Planes, Movies and Automobiles


This past week was euphoric and memorable for me. I laid by a pool in Mexico with my wife, met with friends there, enjoyed +25 temperatures in February, and stayed at a luxurious resort. I could write pages and pages about any one of those things, but really, is that any of your business? Unless you are family or you have some money to slide over to me, that stuff is personal! I will share, however, about one of the wonderful experiences I had on my own. And I think many of you have as well.

I waited in the Toronto Airport not dreading the flight I was about to take. Yes, it was going to be over three hours, but those are the flights I enjoy. It is on these flights that airlines are inclined to supply time killers, such as movies. The anticipation of which ones would be showing was bringing back the 7-year-old me. The December edition. “Which movie will I get to see? I hadn’t yet seen all of the Oscars nominees. They even have a ‘classics’ category.”

“Geez!! When IS our zone going to be called!?”

gangsJoy sat in her seat—a window one. She had to climb past two men to sit down. I gave each one the Liam Neeson in Taken look that we males all understand: “Touch her…and I will kill you.” Turning to the other side of the aisle I took my seat. A middle one. Between two women. I gave each that look that all women are familiar with. The Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 look: (holds up ring finger) “Just the fax, ma’am.”

About an hour later, the pilot finally shuts his pie hole and turns off the seat belt sign. Passengers were watching their movies. Not me though. I hit the attendant button right away. Would you believe, out of all the seats on that big fat plane, MINE was the one with a broken screen! This being an Air Canada flight, I wasn’t optimistic. But the attendant was wonderful. I was given another seat. Of course, it was my wife’s. She volunteered. I didn’t like the fact that she wouldn’t be able to watch a movie, but she wanted to read. That’s her thing.

Then guess what happens? On long flights you usually get to choose from a list. On this flight, you simply turn the channel and watch whatever is on. The movie I started was fifteen minutes in. If this was one I was dying to see I would have refused myself the watch and chose to fume instead. But this was one I knew nothing about yet it seemed like one I’d enjoy.

When it was done, I had time to watch another. YES!

myleftfootNot so fast…

Remember, you have to watch what’s on. Like poor people. (or middle-class people in the 70’s, whatever). I had to wait for the movie I was interested in to begin again. Time for a bathroom break.

Most of us can remember the first time we flushed a plane toilet, because it suddenly feels like you started WWIII by pushing that button. You hit it, nothing happens, you furrow your brow, then BOOM! All hell breaks loose! My first time I thought I’d just opened a black hole portal to the darkest dimension.

This is not the case, however, for Air Canada. People are in there a LONG time, because when they flush, the little round metal thing does open at the bottom of the bowl, but just a tad. You don’t hear a loud sound. You just watch the insanity. The blue water swirls and swirls as if your little offering is at a resort of its own sipping on Margaritas. “Come on! Get down there!!” Flush again. Rinse and repeat. After an undisclosed number of flushes, your offering is gone. But wait! Do I stay in here til that last wad of paper is gone? It’s just sitting there perched on the edge of that silver disk! I’m stubborn, so the answer to this question, of course, is yes (For the record, the person before me was not.). Twenty-seven flushes later I emerged victorious.

Whoever was next better be grateful. 

I arrived back to my seat and checked the screen. Uh oh… I sat simmering in my own smoldering rage and hit the attendant button again.

My Air Canada earphones stopped working…

Congratulations Lincoln. This is your week.

DiazAnd the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Fiona Shaw as Eileen Cole in My Left Foot
Best Actor: Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood
Best Quote:It’s a funny feeling being taken under the wing of a dragon. It’s warmer than you’d think.” — Gangs of New York

Thank you to everyone who helped us get this trip. It meant the world to us and I can’t tell you how much we both needed it. 

And thank you all for your votes. I love these movies and would love to one day meet Daniel Day-Lewis. He really is a masterful actor. He’s the only one to win three “best actor” awards at the Oscars (I’ll post all the answers soon).

And thanks to Air Canada for getting us back to our kids and everyone we love.

oil ddl

Movie of the Week


Pick your Movie of the Week: Daniel Day-Lewis! (Feb 26-Mar 3)

Feb 26-Mar3-16

In my opinion he’s the greatest actor of all time, and his track record backs that up pretty well. He received Oscar nominations for the roles he played in all of these films, and won three of them. Which one do you think should be this week’s movie?

