Saturday, December 31, 2011

I can't believe it's already the end of 2011. Here's to a happy 2012 for one and all, and a big fingers crossed that it isn't actually the year that the end times hits us. I have a pretty good feeling that we'll all be fine, and our lil' planet will still be in one piece a year from now.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxes for all!

My couch is filled with a ridiculous amount of clean laundry, gifts and a couple of board games to put back up on the shelf. Boxing Day is approaching it's end. I'm back home and another Christmas has come and gone. Time flew by again, as it always does for one and all. Didn't get to watch the amount of Christmas programming that I had hoped, didn't get to read as many Christmas stories as I had planned, but I did eat 50 pounds of cashews and ten dozen macaroons and a whole bunch of dinosaur shaped gingerbread cookies. I'm kinda' tired, kinda' feel like I don't have to eat again for a couple weeks, and very happy to be back able to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Then I will wake up tomorrow and go in for a shift at the Mayfair. If you are still on your holidays, and possibly with a kid or two to entertain, you should come in too. We'll be showing the original Muppet movie (Tuesday December 27th at 1pm). And if you haven't experience Kermit singing Rainbow Connection up on the big screen, amongst other great movie moments in the film, well then you my friend are missing out. Then you can come back in a couple days and see the follow up, The Great Muppet Caper (Thursday December 29th at 1pm). Both an excellent lead in to the brand new Muppet film, which will be up on the Mayfair screen before you know it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Remember that time Optimus Prime dressed up like Santa Claus and delivered toys to all the good little boys and girls? Good times, good times. Hope those of you who celebrate the putting of a tree in your living room and then sitting around it and opening boxes wrapped in brightly coloured paper to get gifts had a lovely morning. I was awoken by a rat terrier barreling down the stairs to where I slept on the floor on an air mattress and jumping me awake. She might as well have been screaming "It's Christmas!". Santa was good to me, got a giant stack of Christmas themed comics, a bunch of Blu Rays (Rocketeer, Three Amigos, Gremlins, Pee Wee on Broadway) and an insane amount of vegan approved candy. And, for the first time in forever, it's actually a snowy white Christmas outside. Take that Al Gore and your precious global warming conspiracies! If only I had gotten the life size Han in Carbonite, all my Christmas dreams would have come true. Maybe next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Everything!!

The great human distress that was a week and a half without the interwebs is over. I know that there are greater hardships that a person can go through, but I don't think there are that many in this day and age. If I didn't have one of them there smart phones, I really would have been at a complete loss to maintain anything in the way of productive and sane member of society status. I have no idea how the world worked without the worldwide web. I lived in that world for more of my life than not, but I think I've blanked it out like someone who survived some terrible accident.

It's been a busy time of year, as I'm pretty sure it is for everyone, whether you lean towards Christmas celebrations or not. There have been many a Christmas party, social events, work and then the scrambling of trying to buy gifts and prepare for attempts at a couple days of not doing anything except receive gifts and eat food. Went to see a very kewl rendition of a pair of old The Shadow radio plays at the Gladstone Theatre, which was a nice combination of geeky, festive AND legitimate theatre!

Got an invite to attend a free hockey game. I don't follow the game at all anymore, haven't for a while, but I do enjoy free things. Plus, it was not only free but also in a corporate box, so I got to pretend to be rich for the evening. Pretend to be rich, but still not buy the $5 cans of Coke. While there, one of my friends classmates (it was a graduation thing) started moaning and complaining about the Sens wishing everyone a Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Whenever someone bitches about the war on Christmas, all I want to do is wish them a Happy Holidays. Or pretend that I'm Jewish and offended just to mess with them. Or remind them that they are being idiots and a wish of Happy Holidays is not meant as an insult, but as a nice thing to say to one and all no matter what religious belief, nationality, choice of holiday pass-time or whatever. If you have time to fool yourself that Christmas is being harmed by the onslaught of different holidays this time of year, you are a fool. Weigh the amount of Christmas movies, TV shows, albums, decorations vs say...Hanukkah or Kwanza or anything.

Secret Santa at the Mayfair this year got me a Gizmo action figure (last year I got an R2D2 thingy, the year before an Indiana Jones costumed Mister Potato Head). I had a couple different secret screenings at the Mayfair (I've said too much!). Been prepping for 2012 at the Mayfair, which is not only the year the world will come to an end according to some, but also the theatres big 80th anniversary. January kicks off with a visit from Crispin Glover, who will host two nights of eccentric film and other media. We'll also screen two of the most requested movies since Mayfair rebooted: Beetlejuice and Pee Wee's Big Adventure, and of course a screening of Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th.

Anyhow, for now I must return to Christmas prepping. Hope everyone has a Happy everything.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't forget the three rules...

A couple years ago my brother and I, along with his girlfriend of the time, were spending our Christmas Eve gorging ourselves on food and watching a Christmas classic film at my mums house. The Christmas classic was Gremlins. My brothers now ex-girlfriend wasn't a giant movie buff, and hence wasn't familiar with the movie. When we said we were going to watch a Christmas movie, she had something in mind more along the line of something like Miracle on 34th Street or It's A Wonderful Life. She did not expect a film in which a mother defends her home against mischievous little bipedal reptilian monsters with weapons of knives and a microwave. She got quite upset with us in our definition of what a Christmas film is.

