Oscar Nominations

15 Jan

Check out the Oscar Nominations this year.

Some nominations were pretty obvious, but there’s a couple nice surprises.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/14/entertainment/oscar-nominations-2016/index.html?eref

The Academy Awards will be Sunday February 28, 2016.

Independence Day Resurgence

15 Dec

 

Action Figure Lamps

9 Sep

As a child I had a massive collection of action figures. I’ll admit I had my fair share of Barbies and My Little Ponies, but they tended to be the victims in my childhood fantasies that needed to be rescued by Michelangelo, Optimus Prime or Gambit…whoever was working that day. As I got older my action figures became decorations in my room and eventually ended up in a box somewhere for “safekeeping.”

When I moved out of my parents’ house, I had no idea where my mom put my action figures. To this day she claims she doesn’t know what happened to them. I suspect they found a new home through the local Value Village. Thankfully, I have a best friend who shares my nerdy interests. One night while drinking in university, she shamelessly went into her closest and produced a large bag of action figures. Since she’s a woman after my own heart, the majority of her action figures were X-Men and Batman characters.

I’m not sure how many nights we drunkenly talked about comic books and played with action figures, but when I moved out West she gave me her bag of beloved action figures to take with me. They’ve travelled with me over 7 years from place to place, but have never gotten out of the box I stored them in. I would never get rid of them, but it’s not the same to play with action figures when you’re 31.

One night while perusing the internet for nerdy home décor, I found action figure lamps by Evil Robot. The designers will customize the lamps with your choice of action figures. As you can imagine with the customizable design and shipping, the lamps can get pricey. Since I’m a cheapskate I decided to try and create my own. The majority of action I used were from my collection, but I picked up a used bag of figures for $1.99 from Value Village too. I also bought primer ($4.99), black spray paint ($4.99) and a glue gun ($8.99) from Home Depot. I used an old lamp that had a flat base.

It only took me two hours to put everything together and spray paint it, then another 24 hours for the lamp to dry. There’s some great YouTube tutorials as well that give you the basic for designing the lamps. If you’re in a crafty mood, this is a great way to repurpose your old lonely action figures.

IMG_20150626_163555 IMG_20150626_163558 IMG_20150626_175522 IMG_20150626_175530 IMG_20150626_192827 IMG_20150626_192832 IMG_20150626_204019 IMG_20150626_204028 IMG_20150626_212018

 

Envy of T-1000

17 Jul

For the last few months I have been training for a 10 km run. The run is on July 26th and at this point I can run about 8 km before collapsing in a pathetic pile of mush. Running is the only form of exercise that I can do on a regular basis. Anything else I can’t really stick with. I feel it’s important to have inspirational athletes to look up to when training. In my case, I look to the T-1000.

T-1000 is the shape shifting futuristic robot assassin from Terminator 2 – Judgement Day. As if that’s not cool enough, he runs like a badass. I first saw the Terminator sequel when I was 8 years old and I have always envied the T-1000. It’s horrible to say, but the soulless villain or robotic killing machine is always my favourite character.

Check out the T-1000 running below and then you’ll understand my love.

T-1000

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Review

16 Jul

blog

My sister’s birthday was this past Saturday. In an effort to “keep it classy” we decided to do a traditional English tea at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel followed by watching the re-imagining of a classic – Planet of the Apes. Growing up, I loved Planet of the Apes, but my love was nothing compared to my sister’s. She remembers things about the series that I forgot long ago.

When Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out in 2011 starring James Franco and John Lithgow, we were convinced it would be a disaster of epic proportions – think Cutthroat Island and Waterworld. By the movie’s end, I was openly crying and my sister was misty-eyed. The plot was surprisingly well laid out and it actually made you think a little while being entertaining. Three years later, we sat in the theatre eagerly waiting to catch up with our favourite primates.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a different tone than its predecessor. In Rise, we see Caesar’s growth, struggles and his eventual fight for freedom. In Dawn, its 10 years after the Simian Flu has wiped out almost all of humanity. Caesar (Andy Serkis) has become a leader and established a community of apes. The apes believe humanity’s extinct until they come across a group of survivors in their forest. The humans want access to a dam on ape land that can provide electricity to their small city. Caesar is forced to make decisions that could result in war.

The re-emergence of humans creates a divide between the apes. Caesar wants to help the humans and hopes that one day; they can all live together peacefully.  His second in command, Koba (Toby Kebbell), was experimented on in a lab and wants nothing to do with the humans. On the human’s side, it’s almost a parallel storyline. Malcolm (Jason Clarke) and his girlfriend Ellie (Keri Russell) trust Caesar, while their leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) is more than willing to kill off the apes if they cause a problem. The theme that runs throughout the movie is how similar the apes have become to humans and that they’re capable of making the same mistakes in the future. Viewers have to decide whose side they’re on.

The CGI is seamless. The battle sequence where the apes storm the human city is amazing and has a bit of everything – guns, horses, fires, explosions, tanks…you name it. The apes’ faces and bodies are highly detailed and you can tell the characters apart easily.

Andy Serkis’ and Jason Clarke’s performances drive the movie. The patriarchs try to do what’s best for their communities’ despite their mutual respect and sympathy for one another. Serkis is at his finest. His movements and expressions give Caesar dimension while keeping everything subtle and subdued.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes needs a third installment since the Apes series is only getting better.

Hail Caesar!

Acting

15 Jul

Oh Patrick

 

Boyhood

10 Jul

I recently went on a family trip to Slovenia. You’ve never heard of Slovenia, right? Think of it as Croatia’s introverted little brother. The flights plus the layovers to Slovenia are brutal and total about 30 hours of sitting and staring. While on my first 9 hour flight, I read an article in Elle praising Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.

Linklater’s an interesting director/writer. His previous credits include Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013). All three movies follow Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delphy) over their 20 year relationship. The movies are about everyday life and how relationships develop, change or collapse over time.

Linklater is just about to release his newest film, Boyhood, which follows Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from age 5 to 18. The movie examines how Mason Jr. deals with his parents’ (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) divorce. Most movies that span a character’s life have a few actors playing the same person at different stages. What’s cool about Boyhood is that Linklater filmed a few scenes intermittently over a 12 year span – which means Ellar Coltrane is literally growing up before our eyes.

Already, the movie has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and has garnered awards from the Berlin, San Francisco and Seattle International Film Festivals, and praise from top critics at Time, Rolling Stone and more.

Though I haven’t seen Boyhood, I’m a Linklater fan and suspect that his newest film deserves the hype. It shows a level of commitment you rarely see from directors today.

Boyhood open July 11 in limited release.

 

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