Thursday, January 31, 2013

Got my confirmation / invitation to help out at Toronto Roller Derby's Quad City Chaos, where I'll be assisting in a non-skating official capacity (which means I help with the score-keeping). March 23 and 24 there will be much excellent derby going on in Toronto. And I will be there kind of watching it, but mostly hectically scratching down numbers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I think that the Netlix should have a sub-section just to showcase short lived / cancelled too soon teevee programs. The latest one I've gone through are the twelve episodes of Running Wilde. This high concept romantic comedy comes from some of the folks behind the pure brilliance that was Arrested Development, and even has the hilarious Will Arnett playing essentially the same character. It's a funny show, and only bitter-sweet to watch because after the non-ending of the final episode, you will be furious that something like this lasts only half a season while reality shows keep marching along endlessly.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I know that I'm a year late, I am similarly running behind on most of my teevee watching and book reading and everything else in my too hectic schedule, but watched the first pisode of the second season of Sherlock. Can Steven Moffat and the BBC do no wrong!? This episode is titled A Scandal in Belgravia, and like all three of the ninety minute movie length episodes that came before it, it was great. BBC has to be respected for not beating a good idea into the ground, and being ok with formats like the three episode mini-season.

With reimaginings such as Sherlock, I get distracted in how the present day alternate universe is different than ours. If there's a Sherlock Holmes in 2013, it stands to reason that Arthur Conan Doyle didn't start writing stories about him in 1887. Does the writer even exist in that timeline? Did he write more stories about dinosaurs instead? Was Disney's Great Mouse Detective movie a mouse version of some other famous literary detective? Who did Peter Cushing and Michael Caine and Robert Downey Jr play instead of Sherlock? These are the time space continuum conundrums that I think about instead of just sitting back and enjoying quality teevee.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A friend of mine has a hand in the website Animation News, whose business statement is the following: We aggregate and curate content from across the web and social media to create a comprehensive, evergreen, one-stop portal for information on the animation industry.

Cartoons are awesome, go check out the site!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tomorrow night at 7pm (and the 30th & 31st) at the Mayfair we are screening Ping Pong, a documentary about a ping pong tournament in which the mimimum age of a player must be no less than 80 years old. It is hilarious and inspiring and awesome and really makes you want to just give up everything else in your life to concentrate on training to become a professional ping pong player. I wonder if we could fit a ping pong table into the theatre?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Currently am in the midst of a day-job gig helping set up stuff for Winterlude (y'know...lights that will point at things and pretty up the surroundings). Winterlude, for those not in the know, is the celebration of all manner of winter stuff as celebrated by the people's of the capital city of this fine country of Canada.

I do not dislike the cold or snowy things, but am often perplexed by the thought of going out of ones way to be outside in such weather. I am only out in this weather because I am being paid to do so. Surprisingly, many people go out of their way, under their own free will, to freeze to death and partake in various activities in -20 surroundings. Can you imagine trying to explain such things to pioneer type folks who didn't have the luxery of heating and electricity and winter months mant fending off certain death? I am also not sure what a lude is.

The ice sculptures sure are impressive though.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Everyone (well, not everyone, there are always disagreeable sorts on any given subject) seems to think that the latest in the long line of James Bond films is the best one ever produced. I do not disagree with this thought.

I am not what you might call a 007 geek, there are some highlights of course, but over-all I find the series hovers somewhere between offensive and goofy. It's a horrible word I know, but I am also not the first to think that the character is a little bit rape-y in his sexual conquests over the past few decades. Sean Connery's original incarnation was somwhat of a psychopath, Roger Moore was like a handsy drunken uncle at a family reunion, most don't remember Timothy Dalton or the guy who did a single film, and Pierce Brosnan's 007 films all kinda' blur together.

Although I am not a fan of the series, I quite enjoy the current Daniel Craig run with the character. It's a shocking and argument inducing statement for some, but I don't think the Bond films have ever been as good as they are now. I think Skyfall is hands down the best in over-all quality film of any Bond story ever made. I also think that in the age old immature schoolyard 'who would win in a fight' line of questioning, that Craig would destroy all previous Bond's who came before him.

