month : 08/2015 27 results

Buvette meatballs reinvent the reliable orb

Forget all the references to Bill Murray and summer camp because thanks to Jody Williams' Buvette in NYC, meatballs are going upscale as part of the thoughtful food movement By Louise Crosby I was thinking the other day how much I love meatballs. Swedish meatballs in gravy served over egg noodles with lingonberry preserves. Middle Eastern meatballs of lamb, cumin and coriander, stuffed into a pita pocket with yogurt and cucumbers. Greek meatballs with feta, mint and lemon. Or regular Italian meatballs in tomato sauce, served over pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can take meatballs in so many directions.   Then along came Buvette, a beautiful first cookbook by Jody Williams, who owns and operates a gastrotheque by the same name in New York City’s West Village, a place she describes as a neighbourhood bar “with thoughtful food.” Her recipe for Italian meatballs in tomato sauce came from the grandmother of an unnamed “talented actor from the Soprano...

We Are Your Friends samples cliché

Zac Efron plays a young man from the San Fernando Valley looking to make it as a top-tier DJ in this half-empty can of cinematic Red Bull that has lots of energy but lacks substance, soul and any semblance of intelligence  

The End of the Tour stands at existential edge

Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg engage in a cerebral sword fight that punctures ego and hits metaphysical bone in James Ponsoldt's low-key snapshot of the late David Foster Wallace  

Orbiting ball lore with the Spaceman

Southpaw pitcher Bill Lee climbs back on a mound of memories created during the Montreal Expos' brief run at greatness from 1979 to 1981, when the storied team fell just one inning short of a trip to the World Series By Rod Mickleburgh Suddenly, baseball is fun again, at least if you’re a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. Although the Montreal Expos remain closest to my heart, I still root for the Jays. Those World Series years of 1992-93 were wonderful. (Devon White!) Of course, it’s been mighty lean pickings, since then. Now, finally, as they tussle with the hated Yankees for first place, Canada is back on the Jays’ bandwagon.   With this renewed whiff of baseball in the air, I offer a special Mickle treat for Canadian ball fans, especially those who remember the Expos from 1979, when they first drove for the pennant, and 1981, when they fell an inning short of the World Series, done in by Rick Monday’s cruel home run off Steve Rogers, a starting pitcher ...

Patricia Clarkson takes the wheel

The veteran of stage and screen buckles up for a bumpy ride in Learning to Drive, a new film that puts the pedal to the metal of marriage breakdown with surprisingly comic results thanks to co-star Sir Ben Kingsley, and the gentle hand of director Isabel Coixet By Katherine Monk TORONTO – There’s something undeniably regal about Patricia Clarkson, even when she’s vomiting into a toilet and playing an entirely unlaced woman of letters. It’s an underlying strength that inhabits every bone in her sinewy body, and you can feel it in her relaxed presence.   She’s a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and it shines through every freckle.   “I was fed perseverance as a child,” she says. “I have a very strong mother, and strong parents who were loving and gave me the confidence and ability to survive.”   Clarkson says she had to rely on that deep well of self-possession when she started Learning to Drive. A new film directed by ...

It’s never too late to remember the fallen

REMEMBRANCE DAY SPECIAL Seventy years ago, fighting men and women returned home from the battlefields and POW camps in the Pacific to a less-than-warm welcome, a sad testament to the forgotten sacrifices of veterans that continues to this day   By Rod Mickleburgh Amid all the wonderful crazy sports stuff going on, there was a very sombre anniversary. Seventy years ago this past weekend, the last, bloody gasp of World War Two came to end, with the surrender of Japan, after years of unimaginable killing. Canada was involved in the war at the very outset, when this country dispatched about 2,000 raw recruits in a hopeless move to buttress British forces in Hong Kong shortly before Pearl Harbour. A month later, the Japanese invaded. After a relatively-brief, murderous skirmish that lasted perhaps a week, Hong Kong fell to the Japanese. More than 550 Canadians were killed in the fighting or died later as starved, over-worked prisoners of war, their bodies reduced to little ...

Movie review: American Ultra huffs and puffs

This strange mash-up of ultraviolent spy thriller and laid-back stoner comedy barely gets by on the chemistry between Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart

Art star and X-Games pro Tyler Shields makes directing debut

Tyler Shields started skating professionally at the age of 12 and made it to the top of the extreme athlete podium before he turned his talents to art photography and high-end shoots, but he says directing his debut feature was the biggest risk yet, if only because he'd promised his Robin Williams he'd make it the right way.   By Katherine Monk LOS ANGELES – Robin Williams made him promise to be true to his creative soul, and while it hasn’t been easy, Tyler Shields has managed to resist the temptation of quick hits and lowest common denominator success to pursue a unique vision in the richly saturated shadows.   An art star in the world of fine art photography and a former professional in-line skater, Shields has certainly felt the warm glow of popular success in the past, but when he decided to follow his childhood dream of becoming a filmmaker, he knew things would be different. And they were.   Shields directed the B.C.-shot thriller Final Girl ...

Hitman: Agent 47 asks questions as it shoots

Rupert Friend's performance as a genetically enhanced super agent raises questions about the nature of perfection, and why we find the idea of emotional numbness so seductive, in this latest film adaptation of the successful video game franchise        

How to watch a movie

Notes for a talk given by Jay Stone at Das Lokal restaurant in Ottawa on Aug. 16, 2015 on the topic of “How to watch a movie.” Alcohol was served. By Jay Stone People sometimes say to me, “Hey, Jay,” — or, more frequently these days, “Excuse me, Mr. Stone” — “how does a critic watch a movie? Please be brief and give examples.”   My usual reply is, “No thanks, I’ve already eaten,” which is my fallback answer when I’ve totally stopped listening — or, more frequently these days, didn’t quite catch what they were saying. However, it’s a worthy question and I do have an answers. It’s brief and there are examples.   I started thinking about this in earnest in 1994, when I was at the Toronto film festival interviewing the film director Alan Rudolph. He was in town promoting his movie Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, and we had an hour-long chat (film festival interviews used to be nice and long. They’ve now shrunk to 15 ...