Cara Gee (Drummer) is Hazel James in BIRDLAND, the story of ex-cop Sheila Hood (Kathleen Munroe), who hides cameras in her home to observe her ornithologist husband’s affair with Hazel’s older sister Merle (Melanie Scrofano). When Merle falls to her death from a bridge and another of her lovers, Ray Starling (Joris Jarsky), is found dead in his own hotel, Hood is pulled into a dark world of corruption, sex and death and her surveillance footage forms the backbone of a police investigation that threatens to incriminate her and destroy her marriage. Directed by Peter Lynch (who Norm Wilner of Toronto’s NOW Magazine once said was “a director fascinated by obsessive outsiders”), BIRDLAND will be released on VOD in both Canada and the US on 26 January (Amazon, Google, Xbox, and iTunes). It will begin showing at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto on 26 January as well. Continue reading →
THE EXPANSE – Season 2 Episode 8 – SPOILERS
Amos has apparently acquired a new purpose in life, that being to locate Lydia Maalouf, the woman who cared for him after his mother died. He attacks Alex over his inattention to his family on Mars, and expresses approval of Prax’s return to Ganymede to find his daughter. Family has suddenly become very important to him. (This shift in motivation for Amos, even if puzzling, is a good thing, and it is reinforced by the addition of a new character, Prax, who is on a similar quest. A search for lost family members is much more compelling than the pursuit of phantom conspiracies.)
Prax the Botanist wakes up on a freighter with many other refugees from Ganymede, and finds out that his daughter, Mei, is not with him on the ship. He encounters a friend named Doris (Grace Lynn Kung) and explains to her that his daughter was visiting her pediatrician when the dome was breached. Doris tells him that the part of the dome where Dr. Strickland had his office was destroyed.
Doris offers Prax a bit of hope for the future when she persuades him to come with her to Mars and start over, and Prax decides at the last minute to go with her. It is announced that all refugees going to either Mars or Earth will be transferred to another ship, but, though he tries, Ganymede native Prax can’t pass for a Martian and is prevented from entering the airlock. Then, in what is certainly the most memorable and tragic scene of the series thus far, he watches as Doris and her fellow Inners are unceremoniously and graphically spaced. “Inners wreck Ganymede,” says the crewman operating the airlock. “Belter life first from now on. You lucky, beltalowda.”
Much to Naomi’s relief, Cortazar was talking to protomolecule on Ganymede, and not the sample that she has hidden among the asteroids. She and Holden come to believe that Dr. Strickland, Mei’s pediatrician, is involved with that, and that Mei is also connected because Strickland moved the girl to safety before the attack. Prax comes aboard The Rocinante to help Holden find Strickland, and to search for his daughter.
Later in the episode, a bunch of rebellious Belters on Tycho, inspired by Dawes’ rhetoric, attempt a takeover of the station so they can launch Fred Johnson’s stolen missiles back at Earth, just to stir up trouble. The rebels are subdued through oxygen deprivation. Drummer, who has been shot in the attempted coup, pauses on her way to the infirmary to calmly execute two of the rebels.
Belters are a murderous lot, and one wonders if prolonged exposure to not enough gravity and/or too much radiation might be responsible for that. Martians are exposed to similar environmental conditions, and seem to use military discipline to control their homicidal tendencies. Prax seems quite normal and that could be because he spent his entire life on Ganymede in structures that shielded him (and the plants he was working with) from radiation.
Holden, an Earther who has spent perhaps too much time in space, reveals to Naomi that on the night when Cortazar was kidnapped, he was on his way to the scientist’s cell to kill him. Naomi points out to Holden that he is “not a murderer”, a questionable assertion after his destruction of the medical ship in episode 2.4.
THE EXPANSE has been renewed by SyFy for a third season.
— 12 Monkeys Jes (@eurasianjes) March 16, 2017
Grace Lynn Kung is a “hard-edged” character named Claire in CULT OF CHUCKY, the seventh Chucky film, which stars Fiona Dourif and Jennifer Tilly. The story finds Nica Pierce (Dourif) confined to an asylum and convinced that it was she, not Chucky, who killed her family. Then her psychiatrist introduces her to a “good guy doll” to help with her therapy, and a string of grisly deaths begin at the facility. Filmed in Winnipeg, CULT OF CHUCKY will be released in the US on 20 October. — Kung will also be Mae Yoshida in episode 1.15 of DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, which is due to air on ABC 5 April at 10pm.
Terry Chen appears as a Chinese politico in xXx: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE, the third Triple X movie, in which Cage (Vin Diesel) comes out of self-imposed retirement to recover a mysterious weapon known as Pandora’s Box. (Diesel opted out of the second film in the franchise and Cage was replaced by Darius Stone.) Parts of the movie were filmed in Toronto, and among Toronto locations shown are Balzac’s Coffee Shop on Market Street, and the Walmer Road Baptist Church. THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE was released last January, and is currently playing in US theatres.