We start our run of Skyfall tonight at the Mayfair at 6:30pm. It is every bit as good as you have hard it is.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hmm... evidentially when I read the news that JJ Abrams will be directing the next Star Wars movie it causes me to scream in joy at my computer screen. A valuable lesson learned. I look forward to all the glorious lightsabre lens-flares.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Like any story-telling art form, when at their best, comic books have the power to raise your spirits with a reveal and then to crush you with a plot-twist. The ninth issue of Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples amazing genre bending space-opera did both those things to me as I read it. It also made me laugh out loud and cheer (well, not a real out loud cheer...but an inner cheer at least).

Saga is everything that is great about comic books, and continues along the once inexplicable to consider fact that Image Comics seems to be the best publisher going today. I said it before and I will say it again, if you are not reading Saga, you should be. If you like reading comics and don't read Saga you are missing out. If you don't read comics and think you might want to try one out, this is an excellent introduction into my favourite storytelling medium. And it has a giant talking cat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I have seen many a bad movie in my day. You might have heard that the directorial debut from Wu-Tang Clan member RZA, which is presented by Quentin Tarantino and was co-written by Eli Roth, is a bad movie. I would argue that it is not a bad movie, but is in fact one of those rare gems that is so bad that it is amazing.

If you are at all familiar with the music of the Wu-Tang Clan, it is not all that surprising that one of them would have an interest in putting together a kung-fu movie. Being that Quentin is involved, it is equally logical that the film is a loving homage / copy-cat of an existing geek genre that that his director worships.

I have read that RZA filmed so much footage that there was some thought along the lines of cutting it into two films, Kill Bill style. That did not happen, and I think that somewhere along the line they went a bit too far and edited down to a slim 96 minutes. In trimming down to this short running time, it feels like that by mistake a bunch of important plot-points may have been lost in the shuffle. The movie races along, assisted by narration from the director (in the form of his Blacksmith character). If not for the help of this, there is even a higher likelihood that no-one would have any idea what was going on.

To be fair, I have also seen a lot of kung-fu movies, and they are equally poorly put together most the time. These types of cinema aren't exactly to be watched and enjoyed for their great achievements in scriptwriting, you watch them for the cool fight scenes. So, although it might be a bit difficult to pass on exactly what was going on in the movie, all that really matters is that good guys team up to fight bad guys. One of those good guys is Russell Crowe, who seems to be having a great ole' time chewing up the scenery to the high levels of an out of control mad Shakespearian thespian.

This retro grindhouse tribute film is filled with Wu-Tang music, insanely violent kung-fu action, deadly warriors, crazy weapons, prostitute assassins, a Colossus style man of brass, an Oscar winner playing a character named Jack Knife, and of course a man with iron fists. How could a movie with so much awesome possibly be all bad?

The Man with the Iron Fists screens January 23rd & 24th at 9:30pm at the Mayfair.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Once upon a time, movie posters were a wondrous art-form that inspired imagination and were amazing accompanying pieces to a film. Now-a-days posters are mostly big head-shots of the movies star, or generally sub-par cut and paste messes.

There has been a bit of a resurgence of cool movie posters of late. The posters for the upcoming Wolverine, Iron Man and Oz movies are all pretty great. Unfortunately, most other say The Avengers...have movie posters that are shameful and seemingly put together by someone who is not quite familiar with the concept of photoshop.

News came out today that Disney has approached the legendary Drew Struzan to paint posters for upcoming Star Wars films. If you are not familiar with Mr. Struzan, look up his work and then be perplexed as to why Hollywood doesn't employ movie poster painters anymore. If this happens, and he is reunited with the galaxy far far away, it is further proof that geeks should rejoice that the future of Star Wars is indeed in good and caring hands.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I would never want to make light of the horrible violence that continues to unleash itself around the planet, whether that be in the military form of war, or gun related attacks on schools or movie theatres or any other location. Any time such a horrible thing happens, fingers get pointed at pop culture and the arts as the blame for influencing people to be so violent. This is of course ridiculous. It seems especially like a point of foolishness when in 2013 the NRA points at films like American Psycho and Natural Born Killers as the problem. You would think that they could at least lay blame on a movie not from 1994 or 2000 and instead admit that guns just may be the problem. How about trash Django Unchained or The Last Stand instead? At least falsely lay fault on a motion picture that is still in theatres.

