13 May 2009

p>0.05, but still signifcant to me

Okay, so I've noticed another TV trend, in addition to the brain tumors. This one I've only seen on two shows this week, and, much like the tumor, I've seen it used on other shows in the past. In this trend, long-standing, previously platonic couples are getting it on in such a way that the sex doesn't actually happen, but the shippers still get to see their favourite characters finally cash in on all that sexual tension. I don't want to say which two shows I recently saw this on, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I will say that in one show, the twist blew my mind, and on the other show I thoroughly enjoyed how they did it.

(If you don't like Bones, or haven't seen the finale yet, don't read the following).

Speaking about thoroughly enjoying things, how much fun was the Bones finale? I love when shows take the characters we know and put them in a "what if" scenario. One of my favourite Buffy episodes (The Wish) did that brilliantly. I liked how Bones incorporated the gamut of assistants and gave them all different jobs in "The Lab." And Zack! With his pre-doctorate hair (and everyone's reaction to him touching the gun was priceless)! And Sweets' band! Such a great episode. Except for the end. Mulder said the same thing once on X Files (when he woke up after being abducted by aliens, then being returned and taken for dead, then being buried for 6 months, then unearthed and treated for an alien virus that was keeping him alive) but he was joking. Somehow, I don't think Booth is.

10 May 2009

I give you back my voice

It's very good timing that the video for U2's Magnificent, featuring the line "I was born to sing for you," was released only a few days before Bono's 49th birthday. The countdown for 50 has begun on the fan sites. There's even a widget.

The video is nothing fantastic or imaginative. They seemed to have covered Fez in sheets as though they were leaving it for a long time and didn't want dust to get on it. It's reminiscent of the Beautiful Day video, even down to the Persian rugs. The boys (Edge excepted) are totally rocking the open shirts. Bono is looking especially delicious, even in his 49th year. The best part about the video, in fact my single reason for even writing about it, is the hilarious, gratuitous shot of Bono's ass at about 3:50 (I can't embed it, so see it here).

For those of you who aren't going to watch almost 4 minutes of the movie just to get to the good parts:

08 May 2009

Crazy People Love Plastic Bags

It is a well known fact that The Crazies (harmless or otherwise) love to congregate on the CBC comments boards. But, I have discovered an oft-forgotten habitat of The Crazies, the Letter To The Editor sections of local papers. Case in point, this WTF?-style letter that recently appeared in one of the local weeklies:

"What are local grocery stores doing to prevent the spread of swine flu, especially since they have started to use potentially unsanitary reusable bags? Remember when the cashier punched in the price as your food travelled by, then handled the money; no transfer of bacteria from money to food. Bag boys then put your food into sanitary plastic or paper bags."

There are just so many things wrong in that little paragraph that I don't know where to begin.
1) You are not going to get swine flu at a grocery store in Cole Harbour.
2)Swine flu does not breed in reusable shopping bags.
3)Even if reusable bags were a breeding ground for swine flu, who's to say that plastic bags aren't?
4)If the bag boy has swine flu, using paper or plastic bags isn't going to save you.
5)To the best of my knowledge, plastic backs are not sterilized before use.
6)What use do you make of your reusable bags that makes them "unsanitary"?.
7) The last time I bought groceries, the cashier did ring in all the food before handling the money. Has that changed? How could she handle the money first? She wouldn't know how much to charge you.
8) It's not as if there is a communal pile of reusable bags that the whole city shares. If you're so concerned, boil yours in hot water and bag your own groceries.

Did I leave anything out?

07 May 2009

A bad season for hypochondriacs

Has anyone else noticed the rash of brain tumors on TV this year? Maybe it's only because I'm unemployed and have tons of time to watch TV, more than one person reasonably should. But at least 4 shows I can think of off the top of my head have given main characters brain tumors - I won't say which ones for the sake of those who don't know yet. I don't find the brain tumour device to be especially effective.* I mean, these aren't shows that gleefully, mercilessly kill off main characters all willy nilly (I'm looking at you, 24 and Spooks). These are shows that don't usually change that much from year to year, so to tease that a main character might die is pretty anticlimactic.

*Okay, I don't find the brain tumor plot device to be very effective anymore. My first experience with it was very effective. I was shocked when I found out the Scully had a brain tumor - I still remember that reveal, I couldn't believe that it was true. In hindsight, I'm not sure my love of that show was entirely healthy.

