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: