Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

SCROOGED

ImageThis progressive, uproarious retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is arguably one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Only downside, to show how much Christmas is being exploited they kind of had to exploit Christmas. Awkward.
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Bill Murray is hysterical, hilarious perfection as Frank Cross/Scrooge, a ruthless, jaded TV programming exec who has lost the most valuable things on his way to the top: love, family, and joy.

As he struggles to produce a-wacked-out-makes-no-sense-at-all-conmercialized live version of A Christmas Carol, his life imitates art and he’s visited by his decaying mentor and 3 ghosts with issues, a guy who’s gunning for his job and a guy gunning for him.Image

It’s a wild ride until Murray sees the error of his ways and Puts A Little Love in His Heart. Come on, it’s Bill Murray and Christmaschristmas34

Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

P.S. I LOVE YOU

psilu8I liked the movie better than the book despite the change in locations. I don’t say that too often.

Maybe it was Harry Connick Jr. I’ll blame him. No, I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean it.psilu6I found the characters in the book didn’t give me what I wanted or maybe I was expecting too much. It is a great read, just not fantastic.

As romcoms go, it has more to offer than many. It offers loss, grief, sorrow, change, renewal, love, and hope with small storms of laughter. And the lesson of going on when you’re ready to go on, how you’re ready to go on, after any kind of loss.psilu2

Oh and there was Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Gerard Butler and James Marsters

Sorry book, I probably should have read you before I saw the movie. My bad.psilu4Love isn’t replaced, only added to.

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

MR. BEAN

mrb7Mr. Bean?  Goofy human, man-child, alien or just well, best not to think about it too much.  As long as he wears a turkey on his head, who cares?

Way too many hilarious moments to even try to discuss…you either really love Mr. Bean or you just don’t get it. mrb1

mrb3I’m just glad he’s not driving near me or swimming in the same pool…

Posted in Fibromyalgia, Uncategorized

F is For Fibromyalgia

There is nothing in this world like someone who believes in you, who’s there for you and who understands maybe you’re not always 100%, but you’re doing you’re best. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a social networking friend…hopefully you can be there for them too.

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Illness is frustrating. In the case of Fibromyalgia the symptoms are numerous and strange, but people’s reactions to it are even stranger.

1. The Doubters    They doubt you have it, many doubt it even exists. Some tell you outright, others say things like, you look good with an arched brow or you don’t look sick. Or the classics like: everyone gets tired…you are getting older…Snap out of it…and the ultimate, there are people much worse off than you. Thanks, it makes me feel so much better to know there are people suffering, cheers me right up. Huh?

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2. The ItsGoners     If you don’t look like you’re on Death’s door they decide you’re fine. If they see you and you don’t look good or are having a flare or mention you’re not feeling well, they say things like you looked good last time I saw you so I thought you were better. It’s not a cold, it doesn’t just good away (I wish).

3. The TryHarders    These folks love to fix everything by giving you a rousing lecture on what you could be doing (as if you haven’t tried everything short of a Witch Doctor or alien crystals) or explaining what you’re doing wrong. Always good to get advice from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about. Maybe if you go out more…I thought you were stronger than that…pull yourself together…fibromyalgia16

4. The Renouncers     They just completely ignore that you’re ill or even ignore you. You get no empathy or support, just stories of their busy life, or their difficult life, etc. Even when you try to do something they’re never there to support you, but they sure get upset if you’re not there to support them.

5. The Carers   A rare breed. They have empathy for your illness, not sympathy. They realize that you’re doing your best and are there for you in the way you need.

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Pick an illness, or a life challenge, hopefully you have some #5s in your life and hope you can be a #5 to someone else.

Posted in Televison, Uncategorized

BLACKADDER

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I refuse to believe Blackadder was 30 years ago due to the insinuations, age wise and all. Yet there it is. Loved this show. Laughed so much it actually physically ached. Was also watching lots of Monty Python at the time. I place my very deep laugh lines squarely on the Brits, too witty.

The Blackadders (all played by the rubbery brilliant Rowan Atkinson) appear to be cursed. Possibly due to their horrible asinine unscrupulicity and their continued association with the dim-witted Baldricks, servants all played with sinister simplicity by Tony Robinson.

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I don’t think they ever really explained how either line propagated because they always seemed to be single with no progeny. Perhaps it’s best not to blackadder6know.