Gremlins takes place at Christmas time. The Hollywood back-lot town where the film is located is covered in a blanket of wonderfully fake movie-magic snow. There's Christmas trees and Christmas carols and we all learn a valuable Christmas lesson. It's as much of a Christmas film as A Nightmare Before Christmas, Christmas Vacation, White Christmas or any numerous versions of A Christmas Carol. I daresay it is the favorite Christmas film of many a people. It's certainly right near the top of the list of requested films from Mayfair patrons over the last few years.

Gremlins was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Chris Columbus (who went on to write The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes for Spielberg, and direct a couple of Home Alone & Harry Potter movies), directed by Joe Dante (The Howling, The 'burbs, Matinee) and features an amazing score and an unforgettable theme song from the late great Jerry Goldsmith (L.A. Confidential, Poltergeist, Chinatown, a ton of Star Trek stuff).

And, have you ever wanted to have your very own Mogwai as a pet? Well, tonight you have two chances to win one of the fluffy little creatures thanks to our friends from Lost Marbles. If you win one though, please do remember the three rules: Keep it out of the light, don't get it wet, and no food after midnight. Very important.

Lost Marbles presents GREMLINS at the Mayfair Theatre - Monday December 12th at 8:30pm

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mayfair Best of Christmas Worst

At #78 on the IMDb worst movies of all time list sits a little holiday gem titled Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. There are tens of thousands of movies made in the past century and a bit, and a mere 77 places away from what has been deemed the worst film ever made by humans sits a movie about Santa being kidnapped my Martians so their lil' alien children can get gifts too. If that's not accolade enough for a motion picture, it also can take pride in being a film roasted by the award winning, bad movie watching geniuses at Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Some twenty years ago in the far off time of 1991, Joel and his robot friends Crow and Tom Servo were forced by their mad scientist tormentors to endure this most stunningly awful of holiday treats. Amongst other bits of hilarity, the episode gains legendary status amongst fans for containing Crow's heartfelt musical rendition of "A Patrick Swayze Christmas".

Some people don't have an appreciation of bad movies. They don't spend their free time watching films about the Sharktopus or non-sequels to Troll or anything starring Nicolas Cage from the past ten or fifteen years or so. Those people are sane and wise and we can learn from them. Film fans like myself actually go out of our way waste our precious limited time on this earth to watch bad movies of our own knowing free will. Not quite sure why we do such foolish things, but I cannot lie about how much I do enjoy a good bad movie.

Hence, despite it being terrible, I encourage you to get out to the Mayfair for a truly great awful movie experience. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians tonight (Friday December 9th at 11:30pm) and returns for a slightly earlier encore screening on Sunday (December 11th at 9:30pm).

Monday, December 05, 2011

Mayfair Christmas-ing Begins

Two posts in a row with a Christmas Carol theme.

The festive Mayfair season kicks off with Scrooged, a modern retelling of the greatest yuletide tale of all, A Christmas Carol. A 1980's version of the Charles Dickens literary masterpiece starring Bill Murray in the central role of a man who loses his soul amongst the greed and power of success. As in every version of the story ever re-imagined, the scrooge of a character is visited by ghosts of the past, present and future as the spirits attempt to teach him a valuable lesson about not being a jerk to everybody all the time.

The film features the talents of Richard Donner (the director of Superman, Goonies and Lethal Weapon), Michael Chapman (cinematographer of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull AND Space Jam!) and the musical score styling of frequent Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman.

As with many of the X-Mas-y themed movies we're showing in December, my harsh criticism of you if you don't like it is that you are dead inside. This thought does of course go against my view that movies are a subjective and not objective. It's a little course on my part mayhaps, but if Scrooged doesn't fill the most bah-humbug of human being with wonderful joy filled holiday feelings, there might be something wrong with you.

See Scrooged tonight (Monday December 5th at 9:30pm) at the Mayfair, and if you miss that you have a matinee second chance (Sunday December 11th at 1pm).

Thursday, December 01, 2011

More (cult)ure magazine & the Mayfair

Happy December! I blinked and realized that it's been over a couple weeks since my last posting here. I totally dropped the ball on writing about the last RVRG roller derby bout, various Mayfair things, my latest horribly painful round of tattooing, and that I finally finished reading all the premier issues of DC Comics New 52 (Favorite: Action Comics - Worst: Hawk & Dove). I'm also working on some new comic book writings and contemplating what to do for the 2012 Painted Lips & Lolly Licks short film festival.

Well, a new month brings a new interview from (cult)ure magazine movie nerd April Yorke with myself, the resident Mayfair Theatre geek-in-chief.

This month we talk about the various awesome Christmas themed films we'll be screening, ranging from family favorites like Elf, 80's classics like Die Hard and Gremlins, and cult horror classics like Silent Night Deadly Night. I also may have been somewhat quoted as calling Disney monsters. I don't actually think that they're monsters of course, especially since PIXAR took the reigns and started fixing everything there. I'm just continually upset that they don't let their older films out of those pesky Disney vaults for repertory cinemas to play. Michael Caine is my favorite actor, Christmas Carol my favorite story, and watching the Muppet Show is perhaps my earliest memory. Hence, I'm a little upset that we can't show Muppet Christmas Carol. On the off chance that anyone from Disney reads the article I hope they don't take offense, or y'know, they understand my sadness and just let us make use of their older films.