Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Finding Lost, Season 5": The Penultimate Pleasure

Aside from finally being able to see my name in print, there were so many great aspects of this book that I just couldn't name them all. Basically, if you like the show and follow it religiously as I do, then you'll find a gold mine of information.
This is the fourth book in Nikki Stafford's "Finding Lost" series. The first book covered Seasons 1 and 2, the second book covered Season 3, and the third covered Season 4. They're just chock full of detailed info and interesting facts that'll make even the most die-hard fans raise their eyebrows in surprise. Can't wait for the last one!
I give this book 9 Compasses out of 10.

"Saw VI": It Never Ends

The "Saw" franchise is fucking mind-blasting, and it's remained one of the most consistent and entertaining movie franchises ever. There's only one problem: it never ends!
When the posters were first going up for "Saw VI", they said it would be the final film. I thought that was awesome, we'd get closure on the story and find out the fates of all the characters. But no, they lied. The studio wants more money, so "Saw VII" is already in the works. Okay, I thought. there are 7 Harry Potter movies, 7 a'int such a bad number. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! The studio wants even more money than that so, sorry, but "Saw VIII" is gonna have to be made too.
On the TV show "LOST", the writers' dreams came true when ABC told them they could end the show after the sixth season. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to write episodes knowing how the ending would pan out, and how long it would take to get them there. Well, the "Saw" films are almost as complex as "LOST"; why the fuck can't the producers be sensible and do the same damn thing? These movies would be so much more amazing if we would only know which one of them was gonna answer all our questions!
Anyway, "Saw VI" was great, way better than the last installment, which was arguably the series' weakest link. It contained a bunch of great twists, like any good "Saw" movie should, and ended with a very interesting and gory cliffhanger.
I want more! (But not another 9 more, okay, guys? Please don't turn this into "The Land Before Time". As great as these movies are, if I see a marquee for "Saw XXVIII", I'm gonna shoot somebody).
I give this movie 8 Rusty Reverse-Bear Traps out of 10.

"The Lovely Bones": Metaphorical Bones, You Sicko

Long story short, this book was a stunner!
Susie Salmon gets raped & murdered, then spends the entire book narrating on her observations from heaven, as she watches her family struggle through the turmoil of her death.
What a fascinating idea for a book; personally, I'm surprised someone didn't do this sooner! The author does a great job covering all the different aspects of loss (and coping with it) that the Salmons go through, as well as painting us a terrifying and creepy villain in George Harvey. But what she does best is write about some of the most mundane, routine aspects of human life, and never once does it seem boring or slow the pace of the book.
The scene where Jack teaches his son how to play Monopoly and tells him of his sister's death all at the same time is the stuff of tear-jerking awesomeness, as is the very end of the book. Since you see the story through Susie's eyes the entire time, a small part of you can't help but hope that her family will get to see her/say goodbye. But in the end, her death is as real as any death: the Salmons never see her again, but they learn to accept that, and life continues on. The end is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.
I give this book 9 Lovely Bones out of 10.

"9": Ragdolls & General Confusion

When "Star wars" first premiered on Memorial Day, 1977, it thrust fans into an unfamiliar galaxy, filled with unfamiliar vehicles and creatures, and unfamiliar planets inhabited by unfamiliar characters, all set to the backdrop of an unfamiliar war. People LOVED it.
"9" thrusts us into an unfamiliar reality, on our own planet, with our own technology and science...and the movie made no fucking sense.
So, long story hort, some asshole creates a bunch of war machines, the machines get too smart and turn on the humans (a la "The Terminator"). That part I can grasp. So, because all of this happened, a mad scientist transfers his soul into nine individual ragdolls with unique personality traits. That part, not so much. Why the hell would he need to do that? The cells we see forming at the end happened because of rain. The ragdolls didn't create the rain! They just ran around, spewing their despressing "our lives are difficult" babble, getting killed off by whatever the hell that machine-thing was, and then the ghost disappear into heaven and, in a perfect example of pathetic fallacy, it starts raining.
So, what was the point? Did the scientist have any reason to create those ragdolls, other than to prove that he could pull off such a procedure in the first place? No. Sure, the ragdolls destroyed the machine, but by pure fluke. The scientists couldn't possibly have expected them to actually do it. Why was the monster eating ragdolls? Was that explained? No.
And if all the dolls were just bits of the scientist's soul, then why was one of them a woman? And why did another one of them fall in love with her? How the hell could a soul fall in love with itself?
I don't know, this movie was too fucking weird. I walked out of the theatre and spent the next two days trying to figure out what the hell it was I just watched. The animation looked great, but story-wise, it had all the appeal of an old shoe. People who were expecting the next "Nightmare Before Christmas" were definitely disappointed by this one.
I give it 2 Buttons out of 10.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Canada Day, America!

