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DA: Upside Down Stranger Things

Daily AggregationHappy afternoon, Saskatoon It’s -19, a number that’s supposed to pretty much stay constant through tonight. It’s supposed to warm up a lot by the weekend. In case you missed it, the sun came up this morning at 8:36 and will set at 6:04. That’s what my iPhone tells me, anyway. It’s powered by The Weather Network!

1. SASK HAS A $1.2. BILLION DEFICIT AND IT WILL BE USED TO JUSTIFY CUTS EVEN THOUGH THE WAY OUT OF RECESSIONS IS TO SPEND, WITHIN REASON Ugh.

2. BYELECTION PREVIEW Pundits are saying the Saskatoon Meewasin vote will be a referendum on the state of the province.

3. SANCTUARY CITIES Should that be us and if so, what would it mean?

4. HALIFAX POLICE POLITELY PULL OUT OF PRIDE A perceptive and sensitive move given the divisions that’ve erupted over police participation in Pride parades. Still sad, though. I think about the RCMP marchers in Steinbach, Manitoba’s first-ever Pride parade this year—you can’t tell me they didn’t send the right message to community’s bigots. Bringing police into Pride was a historic win for the LGBTQ community. Hopefully the Halifax situation is a “step backward to leap forward” thing.

5. ARKANSAS IS BONKERS Morality-of-convenience Christians get more of their ridiculous, dangerous and medically unsupported abortion restrictions passed.

6. STOP FUCKING SETTLING IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORY FFS, Israel!

7. “PATRIOTS WIN, SO EVIL WON” The Patriots are Superbowl champs again. Here’s a column by the Stranger’s Spike Friedman that uses the word “goddamn” nine times in the first three paragraphs. And here’s the trailer for Stranger Things season two, which aired during the game. looks promising.

DEPT. OF SHITTY PRESIDENTS

DOSP.1 WHY DO THEY LIKE THAT ASSHOLE? There’s a good “talking to regular Americans” story on CBC. It’s easy to understand and sympathize with a lot of the frustrations that led to people voting for Donald Trump, although that said, the ignorance is massive. Plus Fox News really fucked America. When Budweiser faces boycotts because it’s not racist, you know that people who want a more civilized country have a lot of work to do.

DOSP.2 KREMLIN DEMANDS AN APOLOGY FROM U.S. MEDIA OUTLET The despicable Bill O’Reilly’s crows come home to roost.

DOSP.3 RACIST TRAVEL BAN BLOCKED For now.

DOSP.4 Back to football: at least one Patriot won’t be going to the Trump White House!

Sunday Matinee: Heat

Director Michael Mann has only made 11 movies over his forty year career and arguably his best is this 1995 crime heist thriller.

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were both in The Godfather Part II but they never shared screen time. De Niro played a young version of Pacino’s father Vito in the film so when Heat first appeared in theatres there was lots of hype for their big face off. Director Mann kept that on screen time to a minimum but works.
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REVIEW: War on Everyone Is at Peace with Itself

Alexander Skarsgaard and Michael Peña midst-War.

One of the most competent scriptwriters in the English language, John Michael McDonagh is guaranteed to be at least entertaining: The Guard gets a lot of millage from the contrast between a rowdy Irish cop and an uptight FBI agent; Calvary follows a priest under a death threat who discovers his entire congregation is just the worst. Just imagine a Coen Brothers movie in which the characters are not completely miserable.

War on Everyone brings McDonagh to America (New Mexico, the land of Breaking Bad) and the outcome is not half bad. The compelling, complicated characters are there, same as the crackling dialogue. The overarching plot falls apart half way through and yet remains more amusing than the similarly inclined The Nice Guys. Continue reading “REVIEW: War on Everyone Is at Peace with Itself”

Best Of Food & Drink 2017: Woo!

Daily AggregationGooooood eveniiinnng! We’re getting this in a little after sunset, which went down (get it?) at 5:56, according to my trusty iPhone. Current temperature is -12, and it’s supposed to drop to -18 tonight. We’ve been screwing around with this thing’s logo lately. I like Designer Paul’s new one.

