Friday, November 21, 2014

Quick thoughts on Interstellar

Went to see it on the IMAX screen with T and my Work Wife. Briefly, here are some thoughts (a few minor spoilers on cast and plot, be warned):

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Movies by year: 2006

2006. NASA sent New Horizons to Pluto, and later that year it was demoted to a dwarf planet. The baiji dolphin's deafening, blind existence ended as the species finally hits extinction. A little site called Twitter launched. And I saw a ton of movies.

Bond returned with a new face in Casino Royale. My heart pounded through The Descent. The Fountain was gorgeous and made us all scratch our heads. The Illusionist and The Prestige competed for saddest magician ever. Night Watch was a ridiculously stylish film.

And then there was...

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Movies by year: 2005

(Be a leaf on the wind and avoid the spoilers below!)

2005 had some great movies that everyone heard of (Batman Begins, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, War Of The Worlds, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire), some long-awaited but not universally well-received ones (Constantine, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Sin City, V For Vendetta) and some really interesting ones from out of left-field (Brick, The Matador). But there was really no question about what film I would choose to talk about for this year:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Movies by year: 2004

(Aim for the head - spoilers ahead!)

We're up to 2004! And what a year for film it was. Wes Anderson came back with my favourite of his (so far), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou; M. Night Shyamalan also returned with the mixed The Village; we had a variety of heroes with Hellboy, The Incredibles and Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow; and Daniel Craig made dangerous waves in Layer Cake. But my favourite had a bit of everything:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Movies by year: 2003

(I love spoilers, don't you? There are some here, be warned!)

There were some big blockbusters in 2003. The Return Of The King closed out The Lord Of The Rings trilogy with a splash; we got our first look at Johnny Depp's Keith Moon/Pepe LePew amalgam in Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl; Pixar gave us the amazing Finding Nemo; The Italian Job was super slick; and X2: X-Men United brought us an explanation for Wolverine's claws. But there were a couple of smaller films that I can't decide between so we'll just talk about both:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sssshhh - listen!

Why do we talk to ourselves when alone? Perhaps it's because somewhere, in the bottom of our minds, we know there's someone listening. Spoilers ahead.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Movies by year: 2002

(Sssh, the spoilers will hear you!)

Films seemed to stop pulling punches in 2002, and we got a lot of 'both-sides-of-the-coin' sort of selection: 28 Days Later and Bubba Ho-tep redefined Zombie culture in very different ways; The Bourne Identity, xXx and Undercover Brother were three completely different takes on the spy genre; Minority Report, The Transporter and Catch Me If You Can gave us great long-form chases; Secretary and My Big Fat Greek Wedding showed us very different ideas of love; and Hugh Grant reinvented himself with About A Boy.

But there was a little one that came and went without much fuss, though it deserved more...

Monday, September 08, 2014

Yikes and away - it's Robin Hood!

This weekend's episode of Doctor Who fell directly into the 'light and fun' category. There are spoilers ahead...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Movies by year: 2001

(What was that? Was that a spoiler? Look out!)

2001 saw the beginning of not one, not two but THREE successful franchises, that also happened to be very good (The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and Ocean's Eleven; Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson brought Derek Zoolander and Hansel to the stage; Jake Gyllenhall starred in the game-changer Donnie Darko; Audrey Tautou stole the hearts of everyone in Amélie; and the controversy around the fake reviews of A Knight's Tale kept me from giving it - or Heath Ledger - a chance (turned out it was a lot of fun, and Ledger was kind of awesome).

This little film came and went quickly, but it made quite an impression...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Rogue rusty pepperpot

This weekend brought us the second episode of the season of Doctor Who, and we find out if it was just a fluke last week. Look out for spoilers!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Movies by year: 2000

(Keep out of the dark - there are spoilers there!)

Happy long weekend! I went to the beach, it was glorious. And while I was there, I gave some thought to my favourite movies of 2000.

