Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

Iron Man

iron12I’ll start with a confession. I take my son to movies like Iron Man, but I probably enjoy them just as much as him, perhaps more. But it’s a fun thing to share.

Iron Man is an unlikely andiron3 astonishing superhero. He technically starts out bad, inventing and producing weapons that kill people. When injured he’s forced to start using his genius and ingenuity to save himself and others rather than destroy, but he doesn’t become a perfect hero by any stretch of the imagination.

Almost invincible on the outside, hard and defended, on the inside a wounded man-child, who struggles with addiction and his inner demons, which is probably why Robert Downey Jr. is so effective in the role.

Iron Man was originally created by the astonishing Stan Lee; developed by scripter Larry Lieber; cover-artist and character-designer Jack Kirby; and story-artist Don Heck. Iron Man first appeared in March 1963 in Tales of Suspense #39. And Tony Stark/Iron Man has been on it ever since, well, except for the time he had to wipe his brain to keep Norman Osborn from gaining his information, but who hasn’t had days like that?iron5As much as I love the comics and some of his appearances in cartoons and video games, etc., bringing Iron Man to the big screen was a lovely treat. Everything it should be: intense, high-tech, dramatic, melodramatic, unrealistic edging on absurd and thanks to RDJ and Jon Favreau, hilarious.

Iron Man 2 not so much. It seemed to be struggling to find its direction and ultimately just wasn’t up to the first. It seemed more about the tech than the people.

They made up for it with Iron Man 3. It was grand. Loved Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin/Trevor Slattery.iron8Now the word is although RDJ will be back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, they’re thinking of replacing him with someone younger in the 4th Iron Man. What? Why? Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. I’m always amazed how bizarre studio thinking can be. We’ve got a money-machine franchise, let’s play with it by replacing one of the stars. Huh? They’re as annoying as Doctor Doom, maybe more so.iron11

So now just waiting for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

And for the Illuminati to show up.

iron9And Ms. Marvel.

And Arachne.

And Mockingbird.

So I guess just waiting.

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Posted in Books, Televison, Uncategorized

Before Game of Thrones…Gormenghast

gor2Getting antsy waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones to start? Missing the intrigue, passion, treachery, lies, horror, murder, lust, filth, fighting, and fantasy?

Tired of hearing Winter Is Coming when many have had enough of winter?

Then the 4-part BBC Gormenghast might be just the ticket to exotic destinations.

Before Game of Thrones there was Gormenghast. Adapted from the first 2 books in the trilogy by Mervyn Peake, this is a stunningly creepy and brilliant experience you’ll not soon forget.

Exceptional cast including:  Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Stephen Fry, Christopher Lee, Ian Richardson, Neve McIntosh, Richard Griffiths, Zoë Wanamaker, Spike Milligan, and more.

This twisted foray into fantasy will be a stark reminder – more is out there.

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Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

25 Ways To Stay Alive in a Horror Movie

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/1. When you hear a noise down a dark alley, or basement, up in the attic, in the woods, in the shadows, or a cemetery – don’t go to check it out or call out things like “Is anyone there?” or “Who’s there?”. You probably don’t want to know.

2. When confronted by a serial killer or zombie, etc. don’t try to come up with an overly elaborate Scooby-Doo-type plan to kill them. Run away.

3. If you’re in a good hiding space, don’t leave it right away or make a lot of noise. Shhh!

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/

4. Don’t depend on someone coming to rescue you, they usually get killed.

5. Don’t go all hero and decide you’re going to go and fight the serial killer, zombie, demon, etc. It rarely works and usually ends in death, dismemberment, maiming, or all of the above.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/6. Don’t check into a hotel or motel named:
Bates Motel, The Overlook, Motel Hell, or Pinewood Motel.
Stay off Elm Street, Hanging Hill Lane, or Lucifer Dr.
Don’t go to summer camp at Crystal Lake.
Don’t go to places with names like:
Satan’s Kingdom, Transylvania, Bloody Springs, Silent Hill, Helltown, Amityville, Monster, or Bad Axe (really, it’s scary, trust me, I know) and apparently all small towns in New England have an overabundance of spooky and bad things happening in them, go figure.

