Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In 1993, Ghostbusters alum Bill Murray and Harold Ramis reunited for this bizarre time-bending comedy, and not so surprisingly the results were great. I'm pretty much a fan of Bill Murray at all times (except for maybe in Garfield movies), and Harold Ramis had proved repeatedly that he could write for Bill Murray with films like Meatballs, Caddyshack and Stripes on his resume. What I like about Groundhog Day, is that it's just a few steps off from being a weird David Lynch movie or horrifying Twilight Zone episode. Murray and Ramis and company pull off a comedic 'It's a Wonderful Life'-esque tale of repeating the same day over and over, that deserves repeat viewings.

On February 1st and 2nd at 9pm at the Mayfair, celebrate the weirdest holiday to be listed on your calendar, and enjoy multiple viewings of this modern comedy classic at the Mayfair. If the theatre sees it's shadow, winter is over! Or wait, is it the other way around?

Monday, January 30, 2012

More Batturtles

Too tired to write anything too substantial or inspired this-evening. A somewhat heavy manual labour intensive day tearing down stuff from the NHL All Star weekend festivities followed by a rather slow paced four hour classic movie at the Mayfair has worn me out ('Gone With The Wind' - didn't impress me over-all, but blew my mind a little in how unlikable, unsympathetic, slave-owning, Yankee hating, and soap-opera all the characters were).

Anyhow, in sticking to yesterday's theme, here's yet another Batturtle related image that's not me that I found off of the interwebs. This one sticks a bit closer to my inspiration for the name, as it's drawn by Mirage Comics alum Michael Dooney, and is actually a Ninja Turtle in a Batman suit.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Alternate reality Batturtles

I find it very peculiar and interesting that the word Batturtle might have similar importance and meaning to other people out there around the planet for different reasons. Thanks to the internet every once and a while I stumble onto an alternate universe Batturtle from my logo, like the one pictured above. No idea what it is, no idea who did it, but it too is called Batturtle. I guess it's the same feeling vice-versa for whoever did this picture of a Bat emblem stamped turtle flying out of the sunrise, surrounded by bats and some other stuff. He or she probably stumbles on my cartoony little Batturtle animation and also thinks "What the hell? Someone else out there uses the word Batturtle too?!"

I came to the realization that the word Batturtle has now been a part of my vernacular for 20 years. It's strange how a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story (featuring one of the guys in a Batman costume for Halloween) followed by a random off the cuff sketch 'portrait' that a friend did (of a Ninja Turtle in a Batman shirt as me) has caused the word Batturtle to stick around in my life for two decades. I guess it's just as random of any other at the time seemingly nonsensical or unimportant in the grand scheme of things event that ends up sticking with you for life.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Things with Crispin Glover were slightly less chaotic last night, mainly since he was already in town. He was in town and not having to be rushed to the theatre via being picked up in Syracuse thanks to the weather cancelling flights to Ottawa. Got to actually chat with him a bit before the show, and rather boringly to report, is just a lovely guy. After the live show and presentation of his first directorial effort, What Is It?, I wanted to get a couple of things signed. So I used what little power I have in this life to hop to the front of the line, and get an autograph before our loyal patrons then. I thought I would do so quickly, but then Crispin just wouldn't stop talking to me. Not sure how long I stood there with him, but it seemed like about 15 minutes. But I got a book signed for a friend, one for me, and my Willard DVD autographed with a nice personal message that he tagged on. And, since I was technically Crispin's employer this weekend, I think that puts me akin to the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis right?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Egg Farm!

I didn't know what to expect from our first night of hosting Crispin Hellion lover at the Mayfair. I knew there would be something classified as a slide-show with live performance accompaniment, a film, and a Q & A. I knew the film would be bizarre at a level that might make a David Lynch movie look like something Chris Columbus directed. I also had a horrible feeling that the event might be a diva laden train-wreck of an evening.

Instead, I was surprised and stood corrected on all fronts. When I met Crispin he was friendly, polite and had a genuine appreciation at being able to perform and screen his work at our theatre. The live performance slide-show mash up was rather enthralling and definitely kept one's attention. And, thanks to Mister Glover, I have a new favorite thing to randomly and inexplicably yell, "Egg Farm!". The movie, although looking like a student film at times, and filled with maybe not the most top-notch of performances, was actually good. That might not sound like the most glowing of endorsement for his work, but I was expecting something pretentious and / or unwatchable. I found it neither.

