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The Inner Turmoil of a Lawn Chair

image is "weedy lawn chair" by chair las (used to me meesa 1)... cranky today... on FlickrThe “real” movie critics (you know the ones I mean – they’re the ones whose columns are in your morning paper courtesy of the Canadian Press) spend most the year giving 1.5 stars out of 10 to fun, well-made, popular movies like Indiana Jones, Fight Club, and Iron Man, which inspire legions of fans to flock to conventions in goofy costumes.  It’s like the movie never reaches them. They’re just going through the motions in a job they hate, kind of like you pounding off spreadsheet after spreadsheet at your boring office job.

However, hand them their press pass to make the rounds on the festival circuit, and they come alive. They’re handing out accolades left right and center to nonsensical plotless “masterpieces” made on Super 8 handhelds by goat farmers in Afghanistan. 

Normal people watching these movies are either confused or want to shove drill bits into their eyeballs out of boredom. Why do critics love these movies? Because they’re new and different.

Then the makers of these movies are flooded with positive quotes for their DVD boxes and sales jump. Therefore some producers look for stories that the critics will like and then pour money into them.

So I thought to myself: if that’s all it takes, I’ve got a movie idea that will win the Palm d’Or. It’s called: The Inner Turmoil of a Lawn Chair. Allow me to pitch you my idea, producerperson.

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Kitty Stereotypes and Fab Film Felines

This week I wanted to do a cat version of the article I did last week and lay out my top ten favorite movies about cats.

…And then I realized that I could count on one hand the number of movies I’d seen that were actually ABOUT cats, and most of them started with “G” and ended in “arfield.”

It’s not that I couldn’t be happy watching Garfield’s Halloween and Christmas specials on an endless loop…


hand over yer booty!

…but that might drive some other, weaker minds to eat themselves in a desperate attempt to end the agony.

So instead, we’re going to explore kitty stereotyping in film and some of my favorite exceptions to the Hollywood rule.

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Top Dogs: Ten Canine Stories to Watch With a Pal

When you’re sitting down with someone to watch a movie, whether it be a friend, a significant other, a pet, or a family member, there’s nothing better to put on than a film about dogs.

Why? Because watching a heartwarming story about friendship turns the experience from “killing a couple hours on the couch” to “bonding time.”

image by Rennett Stowe on Flickr
How could you look at this face and not think “yay camaraderie!”

I’ve ranked ten canine films based on their story and cute dog appeal, with extra ratings for sap factor (1 tree for heartwarming to 5 trees for dripping with melodrama), number of tears jerked (1 tear per sob worthy scene), and campiness (1 tent for serious, 5 tents for off the wall), which should help you decide what you’re in the mood for/what your kids can handle.

So pop some popcorn, pour some drinks, flop on the couch, and prepare to cheer for the underdog!

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Instant Drama

Say you’re a television writer and you’ve got writer’s block, but you’ve got to (somehow) keep the drama rolling if you want the paycheck that’s going to put food in your kids’ mouths.

You’re doing 24 episodes a year, writing flat out. Your house looks like a bomb went off in it. Your kids are whining that they a) never see you and b) are hungry. Your boss keeps thrusting the ratings in your face.

Your show is supposedly grounded in reality, so you can’t bring in aliens or magical fairies to poof you out of the corner you’ve written yourself into. What do you do?

You turn to the writer’s ammunition pouch and pull out the surefire guaranteed instant drama pills, which miraculously expand into storylines when fired at a blank piece of paper like those caplets that give birth to little foam animals when you put them in hot water.

If you’re new to the scene, let me fill your ammo clip for you by giving you examples of instant drama pill storylines from the one hour drama series SATURDAY NIGHT TRAILER FEVER.

If you’re not familiar with this fabulous yet relatively unknown show, here’s the premise:

Mulleted idiot Joe Bob opens a discotheque with his brother John Bob in their trailer park after they discover they both love to imitate headless seizuring chickens to the beat of porno themes sung by men with voices only dogs can hear.


those are mullets, not squirrels sleeping on their heads

Don’t let the fact that these magic pills are known as cliches in critical circles stop you. Remember: your kids need bread.