7. Not the time for heart-to-heart chats, true confessions, make-out sessions, or arguments – wait until the bad things are gone.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/

8. If  loved ones or companions start growling, hissing, have glowing eyes, misshapen features, sudden hairiness, a fascination with blood, this isn’t the time to practice tolerance – run!9. If you get invited to a spooky mansion for a party, don’t go, really, even if it seems cool, skip it.

10. If you see a book of spells or a book of the dead – don’t read aloud from it!

11. If you think you’ve killed a zombie, monster, serial killer, etc. don’t go closer to check if it’s really dead.

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12. Don’t solve puzzles that might open portals to Hell, or loose demons upon the world, bringing about the End of Days, etc. Stick to crosswords.13. Even if you’re really good at it, don’t play with recombinant DNA, actually, especially if you’re really good at it.

14. If you find a town that’s deserted, leave. Leave quickly. But first listen to the old crazy who tells you there’s a curse, or alien invasion, or possession – he’s the last one alive, he knows stuff.

15. Don’t borrow or steal from the dead. Don’t wake the dead. Don’t try to talk to the dead even if you think they might have helpful information. Don’t even think about them. Just don’t.

16. If plants and animals start behaving in an odd or aggressive manner, this is not the time for curiosity.

17. If your children, loved ones or friends start speaking to you in Latin, or ancient Babylonian, or some alien language it’s probably time to run, or get help, or run and get help.

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18. Don’t fall asleep (I got this one covered).19. Don’t try to figure things out or try to investigate. Also don’t go to the authorities, they’re probably already altered in some way, they won’t believe you, or you’ll get them killed.

20. If something is after you run or take a bus. I don’t care how reliable your car is, this time it won’t start or it will take you a long time to start it, or the cab driver will be possessed, or something really, really bad.

21. Even if you think your problems are over, you might want to wait to take a bath or shower.

22. If you find out your house is built on an old cemetery, ancient burial ground, where they use to perform rituals or sacrifices, or some other bad stuff, cut your losses, or get a really good supernatural real estate agent.

23. Always ask why a piece of real estate is so cheap and no one else wants it.

24. Whether you’re on an alien planet or Earth, stay away from: giant eggs, glowing things, ooze, furniture that moves on its own, scary clowns, TVs that lead to other worlds, hockey masks, machetes, chain saws, cabins in the woods, creatures, etc. And don’t wander around on your own or go looking for someone.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/

25. This is the most important one: good shoes. No heels, no slippery soles, no untied laces. You are going to be running. Yes, you still might fall as they chase you, but your odds are better if you have good shoes.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/20/25-ways-to-stay-alive-in-a-horror-movie/

Good luck…and don’t split up!

Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Beware the Ides of March

ides7This is another one we can blame on Shakespeare, that’s ok Will, I still love you.

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar the soothsayer tells Caesar to “beware the Ides of March”.  For some reason this caught on and people often celebrate March 15 so I guess they’re celebrating when Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate in 44 B.C.?

Here are some more commonly used phrases you may or may not have known came from Will S.