'It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine!' is in crude layman's terms a cerebral palsy fantasy porn murder spree. It was completely unexpected from what I thought I was going to watch. And although it might make less desensitized viewers squirm in their seats during numerous scenes, Glover actually managed to pull of something as I described above in a strangely unexploited and with artistic merit of a manner.

Only pet peeve of the night, and a long running pet peeve of mine that I've run into every damn time I've attended a comic con or film screening related Q & A, is the person asking the rambling self-aggrandizing comment of a question that no-one understands and the guest has a difficult time answering. You sit there and feel the whole audience turning on the person as you try to contain your hatred for the pompous hipster types. For a very brief millisecond, I actually thought that the rest of the audience might turn on the person while they droned on for what seemed like a thirty minute long unending nonsense of a big brained query. Other than that though, everything was fine, and I look forward to Crispin's return to the Mayfair on Saturday night.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A long day involving unloading a Whale exhibit and assembling some related things for a museum, followed by shooting my Painted Lips & Lolly Licks short at night. Back to work tomorrow at the museum tomorrow, which means not much time to rest before Crispin Glover hits the Mayfair Theatre (Jan 27th and 28th). The night Mayfair fans from near and far have been impatiently awaiting has finally arrived. There will be weird movies, there will be bizarre slideshows, and Crispin Glover will likely rein supreme. I have no idea what to expect, I know there will be eccentricity in the air, I'm just not sure if it will be positive or negative. I do know that I am going to try and get my Charlie's Angels DVD signed. And I do know that right now I must get some sleep and try and rest up a tiny bit before the landmark Mayfair event.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I don't love everything that Bad Robot produces, but when I love something they do, I really love it. I loved nearly every second of Lost, and I currently love Fringe (though I'm very behind on the new season). JJ's Star Trek was unexpectedly fantastic, and gave me hope that in a world of remakes and reboots, maybe we can still have high quality entertainment even if filmmakers aren't allowed to do original material anymore thanks to Hollywood's cowardly nature towards new ideas. And the more that I think about Super 8, the more I think that it ranks right up there with kid classics the caliber of Goonies.

Those who dislike Alcatraz, the company's latest effort, will say it's just like Lost and Fringe. I concur with that thought. It is just like Lost and Fringe, and detractors will be complaining about the mystery and the unanswered questions and the confusing plot. Doesn't matter that it's only three episodes in, I'm sure that there are message boards filled with whining already. It's like getting twenty pages into a thousand page book and demanding an ending already 'cause you have no imagination and are impatient.

I don't watch a lot of episodic TV, most of my viewing time is filled with movies or late night talk shows, but I think it's safe to say that Alcatraz is my favorite new show of the year. I have no idea what's going on, and I look forward to being taken along for a Bad Robot-tastic time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm a Muppet of a man

I always complain about the Academy Awards and other movie trophies, due to my belief that movies are subjective and you can't in your right mind put the title 'Best' on something within a calendar year. Me and Harry Knowles thought that 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World' was the best movie of 2010, the Academy decreed to award it zero nominations, and I don't think it even made a ton of top 10 lists from various sources. Look at the history of cinema and there's an astounding number of films that are considered classics that never got a shiny trophy (for example: Do the Right Thing, Fight Club, Citizen Kane, Army of Darkness).

My anger towards the nonsensical and unimportant awarding of an art-form aside, I today am hypocritically ecstatic and proud that Bret McKenzie got a song nomination for 'The Muppets'. I was coincidentally listening to the soundtrack on my walk to work this-morning, I believe right around the time that they would've been announcing the contenders. I'm very happy for The Muppet crew, as the more I think about it, the more I think it may be my favorite movie of the year.

Plus it means that when I'm at The Mayfair watching the Oscars on the big screen on the 26th (being a hypocrite again, I know...I know...) that I'll get to see Jason Segal and Bret and Walter the Muppet sing the song live. Luckily 'Life's a Happy Song' didn't get a deserved nomination too...means I'll likely avoid crying. Maybe.

