About troycarruthers

I am a franchise owner/technician specializing in mobile auto paint and tire rim repair. I live in New Brunswick, Canada, with my wife and children whom I love even more than movies.

Pick your movie of the week: 60’s Westerns! (Apr 28-May 4/19)

It was a great decade for westerns. So good I had to drop the Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies so we could narrow them down a bit. So if you haven’t seen any, you might want to check out the plot descriptions and see which you would be more apt to choose to watch if given the choice.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Seven gunfighters are hired by Mexican peasants to liberate their village from oppressive bandits.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

The Wild Bunch (1969)
An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the “traditional” American West is disappearing around them.

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Celebrities’ Favourite Movies

Whenever I meet someone new I like to ask them what their favourite movie is. I found out this week that Terrence Malick, director of The Tree of Life (2011) and The Thin Red Line (1998), is a big fan of this week’s movie, Zoolander (2001) and thought it would be cool to look at some of the favourite films of the bigger names in Hollywood and beyond. See which of the following are more like you:Congratulations Zoolander. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…


Best
Actress: 
Jane Lynch as Lucy Bobby in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Best Actor: Simon Pegg as Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz.

Best Quote: These movies are filled with great quotes. Time for a top 10…

  1. “I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I’m here to party.” — John C. Reilly as Cal Naughton, Jr., Talladega Nights
  2. “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.” — Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in Zoolander
  3. “By the power of Greyskull!” — Nick Frost as Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz
  4. “Ever fired your gun in the air and yelled, ‘Aaaaaaah?'” — Nick Frost as Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz
  5. “You think that you’re too cool for school, but I have a newsflash for you Walter Cronkite… you aren’t.” — Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in Zoolander
  6. “Todd! Are you not aware that I get farty and bloated with a foamy latte?” — Will Ferrell as Mugatu in Zoolander
  7. “Well, I couldn’t see his face, could I? I’m not made of eyes!” — Nick Frost as Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz
  8. “Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces… newborn infant Jesus, don’t even know a word yet.” — Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights
  9. “He had to pull his underwear out of his butt to beat you!” as — Christine Taylor as Matilda in Zoolander
  10. “If you’re not first, you’re last.” — Will Farrell as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights

Pick your movie of the week: Comedy Duos, part II (Apr 21-27/19)

Earlier this year we chose from the comedic duos of Matthau/Lemon, Farley/Spade, Fey/Poehler, and Pryor/Wilder. In our second installment we have three more very funny acting pairs. Which one is your pick?

Zoolander (2001, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson)

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly)

Hot Fuzz (2007, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost)

Cult Classics and Un-Classic Cults

We’ll start with an un-classic cult. In 1987 a Japanese cult known as Ho No Hana was founded by Hogen Fukunaga, a man who claimed he could see a person’s past and future by looking at their feet. He used his followers’ health as a kind of ransom (it’s a long story) and extorted 150 million yen out of them, a 30,000 member cult. Thankfully he was caught and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Cult Classic: Donnie Darko (2001). This one is a strange movie in a lot of ways (common for cult classics), but I’m glad I watched it. There is a clear and intriguing story that keeps you watching. The strange things don’t bother you, though the ending of the movie bothers some. At the very least it is fun to talk about with people who have seen it and want to make sense of it with you. I definitely recommend it.

Un-Classic Cult:  Order of the Solar Temple. This group claims to be based on the Knights Templar. They mix Christian, New Age, Freemason, and UFO religion in their beliefs and practices. In the mid-90’s a total of 69 members had been burned on a plateau in France, Switzerland, and right here in Canada. The one in Canada included an infant being stabbed multiple times at the request of his father who claimed the baby was the antiChrist.

Cult Classic: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I saw this movie, a rare Johnny Depp picture that is not directed by Tim Burton. His and Benicio del Toro’s performances are quirky, bizarre, at times funny, and definitely memorable. But I really didn’t get it. Not crazy about this one.

Un-Classic Cult: The Branch Davidians. This was the cult led by David Koresh in Waco, Texas. After being disowned by the Seventh Day Adventists as a young man, he joined this cult, had an affair with its founder, and was chosen by her to succeed him. He claimed to be a messiah and that all women, even underage girls and wives of other men, were married to him. His child abuse was overlooked by his loyal followers, but the government wasn’t too pleased with it, as well as with his alarmingly large collection of firearms. They raided the compound where there was a 51-day shootout/standoff, and a subsequent fire started from within. The flames took Koresh’s life as well as 80 of his followers, including 20 children.

Cult Classic: Being John Malkovich (1999). Enjoyable, but I’m not sure why it became a cult classic. It’s worth seeing just for one scene where a character gets heckled when a kid in a car driving by throws a pop can at him. Not that that is incredibly funny, but it was unscripted. They had no idea they’d be in this movie!

Un-Classic Cult: Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments. It’s a long name, but it’s an official one. These folks predicted the earth would come to an end on December 31, 1999 (How original!). When that didn’t happen they said that the Virgin Mary would come to earth on March 17 of 2000. That didn’t happen either, but what did happen that day was a big explosion and fire killing hundreds of its members. The police feared this was a mass suicide, but it wasn’t. The cult’s leaders had set this up, murdered their flock, and skipped town.