I know for a fact that violent movies don't effect most people to resort to mass murder. And if a movie did, it is not the fault of the movie, because that person that related to horrendous violence is crazy. If a movie didn't set them off, a box of cereal or a squirrel would do the same thing.

I have seen pretty much every violent movie ever made...I've also read all the violent comic books and used to play all the violent video games. Partaking in all of this viewing and reading and playing has never influenced me to go and buy a gun and then start randomly shooting everybody.

On top of that, one of my favourite sub-genres of movies is one featuring an assassin theme (like The Professional, Femme Nikita, Collateral, Road to Perdition, Hanna, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Ghost Dog, Grosse Point Blank, The American, etc...). The latest cool movie with a central character that is an assassin is Killing Them Softly. There will be no horrible repercussions from you seeing this movie, especially if you do it the next couple of nights at the Mayfair (tonight at 9pm and Monday January 21st at 9:30pm).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One of the most fascinating documentaries ever produced is the ongoing Up series from Michael Apted. In 1964 the filmmaker began on the 39 minute television project, which interviewed a bunch of seven year old kids, as a researcher. He then took the reigns and ended up directing longer Up projects, which revisited these documentary subjects every seven years of their lives, right up to the most recent addition of 56 Up.

We hosted the Ottawa premiere of the film last night and had a great crowd turn out. 56 Up screens at the Mayfair again tonight and Sunday January 20th at 6pm, and the 21st and 23rd at 6:30pm. Join us for the latest puzzle to the documentary piece that Roger Ebert has praised as one of the 10 greatest films of all time.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A few months ago I had the bright idea to try and sell advance tickets at the Mayfair for special screenings of hard to find cult movies. Since the availability of 35mm prints of such cinematic treasure were few and far in-between in terms of availability, shipping them in from private collectors was a pricey endeavour. I figured that if we could sell just 75 tickets that that would cover the extra costs, and ensure an awesome movie night for our cult movie fans.

The experiment was a resounding failure, and after much effort and a big on-line and in theatre push to get the word out, we ended up selling a whopping 21 tickets. I cannot tell a lie, I was a bit crest-fallen at the lack-luster ticket sales. I made many a jaded joke that from now on we should just screen architecture and food documentaries 'cause at least that fan base always seems to support what they love. When very few people showed up for The Goonies and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, my thoughts on the matter did not greatly improve.

Tonight is the chance to turn this all around thanks to our fancy new digital projector. Tonight's late late show at the Mayfair is none other than They Live. They Live is an incredible aliens among us 1980's action extravaganza directed by cult movie master John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China) and starring Canada's own Rowdy Roddy Piper. It's not only alien invasion Orwellian calibre sci-fi fun, it also just happens to have what many praise as one of the greatest fight scenes ever in the history of cinema.

If tonight goes well, the doors open wide to even more great movies newly available thanks to the new digital age. Don't forget your sunglasses.

They Live screens tonight (Friday January 18th) at 11:30pm at the Mayfair.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Norm Macdonald - The Cobras by NormMacdonald

Watched the NAC orchestra perform the score from West Side Story, accompanying the movie playing on a big screen over their heads. I love the mix of seeing live music from an orchestra as combined with a pop-culture twist. I have also seen the NAC orchestra perform alongside Looney Tunes classics, I've seen an orchestra perform to highlights from the six Star Wars films, and we've had such things at the Mayfair before with films like Metropolis and Night of the Living Dead.

It was an enjoyable night out, but I cannot tell a lie, the whole time I could not help but think of one of my favourite SNL skits of all time (conceived by Norm MacDonald and featuring Robert Downey Jr). Norm's parody of West Side Story perfectly points out the silly suspension of disbelief that one must undertake to enjoy a Hollywood musical.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I don't really venture out of the Mayfair to do my big-screen movie watching. It would make me feel too much like I'm supporting the man & also like I was cheating on my beloved theatre. The rare occasion that I do go outside of the Mayfair is when I get free passes to advance screenings, because I am thrifty, and in those cases the multiplex isn't getting my cash. Plus there's always a chance that you might win a t-shirt or a baseball cap or some other kinda movie-geek swag.

