Skip to content

Latest News

YVRShoots Series – Making of THIS MEANS WAR in Vancouver

Published February 27, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome

Thanks to real bro chemistry between Chris Pine (Star Trek reboot’s Captain Kirk) and Tom Hardy (Bane in upcoming The Dark Night Rises), the bromance in This Means War works much better than the actual romance, which flounders on the premise that Reese Witherspoon’s character is so supremely attractive that these two men would risk their friendship to war over her. Witherspoon is beautiful and an acclaimed actress but she’s miscast in this role. On the other hand, I had no problem with the idea of blending of action, romance and comedy — if done well — in a story of spy versus spy, who use their CIA resources against each other after they discover they’ve fallen for the same woman. But the execution of this movie felt choppy and clumsy in both writing and editing, as if three different movies had been spliced into one.

That might have been the case, judging from the number of Vancouver scenes cut in editing, including the ones I photographed below in Yaletown and North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay Market, as well as some at Gastown’s Incendio restaurant. Director McG (in my Yaletown photo with Tom Hardy & Reese Witherspoon) even shot three alternate endings to the romance, including a fun “homoerotic” one of Pine and Hardy in each other’s arms and Witherspoon with nobody — which I might have preferred.

This Means War opens with a spectacular action sequence on the roof of the Bentall 4 tower in Vancouver as Hong Kong. CIA agents and best buds FDR Foster (Chris Pine) and Tuck Hensen (Tom Hardy) are on a mission to stop arms dealer Heinrich, played by Til Schweiger of Inglorious Basterds fame, from acquring a WMD at a fancy hotel rooftop party. Read More »YVRShoots Series – Making of THIS MEANS WAR in Vancouver

BIG READ: FRINGE is Trending in Vancouver and Worldwide

Published February 17, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome

A Skype discussion early this year led to an amazing social media campaign by Fringe fans to make sure people knew their ratings-challenged show was returning in mid-January with a Winter Premiere after a long two-month hiatus. For five consecutive Friday nights, their unique episode hashtags have trended on Twitter worldwide, in the U.S. and in Vancouver. You may have seen #crosstheline, #enemyofmyenemy, #observeitlive, #takethelead and #breakingout trending and wondered what they were. Feel free to join in tonight by tweeting this week’s hashtag #BeaBetterMan after 5 p.m. our time.

The Fringe Campaign organized by @Fringenuity is smart. Audience isn’t just about Nielsen ratings anymore. Fringe has proved itself a social media success with a big presence on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. I’ve participated in all five Twitter campaigns to date by live-tweeting during the west coast broadcast but not in the GetGlue campaign, where fans check in to Fringe and the show’s sponsors — Nissan Leaf and Sprint — live during commercials. Fringe is topping the trending charts at GetGlue too on Friday nights, with over ten thousand checking in. The ongoing campaign helps decision-makers see how much reach the unmeasured Fringe fandom has coming up on discussions between broadcaster FOX and production company Warner Bros TV about whether or not to renew the cult show for a fifth and final season.

Season Four began dramatically with one of the show’s trio of main characters — Peter Bishop — erased from existence and the absence of Joshua Jackson, the actor who plays him, from his hometown. See my YVRShoots series post Where is Peter Bishop? He returned to existence with a big splash at Reiden Lake in the Fall but as a stranger to his beloved Olivia Dunham played by Anna Torv and to his “father” Walter Bishop played by John Noble. See my YVRShoots series post Here is Peter Bishop. Peter remembers them but they don’t remember him in this altered timeline. Are they not his Olivia and his Walter?

We still don’t know about this Olivia and Walter but it was wonderful to catch a glimpse of the Fringe trio acting more like themselves this week at a CBC Vancouver shoot for an upcoming Spring episode, along with junior Fringe agent Astrid Farnsworth played by Jasika Nicole.

Fringe’s fourth season is divided into three acts — the Fall, Winter and Spring episodes. When World Series baseball on FOX unexpectedly pre-empted the eighth episode showrunners planned as their big Fall Finale it hurt the dramatic arc of the show and disappointed viewers.

So the Fall Finale became the Winter Premiere. In Back to Where You’ve Never Been, Peter Bishop decides to Read More »BIG READ: FRINGE is Trending in Vancouver and Worldwide

BIG READ: Making of UNDERWORLD AWAKENING

Published February 7, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome

The return of Kate Beckinsale and her cat suit powered supernatural thriller Underworld Awakening to a weekend North American box office win of $25 million+ for its late January opening but critics blasted the fourth installment of the franchise for its weak storyline. U4 box office halved for its second weekend and then halved again last weekend. I saw the film last week in 3D and enjoyed watching Beckinsale and her stunt double playing kickass-cool vampire Selene and Simon Fraser University as its unmistakable self playing nefarious bio-tech company Antigen.

Vengeance Returns is the Underworld Awakening tagline. Here is a plot synopsis with spoilers: Not long after the events of Underworld Evolution, vampire Selene and her hybrid vampire/Lycan lover Michael Corvin are captured during The Purge, a crusade by humans to rid the world of vampires and Lycans (evolved werewolfs who can shift between wolf and human form). Twelve years later, Selene is freed from cryogenic suspension in Antigen headquarters by her and Corvin’s vampire/Lycan hybrid daughter Eve — a daughter Selene never knew she had with a lover who appears to be dead. Antigen claims to be developing an antidote for the virus that creates vampires and Lycans, but is really run by Lycans who are injecting Eve’s hybrid blood into themselves to create a race of super Lycans, impervious to silver and with enhanced abilities and size.

Unfortunately Scott Speedman declined to return as Selene’s lover Michael Corvin in the fourth film so we only see him in flashbacks or as a blurred figure in Underworld Awakening. New to this Vancouver-shot movie franchise about vampires and werewolves that predates the Twilight craze is human Detective Sebastian played by Michael Ealy of The Good Wife (see photo below).

After a brief recap of the Underworld saga so far, the new film opens with scenes of a genocide of not one but two species — vampires and Lycans — that was filmed mainly downtown. For example, crew set up a security checkpoint with police/SWAT extras on Hamilton Street outside Pappas Furs for filming on May 1st last year. Read More »BIG READ: Making of UNDERWORLD AWAKENING