Pick your movie of the week: Hot! (July 22-28/18)

We’ve had quite a bit of sweltering days this summer here in the Maritimes, so this week we’re going to choose from four movies that have “hot” in their title. Which one is your pick for this week’s movie?

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Rod (2007)


Theory of a Dead Man Walking

Seems hard to believe now, but the electric chair was brought about to be a more humane option over hanging. Hanging often took too long, which meant the person being executed suffered considerably and unnecessarily. The point of execution is that they die for their crime, not be tortured then die. It was also uncomfortable and traumatic for the people watching it happen.

When I was 10, lethal injection was being used for the first time in Texas. But I hadn’t learned about it yet. I was a little slow getting the news at that age and was just learning about the chair. Like all of us, I was horrified. Just thinking about what that could involve is the stuff nightmares are made of. But not long thereafter I did learn about lethal injection and felt better about it. And that is the reason it’s called more humane. It makes us feel better. The chair likely killed the prisoner faster (An acquaintance of mine died from hitting a power line at work. He died instantly. Surely the chair uses just as much voltage if not more than that power line.). When lethal injection is used, they do inject a chemical intended to put the person in a “deep unconscious state.” But in most cases there isn’t a professional present who confirms that they are in that level of unconsciousness (Ironically, this is a step required when euthanizing pets).

And in many cases there have been disturbing evidence found to confirm they felt the pain of the potassium chloride burning through their veins and inducing cardiac arrest.If we were looking for the most humane method, maybe we would stick to a bullet to the temple. Nothing is faster. But that would make us queasy. So barbaric…

I do not believe in capital punishment. Yes, I believe people do things that they deserve to die for. And, yes, if a family member of mine was the victim in one of those crimes, I would want to kill that person myself I’m sure! But I’m not convinced that taking a life is the answer.

Yes, the Old Testament has God commanding capital punishment. But then the New Testament came along with one execution—one that involved excruciating physical, emotional, and mental pain—that was done for all of humanity. That one should be enough.

Congratulations Dead Man Walking. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Geena Davis as Thelma in Thelma & Louise.

Best Actor: Sean Penn as Matthew Poncelet in Dead Man Walking.

Best Quote:Why don’t skeletons play music in church? Because they got no organs.” — Richard Dreyfuss as Centipede in James and the Giant Peach.

Little known fact. France stopped using the guillotine for capital punishment the same year Texas adopted lethal injection: 1977! They got rid of judicial executions altogether five years later, while in that very same year Texas put lethal injection to use for the first time. Ok, I need to watch some cartoons or a Chris Farley flick or something…


Pick your movie of the week: Susan Sarandon! (July 15-21/18)

She is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, a winner of multiple awards, a close friend of Julia Roberts and an ex to Sean Penn, David Bowie, and Tim Robbins. She was requested 25 times to pose nude for Playboy, each time turning them down and keeps her Oscar award in her bathroom. She’s also an outstanding actress. Which of her movies below would you choose as a movie of the week?

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Dead Man Walking (1995)

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Stepmom (1998)

The Ultimate Compilation of Cartoon Top 10 Lists!

Top 10 Greatest Computer Animated Films

  1. Kung Fu Panda (2008)
  2. Robots (2005)
  3. Wall-E (2008)
  4. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  5. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
  6. Ice Age (2002)
  7. Ratatouille (2007)
  8. Mary and Max (2009)
  9. Inside Out
  10. Finding Nemo (2003)

Top 10 Greatest Non-Computer Animated Movies

  1. The Jungle Book
  2. The Iron Giant
  3. Grave of the Fireflies
  4. Pinocchio
  5. The Fox and the Hound
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. Lady and the Tramp
  8. The Lion King
  9. Dumbo
  10. Fantastic Mr. Fox

Top 10 Greatest Cartoon TV Shows

  1. Pink Panther
  2. Spongebob Squarepants
  3. Beavis and Butthead
  4. The Simpsons
  5. The Flintstones
  6. Spider-Man
  7. Looney Tunes
  8. Phineas and Ferb
  9. Johnny Bravo
  10. Peanuts

Top 10 Greatest Cartoon Characters (Both Movies & TV):

  1. Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (Phineas and Ferb)
  2. Elmer Fudd
  3. Dexter (Dexter’s Laboratory)
  4. Homer Simpson
  5. Barney Rubble
  6. Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther)
  7. Wall-E
  8. Johnny Bravo
  9. Charlie Brown & Snoopy
  10. Donald Duck

Top 10 Greatest Cartoon Sidekicks

  1. Balou (The Jungle Book)
  2. Sid (Ice Age)
  3. Ron Stoppable (Kim Possible)
  4. Goliath (Davey and Goliath)
  5. Barney Rubble (The Flintstones)
  6. Mr. Potato Head (Toy Story)
  7. Sadness (Inside Out)
  8. Dory (Finding Nemo)
  9. Timothy Mouse (Dumbo)
  10. Shaggy (Scooby-Doo)

Congratulations Inside Out. And congratulations to you, Sadness. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Phyllis Smith as Sadness in Inside Out.

