Monday, September 14, 2009

December 31st, 1969

Yesterday afternoon I had to add some more minutes to my phone. They expired on Saturday. Whoops. It happens every once in a while. I'm kinda careless like that with my phone. I always go to the Telus website, where I have a personal account and just add them with my credit card. So as I'm topping up the minutes I notice that my minutes were previously topped up on July 15th, 2009. Nothing strange about that. Sounds about right. I renewed them for 60 days. Then I see that the minutes are due to expire on December 31st, 1969. Which was odd. Because it's September of 2009. 1969 was 40 years ago. 1969, when talking on the phone meant dialing and being anchored to the phone by a chord. 1969, when every phone made the exact same ringing sound. 1969, when you couldn't set your phone to vibrate, couldn't text, couldn't take pictures, couldn't really do anything besides talking on the damn thing. Three thoughts entered my head:

1. That is seriously fucked up. That can not be right.
2. How is that even possible? I'm pretty sure cell phones weren't around back in the '60's. In fact I am 100% sure they weren't.
3. I have travelled back in time and am not only in the 1960's, but in an alternate universe 1960's, one in which cell phones had been invented. Groovy.

I checked my account after and the mistake had been fixed. So all is well. But December 31st, 1969? Weird.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Future of Law Enforcement

Have you recently seen a movie that you loved when you were a kid? One that you haven't seen since you were a kid? I'm watching Robocop right now. I loved that movie when I was a kid, and I haven't seen it since I was 10 or 11. I've learned 2 things tonight:

1. There is no way a 10 year old should be watching this. Lots of violence. Graphic violence.
2. It has aged horribly.

It was made in 1987 and it is set in the near future. Now, I'm not familiar with how far 'near' into the future the filmmakers set this movie, but it has been 22 years and there still aren't any Robocops out on the streets protecting and serving us.
Special effects were pretty primitive back then, but I didn't care. To a 10 year old, everything looked believable. It was so exciting. This was how the future was going to be after all. This movie was showing us the future of law enforcement.
As I watch it tonight, I find myself laughing at it. The cheesy effects. The bad dialogue. The 1980's-ness of it (apparently fashion stopped evolving after 1987). And Robocop himself. I can't believe they made 2 sequels to this. And yes, that means that there is officially a Robocop trilogy.
Anyway, enjoy this clip of Robocop beating the hell out of Red Forman.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Coach Dracula

I'm watching the Ti-Cats/Argos game and I have noticed that the Argo's head coach is one scary looking dude. He looks like Dracula. Seriously. The Argo's are now being coached by Count Dracula. This guy looks frightening. He's very thin and has jet black hair, slicked back. Just like Dracula. I haven't seen him smile once on the sidelines. Maybe he's trying to hide his fangs. Wow, who knew Dracula was into football?
I'm just kidding around. He's probably not a vampire. He's just scary looking. Besides, the sun is out. However, if this was a night game, I wouldn't be so sure.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I read a lot of music criticism. I'm always looking for something new, something interesting, something I haven't heard before. It's a great way to get exposed to new music. And I love music. I'll read about bands, have a listen for myself and then make up my own mind. I like to see if the reviewer's enthusiasm for a band matches my own. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Let's face it, seeking out new music on the radio is a total waste of time. Nowadays, every single band on every 'rock' station can be sorted into the following groups:
a) Bands that sound like Pearl Jam
b) Bands that sound like Metallica
c) Bands that sound like Radiohead (circa 1995)
d) Bands that sound like The Ramones
I'm serious. Turn on the radio and just listen. Each band you hear will fit into one of those categories. Only not as good. You're better off just listening to the bands I listed above. I go to alot. It's a great site for anyone looking for something different. I've found so much great music there, music I would never hear on the radio. Music that doesn't fit into any of the above categories.
Now, I'm not writing an endorsement here. That's not why I'm writing this. I do have some problems with what they do. You see, I have noticed a pattern with their reviews. And it applies to pretty much every artist. They rate albums out of 10.0. Now, I know critics have to apply a grade for a review, but I really dislike this system. I think it's the decimal which bothers me. If an album were rated a 6 or a 7, I think I would have a clearer idea of what the critic thought of the music. But a 6.1 or a 6.6? What is the difference? Know what I mean?
For an artist's debut album, they love it. It will get a great review. For the second album, a bit more critical, but still a solid rating. Every single album after that? Trashed. Not every time, but most of the time.
Take Weezer. I found a review of their album 'Make Believe'. Pitchfork gave it 0.4 out of 10. That's right, 0.4. Which seems a tad harsh. After reading that I could only deduct three things.
1) The writer clearly did not enjoy listening to this album. That much is obvious. Bad Weezer.
2) Even though it was given 0.4 out of 10, it was apparently better than a 0.3. Nice job Weezer.
3) However, the album was not good enough to be given a 0.5. I guess it was just missing something. Better luck next time Weezer.
Check the site out if you want. If you like Weezer, don't bother.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Twist Endings

Remember 'The Usual Suspects'? Great movie with that killer twist at the end. When I saw it my reaction was 'Wha..?' I knew I was gonna have to watch the whole movie one more time to see if it actually made sense, to see if everything fit. And it did. Movies like that reward multiple viewings. Since then I have seen a number of movies where surprises and shocking twists are promised (Don't leave before the end!! Who does that anyway?). The filmmakers try and pull the wool over our eyes. Sometimes it works. 'The Sixth Sense' was great. I had to watch it again. Sometimes it's unnecessary. 'Fight Club' is amazing. With a dumb twist which fortunately didn't ruin the entire movie. Sometimes it's obvious. 'The Prestige' didn't surprise me at all. I saw that one coming a mile away. Still a good movie. Sometimes it's just stupid. Try every M. Night Shamylan movie since 'The Sixth Sense'. (It's not just his endings that have gotten bad....everything preceding the ending is pretty much unwatchable.) It doesn't even have to be a movie. The final scene in the 3rd season of 'Lost' blew my mind.
Now, why am I on this subject? A few years ago I read a book called 'Shutter Island.' And it is coming to a theatre near you. I recently saw a trailer for it. It's been made by Martin Scorcese ( favourite movie) and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio. It's about a search for a mysterious woman who has escaped from a mental hospital. The hospital is on an Alcatraz-like island in New England. And a storm is a-brewin'. It's a good read. It didn't take me long to read. I liked most of it. Until I got to the end. Guess what was waiting for me there? A twist ending!! An absolutely ridiculous twist which made me question the intelligence of every single character in the book. It was infuriating.
I am not going to spoil anything right here. That's not the kind of guy I am. Ask anyone who knows me. ("Scott? Oh, the tall blonde guy who never ruins movie endings. Yeah, I know him.") But I will say this. When you get to the end of the movie you will have one of these three reactions:
a) Oh please. Really!?
b) Gimme a break. In the real world something like this would never happen. Not. Ever.
c) Fuck off! That's it?? That's the twist?? Fuck this movie.
You've been warned. Prepare to be insensed. I'll still see it. Why? Scorcese, that's why.