Rowdy Roddy Piper 1954-2015

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Throughout history the world has seen many battles. Coke vs. Pepsi, good vs. evil, up vs. down, and to many Film Junk lovers: wrestling vs. magic. Thanks to one man, wrestling met film and created magic. The ‘Hot Rod’, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper was that man and tragically, at the age of 61, he passed away due to cardiac arrest.

Piper, born Roderick Toombs in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was a true legend in the wrestling business. Known by many as the greatest villain ever, he had the ability to incite such hatred in the crowds during the ’70s and ’80s that many times his life was in danger. During the late ’70s Piper wrestled for the NWA (the National Wrestling Alliance) and had an incredible feud with the Guerrero family. Continuously hurling insults toward the Mexican community, Piper, at one point agreed to make amends by playing the Mexican national anthem on the bagpipes (he was a legit player), but instead played ‘La Cucaracha’ further pouring gasoline on that fire.

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Ball Junk Podcast Episode #1: 2013 NBA Playoff Preview

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After hemming and hawing about it for a year and a half, Frank and I finally put our balls to the wall and recorded The Ball Junk Podcast!

In the first episode we break down the NBA playoffs. Frank runs down Kobe Bryant, and I the bring The Black Mamba back up. We discuss our favourite teams and sports, dig into some hilarity around the world, and reach into the mail sack for Bag Time!

It’s the premiere episode of The Ball Junk Podcast!!

BALLIN’!!!

0:00:00 – Intro
0:00:29 – Introductions: Favourite Teams, Sports and Athletes
0:24:14 – Feature: NBA Playoff Preview
1:05:43 – Balls Around The World: Argentinian Payback, Croatian Shenanigans, Jockey Family Feud
1:13:52 – Bag Time
1:40:05 – Outro

Ball Junk Podcast Episode #1: 2013 NBA Playoff Preview by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

» Download the MP3 (46 MB)
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Special thanks to www.kcfonts.com for use of the font.

So Long and Thanks for All the Pineapple Soda

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Everyone has things that they are passionate about. It could be anything from family to work to hobbies. When I sit back and think about my passions a few things come to mind: work, sports, television, my dogs, my health and of course; movies. I think it’s safe to say that everyone who contributes to Film Junk, who visits the website, who listens to the podcast has a passion for movies. Jay has worked very hard for his passion for movies and has made it into the business. Not only that, he’s pretty damn talented. Frank loves everything there is to love about movies. From his excellent and well-organized blu-ray collection to his mounted movie posters. Sean, even with fatherhood upon him, still finds time to not only do his 9-5 job, but to run this excellent website. I have always had a passion for movies as well and it has taken me to TIFF for 16 consecutive years. As always though, when you get older and busier, things can get in the way of your passions. Time becomes an enemy and as I like to say poetically, shit happens. Including my commute to work, my job demands 10+ hours a day. I’ve had to make lifestyle choices over the last year to improve my health which require me to be and ready to go at 5am. Add in my desire to care for and see my dogs whenever I get to have custody, it leaves me little time to indulge in my passions.

Over the last year, I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone to know that my performance on the podcast was not what it used to be. I speak up less in reviews, I hardly ever watch anything else and my participation in the other segments has been, shall we say, sparse. It’s not fair to Sean, Jay and Frank. It’s not fair to you, the unbelievably loyal listeners and it isn’t fair to myself. Being up so early, I have often found it difficult to remain at full attention during the podcast and if you were in the shoes of one of the other guys on the podcast and you looked across the table after spending a few minutes talking about how much you loved a movie only to see your friend barely keeping his eyes open you’d be pretty annoyed. You might even feel disrepected. It is because of my less than stellar performance and lacklustre participation over the last year that Sean, Jay and Frank had to make the difficult decision in asking me to step down from the podcast.

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Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 5

After pounding out a final 4 films on Thursday I wrapped up my 17th year at TIFF.  I was a young lad of 20 my first time here.  I think 1995 was the first year it was called TIFF.  It used to be something ridiculous and pretentious like ‘The Festival of Festivals!’. Many of the films were at the old Uptown Theatre.  I loved, loved, loved that balcony.  Four Rooms had it’s premiere in 1995 and still remains the one film I didn’t get into when I used to rely on the rush lines.  I did see Leaving Las Vegas and To Die For that year though as well as my introduction to Midnight Madness with Tokyo Fist.  It was also the year that ‘The Gasman’ was born. Big year!  Moving on…

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Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 4

Over the years, I’ve talked about TIFF goers desire for yelling before the movie begins.  It started as simple hooting and hollering and then it morphed into that pirate ‘argh’ thing with the anti-piracy ad and now it’s just ridiculous. Not only do you still get the pirate thing, but now some people yell ‘shiver me timbers’. Give me a break.  Now there’s a Dolby ad with a whispering voice that some people feel the need to yell ‘creepy’ to.  But the worst thing yelled out occured at the Rob Zombie film. As the movie started someone yelled ‘Hail Satan!, then someone retorted with ‘Hail Hitler!’.  I shit you not.  How messed up is that?  Naturally, it was met with anger and serious threats of violence.  So, don’t make make Hitler comments, people.  It’s frowned upon.

