The Greatest Movie Slackers

  1. Timon and Pumba, The Lion King (1994)
    “Repeat after me. Ahem. Hakuna Matata.”
  2. Jabba the Hutt, Star Wars franchise (1980, 1983)
    “Han ma boo-kee, keelee ka-lya dooka.”
  3. Bill and Ted, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
    “Be excellent to each other!”
  4. Peter, Office Space (1999)
    “I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be.”
  5. Ed, Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    “Don’t forget to kill Philip.”
  6. Cheech and Chong Up in Smoke (1978)
    “Hey, man; I’m glad you picked me up, man. I slept in a ditch last night, man, I was about to freeze my ***** off, man.”
  7. Wayne and Garth, Wayne’s World (1992)
    “Sometimes I wish I could boldly go where no man has gone before… but I’ll probably stay in Aurora.”
  8. Bob and Doug McKenzie, Strange Brew (1983)
    “I am your father, Luke. Give in to the dark side of the force, you knob.”
  9. Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
    “Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we’d be in gym?”
  10. The Dude, The Big Lebowski (1998)
    “That rug really tied the room together.”

Now if you don’t agree with this list, especially the #1, then “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.”

But the great Ferris Bueller did do his part to make sure he, his friends, and his friend’s sweet car made it to #1 in our hearts. So…

Congratulations Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Lea Thompson as Lorraine Baines/McFly in Back to the Future.

Best Actor: Bill Murray as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters.

Best Quote:Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say, ‘yes!’.” — Winston Zeddemore in Ghostbusters.

Honourable Mentions: Beavis and Butthead, Homer Simpson, John and Russell (Stripes, 1981), Wooderson (Dazed and Confused, 1993) “Alright alright alright.”

Pick your movie of the week: 80’s Movie Cars (Mar 1-7/20)

It’s only sometimes that a car seems like a character in a movie, though it seems this happened a lot in the 80’s. Which of the following vehicles and/or their films would you choose to be this week’s movie?

Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
1963 Volkswagen Beetle

Ghostbusters (1984)
1959 Caddillac, “Ecto-1”

Back to the Future (1985)
1982 DeLorean

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
1958 Ferrari 250 GT

 

The Greatest Rock Performances in Movies

And here is your top ten…

  1. “Brown Shoes” by Sing Street in Sing Street (2016)
    This movie is a lot of fun. You will fall in love with the band, its members, and with the story.

  2. “I Wonder” by Rodriguez in South Africa in Searching for Sugar Man (2012)
    If you like Documentaries, this one is very rewarding to watch. I don’t want to give too much away, but I feel like it’s a melding of music, life story, and justice.

  3. “The Shallow” by Jackson Maine and Ally in A Star is Born (2018)
    Maybe this one is technically under the country music genre, but the song fits in the rock category just fine. And it’s a great scene. I’d love to have been at that concert.
  4. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” by The Blues Brothers in The Blues Brothers (1980)
    Most of you know how hilarious this movie is, but even if it wasn’t it would be worth watching just for this scene.

  5. The Katayanagi Twins vs Sex Bob-omb in a Battle of the Bands in Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)
    It mixes fantasy, video games, and a rock concert in the most epic way.

  6. “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John at the Troubadour in LA in Rocketman (2019)
    This movie also uses fantasy but in a much more subtle way. If I could go back in time, this would be one performance I would love to have seen live.

  7. “Caravan” by Andrew Neiman on drums in Terence Fletcher’s band in Whiplash (2014)
    This is jazz, but rock was born from jazz and blues, so this fits. You really have to take in the whole movie, but when you do and you get to this scene, it’s mesmerizing.

  8. “Bohemian Rhapsody” (and other songs) by Queen at Live Aid in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
    What’s so impressive here is how they redid the entire performance (one that rock fans and rock historians both say is one of the best live performances in rock history) beat for beat, note for note, gesture for gesture, even the most subtle of facial expressions and mannerisms of Freddie Mercury. It’s awesome!

  9. “School of Rock” by The School of Rock in School of Rock (2003)
    So the name of the song, the band, and the movie are all the same, which is a little weird. But that’s all that’s weird. You’ll have more fun watching this performance than perhaps any other one on this list. And one of the child actors is actually a non-actor, which is fun to watch in the movie as well as in this concert scene.

  10. “Johnny Be Goode” by Marty “Calvin” McFly in Back to the Future (1985)
    Again, this is best when the entire movie is experienced leading up to this point, but the payoff is so good. Maybe it’s at #1 because of my own nostalgic bias, but when I think of concert performances in movies, this one jumps to the front of my mind immediately, and then to the front of the line against all the others.