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Gangs of New York (2002)

My Left Foot (1989)

Lincoln (2012)

Movie of the Week


As messed up as the Academy can be, I have to admit that I enjoy the Oscars. I like to see great movies get recognized. Here are a few more top tens in celebration of the upcoming show:

The top 10 times that the Academy got it wrong:

10. Dances with Wolves winning over Goodfellas

9. My Fair Lady winning over Dr. Strangelove

8. The Apartment winning over Psycho, which wasn’t even nominated!

7. Going My Way winning over Double Indemnity

6. How Green Was My Valley winning over Citizen Kane

5. Chariots of Fire winning over Raiders of the Lost Ark

4. Ordinary People winning over Raging Bull

3. The English Patient winning over Fargo

2. Shakespeare in Love winning over Saving Private Ryan

1. No Country for Old Men winning over There Will Be Blood


My top 10 favourite Best Picture winners:

10. Amadeus

9. Slumdog Millionaire

8. Rain Man

7. Gladiator

6. Braveheart

5. Forrest Gump

4. The Godfather

3. The Godfather Part II

2. Schindler’s List

1. Rocky

Congratulations Room. This is your week.

I chose this one not because it was my favourite of 2015, but because it is so amazing. Easily a best picture winner for the year. Joy and I watched it and were wrapped up from beginning to end.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Charlize Theoron in Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Actor: Tom Hardy in The Revenant 

Best Quote: “F*** you Mars.” – Matt Damon as Mark Watney in The Martian. 


Oscars Quiz. Win a free DVD!

Popcorn Pop Quiz Oscars

As we eagerly await to see who wins the coveted Oscars (And even more so, the Movie of the Week!), let’s have a little trivia revelry? A big quiz shindig. A trivial battle royal if you will.

The winner gets a free DVD (options will be given to choose from)! Email your answers to me at by next Tuesday, Feb 23.

And here are the questions:

1. Which of the following movies did NOT win every award it was nominated for at the Oscars?

a) Pinocchio
b) The Matrix
c) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
d) Ben-Hur

2. What was the first movie to win best picture that was NOT in black and white?

a) Gone With the Wind
b) The Wizard of Oz
c) The Adventures of Robin Hood
d) How Green Was My Valley

3. Only three movies have ever swept the top “big five” major awards (best picture, actor, actress, director and screenplay). Which of the following is NOT one of them?

a) The Silence of the Lambs
b) It Happened One Night
c) The Bridge on the River Kwai
d) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

4. In 1973, Marlon Brando refused his Oscar award for his role in
The Godfather. Why did he do this?

a) To protest the treatment of animals in the film industry
b) To protest the treatment of Native Americans in the film industry
c) To protest the treatment of African Americans in the film industry
d) He didn’t want a golden naked man in his house

5. In the Academy Awards’ 88-year history, how many animated movies have received a nomination for best picture?

a) 0
b) 1
c) 2
d) 3

6. Who holds the record of most Best Actress wins at 4?

a) Audrey Hepburn
b) Katherine Hepburn
c) Meryl Streep
d) Diane Keaton

7. Only one actor has managed to win the Best Actor award three times, which is the record. Who is it?

a) Daniel Day-Lewis
b) Jack Nicholson
c) Robert DiNiro
d) Marlon Brando

8. Who is the only person to win an Oscar for playing a member of the opposite sex?

a) Dustin Hoffman for Tootsie
b) Robin Williams for Mrs. Doubtfire
c) Hillary Swank for Boys Don’t Cry
d) Linda Hunt for The Year of Living Dangerously

9. What was the first year that presenters started saying “And the Oscar goes to…” abandoning the previously used, “And the winner is…”?

a) 1966
b) 1977
c) 1988
d) 1999

10. In 1974, Actor David Niven was about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor who would reveal the winner of the best picture award. What interrupted his introduction?

a) A protester with a megaphone
b) A naked man running across the stage
c) An earthquake
d) An airborne tomato

BONUS: Which movie won best picture that year (for 1973)? _____________

Good luck everyone.

Movie of the Week


Pick your Movie of the Week: Best Picture 2016! (Feb 19-25/16)

Feb 19-25-16

There are 8 movies nominated this year for best picture at the Academy Awards on Feb 28 (There should be 9, or at least replace The Martian with Ex Machina). It’s anybody’s game, though I did make my own predictions last week, which can be found here.

Which one do you think will win the Oscar (and the esteemed Movie of the Week)?


The Big Short The Martian
Bridge of Spies The Revenant
Brooklyn Room
Mad Max: Fury Road Spotlight

Movie of the Week


The Worst Words and Phrases, 2016 edition

Razzies are movies we didn’t enjoy. We hated them. Thinking about all three of these stinkers this past week got me thinking of other things I hate. Now this may sound strange, but there are a lot of words and phrases that I really don’t like. For instance…

It’s all good. Not it’s not! I repeat, IT IS NOT ALL GOOD! Usually this phrase is used merely as a substitution for “it’s ok” following an apology. And, of course, inside your head you’re thinking, “It really isn’t ok, just leave me alone so I can be mad at you. I’ll talk about this later with someone else.”