Guy Ritchie gave us another complicated one with Snatch; Hugh Jackman *snicked* his way into my heart in X-Men; George Clooney (our generation's Cary Grant/Clark Gable) brought us on an odyssey in O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Tom Hanks demonstrated once again his awesomeness in Cast Away; M. Night Shyamalan gave us Unbreakable (and yes, I liked it, shut up).

And a thug appeared on our screens and showed us how it's done.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Everyone take a deep breath...

On Saturday Peter Capaldi burst from the TARDIS in a flurry of confusion to start the new season of Doctor Who, and he was glorious.

Let’s talk about it. Be warned, SPOILERS ahead!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Movies by year: 1999

(Never give up, never surrender... to the spoilers below!)

1999 was a mixed bag with some really stand-out films. The 'found footage' style of filmmaking had a smash with The Blair Witch Project, The Matrix changed the way we thought about sci fi and effects, Guy Pierce and Robert Carlyle were at each other's throats in Ravenous, M. Night Shyamalan became a massive love-him-or-hate-him director with The Sixth Sense, Rene Russo showed off her curves in that transparent dress in The Thomas Crown Affair, Mystery Men proved not all heroes are the expected ones, and The Boondock Saints gave us the antiheroes we didn't know we were missing. But this is the one I can watch over and over again:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Movies by year: 1998

(Oi, spoilers ahead!)

What to tell you about? Such a big pool this year - heartstring-plucking with Meet Joe Black, What Dreams May Come or Practical Magic? Weird and bizarre with Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas or The Big Lebowski? Critical darlings The Truman Show or Saving Private Ryan? Gritty and inventive with Run Lola Run, Snake Eyes or Dark City?

How about overwhelming and a bit confusing?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Too soon: Robin Williams

via 9gag.com
Tonight I went to see Guardians Of The Galaxy with a couple of friends, and I thought I might write something about it. But once the film was done and we started checking our devices, I realized it would have to wait - we learned of Robin Williams' passing.

Apparently he'd been battling depression lately. I wish he'd reached out to someone today, as difficult as I imagine it would have been - he was loved by so many people, not just fans like myself but the staggering number of co-stars of his film, television, comedy and charity work. Someone would have been there for him I'm sure.

Like many people, my first experience of him was on Mork & Mindy, which came totally out of left field. My brother had his Reality... What A Concept album and I played it non-stop. He was perfectly cast in Popeye, but we all wondered if that was all he could do. The World According To Garp proved there was more to him. He went on to star in so many massive hit films I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have a favourite - Jumanji? Hook? Dead Again? Good Morning Vietnam? The Fisher King? Dead Poets Society? Mrs Doubtfire? There are so many diverse roles to choose from. Most interesting role, to me: Cy Parrish in One Hour Photo, disturbing.

Last season he had a show on TV, The Crazy Ones. I admit I was worried it would be too over-the-top all the time, but it turned out to be a really good show, and I was sad to hear it hadn't been picked up for a second season. To be honest, it's among my favourite things he ever did.

He was only 63.

People, appreciate everyone around you. And if you need someone, reach out.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Movies by year: 1997

(Definite spoilers ahead, be warned!)

Another year with too many amazing movies to count. Some were big productions - The Saint, Men In Black, Contact, Event Horizon, Gattaca, Starship Troopers. Others were more intimate, squeaking under the mainstream - Jackie Brown, Grosse Pointe Blank, In & Out, The Edge, Wag The Dog. All worth seeing, for different reasons. My favourite was big but weird:

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cottage trip half over :(

Well, after three or four nights of gorgeous stars, we're now overcast. Not bad though, I mean it's still beautiful, but rain in the night is becoming a thing. Not surprised, just sad we probably won't get a good night watching shooting stars before we go back.

