Posted by: viewfromacouch | June 27, 2011

GREEN LANTERN: What the hell?

To say Green Lantern is a bad film (as many people have) is not entirely fair. It is enjoyable, though not always in the way it was intended. It has redeeming elements, from cool super-powers to some inspired overacting. But for a movie that tries to play it safe and colour inside the lines, it still manages to be an absolute mess.

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a cocky fighter pilot, chosen to be the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps — an interstellar police force tasked with keeping the peace throughout the universe. The Lanterns wear green power-rings that allow them to will anything into existence, built out of glowing green light and powered by — you guessed it — a green lantern. Their enemy? Fear itself, powered by the colour yellow. …yeah. Anyway: There are thousands of Lanterns in the universe, but the movie only really uses a couple. The rest are as disposable as red-shirts in Star Trek. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | June 22, 2011

ADVENTURES IN STAND-UP: Live in New York on a Saturday night.

When we last saw our moustachioed hero, he was locked in a chance encounter on public transit en route to some miscreant’s birthday party. Tentative plans were made, a flight was booked, and cynical doubts crept into optimistic hopes. And now, some months later, on the other side of the continent…

NOVEMBER 13TH, 2010 — NEW YORK CITY.

A tiny part of me wishes we’d never made these plans. If not for these plans, I might be sitting in the audience of Pee-Wee Herman: Live on Broadway right now, and how many chances does a man to get to see that? Few, if any. A tiny part of me is foolish.

Coming up to the corner of 7th and 41st, I see him. Standing at the top of the stairs next to a subway entrance in a black peacoat, he scans the streets for a familiar face as I cut a swath through the crowd toward him. For all my early skepticism, let it never be said that David MacLean is not a man of his word.

“Dave!” He smiles and shakes my hand. I’ve spent the last hour leaning against the outside wall of a hotel near Times Square, leeching their wi-fi as I flip back and forth between Twitter and TheScore Mobile. It would seem Vancouver vs. Toronto isn’t nearly as big of a deal to the people of New York State as it is north of the border, as trying to find the hockey game in NYC is like trying to find a needle in a place where it’s really really hard to find needles. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | June 12, 2011

THE HANGOVER PART II: This movie sucks.

If the main problem with The Hangover Part II were simply that it retreads the original, I might be willing to forgive it. It has after all been two years since I saw The Hangover, a film I very much enjoyed, and it’s about time I got around to seeing it “again”. But alas, while that is one of the film’s major problems, it is hardly its worst. There are simply no likeable characters in this entire film. Not one.

Now this isn’t to say that films need likeable people in them to be watchable, because that’s simply not true. In the case of a dark drama like, say, There Will Be Blood, or a hellish western like The Proposition, it makes sense to have characters so deeply flawed that the audience has no one to root for. It works for character studies. But The Hangover Part II is supposed to be a comedy, and without a single person for the audience to latch onto, this is a mostly painful and laughless endeavor.

Because this is not entirely the same film as the original. There is one fundamental change, apart from moving the action from Las Vegas to Bangkok. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | June 9, 2011

X-MEN FIRST CLASS: A very groovy mutation.

It’s only appropriate that Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men film be the first movie I review in this year’s edition of the Summer Movie Spectacular. After all, his suitably stylish entry into last summer’s cinematic festivities, Kick-Ass, was the first movie I ever reviewed for this blog. And while Kick-Ass still managed to be a decently fun movie, it was also an ultimately disappointing one, a minor letdown from a director who’d previously wowed me with his ability to bring deft style to an array genres, from slick mobster stories (Layer Cake) to fairytale fables (Stardust). He seemed like a perfect fit for the colourfully violent world of comic books, and indeed First Class is not his first brush with X-Men lore. FOX had initially chosen him to replace Bryan Singer for X3: The Last Stand — a project he chose to walk away from when he felt the studio was rushing production without a workable script. That ultimately proved to be a wise career move, as Brett Ratner’s X3 turned out to be an awful mess with an atrocious script. So while Vaughn was unable to bring the original X-Men film trilogy to a suitable close, he has done something even more difficult with X-Men: First Class — revitalized a sagging franchise by shifting it back to its beginnings.

There is an inherent problem with prequels, in that it’s nearly impossible to make the stories compelling. No matter what happens, the audience already knows how the story will end. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | May 23, 2011

ADVENTURES IN STAND-UP: A Long-Winded Introduction.

So, apparently the Canucks are engaged in some pretty meaningful hockey games right now? I haven’t really been paying attention [Editor's Note: This is a lie.]. Too many more-important things in my life of late.

That last sentence was true when I first wrote it, close to a month ago. I’ve been meaning to write this entry for a while, in part because it was a minor milestone in my life — a night that will stay in my mind forever — and I want to write down the details while I still remember them. Mainly, I think this will be legitimately interesting. I hope so, anyway. But other things have come up. I became terribly ill, getting the flu and strep throat at the same time (a real treat, that was). Then my computer decided that being sick seemed kinda fun and got a virus of its own. A month later, here I am, trying to recount the first time I did stand-up comedy for a paying audience, profiting off my own written words. But as per usual, I’m getting bogged down in preamble.

