Sunday, January 30, 2011

Auntie Loo's Treats is presenting the acclaimed and excellent documentary (ok...I haven't seen it, but it looks great)'The Kings of Pastry' at the Mayfair on Monday January 31st & Wednesday February 2nd. So what does this mean exactly? It means that not only will you get to see an action packed documentary about the world of competitive cake making, but if yer really lucky and extra nice, you might just get some free samples! And failing that, you can buy some cupcakes! They are awesome. You will become addicted. You have been warned.

If that wasn't enough of a special occasion. Monday night also brings another Lost Marbles Geek Night and a special presentation of Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil'. One of many of his long line of commercial flops that were film-making brilliance. And if you don't snag a free cupcake, sticking around for the late show will give yah a shot at getting a kewl prize from Lost Marbles.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A midst telling a friend of mine my recent and upcoming schedule, she made me halt due to being knowledgeable of the hectic levels of my day to day activities was stressing her out. Between normal work gigs and Mayfair stuff, then add in the occasional social obligation, film crew participation, working on my own short at the moment and a friends web series, I don't have anything in the way of free time at the moment.

I've got a batch of backlogged TV to watch (Fringe! Clone Wars! 30 Rock!) and a ever increasing stack of comics and non-picture books that aren't going to just read themselves. I've vowed to even try to avoid the library this year just 'cause I'm so behind on reading my stuff / friends books. I had intended to write a comment on the long deserved and finally here death of the Comics Code, but haven't had much in the way of sitting at the computer time when I'm not busy computering something else. Even if that's just keeping the Mayfair Twitter page up to date, which might not seem like all that much work, but has become a constant never ending 140 character monkey on my back. I even dropped the ball on writing an entry on Lost Marbles Geek Night presentation of 'Fifth Element' last Monday. It was great, and just to let you know, if you're ever introducing a Bruce Willis movie, do use the Asthton Kutcher's dad joke. It kills.

So, although kind of last minute, I didn't want to let pass a couple of very cool screenings happening at the Mayfair this-afternoon and tomorrow. Today at 1pm and tomorrow at 3pm we have a collection of some of the greatest Looney Tunes classics up on the big screen in all their 35mm glory. If that wasn't amazing and retro enough, on the very same Saturday and Sunday we have (at 3pm and 8:15pm respectively) 'Batman & Robin' serials from the late 1940's. A rare chance to see the mostly lost genre of the theatrical short animation (except for PIXAR and the occasional other offering) and the completely lost art of the short episodic serial up on the big screen (though I seem to remember hearing rumor that Marvel may to some live action shorts of their 2nd / 3rd tier characters in front of their upcoming films).

Bugs Bunny. Batman. Big Screen. Drop everything. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

At one point in recent history, a bunch of rappers had Oscars and Martin Scorsese did not. Hence, I really don't care about them or any awards all that much. People who can write better than I have ranted about the judging of art and foolishness of awarding film or music or plays, pitting them against each other. Although an arguable statement to say the least, I've always thought that films were subjective and not objective. I certainly hated 'Crash' (not the sex and car crashes one, the other one), but somebody must have liked it since it made a couple bucks and won a Best Picture Oscar. And as shocking as this might sound to any rational being, there are some people out there who don't love Bruce Campbell or 'Army of Darkness'. There's no way in hell that you're going to talk me out of thinking that that movie is incredible. Yet I remember that the Ottawa Citizen gave it one star, lowest possible rating.

Having just done the annual reading of the Oscar nominees, there are some choices I'd agree with (Toy Story 3 was awesome), some stuff I'd disagree with (I thought Social Network was meh at best), and some stuff that I think was robbed (Scott Pilgrim vs the World). Every year holds a few surprises, even for one like I who as previously stated thinks awards are meaningless.

