Pick your movie of the week: Darin Squire! (June 3-9/18)

This weekend my good friend Darin from Ontario visited us and we had a ton of fun. He’s been one of my best friends for the past 20+ years, and this week we’re going to pick from some of his favourite movies of all time. Which one do you pick?

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Prick Up Your Ears (1987)

Beautiful Thing (1996)

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Don’t Let Them Get to Me!

This week I had a good talk with someone I love dearly. He told me about the stresses of getting along with people, especially when they say mean things to you, exclude you, laugh at your expense, etc. And he said something that really hit me. He said, “I’m always told ‘Don’t let them get to you.’ or ‘Don’t let them bother you.’ And they promise me that this works, but it doesn’t seem to. I ignore people who do these things and yet it doesn’t make any difference. It doesn’t stop it from happening.”

I could totally relate to that. I agree that it’s important to not let what people say get under your skin, but is that all that can be done? I mean, I know how to ignore someone, but often it’s difficult to even know what it means to not let them “get to me.”And sometimes the ignoring can come across as negative behaviour as well. It’s not easy dealing with mistreatment.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Talk to them! We need to talk things out in order to get along, right? Yes, that is true. And it’s good advice. BUT… this is easier said than done considering that the person you talk to is likely to tell you that you are the problem:

  • “Dude, I was kidding! Geez…”
  • “I think you’re taking this a little too seriously.”
  • “I don’t know what you’re talking about”
  • “I didn’t mean anything by it and I’m sorry if it hurt you.

Maybe the comments people throw our way are harmless on the surface, but even the light teasing is at the very least a distant cousin to the one thing none of us want to be accused of: bullying. And I remember long ago watching a short documentary on bullying that revealed an enlightening observation. It claimed that the biggest problem with bullying isn’t with the bully, nor with the victim. It is with the onlookers who do nothing.

So from now on, instead of watching “the drama” (as we like to call it), I’m going to try and be the voice for the person getting the snide remark, the subtle snub, or the passive-aggressive comment. Not in a forced way like I’m some lion-hearted advocate for the downtrodden. Just simply. Colloquially. Being a part of the conversation when needed.

And I won’t say to my friend, “Hey, don’t let them get to you.” Instead I’ll say, “Hey, I won’t let them get to you.”

What’s Love Got To Do With It. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There. It’s a strange movie, but the performances are all pretty great. But Blanchett really gives you something to remember. And she clearly did the best job (in my opinion) of bringing Dylan to the screen.

Best Actor: O’Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton.

Best Quote:An’ stoppa that growlin’. You sound like a big ol’ bar.” — Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

I thought it was appropriate to make reference to bullying considering Tina Turner’s story. I’ve actually not seen What’s Love Got To Do With It nor Coal Miner’s Daughter, but they’re both going on my watchlist now!

Five Sense Movies

In the 1950’s, it would cost you anywhere between 47-69¢ for a movie ticket depending on where you were and which decade. But we’re not talking about ¢ today. On IMDb I watched an interview with Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer about movies that speak to her five senses. With that said, here are mine:

SMELL. Slumdog Millionaire definitely comes to mind right away. When a child character is locked in an outhouse by his brother, he is so determined to get out (you’ll have to watch the movie to see why) that he chooses to jump down the hole to escape, completely immersing himself in peanut butter and chocolate sauce. That’s what he was literally jumping into when filming, but you don’t know that when you’re the viewer. When he emerges from the sewage and walks through a crowd that parts easily for him, I wrinkled my nose. Disgusting!

TASTE. This is a bit of an odd pick I guess, but the first that comes to mind is Spanglish (2004). In this film Adam Sandler is a chef, and in one scene he is making himself lunch on his day off. Now, if I took all the food scenes from movies I’ve watched I’m sure I could fill a hundred grocery carts. So why this one? The scene is shot so well in showing him making the lunch that it could cause any viewer’s mouth to water. Plus, it’s the kind of thing I love to make on my day off: toasted fried egg sandwich with meat, fried onions, lettuce, cheese, mayo, etc etc.

TOUCH. First of all, Gladiator (2000). Every hit that is taken and given, especially by the main character, I felt like I was taking/giving. But I also would have to add a second: Empire Strikes Back (1980) when Luke is getting his new artificial hand. The robot touches his fingers and palm to test its built in reflexes. I feel it every time I see it.

SOUND. Oddly enough, I think I’d pick The Hurt Locker (2008). The sound of the rocks and sand were captured on this movie so well I felt like I was right there in Iraq watching Jeremy Renner diffuse bombs. I’d put Alien (1979) at a close second.

SIGHT. There are so many to choose, though I think Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) fits best for me. The sound is amazing, and something to be experienced, yet I could easily watch this movie on mute and take in all the visuals on their own merit.

We actually have other senses, so we should be calling the above “the five base senses” or “five main senses,” instead of THE five. For example, we have a sense of balance, and for that I’d choose the documentary Man on Wire (2008) or maybe Cliffhanger (1993). For pain, Reservoir Dogs (1992) for two different scenes. For temperature, Titanic (1997) and Wind River (2017). There are others, but this isn’t a science or medical blog. I’ll move along…

And when I look at the three nominees for this week, I’ve actually only seen one. However, by just looking at the movie stills, the one that appeals to my senses the best would be…

Congratulations The Creature from the Black Lagoon. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actor: Kevin McCarthy as Dr. Miles Bennell in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Best Actress: Julie Adams as Kay Lawrence in Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Best Quote:I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.” — Michael Rennie as Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still. What a fitting quote for the western world today.

