Friday, February 28, 2014

I admit that I am not a card carrying member of the Kvin Smith filmmaking fan-club. I really loved Clerks when it came out in the day, and then things went a bit down-hill for my taste after that. Then a couple years ago Kevin announced that h was retiring from filmmaking after Red State. Which I ended up really liking too. So, he was retiring just after I thought h had finally become a real filmmaker and broken out of the slacker Silent Bob mold. His retirement lasted about as long as Jay Z's did, he now has three films in the pipeline in various states of development.

Despite my neutrality to his movie making, I have always thought that Kevin Smith has known how to tackle the skill of public speaking and being a good interview subject and DVD audio commentary participant. He has puzzle-pieced these skills together to become quite the internet corner-stone with his always building podcast empire.

I'm always looking for new podcasts to listen to. I'll find one that I like and just marathon through libraries worth of episodes. I never listen to music anymore in my hadst wearing time, it's all podcasts all the time. I've delved into a Kevin Smith hosted show for the first time with Fat Man on Batman.

As you might guess, this podcast focuses on Kevin Smith talking about his favourite fictional character with Batman related actors and creators and fans. So far I've listened to episodes featuring animation masterminds Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, Batman voice-actors Kevin Conroy and Diedrich Bader, 1960's Bat-icon Adam West, and Jedi Master and greatest Joker ever - Mark Hamill. I'm a giant Batman geek, so not so surprisingly, I really like the show. It's not just completely Bat-centric though, conversations weave into talking about all kinds of other stuff that happen to come up around the theme.

I can do without the familiar x-rated humour that a Kevin Smith dialogue always circles around. I fast forward through the rather annoying Kevin Smith sung 'snoochie boochie'-esque opening intro and theme song. Besides for those complaints, Kevin Smith is an intelligent and passionate host and this is a worthy tribute to a character that happens to be my favourite as well.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

This weekend the Mayfair is excited to welcome the great Crispin Hellion Glover back into the theatre. The two nights will each feature a live dramatic performance showcasing portions of his books with a slide-show happening in the background. Also as part of the two day event, we will screen his films It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine!, and What Is It?

A q&a will follow. Don't be shy to ask about his work on Back to the Future or Friday the 13th or Beowulf...or any other curiosity you might have in regards to his ongoing career. The live performance is not to be missed. And it is in Mr. Glover's contract that we can't close up shop until he gets to meet everyone in attendance. I got my copy of Willard signed on his last visit.

This is truly a one-of-a-kind night out from some truly independent non-Hollywood cinematic art. For more info, please check out the Mayfair Theatre main site.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I was reminded of a valuable life lesson today. If you have something in your world that you care about, don't read about it on the Reddit.

I mistakenly linked over to a Reddit section talking about the Mayfair Theatre. Those 3 or 4 furiously opinionated angry misinformed anonymous internetters on any given sub-section sure are upset about everything. It wouldn't be so disconcerting if what they are angry about had any basis in truth. The blessing and the curse of the interwebs is anyone can go online and ramble on unedited. Just like right here!

I just don't know where people find the time. Isn't it healthier to chat about things you like? Y'know, I'm routinely angered by the filmmaking practices of Michael Bay...but I'm not going onto message boards yelling into the great unknown under a code-name. I just have better things to do.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm still sad about Harold Ramis. This will always cheer me up.

Monday, February 24, 2014

It was hectic with lots of e-mails and wrangling and social media hours spent working along at Mayfair related chaos. Our projector exploded, as you might understand, a working projector is kind of a necessity to screen movies at a movie theatre and to make money and stay open. Plus, I was a bit upset at some editorial rejection for a comic book script that I wrote and am very fond of.

As an added bonus, I woke up at 4:00am with the worst pain I've ever felt in my life thanks to an ear-ache. Seriously. It was deadly. Worse than getting a chest tattoo.

Amidst all the broken Mayfair stress, writing woes, and a debilitating pain in my head, to top it all off I got a text informing me that Harold Ramis died. Not a good day.

My mum used to let me watch SCTV reruns in my early childhood, so by the time I saw Ghostbusters and Stripes, I was already a fan. I won't bother running through Harold's resume...but I will point out that I even liked Multiplicity.

This all happens on a day in which we had Caddyshack on the schedule at the Mayfair. If the projector hadn't of konked out on us, we would have screened a Harold Ramis movie tonight! What are the chances of that!?

Anyhow, I'm really sad...we're all sad. On a day when I get choked up reading many a Harold Ramis tribute from everyone from Patton Oswalt to Bill Murray to President Obama, luckily we can easily remember his genius talent and better times. Let's all go watch Ghostbusters.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Marvel Comics at it's worst can be pretty guilty of some sub-par representations of their women characters, like when a female hero wears g-strings instead of pants while they battle evil. The company is also extremely guilty of endless money gouging cross-over's and of giving popular characters numerous titles titles that dilute the talent and the story-telling possibilities. It wouldn't be so bad if the crossovers and spin-off's were good...more and more they leave me very unimpressed. I've actually pretty much given up on most of Marvel.

