Well, we’ve got another federal election upon us. We started with a Liberal minority, and it looks like we will, again, get another Liberal minority. But, until the votes are counted that becomes a certainty, we’re going to be faced with a few more weeks of TV ads where the Liberals defend their record, and everyone else attacks the Liberals. It’s enough to drive a man batty. It makes one long for the good old days of the Rhino party.
Continue reading Where Have All the Rhinos Gone?
If there’s one thing you should know about me by now, it’s that I love the movies of Pixar. I think that they are some of the funniest and well-thought-out computer animated films out there. So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I feel rather concerned when I watch the trailers for their next film, Cars. It’s the latest one from John Lassetter, the Pixar genius who gave us both Toy Stories and A Bug’s Life. In fact, it’s his first time in the big chair since Toy Story 2. What gives me cause for concern is that, in the trailer, most of the jokes seem to be falling flat. It’s not quite popping like other Pixar films. This, invariably, leads to heated debates as to whether this will be Pixar’s worst film. And, there’s something that always comes up in these debates that upsets me.
Continue reading Hey! It Doesn’t Suck!
As we all know, there won’t be any new Star Trek movies. At least for a while. But, when Nemesis was about to hit theatres, and there was all kinds of coverage, I did happen to read an interview with Nemesis co-writers John Logan and Brent Spiner. They mentioned that, yes, they had a bit of a concept as to where to go for the eleventh film. Logan mentioned that the idea they had involved a concept that had been much rumoured by the fans: a movie with an “all star team;” a crew consisting of characters from The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Spiner added his two cents by saying, “It would be the Justice League of Star Trek.” So that just got me thinking. If I were to create my “Star Trek All-Star Crew,” who would it be?
Continue reading The Justice League of Star Trek
One of my father’s favourite movies is National Lampoon’s Vacation. There’s a scene in the film that my father loved to emulate on every vacation we took when we were kids. In the film, there’s Chevy Chase and his family driving down the highway to the fabled WallyWorld. Chase points out the window and says, “Hey kids, look! A deer!” The kids look out the window, awestruck at the wildlife. Chase then asks, “Did everyone see it?” The kids all say yes, and Chase pulls this clipboard off the dashboard. On the clipboard is a sheet of paper labelled “Family Vacation Checklist.” He goes down the list and checks off “see deer.” That just always made my father laugh.
Continue reading Tourism
On the short list of craziest things I’d ever done in my life, this certainly ranked in the top 5. But then, insanity is a relative thing when you’ve led my life. The past few months have been spent in a room, in the basement, staring at the ceiling and wondering why no one is calling me. Lord knows I’ve sent out enough resumes and demo tapes. I’ve had my fair share of interviews, only to be told that the company decided to go in another direction. I’ve given up on doing those follow-up phone calls where you ask the interviewer why you didn’t get the job and ask for tips on improvement, if only because I was getting no real information, just inspirational bullshit: “Oh, it wasn’t you, it’s us. Your stuff is real good, just keep with it and someone will hire you eventually!” My breaking point was coming soon. And when I break, I usually do it in a large public format, thus causing maximum embarrassment.
Continue reading Lineman
I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Entwistle School lately. You know, skulking in the hallways, scaring the children, stuff like that. I’m kidding! About six months ago, the Entwistle Public Library was consolidated with the Entwistle School Library, thus moving the library into the school. This has many benefits over the old library. The Entwistle Public Library used to be open really odd hours: 6-8 on Wednesday night and 10-12 on Saturday morning. That was it. But now, it’s open whenever the school’s open! Plus, no offence to the little old ladies who used to run the Entwistle Library, but now that it’s in the school, we have a real, competent librarian working…one who knows how to order in good books from the bigger libraries. And, since these were the kind of changes I’d been lobbying for over the past decade or so, I figured it was time to start supporting my local library again.
Continue reading Red, Blue, Green, Gold
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m sure that, this is a lot closer to what my friend expected when he wanted me to write an article about why I thought Batman was cool.
The year was 1990. Hollywood was expecting that there’d be this explosion of comic book movies, with Batman having been the big hit the year before. But, it didn’t quite explode…it just kind of fizzled. It was enough, though, to produce the TV show I was sitting down to watch. At the end of the 2-hour pilot, I was completely in love. The show lasted only one year, but I was able to catch every episode of The Flash.
Continue reading The Fastest Man Alive
I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I love animation. I have a particular fondness for computer animation. Think about it: this is probably the newest moviemaking medium. This is a medium that we’ve been able to watch grow and evolve over the past few years. And then, I saw that Disney was releasing a special 10th anniversary edition of Toy Story. Wow! It was 10 years ago that Toy Story hit theatres and it was marveled as a technical achievement. That means this medium is 10 years old. So, I just wanted to sit down, note how far we’ve come, point out certain developments that have been made, and try to ponder where it’s going.
Continue reading CGI Scorecard
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I feel like pointing out that the whole genesis of this column came about when my best friend suggested I should do more pop-culture analysis. “I’d love to see you write one about why you think Batman’s so cool,” he said. So, for this deep, dark trip into personal nether-regions of my mind, you can blame him.
He’s been one of the most enduring superheroes of the past 60 years. He’s been a dark avenger of the night, a bright, cheerful hero of the Silver Age, and a gross parody of the genre. He is vengeance. He is the night. He is the Batman. And he is perhaps the one superhero I love the most. But how did I reach this point? How did I arrive at the place where, at the ripe old age of 28, I still collect the trade paperbacks and read them cover to cover? I suppose it all started way back in the summer of 1989….
Continue reading The Dark Knight Strikes
Granted, in Canadian pop culture, there’s very little that we have to call our own. We’ve got very little in the way of our own TV industry, film industry, and music industry. As for a fast food industry, though, there’s one thing that rises above it all. There’s one nationwide restaurant we all look to and claim as our own. At least, I think that’s why Tim Horton’s has gotten so freakin’ popular in recent years.
Continue reading Timmy’s