So yesterday was the first of July, making it Canada Day. I find it strange that Canada Day is only three days before the 4th of July, which is the day that America chooses to celebrate Canada Day (those Americans, always trying to be different!).
I have no idea how old Canada is turning this year, but judging by the state of the polar ice caps and the age of some rock formations I saw in northern Alberta, I'm gonna say...twenty-six million, give or take.
For those of you not familiar with our home and native land, here are a few fuin facts about Canada Day. You can use these facts to impress your friends and co-workers!

-pilgrims chose to name the country Canada because their first choice, Grenada, was already taken.
-Canada is nicknamed "the Great White North", and it received that nickname because it is always snowing, in every single part of the country. Forever.
- some of the things invented by Canadians: hockey, basketball, ice cream, beavers, long underwear, lumberjacks, modesty
-the capital city of Canada is called Toronto, and it has the world's biggest radio tower in it.
-the Emperor of Canada is a man named Tim Horton.
-our national colour is plaid.

There you have it, true believers! Hopefully, you won't forget about Canada Day like I did, and next year you can celebrate it with fireworks and alcohol, just like the Ojibwa tribes used to do it!
Now I leave you with the parting words coined by the Canadians in 1987: "Smell ya later!"


"Canada is, like, the Texas of America."
-Robin Joseph Williams, clearly confused

Monday, June 1, 2009


I just realized that the word BLOG is extremely funny.

I mean, it reminds me of so many different things, the first being the word "log". and that could be interpreted either as a log in the woods, or another word for shit.
BLOG also sounds like the word "blob", which reminds me of the monster movie of the same name, as well as that Goosebumps book, "The Blob That Ate Everyone." There should be a follow-up called "The BLOG That Ate Everyone", but I think R.L. Stine quit writing. which is just as well, because his stuff was so juvenile and repetitive that it made the writing in "Coyote Ugly" seem clever.
So, whenever somebody says "I'm blogging", I picture one of two things: either a person sitting on the toilet, dropping logs while they type away on a laptop...or I picture a person turning into a revolting pile of jelly, swallowing everything in site and losing any capability of speaking, save for the word BLOG, which would make them some kind of Pokemon, I guess.
Another, more grotesuqe meaning for the word BLOG could be the term used to describe when two incredibly obese people have sex with one another. For example:

TOM: Hey, where are Dirk and Janice? You know, that really fat couple?
BILL: Oh, them? They're in the other room. They're blogging.
TOM: Eeeeeww...

And earlier:

DIRK: (to Janice) i want you to blog my brains out.

I think it works perfectly, even if it does put an unpleasant picture in your mind.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Great Things Come in Twos

I started reading this novel called The Templar Legacy, by some guy named Steve Berry. Less than a chapter into it, I began experiencing severe deja vu...mainly because the book has the exact same plot as The Da Vinci Code! And it came out two years after it. Check it out, here is the jacket text of The Da Vinci Code:

"While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon
receives an urgent late-night phone call...As Langdon and a gifted
French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles,
they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of
Da Vinci...In a frantic race through Paris and beyond, Langdon and
Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker
who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless they can decpiher
the labyrinthine puzzle, the Priory's secret -and an explosive ancient
truth- will be lost forever."