06 May 2009

Take that, Captain Canuck

One thing I've always liked about Wolverine is that he's Canadian. As a country, we really don't have that many superheros to call our own. The Heritage Moments teach me that a Canadian created Superman, but, well, I always found Superman to be kind of lame. Wolverine, however, is much cooler. And I'm enough of a crazy patriot that I love the scene where the US Army General calls him to duty by saying "Your country needs you," and Wolverine dismisses him by saying, "I'm Canadian."

Wolverine was not a perfect movie; according to Rotten Tomatoe it suh-hucks. Sure, at times the timeline made no sense, and I'm still not clear on how he got the name Logan if his name was Jimmy Howlette, and I don't think all of it works as a prequel to the first X Men. And, yes, it was some heretofore undefined version of over-the-top - I mean, they have biological mutations, they're not magical! And, while a good deal of it was set in Canada, they filmed in New Zealand. Why? Also, at one point the Evil Army Generaly goes to Wolverine's place of work (he's a logger in the Rockies) and critisizes Wolverine's choice to "live in the prairies." Dude, look around you, you're on a freaking mountain! Did no one notice that and think to change the line?

Wolverine was, however, entertaining. It's Hugh Jackman, y'all. I'd gladly watch him read the phonebook for 2 hours (hee hee, he'd probably shred all the pages with his claws). The fight scenes were good, but would have been better if Wolverine were naked for all of them. I say that because he was naked in one fight scene, and then he hilariously ran away and jumped down a massive waterfall in the "Canadian Rockies." Then he streaked through a valley for awhile. So, I say again, a fun movie, if not a logical one.

As per some of the other X Men movies, there's a little scene after the credits. It's not vital to the story, but I liked it.

X Men Trilogy

Last night I saw the Wolverine movie. This is not to be confused with X Men I-III, which may as well have also been called Wolverine movies. Before I write about the lastest edition, I thought I'd find the reviews on my old site and drag them back into the light of day.

X Men

I saw this movie four times in theatres: July 17, 20 and 21st**. I know, I obsess. Those were during my last summer at home, before leaving for my first year in Halifax. I also saw it at the Oxford in Hali, when it played once as their Friday Midnight movie.

It's safe to say that I liked this movie. It's also safe to say that I liked Wolverine. Honestly, I don't think there is a single person in the world who could make a better Wolverine than Hugh Jackman. He had it all, down to the hair, cigar and the "Bub."

Patrick Stewart was wonderful as Prof X. Probably because he just looks like Prof X naturally. All he had to do was sit in a wheelchair and *poof*.

The rest of the cast... tried their best, I'm sure. They just weren't as interesting as Wolverine or Prof X.

I never really followed the comic books, but I watched the cartoon a whole lot. I wasn't as bothered by the liberties they took with the movie, the things they chose to ignore and the like. I just liked it because it was a good action pic that was easy to watch and occupied my mind for at least 90 minutes.

Can't wait for the sequel. (Originally written 8 May 2003, but the movie came out in the summer of 2000; **At the time I wrote this, I still had the movie stubs, it's not that I have an awesome memory. And, also, this was in Cobourg when the theatre only cost $4.25, so I didn't, like, spend >$30 seeing XMen that summer).

X Men II

So far I've only seen this once. I will probably see it again**, if history has taught us anything about me.

This was good. It was fun. There were new characters, and they made some great improvements with the old ones: Cyclops was barely in it, Storm didn't have the here-now-gone-later accent, the costumes were a bit better, and there was more story. In the first one they had to set it up and explain all the characters. Now, finally, they could get to the action.

There was some good fight scenes. Except, there was one between Wolverine (Hugh Jackman, baby!) and this chick (I don't know her name) who has basically the same powers as he does, but who totally kicked his ass. Anyway, I found that fight hard to follow. They were both in black and both had silver claws. I wasn't sure who was slicing whom.

They ended it well. It set up the third installment perfectly. I can't wait for the next one.

P.S. Give Hugh Jackman the Oscar, already. (Originally written 8 May 2003; **I think I only saw this one once in theatres. I don't remember).


If I had the power to do so, I would decree that Hugh Jackman must take off his shirt and cry in every movie that he makes. I think it adds a little something extra.