The Boy came up on Sunday and he goes back tomorrow (can't miss Tavern) - I think I'm going to send my bathing suit and shorts back with him, I don't think it's going to get as warm as it was the first couple of days. Yesterday the three of us drove into Sudbury to do some groceries and T picked up some new mousetraps. And guess what, THEY WORK. Turns out it was TWO identical mice, not just the one. It was getting ridiculous, the one was so brazen he'd just bound across the middle of the room right in front of us.

We've had corn and kebabs, so we're all good, and T and I have made a serious dent in the LawnGuyLand 'mix' (The Boy doesn't really drink). 3-1/2 days left, have you ever heard anything so sad?

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Movies by year: 1996

(Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to avoid the spoilers to come!)

There were some great films in 1996, a few too many to get into actually. I saw a preview screening of From Dusk Till Dawn, which is two movies mashed together; Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas were terrorized by lions in The Ghost And The Darkness; Fargo took us all by surprise (and made us all avoid Minnesota in the winter); Richard Gere thought he was the star of Primal Fear but we all know it was really Edward Norton's breakout role; and if we didn't already know about the evils of drug addiction, Trainspotting hit us over the head with it with an amazing cast.

But there was one movie that was just more fun than the others:

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Cottage report: Friday night

So it cottage season, and I'm just going to bed - we've been up here since Thursday around 7ish - and there were SO many mosquitos that I got basically sucked dry by the time we got from the dock up to the house. We got settled in and basically decompressed for a few hours before pulling out the media player and watching a few shows and movies, and had a relatively early night (went to bed at 1:30am).

This morning I got up around 10ish, read and crafted and puzzled for hours - aaaah, vacation time. It eventually warmed up to around 22, which was the warmest it got the entire time on my last trip up! We went into town around 4:30pm to fuel up, get beer and cider and some gingerale. Also, I'm getting better at the tying off of the boat at the dock.

Tonight between shows we sat outside and stargazed - it's gorgeous up here tonight, super clear and you can get lost in the stars. I saw a shooting star and maybe two more, although they were more likely bugs that were caught in the light :)

There's a brash little mouse that has spent the entire day darting from the fireplace into the kitchen and rummaging around, Mocha doesn't even seem to care - he's gonna regret that by the time this trip is over…

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Movies by year: 1995

(Can you keep a secret? So can I - look out for spoilers!)

1995 - what an amazing year for movies! Astronauts had a problem in Apollo 13; Kevin Spacey took the screen by storm in both Se7en and The Usual Suspects; Terry Gilliam's insane masterpiece Twelve Monkeys hit the theatres; Hugh Grant stammered his charming way into our hearts in The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain; Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan were adorable in French Kiss; and a little Canadian film called Blood And Donuts wormed its way into my heart. But an angel told us all a secret just before we were born...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movies by year: 1994

(It's not that hard, once you know the vowels - look out for spoilers!)

There were some pretty good films in 1994, so this was a hard choice. Tim Robbins got busy livin' in The Shawshank Redemption; Brad Pitt made death sexy in Interview With The Vampire; Hugh Grant became everyone's sweetheart in Four Weddings And A Funeral; Jean Reno was slick in Léon: The Professional; Tom Hanks ran in Forrest Gump; Quentin Tarrantino revived John Travolta's career with Pulp Fiction. But none of these were my favourite. That would be...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Movies by year: 1993

(Sigh no more - you get no spoiler warnings this time!)

1993 was a real mixed bag - we went from comedy (the Bill Murray/Harold Ramis genius piece Groundhog Day; Mike Myers's beat-poet in So I Married An Axe Murderer; the return of our favourite dark family in Addams Family Values; Kevin Kline figuring out the White House in Dave) to historical drama (Liam Neeson saving lives in Schindler's List) to action/suspense (dinos running amok in Jurassic Park; Doctor Richard Kimball running amok in The Fugitive; aliens running amok in Fire In The Sky) to animation (Tim Burton's masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas). Enough to make your head spin! But we got a classic piece of romance/comedy/tragedy in one film:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Edge Of Tomorrow: stupid name, awesome film.

