Posted in Canada, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Gravity vs. Supermoon: Whoever Wins We Lose

1moon10Everywhere I turn people are talking about the Supermoon.
Have we run out of superheroes?
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes not as exciting as expected?
Bored with soccer?
The heat finally getting to us?
Is the moon this close to Earth really affecting our brains?
I have no answers; just curious.

Thinking of this Supermoon and all the fuss I thought I’d finally watch Gravity, it seemed somehow fitting.
Someone should have warned me I needed anti-nausea pills.
I felt like I was spinning…and it wasn’t just George Clooney, handsome devil.

TIFF11

While I enjoyed Gravity, I had a few issues, with the movie, although real gravity and I have had many issues over the years, and now it’s involving my face…

1. Sandra Bullock should not look this good, even with help.

1moon5

2. I wanted to hear the end of George Clooney’s story about Mardi Gras 1987, really, I just want to hear George Clooney talk, I mean, as hot movie boyfriends go we’ve had a great relationship, sure, we’ve had our imaginary ups and downs…
But I digress…

1moon9

3. It made me dizzy. And a little nauseated. But I guess in a good way.

4. It made me think (gasp) of how you can be just as alone surrounded by a hundred, a thousand, a million, a billion people as you can in the cold silence of space. It was like Castaway, in space, but shorter, and no Wilson.

5. Watching Gravity I couldn’t help but think, if this space station slows to less than 17,500 miles per hour it will blow up (clearly I have seen Speed too many times).

1moon2

Here are some tips for getting through #Supermoon2014:dw13

  •  Stay calm. It’s still the moon, just closer in its elliptical orbit than usual.  It’s not going to fall on us or significantly change the tides…well, unless some aliens do something, but then have no fear, The Doctor (DoctorWho) will save us.

  • Don’t go near any werewolves, I have no scientific evidence to back this up but I’m guessing Supermoons make werewolves hungrier.

  • If you’re going to dance naked, pay tribute or alternately worship the Supermoon, remember, everyone has a camera with them at all times.

  • There will be 2 more Supermoons this summer, August 10 and September 9, so if you miss out you can see it later.

  •  The moon is slowly moving away from the Earth which is sad, I know we’ve had our differences, but I’d hoped we could work things out.

1moon4So, enjoy the gorgeous supermoons (5 in total in 2014); Earth won’t be destroyed, unless it turns out that it’s not the moon but the Death Star.

“I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies.” ~Lemony Snicket

Posted in Environment, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

5 ways to know you’re living in a Godzilla film

1god16

1. People are running and screaming and it’s not because there’s a new iPhone coming out.

2. It seems to be raining concrete.

3. You’re gaping up at the sky a lot, mouth open when you should be running.

1god13

4. You get a huge gust of rancid fish breath and think, forget the warheads, get this guy a giant breath mint.

5. You hear a loud bellowing and Rob Ford isn’t in town.

1god1

Godzilla turns 60 years this year. Lookin’ good big guy.

Up until 1984 each Godzilla suit was made by hand, new each time.

It wasn’t until 2004 that Toho Co. Ltd  used CGI in their Godzilla films.

1god1710 years ago Godzilla earned a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood…glad he didn’t do his actual footprint.

Raymond Burr starred in the 1954 black and white Godzilla movie. Yes, yes I see.

3 members of The Simpsons cast, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria and Nancy Cartwright were in the 1998 reboot of Godzilla.

1god18

Godzilla has more films than James Bond. Zilla, Godzilla.

Godzilla once fought The Avengers, in a comic book.

George Takei did some dubbing for Godzilla films. Oh my!

Guys in suits crushing miniature buildings, that old-school style, Suitmation. 1god2

Scientist killjoys say the weight of Godzilla would crush his own legs. They also say zombies can’t exist. Just cure cancer already and let us have our fun.

Saw Godzilla yesterday, the movie, not the monster. Nice cheesy feel, but was still too high-tech.1god11
I got the stink-eye from my teenage son when I may or may not have sniffed a little as Godzilla went down at one point. Geez, you cry at a few movies and you get a reputation.

Way too long and not enough Bryan Cranston.
Still great messages about the environment, trying to control or destroy nature, and about the checks and balances already in place that we humans keep tampering with.

We’re so arrogant to think we can control nature, look around…do you feel like you’re in control?1god10

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

THE MATRIX

1matrix2

Why did The Matrix become such a huge hit?

Dystopian future films have become hugely popular in the last couple of decades. I figure it’s because we’re already there, and this is a way to explore what’s happening without truly acknowledging it’s happening.

Do many already feel like we’re in The Matrix?
A simulated reality where we’re kept complacent and subjugated.

1matrix19

Perhaps our body heat is already being harvested, think about it, corporations plotting to make us fatter because obese people produce more body heat.

Maybe they’ve brainwashed people into having phones or tablets with them at all times so they’ll produce more electrical activity.

1matrix15

Is it easier to just live on our computers, cell phones, tablets, and so on, looking at pictures of kittens, tragedies, recipes, hoaxes, optimistic quotes that looking around at what we’ve done?

So where is our Neo come to free us from this dream world we’re plodding through on our cellphones, laptops, Google glasses, tablets, etc.? And do we even want to be saved from the distraction?

The Wachowski Brothers, now called The Wachowskis (Larry Wachowski is now Lana) wrote this cyberpunk standard with the works of Philip K. Dick whispering in their ears. The paranoia, power, mental discomfort, a ruined world. The Matrix is the ultimate exile from ourselves.

Or maybe it’s so loved just because the awesome effects, the wire fu techniques, the anime-like feel, action scenes, great cast, and cool outfits.

1m3

The Matrix contains incessant references to: mythology, religion, philosophy, literature, and pop culture.

Johnny Depp was first choice, also Will Smith and Nicolas Cage both turned down the part of Neo. Smith turned it down to do Wild Wild West. No comment. But come on, we’re expected to believe Nicolas Cage turned down a part?

Epic shot where Keanu Reeves (Thomas Anderson/Neo/The One) hits the ground, bounces back up again is meant to look like Wile E. Coyote? Evil super genius ordering from an omnipresent evil corporation ACME who sends weapons to an address in the desert, great, but where’s the tiny umbrella?

1m4

The numbers 1 and 3 are everywhere in this movie. Neo means new; it’s also an anagram for One. Trinity, 3. Neo is called Thomas in the beginning when he is doubting.

A matrix in mathematics, is a rectangular arrangement of numbers, symbols, or expressions, ordered in columns and rows. Distinct items in a matrix are called its elements or entries.1matrix10

The Matrix is green, not ecofriendly, but shot with a green filter for the parts inside The Matrix.

The scene with Neo and pins. Those pins were actually in his head. For realism. It worked.

The government lobby shootout took 10 days of filming and didn’t use CGI. The Wachowskis staged everything you see on the set, even the explosions and water pouring in.

Sci-fi flicks always produce conspiracy theories. How about this one, note the date on the passport.

1matrix6

The actors were put through their paces on this movie, they had to be able to do stunts, wire fu, fight, process weighty philosophical discourses, etc.

The end, the last line in Neo’s monologue gave the studio and audiences options, “Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”.  I would’ve been satisfied with The Matrix, it  was enough.  In the 15 years since it’s release few have matched it.

Definitely a cautionary tale that allowing oneself to the plugged in all the times can rob us of reality, truth, and any meaning to life.

 

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Casablanca

casa1Still one of my fav movies for dialogue. And it stars Humphrey Bogart, my first love, well, one of the firsts, it’s hard to remember.

Sadly, Ingrid Bergman is more of a Barbie figure with limited facial expressions: worried and adoring, sometimes worriedly adoring or adoringly worried. I never thought this was her best, although I loved her wardrobe.

This was a love story with a perfect ending. If that doesn’t satisfy the viewer you can always imagine Ilsa and Richard get together after the war when Laszlo doesn’t need her strength anymore.

The bromance between Riccasa7k (Bogart) and Renault (the magnificent and sardonic Claude Rains) is the best part of the movie; especially as Renault And Rick walk off into the fog together and Rick says: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

If you’ve never given yourself the gift of watching this movie, do so. If you have, do it again…you’re worth it.

Some interesting info about Casablanca:

Casablanca wasn’t expected to be a hit, just one in a string of patriotic World War II films and Bogart’s first try as a leading man. Bit of a shock when it went on to be one of the greatest movies of all time.

Humphrey Bogart was a brilliant chess player. casa2

 Many extras in Casablanca were European émigrés who shed real tears while filming the battle of the anthems scene. Conrad Veidt, (Major Strasser) had escaped with his Jewish wife from Germany in 1933 when he learned he was being targeted by the SSVeidt was resolute in being cast only as Nazi villains believing it would help the war effort.

Even though it’s in black and white (spare yourself the horror of the Colorized version) we know the colour of Ilsa’s dress the day the Germans invaded Paris. “The Germans wore gray. You wore blue”.

casa9There’s been talk of a sequel and a few unsuccessful remakes and prequels, but no success. However, I did love Bugs Bunny in Carrotblanca and The Marx Bros in A Night in Casablanca.

No one in Casablanca ever says, “Play it again Sam”…one of the most famous misquotes of all time.casa5

Rick dramatically reads the dissolving note from Ilsa in the rain at the train station in Paris…seconds later he and Sam are getting on the train, dry as a bone.

Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre (he was sooo cool) had previously appeared in the amazing The Maltese Falcon together.

Dooley Wilson (Sam) was actually a drummer; didn’t play piano.

Too many best lines, here’s a few…

Yvonne: “Will I see you tonight?”
Rick: “…I never make plans that far ahead.”

