Monday, March 25, 2013


Overheard on a "reality" TV show about urban animals relocators:

"Look out! That chimp has a gun!"

I don't need to say anything more

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Yes, this is a review of the movie Jack the Giant Slayer and the title of this post is rather a double edged sword .. and yes, they used double edged swords in the movie.

You can see what kind of post this is going to be.

Fairly obviously, this is a retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk legend. Reimagining fairy tales is quite the Big Deal right now, from graphic novels (I would reccomend the Fairy Tales books) to TV series (I definitely reccomend Once Upon A Time) and of course movies (Snow White and the Huntsman). The attraction of this trend is putting a new spin on some familiar fairy tales.

In this version of the story there are some of the familiar elements: A farmer boy, a cow (well horse) to be sold, magic beans, a stalk, giants etc. The spins are a feisty princess (are there any other kinds these days) a whole clan of giants instead of just one and a few others.

In the movie, young Jack the farmer boy, wishes for adventure. Adventure he gets and sometimes it is not all he had imagined, so be careful what you wish for. That phrase applies to myself as well, in relation to this movie. What I wished for was something fun and lighthearted that did not take itself too seriously and did not try to find some salient piece of human wisdom in the story of a kid who goes up a beanstalk ... Well my wish came true; be careful what you wish for.

The movie is indeed fun. There is some sly humour in it, I won't give away too much, but the film's version of piggies in the blanket will stay with me. The film is studded with reliable British character actors, such as Ian McShane, an actor who made his career playing bad boys on English TV who here does very well as the noble King

Ewan McGregor does a find Kenneth Branauh impression as the brave, occasionally flippant but ardent speechifying Guardian Elmont, Protector of the Princess, Defender of the Realm .. you get the idea

This movie is an entertainment, that is clear from the get-go. That is clearly the intent of the filmakers. They wanted to make a modern version of a good B Movie, where we get caught up in the pace and the effects and the spectacle and happily munch our popcorn. That is a good thing. A good B Movie can be ruined by more "serious" movie making ambitions; when the dude is fighting a giant I don't need a lot of symbolism that denotes his Daddy issues ...

So Jack wished for adventure and he got it, perhaps to his regret as he found himself fighting giants. I wished for a nice straight ahead and I got it ... but perhaps I did want something more.

This is a good movie, it's well made and well acted and certainly the effects are incredibly entertaining. It's a fun movie, there is humour, some of it unexpected, and the action is not particularly gruesome, if you consider giants eating humans not gruesome. That could just be me

In the long run though, I'm not sure how much of this movie I will carry in my mind. I don't know if it is highly memorable. In keeping their keel firmly pointed towards Fun Big Effects Movie, the film makers may have foregone any depth .... Yet I acknowledge that too much depth could kill this kind of movie.

Having said that, I'd probably watch a sequel, there are questions that need answering and I am curious to learn more about this word

So should you see Jack the Giant Slayer? Sure, as long as all you seek is popcorn .. .big huge double butter glazed popcorn

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Toronto is under attack!

Mutants have been seen marauding through the Eaton Centre, raiding the Apple Store for components to fix their jet plane and Wolverine was spotted at Booster Juice applying for the position of "fruit dicer".

Even more alarming, Daleks have been spotted on the Gardiner Expressway. When questioned about their intention, they were heard to say something about the Leafs needing all the help they can get

Why is this happening to my city? To whom will Toronto turn in its time of peril? Should we send the Tactical Squad to Gotham and kidnap Batman? Possible, but you know, the dude can't even fly and he's kind of a whiner: "My parents were killed, I'm an orphan, my codpiece is too tight" Yadda yadda. Dude, you're the richest man on earth or something, shut the fuck up

Who else, how about Green Arrow? Right, another rich dude with a dead daddy. So papa dies and your response is to put on a mask and run around with your underwear showing ... Yeh, I think he needs more help than does my inperiled city

It's beginning to look grim for Toronto. Whatever shall we do? The big name superheroes don't seem to be viable options. Perhaps we should cruise Ossington Ave searching for random heroines, or hipsters or whoever the hell these are

In our desperate hour of need, quite frankly, we'll take anyone, even a giant apparently dead rodent .. hey, who was searching for heroes in City Hall

I suppose we could launch some kind of orbital probe and scour the greater universe for help, goodness knows what we will bring back; alien creatures, Buck Rogers, a couple of female Star Trek ensigns ... hey, they didn't come from space, unless the Brass Rail qualifies as space

OK let's face the facts here: Toronto may be fucked. All of these heroes seem a tad suspect. Yeh, I know, don't search for actual heroes at Comic Con. Now you tell me.

Here's the video
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