My favourite movies of the 50’s you ask? Well, they would be…

  1. North By Northwest (1959)
  2. The Wages of Fear (1953)
  3. The Searchers (1956)
  4. Rear Window (1954)
  5. Dial M for Murder (1954)
  6. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
  7. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  8. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  9. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
  10. Vertigo (1958)

Pick your movie of the week: the 50’s! (May 20-26/18)

These three movies don’t get a lot of of love from film critics (necessarily), but they get great representation within pop culture. Maybe you’ve seen one or more and would like to pick a favourite to be our movie of the week; but, if you haven’t seen any of them, pick one that you would choose to watch if this line-up was presented to you.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Prison Bus

For the first 8 years of our public school education, my siblings and I traveled every weekday morning on a bus: the typical kind that’s black-and-yellow with uncomfortable green vinyl seats and one very non-functional heater. It was on that bus that I was introduced to Ozzy Osborne. A “big kid” who ruled the super cool back seat would play “Crazy Train” over and over on his little portable stereo. It was on that bus that I was wrongfully accused of throwing a ball and had to write lines for punishment. It was on that bus that my best friend and I had some of the best times of fun together, and where we had our worst fights.

But one particular event I remember most keenly because I remember how angry I was. It all started with the changing of the guard, so to speak. The driver we had for quite a few years was Harold. He liked me because sometimes I wore my Christian Service Brigade shirt to school. He was a Brigade leader in his church. Harold was a kind man that liked to get kids riled up at him by pretending he was stupid. I remember one day it was raining like a pissing cow and he said to two drenched kids climbing aboard, “You’re not wet are you?” Man, I thought a riot was going to start at that point!

But Harold was replaced by Jones. Jones was gruff, brusque, and crusty. He had white hair shooting out of his ears and always seemed be in a bad mood. And one day he angered me deeply. By this time I’d been angered by adults many times, but this time was different. It was a brisk, chilly New Brunswick morning and we were at the third or fourth bus stop after my siblings and I got on. At that house a teenage girl was usually there waiting, but on this morning she wasn’t there. One would assume she was either not coming or was running late. I didn’t know her, but I knew that she 1) was a few years older than me, 2) liked horses, 3) owned a horse, and 4) I thought she was beautiful. Apparently Jones did too. He had a lot of pleasant conversations with her complete with smiles, laughter, and “well, isn’t that nice” comments. I didn’t know anyone who had those kinds of talks with him. He stopped the bus at the empty driveway and waited several seconds. He honked. Waited more. Honked again. Then slowwwwwwwly started to pull away, only to stop abruptly and crane his neck thinking he saw movement in the house’s picture window. This went on for quite some time before he finally—with obvious reluctance—pulled away.

That was what made me so angry. Why? Because just weeks before that morning my sister and I had missed the bus. We were usually standing at the end of our driveway when the motorized cheese log came lumbering down our rural road each morning, but not this particular morning. I swear he was a few minutes early that day, and he didn’t honk for us. In fact, he didn’t stop either. Since there were no kids waiting he kept rolling without so much as tapping the breaks. Realizing this, Jennifer and I even ran down the road waving our hands, but it was evident that  there was no looking back for Jones.

At that age, missing the bus was such a big deal. I can still feel the anxiety filling my head and chest upon the realization that it happened; the same anxiety that was written all over my sister’s face. We decided we would continue to run: one mile past our house the road came to a T. He knew he would turn right, make a stop down that road, turn the bus around, then come back heading the opposite way. We could catch him at the T if we hurried!

And we ran. If 46-year-old Troy could talk to elementary aged Troy and Jennifer, he would tell them to go home and enjoy the day off. But we were in panic mode. Still a couple hundred yards away from where we thought we could catch up, we saw the bus coming back from the east side of the T. Again, we waved our hands and yelled. Jones saw nothing. The bus flew past us just as it did past our house minutes ago. It was now for sure: we missed the bus.

So, yes, on that morning that the cute teenager was absent I was fuming. I guess I could understand, even at that age, the way a beautiful person can take your attention and make you act a little strange. But his indifference toward us in the shadow of his affection toward her was (and still is) maddening to me. Favouritism has always been a sore spot for me, and perhaps this is one of the big contributing factors in my life.

Well Jones, all these years later you’ve been written about in my blog, read by more than five people every week! Take that!

Congratulations The Fugitive. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actor: Other than the great Indiana Solo, I’d definitely give this one to Tommy Lee Jones (ironic name right now…) as Samuel Gerard in The Fugitive.

Best Actress: Kelly McGillis as Rachel Lapp in Witness.

Best Quote:We’re all very happy that you’re going to live, John Book. We didn’t know what we would do with you if you’d died.” — Rachel Lapp (Kelly McGillis) in Witness.


What brought this bus story to mind was the fact that The Fugitive has a memorable prison bus crash scene. I loved that movie, as I did Witness and Blade Runner.. Here is my top 10 Harrison Ford movies*, outside of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises:

  1. Regarding Henry (1991)
  2. Air Force One (1997)
  3. Sabrina (1995)
  4. Patriot Games (1992)
  5. Frantic (1988)
  6. What Lies Beneath (2000)
  7. Blade Runner (1982)
  8. Witness (1985)
  9. Clear and Present Danger (1994)
  10. The Fugitive (1993)

…and for the franchises:

  1. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
  2. The Force Awakens (2015)
  3. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  5. Star Wars (1977)
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

* I stuck with ones where Ford was a main character, otherwise Anchorman 2 and American Graffiti would definitely be on here. 🙂