This-evening I partook in one of these free movie outings to see Arnold Schwarzenegger's leading role action-hero come-back, The Last Stand. I'm not the biggest Arnold fan in the world, though I of course Love The Terminator, Predator, and True Lies as much as any action movie connoisseur. With the return of one of the biggest movie stars of all time, an "actor" who at one time was the biggest movie star of his time in fact, I would expect something bigger or more original. I would think that if Arnold was going to come out of retirement that he would try to break some new ground or try something new...take a risk, turn some heads, break some rules.

The Last Stand could have been a generic action movie starring him or any other fill-in-the-blank action star of the 1980's or 90's (except for Bruce Willis, who breaks all the rules and is an action star with actual acting chops). The Last Stand is not boring, it's not bland, it's not without humour or guns-a-blazing action...what it is is just another action movie. Every single character in the whole movie is a cardboard cut-out, and every plot-point is by the books without any twists or turns or surprises in store for the viewer.

The biggest shame is that the film is the American debut of amazing South Korean filmmaker Jee-woon Kim, whose films include Tale of Two Sisters, The Good The Bad and The Weird, I Saw the Devil, and a segment from the anthology Doomsday Book. When I read that he was directing Arnold's action vehicle I expected some grand cinematic effort. Instead it's just a movie with good guys & bad guys that could have been a script from 25 years ago, with the exception that Arnold spouts some "I'm too old for this" jokes every so often.

Oh well, maybe his Danny DeVito reunion film Triplets will be better...oh wait, there's no way that that won't be awful. At least we have another Expendables to look forward too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Read the first issue of Superior Spider-man today, which ushers in the Doctor Octopus brain in the Peter Parker body era of our formally amazing hero.

Dan Slott provides another fine comic book script filled with action and intrigue and this new Spidey humour twist of a mad scientist trying to do good...but still kinda doing it for all the wrong reasons. I really like this storyline, and my only qualm with it is that I have a feeling that despite the hype it's not going to last for all that long. I hope that Marvel lets this storyline sit and develop for a while before the inevitable happens, and and Peter Parker returns from beyond the grave and ends up back in his own body and mind. In the mean time I hope that this crazy mad scientist turned wannabe hero gets to cause some trouble and instigate some page-turning stories before he ends up back as the bad guy.

I will gladly and happily stand geek corrected if this is actually more of a Wally West as Flash thing and Peter Parker actually stays away for a couple years...I find that highly unlikely in this age of Marvel syncing things up with blockbuster movies as much as they can though. For now, I remain team Superior.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spent a portion of the day getting caught up on some tv watching that has been put on the sidelines thanks to the busy holidays and the east coast trip. Watched a couple episodes of American Horror Story (so amazing and horror / sci-fi complex I have no idea how season 3 can top this), New Girl (I love Zooey), Letterman (which I watch religiously), IT Crowd (not new, but just got into watching it), and Bob's Burgers. Bob's Burgers is my favourite new show in a while, it is smart and original and most importantly very funny. It is also a much better way to spend your cartoon watching time than another tired re-hash of the offensive and now boring Seth Macfarlane style of Family Guy formula.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I know that this might sound like I'm just upselling a movie 'cause I always want the Mayfair to do well and sell tickets, but I cannot emphasize enough that Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is an incredibly impressive film. It easily could have been knocked off as a phoned-in B-movie sequel, but for some reason everyone involved seemed to actually really care about the final product and the result is something special. Imagine that!

Who would have ever thought that Hollywood could learn a lesson from the fourth Universal Soldier movie? Amongst other overwhelming praise, the movie has not only been called the best action movie of the year, but was even quoted as being better than Skyfall. This film is not just a good guy vs bad guy punch-out, it has some intense acting, some bizarre twists, and elements more familiar in something along the lines of Apocalypse Now. Don't get me wrong, the film also features some great fight scene face-off's, old school car crashes, and rather insane levels of guns-a-blazing action.

And lest we forget, it of course also features a couple of great supporting roles for Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. The Universal Soldier veterans not only get to show off some old timer fight skills, but also get in some nice acting amongst the violence. If there is any justice, director John Hyams will get to graduate onto grander budgeted motion picture productions after this impressive turn.