Sneaking through the shockingly uneventful world ending crisis events and the 473 Avengers and X-Men books a month, the good news is that a handful of great books still manage to sneak through. FF was great. Hawkeye is great. And, I'm pretty sure after having read the first issue of the reinvention of Ms Marvel, that this series has potential of greatness.

The new Ms Marvel is a feisty imaginative Muslim Pakistani-American teen living in New Jersey. She is set firmly in the Marvel universe, and to top of the daily troubles of her teen existence, she now finds herself with super-powers and in a costume similar to her favourite Avenger. The series is drawn by Adrian Alphona, veteran of one of my favourite comics ever, The Runaways. Writing duties are handled by G.Willow Wilson, writer of Vertigo's Eisner nominated series Air.

Ms Marvel is on of those critically acclaimed, fan favourite kind of books that usually seems to cling on the cliff of cancellation for its entire run. I hope Marvel makes enough money off all those crossover's and merchandising to give this one a chance.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A belated congrats to my talented comic drawin' pal Marco Rudy on his mini-series run on Marvel Knights: Spider-man wrapping up with the recently released fifth issue. The story-arc titled '99 Problems' was a beautifully illustrated story. I might even go as far to say that you've never read a super-hero book that looked like this before. Really great stuff. If you missed out on the monthly comic release, I'm sure Marvel with have it collected up into a big fat comic for your purchasing enjoyment soon.

Friday, February 21, 2014

"You're Welcome" - Well played Marvel...well played. I'm going to go get my tent and lawn chair and get in line.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Some eagle eyed patrons may have noticed some intriguing new information while looking at the March schedule poster that went up on display yesterday at the Mayfair.

In the words of the great Douglas Adams...Don't panic!

There is a big change upcoming for the Mayfair Theatre, but it is not a change to fear. Starting next month, the Mayfair will switch up to weekly scheduling instead of a monthly schedule format.

The bad news, for the first time since the late 1970s (when more adult fare was being showcased at the theatre), you won't be able to magnet a Mayfair program to your fridge. What's the good news?

This means that we can book week to week and hence can bring in new mainstream and new indie movies much faster. There have been numerous times that we have missed out on on booking a new movie sooner, or sometimes missed out on a getting film all together. We haven't just missed out on Hollywood movies repeatedly, but also genre cult type stuff. All this was due to schedules being set in stone sometimes six weeks or more in advance.

Other popular Mayfair style theatres successfully program in a similar manner without a monthly schedule. So, just because of the change, this doesn't mean we will miss out on continuing to screen movies that you've come to love seeing at the Mayfair. Programming new movies faster doesn't hinder the likes of The Room, Rocky Horror, Saturday Night Sinema, Christmas classics in December, Halloween fare in October, Saturday Morning Cartoons, and movies from local filmmakers (etc...) from gracing our screen.

All of our scheduling information will be available on our website, Facebook and Twitter, and listings will of course still be available in Ottawa newspapers. We'll soon have information available about signing up for our e-mailing list if you are interested in getting programming updates in such a manner.

I am very excited at the programming possibilities that this will open up. I am confident that our fine patrons will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

People who complain that there are no good movies being produced now-a-days are the kind of movie-goers who do not seek out great movies like Short Term 12. If you are paying to see movies the like of Transformers 3 or Grown Ups 2, and then complain about the lack of quality's your fault. If looking for some fine quality motion picture entertainment, never be afraid to make that small extra effort of a step away from the mainstream.

Short Term 12 is heart-felt, intelligent, gripping, funny, and deserves many more eyes pointed towards it then it will get. It screens at the Mayfair tonight at 9:00pm and tomorrow (February 20th) at 9:30pm.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gravity is well deserved of all of its praise received. It's also a prime example that movies should be watched on a big movie theatre screen and not on a tablet.

Gravity screens at the Mayfair tonight and tomorrow (February 18 and 19) at 7:00pm.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ghostbusters screens tonight at 6:30pm at the Mayfair. When I was a kid I wanted to be a Ghostbuster when I grew up. That hasn't rally changed. I will never get tired of watching this movie.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What's wrong with Hollywood isn't the normal frequent complaint of too many sequels, remakes, reboots, and general amounts of unoriginality. What's wrong with Hollywood is that they have no interest in having a master like Drew Struzan paint poster for them anymore. Just look at the photoshopped mess that is a poster like The Avengers, or pretty much every other sub-par one-sheet that is unleashed to a movie theatre is confusing and purely shameful.