Congratulations Bohemian Rhapsody. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Kate Hudson as Penny Lane in Almost Famous.

Best Actor: TIE: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and Jack Black as Dewey Finn (aka Professor Schneebly) in School of Rock.

Best Quote:May I start by saying how thrilled we are to have you here. We are such fans of your music and all of your records. I’m not speaking of yours personally, but the whole genre of the rock and roll.” — Lt. Hookstratten in This is Spinal Tap.

Honourable mention to Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” and “Stonehenge” performances in their mockumentary. So memorable and wonderful, but not for the same reasons as the other performances listed above.

 

Stand By Each Other

For me, I can better understand what’s happening in BC and across Canada right now by imagining it like the elementary school playground of my childhood. In the back end of the school property, far away from the monkey bars and swings, is a field where games like soccer, baseball, and British Bulldog are played. I imagine a scenario where the principal and teachers promise us that this part of the property will be ours to use for playing soccer every lunch hour. They even sign papers making this promise official. Then, halfway through the year, in the middle of one particular lunch hour and during a very close and tense game, a long pipe is laid right down the line of the middle of our playing field. It has a width of a telephone pole and is going to be used for… whatever. We don’t understand. We’re kids. But they say it is a very important purpose. Then the principal says, “The good news is you can still play our games. You’ll just have to play around the pipe.” We ask about the papers that were signed and they say that they took those into serious consideration, but still, the pipe is going to remain. No matter what they say to try and reassure us, we all know that this means we’re losing our games. Lunch time soccer is coming to an end.

Of course, the stakes are much higher in this event. The intention here isn’t to minimize or trivialize what is happening with Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en Nation, but it may help with perspective. And this is yet another example of us having to live with what our forefathers have passed down to us. The nation of Canada has broken countless promises and agreements with Indigenous tribes from coast to coast. Maybe the pipeline is a good idea. Maybe it would create jobs. But that isn’t the point. You can’t tell people that their land is theirs only to turn around and do with it what you want. You also can’t expect cooperation from people you consistently don’t listen to, let alone consult on matters that affect them.

The reason I even bring any of this up is to point out what I believe is the best thing to come out of it all: watching the solidarity of all Canadians and Indigenous peoples from all across the country in support of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Corporations and government need to be reminded who is in charge and who really pays the bills. Yes, our economy will be negatively affected by the blockades, but that’s not the fault of protesters. Nor is it the fault of the RCMP who are simply doing their job. That is the fault of the aforementioned corporations and government making decisions on their own and expecting everyone to simply accept them.

It is so important for us to stand together and support each other as citizens in this country and on this planet; to band together to protect each other and those who cannot protect themselves. Consider what Joaquin Phoenix said in this Best Actor acceptance speech at the Oscars this year: “I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.

Congratulations Stand By Me. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actor: River Phoenix as Chris Chambers in Stand By Me.

Best Actress: Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Best Quote:Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?” — Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.

The following is my top 10 movies adapted from books. I only counted ones where I had both read the book and watched the movie. I didn’t count movies that came out with a book after the fact (I read Rocky III before seeing the movie), and I left out movies based on A Christmas Carol since there are so many of them (my favourite being A Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992).

  1. The Shipping News (2001)
  2. Runaway Jury (2003)
  3. James and the Giant Peach (1996)
  4. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)
  5. Frankenstein (1931)
  6. Ready Player One (2018)
  7. Life of Pi (2012)
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  10. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

Honourable Mentions: The Rainmaker (1997), Watchmen (2009), The Cat in the Hat (2003), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), The Polar Express (2004), Anne of Green Gables (TV movie, 1985), Where the Wild Things Are (2009), The Lord of the Flies (1963)

 

Pick your movie of the week: Book to Film Adaptations (Feb 16-22/20)

Joy and I really liked Little Women (2019) and this weekend we listened to a podcast together that gave some interesting insights about the movie. It made me think of how many great book-to-film adaptations have been made, especially the good ones. There’s a lot! Here are only three, but I think you’ll agree that each are pretty fantastic. Which one is most fantastic to you?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Stand by Me (1986)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

My 2020 Oscar Predictions

This has been such a good year for movies. I’ve seen each of the best picture nominees and I would be happy if any one of them received the award. I’ve watched as many others as I could (including shorts), but I stayed away from hearing other predictions. And here we go…

BEST PICTURE
   Who I want to win: Parasite
   Who I predict will win: 1917

Just a little explanation regarding why I say Parasite. Again, I liked all of these, and the ones I enjoyed most were Joker, Jo Jo Rabbit, 1917, The Irishman, Little Women and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. I think The Irishman could easily win, but it’s a Netflix movie and I question whether Hollywood is ready to award a streaming movie yet (which would also put Marriage Story in doubt). I think Joker is very deserving, but not sure they’re ready to give the award to a movie connected with comics just yet. I don’t believe Parasite has a great chance because of it being a foreign film, but I want them to be ready for that. It’s a good year to allow for that, especially considering that movie makers rave about the masterpiece this movie is.

