“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”

-swiped shamelessly from Arbogast


Two birthdays

One for the living, one for the dead, both bona fide genre giants of the silver screen.  Sir Christopher Lee turns 88 today, and the inimitable Vincent Price (my favourite actor of all time, hands down), would have been 99, though he sadly passed away in 1993.  Also, yesterday was Peter Cushing's birthday.  He died in 1994, but would have been 97.  So much history.  Let's begin, shall we, admitting to the omission of so many...








The Revealing-Who-We-Really-Are Staff Challenge

After numerous requests from folks who aren't as familiar with film as I am - and I don't even think I am that familiar with film - for a "Required Viewing List," which I eventually put together and published on FB, I started to think about the movies that I had seen the most. Stuff that I had re-watched many times, in some cases over twenty times, and looked at that list as a separate entity. When I perused that list I was sort of, as I am wont to do, thrust into an existential crisis.
Is that really the shit I have seen most? I thought I was a smart person.

As a challenge to all you Buffers, which I will initiate by exposing my list first, I dare you all to reveal your own lists of your go-tos.

What have you really watched over and over again? And more importantly what does that say about us? My own personal conclusion is that I am a big fat baby.

Here goes, these are the movies I think I have seen the most.

1. Withnail and I - I am actually proud of this one. It is my absolute favourite film and with the cult following that it has developed since its release in 1987, I have no problem admitting this one. I have easily watched this film - yes - fifty or more times.
2. Godfather (parts 1 and 2) - Again another selection I am not ashamed of, it seems to always happen around Christmas. A few times during the festive season I will watch these films back to back.
3. Shawshank Redemption - Partly because it was always TV, but this is a near perfect film that just makes me feel fuzzy.

(okay - cue the WTF! text message)

4. Good Will Hunting - I don't know what it is about this film but I have seen it, well, a lot. And it seems to be when I am feeling sick.
5. Wonderboys - I don't give a shit. I love this film. It is tight and it is bar none Michael Douglas' best performance. This film also re-established Robert Downey Jr. as a reliable actor after his decline into the ditch. Now he's Iron Man.
6. Batman - Yes, the 1989 Tim Burton, Michael... what's his name again, and what the hell happened to him...?
7. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - Just an awesome action movie, based upon my favourite story of all time. And even though the reviews have been shit, and I HATE going to the theatre to see anything, I will be going to the new Ridley Scott attempt.
8. Ghostbusters - Yup, I said it. Nearing the 30 mark of times-viewed. Probably more, because it was a childhood obsession, but Rick Moranis still cracks me up. Can't help it.
9. The Big Lebowski - When I feel like a big piece of crap, which is often, but there comes a time during the cycle of feeling like a big piece of crap where all of a sudden I go "gotta watch Lebowski." That one ain't so bad.
10. The Insider - solely for the acting. That's my pure actor wank talking, but this is one of the best acted films of all time.

So there's ten. I feel just sorry for myself looking at the list. There are no foreign films, there are no "indie" films, there are no Canadian films, there are no Classics, etc... WTF.

Anyway, I dare you all. We ain't such Film Buffs after all are we?


The Toronto Underground Cinema opens tonight!

This city deserves a better class of cinema and Alex Woodside, Charlie Lawton, and Nigel Agnew are gonna give it to them. These three cinephiles open a new repertory cinema tonight with a FREE double screening of Clue and Big Trouble In Little China, two cult b-movie faves that are guaranteed to provide a fantastic night out at the movies.
The Theater is located half a block north of Queen at 186 Spadina. The movies begin at 7pm and the doors open at 6pm. Seeing these two movies on film in a 700 seat theater that is sure to be at capacity with fellow Toronto film lovers is going to be quite the experience.

If the last few weeks are any indication this theater is setting itself up to be a cut above anything this city has seen in terms of the movie theater experience. As i have spent much time in the theater myself over the past few weeks helping gear up for the opening I can say that it's a space that oozes love of film. The fact that the theater is actually underground and hard to locate it becomes a cult-like location on its own. With one of the most beautiful and biggest theaters i've seen in the city it has promise to become something of a treasure in Toronto. Whether or not the general public will be receptive to a new cinema specializing in avant-garde, foreign, rare, b-movie, cult, and second run films is still to be seen but if the immense amount of media attention the three managers of garnered themselves over the last month is any indication then The T.U.C. will be making a big splash. Within a couple of days The T.U.C.'s Facebook page had over 1,000 fans now it has 5,000. The three managers have been featured on many blogs and news websites around the city, newspapers, and even on the radio. If that's not enough, director Kevin Smith and film critic legend Roger Ebert have given their blessings for the cinema over Twitter.

