Review Grab Bag (1-12-14): Meanwhile… in Canada Edition

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It’s the first Fat Guy With Glasses post of 2014!  Woo!  New Years and shit!  It’s 2014’s first Review Grab Bag.  As you all know, a Review Grab Bag is a like a paper bag lunch, full of a few paragraphs on some things that I just wasn’t able to write a long winded, “insightful” review about.  It’s also kinda list-esque, if you squint and tilt your head a bit.

Since it’s a contractual obligation for every blogger to have their first post of any given year be either a Happy New Year post, or some kind of list, this is what you get.  Sure, it’s usually supposed to be a Best/Worst list or an “I’m certainly never doing this again” list, I think the Blog Police will let me slide with this… as long as I wish everyone a Happy New Year at some point.

As it turns out, as an overall percentage, I watched a large number of Canadian Indie Films in 2013.  Some, like One Week, or Adventures of Thunderstorm:  Return of Thor, I was able to eek out full reviews for.  Others, my impressions were not so easy to articulate.  Sorry, you’ll just have to settle for a couple paragraphs abuht each, eh?

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One Week (2008)

OneWeekReleased to festivals in 2008, and in limited showings across Canada in 2009, One Week was written and directed by Michael McGowan.  It’s one of those inspiring movies meant to teach you to seize the day and live life on your own terms and whatnot.  This is not normally the type of thing I go for.  But there is one sure-fire way to get me to watch an inspiring soul-searching road movie…

Make it Canadian.

One Week stars Joshua Jackson as Ben Tyler.  It opens with Ben in his doctor’s office.  Ben’s told he’s got Stage IV cancer, and even with treatment… he’s probably done.  On his way home, Ben sees a motorcycle being sold by the guy from Beachcombers.  As he rolls up his Tim Horton’s Coffee Rim, it tells him to “Go west, young man”.  He tells his fiancée (Liane Balaban) he’s doing just that, bails on treatment and heads out looking for an adventure.

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Dog Pound (2010)

Dog PoundDog Pound follows the story of three unrelated juvenile delinquents that all enter the Enola Vale Youth Correctional Center at the same time.  Angel (Mateo Morales) is a particularly young looking boy who gave armed assault and grand theft auto a try.  Davis (Shane “Spinner” Kippel of Degrassi:  The Next Generation) thought possession with intent to sell might be fun.  Butch (Adam Butcher) is already in a correctional facility when we meet him.  Obviously, he longs for more discipline… and earns a trip to Enola Vale by pushing his thumbs into a CO’s eyes, 28 Days Later style.  These three new fish attempt to make the best of their new surroundings, and might even have a chance, if they can stay on their CO’s good side, while simultaneously avoiding the attention of Enola Vale’s resident King-Shit, Banks (Taylor Poulin).

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Meanwhile in Canada… II

Time to fulfill the Can-Con obligations of my Blog.  Here’s some 1980s Canadian TV Show intros.  I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should describe the nature of these different series for those that may not have had an opportunity to witness them in all their glory way back when…  But I’ve decided that I should let the opening credits speak for themselves, eh?

The first one’s free…  but the next few are gonna cost you.

Okay… so it’s not quite entirely 80s. I couldn’t find a good video of Hockey Night In Canada from the 80s. It pretty much sounded the same anyway. I sure do miss hearing that theme on CBC. And I don’t even watch Hockey.