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is on tonight at 9pm, and tomorrow at 9:45pm (Sunday the 13th & Monday the 14th) at the Mayfair.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Talented actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche were guests on a Nerdist podcast that I listed to while dog-walking and going to and from the Mayfair amongst other multi-taskings today. It wasn't a new episode, despite listening to nothing but Nerdist in my mp3 listening to time, I am still months behind from catching up to their present day programs. Amongst other acting accomplishments, Paulsen and LaMarche are veterans of Animaniacs, which is one of my favourite cartoons of all time. Upon request from Nerdist host Christ Hardwick, Paulsen took on the voice of Yakko Warner without missing a beat and sung the nations of the world song. It brought both Chris and myself much joy, brought back memories of watching cartoons before heading off to school. I hope you like it too.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I love the current Hawkeye series from writer Matt Fraction, artist David Aja and colourist Matt Hollingsworth. The best part of the comic is that it is completely self-contained, unlike the bulk of the Marvel Universe, which often entails the burden of cross-over's and tie-in's with other books. That solo factor is unfortunately a major rarity in today's ongoing super-hero mythology. The pitch for the series is that this is what a super-hero does in his off hours from saving the world during his day job. It's a great read featuring an interesting character and shows off some really amazing subtle artwork. If you are a comic reader, even if you have no idea who Hawkeye is or somehow missed the Avengers movie, give this book a needs your three bucks way more than any X-Men or Spider-man book does.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Who says there's nothing to do in Moncton? Today we went bowling, at a place that opens at 8am and closes at midnight, that's 16 hours of possible bowling that you can partake in! We were all pretty close in our amateurish levels of bowling athleticism. It was a weird version of the game with tiny colourful balls and thin stick pins...didn't look anything like bowling did in The Flintstones. Another point of interest is that the rental shoes were actually damn comfortable (and featured Velcro, which is good for me because more and more it seems like I have lost my shoe tying skills). There were a few dozen senior citizens in attendance, and I am fairly confident that any one of them could have easily destroyed us in competition.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Went to the Moncton multi-plex to make use of free coupons and check out Django Unchained. Some folks don't quite understand the fine art of sarcasm, and I think I scared the kid who handed over our tickets when I commented that I hope that the movie isn't too violent. Then our movie presentation began with the lights not going down, and then the trailers played after the movie instead of before. I was glad to have stuck around so I got to see the Die Hard 5 trailer.

Anyhow, sub-par presentation aside, I really enjoyed the movie. In fact, I think it may be my favourite Quentin Tarantino movie since Pulp Fiction. I didn't really like Jackie Brown, I thought that Kill Bill should have been left alone as one film, Death Proof only held my attention when Kurt Russell or car racing was on screen, and Inglorious Basterds had great moments but I found that its story and style was kind of all over the place.

In fact, the only part in the whole 2 hour and 45 minutes of movie that I didn't like was Quentin Tarantino's cameo. He played an cowboy with an unimaginably awful Australian accent. When he popped up on screen I thought, "Hey, there's Quentin, that's a fun little cameo", thinking that it would be a Hitchcock style appearance in the film. Then he opened his mouth and began to act and I'm pretty sure I actually groaned out loud. Someone should sit him down and tell him that he is a fine and talented copycat of a filmmaker, but he is not a good actor. Unless a director thinks that there is no-one out there who could possibly do the role better than they can, they should stay behind the camera. Quentin, you wrote and directed a really great blood n guts grindhouse tribute of a western, but how about next time you see if Steve Buscemi or Tim Roth is available for a cameo appearance instead?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Watched the Mel Gibson anti-hero / Mexican prison movie Get the Gringo on the Netflix. It makes me sad that Mel Gibson is a monster, if only because I remember the fun good ole days of him being the talented carefree nice-guy star of Lethal Weapon and Meverick and Oscar winning director of Braveheart. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is one of my favourite movies, and it's been pretty tarnished by the repeated damning evidence of Mel being a pretty bad guy. I have a feeling that this is somewhat how a fan of Michael Jackson feels, it's often hard to separate the artists work from the artists actions in real life. If you can set those negative feelings towards the actor aside, Get the Gringo is a crime genre movie well worth watching.