Watch the doc 'Drew Struzan - The Man Behind the Poster',and feel angry at the inexplicable idiocy that is the Hollywood movie making decision process. The look at Drew Struzan's posters for Back to the Future or Muppets or Indiana Jones or Star Wars or Harry Potter or Hellboy, and feel better about the potential of movie magic.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oh, 'House of Cards, I wish that I had no work, no errands, no plans, or any other obligations and that I could have just marathoned through your whole second season today. The first three episodes were just as wonderfully Machiavellian as last season was, and I have a good feeling that the rest of the Netflix season will not disappoint.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm very tired of people complaining and moaning about the commercialism or general fakeness of the holiday the is Valentine's Day. It's a harsh proclamation, but I've always thought that if you are bemoaning the existence of Valentine's Day, it's because you have nothing to do on Valentine's Day. I was single on many a Valentine's Day, so I can identify with and feel that pain...but I feel like ranting about it or begrudging people who do stuff on the day is a colossal waste of one's time.

If you don't have a date tonight, I'm sure there is something else productive you can do with your time of the Valentine's theme. Eat some cupcakes, watch the Charlie Brown Valentine cartoon, get together with other single friends...or if in a more horror themed mood, watch a movie like My Bloody Valentine. If you want to avoid love themed festivities, that's totally fine too, just don't be one of those negative souls crying about the evils of a Hallmark holiday. Hallmark has never made up a holiday! They just profit from them. No one has a gun to your head to make you go buy cards.

Today my girlfriend and I will ate cupcakes for breakfast, today we will get dressed up and go for a fancy dinner, and then we will go to the Mayfair for a sexy short film festival. My girlfriend also got me a card with Crow from MST3K on it, and a Robot vs T-Rex shirt. Nothing to complain about there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Join us tomorrow night at the Mayfair for Ottawa's favourite Valentine night traditions: Painted Lips and Lolly Licks: The Sexy Film Festival. This years presentation includes 20 new erotic short films of every sub-genre from Ottawa, Canada, and international offerings. The program will be judged by adult film star Mandy Morbid. Doors open at 9:00pm, the festivities will begin soon after. It's the perfect way to wrap up your Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Oh, great. The publication of the new series Deadly Class marks yet another great read to check out from Image Comics. C'mon Image, I only have so much in the way of an income to put towards buying comic books.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Watching old Transformers cartoons while taking a bit of a lunch break gives me wonderful flashbacks to when I lived close enough to home to come home for lunch while in grade-school. I wish I had nothing else to occupy my days with,I would just watch these old cartoons all day long. The sound effect alone that the Transformers make when they change from robot to vehicle brings me pure childlike joy. It's the opposite of what I felt when watching a Michael Bay Transformers movie.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I always get angry at people who negatively judge movies before they see the movies. Recently I happened to read someone practically have a nervous breakdown hissy fit because Michael Douglas had been cast in the upcoming Ant-Man movie. This Marvel fanatic was reacting to the casting of an actor in a movie the way a more logical person might react to a hate crime, ecological disaster or his house being burnt down. You would think that he'd be happy at the news that an Oscar winning actor had been cast in a movie property that h clearly cares deeply about. On top of that,the movie is directed by the flawless Edgar Wright, and also stars Paul Rudd. This should all bring one joy and hopefulness, and yet it seems like every press release only brings some fans trucks full of anger.

I am a giant comic book nerd. I have love comic books all of my life. I have been angry about sub-par scripts and art and poor movie adaptations to be sure. The catch is, I wait to actually take in the product before passing judgement upon it. I didn't like the movie versions of Green Lantern or Man of Steel or Batman & Robin. There are moments in each film that push me towards fits of geeky Hulk rage anger. I also realize that they are just movies,and no matter how terrible they are, it doesn't take away from my love of the comic book source material. Just because the Batman & Robin movie is horrible, doesn't suddenly make the Batman movies and cartoons and comics that I love suddenly become awful.

Geek anger as such perplexes me. The latest Hollywood offering to be pelted with unnecessary cinematic geek ferocity is the Robocop remake. I got to check out the new movie at another free screening that I keep getting invites to. The sci-fi cyborg cop revenge tale features new twists and turns away from the original, along with lots of bad guy bashing, giant robots and a nice dose of Fox News shaming. It is not a great movie, but I don't really think that the original is either. Nostalgia and the teenage brain tend to skew the quality of one's entertainment intake. The movie features Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L Jackson in supporting roles...I'll see any movie with a triple bill of talent that impressive. The original Robocop was pretty cool, and so is this one. And I give that opinion having actually watched the movie.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Finally read Supergods by Grant Morrison, my favourite writer. The book is the historical journey through the comic book age of superhero's / the autobiography of Grant's life while writing the characters. It's a fascinating read for a comic geek, and I would hazard a guess that it would be a very interesting read for the normal human too. I'm all on board with Grant's belief in alternate universes, aliens, that he's met comic book characters in real life...all kinds of awesome madness. If Grant started up a scientology like church, I'd be front of the line to sign up. Hence, I admit that I might not be the toughest critic of his work. Like all of Grant's best work, this visit into non-comic writing is interesting and full of imagination, and packed with comic book history that even a life long devotee like myself wasn't knowledgeable of. Plus, you just might come out of it convinced that the future can effect the past. Which is something that I never pondered before, but thanks to Grant, I now believe.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