Now, here is the jacket text of The Templar Legacy:

"Onetime U.S. operative Cotton Malone teams up with his former
supervisor, Stephanie Nelle, to find the legendary cache of wealth
and forbidden knowledge thought to have been lost forever when
the Knights Templar were exterminated in the fourteenth century.
Nelle is armed with vital clues to a series of centuries-old puzzles
scattered across Europe, but also in pursuit of the historic prize is a
shadowy zealot with an army of assassins at his command. At the
end of the trail lies a discovery that could rock the civilized world-
and, in the wrong hands, bring it to its knees."

Interesting...I'm really eager to finish this book now, so I can see if the rest of the story is as original as it sounds.
But while I'm on the subject, I got thinking about what Seth Rogan's character says in Knocked Up, about two similar kinds of movies that come out around the same time, and one always seems to do better than the other. Here are some dynamic duos I thought of that bear eery similarities:

A Bug's Life / Antz
A hard-working ant drone tries to protect his beloved colony from danger.

Armaggedon / Deep Impact
An enormous asteroid threatens to collide with earth and cause lots of death & pain and stuff.

Finding Nemo / Shark Tale
Colourful fish characters befriend vegetarian sharks.

Troy / King Arthur
The epic battles of a historical war shown in vivid, gory detail...just, you know, with hunks.

Madagascar / The Wild
A lion and some other exotic animals escape from the Central Park zoo in order to find their way back home to Africa.

The Prestige / The Illusionist
Feuding magicians struggle to keep their secrets from being revealed.

Inkheart / Nim's Island / The Spiderwick Chronicles / Bridge to Terabithia
A beloved children's fantasy adapted into a movie that nobody has any interest in seeing, because it blows.

Small Soldiers / Transformers
Okay, so they didn't come out at the same time. There were years between them. But still, exact same plot: a teenage guy buys a machine, only to quickly discover that the machine has a robotic mind of its own. He learns that there are two different teams of machines: the colourful good guys, with peaceful personalities; and the militaristic bad guys, who are constantly trying to make war. Devoting all of his help to the good machines, the teenage guy teams up with the hot girl he has a crush on and battles against the evil machines until victory is achieved.
Hell, the dad in both movies is played by the same actor. Look it up.

Anyway, I've done enough ranting for one night. So remember, please don't make illegal copies of DVDs: those Hollywood mega-zillionaires really need the money.

"Da Vinci Code fans might experience a bit of deja vu, but The Templar Legacy is more thrilling."
-RedEye Chicago

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Post That Almost Wasn't, But Then Was

Internet is BACK.
Now I can blog more like I promised you all. If the last few Hatch-related posts have seemed a little obscure, a little uninteresting, or just plain fucked up, I apologize sincerely. There was very little oxygen in that Hatch, and thinking kinda became a chore.
Actually, since I'm in a penitent mood, I have two other apologies to make.

Apology #1: In a previous post, I quoted from Lost and listed a character's name as Miles Faraday, when his name is actually supposed to be DANIEL Faraday. But, like I said, oxygen...

Apology #2: Mark Wahlberg, I'm really, REALLY sorry I ran over your cat. Please don't do what you said you'd do with a cheese grater next time we meet. Bygones, okay?

There. Now that my conscience is clear and my brain can breathe, things can continue here at STO like they always have: slowly, dully, and inexplicably plastered with bright red letters.
I'll see you all soon. Real soon.


"I'm the Cashman! I give you money for your gold!"
-Russel Oliver


It's finally happened.

After 229 days of living in the subterranean Hatch with
1) little to no access to the outside world
2) zero access to most of my personal belongings
3) the inability to open or look out of a window
5) no bedroom. No bed, for that matter
6) no Internet connection
7) shitty phone reception
8) no microwave or dishwasher
9) three Asian children running and stomping like crazed wildebeests on the floor above me
10) that Fridge again, and
11) the clinically-psychotic drivers of Thorn Hill, who should all be locked away and given a year's worth of anger management before ever being allowed behind the wheel of a vehicle again,
I have finally moved back to B-Town! Close to friends, familiar territory, a dishwasher, a bed, a quiet fridge, Internet access, and drivers who weren't trained by Nazi combat tacticians.
Hallelujah! I am glad to be back. So until next time, there's only one thing left to say:

Day One out of the Hatch...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 191 in the Hatch.