I had a big day on Saturday with big plans to get home early and rest up for the push through the meaty part of TIFF. That sounds unpleasant. One thing I forgot to mention on the Day 2 blog was that after The Last Gladiators, I spotted Chris Nilan in the lobby. Being a big Habs fan and remembering him being pretty awesome, I went up and spoke to him, shook his hand and survived not getting punched square in the face. He’s much shorter than I thought he would be.
I started off Saturday meeting my brother for brunch at a place called Allen’s over on the Danforth. A couple of eggs with smoked salmon and some sweet potatoes. Pretty damn good. The coffee, however, was amazeballs. Organic coffee is delicious. Ranking the places I’ve had coffee up here…it goes Allen’s at number 1, then Starbucks, and then Tim Horton’s. Now I’m not saying any of these other places had bad coffee or that I think their coffee sucks, it’s just that from an enjoyment perspective, this is how I ranked them. During our meal, I told my brother about the diet I was on and my attention became focused on a plate of food a couple of tables down. I pointed out the large slices of bacon on a girl’s hamburger. He pointed out that I noticed the large slices of bacon and didn’t even notice her other large…um…things. What can I say? I like bacon.
Keeping on the subject of food and beverages, my stomach was a little upset and after some Sherlocky-ing deduction I realized it was the sweet potatoes. This goes on the list of cheddar cheese and oranges as things that upset my stomach. Is it possible to be allergic to foods based on colour? I can eat white cheddar and grapefruits, but not orange cheddar and oranges. Chalk this one up for discussion on the next Food Junk podcast. Since I do the Film Junk podcast and a couple of the guys do a Game Junk podcast, why not Food Junk? Or a sports podcast. Ball Junk. Let your voices be heard at www.filmjunk.com! We could even capitalize on the popularity of Storage Wars and have one called Junk Junk. On to the movies!
The first film I saw was the new documentary from director Cameron Crowe. It was called Pearl Jam Twenty and was basically a career retrospective doc on their twentieth year in the music biz. The footage they found and used and edited in was incredible. It must have taken months to go through it all and put it together. The sound was amazing on the concert footage and it was cool to see how the band came together in the Seattle music scene along with Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. There were interviews with the band, Chris Cornell, and Neil Young. For fans of the band or early nineties alternative rock this is a must-see. At times I had goosebumps. The discussion of the deaths of their friend Andrew Wood from Mother Love Bone and of Kurt Cobain was heartfelt and the formation of Temple of the Dog brought back so many memories from my teens. The first CD’s I ever bought were Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam Ten. Obviously, Cameron Crowe was there and the ovation for the band when they came out was incredible. Chris Cornell was even in the audience. I loved this movie. I know I’m not the best person to critique documentaries, but I know what I like and I liked this.
I had a big gap between PJ 20 and my next film so I decided to catch something at the theatre. One of the films that I missed out on last year at TIFF was Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. It’s now in theatres, so I decided to check it out. Here’s the deal, back in the mid nineties some archaeologists in France discovered a massive cave that had been preserved for over 30,000 years. Inside were drawings from pre-historic man. Drawings of bison, horses, lions, bears, rhinos and even one of a pre-historic female. The discovery of something of this magnitude is pretty amazing. Using the 3D cameras was an awesome idea as you got a real sense of the caves. 30,000 year old drawings. How fucking cool is that? Plus, you get Herzog’s excellent voice-overs.
My last film on Saturday was the new documentary (I know…it’s a lot of docs this year, eh? I need some fiction) from Morgan Spurlock. He directed Super-Size Me. It was all about the massive San Diego Comic-Con. It was called Comic Con: Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. It was produced by Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles from Ain’t It Cool News, so you know it was going to be a geek fest. First, Stan Lee was there and I got to shake his hand. Stan Fucking Lee! He helped create Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and so many other Marvel Comics heroes. I’m not ashamed to say that I learned how to read from comic books, so briefly meeting Stan Lee was pretty damn cool. The movie followed around a few different people who were at Comic-Con for different reasons. A collector, an artist, a costume designer, a retailer, and a couple of uber-fans. As Spurlock introduced the film, the costumed nerds started coming in. One by one they marched to the front of the theatre. Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Biker Scouts, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Superman, Supergirl, Batgirl, the X-Men, Voltron, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Spider-Man, Captain America and a guy from Mortal Kombat. How they watched this movie in full costumes is beyond me. Anyway, the movie is exactly like you’d expect: Clips of nerds who you’re laughing at, not because they are funny or just because they are geeks, but because what they do is unintentional comedy. There are tons of interviews with Hollywood nerds like Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith, and Corey Feldman as well as comic books nerds like Todd McFarlane, Grant Morrison and Joe Quesada. The movie was okay, but I can’t imagine it took much effort to film it as there wasn’t much substantial to it. It was pretty funny, but not technically brilliant, but I don’t think it needed to be. If you’ve ever been to Comic Con or Fan Expo or any type of nerd convention think about how it smelled in there. Well, that’s what this theatre smelled like. Good times.
Finally, I get some fiction tomorrow. Rock on with your bad self.