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Notes from the back row

Give thanks for friends and staying alive



"As you get older it gets harder and harder to make friends."

- Hard Core Logo

First off, Hard Core Logo is one of the best flicks ever made in this country, or anywhere and it's the DVD of the week. A truer-than-truth Rock and Roll mockumentary with enough grit to wear your guitar-strumming fingers down to a bloody pulp and enough honest charm to make you want to chug Jack Daniels and ignore the pain.

Hard Core Logo stars always-excellent Canadians Callum Keith Rennie and Hugh Dillon and director Bruce McDonald, also Canadian, is a true cinematic master.

The second DVD of the week is PontyPool, McDonald's latest, a claustrophobic new take on zombie flicks where the ambling dead take over the town of Pontypool, Ontario.

Sticking with DVDs, nothing makes me happier than when a friend phones up and tips me off about something like 2008's The Feast 3: The Happy Finish (which picks up right where The Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds left off). The Feast 3 is a total niche-horror flick. Meaning it is for the small percentile of the population who think it's awesome to watch a monster stab a dude through the chest with its giant cock and then laugh as its giant balls hit the camera lens when it ambles off. This is a movie where trying to stay alive is about as far as the plot bothers going and having an exposed chest counts as characterization.

They say a friend will help you move but a true friend will help you move a body. If so, the girls of Sorority Row know about friendship. It's a staple in their charter, along with sisterhood, honour and trust. All that goes out the window of course when a silly prank goes horribly wrong and they end up accidentally killing one of their panty-partying sisters and tossing her corpse down a well. A year later, at graduation of course, something starts killing the girls off one by one.

Forget the fact that the plot sounds pretty much the same as I Know What You Did Last Summer but with all chicks (an improvement) or that the inciting incident was lifted from Jawbreaker (anyone remember that Rose McGowan treat?) This remake, er... reimagining, of 1983's The House on Sorority Hill certainly promises nothing new. But if someone's killing sassy little sorority girls and Carrie Fisher is the housemother do you even care? I don't.

Also opening this week, Whiteout , starring Kate Beckinsale as a cop sent to an Antarctic colony to investigate that continent's first murder. Sounds stupid as eating Cheerios with a fork but at least it's R-rated (but only for minimal nudity, sorry Beckinsale fans) and director Dom Sena is fairly capable, having made Kalifornia and the Gone in 60 Seconds remake with Angelina. Working with Angelina makes everyone better but expect Whiteout to be a run of the mill thriller and little more.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, The Hurt Locker finally opens in Whistler. Directed by Katherine Bigelow ( Piont Break) it's about military bomb squads in Iraq and is riveting - one of the best movies of the summer. Go see it and take a friend because damn straight, it does get harder to make friends as you get older and you're only as good as the company you keep. Thanksgiving ain't for a month but it's always a good time to be thankful for the friends you have.

Speaking of being thankful, Jennifer's Body opens next week starring Megan Fox. Me and my friends are all about her.



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