Monday, January 07, 2013

I was in the suburban giant chain book store today and stumbled on a hard-cover book called Shada, based on a lost Doctor Who story from Douglas Adams. I receive major geek demerit points as I knew not of the publishing of this book, and also because I did not know that he worked on a bunch of Doctor Who episodes in the late 70's and early 80's. I want to see these shows and read this book...someone please feel free to get them for me so I can make up for my shameful neglectfulness of this corner of sci-fi history.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A few days ago one of my bestest friends by mistake spoiled Amazing Spider-man 700 on me. It was not her fault, I think she had assumed that the comic had been released, and that I hence already knew about the shocking twist of an ending to the monumental anniversary issue that just happens to land on the characters 50th anniversary. I will now commence with the spoiler in question, so on the off chance that you don't know this Spidey news and care, you might want to skip this blog post for the time being.

A couple of issues ago, a death bed ridden Doctor Octopus called Spider-man to his bedside. Being a nice guy, Spidey honoured the request from his nemesis, with the Avengers waiting out in the hall. Using his mad scientist skills, the super-villain somehow swapped brains with Peter Parker. Octavius could now start his life over and get rid of his greatest enemy in one fell swoop. Culminating in the 700th issue, signs pointed towards Peter Parker outwitting Doc Oc, winning the day, and more Amazing web-crawler stories would continue into his second century of super-heroics.

Here's the twist...Peter didn't win the day, his brain stayed in the now deceased corpse of Doctor Octopus, and the bad guys plan worked. There was a great story twist even on top of that surprise, in taking over Peter's brain, Otto also picked up all of his memories. He got to see what a life surrounded by loved ones and good deeds and great power and great responsibility brought Peter that Otto never had. With his dying breath, Peter encouraged Otto to do good, and seemingly the all of a sudden former villain was seemingly won over away from the dark side.

I told my friend this story via texting, and she agreed that it was a very interesting story. I loved not only the story, but the whole issue (there's a couple of back-up stories that are equally impressive). Dan Slott wrote a great super-hero comic and Humberto Ramos supplied impressive as per usual artwork. As with any form of entertainment that takes a bit of a risk, especially in the age the interwebs, there has been considerable backlash. I find this attitude immensely frustrating and always come to the defence of the creators of the work. Dan Slott has even gotten death threats, which is pure insanity.

In these situations, storytellers seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don't. If Spider-man was still in high school and living with Aunt May and working for the Daily Bugle, there are a section of readers who would call it stale. If the publisher takes a risk and shakes things up in a major way like this, some readers cry fowl and fear change and say that their childhood has been ruined. Whether you approve or not, what must be taken into consideration is that comic books tell stores, and these characters are decades old. If not for these giant imaginative twists and turns, things would be pretty dull...all comics would be The Family Circle or Garfield.

What is really stunning is the geeks who get so angered at this kind of thing and lash out online and loose their minds of the soap opera like ways of super-hero comics. are upset that Peter Parker has been killed. Were you upset when Doomsday killed Superman or Bane broke Batman's back or Wolverine lost his adamantium? Well guess what? Superman came back from the grave, Batman got cured, and Wolverine got his shiny claws back. Peter will be back in his own body before you know it. I just hope Marvel takes their time, because I look forward to reading the further adventures of the Doc Oc brained Superior Spider-man for a lil while at least.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Traditional cable tv has become pretty alien to my daily existence, I haven't had such a thing in my household or a friends place in years. I'm currently visiting my girlfriends parents in Halifax, and they have actual tv. On said tv are a number of free on demand channels, including all kinds of Disney stuff. So, finally got to check out a shoe that a friend of mine works on, called Fish Hooks. Animation runs such a gamut now-a-days between kids stuff to after school fare to bizarre adult offerings, I had no idea what to expect (though being produced by Disney I wasn't expecting something akin to Aqua Teen Hunger Force).