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Don’t Read This If You Like Twilight

Don’t read this if you like Twilight. Seriously. If you like Twilight stop reading right the hell now. I don’t want to be shived and/or lynched for my insightful yet true opinions.

Also, don’t read this if you intend to read any of the Twilight books and will get mad at me for spoiling them on you.

Since I was feeling cranky and unsatisfied today I decided to make myself feel better by trashing something. And what more trashable item have I encountered in the last couple of months than the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer?

The Twilight Saga, consists of four published books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn plus a fifth unfinished internet-leaked novel called Midnight Sun. All of the books are written from the perspective of a teenage girl named Bella who falls in love with a century-old teenage vampire named Edward.

Click below to read more about them and the problems I think they have.

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Sammy Needs A Hug


Even bad asses have bad days… especially if they’re on BSG

For those of you who haven’t yet seen the episode “Faith” of Battlestar Galactica, DON’T click on the link.

However, if you HAVE seen it, or don’t INTEND to see it, click away.

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Head Swapping

Has anyone else noticed that once a person becomes a big star, they go back to all the movies they were in BEFORE they became a big star and re-release them on video or DVD, changing the covers so that it LOOKS like they were the lead when actually they were just in a supporting role?

Take for example, one of my favorite movies: Hackers (1996).

The lead character in the movie is a computer nerd named Dade Murphy aka Crash Override (Jonny Lee Miller) and Angelina Jolie played his romantic lead, Kate Libby aka Acid Burn. Here they are together:

And now here is the re-released video, with Angelina Jolie billed first (and only.)

Notice anything strange? Like that Kate and Dade have traded outfits? That’s because they SWITCHED THEIR HEADS IN THE PHOTO to make it look like Angelina Jolie was actually the star!

The same goes for the movie Blue Juice (which, by the way, is like the ONLY Scottish surfing movie). Here’s Sean Pertwee’s character J.C. with Ewan McGregor’s Dean.

And now here’s the re-released video cover, put out after Ewan made it big.

Hrm… what’s weird about this picture? I know! How about: where the hell did his facial hair go?! And when did he get a haircut? And why is he wearing J.C.’s wetsuit? And standing with his girlfriend? BECAUSE THEY SWAPPED HIS HEAD IN! They photoshopped out Sean Pertwee’s head and added Ewan’s so we’d buy it thinking he was a big hero in it (which he wasn’t).

Now don’t get me wrong, I like both of these actors. But that’s false advertising!

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Tabloids: the Rubbish Rags of the Modern World

So a couple of weeks ago I was at the grocery store making a purchase. The line was long and slow…even slower now that I was in it (don’t you hate that?). My eye strayed to the Rubbish Rack in search of entertainment. What I saw was a picture like this:


Not actually this one, obviously. The other one was in print

On the cover of the National Enquirer, with a bold title superimposed over it that said JENN’S HAVING A BREAKDOWN or something like that. And I thought to myself…somebody must have let their intern take a stab at making up the garbage.

First off, does that look like a picture of her having a breakdown? It looks like they shouted her name then snapped a picture as she was turning around to see who it was. I dunno about you but that doesn’t really scream “breakdown” to me. I could see that headline being justified if she had shown up in Wal Mart with broccoli on a leash, but just plain old turning around is pushing it a little bit.

I am beyond being surprised that there are people who actually want to read about what Ben Affleck stuffed up his nose, so I completely skipped that pondering point and delved further into my mind. I wondered: “Does the US even have libel laws? Or privacy laws?” Because when you think about it, the fact that the National Enquirer is allowed to blatantly invent lies about people and publish them isn’t terribly convincing evidence to the contrary. If that tripe was written by and about people in Canada or Britain, that “newspaper” would have its ass sued off.

Of course, in Britain they have their own problems. Their Rubbish Rags aren’t allowed to make things up or even to make guesses without evidence or authorization – but there are like no privacy laws so the “reporters” can go that extra mile and print truthful garbage.

All in all, I have to say I’m glad of these things:

a) that I live here in Canada where we have a nice balance
b) that I’m not famous and therefore don’t have to worry about whether there are people on my skylight taking pictures of my butt while I change
c) that I’m not pathetic enough to hang off every detail of celebrity’s personal lives and arrogant enough to think that I deserve to know


whoooo! yay for us!
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