Tuesday, 17 September 2013


My father once told me that he didn't realize he felt like an immigrant living in his own country until he moved to Ottawa.  

I didn't understand what he meant until I too joined him in moving to Ottawa.  At that point I realized that I always had a weight upon my shoulders no matter where I went.  

My French was, and still is, very basic.  So every time I went into a public place I was always worried that I wouldn't be able to communicate.  I felt obligated to attempt to speak French and if, after engaging in conversation, I realized there was a word that I didn't know in French coming up I would feel quite a bit of anxiety.

That anxiety was compounded exponentially when dealing with things other than just a fast food place but instead something like renewing a health card or getting a drivers license.

And that was when I was speaking with friendly people.  There were many instances of times when I would get dirty looks or get curt responses of Francais or simply be ignored.

Luckily the rude people were the minority and it didn't shake my faith in humanity.  

I did however feel like I was the one who needed to make the effort to please those I was interacting with even though, for the most part, I was the customer who was attempting to hand over my money.

It's a strange thing to feel as though you don't feel included in a society that you were born in.  

Now for the most part it wasn't that big a deal but I can definitely say that I felt a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders upon moving to Ottawa.

Now why do I write this now?  I have no qualms over my childhood or young adulthood living in Quebec.  In fact I loved my childhood.  I left because my lack of French was becoming an issue when it came to me finding a job.  (Please let's not get into why I didn't learn the language.  I tried.  I could have tried harder for sure.  But even when I put in the effort I had extreme difficulty.  So rather than struggle with it my whole life I decided to move on).

So again why am I writing this now?

Well up to this point I thought Quebecers, like the rest of Canadians, were friendly inclusive tolerant people.

That view is starting to change with the media portrayal of all the discrimination that is going on right now in light of Pauline Marious recent legislation proposal.  And that comes on the tail end of all the language police issues that were being reported.

At first I believed that the media was simply reporting the few rare instances of discrimination that ,added up, seemed widespread but in actuality did not represent the view of Quebecers.  

Even when polls initially came out that stated a strong majority of Quebecers support her proposed legislation I thought it was faulty polling.

However the news reports keep coming in and the polls are consistently showing a majority of support.  (A most recent poll showed a dramatic decline in support but still brings a small majority).

Here's where I become woefully ignorant and start talking on issues that I have no heavily researched, if I haven't been already.  

What I believe Pauline's current legislation is attempting to do is ban public workers, including teachers, doctors, day care workers, from displaying any religious symbols.  It appears as though a few modest pieces of Christian attire will be permitted however.

The belief is that Quebec values are based upon inclusion and that religion has no place in the public sphere.  Therefore keep your religious beliefs at home.  

Now I've already hinted at the obvious hypocrisy in this.  They are permitting small crosses on necklaces so apparently it's not so much the Christian faith they are concerned with.  But that is really besides the point.

The point is this:


I'm having a hard time right now figuring out how to write this because it's just so obvious...

I suppose it could go something like this:

Life is very simple.  Do whatever you want as long as whatever you are doing isn't also infringing on another's right to do whatever they want.

I'm an atheist.  I have no way of knowing for sure that God doesn't exist but I've decided that I do not believe that he does.  The reasons for that are numerous and could fill up many many blog entries.  But that's not what this one is about.

I have the right to not believe in God.   Somebody wearing their religious attire does in no way infringe on my right to believe that.  They are simply exorcising their right to religious freedom.  We can work side by side in harmony.

And yet I've heard people say that those people should leave their religion at home and stop throwing their religion onto all of us.  Keep it private.

Now again I believed those people to be in the minority and quite frankly purely and simply dumb.  So I didn't even bother trying to figure out their rational.  

However with the high level of support I'm deeply troubled about what is currently going on in Quebec.  And quite honestly it's not just in Quebec.  The initial polls had something like 45% of the rest of Canadians also in favor of this legislation.  

I hate that as I get older I think less and less of humanity.  

I loved the fact that, what I believed to be, the Canadian identity was actually a lack of a strong Canadian identity.  What I mean by that is that to be Canadian is to be unique and different.  There are all kinds of Canadians and we don't all represent one belief system.  What holds us together is our sense of individual rights and respect for others.  

What I fear going on in Quebec right now is a backlash against multiculturalism.  What Pauline Marious is attempting to do is create a single identity and that is strictly anti Canadian as well as anti human rights.

My bigger fear is that it is only going to get worse.  

