Archive for July, 2007

10 Sure Signs A Movie Character Is Doomed


Ignoring the negative balance in my bank account, I decided to stop and browse through the shelves of Indigo today after work. I’m glad that I did because I picked up a nice bargain from the discount table: Richard Roeper’s 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed & Other Surprising Movie Lists. The first thing that struck me was the giant $3.99 price sticker on and the word ‘movie’ in the title (I’m a pretty big movie-lover). Flipping through the pages, I was struck with lists like “7 Movies in Which Ben Affleck Cries Like a Big Fat Baby”, “Age Difference Between Michael Douglas and His Leading Ladies” and “Best Porn Titles Based on Legit Movies”. The latter will have you laughing at the creativity, or lack thereof… “Free My Willy” or “Jurassic Pork” anyone?

Here’s an excerpt from the title list of a sign that movie character is doomed:10 Sure Signs A Movie Character Is Doomed

The bad guy is locked in a life-and-death clinch with the good guy, when suddenly a gun goes off. We see the look of shock on the good guy’s face as he falls away–but of course it’s the bad guy who’s been shot in the gut.

And one list that I found particularly funny was “5 Things That Happen When a Wrongly Accused Fugitive Walks into a Bar, a Restaurant, or a Convenience Store”:

  1. A television will be turned on, and the news will be playing.
  2. The fugitive will glance nervously at the TV and then order a drink or a pack of smokes.
  3. The newscaster will start reading a story about the fugitive, with a mug shot of the fugitive prominently displayed.
  4. A customer will glance at the fugitive an then back at the TV.
  5. Just as the customer realized the fugitive is RIGHT THERE, the turns–and the fugitive is gone, the door swinging in his wake.

As much as I disagree with Richard Roeper’s “critiques” on the Sunday night movie review show Ebert & Roeper, I must admit that this book is a fun read so far. I had no idea he could be so hilariously witty. And for $3.99 it’s well worth the price (the original price of $20 when it first came out 4 years ago was way too much). You’ll be laughing to yourself saying “That is sooooo true!” after some of these lists (well, maybe not his picks for bests and worst movies). The paperback would also make a nice, cost-efficient gift to a film buff you know.

So if you’re planning on passing through a Chapters or Indigo this week, take a look for this book. It’ll cost you less than a round trip fare on the TTC, and it’s make some nice light reading on public transit.

An Eventful July Weekend


Today is the final day of Harbourfront’s Global Hip Hop: The Four Elements festival, part of their free summer weekend festival World Routes. I had the privilege of watching one of the best classic Hip Hop films ever made, Wild Style.

Okay, so I had to leave an hour into to the film because I promised my friends that I would head down to watch Russell Peters‘ free performance at Yonge-Dundas Square, but that was worth it. The place was packed. I heard there was an estimated crowd of at least 15,000 that packed the Square. I was in the back b/c I got there around 7:30, but the speaker system was pretty good. Russell Peters had the large crowd in hysterics as he performed snippets of his well-known cultural routines. Filipino-American Jo Koy was also up from L.A. to perform. This guy his hilarious… I’m glad I got a chance to catch him live. Italian-Canadian musical duo The Doo-Wops also performed that evening.

After that I went off with my friends to add more clothes to my very large wardrobe: H&M had a big clearance sale (50% off all red ticketed items). I was shook by what I thought was some sort of terrorist attack (along with some other jumpy spectators), but I realized it was just the beginning of the pyrotechnic performance by the Bängditos. :D

I then rejoined my other friend at Harbourfront to catch one of the most amazing live shows I’ve seen in a while: The Wild Style 25 Concert featuring Grand Wizard Theodore, Busy Bee and Fantastic Five. Now this is what real Hip Hop is. Theadore (the inventor of the ‘scratch’) was phenomenal with his sets. And when the Fantastic Five and Busy Bee came on stage, they had the crowd go wild. I really wish more young people would listen to the roots of Hip Hop, and stop falling into the superficial traps of the ‘bling’, the money, the cars and the ‘hoes’. Hip Hop isn’t about guns, violence or how many years you’ve spent in prison. Hip Hop is about peace, love, unity and having fun.

Here’s a clip from one of the famous scenes from Wild Style:

YouTube Preview Image

Yesterday I also had to chance to see two interestings screenings at the festival: From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, and Remixed in Japan. Henry Chalfant’s From Mambo to Hip Hop examines the rhythms that blossomed in the Bronx in the late 1940s with mambo, through the birth of Hip Hop in the 70s, and it’s connections. Melody Weinstein’s Remixed in Japan shows the explosion of Hip Hop in Japan, it’s meaning, it’s form of self-expression, and follows some very intriguing Japanese people immersed in the Hip Hop culture.

Here’s a trailer for From Mambo to Hip Hop:

YouTube Preview Image

Review: The Simpsons Movie


Still from The Simpsons Movie - Courtesy of 20th Century FoxMeh!

That pretty much sums up my review of The Simpsons Movie. It wasn’t bad, per se, but for a big screen movie I felt it was missing something new to be discovered about the town of Springfield or one of it’s characters. If this was an 87 minute epsisode airing on Fox, then sure, I would think it was a pretty good episode.

In the movie, catastrophe-prone Homer, polluts Lake Springfield after a strong attempt by the town to clean up their act. This leads to some political action that has major consequences for everyone who lives there. And yes, a pig is involved.Monique’s Simpson’s Avatar

The movie has a steady flow of laughs (especially Bart’s skateboarding sequence), a great three-dimensional feel from some of the scenes that used digital tracking shots, and a peppering of famous scenes from cinematic history peppered throughout the script.

If you’re a fan of the television show, then, you’ll enjoy it. But I would probably save it for one of those discount days at the movie theatre. Like Homer said in the beginning of the film, “What kind of idiot would pay for something we can get for free, on TV?”

I must admit though, the official site for the movie is amazing. Check out my Simpsons avatar!

This Weekend’s Events: Global Hip Hop – The 4 Elements


You definitely won’t be bored (or broke) this weekend if you live in the GTA. Harbourfront Centre is playing host to yet another wonderful, free weekend event: Global Hip Hop: The 4 Elements.

Hip Hop is a style, a sound, a state of mind. Following its steady path, we’ll go deep into its roots in popular culture on to how these roots have extended world wide, encompassing everything from electronic music, tablas, djembes, rock, soul, funk and R&B.

Highlights include the Montreal based collective Nomadic Massive, a special 25th anniversary screening of Charlie Ahearn’s film Wild Style (about Hip Hop music, style, art and culture stemming from South Bronx, New York), Cuban poetess and rapper Telmary, and Toronto’s first ever FreeStyle urban dance and DJ competition. Check out the schedule of great events at

This Weekend’s Events: Just For Laughs Festival – Toronto


Tonight marks day two of a 3-day comedy extravaganza in Toronto. The well-known, Montreal-based Just For Laughs Festival is making it’s mark for the first time ever in this city, while celebrating it’s 25th anniversary.

So prepare yourself for some comedic talent, artists, theatre and variety troupes from around the world, descending in and around Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square. One of the highlights of the event for me is Canadian comedian Russell Peters performing a free show at the Square tonight at 7pm (let’s hope the rain holds off).

The festival ends this Saturday, so make sure you reach at least one performance! Check out the official website for a schedule of events.