Monday, January 23, 2012

No James Bond! Even you need a helmet to survive the rigors of solo non-spaceship style outer space travel! I think this is my new favorite bad movie poster. The strange logic of the character not wearing a helmet in space 'cause they want to show off the characters face reminds me of the stupidity of those running the Hollywood machine. Reminds me of how today you can't do a super-hero movie like Spider-man or Iron Man without showing the masked characters non-masked face all the time 'cause of Hollywood wanting that stars face on screen for as long as possible for your entertainment dollar.

Speaking of entertainment dollar, Tuesday January 17th at 7pm you can catch the third of four 007 double bills screening this month at the Mayfair. This one is a six degrees of Star Wars special, extra exciting for all the movie geeks. First, The Man with the Golden Gun features Sith Lord Christopher Lee out to thwart Bond's world saving plans. Then, Moonraker follows at 9:20pm. It was made specifically due to Hollywood scrambling to make more space movies after the unexpected universe shaking success of a lil' sci-fi film that came out of nowhere, which was of course Star Wars. Bond vs Darth Sidious AND Bond in outer space! What more could you possibly want in an evening at the cinema?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ear books

In one of the openings to a Stephen King book, where he always addresses his 'constant readers', the topic of the day was the audio book. Authors seem to have embraced the audio book as a legit means to reach their current fans and new sets of eyes, or in this case ears. Authors are not only participating in the production of these adaptations, they are performing the readings, or if not themselves they get A list talent to help out.

On the walk home from a bit of work at the Mayfair tonight I finished listening to Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell. I'm a big fan of Ms. Vowell's work, whether it be books like Assassination Vacation, or acting in The Incredibles. Her latest work is about Hawaii, and the tumultuous and rather horrible time that they had in becoming a member of the United States. Books like this one translate extra well into audio form thanks to being treated like an old timey radio play. For example, Unfamiliar Fishes features music from Michael Giacchino (he did the scores for Lost & Star Trek & Super 8!), and has an impressive ensemble cast that would make any filmmaker jealous. Where else could you possibly enjoy the acting talents of Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, Catherine Keener, and Bill Hader all in one place? And it doesn't stop there, you also get to listen to John Hodgman as Teddy Roosevelt and Edward Norton as Grover Cleveland!

As Stephen King said, we all love the Beatles, but sometimes you even might get tired of listening to Sgt Pepper one more time. So instead, why not try multitasking that road trip, bus to work or walk to the store by checking out an audio book? I also recommend the ones by comedians (Steve Martin, Lewis Black, Tina Fey), or Star Wars ones (they have litsabre and R2D2 sound fx in 'em).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Vixens, one of the three roller derby teams from the Rideau Valley Roller Girls that I love so dearly, beat a rival team from Rochester tonight (I believe the score was 128 - 96, but I might be slightly wrong on that). I wish derby was like hockey and there were eighty or so games a year and it was in the Olympics and I could watch it on TV all the time. Maybe some day. I mean, people actually tune in to sports channels to watch golf, darts and poker...someone out there being interested in derby tv doesn't seem that far fetched compared to that.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The second book that I've finished reading in 2012 is another volume of The Complete Peanuts, this one from the years 1975 - 1976. It's still a book with pictures of course, as are most books I read, but this is at least a big fat hard-cover comic book. This is the 11th book I've read in the series, and I'm continually amazed at the quality. Most other comic newspaper comic-strips had their day in the sun and then become boring and repetitious. When was the last time Blondie or Haggar the Horrible or Family Circus was actually funny or had something interesting to say?

I saw an interview with Garfield creator Jim David back when the first Garfield live-action / CG animated film came. Somehow within this interview he managed to pretty much unabashedly admit that he didn't care about Garfield anymore. He spoke of how the the strip was farmed out to ghost writers and artists (they even showed footage of them), and that they put as little effort as possible into the thing yet kept making millions off of it. Now that's a ringing endorsement to go and pick up a Garfield book if I've ever heard one. Oppositely, Charles Schulz did everything on Peanuts for about half a century and never stopped caring and never stopped producing great timeless comics that puts pretty much everything out there currently in newspapers to shame. Pick up any of these volumes, you will be impressed. If you are not, maybe a gag about a cat in a bad mood who hates Monday's and loves lasagna would be more to your mindset and liking.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dear DC Comics,

I have been reading your comics my entire life and I love you very much. I have Plastic Man tattooed on my left arm, Big Barda on my right. I have four pages of original DC Comics art framed and up on the wall, and a Power Girl statue on display above the TV. Whenever I find myself questioning what I should do in regards to various life decisions, I ask myself, "What would Batman do?".