And I believe it will get worse as Quebec's economy gets worse.  Quebec has a huge debt issue.  And I believe, with the earlier language laws, businesses and talented professionals have already begun leaving Quebec.  

Now Quebec, with its current discriminatory laws, is going to further encourage talented professionals to take their law or doctor degree where somebody doesn't care that they wear a hat on their head.  

This will further damage the economy.  

As the economy gets worse the people of Quebec are going to look for somebody to blame and it's really hard to blame oneself.  So instead they will look at further tightening immigration laws, since they are the reason for this downward spiral.  All the while failing to realize that Quebecers aren't having enough babies and the immigrants are actually keeping the population afloat.  

With professional and talented immigrants going elsewhere we are both losing their brain power as well as their younger numbers to help pay for an increasingly aging Quebec population further damaging the economy.

What I really fear is what happens at this point.  The blame will only intensify and then what?  Well I've said it before.  We as a species seem to love a scapegoat.  We've seen in throughout history and while I hate to play the Hitler card it is how Hitler came to power.

I just made several leaps.  But honestly even if you don't believe in my doomsday prophecy for Quebec I'm sure you can at least agree with my belief in basic human rights.  

Let others practice whatever religious belief, in whatever way they please, as long as it doesn't pose a threat to society.  And your not agreeing with a popular faith is not a threat to society.

And as a white, male atheist i'm not standing up for the rights of religious people.  I'm standing up for my own.  The right to live in a free society.  Free from hate, free from fear, and free from all those who attempt to impose THEIR beliefs onto my own.  

Fuck those people.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Purge

I'm just a little bit difficult.

What do I mean by that?  

Well I often find myself in situations where somebody is telling me about how awesome this or that is and when they ask how I feel about it my feelings are usually lackluster.

Some may call this boring, a Debbie downer, a pain in the ass, or as previously mentioned difficult.

But it's not my fault!

I do not enjoy dancing no matter how much fun you may say that it is.
I will not enjoy a music concert even if its one of my favorite bands.

The thought of going up and doing some karaoke frightens me, and not in an exciting tower of terror (that's my obligatory Disney reference for this blog) kind of way.

By all means dance, see a concert, do those silly all of you jumping in the sky in unison, or taking pictures of your feet type photos but don't expect me to get excited about it.  

I could lie and say that i'm just as into it as you are but lying just aint me either.  You may say that i'm missing out but i'm not.  I'm perfectly content to just sit back in my little corner, sipping my wine while listening to you belt out your best William Hung impression to She Bangs.

Now what does this all have to do with the title of my blog?  Not much really.  I just like to go off onto some crazy long tangents to get to my point...if I ever get there.

But what i'm getting at is all of this also goes towards my taste in movies.  I've been trying to go see Star Trek for a few weeks now at many peoples urgings.  It's apparently a great movie that I will love.  But I know it won't be and it'll just lead to my trashing it the same way that I did the latest Iron Man.  

I'm constantly getting into conversations with people about movies that get them excited and I know I leave them unsatisfied with my total lack of enthusiasm.  I don't think I know of anybody out there that isn't excited about the new Superman coming out...except me.  

People eventually get frustrated and ask me what kind of movies I do like.  And the answer to that is of course good ones you simpletons!

Ya ok I don't actually think i'm as pretentious as that but it is really hard to nail down what exactly I do like.  But there is one type of movie that I will always see no matter how bad or good it looks.  And that's What IF? movies.

I like movies to take me out the realm of reality and transport me to what if scenarios that do not exist currently but have a semblance of possibility.  That's why i'm a sucker for horror movies.  90% of the time the horror movies end up being horrible but because so many of them lend itself to my made up What if? genre I will watch them.  And sometimes i'm rewarded with a gem like The Stand.

Well while trying to psych myself up to watching Star Trek I came across the brief synopsis to The Purge.  Basically it goes as follows:

It's the year 2022 and for one 12 hour period a year crimes are legal and all emergency services will be suspended.  

A great what if? scenario.  It seems highly unlikely that anything like this would ever happen but as the movie goes on you begin to wonder if that's really the case.  You see characters behaving in ways that remind you of people in real life and that really gets you thinking.

The reason in the film, for this purge, is that after a crippling quadruple dip recession America was dealing with pent up frustrations, hate and rage and needed a way to vent this out.  

This is basically the cathartic method.  A bullshit theory that Freud postulated would allow somebody to let out all their negative emotions and then become calm again.  Freud thought that by punching a pillow when you are angry you would get rid of that anger.  Actual research shows that it does the opposite and actually makes you want to keep punching that damn pillow to the point that your brain has to justify why it's hitting a harmless pillow so that you then begin believing that the pillow had it coming.

