Sunday, October 27, 2013


The Brits sure know how to make behind-the-scenes docs for television programs. Case in point is the 55 minute-long video called "Trials and Tribulations" (which was included as a featurette on the Doctor Who DVD set "Trial of a Time Lord"). The sixth incarnation of The Doctor on Doctor Who was played by Colin Baker. I remember seeing a story in the Toronto Star when he was cast in the role of the famous Time Lord. The picture was in colour which, to put it mildly, was shocking: The outfit designed for Baker was... horrible! I must have thought it was a joke.

It was no joke. Watch this fascinating documentary that covers the dramatic years of Colin Baker's turn in Doctor Who (spanning 1984-1986). Trivia: The program was cancelled at one point by BBC One controller Michael Grade, but came back. If you are interested in the show itself, and even if you cannot stand "The Sixth Doctor", this is required viewing. It is brutally honest in so many ways...

Monday, October 21, 2013


Top 10 sci-fi movies

"A long time ago, in a land far away... there were no space movies. Luckily, we have lots and the Guardian and Observer's critics have picked the 10 best ever"

My own 'best SF movies of all time' list varies depending on what day it is. When I actually do think about the question, my list might be something like this (in no particular order)...

2001: A Space Odyssey
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Forbidden Planet
Solaris (1972)
The Time Travelers
Der Schweigende Stern

... that's a quick list. I'm trying to think of more recent SF films that would be absolute favourites (I've enjoyed such flicks from recent years, or decades, but they would not qualify as faves). I cannot think of any at the moment; perhaps I'll update this list later in the day. I'll take suggestions, reminders, or nudges....


Fantastic Planet
The Terminator
Five Million Years to Earth (Quatermass and the Pit)

Sunday, October 13, 2013


My work has been taking up so much of my time that my free time I try to keep free of clutter; especially since I'm working on a couple of personal creative projects.


I decided to post something after taking a quick look at what the Toronto Star offers online at the moment. This caught my attention, and took just a minute of my time...

Stats say 1960s produced most creative U.S. films

I watched the video and had no problems with the stats. Many of my favourite 'American' films were produced in the 1960s: Medium Cool, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr Strangelove, Bonnie and Clyde, The Swimmer, and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, just to name a few.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Rare is it that I don't know what to make of a film, or any piece of art, for that matter, after taking it all in. One exception to this opinionated guy not having a solid and firm opinion is my morning-after reaction to Quentin Tarantino's 2012 opus Django Unchained. I will not deny that I was thoroughly entertained -- I'm already in trouble trying to make a point -- but the film`s excessive violence and diarrhoetic use of the "N word" makes me feel insecure all over about proclaiming my admiration for the movie as a whole. As Doug McKenzie once said, "I think I can take it, eh?"... and I can: I've seen lots of movie violence, the cartoony and the 'real'; but Tarantino's overly exuberant bursts of bloodshed here kept popping me out of the movie-going experience.

As I told a friend a couple of days ago, I've long suspected that Mr Tarantino "gets off" on rendering violence, but now I'm convinced that the director considers it orgasmic.

This same friend gave me his opinion. He has no desire to see Django Unchained`: "He's (Tarantino) a guy who worked in a video store and saw way too many movies... he has absolutely no vision of his own" (my friend's emphasis).

I liked Inglourious Basterds and Pulp Fiction....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


These last few days have been busy for me, which explains my silence (hooray!) these past few days.

Some notes...

* On the weekend I managed to squeeze-in a viewing of the movie The Social Network. Very good. Terrific cast.

* I'm currently half-way through Quentin Tarantino's 2012 violence-expletive Django Unchained. Very good, so far. But... I've always suspected this, but now I'm convinced that Mr Tarantino gets off on violence. (As an antidote I may watch Hercules Unchained.)

* Yesterday I read an article on the finale of the television series Breaking Bad. Great; that saved me from having to watch it. (A few weeks ago I watched the first episode -- that was enough.)

* The radio is on in my apartment: apparently the Toronto Maple Leafs play their first game of the 2013-2014 NHL season; tonight in Montreal against the Canadiens. "Pundits" are sound-bited as saying that this year should be different for "our boys in blue". I burst out laughing every time I hear this. No... the Leafs will wipe out, yet again.

* Speaking of sports: Yesterday I happened to see the front of a newspaper and saw some headline about the Toronto Blue Jays ending their season. What? I thought that with all the big player acquisitions a year ago the Jays were going to go somewhere this baseball season. "Sports people" are hilarious, if a little dim.

* The U.S. government is shutting down today? Will anyone notice a difference?....