Okay, let me get this out of the way first - I've never met Tom Cruise, but the impression in my mind is of a little kid who just wants everyone to like him. Which is both sweet and slightly creepy. Which is a shame, because it makes me forget that I quite like his acting. Like, every time. Whenever I see him in something, it hits me again with a jolt, 'oh yeah, he's a good actor!'

So, about this movie. (Spoilers ahead guys!)

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Movies by year: 1992

(Some spoilers ahead my darlings, be warned)

I didn’t go to the movies very much in 1992 — I was at University for half of it and penniless on the West coast for the other half. Still, it was an interesting year for films. Alien 3 had Ripley finally dying (wasn’t so permanent though, was it? Also, Paul McGann!); the two yout’s had a slick defence team in My Cousin Vinny; Tarantino made a messy splash with Reservoir Dogs; Gary Oldman was mesmerising while everyone else’s accents were awful in Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Orlando brought gender-bending to a whole new level; and it turned out there was crying in baseball in A League Of Their Own. But I want to tell you about a little film called:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Movies by year: 1991

(Be warned, possible spoilers ahead)

1991 was an interesting year with interesting films. David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch weirded us all out, The Commitments grew to a crescendo and flew apart, The Silence Of The Lambs put the lotion on its skin, scissors freaked everyone out in Dead Again, Raul Julia and Angelica Huston perfectly embodied the heads of The Adams Family, and I saw Hugo Weaving for the first time in Proof (Russell Crowe too, but I didn't care about him). But I have an easy favourite for this year:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Packrat tendencies

I'm a packrat. And a clotheshorse. Some of my friends joke that I'm actually a hoarder.

But sometimes I suspect they're not really joking.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Movies by year: 1990

(Be warned: spoilers ahead)

In 1990 I moved away from home and off to school - and there were some notable movies that year too. Kevin Costner finally became a big deal in Dances With Wolves. Ron Silver made us wonder whether Claus von Bülow was really innocent or guilty in Reversal Of Fortune. Sean Connery was Scottish again as a Russian in The Hunt For Red October. Johnny Depp made all the girls cry (and a little boy sitting behind us in the theatre exclaimed, 'but he didn't do anything!') in Edward Scissorhands. Quade had a really bad day in Total Recall. And David Lynch gave us Wild At Heart, which is definitely not a date movie. And one more really interesting piece of film:

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Movies by year: 1989

(No fooling, there are definitely spoilers ahead)

In 1989 there were some great movies. Heathers was a fantastic black comedy, introducing most of us to the sideshow that was Christian Slater. When Harry Met Sally had us all ordering "what she's having." Harrison Ford and Sean Connery brought us Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, wherein we learn the origin of Indy's name. Kevin Kline hunted The January Man while trying to get an espresso. Dead Calm gave me the heebie jeebies about being out on the ocean. Kenneth Branagh was outstanding in Henry V. Leningrad Cowboys Go America had the Russian brothers with the big hair and pointy shoes touring the midwest. And Shirley Valentine discovered that "boat is boat, fuck is fuck." I could have written about any of these really, but I chose:

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Movies by year: 1988

(Don't call me stupid - I'm warning you now about spoilers!)

1988 was a pretty good year, I have a lot of good memories from that time of my life. Including movies!

Dangerous Liaisons was a tightly-woven tapestry of sexual intrigue and one-upmanship in the 1700s - John Malkovich was hypnotic. Beetlejuice warned us that, when you die but you don't go away, you really should just read the manual and not turn to shysters in stripey pants. The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey was out of left field - The Black Death is coming to a 14th century Cumbrian village, and their only hope is to install a new cross on the biggest church in the world - which they find by digging downward and ending up in 20th century New Zealand. Terry Gilliam brought us The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, a weird (of course) tale of a distracted hero who may or may not be just a senile actor. Willow was tasked with protecting Elora Dennan from the evils of the world, with the help of some great stop-motion animation. And Young Einstein proffered the theory that Albert Einstein was, in fact, from Tasmania (amazing soundtrack).