So does it seem far fetched that we may take this a bit further and even allow murder?  Well we've done it before.  Basically its scapegoating whereby a
"scapegoat is an individual, group, or country singled out for unmerited negative treatment or blame"
You would see alot of this in ancient times when a natural disaster occurs, or a serious of unfortunate circumstances would arise, and one person or group would be deemed the cause of the event and would then be sacrificed.  

Another example of this would be Jesus and his death somehow absolving us of our sins.  I still don't understand why Jesus dying absolves all of us of our crimes but I won't get any deeper into that here.

In modern times the Jewish population being blamed for the problems in Germany and subsequently targeted for eradication in would be an example. 

 And even simpler is the person who is chastised by a whole blackjack table for hitting on 17 because he has ruined the whole deck by not playing by the book.  For you people I say this.  Let me play my damn black jack how I want in peace!  If your planning on getting rich in a casino and really think my game play actually affects your outcome then your the one who should be chastised!  

But I digress...

Now where was I?  Oh right the movie!  As you see I've gone all philosophical and there's a reason for that.  This movie, while appearing simple, actually makes you ask yourself alot of the deeper questions.  Such as what is human nature and more importantly what am I capable of?

Well during the purge this movie follows one family, headed by Ethan Hawk (whom I love), while they try to shield themselves from the dangers outside, all the while trying to come to grips with their own views of what is right and wrong in the face of dire circumstances.

I'll say this.  I'm pretty sure i'm capable of doing nearly anything when it comes to protecting my family and ultimately I probably would have done the same thing as Ethan Hawks character.  Although I can also see myself doing so far more heinous things just to feed my family let alone keep them alive.

Now the writing in this film wasn't the greatest.  It wasn't bad it just wasn't great.  But that really didn't matter because it was so intense.  And the reason it was intense was because of the crazy build up of the film.  It hasn't been since the movie The Mist that I've felt myself at the edge of my seat, incredibly tense, with my heart rate elevated for far too long all because we knew it was only a matter of time before the impending doom would arrive.  And I mean literally at the edge of my seat.  When your that tense its tough to remain slouched and relaxed.  And I wasn't the only one.  A fellow moviegoer sitting a couple seats away from me was in the exact same position.  

Speaking of my heart rate.  I don't know if it was intentional but the young boy in the film had his own heart rate monitor to check on himself and that, coupled with the fantastic foreboding score, only made me more aware of the fact that my blood pressure was far too high.

Eventually that tension did build to a release and luckily that release was dealt with quickly because I hate overly drawn out fight scenes and the writing was a little weak so that you really kind of did see what was coming next.  Luckily the action scenes that they did have were actually kind of cool so you could overlook the simple writing.

Overall this movie had me thinking throughout the entire film.  I was transported to a scenario that I could put myself into and I left that movie wondering what is human nature, what is what and wrong, what am I capable of and most importantly what if?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 is the first Marvel movie to be released after the immensely popular Avengers film.

I loved the Avengers movie.  I thought it was the perfect superhero movie and can be summed up by a young boy moviegoer who was watching the movie next to me with wide eyes and exclaiming "wow".

It's pretty hard to reach perfection so I did not in any way believe that Iron Man 3 would have provided the same satisfaction as The Avengers did.

This is all to say that I went into this film with my expectations managed so when I say that I did not enjoy this film it has nothing to do with prior experience.

And enjoy this film I did not and boy oh boy do I wish Josh Whedon could have had a hand in the script in this one.


Now I plan to make this a spoiler free report on my movie experience so I won't give any of the major plot points away and will even shy away from the minor plot points.  So you will be able to read this review without having to worry about me spoiling the movie.

Actually you won't have to worry about me spoiling the plot because the plot made no sense!  This is largely due to the bastardization of the 3 act structure.

A film typically has three acts.  The first sets up the film, the 2nd deals with some sort of conflict, and the 3rd resolves this conflict.  This film seems to have very nearly skipped the first act and jumped right into the 2nd, dragged that out to the point that the third act ended up lacking as well.

You need that first act to make sense of the movie.  But i'll go more into those details later.  For now the story is basically Tony Stark is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of the events in The Avengers film, and has to stop a terrorist who is conducting numerous terrorist acts.

That's the basic plot but really I think this film is about making Tony Stark more real to the audience.  If you go into this film with that belief then you will have a better time.  Because nothing else about this movie makes any sense.

