Friday, February 26, 2010


A study out of Britain shows that those who are "liberal" and "atheist" tend to have higher IQs. (Forgetting the study for a moment, I have always questioned the whole idea of "Intelligence Quotients" but I am speaking from a non clinician perspective.)

There is more to the story, but I am not surprised. As indicated by the researchers, this data cannot be used to stereotype. I don't think there is any risk of that happening.

I think the question is a 'cart and horse' one: Does having a liberal and atheistic disposition make you 'smarter'? Or does being smarter make you L & A?

And, yes, I am a liberal and atheist... thanks for asking. But am I a man? Hmm... the article is here...

LIONEL JEFFRIES (1926 - 2010)

British character actor Lionel Jeffries was one of those people some of us saw a lot on the silver screen during our youth who was, in reality, much younger than he appeared to be.

First Men in the Moon, Those Fantastic Flying Fools (which I saw back in the late 1960s under the title of Blast Off), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Mary Poppins are just a few movies I remember him from; even as a child I knew who he was just by his "look"... the grandfather guy.

Jeffries died last week. Like many, I did not realized he was still alive. I checked his IMDB listing and found that he was still active in British television in the 1990s, appearing in such shows as Casualty, Inspector Morse, and Lovejoy. He also appeared in an episode of the Canadian-German co-produced TV series, Lexx.

He never seemed to be out of work for very long. Those are the actors I really admire. Not the "stars".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Creativity meets industriousness...

... this story concerns the cinematic exploits of two University of Texas graduates, Paul Hanley and Kieran Healy, who, over the course of ten years, pieced together a stop motion animated feature-length film about the Vietnam War. Its title would look good on a New World showbill: Viva the 'Nam.

Great opening line from the National Post article: "Many film school students will spend the better part of their university years pining for the day when they will possess the time, budget and massive studio backing to produce the outrageously high-budget action flick they were just born to make."

After reading that I almost sprayed a mouth-full of coffee over my keyboard.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Roger Corman has been awarded an honorary Oscar. The ceremony has already taken place...

... at the ceremony was the A-list.


Obese men are provided with a lower-quality sperm; as in lower sperm counts and... well, I'll let you read the story...

... wait a minute: The gun has to work. Defective ammunition is not even an issue if there is no one to raise the piece and pull the trigger.

Pardon me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I like to boast that I suffer not the malady of "appointment television" but there have been exceptions.

Back in 1987/88 I used to watch It's Garry Shandling's Show on CityTV, Sunday nights, right before The Prisoner. Those were the days.

Garry Shandling's show was of a high quality, removed from the drivel that has long polluted the airwaves. (Snappy theme tune, too.)

Yes, CityTV of Toronto used to be a good station. Now it is a flushable substance.

DVD of It's Garry Shandling's Show...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


As my brother said to me a few years ago, "songs have absolutely nothing to do with movies".

The Oscar ceremonies are jettisoning the song performances...

Monday, February 15, 2010


The Vancouver Olympics are becoming more and more bizarre, certainly from my non-caring perspective. The temperatures are so high on the thermometer that I wonder "who is the brains that figured that Vancouver would be a good choice to host the Winter Olympics?"

I was watching the BBC news on the weekend and the news presenter had a Canadian meteorologist on the phone: The off-camera voice said that temperatures are supposed to climb in Vancouver at this time of the year. There is nothing odd about those 8 and 9 degree figures.

My guess is that the 'qualifications' part of a hosting application will be amended by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) based on this experience.

That was very sad news about the Georgian Luger who was killed. Yes, putting upright support beams at the edge of the track does seem to be a pretty stupid idea... and one lacking any foresight or consideration.

The forecast for Vancouver is 10/11 degrees for the duration of the week.

What's that old joke?... "A kid with a slide rule could... "?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


About two years ago a friend told me about a movie that some Ottawa-based filmmakers made about Jesus Christ and his shenanigans with vampires and non-believers. He went on to explain that it was quite good given its minuscule budget -- containing an overall, sly sense of humour. (My friend is from Ottawa, so there was an added interest on his part in the film when it was released.)

Every so often I would remind him of the film by saying "what was the name of that film again?", to which he would reply, "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter". Last week he loaned me a copy of the film, recorded off the Scream channel.

Last night I sat down with a plate of bread and tuna to watch Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.

That was one fun flick. I knew I would enjoy the film, given its pedigree, but not to the extent I did last night. The flashing Virgin Mary put me on the floor -- not easy to do considering I was sitting.

One thing that was outstanding, not the usual deal with something of this strata where you generally get a synthesizer dragged down the entire length of the picture, was the music scoring/tracking. There was a good sense of how to let music and moments play together. Dance scenes aside, Jesus was a surprisingly musical film.

Director Lee Demarbre really knows how to make an entertaining movie.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I've been doing some catching up:

The Wrestler
Outstanding movie, in so many ways. Let me count the main one: Mickey Rourke.

Iron Man
Okay, I guess. Passable entertainment. Robert Downey, Jr., was very good, as was Gwyneth Paltrow (daughter of Bruce). The climactic fight was totally unexciting. Ridiculous situations and machinery. Jet fighters do not maneuver like that... they would disintegrate in the sky. (This is the typical producer attitude of "make things faster, therefor they will be that much more exciting. And I have no brains!")

And these are not so much 'catching up' films, more revisits, courtesy of TVO this past Saturday evening:

Before Sunrise
Oh so wonderful. Especially Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

Before Sunset
As above. Add this: Two beautiful movies.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Anyone who has traveled across Britain, preferably on a train, can tell you that what is sobering after miles of repetition is that she is one big lower-middle class island. The disproportion of wealth is not imagined...

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I took a look at while taking my traditional weekday afternoon rum and cookies break: Further to my post below, The Sarah Silverman Program 'Year Two, Volume Two' DVD set is coming out next Tuesday, February 9th.


Back in June of last year I suddenly became aware of comedian Sarah Silverman after a friend sent me a link to the video "I ****** Matt Damon". Although I found the piece not the least bit funny -- sorry, it's my upper-crust English upbringing -- I though this person by the name of Silverman displayed some promise.

Another friend lent me his collection of SS video material: A Jesus-themed feature length standup routine; and a TV sitcom done by/for the Comedy Network, The Sarah Silverman Program (1st season). I really liked the short-run TV series, which is strange considering that I despise sitcoms. As a matter of fact, I watched two of the six episodes a second time.

My Silverman supplier friend then lent me the second season of the TV series. While not as good as the first, in my opinion, it was still enjoyable enough. Just remembered that the DVD was of the first half of the second season. Got it? Second half of the second season DVD is being released in April, if I remember correctly.