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Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 3

Monday was a big day at TIFF.  The regular Toronto folk are back working their 9-5 jobs and the whole city seemed to get busier and you know what that means.  Yep, I started to get grumpy.  More on that later.

My first film today didn’t start until 3pm so I had a chance to catch up on some sleep, watch some sports highlights online and basically get caught up in the world.  Things begin down at the very fancy Princess of Wales Theatre for the Impossible.  Now before I tell you about the film, I had a pleasurable experience while waiting in line.  No, they weren’t handing out free pizza like they did at the Bell Lightbox. (Did I not mention that the other day? Yeah, Pizza Nova was handing out hot fresh slices on the way out of my film there.  Not just a cheese slice either.  Chicken, spinach and pesto.  Friggin’ delicious.)  So, I’m standing in line for my film at P.O.W. Theatre, (that’s an inappropriate acronym for a movie theatre) and this couple behind starts getting into a domestic argument.  I’m thinking to myself, Yes!, and I was wishing I had some popcorn or chips to snack on while I eavesdropped.  The girl is complaining about being thirsty and here is the play by play:  By the way, I was texting myself what was being said just so I could share it with you.

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Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 2

So, Day 1 is in the books and overall I’d say it was pretty successful.  I didn’t really get angry and the movies I saw weren’t cinematic diarrhea so I’d call that 1 for 1.

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Greg’s 2012 TIFF Report: Day 1

September.  There’s a few things that you can count on: An upcoming NHL season, leaves of red, yellow and orange, and Peyton Manning suiting up for the Colts.  Wait..what?  I’ve just been told that there’s a strong possibility that the NHL season won’t start on time, leaves are either still green or dead because the seasons are all screwed up and Manning plays for the Broncos now.  What the hell happened?  At the end of the day though, there is one thing that you can hold on to.  TIFF.  It’s back.  I’m there.  Let’s do this.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: The Final Chapter

What a fast week. I’m not even exhausted. That’s weird. I did lose about 15lbs just by eating better, so that’s a plus. Wait a minute… eating healthy for a week makes you good, but eating pizza and donuts for a week makes you feel tired. I think I may have stumbled across something here…

One final film at TIFF: Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerald Butler. It’s the true story of Sam Childers, a biker who found religion and turned his life around by becoming a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese child soldiers. Movie starts out with Sam getting released from prison and getting back into his old routine: drinking, shooting heroin, robbery and even the murder of a ‘dirty Indian’ as described in the film. Sadly, I laughed at that because my buddy Steve is part native and we all call him ‘Chief’. He’s cool with it so you should be too. Follow him on Twitter while you’re at it – @saysSteve. He likes sports.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 8

TIFF is really starting to wind down quickly. Second last day. By the way, I should note that I’m currently writing this report on an iPad. These things are amazing. Thanks Apple! I also have to mention that the iPad belongs to Shaun and Nicole Snow. They let me stay at their place Thursday night after the excellent Pearl Jam concert in Hamilton. Their cat Charlie puked on the carpet before we came home. I wonder if he knew I was coming and wanted to give me a welcome gift. Nice cat. Missing half an ear. He grew up tough apparently. When I asked to use the iPad, Shaun got all weird. Apparently, he uses it to play the sounds of the ocean to help him sleep. I bet he didn’t think I’d blog about it.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 7

Remember how I said that Killer Joe was the worst thing I’d seen at TIFF? I stand corrected. Just one film today and it was a doozy. The Moth Diaries, directed by Mary Harron. Harron is Canadian and directed the quite excellent American Psycho, so I decided to give this one a shot. Teenaged Rebecca is back at her all-female boarding school for her final year with her best friend Lucy. At least two years prior (the film isn’t clear) her father committed suicide. There’s a new girl at the school named Ernessa and slowly but surely she comes between Rebecca and Lucy. There’s a lot of weird things about Ernessa and although Rebecca doesn’t say it, she thinks Ernessa could be a vampire. Oh for fuck’s sake.

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Greg’s 2011 TIFF Report: Day 6

Three films Tuesday so let’s get right into it.

Killer Joe, directed by William Friedkin. This is the same guy that directed The French Connection and The Exorcist. He may have had a few clunkers in recent history, but I had some hopes for this. Emile Hirsch plays a kid in Texas who owes a lot of money to the wrong people. With the help of his father and step-mother, he hires a crooked cop played by Matthew McConaughey to kill his mother for the insurance money. Since he planned on paying the cop after he gets the insurance money, McConaughey asks for Hirsch’s teenage sister as a retainer. I didn’t hate this movie, but it’s probably the worst film I’ve seen so far this year. 90 seconds into the movie is a centre screen shot of Gina Gershon’s hairy muff. Some people might like that. Some people might find that revolting. I’m sure many of you are upset that you had to read that. I had to see it. Now, don’t get me wrong, Gina Gershon is an attractive woman, but in a dirty trailer park setting it just didn’t do it for me. Call me crazy.

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