So like I said after the Avengers Tony Stark is now suffering from PTSD.  Hes hit with recurrent anxiety attacks as well as bouts of crying.  He kind of has to rediscover who he is by shedding his Iron man suit.  He does this by remembering that it is not the suit that made him who he was.  But instead it was who he was that made his Iron Man suit.  It is that genius mechanical mind that makes up who he is.

Now this is only my interpretation of the movie but if it's incorrect then there is nothing in this movie that makes sense.  Even as is they could definitely have accomplished this discovery with a much more coherent story line.  Instead they try to add a bunch of other characters into the story that either have no background, little screen time, or serve no purpose.

The Characters

Speaking of characters with no background.  We have in the opening scene a sub character (Rebecca Hall) that is introduced, offered very little screen time, serves no purpose to the convoluted story and is killed anyway.  Ok I spoiled that one but fuck it she serves absolutely no purpose to the movie so you might as well ignore her character from the beginning as if she were dead anyway.

Might as well go into the other characters now.  I promise not to give anything else away.

Don Cheadle plays Tony Starks' sidekick.  I actually kind of liked his character.  I'm a sucker for pure moral people fighting for good, which is probably why I am one of the few who enjoyed the Captain America film. However because this film is trapped in the 2nd act we don't see too much of him.

Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Tony Starks' wife.  Never really enjoyed the character (I mean why would a playboy choose to be married? :) )  but she did get more of a role this time around.

Ty Simpkins plays a young boy who helps Tony Stark rediscover who he is, which again is the only part of the plot that makes any sense.

And Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark.  His acting was great as always.  His on screen charisma has made him Tony Stark and there is no doubt that future Iron Man films will have to have him reprise his role.  In fact he's up for contract negotiations and i'm sure hes going to make a killing.

His character away from the self discovery however seems to have had some other changes.  And not for the better.  Tony seems to go from charming and witty to using incredibly cheap humor and actually becomes downright mean.  He is constantly being mean to his new young helper to the point that he even tells the kid to stop being a pussy just because his dad ran out on him 6 years ago.

Oh of course I almost forgot Ben Kingsley.  In my opinion hes a legendary actor who is at the upper most echelon when it comes to acting.  No matter what role he does I have no doubt that he will come out of it a shining star.  And this movie is no exception.  Unfortunately for us movie-goers he is offered very little screen time.

Plot Twists and Plot Holes

This movie is riddled with obvious plot twists and plot holes.  The twists I won't go into because I want to keep this spoiler free.  However I will go into the plot holes in minor detail.

To begin with the villain in this film has no background whatsoever.  For some reason the villain became evil out of nowhere, is committing purely horrible acts for no reason and his current motive for his actions, while explained in the movie, still makes no sense.

Both the villain and Rebecca Halls character could have been served much better by actually having a first act.  Instead the film dwells in the second act which allows for tons of plot holes and obvious plot twists.  And again I wont go into the plots twists because I don't want to spoil the movie but i'm sure you will be expecting most of them a good 20-30 minutes before they even happen.

But back to the plot holes.

One of the earlier scenes involves Tony challenging the terrorist to come to his house and face him like a man.  Remember Tony lives with his wife and yet he welcomes terrorists into their home.  She actually says that it's time to go and he attempts to convince her to stay.  We are led to believe that he loves his wife and yet he's willingly putting her in harms way.

What is particularly ridiculous about this is that the terrorist does take him up on his offer and Tony has absolutely no home self defense systems.  Not only that but he only uses one of his Iron Man suits, in a house of dozens, and the suit used is only a prototype and is barely operational.

No.  I'm convinced he hates his wife.  Its the only explanation.

Now speaking of his suit.  In the Avengers it was basically epic and could stop buses no problem.  Heck it took on a hoard of raging aliens.  But in this film its downright cheap and operates like a disposable camera.  When your down with one you just discard and move onto another.

Another plot hole i'm sure has to do more with my tendency to notice and complain about everything then anything else.  There was some weird Christmas theme in this movie that only manifested itself in short bursts.

You first experience this when Tony is trying out his new suit for the first time and is dancing sexy to a Christmas song.  I was immediately confused because there was no mention of Christmas prior to this.  A little ways later we see tony getting a Christmas gift for his wife and the terrorist vowing that he will end things by Christmas day, so I get the idea that it must be set during Christmastime.

