Let the Right One In
OR: How Hollywood can save this troublesome picture.

I'd been hearing about the Swedish Vampire film "Let the Right One In" for quite a few months, and it just seemed like one of those films that got past me. I'd heard nothing but good things, but just never got around to seeing it. It got to the point where people would bring up certain plot points to me, apropos of nothing, purely under the assumption I had already seen it.

So, last night, enough was enough, I remedied the situation and watched it.

And you know what? It was one of those rare instances where the majority was right. It was totally great. It was the complete antithesis of what I imagine those fucking Twilight things are like. Beautifully shot, plenty of subtlety, complex characterization.

It was like "My Girl" with vampires.
Except replace Poetry slams with severed limbs, and blood brothers with blood feasting.

Oh, and (spoilers!) neither of the main characters get killed by fuckin' Bees.

The point is, you get the same heartwarming feeling from the film that you'd get from a kids movie, but all the decapitations and blood of a horror movie remain intact.
The perfect mix of "awww." and "AWW!!".

Apparently the subtitles on the North American release were pretty severely buggered, and the company responsible is reissuing it with the proper subs, so I look forward to rewatching it to see any differences that may reflect the overall tone of the film.

One thing I'm really looking forward to though, is the upcoming Hollywood remake. Maybe they can get Dakota Fanning (fresh off her confusing "Dakota Fanning getting raped" movie ) to play Eli and a few of of those High School Musical kids to play the bullies, and instead of a massacres, there could be auto-tune singing and dance offs. Instead of feasting on blood, Eli would have an insatiable hunger for Burger King™ combo meals. Oskar and Eli could text each other about how being 13 is the most important time in their whole lives and write TL4E on each others Disney™ Trapper Keepers.

I mean, that would solve everything wrong with the movie...


The McGangBang
OR: Now I'll have to call the rest of my burgers "McSingles", like soldiers call people "Civilians"

Note: This piece was originally written for, and appears on HamBlogger. Please visit HamBlogger for many more articles, musings and reviews of Burgers from correspondents around the world, both ridiculous and non-ridiculous alike.

Every once in a great while, a food product is created or invented that brings people together in their collective curiosity. Crystal Pepsi, the McRib, the Double Decker Taco, those Oreos that turned milk blue for some reason...

I can now say that food product du jour is, without question the "McGangBang". "What the devil is a McGangBang?" you ask?

Urban Dictionary describes it as:
"A double Cheeseburger and McChicken. Simply split the double cheeseburger between the two meat patties and place the McChicken in between the two meat patties and enjoy. Both dollar menu items."

Or, more simply:

As with any phenomenon born on the Internet, the history of the McGangBang is fuzzy at best, but most more prevalent theory seems to have it originated in Daytona Beach, Florida (which, if you're keeping score, means Florida birthed Limp Bizkit, the 2000 election, and now this...). It's popularity has grown leaps and bounds in past months, appearing on thisiswhyyourefat.com, Message boards and Twitter posts. Several YouTube videos have also popped up, all trying to be the first in their area to order one "by name" at a McDonalds restaurant or drive-thru, and have their order processed properly, much to the chegrin of many McEmployees. Perhaps the ultimate goal, is to have it become something all McDonalds employees know how to make, much like In-N-Out's famous "secret menu" items. The McGangBang: Ask for it by name.

After much reading up on the subject, my interest was piqued and I could wait no further. Today was the day. I was going to walk to my local McDonalds and try a McGangBang for myself.

I walked into the McDonalds, not drinking anything on the way over for fear of compromising my palette, and ruining this new taste sensation. Never has a trip to the golden arches felt so scientific. I ordered "A Double Cheese Burger and a Junior Chicken, please", and in my daydream the employees would excitedly ask "Are you making a McGangBang!?!" In reality though, the lady behind the counter held up 8 fingers and asked if I wanted 8 Double Cheeseburgers.
"Ahh, No thanks, just one."

It was a fairly busy McDonalds location this afternoon, I believe they were conducting interviews at the time, so I immediately got self conscious about not only constructing such a gluttonous sandwich, but then exacerbating the situation by taking photographs. I took the most remote seat I could find. I then sat down, carefully constructed the sandwich (the melty cheese is the biggest obstacle) and quietly snapped a few pictures. I then took a deep breath, and then took the plunge.

The first bite is confusing. Jarring, almost. You have to open you're mouth really wide. One would expect you'd be tasting mostly bun, but the flavors shine through quite well. It's alot to take in at first, But you do taste both the burger patties and the chicken, although the chicken is more subtle. You also taste ketchup and mayo and pickles. It's surprisingly tasty. The often used "It's a party in your mouth, and everyones invited!" description held true.

As I continued, I decided that unlike most of the much hyped fast food freakshow items, this actually wasn't so bad. I may live to experience one or several more McGangBangs. The look of it half eaten isn't a pretty one, but one can't argue taste. Another odd effect was how filling it was. For me, trips to McDonalds usually involve more food items than just 2 value menu burgers, but I was massively full after just one McGB (priced at a meager $2.78).

So there it is. I left the McDonalds victorious. I had heroically conquered the beast. I felt like Superman, if he had swallowed a 5-pin bowling ball.

Viva La McGangBang.


When Laughs come from a place of genuine frustration
OR: Missed Connection Update!

So, remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted that Craig's list Missed Connection, about the obnoxious shrieking hose-beast behind me at Edgar Wright fest (found here)?

Well, I guess more that a few people ended up liking my little rant. I got a couple of replies on craigslist, and several e-mails congratulating me on a well written piece. It got posted to official Bloor Cinema Facebook Page by the theatre's general manager. I even got one asking if it could be included in a play that someone was writing. So, needless to say, the reaction was exciting.

Although one reply still alluded me.
Not that I thought this person particularly read anything, much less the local "Missed Connections", but then a few days ago, I got this:

I am sure that i'm the girl at the Bloor

Just so you know it wasn't my phone ringing it was Rasputin from Boney M

My friend Facebook-ed me the link to your comment. he knew it was me cause he was sitting behind me..

Your message is too funny.

I don't think the marriage thing would work out but I'm not against being friends.

find me on facebook if you are on it

(She then put her name.)

Really?? Really. Huh.
Was alluding to putting her face through a wall too subtle?


A six year old with a cardboard box, selling a "frank appraisal of your looks"
OR: Boycott cocaine the pissing Calvin

Me, Calvin and Hobbes go way back*.
I don't remember exactly how we were first introduced, but I think it was around the 3rd grade. I became addicted to spaceman spiff, the transmogrifyer, stupendous man, the snowmen, and of course G.R.O.S.S.'s president-for-life and first tiger. Now, as someone with all the books, the hardbound collectors set, and a Calvin and Hobbes tattoo, my respect for not only the work, but the spirit and integrity of Bill Watterson has only grown in leaps and bounds over the years.

I mean here's a guy that could now be swimming in a indoor pool of gold and diamonds, for the sheer marketability of his creations. If not for Watterson's strict anti-merchandising stance, there could have been any number of TV series', shitty Sega Genesis games, stuffed replica Hobbes, etc (Garfields with suction-cup hands anyone?). But what nobody counted on was the man's admirable and steadfast integrity.
Perhaps more than anyone else, he's a guy who's hand I'd like to shake, but have such respect for his much-guarded privacy, that I wouldn't try.

In the parlance of current-day Kevin Smith, He's very Gretzky.

C+H ended off at it's peak in 1995, on a fairly wide-open yet auspicious note, leaving many to wonder what the future held for the duo.

One theory that Calvin went onto become the narrator (Or "Jack") in the book-turned-film "Fight Club" was theorized by Mr. Galvin P. Chow and grew in popularity over the internet. While I'm sure it's not not what Watterson nor Palahnuik had in mind exactly, but the correlations are too many to not be an amusing read. You can find that theory in "You do Not talk about Fight Club" or in it's original place of publish HERE.

Others use Calvin's imagination for cheap gags regarding his coming of age years. (here and here)

and lastly there was this picture, Posted in the Digg community, that I think has come closest to the Magic of the original comic...

Unlike Jay-Z, Michael Jordan or the Get-Up Kids, whose retirements didn't take, or were never meant to, Bill Watterson will likely never revisit Calvin and Hobbes. Whether it's Bill Russel level curmudgeonry, or a desire to not see his magnum opus pimped out like Charles Shultz or Jim Davis before him, or just an admirable commitment to artistic integrity, it seems now after just over 13 years, it's safe to say Watterson is happily retired.
But it's a true testament to it's lasting impression that we've now gone longer since Calvin and Hobbes ended than we had with them, and people still want to know whats happening with the imaginative six year old and his stuffed companion.

* Unintentional Pun.


OR: Bordom breeds passive contempt

Recently I attended Bloor Cinema's launch of the Toronto's "Wright Stuff" film series, curated by Mr. Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and a series thats very dear to my heart, the wonderful Spaced.
Launch night was a double bill of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and it was there that I had a missed connection with the woman of my nightmares dreams.

You sat behind me at Saturday's Edgar Wright double bill at the Bloor Cinema. I didn't notice you during Shaun of the Dead, which I was able to enjoy with relative peace. You came into my world during Hot Fuzz, a movie which you clearly enjoy, as you felt it necessary to shout every line at the screen as it was happening, in a hackneyed british accent. Everytime I thought you might have left or passed out, I'd be blissfully reminded with a clever shriek of "HOMOS!!" or "YEAH BOOBS!!" that would penetrate my soul and cause my fists to clench uncontrolably. Your intolerable wails continued for the duration of the film, your shrill, piercing squawks accenting every joke of Mr. Wright's film. My attention couldn't help but be divided between trying to enjoy the film, and trying to conceive of a way to tell you to shut the fuck up without the guy you were with getting all alpha-male on me and defending your honor. By the end of it all I would have rather listened to the death rattle of a newborn baby than another one of your abhorrent screams.

But then the strangest thing happened. I think it was around the time your cell phone wouldn't stop going off during Edgar's Q&A, that I realized I didn't want to put your face through a wall, so much as I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I imagined a lifetime of ruined movies. All my DVDs would now have an extra unwanted commentary track, and take on whole new miserable meanings. We would get married and go on long walks on the beach where you would shout "BULLSHIT!!" at sunrises. We would go to funerals of loved ones, where you could scream "Hurry up, Faggots!" at the pallbearers.

It would be a life where silence was an abstract concept as oppose to an attainable reality. You could be the nails on my chalkboard.

But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself.


You can find the original Missed Connection Here