I must give you some regretful tough love though and hit you with some harsh honesty in regards to your new logo. Your new logo is horrible. It's not just horrible, it's sub-par and unpleasant to look at. It hasn't even become your new logo yet, and I already miss your old logo. The only thing that makes me sadder than your new logo is the likelihood that you paid some douche-bag company a truck-load of money to come up with that damn thing. For shame DC...for shame.

I'm going to print up some stickers of your old logo's to put over the new logo's for my Batman and Green Lantern and various other books come March.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Word came down through the interwebs that Jeff Smith's masterpiece comic book Bone had been assigned a writer and director. Usually I'm pretty excited to hear about the latest comic book to bi screen adaptation. Bone, I am more than a lil' bit hesitant about though. Writer Alan Moore believes that his comic book stories are just that...comic book stories. His stories were created for that specific wonderful medium of paper, ink, colour and word balloons, and not meant to be seen at 24 frames per second with actors giving life to the dialog and cameras and fx houses turning drawings into reality.

It is extremely hard for me to pick out my favorite comic of all time, but with a gun to my head or if stuck on a desert island with only one book to read, it might just be Bone. I don't mind stuff like The Avengers, since it's not based on one particular tale. The filmmakers are drawing from a bi complex history and picking and choosing stuff that fits best into a couple of hours. With stuff like Bone though, picking and choosing is a bit more difficult. Bone has a beginning middle and an end. There are 1342 pages in the complete Bone story, and I'd be hard pressed in recommending what stuff can hit the floor without detracting from the over-all story.

I'm also not too excited about these characters having a voice. I always respected the hell out of Bill Watterson for never selling out and making Calvin & Hobbes cartoons or licensing out Calvin & Hobbes for merchandising. Having said that, my apartment is filled with various forms of comic book merchandising, and I think that some of the Peanuts cartoons are brilliant. Though sometimes I think that Harry Potter might hold a more romantic place in readers hearts if when they read the books over again they could do so without hearing Daniel Radcliffe's voice in the role of their favorite young wizard.

Though I must play devils advocate with myself and remind me that Scott Pilrim vs The World was my favorite film of 2010. And that that was a comic that I thought impossible to whittle down to a two hour movie effectively and still be respectful to the source material. Maybe I should just sit back, not fret, and realize that even though there are only about 3% original stories coming out of Hollywood, it doesn't mean that only 3% of the movies are good. I would be happy if Bone were left alone, but mayhaps it is possible that I will be happy with the movie too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

If you want to look like a possible crazy person while you walk down the street, I highly recommend plugging in Patton Oswalt's stand-up album 'Finest Hour' into your mp3 player. Luckily I had on my big head-phones as I was out in public while almost doubling over in laughter (that is not an exaggeration as I am often prone to). Hopefully people realized that I was listening to something immensely humorous and not just completely lost my mind.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I like this ship! You know, it's exciting!

I was going to excitedly write about how the new Star Trek movie started principal photography today. I was mistaken though, they didn't start shooting today, they started on Saturday! That means that J.J. has been directing cast and crew to do awesome things for three whole days!

A couple years ago I was fairly disinterested in what at the time was being portrayed as a Star Trek reboot. It was dark Star Trek times for me. I was pretty much a life-time fan of the franchise, and was coming off of hating the last two feature films and the last two tv series. I usually have no problem with remakes or reboots. I think that the more recent Ocean's 11 and True Grit are much better than their cinematic predecessors. And, John Carpenter's version of The Thing (also not an original) is one of my favorite movies of all time. The thought of someone other that William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley playing Kirk, Spock and Bones was quite unappealing to me. I found it disappointing that J.J. Abrams had to remake instead of just tell some new tales from the Star Trek universe.

When making a new movie featuring classic characters, I don't think an actor change is distracting if the character existed before the actor. Batman isn't Christian Bale. Dracula isn't Gary Oldman. Zorro isn't Antonio Banderas. James Bond isn't Daniel Craig. William Shatner on the other hand is Captain Kirk. Leonard Nimoy is Spock, DeForest Kelley is Bones. Seeing a bunch of young punks re-telling their adventures seemed boring to me. The first turning away from hate came with the news that Simon Peg was cast as Scotty. Turning away from hate part 2 came with announcement that Leonard Nimoy was going to make an appearance.