However this film was shot mostly in North Carolina and Florida and so other then that there were no other Christmas elements.  Why even mention or have anything Christmas related then?  Seems incredibly odd as if they planned a movie during Christmastime but a quick wiki search seems that that isn't he case so it leaves me very confused.  I'm sure this is a question that will lead scholars debating for decades to come...

Final Thougts

Alright so thats basicaly the movie but i'll add just a couple more things.

-The action was incredibly boring.  It could have been tons more exciting considering what was introduced in the final fight.  In fact the movie was boring overall.  There was one scene that had an important character die (not the one I spoiled) and the other character involved showed very little emotion considering.

-Don't bother on paying extra for 3d.  It adds absolutely nothing and actually takes away from the film at times.  Which seems odd to say considering how little I enjoyed this film.  But at the very least it was shot well and looked good.  The 3D took away from that because in one scene where Iron Man jumps out to save other passengers we see tons of blurring.  The 3D was added in post production and not shot that way so it makes sense.

Now I should also finally add that my movie going experience was severely hurt by the movie crowd.  I honestly think that theaters biggest problem of the future will be that the younger generations are unable to sit still and just enjoy a movie.  The ammount of people checking their phones was astounding.  I used to actually tell people to give it a break but with the vast ammount of peolple doing it I was severely outnumbered.  Combine that with the constant talking throughout the film, and a curious lack of hygiene (bad bad BO), and I can see people like myself opting to just watch movies on demand at home with our ever increasing home theater systems.

That no doubt contributed to my movie going experience but I honestly think that this film had a dumb plot that should have respected its audience much more.

All I can say is that:

-God I hope this travesty isn't Disney's fault.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Doctor

The current blog post you are about to read contains some pretty depressing material.  If you are not a fan of death and dying, or aging in general, then you may want to skip this one.

-You have been warned.

I have a couple of jobs.  One at Canada Post which is quite uneventful, and the other is working in a Long Term Care facility which is anything but.

I work in Long Term Care as a Personal Support Worker.  I basically take care of the elderly who are on their last legs of life and are no longer able to take care of themselves.  They pretty well all have Alzheimer's, most have additional dementia  and its the lucky resident who is actually able to walk, let alone form a solid bowl movement, not need a diaper, speak, hear, or eat solid food that hasn't gone through the blender for 5 minutes longer then any food should ever need to.  Everything we are able to do for ourselves they can't, and I do it for them.  Until they pass on...

It is often, quite obviously, a pretty depressing environment.

But this blog isn't about my job.  It's about a large painting that hangs in the common room within this not so sunny environment.

This is the picture.  Blow it up to really appreciate the details.

Now the super depressing intro to this blog served a purpose.  It provided the setting for which this painting is situated.  Namely a really depressing environment.  I'm now going to argue that I find it absurd that somebody deemed this painting appropriate for a Long Term Care environment.

I should start by saying that the actual painting within our facility is actually black and white, further adding to its dreariness.  The color within the original art piece actually kind of changes its meaning but i'll get to that later.


I'm now going to give you what is my interpretation of this painting.  This is the same interpretation that I've given to many of my fellow employees who had not noticed this painting but, upon really examining it, were dumbfounded.

We have 4 characters in this painting.  A doctor, a young child who is his patient and the mother and father of the child.  We can see there is various tools the doctor used.

I saw that there was alcohol on the table by the doctor.  I assumed he used this to numb the daughers pain while he conducted surgery on her for some sort of illness.  I thought he had done surgery because there was a table next to the daughter that what I believed to contain a bowl of water that housed his scalpel and bloody rags.

I also saw the mother in the background crying inconsolably, while her husband attempted to comfort her nonetheless, while looking on to his daughter.

The mothers crying is understandable considering her daughter has just died.  This can be seen by looking at her body sprawled out across two chairs, eyes closed, and most importantly her recently unclenched hands that has released, upon her death, what I thought to be rose petals that you can then see lying on the floor underneath her.

Incredibly depressing no?

Now you might look at that picture and see some discrepancies.

Again this picture was black and white so I actually didn't see the objects properly.  Now viewing the color version I see that I had made a few errors.  And actually I was completely wrong about what I was seeing in the painting.

Here is the black and white version:

However after pointing out the correct interpretation i'll again argue that it still should not be within the facility.

So onto the correct interpretation.

In my view the painting was about the death of a daughter.  The painting in actuality is about the Doctor and not the daughter.  The artist was inspired by a personal experience where he was helpless with his ailing one year that a doctor saved.