1. IT WAS GROUNDHOG DAY Climate change ruins everything.

2. MOURNING THE DEAD Huge turnout at the funeral for the victims of a far-right gun nut terrorist in Quebec.

3. SPEAKING OF GUN NUTS Kevin O’Leary needs to work on his timing. Or maybe he has, and he’s sending a dog-whistle message to Conservative racists?

4. TRUDEAU BREAKS A PROMISE No electoral reform for you! Really not sure most Canadians want voting reform so I doubt it’ll hurt him politically. Nevertheless, feel free to call your MP, or maybe just Ralph Goodale, since he’s the ultra-Liberal in this province. Goodale’s Ottawa office’s number is 613-947-1153, and his constituency office is 585-2202. Or if you’d rather just read something snarky to help you fume, check out this Andrew Coyne column.

5. SASK VOTER TURNOUT SUCKS People are really disengaged from politics. Of course, you already knew that from all the Facebook whiners complaining about too many political posts.

6. FIGHTING FOR LIFE Ignite The Life tackles the Indigenous youth suicide crisis in a two-day Saskatoon conference. More here.

7. BEST OF FOOD & DRINK 2017 We’re having some trouble agreeing on what we call this thing—Best Of Saskatoon: Food & Drink? Best Of Food Saskatoon?—but regardless: our beloved restaurant scene reader poll is back with way more categories than last year’s version. The write-in round is now open! This is your annual chance to rain some positive public attention on your favourite local (and where appropriate, chain) restaurants. Check it out!

And now here’s your Trump report. Bleccchh.

T1. TRUMP DUMPS ON A CONSERVATIVE ALLY Given how shitty, anti-environmental and generally racist conservative Australian politicians are, I can’t muster outrage when Donald Trump treats the leader of an allied like crap. That said, turning close friends into enemies is not a recipe for political success. THAT said, Trump probably just boosted the approval ratings of an anti-immigrant world leader, and you have to wonder, just a little bit, if that wasn’t part of the plan. My nickel’s on poor impulse control and ego-driven chaos, but ya never know. What do you guys think?

T2. WAIT, DID TRUMP THREATEN TO INVADE MEXICO? What a reckless buffoon.

T3. OH, AND HE’S BAITING IRAN Moron.

T4. AND HIS TRASH TALKING SCHWARZENEGGER Dimwit.

T5. REUTERS TO REPORTERS: TRUMP’S AN AUTHORITARIAN The news outlet briefs reporters on how to cover the Ugnaught-In-Chief.

T6. DIVORCED, MOLEST-Y CHEATER FINDS JESUS? A super-duper profane president wants to help all the lovely “Christian” churches who attack the poor, vulnerable and oft-discriminated against become even more openly political. Learn more about the Johnson Amendment—which Trump wants to “destroy”—here. I look forward to the Satanic Temple’s inevitable mischievous political jujitsu.

T7. TRUMP THREATENS TO REVOKE BERKELEY UNIVERSITY’S FUNDING AFTER A FAR-RIGHT SPEAKER’S CAMPUS TALK WAS CANCELLED This alleged defence of free speech from the guy who signs gag orders on scientists.

T8. SPEAKING OF CENSORING SCIENTISTS Remember Stephen Harper? He pioneered it. Expect Trump will do the same things, but at higher intensity.

Sunday Matinee: The Narrow Margin

Continuing January’s movies on train theme (which wasn’t original planned it just sort of happened) today’s Sunday Matinee is the excellent 1952 crime thriller/film noir The Narrow Margin.

Det. Sgt. Walter Brown (Charles McGraw) is assigned to escort a late mob boss’ wife by train from Chicago to L.A. so she can testify to the Grand Jury in a case. The widow Mrs. Frankie Neall (Marie Windsor) is attacked before they get to the train and Brown’s partner is killed. The hitman Densel (Peter Virgo) escapes. Brown is ticked but continues with the job. On the train he meets the lovely Ann Sinclair (Jacqueline White) and her son. Meanwhile two more assassins have boarded the train and looking to finish the job.
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Sadako v Kayako: It’s Not Easy Being a Ghoul

It’s ghost versus ghoul in this Japanese monster mash.