Then, having read a bit about the film and knowing that J.J. and company love a good alternate universe story (they even ended the teen soap opera Felicity with an alternate universe story arc!), I had a feeling that something better than a remake might be happening. And something better happened indeed. They decided to instead tell the earlier stories of the beloved sci-fi characters thanks to an alternate universe twist to the tale. Genius! Now they could do whatever they want to the characters and the universe without being stuck within the confines of a prequel. While at the same time not destroying the old universe and hence not pissing off fans of the classic series and films.

I went to see the movie, and was shockingly sufficiently impressed and blown away before the opening title even showed up on the screen. The prologue alone ended up being so impressive to me that I thought it might be hard for the rest of the movie to live up to the first handful of minutes. J.J.'s Trek effort ended up being one of my favorite movies of the year.

When J.J. goes and does other movies that I think are pretty great like Super 8 or Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I now get a little sad that he doesn't just devote all of his time and effort to Trekkyness. So I just sit by and cross my fingers and hope that he puts a Gorn or some Tribbles in the new movie and count down the days to May 2013.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The ghost with the most

Monday January 16th at 7pm, only at the Mayfair Theatre...Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

I love Beetlejuice, Tim Burton, Michael Keaton and Batman. So I don't mean this in a negative way to towards their talent or those two films. But every time I see or discuss Tim Burton's classic film featuring a virtuoso performance from Michael Keaton in the titular role, I can't help but ponder in wonder at how Warner Bros looked at these two guys and thought; "Yes. We need a director and star for Batman. Our giant budgeted epic summer blockbuster potential of a movie is perfect for these two guys." I am happy they got the gig, and I guess it's no weirder than the guy who did Evil Dead II getting to direct Spider-man, yet it still astounds me a lil'.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Then I'll see you in hell!

There's this nifty lil' geek website titled Star Wars Weather that let's you know what planet from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away your city is most like in terms of weather forecast.

My city is most like Hoth at the moment. This many degrees below zero levels of freezing cold is nothing new of course, meaning that my friends and I have for years joked about cutting one another open with a lightsabre in order to make use of each other in a life saving warming Tauntaun sleeping-bag fashion. That tasteless geek humour is of course then followed up by the statement "...and I thought he smelled bad...on the outside!". I also recently found out that there actually exists a Tauntaun sleeping-bag which one can purchase.

So, in conclusion...it is cold in Ottawa and I'll be yer best friend if you buy me a Tauntaun sleeping-bag.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some time in the not so distant past, the Mayfair played movies more along the lines of the titles as seen on the marquee in the photo above. In the 1970's, for I'm not exactly sure how long, the theatre was home to such films the caliber of Bed Bunnies and The Dirty Dolls. Ever since seeing that picture it's something that comes to mind every once and a while when I'm at the theatre, especially when we're showing family fare like How to Train Your Dragon or Winnie the Pooh.

Next month a night of short films somewhat akin to the adult fare shown back then returns to the Mayfair with the 4th annual Painted Lips and Lolly Licks festival. Today I finally ironed out and typed up the story outline that I'll be using for the short that I'll be at the last minute cobbling together with a few of my frequent collaborators. In true writer fashion it was a day of being distracted with watching David Letterman and 30 Rock, reading comics and general procrastination before getting the handful of pages out of my brain and into the laptop. Plans are to shoot on the 24th of January, which gives me ten days to get ready and a week and a half or so to edit it all together into it's final screenable product.

Keep an eye out around various Mayfair online places for further info on the line-up. And if you're free on the 10th of February, join us at either Mayfair (simultaneous screenings) for an evening of legitimate cinematic erotica...not porn, very classy stuff.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Everything that I need

My earliest memory (I'm pretty sure) is watching the opening credits of The Muppet Show on a lil' black & white TV. My favorite song ever written for a movie is probably Rainbow Connection from the original Muppet movie. I love Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Muppets Tonight and every time I see a picture or interview or behind the scenes footage of Jim Henson I get a bit choked up and sad that his life and career was cut so short.