This painting is actually about the doctor being the consummate professional.

The father and mother are helpless to aid their ailing daughter.  The mother turns to prayer and is seen praying for her daughter to get better.  The father is looking to the doctor for strength and the doctors confidence and authoritarian demeanor provide him with hope.

Based on the mismatched furniture, small living space, and the clothing of the family you can determine that they are of the lower classes.  They work hard but there is much in the world that don't understand and therefore must rely on higher authorities for their expertise.

In the case of a ill child they require a doctor.  And the doctor in this painting has turned to his expertise.  He has recently used his instruments to help their daughter.  There is washbasin with cold water and a towel that was used to help break the daughters fever.  And what I had thought was alcohol was actually medicine   This can be evidenced by the prescription papers lying on the ground, that I had thought were rose petals.

And most importantly the daughter has not died.  The doctor looks on with his furrowed brow, dressed in the suit of his profession, and is evaluating his patient, having used all his tools of his trade.

Luckily it looks as though all his hard work has paid off.  We can see the light of dawn creeping into the room and casting a light onto the daughter.  It looks as if she is beginning to recover thanks to the doctor.

...or maybe it was the prayer.

Ok so two very different interpretations.  One happy ending.  One incredibly sad.  Even though I interpreted the painting wrong I still believe this painting should not hang.  My interpretation was wrong largely due to the fact that the actual painting is black and white.  Furthermore everybody I pointed this painting out to also agreed with my interpretation.

So happy ending or not this painting should not be in my facility.

It reminds me of my history of psychology courses where psych wards used to be incredibly dreary, bland and depressing environments until somebody  had the novel idea of actually letting their patients experience sunshine, green grass, and exercise to outstanding results.

My facility is depressing enough.  Is it too much to ask for some more uplifting imagery?

On my part I've continued to show any new staff the painting, and have petitioned the nurses to look into replacing it.  Apparently the committee that used to take care of this sort of thing no longer exists on my unit...

In the meantime I guess i'll start letting the staff know that this is actually a happy painting with a happy ending.

Monday, 18 March 2013

2012 A Year In Review For Movies: Oscar Buzz

 Anybody else find it confusing to have two names for the same thing?  You'll find that for a lot of things but in this case I'm referring to the Academy Awards or the Oscars.  Since I've never been a big fan of TV, and my love of movies has just begun blossoming, I thought the Oscars and Academy awards were two separate events. 

Then you have the Grammy's, the Peoples Choice Awards, The Golden Globes and a whole bunch of other awards shows.  I found it hard to figure out which show was for what and which ones mattered.

Well I think I heard somewhere that the Academy Awards (or Oscars) was the grandaddy of em all.  Whether or not that's true is a mute point since I think I heard that and since these are my musings what I think is law.

I think the Academy Awards was the name of the show and the Oscar was the trophy....in any event all of this is kind of an irrelevant thought since the Academy Awards have decided to re brand themselves as simply the Oscars to avoid any further confusion.

Thanks for looking out for me fellas.

But this is all a huge digression from my initial purpose of this post which is the beginning of my super important analysis of the movies of 2012.

I thought I'd start out with the movies that had a bunch of Oscar buzz.  I honestly didn't watch the Oscars and only vaguely know of the winners.  So this post is basically a grouping of movies that I liked and believe either were nominated, or should have been nominated at the Oscars.

So lets start off with what I do know to be the winner of best picture...

So Argo won best picture, and while it was a solid movie, I do not believe it deserved to win best picture.  For me a best picture winner should have a good story (it did), well shot (it was), and bring something new to the table (it did not).

For those of you who are not aware of the story, Argo is an action/thriller/dramatization film based on real events.  After the storming of the US Embassy in Iran, six employees manage to sneak out and hid within the Canadian Embassy.  The rest of the film is their attempt to flee the country.

For me the best part of this film is the storming of the Embassy.  It begins with an angry mob outside the embassy and you are transported to that location and actually feel what it must have been like to know that it was only a matter of time before the militants would storm the embassy and you would be overtaken.

The rest of the movie I found to be kind of dull.  It was well done but I still wasn't particularly entertained by it.  And thats the problem I have with this film.  For me it was a very paint by numbers film where they did everything right but took no chances and attempted something unique. 

So overall good film and definitely worth watching.  But I definitely wouldn't have Argo as my Oscar pick for best feature film.

And the next nominee is:


OK now here is a movie that is just a ton of fun.  Its got an awesome soundtrack, great cinematography, and the performance by Christoph Waltz actually won him an Oscar for best supporting actor. 