The way they do the voting for this category is “preferential,” which means instead of voters picking one to win, they list them all in order of preference. Then the lists are aggregated, which often brings surprises like we’ve seen in recent years. So really, this could be anyone’s game, especially considering how good they all are. Who knows, you just might see Jojo Rabbit or Little Women take the award! 

BEST ACTOR
   Who I want to win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
   Who I predict will win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

But watch out for Adam Driver! 

BEST ACTRESS
   Who I want to win: Renee Zellweger, Judy
   Who I predict will win: Renee Zellweger, Judy

Ever since I saw Judy last October I’ve wanted Zellweger to win, but I saw Bombshell a couple of weeks ago, and wow Charlize Theron really deserves it too! I came this close to putting her in the “want to win” spot for me.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
   Who I want to win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
   Who I predict will win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

He is one of my favourite actors, and definitely my favourite in these options, though Joe Pesci is a super close 2nd for me, and very capable of taking the prize himself. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
   Who I want to win: Florence Pugh, Little Women
   Who I predict will win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

A lot of people are talking about Pugh, so who knows?

BEST DIRECTOR
   Who I want to win: Sam Mendes, 1917
   Who I predict will win: Sam Mendes, 1917

I would LOVE to see Scorsese get another Oscar, and I believe Bong Joon Ho is more than deserving. But I do think Mendes knocked it out of the park with 1917.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
   Who I want to win: Little Women
   Who I predict will win: The Irishman

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
   Who I want to win: Knives Out
   Who I predict will win: Parasite

Marriage Story is my back-up. 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
   Who I want to win: I Lost My Body
   Who I predict will win: Toy Story 4

I would really like to see a lower budget, plainly animated movie win one year. So far Disney/Pixar has dominated the last two decades. I watched ILMB on Netflix recently and really thought it was really cool.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
   Who I want to win: 1917
   Who I predict will win: 1917

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
   Who I want to win: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
   Who I predict will win: Little Women

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
   Who I want to win: American Factory
   Who I predict will win: American Factory

I’ve only seen two and this one I liked most.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
   Who I want to win: Walk Run Cha-Cha
   Who I predict will win: In the Absence

I only saw one, Walk Run Cha-Cha. So, just a guess here.

BEST FILM EDITING
   Who I want to win: Ford v Ferrari
   Who I predict will win: Ford v Ferrari

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
   Who I want to win: Parasite
Who I predict will win: Parasite

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
   Who I want to win: 1917
   Who I predict will win: Bombshell 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
   Who I want to win: Joker
   Who I predict will win: Joker 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
   Who I want to win: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman
   Who I predict will win: “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Who I want to win: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

   Who I predict will win: 1917

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
   Who I want to win: Memorable
   Who I predict will win: Hair Love

I was lucky enough to watch most of the nominees in this category. Try looking them up. They’re a lot of fun.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
   Who I want to win: Nefta Football Club
   Who I predict will win: Brotherhood

I list them this way, but I really liked these two shorts A LOT! I almost had to flip a coin here. 

BEST SOUND EDITING
   Who I want to win: Ford v Ferrari
   Who I predict will win: Ford v Ferrari 

BEST SOUND MIXING
   Who I want to win: Ford v Ferrari
   Who I predict will win: Ad Astra 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
   Who I want to win: 1917
   Who I predict will win: Avengers: Endgame

So my pick is 1917, though the votes tended to lean another way…

Congratulations Joker. This is your week. Good luck on Sunday.

Best Quotes:

We already have picks above for best actress and best actor, so here are some of the greatest quotes from the best picture nominees:

“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.”Joker

“You always charge aa guy with a gun! With a knife, you run away.”The Irishman

“Now, get your things together, kids. It’s time to burn some books!” — Jojo Rabbit

“Criminal lawyers see bad people at their best. Divorce lawyers see good people at their worst.” — Marriage Story

“There’s only one way this war ends: last man standing.”1917

“Don’t cry in front of the Mexicans.” — Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

“I hear you paint houses.”The Irishman

“If the main character is a girl, make sure she is married by the end.” — Little Women

I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a f***ing comedy.” — Joker