Given the outcome of other “versus” films (Freddy vs Jason, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), the idea of pitting two icons of Japanese horror felt equal parts enticing and worrisome. Sadako from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge are physically similar, not particularly expressive and don’t seem to share the same universe: One is a ghost, the other is a ghoul. Nuances, people.

Sadako v Kayako pulls it off. Instead of concentrating on the black haired spooks, the film uses two naïve school girls as audience’s surrogates. One of them watches the fateful Ring tape that all but guarantees her death, a mishap that sends the pair on a quest that gets the other J-Horror mainstay involved. The film has a sense of humor about itself (the idea of someone still using VHS tapes gets a lot of tracking, same as the uselessness of the experts who claim to know how the gruesome twosome operates), but remains firmly within the genre’s realm. Continue reading “Sadako v Kayako: It’s Not Easy Being a Ghoul”

Mary Tyler Moore > Donald #@& Trump

Bada boom, Saskatoon! Word on the street is it’s -10 with a minus-19 windchill. You’re high today, I mean your high today is hypothesized to be -5 with a low tonight of -7. That’s not too bad! More weather stuff here. Your sunrise was at 8:55 and your sunset is 5:44. So we lost Mary Tyler Moore yesterday. She was a big deal. You can read more here, here, here, here, here and here. I was a kid when her show was on the air and it was good for my child-brain to have TV that depicted smart, independent women. Wikipedia has a page on her production company, which put out a lot of great shows including one of my all-time favourites, WKRP In Cincinnati. Rest in peace, hero.

1. SAVE CANADIAN MEDIA! A government report recommends lots of things, including a $100 million Journalism and Democracy fund. A.) Yeah, you think? You think maybe there’s no democracy without professional media to keep the public informed? B.) Sounds like groundwork for a slush fund to billionaires who can’t run newspapers, as opposed to funding for journalists and, ahem, SMALL MEDIA OUTLETS THAT HAVE NO STAFF AND WOULD LOVE TO HIRE SOME OF THEIR UNDERPAID FREELANCERS.

2. TWO CANADIANS SUPPOSEDLY RUN 200 COMPANIES Good CBC story.

3. POTASH PLLLLLBBBBBBBBBBTH PotashCorp made $1.23 billion in 2015. Last year it only made $336 million. Ruh-roh! There go the royalties!

4. LIBERAL FRAUDSTER SENTENCED TO PRISON Jacques Corriveau pocketed $7 million in kickbacks from the sponsorship scandal. He’s been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Aww but it’s not fair, he’s ollld, give him a break. Related note: how many of you would trade 10 years in minimum security prison for a million bucks? Thought so.

5. FAST FOOD NATION McDonald’s and A&W launch all-day breakfasts across Canada next month. I’m dooooomed. #McMuffinsAreMyKryptonite

6. YES HE CAM! Probably my favourite player on the Columbus Blue Jackets has been added to the NHL All-Star Game, hooray wait you don’t care

And here’s today’s Trump Dump:

T1. AMERICAN CITIES ARE MAAAD Trump threatened them with funding cuts, now they’re pissed. Trump may learn that enemies are a lot of work. Wonder how much of the U.S. GDP is going to go to lawyers under these Republicans? One half of the country is going to be suing each other while the other half is going to be rioting. What a waste of human time, effort and potential.

T2. MEXICO IS MAAAD No, the country is not going to pay for Trump’s stupid wall. Trump, an idiot, is predictably acting like a child. Mexico’s president, also predictably, just cancelled his U.S. visit.

T3. ONE REPUBLICAN STUDENT ORGANIZATION IMPLICITLY THREATENS PROTESTERS WITH VIOLENCE “If you keep prodding the right you may be unpleasantly surprised what the outcome will be,” say dipshits on the College Republicans at the University of Washington Facebook page. This nonsense after a protester was shot at their idiot event with gay white supremicist (!!!) Milo Yannipoulos. Seems to me universities should disband groups that make threats and get people shot, but America! Fuck yeah! I guess.

T4. CHELSEA MANNING IS A “TRAITOR” Whatever, anyone Trump doesn’t like is going to be a traitor.

Yes It Is! No It Isn’t!


