15 May 2010

SilverCity Ancaster: How Not to Run a Cinema

My movie-going experience with Iron Man 2 is the impetus for this particular post regarding SilverCity Ancaster:

  • I was happy the clean-up crew, upon seeing I was watching the credits, waited until the end of the movie before starting to clean up.
  • I was NOT happy to have to listen to the 4-5 people of the clean-up crew chat away as the credits rolled and the final scene played.
  • I wish the SilverCity Ancaster management didn't feel the need to put the showtimes so close to one another. What do I mean? I left immediately after the final scene and I still met customers for the next showtime walking into the room and taking their seats.
  • These may be minor issues, but nevertheless SilverCity Ancaster is no longer my cinema of choice.

Iron Man 2

I watched Iron Man 2, starring Robert Downey Jr., today, and it was better than I had hoped.

One of my fears with superhero sequels is the seemingly irresistible need film makers have to stuff ever more bad guys in the same 2-hour slot -- though perhaps the earlier Batman and latest Spiderman movie series are unduly influencing my memories. I just think stuffing a film with more antagonists just risks short-changing the characters I went to the cinema to see. There's limited screen time, and obviously the more villain origin stories you need to show, the less time you have for everyone else, especially the protagonists. I watched Batman Returns to see Bruce Wayne, not Catwoman or Penguin. Likewise, I watched Spider-man 3 to see Peter Parker, not Goblin, Venom or Sandman. One major villain that's competent and interesting is much better than having to divide screen time among two or three.

Whew. Finally got that off my chest. Anywhoo, prior to watching Iron Man 2 I had feared director Jon Favreau may have succumbed to excess-villain-itis, or its variant too-many-new-characters-with-origin-stories-itis, but my fears turned out to be needless. You could say Iron Man 2 had two villains, but appropriately Favreau only spent origin-story time on the competent one.

I don't want to spoil anything too much, so here's just some random thoughts and comments. Spoilers may follow, though I'll try to keep them few and minor.

  • 20 minutes of previews!? Ugh.
  • There were roughly 25-30 people in the first Saturday matinee on the second weekend of Iron Man 2.
  • I thought it apt that Formula One's Monaco race is the same weekend I watched Iron Man 2.
  • I can understand why Stark wanted Rhodes to take a suit, but isn't he afraid the U.S. military will be able to reverse engineer the technology?
  • The climactic battle was a little anti-climactic. There was good build up, but in the end there was too much flying around and not enough brawling.
  • Isn't Nick Fury supposed to have a cigar? What about stubble?
  • If you don't want Stark reading about the "Avengers Initiative", then don't leave a folder labeled, "Avengers Initiative", sitting out in the open while you make Stark wait. What kind of security is that?
  • These days, I wonder why anyone bothers leaving before the credits finish rolling. Especially given the track record with Iron Man. I was the only one who stayed and hence was able to see the final scene.
  • For my thoughts about watching a movie at SilverCity Ancaster.

I think the first Iron Man is the superior movie, but Iron Man 2 still gets 4 out of 5 stars.

10 May 2010

Swagger Wagon

Minivans have never been cooler:

05 May 2010

Original Star Wars Trilogy Told in 2 Minutes using Lego

This stop-motion Lego animation is pretty impressive. It recaps the original (and best) Star Wars trilogy.

01 May 2010


I watched Gunless, starring Paul Gross, and it was worth the trip to the cinema.

The set-up: Gross stars as an American gunman in the Wild West who finds himself in a small Canadian town. He calls out the town's blacksmith for a showdown only to discover that the only gun in town (besides his) is a decrepit thing in major need of repair. Refusing to shoot an unarmed man, Gross decides to repair it himself, but first needs to convince the gun's owner to give it to him -- which Gross does by agreeing to build her a windmill.

Paul Gross is pretty much the only reason I watched Gunless and he doesn't disappoint. Gross handles the comedic aspects quite well. Don't expect thigh-slapping, rib-cracking humour, but on the other hand I don't remember any jokes falling flat -- smiles and chuckles were the norm.

I'd describe this film as typically Canadian comedy and the better for it.

Random thoughts:

  • My favourite character in Gunless, besides Gross, would have to be RCMP Corporal Kent, played by Dustin Milligan. The character was endearing and I wished there had been more scenes with him.
  • As a bonus, Gunless was filmed in Vancouver and other parts of British Columbia.
  • Graham Greene shows up in a couple scenes.
  • I prefer nearly empty theaters, but it doesn't bode well that there were only 10 people in a matinee showing on opening weekend for Gunless. A shame.
  • For stomach-aching laughter stay for some of the bloopers during the credits.

Gunless gets 3.5 out of 5 stars.