My choice?

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Movies by year: 1987

(Telling the truth can be dangerous business - look out for spoilers!)

The pickings were a little slimmer in 1987, but there were a few standouts. Let's be clear though, Overboard was not one of them - I just love it anyway, it's goofy and stupid. But there were better movies that year - The Hidden, for example, was a cop movie with an interstellar twist. Less Than Zero was a lesson in the dangers of excess. The Princess Bride taught us that not even death can stand in the way of true love. The Untouchables was a fantastic star-studded gangster flick of epic proportions. And Withnail And I told the simple story of two out-of-work actors going on holiday by mistake - and introduced me to both Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, the latter of whom set up shop in my heart and has never left.

I was pretty sure I was going to write about W&I actually, but then I realized I had to make sure one very important one was not forgotten:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Movies by year: 1986

(Look out for spoilers!)

Okay, we're really cooking now - 1986 was an awesome year for movies, lots of adventure and excitement. Jim Henson brought us David Bowie in tights in Labyrinth, and hearts were set aflutter. Kurt Russell did a comic/action turn in Big Trouble In Little China (makes for a good double-bill with Buckaroo Banzai, by the way). Ferris Bueller's Day Off gave us a day in the life of the coolest high schooler ever. Stand By Me introduced us to a few stars before their time and made us swear to never walk through a swamp. The Name Of The Rose was a compelling mediaeval murder mystery with a fantastic solution. Our Federation heroes came to visit in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Musicals were fun again with Little Shop Of Horrors ("You'll Be A Dentist" was all over the radio as I recall). Ripley returned for a more action-oriented Aliens. And David Cronenberg took Hollywood tall couple Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum and ruined their lives in The Fly.

I did say adventure, right? Here's my choice for 1986:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Movies by year: 1985

(Hey you, yes you! Spoilers!)

Quite a mixed bag in terms of movies in 1985. On the lighter side there was The Breakfast Club (no detention was ever this fun, I'm sure) and Real Genius (I was so disappointed that this bore no relation to actual University) and Young Sherlock Holmes had really cool effects and a fun story. Silverado was a bit more serious, with a great cast including a very young Kevin Costner. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was a massive hit, I loved the way the kids' language had devolved. And then there was The Color Purple, which even made my Mum cry.

I'm more for the light-hearted though, so my choice is:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Movies by year: 1984

(Sined, Seeled, Delivered (sic) Spoilers ahead.)

We've finally hit that year, 1984, where we get to pretend Orwell's predictions haven't come true. :)

Good year for movies! 2010 took us back to Europa to find out what happened with Hal. David Lynch brought Dune to the big screen in a huge, opulent, weird way. Timothy Hutton and John Lone sang by the fire in Iceman. Eddie Murphy was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop and we all loved him. Ghostbusters told us who to call when there's something strange in the neighbourhood. The Terminator gave us the bleakest of futures and some kick-ass explosions. Starman was an alien just trying to learn about us while The Brother From Another Planet wanted to escape slavery. And This Is Spinal Tap introduced us to an awesome band, with unfortunate drummers, who always took everything to eleven.

But there's one that stands out for me, and if you know me well it will come as no surprise...

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Movies by year: 1983

(Beware, spoilers ahead)

Another good year for the cinema, 1983 brought us Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie as two very stylish vampires in The Hunger; William Hurt donned a big furry hat and a glum expression for the Russian murder mystery Gorky Park and joined his college friends for a cottage weekend in The Big Chill; Build Me Up, Buttercup was put to good use in the caveman comedy Luggage Of The Gods (a personal stupid favourite); the trilogy of six (?) ended with Star Wars VI: Return Of The Jedi; Ralphie got his Red Rider BB Gun in A Christmas Story; Christopher Walken warned that the ICE was gonna BREAK in The Dead Zone; and space race heroes were born in The Right Stuff.

