Pick your movie of the week: Classic Rock (Feb 23-29/20)

I think this category is long overdue and I love all four of these movies. Very much looking forward to hearing which one you all like this best. Here they are:

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Almost Famous (2000)

School of Rock (2003)

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

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…

   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! 

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

But watch out for Adam Driver! 

   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.

   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. 

   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?

   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.

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

   Who I want to win: Knives Out
   Who I predict will win: Parasite

Marriage Story is my back-up. 

   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.

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

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

   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.

   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.

   Who I want to win: Ford v Ferrari
   Who I predict will win: Ford v Ferrari

   Who I want to win: Parasite
Who I predict will win: Parasite

   Who I want to win: 1917
   Who I predict will win: Bombshell 

   Who I want to win: Joker
   Who I predict will win: Joker 

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

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

   Who I predict will win: 1917

   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.

   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. 

   Who I want to win: Ford v Ferrari
   Who I predict will win: Ford v Ferrari 

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

   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


Pick your movie of the week: Oscars 2020! (Feb 9-15, 2020)

One week from the date of this post is the Oscars: Feb 9, 2020. And I want to know which of the nine nominated movies for Best Picture you think will win and which you want to win. I have a feeling some will chicken out on making a prediction, but at least say which one you would root for. Here they are:

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

The Irishman (2019)

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Joker (2019)

Little Women (2019)

Marriage Story (2019)

1917 (2019)

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)

Parasite (2019)

A pic is worth a thousand texts (part ii)

This was a fun exercise last time, so here we go again. We’ll start with the time I won the NWE Heavyweight Championship. Or at least I managed to get my hands on it. Immediately I thought to myself, I must quickly get in front of an Amonia Detection Alarm sign and get a shot of this!

So yeah, these are just random pictures that happen to be on my phone, some of which I completely forgot about. This one I did not forget, however. My daughter is working part-time as a greeter at a department store (I won’t name said store, unless they plan to pay me a marketing fee.), and I got a quick shot of her greeting me. She is such a sweetheart.

And while doing a repair at a dealership in Fredericton I saw this sign in a downstairs staff bathroom. It was so poetically composed I just had to share!

I was filling out a form online—I believe it was for shipping info—it only gave me two choices for identifying which “region” I lived in:
Then there was the time I forgot my coffee at home. Joy texted me the bad news when I was half way to Saint John and this was my reply/reaction. And if you’re concerned, yes I pulled over and took the pic. PSA: Don’t photograph and drive.

So I went to a drugstore to get passport pictures done and the photographer told me that we had to retake them because there was a glare at the top of my head (her words). She sent me to the make up section of the store where they applied some kind of face powder on my head. This was the result. Sigh…


But I was cheered up going to an antique store and finding this spectacular picture of the whitest, most Catholic Jesus I have ever seen. And to think, some people were upset over the depiction of a black Santa. Is this one the Welsh version of Christ or something?

Pretty proud of my new-to-me work vehicle and the new-to-the-vehicle signs on the sides and back.

And my job I did today.

But my favourite it this doggo who came to hang with me while I worked. I was in a customer’s driveway last fall and this  came trotting over licking my ears while I was laying down under the bumper. I didn’t say anything to the owner because 1) I didn’t want to embarrass them and 2) I was loving it. He was the size of a cantaloupe (though not as heavy) but had the confidence of a lion. Brought me his toy to show off and play tug-of-war.

Then he laid down on my drop cloth and rested there while I worked. We’re buds now. We snapchat and stuff.

Congratulations Old Yeller. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Jane Lynch as Christy Cummings in Best in Show.

Best Actor: Owen Wilson as John in Marley and Me.

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

Also found this little gem. I was looking at old photos and decided to take a snap of this one so I could have it on my phone. Leah, 5-yo. Erika, 3-yo. Lukey, brand spankin’ new.