Saturday, March 26, 2011

It would be a fair assumption that my favorite George Lucas film would be one of the Star Wars films. That assumption would be wrong. Disregard the Star Wars action figures and row of books on the shelves, the various formats of all the Star Wars films surrounding the entertainment centre or the Empire Strikes Back blanket on my bed. Forget that my family used to have a cat named Chewie or that I've got a Star Wars themed tattoo in the works.

There's no question that I hold those Star Wars movies up on a pedestal. I'm so enthralled with the series I even think the Ewoks are cool and that Hayden Christensen did a good job in Revenge of the Sith.

But no, my favorite George Lucas movie is American Graffiti. A simple lil' ensemble almost anthology tale about a night in the lives of a bunch of young Californians in the summer of 1962. The film features a big ensemble of soon to be stars playing immensely memorable characters, maybe the greatest soundtrack ever assembled, and a bunch of really cool cars. It's one of those movies that I'm pretty sure I will never get tired of. One of those cliche "If you were stuck on a desert island what five movies would you take with you" kinda movies.

And as the geek fates have played out, it marks back to back favorites of mine (Army of Darkness plays Sunday the 27th!) screening at the Mayfair for Lost Marbles Geek Night. Pre-Star Wars / Indiana Jones / merchandising mogul bazillionaire George Lucas directs and co-writes his somewhat of a true story about his youth, American Graffiti, Monday March 28th at 9:30.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A million or so years back (or possibly eighteen-ish) I snuck into a screening of Army of Darkness, not quite old enough to be allowed to see a restricted film. What followed was one of the greatest movie going experiences of my life, actually...let's just say the greatest. It's never good to put a movie too high up on a pedestal, makes the hype hard to live up to for people who haven't seen it. Having said that, Army of Darkness is unbeatable in the history and future as the best film ever made.

I recall that the Ottawa Citizen critic gave Army of Darkness the lowest possible rating, and proceeded to complain about every awesome thing about the film. Clearly he didn't understand the comedic genius of horror adventure perfection. It was at that moment that I realized that critics were meaningless, especially if they couldn't have fun at a movie like this, that all my friends and I had such a great time at and continue to cherish.

Near the top of my short list of great moments in my life was getting to briefly meet Bruce Campbell in San Diego. Not a real sit down, hang out and have a full discussion of course, but a nice Comic Con handshake none-the-less. I was attending a panel on the topic of Brisco County Jr, and at the end Bruce said that he had a lil' bit of time to sign some autographs. Now, Comic Con is enormous, and he was going to be doing said autographing a mile or so away (approximately). I did a Ferris Bueller worthy sprint to where he was signing, and I ended up being the second last person in line (the last person in line gets to hold up a sign letting the other geeks know that no others need line-up behind them).

Approaching the front of the line I was actually chanting in my head something along the lines of "Don't be stupid. Don't faint. Don't be stupid. Don't faint." I imagine I felt like a kid meeting the Beatles in the sixties. I did not faint, or scream, and managed to hold out my hand and say "It's an honour to meet you sir." To which Bruce responded, "It's an honour to meet you Josh". And at that point I did almost scream and make a fool of myself (Bruce wasn't using his super magic powers, I was wearing my film fest participant name-badge). But I held it together.

So, that was one of the greatest minutes of my life. Do not miss the greatest film of all time. Army of Darkness, a Lost Marbles Geek Night screening, happens Sunday March 27th at 9pm at the Mayfair Theatre. Insert one of numerous awesome Ash quotes here to wrap up the blog entry.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The other day someone told me that they were wearing their Maximum Overdrive t-shirt as they opened up the Mayfair schedule and were excited to see that their favorite movie, Maximum Overdrive, was playing at the Mayfair. Now, I often go off on rants on how movie awards and film critics are useless because movies are subjective to a person, not objective. In this case though, I had to flat out disagree with this persons point of view. Of the thousands upon thousands of movies ever made, of all that you have possibly seen ever, this one is the one you love the most? Peculiar.

Since then though, more and more people are telling me about how excited they are to see it. Seemingly not in an ironic love of B-grade movies kinda way. People seem to be genuinely looking forward to seeing this thing. Which is always great. The more people in the theatre the better of course.

And I'm a giant Stephen King fan, I've read all but his last two books, and will be on top of doing so as soon as possible. It's just that his movies, most of which he has nothing to do with (except for writing the source material of course) aren't always A+ in quality. None-the-less, this film (whether you think it's good or bad) holds a significant part both in motion picture and Stephen King history. It's the only film he's ever directed, the only film that AC/DC did the musical score for, and of course there's an awesome truck in it with a giant Marvel Comics Green Goblin head stuck to the front of it.

On top of the fun of the movie, we'll have a prize supplied from Lost Marbles, and if you'd like you'll be able to purchase one of the limited edition exclusive to the Mayfair posters produced by Skuzzles and artist Travis Bone.

Maximum Overdrive - Lost Marbles Geek Night @ the Mayfair - Friday March 18th - Midight

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bad news, the fat-cat powers that be have decided to back-peddle from the scheduled booking of The King's Speech and cancel on the Mayfair in the 11th hour. 'Cause they love the multiplexes better than they love the repertory theatres.
Good news: It opens up the schedule to show Sofia Coppola's new film, Somewhere. Considering that Lost in Translation is one of my favorite movies, this isn't the worst trade off in the world. Plus, we'll still get The King's Speech next month, along with a couple other Oscar films like Black Swan and True Grit.

The following is the lil' update / press release kinda' memo that was put up on the Mayfair website in regards to the situation:


Unfortunately, The Mayfair’s scheduled screenings of The King’s Speech (March 11-14 & 17) have been canceled.


In early February, we booked The King’s Speech from distributor Alliance Atlantis.
On February 27, The King’s Speech won four Oscars.
On March 8 (three days before we were scheduled to start showing The King’s Speech), Alliance Atlantis informed us that they would NOT be sending us the print of the film. They feel they can make a little more money if they continue to play it at The World Exchange instead of at your neighbourhood cinema.

In its place, we’re presenting Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed drama, Somewhere. (Which is brilliant, and you should definitely see.)

We sincerely regret any inconvenience.
If you’d like to let Alliance Atlantis know how you feel about the situation, you can leave a message on their Facebook page or call them directly at 416-967-1164.
We’re sure they’d be happy to hear from you.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Behind the scenes in the Arts Court in downtown Ottawa on the latest episode of Sweet Tarts Takeaway. The first three episodes of season one are currently up and ready to watch on the interwebs. If you haven't checked them out yet, now is a good time to get caught up on the first three episodes before new ones start popping up later in the month. And the latest episode takes place mainly in what might be commonly referred to as a sex shop, perfect for online and more or less safe for work content!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Ever since the big poster for the March schedule went up in the lobby at the Mayfair, I think the number one thing that I've heard over and over again is "That can't be THAT James Taylor." It is indeed that James Taylor starring in this 1970's drive-in classic about drag-racing across the States. The same James Taylor who has won six Grammy's and sang his own brand of laid-back adult contemporary music to Homer Simpson while he was in outer space.

On Monday March 7th, the acclaimed film kicks off a month of car themed movies at the Mayfair for Lost Marbles Geek Night (with a nifty car type prize from Lost Marbles which will be given away to one lucky attendee). The other diverse batch of automobile themed movies on there way are Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive, George Lucas' American Graffiti and Sam Raimi's Army of Darkness. The last film isn't a car film per-say...but it does have an awesome car in it, and any excuse to show the greatest film of all time is a good one.