This year...Banksy got an Oscar nomination!? What a strange world we're in the midst of. A lil while back this guy was a true underground artist running around the streets of London mysteriously leaving his street art mark on the land. Now he's got a Simpsons credit on imdb and he's nominated for an Academy Award! Madness. 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' was maybe my 2nd favorite movie of last year, and I'm intrigued by the nomination if only it means that wherever the Oscars are held in California that maybe this means it'll get tagged by some nifty new Banksy art. And if he wins he'll surely thank me for my tattoo tribute.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A couple days ago finished reading 'Nerd Do Well', the autobiographical story of a little geek who becomes a professional geek from one of my heterosexual guy crushes, Simon Pegg. Thought of it today as I saw a snippet of the 'Paul' trailer. Simon Pegg (along with his best of friends Nick Frost & Edgar Wright) are living the geek dream. The books through-line is all a geeks growing up evolution (with a few stories of the non-geek thread thrown in). What makes it shine is that he really seems like one of us...or to stand corrected he is one of us. With the difference that he gets to live out geek dreams that most of us will ever be lucky enough to partake in. Imagine being a kid who likes watching 'Star Trek' re-runs, and then one day going in to work and finding yourself acting alongside Leonard Nimoy while portraying Scotty. Or getting to be a villain on 'Doctor Who'. Or working with the guy who directed 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' (on a project with two of your best friends). Or being a zombie in a Romero movie. Pretty amazing truth is stranger than fiction kindah stuff.

If you're a geek, that means you like Simon Pegg, that means you'll like this book. If you don't like Simon Pegg, that means you don't like 'Spaced' or 'Shaun of the Dead' or 'Hot Fuzz'...and that means that there is something wrong with you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just a quick post to remind one and all of Infra-Man, a great Lost Marbles Geek Night treat tonight at the Mayfair tonight at 9. I'm looking very forward to this Power Rangers looking 1970's sci-fi superhero vs giant monsters extravaganza. When we say we're the home of 'stuff you won't see anywhere else', we sure as damn well mean it.

I have not see the film yet, but from what I've researched, it seems to have demon princesses, witches, skeleton ghosts, a slew of monsters and front to back over the top martial arts action. We've got a bunch of Lost Marbles stuff to give away, and on top of all that it's a film that Roger Ebert thinks is extreme genius. That's the most respected film critic on the planet people!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recently I got snippy with some friend of a friend as they were trashing Ottawa as a horrible place to live where there was nothing ever to do. I told them that if they thought there was nothing to ever do in this city they weren't trying very hard to find stuff. Not only do I think there's always something to do here, often I find the cool things overlap and you have to pick over two equally worthwhile events.

I thought of this glum hater of the city that I love so as a couple nights later I went to a hip indie lil' coffee shop tucked in beside the impressive Chinatown arch as I watched a great local band perform an intimate yet still rock & rolling show. The band used in this example, The Hilotrons, are on the cover of this weeks Ottawa XPress in promotion of their Saturday night show at Babylon.

So don't be one of those whiners who inexplicably say there's nothing to do in Ottawa. Unless you have other awesome plans, get yourself out to this show to see a truly impressive local band.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There have been many an awesome an amazing night at the Mayfair Theatre in the last couple years. Sure, every once and a while a Julia Roberts or Alvin & the Chipmunks movie slips through, but for the most part the diversity and quality of the programming is stellar. And where else do you get to watch stuff like Night of the Living Dead Live, classic silent films with live musical accompaniment, Troll 2 / Best Worst Movie, Hitchcock fests, Geek Nights, roller derby movie events, and the list goes on...

Thursday January 13th though will wrap up the Charlie Chaplin film fest we've been showcasing. And not to sound too over the top hokey, but these kinds of thing are I think akin to magic. Seeing movies from the 20's, 30's and beyond in a theatre opened in 1932 almost seems like time travel. Especially impressive are these series of films considering they still hold up seamlessly. So if you're in town, are a movie fan, and haven't had a chance to catch any of these yet, do yourself a favour and get out Thursday night to participate in some true movie magic movie-watchin'

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I got a letter published in the latest issue of Hellboy. Even at my advanced geek age, I still get thrilled by such things. It's one of the big reasons why I love the comic book community, for it's high level of reader / professional interaction (except for DC Comics, I don't think they have any letters columns at all in their books, they've gone completely to the web for such things). Sure there's something to be said for message-boards some would say, but getting your thoughts published on paper within an actual comic book that you're a fan of is so much more meaningful, and seems like a bit of an accomplishment. To get into a comic book (or magazine or newspaper) you have to be found interesting by an editor or writer or artist. Someone involved in the thing that you are fond enough of to comment on thought that you had something worthwhile to share with the masses. Message boards just seem to be anger and stupidity a good 90% of the time. Any idiot can ramble on about anything on the internet (y'know, like on blogs).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wrapped up shooting on day three of Thunderstorm (which has more lovingly been dubbed Fake Thor by some...and by some I guess I mean me). I think that the title character kind of looks a bit more like Iron Man than Thor, but who am I to question the mockbuster making artistic community? I'm going to pitch one called Sam Pilgrim Vs The Universe...or maybe Night of the Dead Living.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I saw Flash Gordon initially at the Renfrew Drive-In when I was a little kid. My mum or dad would take me there frequently to see many a geeky film. The first two films I ever saw were Star Wars and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed on other occasions by Superman II (which I'm pretty sure I saw before the original...but I'll have to verify that), The Legend of the Lone Ranger, Cannonball Run, Airplane! and various other late 70's early 80's offerings.