I’m always torn between Blackadder II and III as my favourites. The rest are hilarious, but there’s something special about II and III. Love the chemistry between Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, also seen in their Bit of Fry and Laurie stuff and then Jeeves and Wooster.

Hugh Laurie as the Prince Regent is still one of my all time fav parts for anyone in a comedy. I look at him and think, socks.

Blackadder even  tackled Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and transformed it as only they could.

Blackadder: Back and Forth, the 2000 special was a little forced, but had lots of funny bits, even punching Colin Firth as William Shakespeare.

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The unique blend of ribald and clever make Blackadder worth the deep laugh lines.

Posted in Environment, Political, Uncategorized

An Apology to Elephants

ele2Keep a box or two of tissues close by for this one. This HBO doc will make an excellent effort to yank your heart out. If this doesn’t make people understand why having animals in captivity is wrong I’m not sure what will.

I get that people think it’s fun and interesting, even educational to see sharks or killer whales in an aquarium; lions, monkeys or giraffes at a zoo; watching elephants, tigers, etc. perform in circuses or on stage. But it’s not the natural order. They should stay in their own environment living their own life.

ele3Would you be ok with someone picking up your child, shipping them half way around the world to live their life in a cage?

How about if you’re on your way to the store to buy dinner and you’re captured, shipped off then stabbed and poked and hit with sticks, etc. so you’ll perform in front of a crowd?

It’s more natural to eat animals than keep them prisoner.

Think about it, animals don’t capture us and keep us locked up, performing for their amusement.

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“We do what we know, when we know better, we do better.”~Maya Angelou

Posted in Movies, Uncategorized

INCEPTION

As interesting and bizarre as Inception was at times I had a feeling I wanted something more. But I wasn’t sure what more was exactly.

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Certainly not the cast, they were amazing.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine, all in one movie, wow.

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Despite some flaws, issues with paradox, etc. this was a highly entertaining sci-fi, pseudo film noir journey into conceivably the future of corporate espionage.

Beyond writing, directing, and co-producing Inception, Christopher Nolan also recycled a lot of the cast in and from his Dark Knight Trilogy, which I have no objection to…really…really.

It was rumoured that the performers’ contracts featured a sequel clause, whether or not this is true, I hope it never happens. I don’t want tincept2o know what really happened. I have my theory. Millions of people have their theories. Let the Cobb conundrum rest.

Posted in Movies, Music, Televison, Uncategorized

Pump Up The Volume

pump6Pump Up The Volume explains why adults can’t seem find a way to stop teen bullying, self-esteem issues, suicide, etc. They don’t listen.

Instead, they spend so much time, money, and energy trying to control the situation, create laws, studies, ‘make-work’ projects about bullying that are either a joke or cause more bullying, and wringing their hands saying, why oh why…

Seems we’d rather place teddy bears and flowers, post pictures and hold candlelight vigils than fix the problem. Kind of symptomatic of the problem really, wasting yet more money, time and energy on symbolic gestures when people could be actually helping others.

Teens are worried. They have eyes, they have ears. They can see they’re living in a broken world, that we’re leaving them a broken world. They want some real hope, not just a slogan about it.

Teens (and many adults) are tired. Tired of the lies, scams, hypocrisy, scandals, cover-ups, pretending to care, destroying of their world by those that put power and profit ahead of humans. Adults complain that teenagers don’t respect them. Look around, would you?

Ever wonder why everpump5yone is so obsessive? About: cars, sex, celebrities, toys, religion, exercise, video games, junk food, fast food, TV shows, decorating, news, alcohol, politics, Christmas and other holidays, drugs, fashion, cigarettes, work, crafts, gambling, consumerism, cooking, movies, cell phones, reality shows, weight, shopping, technology, the past, the future, music, well, just about everything?

Everyone is looking for something to cling onto, something to believe in, a way to feel. Teens defy because they want someone to acknowledge their pain and reassure them they have a future.

Is this a great film? Yes and no. The concept is fantastic, the frustration genuine. Christian Slater has to crash his way through some very sludgy, boring bits, nonetheless handing over that apathetic, frenetic amalgamation that does it every time.  Of course, Samantha Mathis is great, as always.

pumpup3Watch this recognizing we haven’t fixed the problems…doesn’t mean we can’t. And enjoy the music, it saves the day. Talk hard.

Posted in Books, Family, Movies, Uncategorized

THE BOOK THIEF

bookt1To be honest, I picked The Book Thief by Markus Zusak because as a book addict I found the title intriguing.