  • Hamlet: To thine own self be true. There’s method in my madness. Own flesh and blood. Neither a borrower nor a lender be – used in song on Gilligan’s Island when performing Shakespeare to get off the island, another great plan.
  • Julius Caesar: Itching palm – My Grandma always said if you had an itching palm you were going to get money, yes, most likely from her.  Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war – not a common phrase, but was used in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, so cool.
  • Romeo and Juliet: Wild-goose chase. Star-crossed lovers. What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
  • Macbeth: What’s done is done. A sorry sight.
  • Merchant of Venice: Love is blind. All that glitters/glisters is not gold. Bated breath. In the twinkling of an eye.
  • The Tempest:  In a pickle. Fair play. Such stuff as dreams are made on.
  • As You Like It: Too much of a good thing. Forever and a day. As you like it. Bag and baggage. Neither rhyme nor reason.
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor: A laughing stock . What the dickens – people often think this refers to Charles Dickens.
  • ides5Henry IV 1: Set your teeth on edge. Send him packing. The game is afoot – later make even more famous when used by Sherlock Holmes/Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • Henry IV 2:  Eaten out of house and home.
  • Henry VI 2: As dead as a doornail. Mum’s the word.
  • Henry V: Heart of gold.
  • Henry VIII: For goodness’ sake.
  • Othello: Neither here nor there. Jealousy is the green-eyed monster. I will wear my heart upon my sleeve. Vanish into thin air. Pomp and circumstance.
  • Taming of the Shrew: Kill with kindness. Cold comfortides4
  • Cymbeline: Not slept one wink
  • Troilus and Cressida: Good riddance
  • All’s Well That Ends Well: Obviously, the title.
  • King Lear: Full circle
  • King John: Play fast and loose . Cold comfort.
  • Twelfth Night: In stitches. Out of the jaws of death

Anyone have any more?

Strangely some phrases have had their meanings changed, the oddest one is “sweets to the sweet” (Hamlet) which is now seen as romantic, but was about death in the play.

A lot of great movies, plays, graphic novels, TV episodes, etc. about Julius Caesar, check a few out today.
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Posted in Televison, Uncategorized

Community

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This is probably the most underrated show on TV today, maybe ever. I really don’t know a lot of people who watch it. It stays on year after year so some must.

There are so many comunnity4amazing episodes of Community I don’t know if I could say there’s a best. Based on a group of people that apparently are going to go to community college longer than the passengers of The Minnow were stranded on an island, like every other TV show, movie, or book it’s really all about the friendships, relationships, and issues between the people.

There are some even more amazing than others if that’s possible: Cooperative Calligraphy, Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas, Modern Warfare, Intro To Knots, Anthropology 101, Analysis of Cork-Based Networking, A Fistful of Paintballs (Parts 1 & 2), Basic Human Anatomy, Comparative Religion, Conventions of Time and Space and of course, Pascal’s Triangle Revisited to name a few. App Development and Condiments with the Meow Meow Beenz test was so brilliant it almost hurt.

Amazing guest stars including: Betty White, John Oliver, Malcolm McDowell, Nathan Fillion, Taran Killam, Michael Ironside, Vince Gilligan, Chris Elliot, Tricia Helfer, Luke Perry, Jason Alexander, Luke Youngblood, French Stewart, Andy Dick, Giancarlo Esposito, John Goodman, LeVar Burton, Drew Carey, and Josh Holloway.

Who doesn’t wait to see what Abed (Danny Pudi) will say or do next? I don’t think they’ve ever specifically said he has Aspergers Syndrome, but it’s discussed and implied many times, kind of like Sheldon (Jim Parsons) from Big Bang Theory.

I miss Chevy Chase of course, always.

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And Ken Jeong (Chang) is mind-bending.community8This show is so clever in so many ways it’s almost incomprehensibly clever. The dialogue, the plots, it should be ridiculous instead it’s ridiculously hilarious and thought-provoking. It has a particular niche I suppose, after all, the meta-jokes don’t stop, and it’s essentially a walking pop culture reference, a vehicle to toy with TV and movies clichés and truisms. Not like a ton of other shows don’t use tropes, meta-humour, and pop culture references: Family Guy, America Dad, South Park, Friends, X-Filecommunity7s, M*A*S*H, 30 Rock, Seinfeld, Night Court, SNL, Lost, Once Upon A Time, Buffy, Revolution and so many more. It’s a tried and true method of connecting with viewers of various ages. The tricky part becomes the squandering or gorging of those tools. I think Community has a good balance.

Laden with stereotypes this show is all about the links that we find with others and how strong or tenuous those links can be.