I ran into an old acquaintance from high school at a house party recently. “I read your blog,” she said, throwing me off guard immediately. “You’re funny.” I smiled awkwardly and thanked her for saying so, but internally I struggled to see how the two comments were in any way related. #Humblebrag aside, I wanted this collection of ramblings and reviews to be at least partially comical when I set out to start it, and maybe I’ve been somewhat successful. But all of the most notable entries that spring to mind when I think of what I’ve written here are all… Well, depressing is the wrong word. Emotionally raw? I try to be honest. It usually leaves me feeling more forlorn than funny, unless you’re the asshole who laughs at that kind of thing.

And so here I am, attempting to write about comedy. I hope this will be funny, but I suspect it won’t be. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | February 28, 2011

BIG MOMMAS: Locked out of the House.

Last night’s Oscar telecast was not only predictable, but terrible too. Of course, that goes without saying. Millions upon millions of people watched it, and many have already slammed its suspect quality far better than I could ever begin to. Instead, I’ve chosen to tear into something nobody’s seen — not even me!

I speak of course of Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, the much-demanded and eagerly anticipated threequel in the series in which Martin Lawrence dresses up like a fat black lady who is a really a skinny black man in a fat-suit in order to…well, no one is quite sure. But that’s not important. Neither is the fact that I haven’t seen this movie, or either of its predecessors.

What is important is that I wanted to see this movie. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | February 15, 2011

THE ARCADE FIRE: Who dat?

THE ARCADE FIRE
CALEXICO
September 28th, 2010
Pacific Coliseum

Inspired by their unexpected and awesome victory at Sunday’s Grammy Awards (and the hilarious backlash it created), I’ve finally gotten around to sharing the photos I took from the floor of The Arcade Fire’s September 28th show at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum. It seems inconceivably to me that this concert was nearly half a year ago already. Everything about it is so clear in my mind, it could have been last night. But here we are in February, sifting through old photos. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | February 11, 2011

I MADE THIS: Law Court Reports.

As you may or may not know by the way I spammed Facebook and Twitter feeds last night, I was once again behind the Sports Desk on Evolution 107.9 last night. I have audio of my sportscasts that I hope to able to put up at some point this weekend, but at this point it’s only coming in one ear — I’m going to have to find a way to mirror it in two channels or just switch it to mono. Either way, I hope to get that cleared up tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s some audio from a pair of stories I filed for Radio Lab this afternoon. One of them (the ridiculously scandalous and, with Valentine’s Day on the way, timely online romance one) even made it onto the Evolution airwaves several times this evening. It ain’t easy reporting from the courts, as nearly every suit is either someone suing ICBC, or a bank looking to collect on a loan. Mixed amongst the writs about that uninteresting drivel, I managed to come away with this:

Law Courts Report – Internet Romance Gone Awry by viewfromacouch

The most shocking part of this story? That people actually use Classmates. Read More…

Posted by: viewfromacouch | February 7, 2011

I MADE THIS: Sportsnet Highlight Read.

Saturday, February 5th was Sportsnet Day at BCIT, and I was lucky enough to get to call highlights in front of S-PAC’s Don Taylor and Craig MacEwen. I should let it be known right off the bat that this was my first highlight read ever, and that I made substantial changes to the script going in. The game in question is last Wednesday’s tilt against the Nashville Predators — which, oddly enough, is a game that I attended. Here, take a look:

Taylor called my read “outstanding” and at the end of the day said I gave the best performance of anyone who went. This means so much to me, as if I hadn’t grown up watching Donny on Sports Page, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today, doing what I’m doing. There are one or two awkward moments in my cast (“…there it is.”), but that’s mostly the fault of an under-written script. I had to say something and it’s better that than seven seconds of silence.

The hardest part of the read (and the most impressive feat in my cast, IMO) was setting up the sound-up for Shorty’s call on the Lee Sweatt goal. Craig said that if this were for real (ie. if we were Don), we would have an ear-piece in with a producer counting down from five to when that clip would begin. We had no such luxury, and had to play it by ear. The fact that I re-wrote the entire intro to that clip and nailed the timing perfectly is…awesome, if I don’t say so myself.

There was more content that came out of Sportsnet Day that I will be hard at work on over the next few days. I have to get clearance to run these stories from some higher-ups in the local sports scene though, so hopefully everything comes through and I can break my first exclusive. As always, I’ll keep you posted. For the record: I have never felt more legit in my life.

Posted by: viewfromacouch | February 2, 2011

I MADE THIS: Best News Team.

So, the past two days at school have been exceptionally boring. Not one to waste the days (oh who am I kidding), I decided to make work to pass the time. More than that, I decided to have fun.

Here now is a hit record in the making — an anthem for student newsies everywhere, and even you established journalists to take you back to your roots.

Justin Morissette – Best News Team by viewfromacouch

A music video is forthcoming. And now: the lyrics! Read More…

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