Slept like a baby. I’ve had three babies folks, so if you tell me you slept like a baby last night, I’m going to assume that means you woke up every 20 minutes screaming and refusing any help offered to you. And that you peed and pooped more than once in your bed.

Gaggle of geese. Apparently with every group of animals there is a different word used to describe said group. A murder of crows. A nursery of raccoons. A kindle of kittens. A flock of seagulls (nod to 80’s new wave synthpop). This is so useless, and I can only assume was invented by an elementary teacher who wanted to give her students yet another impossible list to memorize. Can we not simply use “group” for all of these?

Not my forté. Ok, the only reason I don’t like this one is because I keep forgetting what a forté is.

Umpire. Can we not all agree that when baseball was invented they should’ve come up with a better name for this position? The word was kind of already taken. Empire. They’re so close that as a child I couldn’t tell the difference. Like “Graham” and “Gram.” Honestly, when the first sequel to Star Wars was advertised, I was both excited and confused. My brother clarified things for me though.

Are ya workin’ hard or hardly workin’? People who ask me this make me feel like I’m Phil Connors and they’re Ned Ryerson.

Pianist. I don’t like this word mainly because of what it rhymes with. I remember sitting in church on a Sunday night and a guest speaker was telling a story that, in my mind, sounded like this: “We lost our church penis and were desperately trying to find a replacement. Jim was such a great penis but arthritis caught up with him. Speaking of which, you all have a great penis here in your music minister. He is fantastic!” If you must use this word, can you please pronounce it “pee-ANNE-ist”? As for me, “piano player” works just fine.

Best thing since sliced bread. Of all the innovations and inventions, this is the bar? It’s good stuff sure, but what about antibiotics? That was a biggie. Or how about coffee makers or bar code scanners? I think I’d even choose crayons over sliced bread.

It takes two to tango! Yeah well it takes five to form a congo line and only one to do the twist. What’s your point?

The whole nine yards. I grew up with metric, so I have no idea what you’re talking about.

You know what also grinds my gears? Just what Mama C pointed out: when people mess with a good thing, especially a classic story. So this Razzie was well deserved.

Congratulations Little Red Riding Hood (2015). This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress and Actor: Seeing as I know none of the performers in this week’s nominees, I’ve decided to give this week’s award to my two personal favourites: Scarlett Johansson and Daniel Day-Lewis.
Best Quote: And seeing as I can find no quotes from any of these movies, here’s my favourite quote from a recent movie I watched: “Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” Jack Bannon as Christopher Morcom in The Imitation Game.

Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ll be able to say that I slept like a… healthy 43-year-old man.


Pick your movie of the week: Razzies 2015! (Feb 12-18/16)

Feb 12-18-16

In this season of celebrating the best pictures of the last year, it’s also a time to recognize achievement in becoming the worst. The following movies are in IMDb’s bottom 100. Read the plot descriptions and vote for the one which you think would be the worst of 2015?

1. Kartoffelsalat
(IMDb rating 1.2/10)

When a deadly zombie virus infects a school in Germany it remains on the student Leo to save the world.

2. Code Name: K.O.Z.
(IMDb rating 1.6/10)

Political and social processes in recent and current Turkish political history.

3. Little Red Riding Hood
(IMDb rating 1.7/10)
A Brother Grimm’s Horror Version of the Classic Fairytale.


And in case anyone is interested, here are my Oscar predictions:

Who I think will win: The Revenant
Who I think should win: Mad Max: Fury Road
(Though I should state that to me it’s a very difficult decision to choose between these two. Both are tremendous, and though I think MM:FR has proven itself to be movie of the year, I am a huge fan of The Revenant. If it were to win, I wouldn’t contest it at all.

Who I think will win: BRIE LARSON (for Room)
Who I think should win: BRIE LARSON

Who I think will win: LEONARDO DICAPRIO (for The Revenant)
Who I think should win: LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Who I think will win: ROONEY MARA (for Carol)
Who I think should win: ROONEY MARA

Who I think will win: SYLVESTER STALLONE (for Creed)
Who I think should win: TOM HARDY (for The Revenant)

Who I think will win: THE REVENANT (Alejandro G. Iñárritu)
Who I think should win: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (George Miller)

Who I think will win: INSIDE OUT
Who I think should win: INSIDE OUT

Who I think will win: THE REVENANT
Who I think should win: THE REVENANT

Who I think will win: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Who I think should win: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Who I think will win: EX MACHINA
Who I think should win: EX MACHINA