So I guess you either think this is one of the best shows ever or you haven’t seen it yet.comunnity6

Posted in Autism, Books, Movies, Televison

Sherlock

holmes7Just the name is shiver-inducing.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless masterpiece continues to capture the imagination of millions worldwide and so the adaptations of the occupants of 221B Baker Street continue.

While I still have a soft spot for Basil Rathbone, my first Sherlock, I find room enough for Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

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Though the BBC series, Sherlock is darker and more true to Doyle’s vision of his Aspergerian detective who solves cases not because he cares as he feels compelled.

I enjoyed Monk with the truly amazing Tony Shalhoub which I always thought was a thinly-veiled Sherlock adaptation.

Also, House MD starring the incomparable Hugh Laurie in which Sherlock Holmes is portrayed as a doctor who detected.house1I also see some of Holmes in shows like Psych and The Mentalist. All characters are amazing detectives who appear to lack empathy and social skills yet end up helping people massively.holmes2

Other actors to have played Sherlock Holmes on screen, stage and radio include: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Peter O’Toole, Matt Frewer, Frank Langella, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Brent Spiner, Stewart Granger, John Gielgud, Peter Cook, Raymond Massey, John Barrymore, Harry Arthur Saintsbury, Leonard Nimoy, Jonathan Pryce, Jeremy Brett, Charlton Heston, Rupert Everett, James D’Arcy, Viggo Larson, Christopher Plummer, Larry the Cucumber, Orson Welles, and more.I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first three seasons of Sherlock (4th on the way) and am still enjoying Elementary on CBS.holmes5

So what is it that keeps so many of us returning to Sherlock Holmes over and over?
Is it the mystery?
The intrigue?
The clues?
The brilliance of his mind?
I think it’s all that and the friendship between Holmes and Watson and Mrs. Hudson.
As much as Sherlock can be annoying, he is also strangely endearing and we want to visit his exceptional, fascinating mind…just visit.holmes4

So whatever adaptation of Sherlock Holmes you enjoy, it’s lovely to see the game is still afoot after all these years.holmes6

Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

A Million Ways to Die in the West

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This is a light snack with a long title.

Not going to change the world, but it did brighten mine.

Found myself laughing out loud as I read this at the bookstore. Yes, that’s where I read this. As much as I enjoy MacFarlane’s work paying close to $30 for a book or almost $20 for an ebook (yes, I live in Canada where we have Universal Healthcare, but pay more for everything else) isn’t in my Broke and Obscure budget.

Adapted from the screenplay (written by Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild), this comical jawin’ ya to death of the Old West is chock-full of anachronisms and absurdity including, but not limited to: the fake fight scene; the prostitute girlfriend who won’t have sex (not with her boyfriend anyway) because she’s saving herself for marriage; a Parkinson‘s joke (just another way God mysteriously shows that he loves us); and the stick-hoop-games-will-ruin-the-youth bit.

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Had a few problems reading this book. My fault really, kept hearing Albert’s voice as Stewie and there was a cute guy all in black nearby reading a Star Trek mag at the bookstore. Both obvious concentration blockers.

Full of cheeky MacFarlane humour, my fav example, when they’re talking about why Indians are always attacking and so mad – What’s their problem, we’re basically splitting the country 50/50 with them. I know, they’re so selfish. I love when humour is used to point out social truths or injustices or stuff.

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The cast looks flabbergastic – Seth MacFarlane as Albert, the sheep farmer, also Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Sarah Silverman, Neil Patrick Harris (moustache!), Gilbert Gottfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Bill Maher, Ralph Garman, Rex Linn

Like all MacFarlane’s work we see how watching too many TV shows and movies affect the brain. No complaints, I get every reference so obviously I have the same issue. This one has a Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles feel.amill3

As a fan of Western books, TV, movies, etc. I thought the line about something else to kill them so they should just wear coffins as clothes was brilliant.

So if you can’t wait for the movie coming out May 30, 2014, this companion novel should help tide you over.

Somehow I expected even more sheep jokes.amill4