Not the light read I had hoped for that day, with the exception of a few oddly funny moments provided by the Narrator, Death. I can see why it’s been on The New York Times Best Seller list for close to 300 weeks.

I’m guardedly optimistic that the film adaptation, with the talents of Brian Perceival (Downton Abbey, North and South, The Ruby in the Smoke, The Old Curiosity Shop, Shakespeare Retold), Michael Petroni (Till Human Voices Wake Us), Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shine, Munich, Shakespeare in Love), Emily Watson (War Horse, Gosford Park), will do this book credit.

Germany, World War II. Liesel, a young Jewish girl whose blonde hair helps her ‘pass’ calls herself, The Book Thief. Splayed among the everyday life with her foster parents are tormenting nightmares of her mother and dead brother, unexpected kindness by some, evil of others, and the looming authority of an excessively engaged Narrator.bookt2

Finishing the book, I sat for several minutes, waiting. I didn’t know for what. Only that I felt I shouldn’t just move on, not to another book or chore or activity. I needed to be in that place.

Then the pure horror and joy assailed me. It has all happened many times before and it will happen again. Humans going after humans, various reasons in various ways. People helping and standing up for others, even when it’s dangerous to do so. We are a drumming paradox stroking and punching through time, an echo of who we should be and are.

I have to agree with Death, “I am haunted by humans”. bookt5

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

JUST ONE MORE THING…COLUMBO

columbo1I loved this show as a child. I waited for that moment when the rumpled, allegedly forgetful detective turned back to the suspect who thought they’d gotten away with it. Columbo would say something like: “Just one more thing” or “There’s something that bothers me” or “Just one more question” or “Just a few loose ends to tie up”. Then you knew and the suspect knew, they were caught. The classic false exit ending.

Columbo was one of the best inverted detective format shows ever. No whodunit. You knew who did it, in fact many times in Columbo we saw not only who did it, but how they did it. The problem was proving they did it. Catching them.

Columbo was on from 1968-2003 (with some time off here and there). Well-known for his crummy looking trench coat, his meandering, overly chatty style and his keen eye for detail, he was unusual and fun to watch.

In between telling the suspects personal details, some of which were actually true, asking them how much they paid for their shoes, asking about things for his wife (anyone remember the best-forgotten spinoff Mrs. Columbo starring Kate Mulgrew?), looking around their homes, cars, etc. he always found the clues that caught the bad guys.

Peter Falk wasn’t the only actor to play Columbo, but he was certainly the favourite. His seemingly absent-minded portrayal of Lt. Frank Columbo was brilliant and unforgettable.

I loved Peter Falk in so many things, especially Murder By Death, The Princess Bride, and the trilogy of Christmas movies where he played a quirky angel named Max, but for me and most people he will forever be Columbo.

Oh, uh, just one more thing…columbo2

Posted in Televison, Uncategorized

Republic of Doyle

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Newfoundland Rockford Files, but that’s not a bad thing.

Massive and awesome Canadian talent.

Hot guy, cool car.

Mayhem, adventures, chaos, drama, comedy, running, stunning scenery, romance, intrigue, and they find many opportunities to have Allan Hawco take off his shirt, thank you.

Posted in Canada, Family, Holidays, Poetry, Uncategorized

Lest We Forget

remem1Soldiers fought for their families, friends, and countries. Democracy has been won in many other ways as well, but agree or disagree, their sacrifice is amazing.

Soldiers left their homes, their families and friends and they went to war. Some didn’t agree. Many didn’t understand. Most didn’t want to go. Most were scared.

All came back changed if they came back at all. Some were physically altered, some mentally. But they all gave something of themselves to keep our country free.

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Veterans should be treated with dignity and respect. Given help, support, work, and should never be discharged just before they’re about to receive their pensions.

As for the white poppies, they’ve been around in one form or another for over 80 years. I love that they stand for peace. I just disagree with giving them out around Remembrance Day. That time is the for those who fought. You don’t have to agree, but what’s done is done. Give them out some other time.

So next time you see a veteran, buy a poppy, buy a few for family and friends and remember, they fought so you could be free. Whether or not you agree with war, this is a time for respect.

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Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Heathers

As dark satire goes, Heathers is in a league all its own. Easily dismissed as a teen angst flick, its depths are much darker and deeper.

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Heathers is about how easily you can fall and still think you’re standing.