Cult Classic: Reservoir Dogs (1992). This one is amazing! The story, the filming, the acting is all so good I tend to think it may be Tarantino’s best movie. There is one disturbing scene, though it’s more of a case of convincing you, the viewer, that you’re seeing something you’re not.

Un-Classic Cult: Church of Euthanasia. Under the guidance of founder Chris Korda, this cult has a very clear and underlying belief that can be summed up in its most popular slogan: “Save the planet, kill yourself.” They promoted and encouraged suicide, even having a suicide hotline devoted to helping convince people to take their own lives.

Cult Classic: Nacho Libre (2006). If you haven’t seen this movie, what are you even doing with your life? The quotable quotes you will leave with after watching are worth their weight in gold. (Yes, I know quotes don’t weigh anything, but you know what I’m saying.)

Congratulations Nacho Libre. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Marisa Tomei as Cassidy in The Wrestler.

Best Actor: Definitely not anyone in No Holds Barred. Mickey Rourke as Randy “The Ram” Robinson in The Wrestler.

Best Quote:Beneath the clothes, we find a man… and beneath the man, we find his… nucleus.” — Jack Black as Nacho/Ignatio in Nacho Libre.


Back in 2014 I gave the following list of who I thought were the greatest movie characters of all time:

  1. Jack Sparrow; Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (2003-2017)
  2. Clark Griswold; National Lampoon’s Vacation movies (1983-2015)
  3. Tyler Durden; Fight Club (1999)
  4. Nacho/Ignacio; Nacho Libre (2006)
  5. Lloyd Christmas; Dumb and Dumber (1994)
  6. Daniel Plainview; There Will Be Blood (2007)
  7. Ron Burgundy; Anchor Man franchise (2004-2013)
  8. Guido Orefice; Life Is Beautiful (1997)
  9. Rocky Balboa; Rocky franchise (1976-2018)
  10. The Tramp; Charlie Chaplin movies (1920’s, 1930’s)
  11. Austin Powers and Dr. Evil; Austin Powers franchise (1997-2002)
  12. Darth Vader; Star Wars franchise (1977-present)

I don’t know what I was thinking giving Jack Sparrow the #12 spot, but here is another 12 that I’d say are also amoung the greatest:

  1. Nurse Ratched, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  2. Immortan Joe, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  3. Napoleon Dynamite, Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
  4. Col. Jessup, A Few Good Men (1992)
  5. Buster Scruggs, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
  6. Doc Brown, Back to the Future (1995)
  7. Marge Gunderson, Fargo (1996)
  8. Raymond Babbit, Rain Man (1988)
  9. Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller (1986)
  10. Sonny/E.F., The Apostle (1997)
  11. Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump (1994)
  12. Buddy the Elf, Elf (2003)

How I Can Tell I’m Racist

My gut tells me I’m not a racist. Not a homophobe. Not an ageist. Et cetera. But most of us are one or all of those things (et cetera) at least just a little bit. Here’s where I see mine show up…

It all starts with the Holocaust. Thinking of this event brings tears to my eyes and goosebumps to my skin. I cannot believe human beings can be so cruel, so heartless, so blind. This is true for you as well, I would guess. When a book is published or a movie released about someone’s inspiring story who survived the ordeal, I want to read/see it. Those people inspire us, don’t they? When I visited Washington, DC in 2010 there was only one place I really wanted to go experience: the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. And when I tell people that I visited there, they either 1) tell me they would love to go there, 2) have gone there are are eager to talk about it, or 3) say it may be too much for them to take in.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Now as we all know, holocausts were not unheard of before WWII. In fact, even since then there have been others take place in our world. In Cambodia almost 2 million people were tortured and/or killed (most likely both) in from 1975-79. Anyone know the leader behind that? Yeah, me neither. But we all know Hitler. How about in ‘94 when the majority Hutus were calling the minority Tutsis “cockroaches” and killing them by the thousands and in unthinkable horrific ways? It was called “the quickest killing spree the world has ever seen” with almost a million people were hunted down and killed over a span of 100 days. I knew of this event, though the details I just gave you I had to look up. The amount of Jews who died in WWII at the hands of the Nazis? I don’t have to look that up. Six million.

Sreymoch Sareum in First They Killed My Father (2017)

Now let’s be honest. If we heard there was going to be an exhibit in a nearby city paying homage to those killed or displaced in Darfur, how quickly would we go see it? Or if one of the survivors wrote a book and would be giving a presentation with 3 other survivors, would we buy a ticket? It started less than 20 years ago, but somehow my heart remains with the holocaust of the 30’s and 40’s.

Yes, my country fought in World War II, but shouldn’t crimes against any human beings have the same impact on me? Yes, the holocaust “hits close to home,” (in spite of the fact that I’m not Jewish) but I’m hoping the “home” referred to in that statement widens for me. That my compassion for people and desire to see justice for the oppressed and disadvantaged would not increase or decrease according to who is more like me.

In 2013 I watched a movie with characters whose realities, experiences, contexts, and very lives were different from my own. And they were suffering. It made an impact on me and I hope it does for you, too.

Congratulations Dallas Buyers Club. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago.

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Quote:Don’t mind him. He used to be an Irishman.” — Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher Cutting in Gangs of New York.

Don’t mind me. I used to be a Scotsman.