Today I finally got around to seeing the new Disney produced Muppets come-back film simply titled 'The Muppets'. Ventured out to the wilds of Orleans to visit the Mayfair's sister theatre, since there's a chance that Disney won't let us play the movie at Mayfair Prime. I was pretty sure that I was going to love it, and it was not so surprising that I spent the whole damn movie on the verge of over-the-top weepy sentimental emotional wreck tears. I saw Jason Segal on Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show discussing that he did a bunch of interviews for the film along-side none other than Kermit himself. And that one interviewer had a joyful overwhelming tearful break-down upon meeting Kermit and that they all hugged and cried due to the power of the Muppets. That woulda' been me too if I had been there. Crying and hugging Jason Segal, a journalist and Kermit.

If there is any sense of judging true talent and greatness from those folks who run the Oscars, The Muppets should get at least three nominations for best song. I can't stop humming the title-track, and I do not mind. I want to see The Muppets and some of their human friends performing live at the Academy Awards ceremony.

The plot of the movie, which is not the biggest of a stretch for a movie involving Muppets, is that they have to put on a show to try and raise money to save their theatre. My dream is that the success of the movie instigates the actual Muppet Show's return to television. Then I can sit in the comfort of my own home singing along with my favorite felt characters and crying joyfully.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One! Two! Three! Four!

I'm worn out and famished and typing like Frankenstein's Monster...which can only mean one thing of course. Today got some more work done on the geekiest tattoo sleeve in all the land! Luckily my friend and frequent tattoo getting chaperone accompanied me and we were able to distract each other with such high-brow and important levels of conversation topics like who should play Batman after cookie monster voiced Christian Bale Bat-retires after Dark Knight II (or Batman Begins III, whatever it's called, it's confusing).

The main bit of inking I got done today looks something like that Scott Pilgrim drawing as displayed above this text here. I would regale you with more exciting stories of permanently scarring my body with pretty pictures, but getting tattooing done makes me tired and starving and typing hurts my arm. So it's off to the couch and snack eating and movie watching for me!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Adult Entertainment

Should have spent today working on the script and other pre-production stuff for my short film entry into this years Painted Lips and Lolly Licks Festival. In true writer / filmmaker form though procrastination and distraction kept me away from the sexy cinema making task at hand. I got a free pass to the art gallery that I had a small window of time to make use of, plus a little bit of grocery shopping, some dog walking, tattoo research and a then couple of Bond movies tonight at the Mayfair, and next thing you know the day is done.

Tomorrow and Thursday I will finish up some writing, look into locations and try and get some actors figured out. If anyone is interested in submitting something or would like further info, check out the website listed in the picture above. Deadline is for submissions is February 3rd, which inevitably means that I will be handing over my finished product to Lee (my Mayfair partner who's organizing the event again this year) somewhere around the evening of February 3rd.

Monday, January 09, 2012

I know you are but what am I?

Tonight at 7pm Lost Marbles presents maybe the most requested movie in modern Mayfair times. Pee Wee undertakes his grand quest in hopes of getting back his precious bike in his self titled Big Adventure. If you can't make it tonight, you have a second chance Saturday afternoon (and if you like Pee Wee, very likely you'll want to stick around and watch Beetlejuice too).

I got the Blu-Ray of The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway for Christmas, and upon watching and greatly enjoying that, I'm even more enthused about tonight's screening of this 80's masterpiece. If you are not interested in seeing Pee Wee Herman, you may have to revoke your Mayfair membership card and go to the multiplex and watch something more to your taste like Transformers 3.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

One of my unofficial New Years resolutions for 2010 was to stay the hell away from the library. This was not meant as an anti-book depository stance, or to begrudge the fine institution that supplies free reading material to one and all. The resolution came to be because every time I went into one of our fine libraries in Ottawa, especially the main downtown branch, I would walk out with a stack of comic books and movies. Libraries have a long association with nerds, but somewhere along the line in the recent past, clearly some geeks started working there in a place of power as well. The place went on to have a better and more diverse selection of comics than a comic store or Chapters, with the added plus that the thins were free to read! There were genres ranging from mainstream and most identified sect of the super-hero tale, there was manga, kids friendly stories, biographies, foreign books, weird underground stuff...everything you could ever want no matter what sort of comic eek you might be. And on top of that, the extra distraction of a damn fine selection of movies that could be taken out on the free as well.