He was so good, in fact, that you were able to forgive Mr Tarantino and his juvenile, yet trademark, use of excessive gore.  And I'm not talking gruesome realistic gore that you remember from Reservoir dogs.  I mean the silly comical gore that might be reminiscent of Dusk Before Dawn.

But lets not get away from Christoph Waltz just yet.  He won best supporting actor.  He could easily have been considered the lead actor in this film.  Not only was he on the screen for a large portion of the movie, but when he wasn't, you wish he was.

This movie, while good for many reasons, is really made by Mr. Waltz's performance.  Without him it would have been a good movie but not great.  I honestly don't know why I wouldn't declare this movie my best feature film of the year.  I guess it was just too fun and silly and not serious enough to make it the winner. 

But maybe best picture doesn't need to be serious?  This movie really makes that argument true.

Anyway.  I didn't really say anything about what this movie is about.  Don't worry about it.  You don't need to know.  If you don't enjoy this movie you don't really deserve to be watching movies anyway.  But if you do need a little bit of a hint of what this movie is about check out the trailer down below.  But honestly I'd recommend just going into this one blind.  Here it is anyway:

Geez.  I've written a ton already and have only done 2 movies...ok I'm going to power through with three movies with tons of Oscar buzz that I didn't really like that much.


Alright I'll make these 3 movies critics super short.  Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty had a ton of talking and not enough action.  And I believe Looper was going for what Inception did which is try to come off as a super smart movie that really isn't.

OK done.

Alright fine i'll go a little more in depth with these films.

Lincoln has Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis going for it.  I love Daniel Day-Lewis but, while his acting was spectacular as usual, even he couldn't save this movie from the bore fest that it was. 

This movie really is just a whole lot of politicians fighting over whether or not to free the slaves.  It's not so much a story about Lincoln the man as it is the story about Lincoln's lead up to his Emancipation Proclamation.

So if you like talking then I suppose this one is for you.  I myself had a heck of a time getting through it.

I should also mention that while most of it was well shot I found the opening scene to be a bit weird.  It has Lincoln on the battlefield blathering on (foreshadowing things to come?).  While the rest of the movie is shot very well this scene made me feel like i was watching a play with props on stage. 

A small point.  But really that's the only thing I remember of this movie.  So there's Lincoln.
Next up is Zero Dark Thirty.  This movie is apparently an attempt at depicting the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, up to his death, as realistically as possible.

The best part of Argo was the storming of the embassy compound in the beginning of the film.  In ZD30 the best part of the film is also the storming of a compound, Obama's, but that only occurs at the final 30 minutes of the film.....after over 2 hours of nothing!

It follows a CIA officers pursuit of Osama through any means necessary, which includes torture, amid increasing terrorist attacks that she believes to have been ordered by Osama himself.  Eventually it ends with seal team six being deployed, and while somewhat entertaining, I have played way more exciting FPS games (that's first person shooter).  But maybe it was just that I was overly bored by this point due to the unnecessarily long build up.

And finally Looper.  I don't actually believe this film was up for any awards.  I'm including it in this list because after its release it met widespread acclaim that was leading to Oscar possibilities.  Since this film was released earlier then the other films it could just be that the memory of this film simply wore off by Oscar time.

So what is Looper?

Looper is an action/scifi/time travel film that has crime syndicates of the future, sending people they want assassinated back in time to the past, where their hired assassins of the past then assassinate their targets from the future. 

With me so far?  No?  Well it gets a little bit more confusing.
One of these assassins of the past (Joseph Gorden Levitte)  is ordered to kill an incoming future target (Bruce Willis).  Only when that future target shows up it turns out to be a much older himself. 

His older self manages to evade assassination by himself and much of the rest of the movie is the attempt by the older Bruce Willis to evade assassination by his younger self.

Thrown into the mix is also a little bit of telekinesis and some crazy guy in the future killing all of the crime bosses.

Make sense yet?  Well it's not supposed to.

And that's what I was alluding to earlier when I said that this is kind of like Inception in that the film attempts to appear much smarter then it is.  Much like Inception your are confused by many things that seemingly don't make sense.  You shrug it off as a film that takes much delving into to properly understand.  That the film itself is kind of too smart for you to understand in one sitting.  Well guess what?  It's not at all that smart, it does not require many views to understand, all you need to know is that it doesn't actually make sense.
And this can be supported with one of the characters in the movie who stated "That time travel shit will fry your brain so I try not to think too much about it".So there you have it.  This movie doesn't actually make much sense.  But if you go into this film knowing, and accepting, that.  Then you should have a decent movie going experience.

