End Credits - August 17, 2017


For the next couple of weeks on End Credits, we're going to play catch-up on some indie hits from the summer, and we're starting with the vexingly unconventional haunted house drama A Ghost Story, which will surely generate some strong opinions from the panel. In the news, we'll talk about how the House of Mouse is considering its next phase of global domination, whether Judd Apatow has the answer to solve movie comedy, and whether Titanic remains unsinkable after almost two decades. 

This Thursday, August 17, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Jenna Gare, and guest host Ian Rodgers will discuss:

1) Streaming Solo. The Walt Disney Company surprised everyone - movie fans and Wall Street analysts alike - when they announced that come 2019 they will be breaking ranks with Netflix and starting their own streaming video site with classic hits and original material. It's kind of a big deal, not just because a major media company is abandoning the internet's biggest distribution platform, but because, if successful, who's to say that every media company isn't going to start their own streaming site? Is Disney making a good business decision, and are we going to have to end up bundling streaming services like cable packages?

2) Unfunny Times. There have been some big hits this summer, but you may have noticed that none of them fall into the comedy genre. There have been some big swings - BaywatchRough NightSnatched - but the closest thing to a smash success is the indie hit The Big Sick, which was produced by Judd Apatow who, coincidentally, thinks he knows what's wrong with the state of modern comedy. Hint: It's the studios' fault. Still, might Apatow have a point? Do the current executives at the major Hollywood production houses have the patience to make a big crowd-pleasing comedy anymore?

3) Raise the Titanic. As part of their "1997 Week" series,  the AV Club posed the thesis: "There may never be a hit like Titanic ever again." They could be right. Aside from James Cameron's own follow-up, Avatar, most of the biggest hits of the last 20 years have been sequels or continuations of franchises like Star Wars: The Force AwakensJurassic World and The Dark Knight. Those are big movies, like Titanic was big, but Titanic was a terribly earnest romantic drama featuring two young up-and-comers and a host of character actors reliving a historical disaster with no aliens, dinosaurs or superheroes in sight. Was Titanic truly the last of its kind?

REVIEW: A Ghost Story (2017). David Lowrey seeks to put you in the so-called shoes of a ghost in the (literally) haunting melodrama, A Ghost Story. Casey Affleck plays a man who dies tragically in a car crash and returns to the land of the living as a sheet-cover spectre to haunt the home he shared with his partner, Rooney Mara. As time passes by in fits and starts, Affleck's ghost must discover the meaning or life or something as he "lives" through an endless cycle in the same spot for all time. This will obviously be a spoiler-filled discussion, so be aware of that before you listen.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #92 - Robert Routledge, U of G Student Life


Brace yourselves, Back to School is coming. In about three weeks, the summertime quiet of Guelph will give way to the hustle and bustle from a suddenly swelled student population as 20,000 undergrads come to the city to continue their education or initiate it, and Student Life will be there to help welcome them.

This week on the show, the pod welcomes Robert Routledge, Manager of the Student Transition Office at the University of Guelph Student Life, to the show. While the whole of the university is preparing for the imminent arrival of its undergrad population, a lot of the ongoing support for those students falls to Student Life. They offer a wide variety of services to help cover all aspects of student life: from academics to extracurriculars to renters rights.

There is an extra 'X' factor though going into the new school year, at least at the University of Guelph. You'll recall that there were several instances of students taking their own lives last year at the U of G, and you better believe that the people at Student Life have that fact on their mind for this fall. This is a not an insignificant portion of my conversation with Routledge, but we also look behind the scenes at what Student Life is doing right now, and how they address the variety of issues currently facing students at the university.

So on this week's Guelph Politicast, we talk about the world of possibilities and challenges at the University of Guelph, and how the Student Life office helps address both. See you in September!

***A quick disclosure: Robert Routledge is a Patron of Guelph Politico, and has donated to the website. I emailed Student Life asking for a representative to discuss this topic with, and it was Routledge who was available. So, now you know.

To learn more about Student Life and their services, you can visit their website here. A reminder that Move-In day is on Saturday this year, Saturday September 2, and as consequence, Gordon Street between College and Stone will likely be closed for most of the day. Stay tuned for those details.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.


Open Sources Guelph - August 10, 2017


This may be a shortened work week, but the length of Open Sources Guelph stays exactly the same. This week, we'll welcome back out local provincial representative to the show and talk to her about all the things going on at Queens Park, and the countdown to next year's election. In news, we'll look at another election, the one to find a new NDP leader, and we'll talk about a new develop in Syria and ask, are there any good guys left there? 

This Thursday, August 10, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Orange Gush. It's getting close to crunch time for the four remaining candidates in the NDP leadership race, as the window to buy a membership and vote in this October's leadership convention closes in just a couple of weeks. So how are things shaping up? Since last time we talked about this, the race has lost Peter Julian; his support had to go somewhere and, well, late-comer to the race Jagmeet Singh seems to have pulled into the lead. Money talks, and Singh's got it right now, but Nikki Ashton, Charlie Angus and Guy Caron are not out yet, so why is this race still not making more noise? Is the NDP too nice?