Over the next few months the three managers have big plans for the cinema promising amazing events featuring guest directors and special film festivals. I have caught rumors of such events and even though nothing is yet confirmed let me tell you, that these events will host some truly memorable moments for any lover of film.

Tonight marks the beginning of something new for film lovers in Toronto, something they have been waiting for. Don't miss the chance to be apart of that magic.

My hats off to you Alex, Charlie, and Nigel.... make me proud...... proud.


Tsunami Shit Storm Strikes Segredos....

Two major washouts tonight, the first being Tidal Wave (Haeundae) from 2009, a Korean disaster.

..............film that should be avoided at all costs. Based seouly on the handful of Korean pictures I've watched over the years, it would seem that South Korea is the epicentre of externalizing emotions. When the cast of Tidal Wave isn't weeping uncontrollably, they're crying out each others names in a weird death-scream tone for no apparent reason... and this is long before the big-ass wave gets there. About 30 seconds in, I started hoping the wave would arrive sooner so it could put a stop to all the incessant wailing and moaning.

Jesus Christ, grow a backbone you sniveling creampuffs. It's just water.

I considered giving Tidal Wave a rock-bottom 1 out of 10, but thought I'd better leave space in case I ever saw anything worse, so I settled on a 2/10.

Which, oddly enough, happened sooner than I'd first expected. The unwatchable Tidal Wave is a veritable masterwork compared with the second film I chapter-skimmed through tonight, Puen yai jon salad (2009), billed as a Thai “Pirates of the Caribbean” and sporting two quite different and seemingly disconnected English-translation titles. It's either called Queens of Langkasuka or Legend of the Tsunami Warrior, neither of which seem to have much to do with the movie. What it should be called is “Sit jou kop in die koei se kont en wag tot die bul jou kom holnaai” which loosely translates to “Giant Waste of Time”.

Imagine if you combined the dramatic scenes from Ong Bak 2 with the worst bits of Waterworld and then sucked all the creativity out of the project and you start to approach the sheer ineptitude of Legend of the Tsunami Queens of Langkasuka Salad.

Thanks to my earlier foresight, The Salad Queens of Tsunami Ridge gets an pitiful 1 out of 10 and if I need to tuck Pauly Shore's or Carrottop's inevitable comeback movie somewhere below this one, I can always go to the big goose egg. For the time being however, the clear limbo bar winner is The Legendary Tsunami Salad of the Thai Queens.

A final word of warning – despite the misleading DVD title, there are simply no tsunamis or even modest waves in Puen yai jon salad.

Not one.

And also, regardless of what's written on IMDb in the movie's description, I could only count one Queen.



The Slammin' Salmon (2009)

Comedy troupe Broken Lizard return with The Slammin' Salmon. A comedy about a restaurant in Florida owned by an ex-boxing champion (played hilariously by Michael Clark Duncan) that needs to make $20,000 dollars in one night in order to save the business. In order to motivate the wait staff the owner puts up a prize of $10,000 dollars to be awarded to the top server. The result of this is a rat race of sorts with the staff in fierce competition with one another... supposedly hilarity ensues.

The Broken Lizard team has had a bit of a spotty run since their break out hit with 2001's Super Troopers. The troupe hasn't been able to recreate the success or hilarity of Super Troopers since. 2004's Club Dread had it's moments but those moments were few and far between, however i did quite enjoy their 2006 effort Beerfest although it goes without saying it was nowhere near the quality of Super Troopers.

If i had to rank this film with their previous efforts i would say Slammin' Salmon is better than Club Dread but not as good as Beerfest or Super Troopers. Not that the film is a complete waste of time, in fact it's quite enjoyable and if you enjoy rat race like films than you'll get a kick out of this one. It moves at a pretty quick pace and although many of the jokes miss the mark, some being too silly and some just being irrelevant, there are enough that hit it on the head to keep you watching.

Bonus points for Michael Clarke Duncan who could have carried this film on his own, as he's the source of the film's best material.

In summary, The Slammin' Salmon isn't a horrible comedy. It's a few points up from mediocre but if you're looking for something that takes on the frustrations of working in the service industry i suggest renting Waiting instead. More than anything The Slammin' Salmon is a hectic rat race-esque film that utilizes the setting of a busy high class restaurant to heighten the sense of insanity. The cast is terrific, including the non-members of Broken Lizard, and they all work rather well together. A fun ensemble comedy, albeit a little undercooked but you could do much worse than The Slammin' Salmon.