But I've got a gloomier one for you this time:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Movies by year: 1982

(Look out for spoilers, they're already among us!)

Wow, we're already up to 1982! This year we got another great Ustinov Poirot film, Evil Under The Sun; the visually impressive anti-corporateTron; the hilarious Victor Victoria (my favourite Julie Andrews role); Jim Henson's magic fable of a race divided and the Gelfling who must bring them together before it's too late, The Dark Crystal; and Ricardo Montalban's impressive chest coupled with Johnny Cool as Kirk's offspring in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, a mostly-perfect film.

I'm afraid I'm actually torn on this one, so I'm going to have to tell you about TWO movies...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movies by year: 1981

(Look out for falling mild spoilers!)

Now firmly into the 80s, we've reached the era of the blockbuster. Kurt Russell threw off the Disney stereotype as Snake Plissken in Escape From New York. Ron Perlman probably didn't need much makeup for his role as a caveman in Quest For Fire. Harrison Ford introduced us to everyone's favourite archaeologist in Raiders Of The Lost Ark (and, since we're being honest here, was more than a bit responsible for my Classical Studies and Anthropology choices at university). Terry Gilliam bent our wee little minds with Time Bandits. Mel Gibson was back in the infinitely superior Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and hardly said a thing through the whole movie. And a little animated movie called Grendel Grendel Grendel gave us the Beowulf story from the other side. But I'm going to talk about...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movies by year: 1980

(Watch out, mild spoilers)

There was a real mixed bag again in 1980 - a bit of comedy (The Blues Brothers on a mission from God), a bit of terror (The Shining – All atmosphere, instead of supernatural (and there's really only one thing in the entire movie that can't be explained away), it becomes a tale of cabin fever taken to the extreme), a touch of romance (the ridiculously beautiful Somewhere In Time with lovers separated by the ages), a slice of adventure (Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, my favourite of the Star Wars films), wartime exploits (Das Boot was claustrophobic and tense, the experiences of a u-boat crew over the course of WWII condensed down to one really, really bad mission) and a smidgen of musical (Popeye - perfectly cast, amazing soundtrack and the most expressive baby ever).

With such a variety, what did I choose?

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Movies by year: 1979

(Oh, did I mention there may be spoilers ahead?)

Okay, now things are heating up. 1979 was a pretty exciting year for movies – Monty Python's The Life Of Brian caused a huge ruckus, with people who had never seen it telling everyone exactly what was wrong with it. In fact, I went with my parents to see it and we weren't allowed in. 'It's PG,' they said. 'We're the parents and we'll give the guidance,' my parents said. They still wouldn't let us in. That theatre closed not long afterwards, serves them right. Malcolm McDowell was HG Wells to David Warner's Jack The Ripper in Time After Time, a wonderful time-travelling fish-out-of-water tale. Peter Sellers gave us the role of a lifetime in Being There. Steve Martin was born a poor black child in The Jerk. And Bill Murray was everyone's favourite camp counsellor in Meatballs (remember when they were trying to make Christopher Makepeace a thing?). But there's one hands-down fave for me from this year.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Movies by year: 1978

(Don't fall asleep, there are spoilers)

Pretty mixed bag in 1978. My Dad took me to see Grease, which I still love despite its message of 'conform and everyone will love you.' Peter Ustinov played Poirot in Death On The Nile and used his little grey cells. Watership Down first gave children lifelong issues. And then there was...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Movies by year: 1977

(Watch your step, mild spoilers ahead)

Life was simple when I was seven. Movies were mostly simple that year too. Demon Seed had the nightmarish scenario of a teched-up house taking on a life of its own and deciding reproduction was the way to go. Why Shoot The Teacher? had Bud Cort in the worst school district ever during the depression. Superman had the caped crusader being generally charming, handsome and funny, but then ruining it by TIME TRAVELLING BY FLYING AROUND THE EARTH. That still stings a bit. Slap Shot proved what we already know about hockey: it's not fun until there's blood. And, of course, Star Wars came out. No, I'm not going to write about that one. In the end, there's one that really stands out for me:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Movies by year: 1976

(Run, runner - there be spoilers!)