I do love a good documentary, of any subject matter. Via his Doug Loves Minis podcast, Doug Benson gave out the recommendation to check out the My Little Pony fan documentary called Bronies. I've never watched the cartoon, but have heard the rumblings at how surprisingly great the animated series is. As Doug commented, the doc starts out a bit rough around the edges, but once the endearing and inspirational nerds are introduced it becomes a very interesting doc. Plus, there's some fun animation, and appearances from legendary voice actor Tara Strong, and Q himself, John DeLancie. It's great that what easily could have been a blatant brainwashing commercial to trick girls into buying toys, has actually become a worthwhile quality program. And as Doug warned, this doc about boys and men who are fans of a cartoon about talking ponies, did indeed get me choked up a couple times.

Friday, February 07, 2014

David Letterman is my late night hero and king. Craig Ferguson and his gay robot and intern horse sidekicks have my heart. Conan and Andy are like old high school friends. I get all my news from the Daily Show and Colbert Report.

I had no specific ill will towards Jimmy Fallon, but my late night teevee watchings were already pretty packed. Plus, all that I really knew about the host was that he was in that horrible movie Taxi, and that h was the guy who could never make it through a sketch at SNL without laughing rather unprofessionally at himself.

Over the years I've seen some rather brilliant crossovers with Jimmy and Craig, with Jimmy and Daily Show and Colbert, and even Dave has appeared in a Jimmy instigated gag. With Jay Leno out of the mix, it seems like the late night wars of officially reached a peaceful truce. Plus, his house band is The Roots. You can't go wrong with that.

Jimmy and his gang will soon jump up to the Tonight Show time-slot, bringing the show back to NYC for the first time in decades. Hopefully NBC will not go insane again, and Leno will stay off the NBC airwaves for good this time. I've just watched the three 'Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' specials and his final episode. It's evident that not only is Jimmy a really nice guy, but that he's having a hell of a good time, and trying really really hard to entertain.

I think this final musical number was the last straw in pushing me up onto the Jimmy Fallon bandwagon. Talk about a dream come true way to wrap up one's run on a talk show and get ready for the new gig.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Batman and Robin Annual 2 is yet another comic to come out since the untimely demise of Damian Wayne that features both a present day story revolving around and a flashback to his Robin. It's more proof that the Bat creative teams can't stop thinking of Damian stories to tell, and the editors and publisher aren't adverse to them doing so. I continue to miss that angry pompous little bastard, and look forward to someone bringing him back to life sooner or later. Since he has a penchant for immortality and resurrections, might I suggest a story-line involving his grandpa Ra's al Ghul?

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

In All Star Western 27, the New 52 incarnations of Jonah Hex and Superman meet for the first time. Jonah's present day, displaced from his own time sci-fi cowboy adventures continue to be a lot of fun. I still think Superman looks weird without his red underwear though.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The new Joss Whedon executive produced and Zack Whedon written Serenity comic got me choked up on pages 15 and 17. Reading comic books is a geeky emotional roller-coaster.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Auntie Loo's is making donuts now!? Tis truly an amazing time to be alive and living in Ottawa.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Went to a good ole' fashioned, free to get into, flee market style, held in a community centre, Sports Card and Comic Book convention. It was about 75% sports cards, of which I have no interest in. Except I'm kicking myself for not remembering to try and find the baseball card of Carl Yastrzemski with the big sideburns that Milhouse wanted. I did stumble onto my most favouritest of thing to find at such a gathering, cheap bin comics. Better then even dollar comics or finds from the 50 cent bins, these ones were a mere 25 cents a piece. Got a batch of 1970's treasure including issues of Aquaman, Flash, Justice Society, World's Finest, Superman Family, and Man-Thing...16 comics for a whopping four dollars. I almost feel bad for ripping the guy off. Almost. Then I look at the awesome cover for Man-Thing #1 and I feel better.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Got a giant stack of comics delivered, about six weeks worth I think. One in the stack was Marvel Knights Spider-man #4. Not only is this proving to be a great lil' stand-alone mini-series, but it also happens to be drawn by my pal Marco Rudy. Of course, that means that I am going to tell you to go buy it. You won't be disappointed, the five issues will feature pretty much every villain ever in Spidey history, and the artwork is really something else. I even forgive Marco for not being able to sneak in a panel of Spidey punching me.