Best Actor: Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story.

Best Quote:I’m from Mattel. Well, I’m not really from Mattel, I’m actually from a smaller company that was purchased by Mattel in a leveraged buyout.” — Wallace Shawn as Rex in Toy Story.

All Pixar Movies to date, ranked:

There have been 20 made to date, but I have not seen Cars 3 (2017).

  1. Monster’s University (2013)
  2. The Good Dinosaur (2015)
  3. Cars 2 (2011)
  4. Cars (2006)
  5. Up (2009)
  6. Finding Dory (2016)
  7. Brave (2012)
  8. The Incredibles (2004)
  9. A Bug’s Life (1998)
  10. Monsters Inc. (2001)
  11. Incredibles 2 (2018)
  12. Coco (2017)
  13. Toy Story 3 (2010)
  14. Toy Story (1995)
  15. Toy Story 2 (1999)
  16. Wall-E (2008)
  17. Ratatouille (2007)
  18. Inside Out (2015)
  19. Finding Nemo (2003)

Pick your movie of the week: Pixar supporting characters! (July 8-14/18)

As a family we all went to see Incredibles 2. It was a lot of fun and reminded me how much I enjoy and appreciate Pixar movies. So this week we’re looking at supporting characters. Pick yours based on either the movie or the character:

Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story (1995)

Dory in Finding Nemo (2003)

EVE in WALL·E (2008)

Sadness in Inside Out (2015)

The Original Sin of Count Olaf

I’m not sure if Lemony meant this parallel or not, but I find the characters of Count Olaf and the young Baudelaire children illustrate a tug of war that goes on inside of everyone of us. And please understand this is just observation and reflection (an exercise I’ve learned from my friend Richard—both how to do it and how tremendously valuable it is). It is not an effort to preach at you or to wax eloquent in the area of psychology or film criticism. I should also add that this is a pretty spoiler free write-up if you haven’t seen A Series of Unfortunate Events yet.

Let’s start with the children. They are smart, creative, innovative, hard working, and each has their own special talents. They suffer, but when that happens they do the right things: ask for help, come up with a plan, work hard, and persevere. I think that is what most of us can say we aspire to. We want to be both known and remembered for these characteristics. We do and say things to prove to ourselves and others that they are a part of who we are. And it’s true! But then there’s Olaf.

Olaf is looking out for himself. He wants things he can’t have and tricks people into getting what he wants. He doesn’t simply do good things in a way to remind himself that he can be, and is, a good person. He does and says things in a way that is blatantly selfish. He is either explicitly doing/saying something that is wrong so as to get what he wants, or he deceives people into thinking positive things about him and his plans, even to the extent of disguising himself as a different person. He wants wonderful things in life, just as the Baudelaire’s do. Just as we all do. But his underhandedness is despicable and enraging.

Now, this is not to say that this is what we are all like, but inside our hearts there is this id, this Count Olaf. There is a desire to get want you want a little quicker. To take shortcuts and forget about other people. Sometimes we do things that are mean, deceptive, hurtful, selfish, even “crazy.” Any characteristic you see in someone that you find to be annoying (at best) or evil (at worst)—you are capable of them all. Every one of us is.

I find it helpful for me to see people in this light. I may be angry, bothered, hurt, or even completely disgusted by someone, but that’s Count Olaf getting through. He’s winning at the moment. That person is not my enemy. I know the Baudelaire children are in there. And they need help.

Ok, yes this does sound preachy. But please understand this is what I have in my mind and heart. It’s as real to me as oscillating fan that is cooling me off right now as I type. I’m not sure I want to lash out at Olaf; however, I do know I want to find those children and help them escape his grasp. After all, it is what goes on inside me, too.

Congratulations, A Series of Unfortunate Events. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Catherine O’Hara. She makes me laugh out loud in almost every movie, TV show, skit, cameo, etc. that I’ve ever seen her in.

Best Actor: Jim Carrey as Count Olaf. No one can make a character as quotable as Jim Carrey does. I love him as Olaf, as the Grinch, as Lloyd Christmas, and as any character he has taken on.

Best Quote:If you’re ever buying a shampoo sink go right to the Dutch. The French know nothing about shampooing.” — Michael McKean as Stefan Vanderhoof in Best in Show.

My top 10 favourite Catherine O’Hara movies:

  1. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
  2. Beetlejuice (1988)
  3. Chicken Little (2005)
  4. A Mighty Wind (2003)
  5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  6. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
  7. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
  8. Home Alone 2 (1992)
  9. Best in Show (2000)
  10. Home Alone (1990)

Pick your movie of the week: Catherine O’Hara! (July 1-7/18)

Next week we celebrate Canada Day, so it’s appropriate that we focus on a celebrated Canadian actress whose comedic performances I’ve always appreciated: Catherine O’Hara. Which of these movies of hers would you pick for this week’s movie?

Beetlejuice (1988)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Best in Show (2000)

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)