In an attempt to catch up on the dozens and dozens of books filling the shelves of my apartment going neglected and unread, I put a ban on myself going into libraries. I'm not sure if the experiment worked, because I continued to read voraciously in a non-library like manner, yet there are still a ton of books around my living quarters. And now the year long avoidance has come to an end thanks to a long ago museum pass becoming available (it was ordered before I went into hiding from the library). I went to pick up the pass, and next thing you know I was standing in the comic book aisle with a volume of The Complete Peanuts in my hands that I had not read yet. I've been making my way through the volumes the last couple years (back in my library hey-day), and as it claims on the cover of the books, it is indeed a masterpiece.

So, Grant Morrison autobiography, zombie anthologies, Bone spin-off, Marvel collections, Stephen King stuff, drawer full of 50 cent bin comics...for now you will all have to wait. 'Cause right now I have three volumes (or six years) of Peanuts books to read.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Red for TMNT

A couple years back co-creator & copyright holder Peter Laird decided that he was done with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He sold them off to Nickelodeon, and put an end to Mirage Comics publishing. Having been reading every single issue of the black & white / all red head-bands original incarnation of the characters, this of course made me sad.

I figured the next re-booting of the characters would be more stuff along the lines of the rainbow coloured headbands Archie Comics / Saturday morning cartoon kind of stuff. Hence, when IDW announced that they would be starting up their own re-imagining of the series and the pictures released featured red head-bands all the way around, I was excited. The fact that IDW had co-creator Kevin Eastman was returning to the world of TMNT had me even more intrigued. I thought it was a great tip of the hat to the legacy of these characters that they were being portrayed in their original style. I never liked the rainbow coloured versions of my beloved characters. Mainly due to the fact that I know the colour change didn't happen for any kind of thematic reasoning. It happened because the toy company was worried about kids telling the characters apart, and they wanted to be sure that they could sell four action figures to kids (they eventually had such classy figures as TMNT in clown outfits). I was always able to tell the characters apart, even in a world where most the stories I read with them in it were published in black and white. I really liked the first live action movie, but I always thought if I were rich and mad with power that I'd take that film and frame-by-frame re-colour it to an all red head-band cinematic offering.

It just wasn't meant to be though. I saw an add for an upcoming issue in which Turtles with rainbow coloured were featured. Then, as I flipped the page of issue #5 of the current incarnation, my heart sank as Splinter handed out new more colourful head-bands to his sons. I can't stand reading stories in which my beloved Turtles aren't all wearing red head-bands. Just makes me think of selling out and betrayal of story in favour of profit. So I cancelled my subscription. A sad geeky state to be in indeed. Well, it means that my comic book purchasing budget remains even though, with Brian K Vaughn's new comic Saga on the horizon.

When I eventually get my TMNT tattoo at least I'll be able to always look at my arm and think of happier geeky TMNT times.

Friday, January 06, 2012

A (cult)ured Mayfair

(cult)ure magazine presents the monthly tradition in journalistic excellence that is the This Month at the Mayfair article. Learn all about machine gun preachers, Crispin Glover dropping by, James Bond in outer space, the secret lyrics to every Danny Elfman film score, how Ilsa the She Wolf is more inspirational than Norma Rae, and our pitch to Hollywood for a movie about aliens fighting Shakespeare starring Will Smith and Jean Claude Van Damme.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Cue 007 theme

Spent portions of the last couple days finalizing a bit of crossover stuff between the NAC and the Mayfair for our respective James Bond events. We have our 4th annual 007 fest starting this Sunday January 8th at 1pm with Goldfiner, and the NAC has their orchestra performing an event titled Bond and Beyond from January 19th through the 21st. We'll be screening eight classic Bond films, they'll be hosting a night of musical themes from the Bond films and other similarly themed film and television productions the likes of Mission: Impossible and The Pink Panther. Best of all is that by complete coincidence, both events avoid falling over each other on the calendar. You can catch every single film and enjoy a night out at the orchestra and get your complete James Bond fix in January. All of this should help all Bond fans in their inpatient anticipation for the new film Skyfall, set to be released November 2012.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Perfect Storm?

Tonight and tomorrow at 9pm at the Mayfair (Wednesday January 4th & Thursday the 5th) are your last couple of chances to catch one of the best films of 2011 (maybe the best film?). Take Shelter tells the tale of a simple man with a happy if not stress filled family life (long hours at work, bills to pay, and an adorable little daughter with hearing problems who they hope to get an operation for). Our hero begins having frightening visions of an oncoming apocalyptic storm that leads to even more horrifying events than the average destructive tornado filled thunderstorm does. That mixed with his obsession of building a backyard bomb-shelter in light of the oncoming storm which he believes to be on the horizon throws his life into turmoil. The film reminded me of a great Richard Matheson story. It was horror film from a certain point-of-view, not a Friday the 13th or Saw movie style of horror, but horrific in a fascinating way none-the-less.

That's about all that I want to say about the film. I'm always hesitant to play spoiler, I don't like reading reviews a lot of the time just for that very reason. I avoid trailers half the time just in case they're one of those horrible ones that give away the whole damn movie in a three minute time-frame (I think Ides of March was guilty of that).

Having said that, I did love this movie and do want to spread the word about it's existence in any little means that I can. Especially to let Ottawa folks know that they can catch it for the next couple of days in all of its big screen glory.

I haven't had a spare moment to figure out my favorite movies of 2011 list, but the more that I think about it the more I think that this one might be at the top (though I haven't seen The Muppets yet, and I do love those Muppets).

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Went to a big family hockey game outing last night. A post Christmas gathering, something that I got to attend on the free, and even though I admittedly care very little about the ins and outs of the sport of hockey anymore, a very fun event none-the-less. The team came back from a 2 - 0 deficit, and the captain scored in over-time to secure the win (on a night in which he was praised for recently scoring his 400th career goal).

The Senators were playing the Devils of New Jersey. Every time that team crosses my thoughts, all that I can think of is how awful their logo is. It would be so much cooler if they had a logo to match the monster that haunts the Pine Barrens of the teams State in which they are named after. Instead of a fairly basic NJ with horns, a ferocious horse bat amalgam would make a much more appropriate design for their uniforms. Or so thinks a fan of cryptozoology with a penchant for believing in monsters whose mind wanders whilst watching Canada's favorite sport.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Year of the Joss

I was out at a New Year's party on Saturday night, and as the stroke of midnight hit everyone cheered in an appropriate manner. With my girlfriend in my arms, I looked her in the eyes and told her that I was so happy and and so lucky and so excited...to be in the same calendar year in which there will be not one but two Joss Whedon films released. Luckily for me, she threw her head back and laughed instead of punching me.

In my defense, I've been waiting to see The Cabin in the Woods for so long! An Eternity! Or, something more along the lines of three / three and a half years, more or less of an eternity. I was ecstatic to read about the film when it was about to go into production back in 2009, and I was heartbroken when Hollywood fat-cat idiots decided to push back the February 2010 release so they could change it into a 3D presentation. Yet another reason to add to the checklist of reasons to hate the current 3D fad. Then, thanks to MGM inexplicably going bankrupt, the complete and ready to go movie was shelved. I'm still confused as to how a film studio that has decades of Bond profits amongst other successes goes bankrupt. I have no money, but I'm not bankrupt, how are they bankrupt?

Luckily for comic geeks, Buffy fans and horror film aficionados, Lionsgate has heroically swept in and the over two years lost movie will finally hit theatres in April. In another twist to the Cabin in the Woods saga, after co-writing and producing the film, the next gig that Joss got was to direct and write the epic Marvel Comics super-team movie, The Avengers. That film stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, who before finding success in that role, starred in the unreleased Cabin in the Woods.

Then yesterday I remembered something even more fantastic. There's not two Joss movies coming out in 2012, there's THREE! I forgot that there's also the independently produced adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing which Joss is writing and directing. And Nathan Fillion is starring in the damn thing! Good times ahead in 2012 indeed. I will of course do everything in my power to get these movies up onto the Mayfair screen.

I hope that you are as easily kept content as I am with my cinematic anticipations, and that you are as equally looking forward to the year ahead.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012...The Future!

2012 seems like such a sci-fi future of a year. The far distant futuristic utopian year of 2012! Like that years ago people thought by now we'd have jet-packs and maid robots and virtual reality rooms. Instead we have moving sidewalks in airports, Frisbee sized automatic vacuum cleaners, and the Nintendo Wii. So, close enough I guess. My new year's resolution is to blog once a day. Let's see if I can pull that off. Let the 2012 blogging marathon begin!