I can’t say why he’s crying in XMen III: that would reveal too much. I can’t say much about anything that happened in this movie without giving very cool, surprising plot points away. I can’t say why he cries (and, now that I think about it, he cries more than once), and I can’t say why I almost cried, and I can’t say why Cricket said, ”Oh my God,” at more than one point. This is really difficult; I don’t know what to talk about.**

I should say that this was markedly different than the first two, and it wasn’t just the different director, or the comings and goings in the cast. The action was different, the plot was more simple (in a good way) than the last two. This is frustrating; I don’t know what to say. Um, it was less funny than the first two, perhaps more violent, but very entertaining. Hugh Jackman was hot-tastic, even though Wolverine was less….feral… than he has been in the past. Rogue was barely there, Storm had a large role but Halle Berry’s performance was on par with the last two. There were new characters, like Juggernaut and Beast (!), and Ben Foster totally didn’t get enough screen time as Archangel. Maybe if there’s a fourth movie (X Men IV: The Other Last Stand) he’ll get more screen time. It was a fairly short movie, less than two hours which makes me wonder what was cut…. I suppose I’ll have to wait for the DVD.

In closing, if you liked the first two, you’ll like this. If you didn’t like the first two, see it for Hugh Jackman. He alone is worth the cost of the ticket. If you do that, but still find the movie boring, you can make a game of counting how many times Wolverine grunts. He grunts a lot. And, if you do go to see this, stay until the end. The very end: don’t leave until after the credits are done rolling….trust me. (Originally written 13 June 2006; **It's been so long since I saw this movie that even I don't know what I'm refering to here!)

04 May 2009

Stupid Ladies of Stupid Missalonghi

If you're going to go through the trouble of plagiarising a really good book, why make your version stupid and crappy? That is the question that ran through my head as I was reading The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough, which is widely believed to be plagiarised from L.M. Montgomery's Blue Castle. And, I for one consider it to be a cheap rip-off. Perhaps I'm biased because Blue Castle is my security-blanket book. It's the book I read when I want to be comforted, I can read 6 times a year and never tire of it. Perhaps if it weren't so beloved to me I wouldn't have been so disgusted with the poor man's version. But McCullough took what is a sweet, magical little romance and made it crass, illogical, and mildly offensive.

I don't think the similarities are coincidence. Both stories are about poor, old maids who have been kept down, and written-off by their families. Both girls are considered plain and/or ugly by their family and always made to wear brown clothes. Both girls live with their mother and aunt. Both girls have a female cousin of the same age who is a classic beauty and soon to be married. Both girls discover a heart-related condition, the true nature of which they keep from their nosy and controlling family. The illnesses give both girls the courage to stand up for themselves and do what they want with their lives. In both cases that means proposing marriage to the man with the mysterious past who recently arrived in town. In both books, that man has a bad relationship in his past, shuns society, and is secretly, absurdly wealthy.

At least McCullough had the decency to change the names. Ugh. Her book is also much shorter than Blue Castle, and feels rushed. It's almost as if she realized what she was doing, and decided to end it quickly. But not before adding a wild plot device that she could use in her defence when the inevitable plagiarism charges were made: "How absurd! This is a work of my own mind! Besides, does L.M. Montgomery's book have a ghost in it? I don't think so!" Yes, she put in a ghost and it makes no sense whatsoever, because the ghost interacted with lots of characters and it's never explained what really happened.

Complaining about this book is just exhausting. Forget you ever even heard of it.

02 May 2009

Bunny Heaven on Earth

Gather around, my friends, and listen to a story of a magical place. A place where adorable little bunnies run free and every day the needle is blown off the Bunny Scale. A place where the you don't care if the cabins are over-priced and ant-infested, because when you're outside you're knee-deep in bunnies. Welcome to White Point, my friends.

I went down there with some friends from undergrad last weekend for our 4-year reunion. It was a great weekend, once we moved into a cabin that wasn't infested with ants. It was right on the ocean, so of course the scenery was fantastic.
And there were plenty of odd signs.
To me, these two things are completely unrelated.

Speed bumps where? In the woods?
But most importantly are the bunnies. You saw them every time you went outside. There was one group of black ones, and to them I gave the surname of Licorice. That way I could just call them all Licorice and not have to worry about numbers or other qualifiers. There were bunnies of other colours, but the black ones seemed to live near our cabin, so I got really attached to them.
I'd probably go back just for the bunnies.

01 May 2009

Spryfield is Burning...

...not Halifax, per se. Spryfield is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality, which is a gargantuan region (think GTA). Have no fear for me, my dear friends. I am safe way on the other side of the region. However, the pictures of the blaze really do make it look like the fire is bearing down on the city.

Look at how pretty the skyline is, even with the threat of immolation. More pictures can be seen here.