Saturday, February 24, 2007



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Young Danny Tanner!?

I was watching more "How I Met Your Mother" last night, and I had sort of an interesting revelation. (Now taking into consideration that chronologically it doesn't work) If there is a problem with the show, it is that the "main" character Ted is kind of lame. The show as I said is all about Barney and Lilly. Now one thing that I love about this show is that it is narrated by Bob Saget. I found last night, that if you imagine that Ted is actually a young Danny Tanner (Sagat's character from "Full House") his character becomes far more entertaining. Just try it. It isn't to big of a stretch to imagine the lines of dialogue comming out of Ted's mouth comming out of Danny's. I mean Danny Tanner had to have been young once. This got me wondering what would the show "Danny Tanner & Joey Gladstone: The College Years" have looked like? Look at the pictures I posted. Not to had to uimagine Ted growing up to be Danny. They sort of look the same too.

5 Scariest Movies

For a good portion of my life I avoided scary movies like the plague. Being a child with an overactive imagination these movies would give me nightmares just from over hearing conversations about them from the other kids in my grammar school. Over time, I have begun to appreciate the fun that a good scary movie can provide. I have sort of taken on a personal quest to familiarize myself with some of the movies that are considered to be the tent poles of the horror genre. One thing that I quickly realized while watching movies such as Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th Part 1 was that for the most part, movies that are considered to be some of the classic horror films contain very little gore and very low body counts. I like this. Gore for the sake of gore always turns me off. Plus, when there are only a few characters to follow you become more attached to them and their demise impacts you more.
Anyways...If I had to compose a list of my favourite scary movies it would look like this:

5) Event Horizon - When I saw this movie in the theatre I was on a date, and practically crawled under my seat. Basically "The Shinning" in space. It was a movie that seeing it once was more then I will ever need. It is creepy from the start. One thing that I always loved about this movie though was the title. An Event Horizon is the point of a black hole where the gravity becomes so strong that light is not able to escape it. It is basically the vanishing point. Pretty cool in respect to this movie. Most of my friends share the opinion that this movie is so scary that they have no intention of seeing it ever again.

4) Alien - This movie, is a masterpiece in terms of how it builds suspense. The most effective horror in my mind always comes not from something happening, but from waiting for it to happen. In Alien all we do is wait. We know, (because the movie is called "Alien") that at some point there is going to be a alien. However, when you consider that you almost watch 2/3rds of the film before the monster appears there must be something to make this movie scary. Allot of horror movies employ a very effect device to grab us and ratchet up the terror. We see these people going about their everyday lives not for once imagining anything is wrong. We know better. Mostly because we decided to sit down and watch a movie called "Alien". Being able to do nothing but watch these people blindly move towards there eventual encounter with the beast is nerve wracking. How many times do you just want to yell "What are you doing? Stop that! Don't you know that thing is going to eat you?" The sad thing is, in movies no one can hear you scream. If you want to imagine why Alien is so scary just suppose for a second, that you show up at work today, power up your computer, make some coffee and then realize that the cute little stuffed animal on your co-workers desk is now running around your office systematically killing your fellow employees. What a crappy day at the office. Now in terms of preference, I tend to favour the second movie in the Alien series. As a movie, I think it is a lot more fun. However, Aliens clearly sits in the sci-fi action genre as opposed to horror. However, since we are talking about horror films Alien is much much scarier and a great movie to boot.

3) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - This movie was interesting to me. I enjoyed it, and was happy to discover how little blood was shed in this movie. This movie is scary for two reasons. First it hearkens back to the points I made about Alien. This is a total "Don't go in there!" movie. Second just like Alien, the over all plot again smacks of a real work situation. Instead of a bad day at work, Chainsaw basically features the "vacation gone wrong" plot. The main characters are really just some kids out for a drive who happen to stop at just the wrong place at just the wrong time. The chief antagonists of this film, a family of cannibalistic inbred hicks. (This movie certainly didn't do much for the tourism industry of rural Texas.) Most of the attention has always focused on the Leather Face character and he has indeed become the "hero" of the following sequels. Watching the film for the first time, I was surprised to find that Leather Face is far less of a monster than one might imagine. Yes, he is the character responsible for the deaths of all the teenagers in the film, but the true villain of the movie is Leather Face's father. While being physically intimidating and an efficient killer Leather Face in the few quiet moments he is allowed actually behaves as if he is a five year old child trying to please his father. He even speaks with a very frail sounding high pitched voice. Certainly not what you would expect the guy chasing you with a chainsaw to sound like. (Not that you would ever stop to find out.) The last thing that I want to address regarding this film is the set design. The amount of effort put into dressing the house shared by Leather Face and his clan was brilliant. It is a real life house of horrors with bones and remains strewn all about. It's obviously not the sort of place that mentally stable folks live.

2) Friday the 13th (Part 1)- Of the movies on my list this movie is quite possibly to most graphic in terms of violence and gore. As slasher films grew in popularity the movies appear to become centered around the spectacle of the killing with points awarded for the most creative uses of drinking straws to mutilate a person. Friday the 13th does have a few of these moments, but for the most part the killings are all "very real" and almost believable. Why this movie succeeds is because of the tricks that the maker plays with us with his camera placement. In this installment, the identity of the killer is not revealed until the very end of the movie. one of the reasons why we are kept in the dark for so long, is that for the better part of the movie we experience a good number of scenes from the perspective of the killer in point of view shots, or do we. The director effectively employs both POV shots and establishing shots in a manner that leaves us never truly being sure if we are seeing things from the eyes of our mystery killer or if we are just watching the scene unfold. This generates a feeling of dread in the viewer, because you can never be absolutely certain that you know where the killer is, but you know the killer is there somewhere.

