annual Kwanzaa luncheon.

Nonetheless, the newest shots fired in the Kelly Osborne/Christina Aguilera snipefest are more depressing than entertaining.

At a Michael Jackson tribute, Xtina wore a tight outfit that hugged curves closer than a roller coaster manned by the most skilled carny in the world. This prompted TV fashion critic/noted Aguilera enemy Kelly Osborne to chastise Christina for being heavier than Kelly ever was.

To me, neither is in a good place. Kelly has been eclipsed as 'English lady we care about' by Emma Watson and Christina threw herself into the fame well by making the film Burlesque.

Honestly, we'd all be better off if the two of them were smushed together into one. They would have a vibratey voice, quick with a quip, get to hang out with Ozzy Osborne and they'd be a Latina/British mashup. I would love to come to their house and eat a taco scone. Bury the hatchet ladies. Merge into one.

Blog DAILY TORO
Waitslead.jpg

Troubadour songsmith Tom Waits will officially release his first new album in seven years, Bad as Me, this Friday, October 21. That's right: on a Friday, because at this point Waits can honestly do whatever the hell he wants any day of the week.

In the meantime you can follow a needlessly convoluted “invite” system to hear it right now: head on over to the official album webpage, hand them your email address (preferably in a dirty paper bag or tin box, as is Waits’ method) and you will be rewarded with a code opening a streaming widget for the whole mess. If you’re busy, check out clips for two previously released songs “Back In the Crowd” and the title track below.



Blog DAILY TORO
Cagejr.jpg

Nicolas Cage’s son Brandon Lee in The Crow Weston Cage is following his father’s legacy of public temper tantrums. TMZ reports that the 20-year-old was detained after a violent altercation with his personal trainer at a Hollywood diner, citing witnesses who claimed Cage tried to perform a “roundhouse” kick, then had to be strapped to a gurney by police as “he appeared to be under the influence of something.” Too bad he didn’t use his lucky crack pipe.

As someone currently undergoing a training program, I would defend Cage’s actions on the basis of psychological withdrawal, but look at him. A) Ew and B) Gross.

Blog DAILY TORO
20080106_MG_1933.jpg

There are no shortage of Canadian stars on the world poker stage. Daniel Negreanu is poker's all-time tournament money winner. Last year, Jonathan Duhamel took home the bracelet at the World Series of Poker Main Event — along with a cool $9 million in prize money.

Will either man emerge as the winner of the inaugural PokerStars.net Canada Cup? Or will a virtual unknown rise to join the ranks of Canadian poker's elite?

Canadian players can go online at PokerStars.net to qualify for the final table. Freeroll tournaments run at 7 and 9 p.m. ET daily.

An online final on October 23 will narrow the field down to its final nine. That lucky group will head to the Bahamas — all expenses paid — for the final table in January where they can compete for the Canadian title and a share of $250,000.

negreanu.jpgThe winner will also earn a $25,000 seat in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure High Roller Event, where they will compete against the world's elite as Canada's champ.

"Canada is full of talented poker players but we've never had the opportunity to compete in a purely Canadian arena and face off head to head to crown a Canadian champ," says Negreanu.

"I'll definitely be chasing the title for the bragging rights and am excited to see what other Canadian players can bring to the table."

Blog DAILY TORO

[html]Film geeks, get your pencils out. “It”, the latest video from Halifax indie pop dude Rich Aucoin, is a guided tour through the artist’s old VHS collection, recreating nine classics and one Night at the Roxbury in four minutes and 33 seconds. Can you guess the rest? Answers below. Check it out:



Note that Aucoin is buffer than a young Robert De Niro. Something to be proud of.

Sources:

















Die Hard final scene (embedding disabled)




Blog DAILY TORO

chaneyjohansson.jpgThe crisis that raised American self-pleasuring to dangerous levels has come to its filthy denouement, with the man responsible for leaking (and most likely leaking on) nude photos of Scarlett Johansson brought to justice.

And he thanks us for it.

Christopher Chaney became a celebrity of the 'stealing celebrities' information' world when he was caught for hacking into the emails of various stars, most famously sharing LettJoh's butt with the world.

Chaney maintains he couldn't help what he did – it was an addiction, and he's happy he was caught, says ABC news. He also has a beard, which I predict he will grow to a Rip Van Winkle-like length while rotting in federal prison for up to 121 years for violating the privacy of people who are basically public domain.

I've mentioned this before and I stand by it – there are more than a few celebrity-boob-obsessed people who can't thank this man enough for his crime. He's more popular than you would think. In fact, a recent survey that I made up right now shows that if Chaney ran as a republican presidential nominee he would be the frontrunner as long as he changed his name so that he no longer reminded people of Dick Cheney.

Blog DAILY TORO
SPINTORONTO.jpg

Sultry and unseasonable warmth aside, Toronto is a chilly city - wrapped up in its workaday world the sprawling town seems to promote a kind of insular attitude among its denizens that serves as fodder for the likes of Douglas Coupland. And who wants that?

Not I.

And not Susan Sarandon either.

Although the scarlet beauty admits she herself is not a capable ping pong player, the SPIN co-founder knows how to represent a brand.

 Like a warm autumn breeze Sarandon moved through last night's official opening party managing — somehow — not to make a scene of herself. Call it the Sarandon effect, the lady's nonchalance bled into the generally uptight attitude of the Hogtown patrons and made them looser, even approachable.

Sure, it was a scene - Judd Nelson (yes, that Judd Nelson) hitting balls with supermodel/pro player Soo Yeon Lee, New York hustlers taking down cocky locals using cell phones for rackets and all around good looking people returning tiny airy balls with beautiful alacrity. 

Still, the evening was about the pong. The UN couldn't have done a better job of connecting the people. Booze helps. (Especially when it's free.) But the ping pong table is the glue that bring snobs and intellects, jocks and hipsters together.

A low-arcing forehand that lightly touches the corner of the table ...  that's just the Himalayan salt on the warm, oven-baked pretzels

TORO FEATURED VIDEO