Category Archives: Movie Theatre

Branca’s Pitch


For true fans of baseball and all its lore, the names Ralph Branca and Bobby Thomson, “The shot heard ’round the world,” and the radio announcer yelling over and over, “The Giants win the pennant!” are as familiar to them as their own names.  What might not be so familiar is the real story behind that moment in baseball history.

The apparent backbone of this documentary is the writing of Branca’s 2011 autobiography, A Moment in Time, with ghost-writer David Ritz, and that story is very important.  But if that were the only story being told, it would have been rather dull.  There was a secret lurking underneath waiting to be revealed.  When it is revealed you’ll see that the New York Giants’ coming back from a seemingly impossible deficit in August to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1951 National League pennant was not nearly so miraculous as has commonly been portrayed.

Truth be told, the secret was actually revealed in Joshua Prager’s 2006 book, The Echoing Green, and the author is interviewed for this documentary.  The irony is that the man who was most wronged, Branca, didn’t want to talk to Prager about it while the man who did the wrong, Thomson, treated the book as a confessional.

A must see for all baseball fans.

Daniela’s Picks for new Indie Flicks

Daniela’s Picks for new Indie Flicks in five minutes or less!

cover imagecover imageGritty, dark and controversial, Lars von Trier strikes a chord with his latest film, Nymphomaniac. Captured in two volumes, Nymphomaniac tells the wild and poetic story of Joe (Stacy Martin; Charlotte Gainsbourg), a hypersexual woman and her descent into a world of depravity. Along the way, she’ll make some heartbreaking choices that will threaten to destroy her and the people she loves. Be forewarned of graphic and disturbing content.

Palo AltoThe movie Palo Alto (and book by the same name) is the brainchild of actor, author and director James Franco. It tells the story of April (Emma Roberts), a sensitive, shy teenager, torn between her affections for her soccer coach Mr. B (James Franco), and Teddy, a sweet, but flakey stoner. The movie also weaves in the characters of Emily – a girl who’ll sleep with anyone who crosses her path – and Teddy’s friend Fred, a reckless class clown whose goofy attitude masks a troubled mind. The title is available via Hoopla. Register for free with your library card.

1389243572 photoKill Charlie Countryman is a quirky film about Charlie (Shia LaBeouf) and the biggest adventure of his life. When his mother passes away suddenly, Charlie speaks to her in a vision and she tells him to go to Bucharest. A strange and poignant turn of events on his flight will put him in the path of Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood), a beautiful Romanian beauty with a dark past.

cover imageThe Weekend follows a one-night-stand turned weekend-long romance between two young, but very different men. Both are surprised by the strong feelings they develop for one another. The Weekend is a truly refreshing glimpse into relationships, friendships and the bonds that tie us together.

Borrow all these titles and more at your local Vaughan Library.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

After watching a movie or television adaptation of a book, one can generally hear me grumbling about the book being “much better”.  But not always…One such worthy exception is the BBC/HBO television series I just finished watching based on Alexander McCall Smith’s book The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

American singer and spoken word artist Jill Scott is perfect as the series’ lead character, a relatively unknown actress who won the role over well-established actresses, including Oprah Winfrey and Queen Latifah.  Scott brings a subtle humour and keen intellect to her role as Precious Ramotswe, a resourceful woman who sets up the first “Ladies” detective agency in Botswana, Africa.  Together with her tightly wound but extremely clever secretary Grace Makutsi, Ms. Ramotswe solves cases one-by-one, from tracking down missing people to catching thieves and philandering husbands, no case is too small. 

The only thing wrong with this series is that it ended all too quickly with just a two-hour pilot and seven one-hour episodes.  The pilot was exceptionally well done, and it was no surprise to find out that it was directed by the late Anthony Minghella.  If you want to read and discuss the book as well, feel free to join the Maple Book Club on Thursday, September 4th at 7pm.