Monthly Archives: February 2010


#14 Igor

Igor movie poster

Let me get this straight… John Cusack plays a dopey-looking guy who tries to convince everyone he’s got a bad-guy streak in him but he turns out to be loveable. Jay Leno is a jerk who walks all over the public in general, convincing them all that he’s pretty swell–and he is in this movie, too. Steve Buscemi plays an immortal rabbit with suicidal tendencies. That’s really all you need to know about this movie. That’s right. Steve Buscemi plays an immortal rabbit with suicidal tendencies.

Igor--Scamper reads Hunter S. Thompson

It’s a shame that some of the bigger budget animated movies get so much attention while little gems like this one slip under the radar. Is Igor predictable? From the first 3 minutes. Is it fun? Absolutely.  Does the Louis Prima laced soundtrack rock the house?  You know it!  The thing that struck me most about the movie, though, is that it was just so “clean.” A lot of times, Hollywood thinks they have to include several jokes aimed at adults in kid’s movies just to keep us interested. While there might be one or maybe two little side comments that sneak into this movie, by and large I found it to be quite kid-friendly. The only things that I found about the film that might give pause for some were the fact that one of the characters is constantly trying to kill himself, and at one point dismembers his body as a key plot point. There is also a parody of a famous poster with a cute little kitty cat hanging by a noose. Don’t let the dark imagery dissuade you from seeing this movie though, it really does have a good message for kids, and it’s entertaining throughout.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Steve Buscemi plays an immortal rabbit with suicidal tendencies?

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Posted by on February 27, 2010 in Movie Challenge, Uncategorized


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Coco Before Chanel

#13 Coco Before Chanel

Coco before Chanel Movie Poster

There is one standard rule about making movies about geniuses.  It must be somewhat tragic.  Every movie that I’ve ever seen that focused on the life of a genius, has had some element of pain that explains the motivation for the main character.  Coco before Chanel is no exception.  It’s a moving story about the innovative genius behind what is quite possibly the most recognizable scent of our times.  Curiously, the famous formula #5 isn’t even eluded to in this French film, instead focusing on the tragic love life, and determination of Gabrielle Chanel as she found her way to fame in a world that was determined to keep her down.

Coco and her sister at the races

The film stars the lovely Audrey Tatou, whom you might recognzie from another modern French classic, Amelie’.  She plays the part well, giving a strong performance as a headstrong woman in a man’s world, practically transforming from a youthful and exhuberant dance hall girl to a strong, world weary woman of industry.  The change is truly startling when you see it.

Coco Chanel making a hat

Little known fact: Before turning to a life of crime, the Hamburglar was a haberdasher by trade.

Well worth watching, if you don’t mind reading subtitles, or if you can speak French.  The movie is heavily steeped in European style, and might not appeal to some American audiences.

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Posted by on February 23, 2010 in Movie Challenge


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You Lose!

As if Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory wasn’t psychedelic enough…

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Posted by on February 22, 2010 in music, tongueincheek


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An Open Letter to NBC

Dear NBC,

Ours has been, as of late, a tenuous relationship. Since Seinfeld left you, you just haven’t been the same. I have found my interest in you waining over the last several years, and have had little reason to visit with you. You continue to hang out with people like Traci Morgan, Alec Baldwin, and Tina Fey, and I can’t really condone that. I won’t even mention what you do on Saturday nights! Let’s just say that I, and a whole lot of other sensible people, don’t find it funny, and we wish you would change something. The whole “situation” with the guy with the gigantic chin and the other guy with the freakish red hair a few weeks ago hasn’t help your image any. Now you’re saying I can’t even watch your redheaded kid do his amazing stunts in the backyard unless I put on special silver clothes. This wouldn’t be so bad, but you’ve been putting up fliers all over town bragging about how awesome your child is. Do you know how uncomfortable those special clothes are? My friend Linus can barely even wear them!! Poor Mr. Toorvalds, I bet he’d enjoy watching Shaun’s magic show. I’m very disappointed in you, NBC–very disappointed, indeed.

I can’t be your friend until you change,

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Posted by on February 19, 2010 in internet, Open Source, tongueincheek


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Inger-Gay Ogers-Ray!

Sometimes you just need to see Ginger Rogers singing “We’re in the Money” in pig latin:

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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in humour, internet, music


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#12 Trainspotting

Trainspotting Movie Poster

Every time, it starts the same way.  You get the cold sweats, the chills, the feelings of guilt.  You heart sinks a little, and deep inside you is slight quivering anticipation.  Your mouth waters as you chastise yourself, saying things like, “I’ll never do this again,” and “this is the last time, I swear.”

It’s not true.

The truth is, you will do it again, and you’ll go through the same little dance each time, feeling more guilty than the last, but you just can’t help yourself.  Having made all the preparations, getting your gear set up, and settling in for your fix, you feel the lights lower around you and you open your mind to a wholly different world, the likes of which you shouldn’t understand, but somehow do…

Watching Drug movies can be like that.

Sometimes a movie comes along that glamourizes drugs and makes them seem to be some mystical magic that is just misunderstood.  They make you wonder what doing hard drugs might be like, and they make them seem just that bit more tempting.

Trainspotting is not one of those movies.  It shows the filthy, gruelling, and  disturbing side of drugs.  While every scene in the movie is a masterpiece of light and colour set to a rocking soundtrack, the harsh realities it reveals are, to say the least, unsettling.

We follow Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, as he narrates our way through the mid to late 1980’s in Scottland like some sort of 40’s detective story.  Based on a book by the same name, Trainspotting tells a tale of heroine abuse and it’s consequences, using an episodic style, and ultimately, ending on an optimistic, if not slightly self delusional, note.

Trainspotting screengrab

The faint of heart should not, I repeat, should not watch this movie.  There’s swearing, nudity, hallucinatory scenes, extensive and graphic drug use, and a dead baby.  Then there’s the scene entitled “The Worst Toilet in Scottland.”  It takes place in the first 10 minutes of the movie, and serves as an excellent litmus test to see if you can handle the imagery you are going to see while watching this movie.

Trainspotting toilet scene

I cannot stress it enough; this movie is disturbing.  But then, so is life.

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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in Movie Challenge


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Groundhog Day

#11 Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day Movie Poster

If you only had one day to live, what would you do?

What if you had to live that same day over and over again for all time?

Bill Murray is an arrogant, self-centered weatherman begrudgingly on assignment in Punxatawny for the Groundhog Day ceremony.  Somehow, he gets stuck in a loop, reliving the same day, repeatedly.  At first, he uses the repetition for illicit gain, trying to take advantage of others, realizing that he’s falling for his boss along the way.  When things start to go wrong, and he loses focus, he settles into depression, to darkly hillarious effect.  It’s not until he learns to use his extra chances to better himself and improve the lives of those around him that he starts to discover the true beauty of a brand new day.  It’s not shakespeare, but it is a poignant look at life and what we make of it.

What would you do with a second chance?

Ned Ryerson greets Phil

Ned?!? Ned Ryerson?! Is that you?

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Posted by on February 1, 2010 in Movie Challenge


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