1) Halloween - Not only is Halloween my favourite scary movie, it is very high up on my list of all time favourite movies. I have already written a good deal on why I think this movie is effective. (Look at my profile to hopefully find a link to my full write up of Halloween) This is one of the hands down most effective pieces of movie making I have seen. It sets out with one goal. To scare the tar out of you and it does this in spades! It is note and tone perfect. If you have never seen it I would highly recommend it. Especially if you are like me and want to be scared but don't want to wade through a sea of blood and dead bodies for it. THERE IS ONE SHOT IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE WITH BLOOD IN IT!
Well, those are my favourite scary movies. I hope I make an effective case for them all. See them if you have not. You wont be sorry.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One more post...

Due to the fact that I don't have television service in my apartment I usually end up watching most TV on DVD collections. This past weekend I picked up the 1st Season of "How I Met Your Mother" (DAMN YOU TARGET FOR MAKING ME SPEND MONEY!)

I had first seen a few episodes of this show while home with the folks over Christmas. I fell in love, so the chance to sit down and watch ALL the episodes at once was pretty cool. Let me just say that I love this show. It is so funny. Admitedly the main character is a tad bit boring. However, every time that Neil Patrick Harris's Barney or Allison Hannigan's Lilly are on screen the fun never stops. If you don't watch this show...WHY?

Gord Bless the virtual world.

It never stops being amazing just how many beautiful women want to be my friend on myspace.

Some Quick Thoughts and Reviews

Hello all. Time to get back for work for us city employees. The time of the year from January 1st to March 5th is my favourite time of the year. We get so many holidays this time of the year. Let's see the holiday festivities obviously kick off with New Years, then MLK, Lincoln's Birthday (WooT to the Land of Lincoln) Presidents Day, and finally Pulaski Day! I struggle to recall the last time I had to work a 5 day work week. (I know you all feel sorry for me.)

So this weekend I took some of my down time and chose to be semi-constructive with it. I watched a few movies, played a lot of WoW (LvL 20 Baby!) and played a game of basketball.

So here are a few short reviews for you.

The Notorious Betty Page - I honestly can't say that I liked this movie. It had a lot of problems. Not all together bad mind you, but certainly not great. The film stars Gretchen Moll in the title role. As Ms. Page Gretchen Moll certainly looks and performs the part quite well. Especially in terms of looks. Actual footage of Betty Page shown under the credits would be difficult to differentiate from scenes featuring Ms. Moll. The issue that I have with the film is more structure and content. The movie is very good looking. However, after watching the film I honestly felt like I knew little more about who or what Betty Page was then I did before watching the movie, and I didn't know much about her to begin with. The movie felt like it was missing scenes. Characters would often interact in ways that based on the information presented to us in the film are confusing. take for example a scene where Betty and a boyfriend from her acting class attend a party where Betty is mobbed by admiring fans of her photos. The boyfriend is taken by surprise that his girlfriend has such an "interesting" occupation. He seams just as surprised about what Betty does with her free time as I was that he didn't know. Especially because at no point is any indication given that he doesn't know about this. Little miscues like that abound in this film. Another issue that I had with the movie, was that at the start of the film great care is taken to show two very traumatic events in Betty's life. It is implied that she was the victim of molestation from her father, and also sexually assaulted by a group of men in her home town. Good character building moments to be sure. Unfortunately, nothing more is ever mentioned about these events, nor do we ever see that these events went on to shape her personality in any way. Through out the movie Betty's character is pretty much a one note character. She smiles, takes her pictures and acts like a little Southern Gal. When taking a character with as much potential interest as Betty Page, one would hope to find a movie telling the story of a woman that would should be interested in getting know more about. The problem with this movie is that even after watching it, I am still interested in knowing more about her. Not however, because I found her story engrossing, but because I don't think that I actually learned anything from the movie.

School for Scoundrels - I enjoyed this movie. Staring Billy Bob Thorton and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) this is one of those weird crude Bill Bob Thorton movies that actually manages to be quite up lifting. The basic plot is that Jon Heder's character is a loser, he wants the girl next door. So he enroles in a class taught by Billy Bob Thorton to learn to be more self confident and get what he wants. Complications arise when Billy Bob tries to woo the object of Jon Heder's affection and war breaks out between the two. Jon Heder and Billy Bob are both great in this movie. Bill Bob does his smarmy creepy bastard routine perfectly, and Jon counters with his geeky nerd bit. The two play off each other very well. I found myself constantly amused and entertained. I would certainly recommend this movie.

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Take that Tim Hardaway

Is it me or were the NBA Allstar programs this weekend the gayest things on television?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Random Questions...

Some Things I Have Been Pondering...

  1. What does it say about me that recently I would rather walk down the alley and take a 45 minute bus ride to work where I wont have a seat then walk 4 blocks to the train where I know I'll get one?

  2. Why do I have such a HUGE crush on Zack Braff? I think if I had to choose anyone in Hollywood who's life I would want to steal it would be his. He is involved in what I think is the possibly best television comedy ever. (Scrubs) He also seams to be able to make whatever sort of movie he wants. Plus, he strikes me as the sort of guy who might be fun to have a beer with.

  3. Why do office politics suck so bad?

Here is a riddle...

What do Ferris Bueller, Bilbo Baggins and Bill & Ted all have in common?