I have a distinct memory of being scared to death by at least one scene. Some plot plot point where Flash had to stick his hand in a hole and there was a killer spider in there or something like that (I haven't seen the movie forever, kind of blurry). I also remember thinking that it wasn't as cool as Star Wars. Which is funny, since now I know that the Flash Gordon serials and comic strips were a giant influence on George Lucas in the creation of the Star Wars saga. Not only that, evidently he initially wanted to do a big screen Flash Gordon after his successful turn on American Graffiti, but he couldn't get the rights to do so. The powers that be didn't think he was the right director for the job, considering that his previous science fiction directorial effort was the acclaimed but box office failure of a movie called THX 1138. There are many an article on the subject, but I found the one on Star Wars Origins fairly informative and comprehensive.

The most famous part of the film is of course not the script or behind the scenes talent or special effects or actors...but that it has a score from British rock and role icons Queen (one of only two films they did so for, the other being the original Highlander). A powerful over the top musical turn, accompanied by some pretty on the nose Saturday morning caliber lyrics along the lines of "Flash! He'll save every one of us!"

Find out if Flash Gordon can indeed save us pathetic earthlings at the first of four sci-fi themed Lost Marbles Geek Nights for the month of January, Monday the 10th at 9:15pm at the Mayfair Theatre

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Home from work on the first night of shooting for Thunderstorm: Return of Thor. This is not of course the Thor film coming out in theatres later this year from Marvel Comics. This is what is commonly known in film geek circles as a mockbuster. Mockbusters are nothing new to the cinema world. The old monster films were ripped off over and over, in the 70's there were plenty of shark and space movies riding the coat-tails of Jaws and Star Wars. And in the 80's a plethora of wannabe Gremlins movies flooded out of the gates after its success.

This generation of mirror copy but low budget versions of Hollywood tent-pole releases are on quite the roll, so I guess someone must be watching them...or being tricked into watching them. There's one company called The Asylum that seems to hold the crown at the moment, they've done 18 in 6 years. Their fine library of titles include: The Da Vinci Treasure, The Termiators, Paranormal Entity and believe it or not, Snakes on a Train (you get one guess at what each of those were ripped off from).

It looks like the movie that I'm crewing on will even face some competition (besides for the competition of y'know, the actual theatrical release, big budget, directed by a four time Oscar nominee project). On the video store shelf, or more appropriately mayhaps to say on Netflix now-a-days, beside Thunderstorm: Return of Thor will sit The Asylum's Almighty Thor. And who said Hollywood was out of ideas?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Had planned to update the blog with this information a couple days ago. Alas my gmail account (and hence blog too) got hacked and taken over by evil villainous masterminds from Egypt. Nefarious Egyptians who tried to trick all my friends who're connected to me via g-mail to send them $2,000 because "I" was trapped at an airport in the UK under dire situations...or something like that. It was kindah' funny if it wasn't such an pain of a couple of days trying to get my account back. Good news: I've got it back. Bad news: It's wiped out of all of the information that used to be on there. Oh well. I digress...

Ok! Above is the poster for the upcoming event at the Mayfair Theatre, the third annual Painted Lips and Lolly Licks Film Festival (with all pertinent contact information listed upon it). It arrives just in time for Valentine's Day weekend, and is currently on the look-out for and accepting submissions of short films to be screened on the night.

I'll be directing a short which I think we're calling "Kindah based on a true story...". Hopefully we'll have casting figured out within the next couple weeks, and then I'm sure my frequent collaborators and I will shoot on a day very near to the deadline and be editing the night before. There's no other way to do one of these things.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Magic 8 Ball decrees that YES indeed, 2011 will be awesome. So says the Magic 8 Ball!! Bow down before it's mighty power!