Things were moving at a pretty good clip in Hollywood in 1976. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind was my first 'grown-up' movie I saw in the theatre, with just my Mum and Dad and not the Boys, and it was really visually stunning. The Man Who Fell To Earth (otherwise known as David Bowie's autobiography) gave us a sideways view of the dangers of distraction. And Murder By Death paid a wonderful homage to film noir whodunnits with a fantastic cast (Clue would later send up this send-up). But my choice for this year would be:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

TTC: good on paper

Ridin' the Rail. (Mine)
The recent transit study that everyone’s talking about — the one that ranks Toronto as having the best transit in Canada — was compiled by Walk Score, which helps people find places to live based on ‘walkability.’ The study ranked city transit on ‘how well a location is served by public transit’ — how many kinds there was, the number of stops on routes and the frequency of the scheduled routes.

Of course Toronto ranks high in these areas — the Toronto Transit Commission is vast, I would never argue with that — on paper, we’ve got an amazing system, covering the entire city and connecting with the surrounding cities. You can get basically anywhere in the city on the TTC.

The problem is this: the study doesn’t in any way take into account travel time, ability to actually board vehicles, comfort, cost or customer frustration. In other words, the actual usability of the system.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cranium bouncers

No, not bouncers that keep unwanted guests out of your head (although I must use that sometime) - no, these are just random thoughts that have been careening around my noggin today.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Movies by year: 1975

(Duck, spoilers!)

We're mid-way through the 70s now – everyone makes music when they walk with their corduroys and bell-bottoms, David Bowie's starting to get freaky and there are some pretty good movie choices out there. A generation learns to fear the water because of Jaws and The Rocky Horror Picture Show had us all taking a jump to the left. But there's one clear frontrunner for 1975, for me:

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Movies by year: 1974

(Avast: here be spoilers, be ye warned!)

We're up to 1974 now, and I had to ponder a bit before deciding what film to share with you. Albert Finney starred as Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express, which was delightful, and The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three answered the question 'is it possible to take the passengers of a subway car hostage?’ (hint: YES) – but in the end I decided on:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Movies by year: 1973

(Warning: here be spoilers, but seriously come on, this movie's 41 years old now!)

How has the weekend been for you guys? Did you, by any chance, watch any of my 'life movies' yet? No pressure :) Okay, now we're up to 1973, which was an interesting year for movies. Leonard Nimoy was a psychic race car driver (yes) in Baffled!, which never turned into a series; Linda Blair puked up pea soup in The Exorcist (and I became a lover of the soundtrack); and Yul Brenner planted the seeds for The Terminator as the unstoppable black-hatted cowboy in Westworld. But my choice is based on a sort of true story:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Movies by year: 1972

(Warning: here be spoilers, but seriously come on, this movie's 42 years old now!)

We're up to 1972! I thought about writing about Deliverance, which is hard to watch but has Burt Reynolds actually acting, or Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid To Ask), which served as a wacky anthology of stuff that made me laugh, but I didn't get until later in life (I first saw it when I was seven), but instead I decided to go the hippie route:

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Movies by year: 1971

(Warning: here be spoilers, but seriously come on, this movie's 43 years old now!)

Time for another movie! We're up to 1971, and there are plenty of excellent films we could discuss - The Andromeda Strain, Bananas, A Clockwork Orange, Harold and Maude, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory - but instead I'm going to tell you about:

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Movies by year: 1970

(Warning: here be spoilers, but seriously come on, this movie's 44 years old now!)

My Life Songs project inspired me to do the same with movies. I'm going to pick a movie per year of my life and just introduce you to it briefly. Not necessarily my absolute favourite of the year (though it will be among them) or the smartest or the most poignant - just an interesting one. So let's start with 1970: