British Columbia

Chutzpah! Festival Celebrates Diversity With Multifaceted International Programming

Chutzpah! Festival Celebrates Diversity With Multifaceted International Programming

by Yasmine Shemesh In Hebrew, chutzpah means “brazen audacity.” As such, it’s fitting that the term would be the namesake…

Vidiot: November 2014

Tuesday 04th, November 2014 / 14:05
By Shane Sellar

Sex Tape

The good thing about a sex tape is no one will ever see it because all the VCRs are buried in the desert.

Unfortunately for the couple in this comedy the term refers to all amateur porn.

Annie (Cameron Diaz) decides to stop complaining about post-pregnancy sex on her blog and instead tries to reignite her husband’s (Jason Segel) wick by sending the kids away for the night.

To spice things up, they record their session with an iPad.

But when the footage gets leaked to their friends, they are blackmailed by an unlikely source asking for $25,000.

An Apple commercial masquerading as a bawdy comedy, Sex Tape crams the company’s product line into every painfully unfunny and unrealistic scene.

While the duo is relatable, their improbable situations are not.

Besides, when you experiment with sex tapes you could end up getting something completely disgusting, like, a show on E!

The Purge: Anarchy

The sad thing about hunting Americans for sport is that they’re so obese they’re tired after running 10 paces.

Luckily, the prey in this horror-thriller has a vehicle.

To lower crime, LA holds an annual cull – legalized murder for one night.

Trying to get home before it begins, Shane (Zach Gilford) and Liz (Kiele Sanchez) align themselves with a vengeful cop (Frank Grillo) and two women he rescued from Purgers.

Unfortunately those women are being stalked by a gang of masked murderers collecting victims for the lazy rich in exchange for money.

With the action happening outside as opposed to inside, like its predecessor, Anarchy offers a blue-collar perspective on the yearly bloodletting.

While the ideology continues to fascinate and the killings carry on the brutality, the characters and the plot still don’t reach their full potential.

Incidentally, without the poor, city streets would be littered with unreturned beer bottles.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Professor X’s real mutant power has always been his handicapped-parking pass.

Disappointingly, the paralyzed patriarch in this sci-fi film can walk.

With Sentinels exterminating mutants in the future, Charles (Patrick Stewart) and Erik (Ian McKellen) send Logan’s (Hugh Jackman) mind back to 1973 to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating the creator (Peter Dinklage) of the mutant-killing robots.

To accomplish this before Kitty’s (Ellen Page) connection to the past snaps, Logan must convince a drug-addled Charles (James McAvoy) to join him, Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) in preventing the future from happening.

Taking a more measured approach to story pacing, usage of the copious characters and the twin timelines, this fifth instalment in the mutant franchise – which was adapted from the Claremont/Byrne comic book arc – is a highlight of the series.

Incidentally, while he’s in the 1970s, Wolverine might as well eviscerate the inventor of Disco.​

Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat.

When travelling to the past it’s important to wear time-appropriate clothing, but with a future swagger.

Unfortunately, the journeyman in this sci-fi film wears a battle-suit, not a sideways powered wig.

PR officer Major Cage (Tom Cruise) is abruptly thrust into the alien war he’s publicizing.

Despite repeated objections, he’s deployed to the battlefield in a heavily-duty exoskeleton. When dosed with alien blood, he’s also outfitted with the ability to relive the previous day after dying.

Aided by a former traveller (Emily Blunt), Cage repeats the same day over until he can kill the head alien.

Inspired by a Japanese pulp tale, Edge of Tomorrow uses the short story’s provocative narrative, along with two likeable leads and dynamic effects, to forge an unforgettable, and at times acutely humorous, time-travel adventure.

Incidentally, the smartest way to use time travel in war is to go back to before you mooned that nuclear-armed dictator.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

When time travelling with a dog it’s important to sedate them before locking them in their kennel.

However, drugging the time-shifting pooch in this animated movie might not be a wise idea.

When his adopted son Sherman (Max Charles) acts up at school, the scholarly beagle, Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), invites the parents of Sherman’s bully, Penny (Ariel Winter), to dinner.

When Penny disputes Sherman’s claims that his father invented a time machine he takes her back to Ancient Egypt to prove it.

By disobeying his father’s direct orders not to time-travel, Sherman generates a paradox in the space/time continuum that threatens all in existence, past and present.