Oh and ya the special effects to make Joseph Gorden Levitt look like Bruce Willis was pretty kewl.
Alright now for two films that I would be alright with having as best picture.  The first one I actually couldn't finish but that does not in any way reflect on the quality on the film.  In fact it is precisely due to the high quality of this film that I could not finish it.  I'll get into the reasons behind that in a minute after I actually introduce the film.

 So the Impossible.  I had a heck of a time getting through this one and ultimately couldn't watch it to the end.  Why?  Well lets get into what this movie is about.

This film is based on the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that had approximately 220000 casualties

In this film we get to experience what it would be like to be relaxing on vacation and then suddenly have a tidal wave tear your family literally apart.

The film begins with the family of 5 on a plane on the way to their resort.  We get to witness them explore the resort, have dinner, and then take part in a beautiful evening where they have lamps rise into the air and take off over the ocean.  Beautiful scene with loving music.  Then we get to see some home videos of their stay at the resort where they are all having a good time and playing together.  A little scuba diving, some ping pong, and then a swim in the pool.  Its really setting the stage for you to fall in love with this family and really feel the loving bond they have with each other.
Fucking bastards.

While in the pool the ground starts rattling and then the giant tidal wave slams into the resort.  And so begins the extremely realistic disaster movie.  I love disaster movies but never before have I watched one like this.  The reason I loved disaster movies is because I enjoy thinking of what if scenarios.  What if a Volcano suddenly erupted in a major city?  What if a Comet was about to hit the earth?  What if a plague or a nuclear war decimated the world population?

Up until this film I've always enjoyed these films.  But in comes director Juan Antonio Bayona, who I've never heard of before now, and creates what it would really be like if a disaster actually happened.  Disaster movies used to be an incredibly detached viewing of the results of the disaster.  With this film you are way too emotionally involved with this family.

I should talk about this family.  We got Naomi Watts who should have won an Academy Award for her performance in this film.  She really portrayed the strong mother who forces herself to continue on in order to provide strength for her family, even when her body begins to fail her.

It's actually soon after the disaster strikes that I begin to realize this is not your everyday ordinary disaster movie.  Watts manages to survive the tidal wave and finds one of her sons and begins walking together back to their resort.  Soon her son stops walking and just points up at her.  She looks down and finds her body ravaged with injury, her shirt completely torn off, and blood and tissue coming out of a large gash in her breasts. 

You can feel the awkwardness and shame from both her son and Watts, who does manage to cover herself up to maintain dignity in front of her son. 

Speaking of her son (Tom Holland).  I don't understand how you can have such stellar performances by child actors.  In the film he goes from being just a kid, to realizing his mother is weakening, and then becoming the strong, courageous eldest son.  At no point did I feel he was acting.  He reminded of me of myself when i was that age (13) and was beginning to view and understand the world as a whole.  You can tell he was beginning to understand that his mother was not the immortal matriarch and that he himself was beginning to become an autonomous self reliant man.

Now these two characters really stole the movie but Ewan Mcgregars performance as the father should not be ignored.  He did an admirable job, next to these two powerhouses, in conveying the desperate father who will stop at nothing to bring his family back together.

There are also 2 other younger boys which brings the family up to 5. 

Now as I said I was unable to finish this film.  This is through no fault of the film but instead my own attachment to this family of 5 that I of course could not help but relate to my own.  Throughout the film I would of course always think about how I would feel if placed in that very position.

I'm not a crying man.  So after about the 10th or so time where I had to pause the movie to hold back tears I decided that it was simply too much work and in order to uphold my dry record I would have to stop watching this film.

This film just sucked me in and placed me in the middle of this Tsunami with this loving family. 

Hmmm.  I was planning on giving the next movie on this list my recommendation for best picture.  But now that I think of it I really have to give the Oscar to The Impossible.  It had superb acting by both Watts and Holland.  The cinematography was incredibly realistic.  I couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't.  In fact I actually watched a bunch of footage of this very Tsunami and it was pretty well identical to the film.  But most of all this film touched me like very few movies have ever done.

I was actually going to give my Oscar recommendation for best film to the next film on my list but I don't think I can.  So instead I give the Oscar to The Impossible. 

...I really should have left this film for last.  Now the next film will be incredibly anticlimatic.

Ahh well.  Heres a trailer for The Impossible and then onto: