Friday, January 31, 2014
Was going to go see the Aaron Eckhart starring Underworld-esque monster movie I, Frankenstein tonight. Alas, it was only available to be seen in 3-D. I pretty much hate the modern day 3-D Hollywood movie trend. I've never sen a 3-D movie presentation that made me get on board with the pitch that this is the best way to watch movies. And no movie originally presented in 2-D achieves any advantage of being put through the 3-D wringer. When silent films became talkies, when black & white became colour, when special effects got better and better...all of those things can actually help to tell a cinematic story. The best 3-D can do is represent a somewhat blurry Mjolnir flying towards me once in a two hour movie. Plus, it gives my friend headaches. So, go to hell 3-D. Maybe I'll see I, Frankenstein in glorious 2-D somday, the way the gods intended us to see motion pictures.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Went to the free preview screening of That Awkward Moment. It's kind of a male version of a NYC Sex & the City wacky misadventures of dating romantic comedy. The movie stars Michael B Jordan and Miles Teller (two potential members of the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot), and Zac Efron in another example of a role in which he desperately attempts to distance himself from High School Musical teenage heart-throb-ness.
It might seem like a crass cinematic point to complain about, but I find it so bizarre that an R rated movie filled with all kinds of sex, crudeness, dark comedy and low brow humour isn't allowed to have any nudity. There are even a number of rather in your face graphic sex scenes, in which there's a noticeable amount of carefully placed sheets or strange amount of clothing. Gone are the days of Porky's or even American Pie I guess. Gory torture filled horror movies or Superman killing thousands in a battle with his nemesis are ok by Hollywood censor standards...just everyone be sure to keep your clothes on
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Sure, Ben Affleck's Argo won a bunch of awards, got a lot of praise, and made a lot of money. Like any "based on a true story" movie though, there is often more "based on" than specific truth. I enjoyed the movie, but it's not to unbelievable to guess that the tale was greatly Hollywood-ized in its adaptation to the big screen. I bare a movie no ill will for this. Anyone who is looking for absolute truthiness in their motion picture entertainment doesn't quite understand what movie entertainment is for I think.
One of the big omissions from Argo was that none other than the greatest comic book artist of all time assisted in this elaborate rescue scheme. Jack Kirby provided a bunch of the production design art used in the fake production package used in the endeavor, and that fact was sadly omitted from the story.
Luckily, the new documentary Our Man in Tehran corrects that omission, as Jack's art is briefly seen up on the big screen. You can learn all about Canada's heroic involvement in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, AND see some Jack Kirby art tonight through Thursday January 30th at 7:00pm at the Mayfair.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sad teevee times indeed, as Abed will no longer be able to do his morning talk show with Troy on Community. At least he went out with a bang in a great high concept bit of insanity that you would expect from Community when it is firing on all creative cylinders. This episode involved the school delving into a bit of imagination delusions that was Lava World, a Mad Max-ian non-floor touching wasteland of chair walking and not quite life or death battles. I wish that he was leaving to do a Spider-man movie. I will look forward to his appearance on the inevitable very special episode next season.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Watched the last couple episodes of the first season of Sleepy Hollow. In true episodic television fashion, it wraps up with about half a dozen or so cliffangers. Many shows that I enjoy never make it out of their first season of episodes. Considering my favourites checklist (The Tick, Firefly, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Clone High, Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared...etc) it's amazing when a Lost or a Battlestar actually make a run of it. I will be very upset if this first season of Sleepy Hollow ends up being the only season of Sleepy Hollow.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
The only possible excuse one might have to miss out on the Canadian Premiere of Return to Nuke 'm High volume 1 at the Mayfair, is if you were occupied having dinner with the films director. I will brag in a humble manner, making the cult movie geeks jealous I'm sure, that I spent the evening at dinner in conversation with the legendary Lloyd Kaufman and his amazing wife (who just retired from her job as Film Commissioner for New York). If you ever have the opportunity to do the same, I highly recommend that you spend some time with these two.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
We have a very special guest joining us the next couple nights at the Mayfair. Legendary cult indie filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman will be joining us to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Troma Entertainment. Join us Friday and Saturday night (Jan 24 and Jan 25 at 9:45pm) to meet Lloyd, get some Troma merch, and watch his latest cinematic epic, Return to Nuke 'Em High volume 1. Oh, it also just happens to be the films Canadian Premiere!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Ended up having to flee Halifax about 12 hours earlier than anticipated. A snow-ma-geddon onslaught was imminent that would have instigated us staying in town for an extra two days 'cause all the flights were being cancelled. That would have greatly hindered some back to Ottawa plans greatly. We managed to get onto a bright and early flight and made it back to the nations capitol. There was slight panic when despite having e-mail proof in our favour, it ends up that the travel agency didn't properly contact the airline. They also somehow tagged on a $22,000 fee. Which was interesting, because short of hiring a private plane, there's is not a charge that big even available. Luckily the lady checking us in was smarter then the travel agency and we saved $22,000 bucks off our travels.
It was close though, end of the world lookin' storm clouds were looming as the plane was being prepped for departure. When we landed, the big screen monitor in the baggage claim area were showcasing a broadcast from some poor CBC weather person forced out into the snowy anarchy of the streets of Halifax.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
In a last minute addition to our east coast travels, did a quick day trip over to PEI just for the heck of it. I was happy to sit in the back of the car and read comics on the way to another province that I can now check off the Canadian travels checklist. Now I just gotta hit Newfoundland and I've collected a complete set...then onto the northern territories!
Under the 'learn something new every day' category, did you know that Japan loves PEI / Anne of Green Gables? I had no idea. PEI is a Japanese travel destination hot spot, they even made an anime adaptation of the story. I would guess that it is slightly less violent than Akira.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Last night I got a belated Christmas gift in the form of a Shazam Domo. It has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury...and all the adorable! It's a belated tiny vinyl Christmas miracle!
Sunday, January 19, 2014
My east coast comic store mega-tour concludes with my second comic store appearance in two days! I'll be at Strange Adventures in Halifax to sell and sign some Zomkeys comics from noon o' clock until 4:00pm. I feel like a regular Neil Gaiman! Strange Adventures is one of Canada's greatest comic emporiums, if you are in Halifax, do drop by and say hello (and then buy stuff!).
Saturday, January 18, 2014
We have made it to the brave new world of Halifax, after our swell visit to Moncton. Much appreciation to the staff and to everyone who visited me during the comic signing at The Comic Hunter today. Thanks for making me feel like a big shot as I Sharpied my name onto the cover of the rampaging monkey comic book that I wrote.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Dropped by to visit the fine folks at The Comic Hunter in Moncton today. Delivered a batch of Mirror Comics, so if you live in Moncton, be sure to drop by the store for all of your Mirror Comics needs. I'll be back at the store on Saturday morning starting at 11:00am for a brief couple hours for a comic signing visit, to try and sell off some copies of Zomkeys. I'd visit longer on Saturday, but we're off to part two of our whirlwind east coast Canadian tour in Halifax (the next day at Strange Adventures) right after we flee The Comic Hunter at 1:00pm. East coast Zomkeys domination! Please come and buy all the things so I don't have to bring them back to Ottawa. Paper is heavy.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
What's the most exciting thing to do while in Moncton? Why, get caught up on weird Netflix movies of course! We watched Chocolate, a Thai martial arts extravaganza from the director of Ong-Bak and The Protector. No Tony Jaa rescuing elephants in this one, but it does have an autistic teenage girl with mutant like kung-fu powers brutally battling her way through an ongoing onslaught of endless gangs that owe her ailing mother money. That old story! My favourite movies on Netflix are the kind of stuff you'd find way in the back on dusty shelves at third tier video stores.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Flying off to the wilds of Moncton today for some belated post-Christmas visitings. Flying Porter, the best airline in all the land and sky. Why? Because, they will give you all of the almonds you can eat! Endless almonds! I will eat all the almonds. Visiting friends is ok too I guess.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
For not the first time,one of my bestest friends and I exchanged the exact same gift at Halloween. This year, we unknowingly swapped the same book, Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half. I just finished reading this brutally honest and hilariously funny autobiographical blog collection of her work, along with a bunch of new original material. As much as I love her stuff, I'm not quite sure how to classify it. With the inclusion of super simplistic cut & paste looking character drawings accompanied by archaic early era computer lettering, it's technically a comic book I think. I do know that it's so funny (especially the dog stories) that it makes me cry with laughter.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Saturday Morning Cartoons! On those rare Saturday's when my girlfriend and I both have a moment to spare, w like to get in a bit of cartoon watchin'. This-morning we watched TheRegular Show, Phineas & Ferb, Adventure Time, Bob's Burgers and Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.
I'm not sure how I feel about the latest incarnation of the Scooby Gang. It's not that I mind reinterpretations of classic cartoon characters, but something about this new reboot is just slightly off. My main concern circles around Velma. They've made her skirt shorter, she's lost 20 pounds, and now she's doting and love-struck over Shaggy. You have to try new plot-twists and throw new conflict possibilities at characters who are many decades old, but there's something about her reboot that just rings a little offensive I think.
Friday, January 10, 2014
Anyone who complains about the lack of originality in film clearly hasn't sen Bad Milo. This dark comedy with a great cast of comedians (Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton, Kumail Nanjiani, Stephen Root) centers on a man who realizes that his stress induced stomach pains is actually an ugly adorable revenge demon. That old story again!?
Support weird independent movies (with cool posters) and watch Bad Milo. We start screening it at the Mayfair tonight at 9:30pm.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
As the comic book fates would have it, the reboot Detective Comics #27 comes out in the 75th anniversary year of Batman's first appearance in in the original Detective Comics #27. One of the stories is written by Peter J Tomasi (who wrote some great Damian stories in the pages of Batman & Robin), and features an alive and grown-up Damian at a birthday party for a 75 year old Bruce Wayne. From a geek pov, this short story probably falls under the umbrella of a 'What If?' or an imaginary story (imaginary within the imaginary world that is). It gives me hope that there's a chance Damian will be resurrected (common in comic book character circles of course), and that more Damian stories are on the horizon.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Jonah Hex is currently trapped in present day times of the DC Universe. It's making for some very fun modern western twist tales. Some complain that a character like Jonah Hex should be left alone as a straight western, but especially with comic book characters who have been around this long, I like them to be thrown into the biggest and most imaginative of situations. This months crossover characters include former Vertigo cornerstones Swamp Thing and John Constantine.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
The World Exchange mini-multiplex here in Ottawa is officially gone. I guess they were holding out some hope that someone else might want to take over the location, but that isn't going to come to be. My most fond memory of the place was going in underage to the opening night screening of the (unfairly) R rated 'Army of Darkness'.
Many journalists and Ottawa residents are reacting to the location closing down as if it signifies the death of humanity as we know it. It's sad to see a theatre close, and even more unfortunate for some people to lose their jobs, so I can understand the negativity.
My frustration is that if many of these people would have shown that much concern while the place was open and had actually gone to see movies there, it would still be open. People often ask why Mayfair Orleans closed. It's not that difficult to figure out. If a movie theatre packs the place with patrons every night, it's not going to close. Also, a midst all the sadness that no one can go see movies in Ottawa except for in suburbia anymore, they neglect to mention that the Mayfair and Bytowne still exist and are showing movies.
Ottawa is a very rare city that has not one, but two classic style single screen cinemas in their central core. Very few cities on the entire planet can equal that claim. Unfortunate to see another movie theatre go extinct, but instead of fretting over that, why not go out and catch a movie at a good old fashioned theatre?
Monday, January 06, 2014
I have pretty much stopped listening to music all together. I hear music when I go to a concert, work at a concert, or watch a music based documentary...otherwise it's greatly dropped from my day to day life. Any multi-tasking time that was spent doing something else with music in the background or on the head-set has completely vanished. It's nothing personal against music, I have just become a fan of, addicted to, and fallen down the well of podcasts.