THE EXPANSE – Season 2 Epiaode 7 – SPOILERS
Cortazar, the last remaining mad scientist, has been stolen. Anderson Dawes did the kidnapping, believing Cortazar to be Fred Johnson’s secret weapon. The scientist had been conversing with the sample of protomolecule that Naomi was supposed to have destroyed, but didn’t. (Or he could have been conversing with whatever protomolecule remains on Venus. We have no idea of its telepathic range.) Cortazar might lead Dawes to the hidden sample, and Naomi is clearly worried about that, but can’t say anything. What this does tell us is that, whomever Naomi is working with, it is not Dawes.
Upset because he inadvertently frightened a young person, Amos (Wes Chatham) visits Cortazar and asks about the methods that were used to modify his brain. The scientist tells Amos he can perform the procedure, and could make Amos just as lacking in empathy as himself. It was a bit of a surprise that Amos, whose response to most situations seems to involve calculated violence, should be considering a procedure that would make him less considerate of the plight of others. We don’t know if Amos took Cortazar up on his offer.
Bobbi Draper is the only witness to what happened on Ganymede. She is interrogated by her superiors (played by Clé Bennet and Peter Outerbridge) and tells them that there were six UN troops being chased by a seventh man (hence the episode’s title). The UN troops were running toward Draper’s platoon, but they were firing at the man chasing them. She also tells them that the seventh man (Elias Toufexis) was not wearing a vac suit.
If the UN troops were firing at the seventh man, who was it that killed the other members of Draper’s platoon? If it was the seventh man, why would he try to assist the wounded Draper?
After the Ganymede Incident, peace talks are to be held on Earth. Draper is summoned to those talks to testify about Ganymede. Her superiors convey to her in an unsubtle way that she should mention neither the seventh man, nor the drone that she (and apparently no one else) saw. It seems clear that the Martians already knew about the guy without a space suit, and that makes it very possible that elements of the Martian military are working with Jules-Pierre Mao.
Fred Johnson arranges for Anderson Dawes (the political boss on Ceres) to represent The Belt at the peace talks. We learn about some cultural differences between Belters and Inners (Earthers and Martians) from Dawes. “The Inners are not like us,” he says. “Earthers cannot look upon a thing but wonder who it belongs to, huh? To make it their possession. ‘Possession is nine/tenths of the law,’ they say. But that is not the way of the belt. We say,
‘The more you share, the more your bowl will be plentiful.'”
Are factions of Martian military fighting each other? Just who was it that attacked Ganymede? Did Amos have his temporal lobe altered? What about that ship Earth is sending to Venus? When will it get there? Whatever happened to The Nauvoo? Has someone gone after it? In the next episode, Bobbi Draper will go to the peace talks on Earth. What will she say?
A news bulletin describes the destruction on Ganymede, saying that an orbital mirror was hit by fire from UNN and MCRN forces (we saw this last episode) and “crashed into the station and several ag domes”. If a mirror is in orbit and one throws a rock at it, and it breaks, the pieces will still retain orbital velocity. Some of the pieces will absorb energy from the thrown rock, and be sent on trajectories away from the mirror’s original location, but they should not lose much speed. So why would the mirror (or significant bits of it) crash into the ag domes on the surface?
Alex Frankson (Armoury Tech) will be The Bear O’Hare, a mob enforcer, in CRIMSON NOIR, the story of Crimson DeWitt, a disgraced, alcoholic ex-cop turned Private Detective who has been traumatized and disillusioned by the death of her partner. When Crimson takes a case for a woman in distress, she does not count on being drawn into a no-holds-barred mob war. Samantha Fall, who plays DeWitt, tweeted last 26 November: “Got to see the finished @CrimsonNoirFilm! Crazy to see it polished, it was way good! Big ups and congrats to director @RobinCareless” No release date has yet been announced.
— Cara Gee (@CaraGeeeee) March 8, 2017
Jared Harris (Anderson Dawes) will be Francis Crozier (who took command of the Royal Navy’s Northwest Passage Expedition after Franklin’s death) in THE TERROR, a film based on Dan Simmons’ 2007 novel of the same name about the 168-year-old mystery of the Royal Navy’s HMS Terror. (The mystery has been solved. Last September, an Arctic Research Foundation team located the lost ship of Sir John Franklin in pristine condition at the bottom of an Arctic bay.) Simmons’ novel is set in 1847 (the year of Franklin’s death) and it has the Royal Navy Expedition crew being attacked by a mysterious predator that stalks the ships in a suspenseful and desperate game of survival. The ten episode drama is expected to premiere on AMC later this year.
Jane Moffat (Ceres brothel madam in Season One) will be Kelly’s Mom in the horror film THE SOUND, which stars Rose McGowan as Kelly, a specialist in acoustic physics who uses low frequency tactile sound-waves to debunk reported paranormal activities. Kelly sets off to uncover the truth behind an apparent hoax involving a 40-year-old unexplained suicide, and her investigation takes her deep into an abandoned subway station. As Kelly descends into the metro’s darkness she is confronted by an unforeseen evil. THE SOUND, originally titled “Lower Bay”, was written and directed by Jenna Mattison. A trailer is available on Vimeo.