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“You were nothing before you met me. You were playing Barbies with Betty Finn. You were a Bluebird. You were a Brownie. You were a Girl Scout Cookie.”~Heather Chandler

This sinister comedy spotlights issues of bullying, teen suicide, and the dangers of peer pressure.

Underlying theme? How completely self-absorbed people can be. How spoiled and narcissistic. Where they see their own world and issues, but have no wider vision of how other people are feeling, or suffering, or what they need.

Slater and Ryder are beyond compare and repair.

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Severe, jagged, funny, pathetic, edgy.

Hard to believe it’s been 25 years.

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

cf9Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn’t been said thousands of times and ways?
And if we’re going to involve the movies or TV series made of this novel that’s wow, just wow.
P & P is warm fudge topping over heavenly hash ice cream.
It is a kitten’s purr.
Silk on your skin.
A musical piece that caresses your soul.
It is all that the blarry, scratchy, low-manners modern world isn’t.
It is perfection that one can visit and relax. It is tea.
Tea with fresh crumpets.
Tea with fresh crumpets and jam.

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

AIRPLANE!

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My go-to movie for laughs. Airplane! is slapstick, absurdity, puns, and gags.

Parodying the disaster film genre so popular in the 1950s thru the 1970s, I’d recommend you watch 1957’s Zero Hour! to understand where this was spawned.

The actors, many of whom were well-known for serious parts before being corrupted to this madness, such as Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen really make this film.

Airplane! is palpably predictable, idyllically immature, feverishly foolish, cheese on top of corn topped with cheese, but that’s what makes it perfect. It’s so wrong it’s right.

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I’m proud (maybe that’s too strong a word) to say at one point I could literally recite this movie word for word.

Surely I can’t be serious? Yes, I am serious and stop calling me Shirley. airplane5

Airplane II: The Sequel had a sci-fi twist and William Shatner so I was already happy. Most of the cast came back, but not the writers & directors. So, maybe it didn’t have the same shine as the first, but I think it still had some hilarious moments.

Watch movie, laugh, repeat.

Watch movie, laugh, repeat.

Watch movie, laugh, repeat.airplane6

Posted in Canada, Christmas, Uncategorized, Zombies

Christmas Comes After Remembrance Day

ImageRemembrance Day and Veterans Day are about honouring those who fought for their countries, for others.

You don’t have to agree with war or the reasons for it to remember those that fought and those that died.

I’m saddened and disappointed to see stores, malls, and streets decorated for Christmas before Remembrance Day has been respected.

The commercialism of Christmas is bad enough, but this is rude and disrespectful.

In Tacky Stores

In stores Christmas decorations flow
between the candy canes, row on row,
With disrespect to soldiers gone
Christmas cheer doth early don
Cries scarce heard amid the carols blow.

They are the Shoppers. Short days ago
Was Halloween and now before the snow,
Bought and were bought, and now they shop
In Tacky Stores.

Take up the quarrel with the stores:
Pushing Christmas tackiness galores
The dignity of those we’ve lost.
If ye break faith and ignore the cost
If Christmas before Remembrance tore
In Tacky Stores.poppy2

With all due respect to John McCrae and all those who fought, were wounded, and died in service to their countries.

Christmas comes after Remembrance Day.

 

Posted in Televison, Uncategorized

DEADWOOD

deadwood1Really? That was it? You get us all worked up, we’re right on the edge and then, what, leave?

Deadwood was an almost too good to be true show.
Grit piled on top of edge slithering into crass hobbled up to clench.
deadwood5The cast, headed by Timothy Olyphant, wait, let us just pause here for a moment of adoration…sigh, what was I writing?

Oh yeah, this cast was corker, simply one of the best ever assembled. And Ian McShane is so glorious I think he could just show up and any program gets a bang.deadwood4

Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, George Crook, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Jack McCall and George Hearst were based on actual historical figures, fleshed out by using diaries and newspapers from the 1870s Deadwood. Of course, artistic license was taken, but it’s still fascinating.

Interwoven are themes ranging from Capitalism, morality, racism, sexism, sex, crime, formation of communities, law, order, and food supplies including canned peaches and what was fed to the pigs.

deadwood6Deadwood was filthy, in visual and audio. Granted, the somewhat cruder language was an anachronism; if they’d used real minerspeak they would’ve sounded more like Yosemite Sam, quite funny, but a detraction from the drama. Still, I doubt any of it would have been too clean.

Come on, one movie, you owe us that.