Happy afta-nooon, Saska-tooon! Sunrise was 8:57, sunset is 5:42 and we’re looking at -9 today going down to -12 tonight. Right now it’s -12 with a -18 windchill. More here. Hey, here’s something interesting: Seventy years ago today, famous gangster Al Capone died after being weakened by a stroke, pneumonia and a heart attack. Ol’ Scarface was messed up from syphilis, too. Capone was 48 but now he’s just dead, dead, dead. You, on the other hand, are alive. Hooray!

1. THE JUSTIN COMETH Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will merge his radiant glory with this fine town today, and here is a link to a news story about that, and here’s another and another. And here’s a report on his last stop, where he was asked questions by some douche in a MAGA hat.

2. ANOTHER HOT ONE The numbers are in and 2016 was, unsurprisingly, the hottest year on record. This is the third year in a row we’ve set a planetary temperature record. This is not normal. Too bad everyone who’s trying to raise the alarm and save civilization has to waste energy fighting Trump on everything now, I guess.

3. FOXES AND HENHOUSES The Saskatchewan government has the wrong ministry inspecting pipelines.

4. SUICIDE PREVENTION PLAN An anonymous donor steps up as Canada keeps shitting the bed on the Indigenous suicide crisis.

5. MEN WHO HATE WOMEN Only scumbags post nude photos of ex-girlfriends online without their permission.

6. HATRED IS A CONSERVATIVE VALUE Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is getting hammered by threats and abuse online. Awful.

And now, here’s a Trump round-up. Yeah, there’s so much crap I have to do a special Trump round-up. Thanks America. And check out the Guardian cartoon by Martin Rowson.

T1. THAT STUPID WALL Trump’s gonna build it! It’s not gonna work! And Mexico’s not gonna pay for it!

T2. JUST GIVE FRANCE THE STATUE BACK Trump restricts immigration and refugees.

T3. TRUMP GOES AFTER MAKE-BELIEVE VOTER FRAUD There must be voter fraud. How else to explain most Americans voting for Hillary Clinton?

T4. MAKE TORTURE GREAT AGAIN Trumps lays groundwork that could bring it back, yippee.

T5. MAYBE TRUMP CAN HAVE JOURNALISTS TORTURED WHILE HE’S AT IT Six journalists covering Trump protests have been charged with rioting.

T6. KEYSTONE XL IS BACK Trump uses his magic president powers to resurrect the controversial pipeline. The protests have started.

T7. IN A STUDY ON POLITICAL BIAS, TRUMP VOTERS LIED MORE THAN CLINTON VOTERS Interesting and unsurprising.

T8. IN A CLUTCH, CALL THE DUTCH That Netherlands steps up to save women from Trump’s cuts to women’s health funding.

T9. IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER ALREADY ITMFA T-shirts, buttons and hats are now available! Proceeds go to Planned Parenthood and other organizations in the Trump resistance.

HOW TO WIN AN ARGUMENT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE EVEN THOUGH YOU’RE WRONG Do you reject the scientific consensus on climate change but you’re not sure how to argue with people who know more than you? Relax, and let Monty Python show you how a series of contradictions can derail discussion and make people stop saying things you don’t like! Perfect for oil stooge politicians, dipshit rednecks and talk radio jerks.

 

Sunday Matinee: Train To Busan

I’m always interested in seeing other countries and cultures take on more American pop culture. The current zombie genre was first started way back with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead but it seen spread to other countries. Train to Busan is a South Korean horror/thriller from animation director Sang-ho Yeon.

This is Sang-ho Yeon’s first live action movie, his previous two were both animated features the excellent King of Pigs and The Fake.
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Sunday Matinee: William Peter Blatty

Writer William Peter Blatty passed away on January 12 this year at the age of 89. Blatty’s biggest acclaim was his novel and the subsequent movie adaptation The Exorcist.

Before Blatty became successful with The Exorcist he started out writing comedic novels John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1963),I, Billy Shakespeare (1965) and Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane (1966). Blatty also starting writing screenplays. His first The Man from the Diners’ Club starred Danny Kaye would lead him to working with writer/director Blake Edwards.
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