Movies/TV


The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is celebrating its 75th anniversary today. I’ve never watched much CBC TV (except for Hockey Night in Canada, of course), but their FM radio programs (now referred to as CBC Radio 2) were my companions for twenty years while commuting to work and back; in fact, I garnered a fair comprehension of classical and jazz music during the commutes. I don’t listen to CBC radio as much as I used to (the programming has changed, I suppose to appeal to a younger audience), but I fully appreciate the music I was exposed to for those lonely trips to work and back.

Congratulations to the CBC on 75 years of quality programming!

Click on the Logo to see CBC’s Logo retrospective…

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I’m a bit behind the technological changeover to the world of eBooks (I’ve read a grand total of 1), but if you have a portable device (or like to read on your PC), check out  Project Gutenberg, which is an on-line resource that  offers free eBooks (over 36,000 titles); it is a volunteer run site and the eBooks are offered free because their copyrights have expired.

Another great site — especially if you enjoy old black and white movies (look under Moving Images on the site) — is The Internet Archive 

A few weeks ago, I was asked who my first hero was (and a family member was not an acceptable answer). I thought for a while. And then I paused a while longer before admitting that it had to be Race Bannon from Jonny  Quest.

Not only was my hero fictional, but he was a cartoon character. However, as the ‘woman of mystery’ Jezebel Jade (the only female character to appear in more than one episode) said, “There’s only one Race Bannon.” This particular quote was from the Double Danger episode, where the evil Dr. Zin created a Race Bannon double, and Ms. Jade could tell him apart by his kiss (interestingly, the ersatz Race Bannon was wearing a different style of shirt, but nobody noticed).

Roger T. ‘Race’ Bannon was a special agent (from Intelligence One), a bodyguard (for Dr. Benton C. Quest, Jonny’s father, and “…one of the three top scientists in the world.”), and pilot (I think he could fly anything). Race had a third-degree black-belt in judo, as well as an uncanny ability to overpower renowned martial arts specialists in a variety of disciplines (and even a sumo wrestler).

It was an unusual cartoon for the times: it depicted realistic scenes and human facial features. There was very little ‘animation’ (most likely a budget limitation), but my imagination was more than able to fill in for the lack of realistic movement, and I still recall the thrill I felt as a young boy when the Jonny Quest opening theme began…

The script for The Joy Machine, by Theodore Sturgeon (who wrote many excellent short stories, and two mediocre Star Trek episodes; Amok Time, and Shore Leave), was never used as a Star Trek episode (the script of  The Joy Machine was novelized by James Gunn).

In The Joy Machine, the Enterprise is dispatched to a leisure planet that has cut communication with the Federation. Several Federation agents were sent to the planet, but they all disappeared without a trace. Also missing is one of Captain Kirk’s many ‘old flames’.

It turns out that the planet’s inhabitants are now blissfully controlled by a computer. Sounds original…

Sturgeon’s Revelation (often referred to as Sturgeon’s Law) is a maxim attributed to a Theodore Sturgeon quote: “Ninety percent of everything is crap;” therefore, the abundance of low-quality works in science fiction is similar to any other artistic endeavour.

It was delightful to watch Darren Clarke, of Northern Ireland, win The Open Championship (known, erroneously, as The British Open on this side of the Pacific). The Open was played this year at Royal St. George’s, which is located in Sandwich, Kent, England.

I’m hoisting a Guinness (or two…) in Darren’s honour.

So, I watched the final Harry Potter movie with Brynne last night. It’s been an exciting part of her life for the past twelve years; her Grade Three Teacher read the first book (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) to the class, I read the next four to her, and she read the final two herself. I thought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the sixth in the series) was the best book (mainly because of the Lucky Potion’ (Felix Felicis) Chapter), but my fondest memories are the books we shared together as I read with my interpretation of the character’s voices (the most enjoyable (yet painful to my throat) were Dobby and Hagrid). I didn’t really enjoy the last book (though I’m sure I wasn’t within the target audience for the series), and I think the final two movies were much better than the book (the final book was split into two movies). Brynne enjoyed all of it immensely and says that a little part of her died knowing it’s all over…

Photo from: harrypotter.warnerbros.com

Peter Falk passed away on June 23.

He’ll be fondly remembered as the cigar smoking, rumpled Lieutenant Columbo, but he had many other roles in: The Great Race, The Princess Bride, The In-laws, Robin and the Seven Hoods (a Rat Pack movie), Murder Inc., The Price of Tomatoes, Pocketful of Miracles,  Murder by Death, etcetera…

He won a Golden Globe Award, five Emmy Awards (four for Columbo), and was nominated twice for an Academy Award.

I enjoyed the early Columbos the most, but wish he could have come back into my living room for one more new episode (he had planned on one more, but his fight with Alzheimer’s made it impossible…).

It’s been a while since I felt the need to post about the Stanley Cup finals.

I’ve stayed positive, but I refuse to post when the Canucks lose.

Finally, tonight, Vancouver won another game: Maxim Lapierre scored the only goal and the game winner (assists to Kevin Bieksa and Raffi Torres) to put the Canucks into a three games to two lead in the series.

That was a good game (the past two were too much of a hack-fest): great sports on TV!

The Boston Bruins have played an excellent series so far: each team has won all their home games.

One more win and the Canucks will bring the Cup home.

Go Canucks Go!!!

The Castle Aargh! near the end of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is Castle Stalker, in Loch Laich, Scotland.

I recommend the movie*, but only if you’re in a silly mood.

*the movie may lead to a fear of rabbits.

The Canucks keep finding a way to win. they’re ahead 2 games to none in the Stanley Cup Finals!!!

Alexandre Burrows scored a HUGE goal 11 seconds into the first overtime period for the win (excellent neutral zone assists to Daniel Sedin and Alexander Edler).

I watched most of it in the middle of  Surrey Central City Shopping Centre’s plaza (where they were displaying a live CBC telecast on a very large screen): the atmosphere was electric; each time the overtime goal was replayed there was the same quietness, followed by a burst of celebration: as if it was the first time the crowd had witnessed it.

I think the entire Metro-Vancouver area (and maybe all of B.C.) is focused on the Canucks; people who never watch hockey are paying attention, and there is a palpable energy everywhere.

Go Canucks Go!!!

   Image: theprovince.com

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