It's a kids show, a very funny one though, set within the word of fish living in tanks at a pet store. The animation is clean and colourful, the jokes are good, and watching a couple episodes made me wish that there were more available to view. It even caught the interest and attention of my girlfriends parents, whom I think it is safe to say aren't exactly the target audience...though I guess none of us would be that. It's a great time to be an animation fan and professional (has been for a while now actually), the offerings and what is going into production isn't just all half hour commercials trying to sell kids stuff on Saturday mornings. Not that shows of that genre don't hold a place in my geeky heart.

Friday, January 04, 2013

The first thing that happens to someone when visiting Halifax and being lead around by a local is that you are tricked to be in the city at noon, and as near as possible to this cannon that gets shot off every day, so you are appropriately scared by the event.

On top of that excitement, we also dropped in on the local museum to visit a 90 year old (actual) tortoise, and stopped in for a delicious vegan lunch at the Heartwood Bakery & Cafe. We stopped in at a truly bizarre store, Video Difference, a genuine honest to goodness multi-level chain video store where one can rent movies. I didn't think that such a thing existed anymore! Here we picked up a bunch of David Tennant Doctor Who's that were on sale for an insanely low price (no box and used = big savings!).

Our low-priced shopping spree continued at Taz Records, which maybe even more bizarre than a movie rental chain that has not closed down, is a big old timey record store. Here we found a Blues Brothers album and a Steve Martin album for a mere one dollar each.

Around the corner from there was Strange Adventures, one of the coolest lil' comic stores that I've ever been in. It's a nice and cozy semi-basement locale with framed sketches from comic book artists and all kinds of toys various geekery puzzle-pieced about the brick walls. I was sad to hear that the store's lease was up and that they were moving to a new location. Good to hear that they aren't closing down, but a shame to move on from this great space. I always like to buy something when visiting nifty shops such as this, and in this case was the added bonus that a whole bunch of stuff was greatly discounted AND 2 for 1 due to the impending move. I picked up Queen Crab and Retrovirus from Image Comics, Jay Stephens' The Land of Nod and Emma Caufield's Contropussy (which I heard about on the Nerdist). On top of all of that the manager was kind enough to throw in The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists at no extra charge. This always happen when I travel, I stumble on great stuff that I have to shove into luggage and bring back home. If only paper wasn't so heavy.

As of yet, no sightings of street lobsters. I did see some seagulls that as I had heard about were indeed the size of pterodactyls.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Get to check another province off my places-I've-been-to list as my girlfriend and I travel to her Nova Scotia homeland today. We'll soon be on a plane to Halifax, to visit her parents in the nearby Dartmouth, which I believe is enemy to Halifax just like Shelbyville is to Springfield. From what I understand, lobsters roam the land the same way that squirrels and groundhogs do here and seagulls are the size of pterodactyls.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Tomorrow, at long last and thanks to our fancy new digital projector, we screen possibly the most requested film in our modern Mayfair history: The Goonies! I saw Goonies at the absolute perfect time, when it initially came out in theatres I was pretty much the exact same age as the Goonies themselves. I love Star Wars, but am pretty sure that a long time ago I will never be in a galaxy far far away. Even though partaking in a Goonies style pirate treasure quest adventure is probably equally unlikely, there was something slightly more believable that it just might happen.

The Goonies screens at the Mayfair tomorrow and Friday the 4th at 3:15pm, followed by a later screening for older geeks on Sunday the 6th at 9:30pm. I have seen this movie a bazillion times, and wish I could see it again, but I am off on an east coast Canadian trip that afternoon. Please enjoy the movie in my absence, and remember to never say die.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year! Hope y'all had an excellent numerical year switch-over. I was even a bigger sissy than normal and would have been happy to do the countdown to 2013 around 10pm...but I managed to stay up past midnight.

If you are looking for a super fun way to start off your year (and live in Ottawa...or within reasonable distance), might I suggest watching a bunch of Looney Tunes shorts at the Mayfair? You can catch our Bugs Bunny Film Fest today and tomorrow at 1pm (followed by part 2 of the fest on the 3rd and 4th at 1pm, and then back to back screenings of the cartoons on Sunday the 6th at 1pm and 3pm). I think these cartoons are some of the finest pieces of animation ever produced, especially the ones where Bugs and Daffy are trying to kill each other. They're such jerks. I also think that Bugs is pretty hot when he's in drag in What's Opera Doc. Don't judge me.