Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for January, 2006

Civic Duty Day

Get out there and do it.

In other news, I got glasses on friday and I’ve been getting used to them all weekend. They’re basically the same as Rivers Cuomo wears (the lead singer of Weezer) and since they’re for reading, they have some slight magnification that makes my eyes look just a tiny bit bigger than normal. I’m a walking illusion.

After a weekend of parties, I spent a chunk of time yesterday afternoon playing around with new vacuum cleaner. It’s a Hoover Turbo-something-or-other and it is AWESOME. It’s like a typhoon of carpet cleaning goodness, and apparently it can even clean up fresh blood… which is good to know, I guess.

Also, props to Jared for making a joke about ‘whizz-bangs’ yesterday afternoon.


Review: The Matador

Since the last Bond, my faith in Pierce Brosnan has been a little shaky, and I wasn’t really looking forward to another Remington Steele / James Bond / that-guy-in-the-movie-with-Rene-Russo-where-she-refused-to-wear-shirt kind of character. That is, the ultra-debonaire British Playboy with the bulletproof wit and GQ style. Wow. This movie restored my faith. Julian Noble is a character that would make Charles Bukowski blush… and they would probably go and get drunk together (inviting the dearly departed soul of Hunter Thompson to act as their collective conscience).

Would you look at that? I’m already off on a tangent. This is what ‘The Matador‘ will do for you… or to you. Well, both. The story is hilariously quirky, and the characters are deep in a very natural way. Brosnan plays a really crazy character in a VERY fun way (which is great to watch) and the plot turns just enough times and in unexpected ways. Strangely enough, it’s actually a very touching story about the nature of true friendship, but don’t let that get in the way of you enjoying all the potty humour.

Did I mention the soundtrack? No? Sweet sassy mo-lassey! There. I’ve said it.

9/10. This could jump to a 10 on DVD if the special features are as fun as this movie. I think they had more fun behind-the-scenes than in them, and that would be awesome to watch.

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An Early Morning

I was up at six this morning, so I’m bordering on non-functional right now. That means that today’s blog post will lack my usual unifying narrative, and witty observances. I’d apologize, but you know… I don’t have to. 🙂

Hey, remember when Portishead was coming out with a new album… LAST SPRING!?!? I’m a patient man, but you can only push me so far. I wonder if they’ll keep up the trip-hop (in the hopes that it’ll translate well to today’s musical scene) or try something new.

If I am forced to accept that every decent old TV show has to be made into a movie now that there are no good movies left to make (apparently), can someone at least remake the A-Team? I mean, before Mr.T takes that big drugged airplane ride to the next world?

Speaking of drugs… my Word of the Day: Forgotten English calendar that I have here in the office is starting to worry me. I’m concerned that it might not really be the best thing to have on my desk. For example, today’s word is “Whizz-bang”. Apparently it’s what people used to call a mixture of morephine and cocaine injected subcutaneously. Nice. It’s good to know that my co-workers are more than likely discussing whether I prefer the ‘Whizz-bang’ to the freebase method. Let the record show, that I actually have no preference.

As a useless tidibt of information, King George V was administered a ‘whizz-bang’ on his death bed to give him a ‘peaceful transition’. He died from influenza on January 20, 1936. Let the record show, he was not a fan of freebasing.

Well, now that I’ve stacked this post with all sorts of words that will no doubt bring all manner of seedy web-searcher from Google, I’ll bid you adieu.


Review: “Lord of War”

Nicholas Cage usually irritates me… a lot. You know when you have a stone in your shoe, but it’s not painful enough to go to all the trouble of untying your laces and taking it out? That’s Nick Cage for me. He just gets more and more annoying until I want to tear off my shoe to get him out of it. I think my metaphor kind of fell apart there.

Anyways, his insanely flat delivery and poor ability to develop a character have seen few rivals, and have been a mainstay of almost all of his movies (‘Adaptation‘ excepted). Frankly, I was looking forward to ‘Lord of War’ for only two reasons… Bridget Moynahan, and a whole lot of gunfire.

It turns out that it’s not what you would call an action movie. Nor is it a Nick Cage movie. It’s a beautifully written film that tries just a tad too hard to make a point, but tells an important story all the same. The arms trade and global conflict post-cold war is a remarkably complicated topic, but ‘Lord of War’ does a great job of boiling it down to basics in order to further this story.

Much of the dialogue seems natural (and witty) and there are some remarkable actors in it (Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ian Holm). Aside from the last 30 seconds of monologue, and some of the narrative voiceover work, it’s a phenomenal film.

Still, if you’re going to have a mediocre actor playing out a complicated role with lots of voiceovers, aren’t you legally obligated to have Kevin Costner do it? If you want to upgrade to a superstar actor, you have no choice but to go with Morgan Freeman.

So, if you could somehow scratch your DVD so that it doesn’t play the monologue at the end, this movie would be an easy 9/10, but as it stands… you can’t. 8/10. There’s some pretty brutal violence in there too, so be aware.


In the Ghetto… (in the ghetto)

We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows where a group of guys are gathered in an alley or in the back of a mechanics shop or restaurant kitchen shooting dice with a pile of bills on the floor. Well, last night (thanks to a set of five dice in my poker chip set), I found one my new hobbies. Craps. It’s even fun to say. “Hey Dave. Whatcha up to?” “CRAPS.”

It’s not as simple a game as I’d believed, but once you get into it… well, you REALLY get into it. It’s a pretty phenomenal way to kill time, and all you need is a couple of die and a wall.

Thanks to Hasbro Incorporated (who put PDFs for Monopoly money online), I’ll be printing out a stack of Monopoly $1 to throw down. Personally, I’d just as soon not play for real money, but it’s an intriguing game and we’ll see how long it takes me to get sick of it.

So, that’s one more thing to look forward to on poker night… once you’re out of the big game, you can head to the back room to throw craps… and pound back a 40… but don’t forget to spill a little, if youknowwhai’msayin’…


Two Things… Briefly

Last night I participated in a market research group. I watched a series of commercials for similar products and then filled out some questionaires about how they made me feel. It was a little weird, and I was a little disappointed that there was no discussion about the ads, but in the end, I walked away quite happy. That’s because my 25 minutes was compensated quite nicely… with SEVENTY BONES!!! Woo hoo! I should do that full-time.

Now that I’m freakin’ loaded, I can take advantage of a deal for us downton Torontonians. It seems that the owner of several city-core McDonalds’ is having a fire sale. It’s all explained right here. (Many thanks to Howard for the link)

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Happy Birthday, Ben!

Today would be Ben Franklin’s 300th birthday… alas, since the good ol’ days of Methuselah we’re spared from living that long on this earth. Still, in his 84 years, Mr. Franklin designed, built, and wrote about many good things.

Here is just a sampling of things for which we can thank Ben. Bifocal glasses, the odometer, swim fins, catheters, windsurfing (well, the apparatus), public libraries, and the idea of gift-matching when it comes to charity donations. He discovered the path of the Gulf Stream and was able to chart storm paths across North America. He published the first political cartoon in the US and some of the first American Editorials.

I’ve stolen almost all of this from my fact of the day calendar, which also states that at age 22, he wrote his own epitaph (which he edited throughout his life). It’s great, and if I ever publish as a writer, I’m going to steal large portions of it for myself… because stealing ideas is what writers do best. Here’s the epitaph…

“The body of B.Franklin, Printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stript of its lettering and gilding) lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be lost; for it will (as he believ’d) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition revised and corrected by its Author.”

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