While its jokes never reach the level of hilarity its computer-animated counterparts do, this adaptation of the cartoon short from The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show is edifying and overall entertaining kids fare.

But regardless of the time period, talking dog always tastes great. ​

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Typical funeral arrangements in the Old West involved selecting the six buzzards you wanted to clean your bones.

However, this comedy doesn’t delve into post-mortem procedures.

Recently dumped by his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried), sheep-farmer Albert (Seth MacFarlane) finds himself in hot water when he becomes intimate with Anna (Charlize Theron), the bride of notorious outlaw Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson).

But a chance encounter with a tribe of peyote smoking Native Americans, and sharp-shooting lessons from Anna, preps the cowardly herder for his pending duel against Leatherwood.

Written, directed, and starring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West neglects to include its flat jokes as another means of expiring out West.

Pitiable comedy aside, its paint-by-numbers plot, lifeless performances, and static direction also contribute to this dross comedy’s death rattle.

Furthermore, when you died in the Old West you were usually reincarnated as a spittoon.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

The most important ally any machine with moving parts can have is WD-40.

Unfortunately the rusting robots in this action movie are without.

Amateur inventor Cade (Mark Wahlberg) stumbles on a dilapidated semi truck that turns out to be Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen).

Elsewhere, a rogue CIA agent (Kelsey Grammer) intent on eradicating the transformers pairs with a scientist (Stanley Tucci) close to unlocking their transformative properties.

Now Cade, his daughter (Nicola Peltz), and the Autobots must stop the human-made transformer Galvatron from amassing an army of Decepticons.

With nauseating camera-work, unnecessary product placement and a 3-hour go-nowhere plot, this fourth instalment in the franchise may introduce new humans and inhumans to the cast, but they can’t conceal the fact that Michael Bay is still the director.

What’s more, there comes a time in every transformer’s life when they just need to change into an ethnic food truck, and retire.

Million Dollar Arm

It makes sense that Hindi-speaking athletes would gravitate towards baseball since there’s a team called the Indians.

Racial epithets aside, this sports-drama does involve players from India.

When down-and-out sports agent J. B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) vacillates between a televised cricket match and a singing competition, he formulates a plan to invigorate his firm with talent from India.

Convinced he’ll find the next great baseball pitcher through a reality TV show format, J.B. enlists a cantankerous scout (Alan Arkin) to be a judge in the competition.

Eventually, J.B. discovers two worthy candidates (Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal) and ships them back to America to try out for the majors.

Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm is a boilerplate feel-good Disney sports movie that concludes as expected, with no complexity or ingenuity required.

On a related note, females travelling to India alone should always bring a baseball bat with them.

The Grand Seduction

The best part of living in Newfoundland is you can move to Alberta to work.

Mind you, the Newfies in this comedy hope to get into the oil game without leaving their isolated Harbour.

In order to entice big oil to their down-and-out community, the mayor (Brendan Gleeson) must first secure a town doctor.

His prayers are answered when a townie blackmails a cokehead plastic surgeon (Taylor Kitsch) into being the local medic for a month.

Their endgame, however, is for him to stay permanently, so they feign interest in Cricket, Jazz and Indian cuisine for his sake.

Meanwhile, the postmistress (Liane Balaban) refuses to participant in the town’s con.

Despite its shaky plot points and tacked-on love story, this remake of a Francophone comedy has enough heart, humour and oddball characters to make up for its shortcomings.

But in reality, unemployed Newfies should be seducing the cod to spawn.


The best thing about owning a food truck is you can easily elude the health inspector.

Mind you, the meals-on-wheels in this dramedy appear on the up-and up.

Tired of being at the mercy of his boss’ (Dustin Hoffman) outmoded menu and humiliated by an online food critic (Oliver Platt), Carl (Jon Favreau) quits his head chef job.

On the advice of his ex-wife (Sofía Vergara), he goes to Miami to refurbish a dilapidated taco truck with his social media savvy son (Emjay Anthony) and former cook (John Leguizamo).

With his son documenting their return trip on Twitter, Carl’s Cuban food truck forms a huge following, including former detractors.

With a heavy web presence and little footing in reality, Chef erroneously evokes sentimentality through online montages accompanied by feel-good songs than through any discourse between father and son.

Incidentally, when you dine on the street the homeless become your busboys.

Hes a Part-Time Traveller. Hes the…

, , , ,