Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litter

The movie offers a fun-house-mirror examination of our souls and why we've allowed this kind of cultural plundering to go on for years

Cats turns literary genius into lumpy kitty litterCats the movie is worse than bad. It is offal. Its director, Tom Hooper, utterly guts the gentle soul of T.S. Eliot’s classic Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, from which the film is drawn. What’s been dropped at the paying public’s shoes is a cinematic blood sample so horrifying it could make Old Possum’s…

Cheers to Ricky Gervais

Cheers to Ricky GervaisMy wife has always watched two awards shows every year: the Golden Globes and Oscars. Which means, in effect, I watch two awards shows every year. (If you listen closely, you’ll hear the sound of many married men nodding their heads in agreement.) However, there are infrequent moments that make these experiences enjoyable. In particular,…

Watch on-demand movies and TV shows for free

Plex is making thousands of ad-supported movies and TV shows available free for streaming

Watch on-demand movies and TV shows for freePlex is a streaming media service known for making it easy to stream your personal media – movies, music, photos from your computer or attached hard drive to all your devices. The company has recently announced they’ll be making thousands of movies and TV shows available free for streaming. And while the service is ad-supported,…

Truth always leads to healing

Though the story of Frozen 2 is a fairy tale, it contains many deep truths

Truth always leads to healingI have to admit I’m not a big fan of fiction and less a fan of blockbuster films. I prefer to know what actually happened and is happening in the world. Still, great fiction is great because it reveals deeper truths about humanity. My intention in seeing Frozen 2 during the opening weekend of its…

Rising from the ashes to achieve greatness

It hurts to be rejected or see a dream come to an end, but it shouldn't impact our ability to live with integrity and find success

Rising from the ashes to achieve greatnessWe all face disappointments and challenges. We don’t get picked for a team, we don’t get a promotion, we’re turned down by a potential lover or we see a dream come to an end. What’s important in life isn’t what happens to us, however. It’s how we respond. Great people aren’t without problems. They’re people…

When TV westerns ruled the roost

The longevity and sustained popularity of Gunsmoke and Bonanza put them in a class apart

When TV westerns ruled the roostWhen Bonanza made its debut on Saturday, Sept. 12, 1959, it was joining a TV schedule littered with series westerns. During that 1959-60 season, over 30 westerns regularly stalked North American home screens. And most of them were on network evening TV, thus occupying plum spots during peak viewing hours. ABC’s 1959-60 Sunday night roster…

YouTube knocking down Canada’s protective cultural wall

Canada’s creative lobby may have turned its back on the world but that doesn’t mean Canadians are joining them in their quest to hide

YouTube knocking down Canada’s protective cultural wallCanada’s creative lobby may have turned its back on the world but that doesn’t mean Canadians are joining them in their quest to hide behind a big wall of regulations aimed at protecting them from foreigners. A recent study by Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design, entitled  Watchtime Canada: How YouTube Connects Creators and…

Superhero movies teaching us the wrong lessons

No matter their appeal, superheroes fall far short of teaching us principles which will make our world better

Superhero movies teaching us the wrong lessonsRolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards once said, “I don’t think rock n’ roll should be analyzed or even thought about deeply.” As much as I admire Mr. Richards as a musician, I can’t say that I agree with him. In fact, as I developed my own thoughts I found myself listening to his band less…

Calgarians are far from conservative in the art they embrace

Steve Schroeder talks about how the Calgary International Film Festival contributes to the city’s cultural vibrancy

Calgarians are far from conservative in the art they embraceSteve Schroeder is executive director of the Calgary International Film Festival, which takes place Sept. 18 to 29 this year. How has the arts/culture scene in Calgary evolved? Schroeder: I’ve been working professionally in the Calgary arts scene for almost 24 years, so my perspective on this question takes the long view. There’s no doubt…

Wild Bunch showed True Grit in demythologizing the Old West

Fifty years ago, True Grit and The Wild Bunch opened in theatres. They were both westerns, but they were dramatically different in tone and intent

Wild Bunch showed True Grit in demythologizing the Old WestThe big stories from the summer of 1969 were Neil Armstrong’s moon walk and the counterculture music extravaganza at Woodstock, N.Y. But there were also two classic westerns. One was True Grit and the other was The Wild Bunch. In fact, they debuted within a week of each other. True Grit opened on June 11…
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