Rick: “…My health, I came to Casablanca for the waters.”
Renault: “The waters? What waters? We’re in the desert.”
Rick: “…I was misinformed.”

Ugarte: “You despise me, don’t you?”
Rick: “…If I gave you any thought, I probably would.”

Renault:Major Strasser’s been shot.” (Glances at Rick, holding the smoking gun, and he repeats–) “…Round up the usual suspects.”

Rick: “But it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now. Here’s looking at you, kid.”casa4

Posted in Televison

PINKY & THE BRAIN

Subtle, silly, witty, snort-your-beverage-of-choice-up-your-nose-genius.

The theme song will be in my head forever. Although I was never quite sure which one was the genius and which one was insane. Each night they tried to take over the world and failed, but kept trying. Quite a lesson in perseverance.

anima4

This sadly only ran for 65 episodes (and I have them all!!!), but it will run through our hearts and brains forever, leaving tiny little paw prints that leave tiny little ouchies…
This isn’t a show of half measures, people either love it or hate it or possibly just miss out on its brilliance altogether.

anima5My fav lines were always when Brain (voiced by the astonishing Maurice LaMarche) would say, “Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?”

Pinky (voiced by the talented Rob Paulsen) would usually have some bizarre answer like:

“I think so, Brain, but…but burlap chafes me so.” or

“I think so, Brain, but this time, you put the trousers on the chimp.” or

“I think so Brain, but pants with horizontal stripes make me look chubby.” or

“I think so, but what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?”  Or

“I think so, Brain, but if they called them ‘Sad Meals’, kids wouldn’t buy them.” or

“Well, I think so, hiccup, but Kevin Costner with an English accent?”

“I think so, Brain, but me and Pippi Longstocking… I mean, what would the children look like?” or

“Well, I think so, Brain, but if Jimmy cracks corn, and nobody cares, why does he keep doing it?”

And it’s all funnier in his Cockney accent and throw in a:  narf, zort, poit, and a troz and you’ve got yourself a lot of laughs.

anima8

Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

GREMLINS

christmas123When you think of Christmas movies, Gremlins probably doesn’t spring to mind. Yet this 1984 horror comedy is a Christmas movie.
Despite the fact that Gizmo was cute and the movie had massive marketing of toys, video games, etc. this is not a cuddly Christmas movie; not for children or those disturbed by violence and graphic scenes.

GREMLINS bits and pieces:

Howie Mandel did the voice of Gizmo, the Mogwai.

Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 1943 book, The Gremlins influenced the director, Joe Dante.

During World War II, aircraft mechanical failures were jokingly blamed on gremlins or small creatures.

A WWII era Bugs Bunny cartoon had Bugs harassed and battling a gremlin on an airplane.

In Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, a 1963 William Shatner Twilight Zone episode he sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to destroy it. There’s…something…on…the…wing!!!twilightzone6John Lithgow re-enacted it in Twilight Zone: The Movie then he and Shatner referenced the scenes when they were together as Father and Son on 3rd Rock From The Sun.

In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV, Terror at 5 1/2 Feet, a gremlin attacks the school bus…

Look at the set for Kingston Falls closely, it’s the same one they used as Hill Valley in the Back to the Future movies.

There was never supposed to be a Mogwai named StripeGizmo was to turned into Stripe, but Gizmo was so cute they’d keep him around for the whole film.christmas117Gremlins and Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom were so violent the ratings were changed, on the suggestion of Steven Spielberg, and the PG-13 rating was created.

Howie Mandel learned to say “Bright light!” in several languages so he could dub the movie in various countries and do appearances and promos.

When Billy is walking by the movie marquee we see the titles A Boy’s Life which was the original title for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Watch the Skies which was the working title for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg loves to put this stuff for movie buffs.

Steven Spielberg did a rare cameo as the man with the broken leg riding recumbent bicycle. His suitcase says SS Enterprises.

Merry Christmas and remember, if you get a Mogwai as a gift:
1. Never expose it to bright light;
2. Never get it wet;
3. Never, ever feed it after midnight.christmas120

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

BEETLEJUICE

beetlej3

I remember the first time I saw this at the theater, mouth agape in between fits of laughter. Strangely, I feel the same today.

beetlej6

This movie is timeless. Just the right amount of serious and funny, lessons twirled in with candy-coated hilarity. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years. beetlej2

beetlej5There was always talk of a sequel, but as a fan I have to say, no thanks. When the first one is this perfect why ruin that legacy?

The cast really makes this movie, each plays their part to eerie fulfillment.

The writing is gruesomely amusing.

The direction of Tim Burton, a strange, mythical creature who entertains and astonishes, is sublime.

There is nothing I would change about this movie.

Described as comedy/horror/fantasy I can see how it’s all those things, but more.

A Halloween or anytime movie for the ages.

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetleju…

beetlej1