It all started with Nerdist, which lead to FEAB, then to Doug Loves Movies, to the Pof F. Tomkast, then Comedy Bang Bang, then Judge John Hodgman, then You Made It Weird. This L.A. based corner of the podcasting universe all crossover's with each other, and everyone involved seems increasingly ambitious despite full schedules. So, even with successful stand-up, writing, and teevee careers on the go, they keep finding time to make more podcasts.
The latest edition of podcasts that I'm making my way through is James Bonding, a limited series podcast from Nerdist alum Matt Mira and actor / writer Matt Gourley. This pair of 007 movie nerds are going to make their humorous and trivia filled way through each James Bond film, starting with Dr.No, then going to Skyfall, then jumping back and fourth chronologically until they reach the middle film. I'm not a James Bond super-fan, sometimes it all seems like bad puns and extreme chauvinism to me, and none-the-less I find this podcast thoroughly enjoyable.
And, as a Mayfair related PS, you can listen to episodes in prep for our presentation of four James Bond films this month (you can catch the very first in the series, Dr. No, tonight at 7:00pm).
Sunday, January 05, 2014
'Blue is the Warmest Color' is an enthralling, intimate, intense, painfully real, passionately honest, and at three hours long, zooms right by. This is a truly modern love story, a simple story and character piece, and I never once got restless or clock-watched during the 180 minute running time (which I can't say for bigger more action packed movies the like of The Hobbit or Th Dark Knight). It is loyal to the comic book source material, but also adds on enough extra content that the film could really have been released a two singular works. Plus, as you may have heard, it also happens to have a couple of attention getting, NC-17 rated lesbian sex scenes. Having a couple of those in a three hour movie can never hurt...maybe that's what those other epics are missing.
Blue is the Warmest Colour , winner of the Palme d'Or at th Cannes Film Festival, is screening at the Mayfair tonight at 6:00pm and Tuesday January 7th at 6:15pm. Highly recommended...and not just because I am a fan of lesbians.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Believe it or not, there was a time when there wasn't a comic book based movie released on a frequent basis, a time when Marvel didn't produce such blockbuster hits the quality and caliber of Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, and the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy all the time. We weren't always so spoiled with this embarrassment of cinematic geeky riches.
Once upon a time, in the same year that the original Star Wars was capturing the hearts and imaginations of a generation, a very different kind of super-hero movie then today's offerings was released. The first two episodes of the now immensely dated and kitschy and low-budget Amazing Spider-man series were released as a theatrical presentation in the UK. The 'movie' is not good per say, but it is none-the-less incredibly enjoyable.
I can't imagine there's any more fun you can have then joining us at the Mayfair this-afternoon at 3:00pm for The Amazing Spider-man (1977).
Friday, January 03, 2014
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Kicked off the New Year with a matinee shift guarding the Mayfair, followed by a New Years Day dinner. Spent an enjoyable non-thrilling New Years Eve at home watching movies - the almost unbelievably violent and patriotic Die Hard wannabe 'Olympus Has Fallen', and a pair of politically incorrect baseball kids 'Bad News Bears' films: 'Basic Training' and 'Goes to Japan'. Even though things never got more action packed then eating lots of great food and not so great movies, was still feeling the Holiday exhaustion.
Went for a family New Year's day Chinese food dinner. Got a few post-Christmas belated gifts, including an Ackbar 'It's a Trap!' shirt. I remember the cover of an angry sci-fi geek movie with the slanderous proclamation of '50 Reasons Why Return of the Jedi Sucks!'. This is ridiculous of course, 'Return of the Jedi' has Jabba's Palace, Lando flying the Falcon, Ewoks terrorizing Storm Troopers, and way more then 47 more reasons why that movie is awesome. Top of that list might just be the second Death Star battle, with maybe my favourite piece of John Williams, and Admiral Ackbar is his space-chair yelling "It's a Trap!".