2) Can't Be Worse. "Everyone in Syria is bad now." That insight comes from Carla Del Ponte, one of the three-member commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria. She just quit after five years because it "does absolutely nothing." And Del Ponte was not some dyed in the wool optimist either. She's investigated war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia too, but apparently things are so bad in Syria after six years of civil war, one of the people in that specialize in war crimes is now admitting that the country is a lost cause. If that's true, what do we do? And if it's not, who's left that can be trusted?

3) Liz Laments. It's been a while since we've had our local MPP in studio with us, and this may be the last time before Ontarians go to the polls on June 7, but we'll welcome back Liz Sandals to the show this week as we talk about a variety of topics concerning the latest provincial matters. Since we were last joined by Sandals, she's traded positions in the cabinet, helped announce a lot of good money in infrastructure and other investment coming to Guelph, and got into a wee bit of trouble talking about what kind of people do (and don't) take the GO Train. We'll talk about all that with Sandals, and try to suss out her plans for 2018, and maybe try one more time to get her on Twitter...

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - August 10, 2017


This week on End Credits, we go dark. It's a very bad world out there sometimes, and we don't just mean pseudo-post-apocalyptic universes where magic cowboys chase the sorcerer Satan across the multiverse. Yes, we are reviewing The Dark Tower this week, but we'll also be talking about the latest digital robbery in Hollywood, how that little film festival down the 401 is shaping up this year, and why a trailer for a certain movie coming out this year might make us wish we were dead...

This Thursday, August 10, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Tim Phillips and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Hack Mentality. Following closely after several compromising computer attacks in Hollywood, the latest victim is HBO, the premium cable channel that's home to currently the biggest hit in television, Game of Thrones. The hackers claim to have gotten their hands on a lot of sensitive material, including details on upcoming episodes of Thrones, but so far all they've done is released episodes of low-rated fair Ballers and Room 104. But seriously, what's the point of this attack, was it for the "lulz" or is something more sinister afoot?

2) TIFF Top Shape? The line-up for this year's Toronto International Film Festival has been released, and this year's festival will open not with a remake of a remake, but with the bio-pic about a bitter sports rivalry, Borg/McEnroe. It's part of a move to streamline the festival this year in a very competitive atmosphere that sees other fests in Telluride, Venice and New York nipping at Toronto's heels to be the one that sets up the yearly Oscar race. So is TIFF too focused on status to not bother to do what it's supposed to do, which is highlight great movies, (especially the Canadian ones)?

3 ) Death Glitch. Last week, the new trailer for Death Wish was released, a remake of the 1974 film that starred Charles Bronson and will now feature Bruce Willis as a Chicago doctor avenging his family from a group of ethnic criminal stereotypes. If you watch the trailer, and think it has a tin ear, you're probably right. Not only is the world of 2017 a far cry from the 1970s sociologically-speaking, let alone the fact that violet crime is continually going down, but as directed by Eli Roth, this movie is bound to be exploitative according to all his worst instincts. But is Death Wish going to be the alt-right fantasy people are worried about?

REVIEW: The Dark Tower (2017). Stephen King's epic book series finally makes its way to the big screen in this adaptation of the western/horror/fantasy/adventure. Jake, an 11-year-old New Yorker, is plagued by visions of a Man in Black, a Dark Tower, and the Gunslinger, a knight of yore pledged to defend the Tower and kill the Man in Black. To Jake's surprise, he isn't crazy and his visions are real, as he finds a porthole to another world that leads him to the Gunslinger and a mission to save all realities from the MiB, including his own. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey co-star in this long-awaited franchise wannabe.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #91 - The Open Sources Guelph 2017 Interviews


This week on the Guelph Politicast, we're doing a bottle episode for another show entirely. If you don't listen to Open Sources Guelph (and why wouldn't you, you can find it on the same podcast channel as the Guelph Politicast), this is your chance to get a taste of what we offer every Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU. 

So why highlight the good work of Open Sources? Well, I think we do an important service on that show. In Guelph, there aren't many places where you can get local politicians, or visiting politicians, to sit down for half-an-hour and talk about all the latest happenings in their respective levels of government. Yes, you can read an article where you can get a politician's thoughts on a specific issue, but to hear their voice, and know their grander background thoughts on a wide-variety of issues is just as valuable. 

So on this week's podcast, you will hear from about half-a-dozen people including city councillors Phil Allt, Cathy Downer, Dan Gibson, Mike Salisbury, and Andy Van Hellemond, as well as Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield, Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong, and, in a deleted scene from last week's interview, Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen. 

If you'd like to listen to the full version of any of these interviews, you can find them on the "Past Guests" page of the Open Sources website. Coming up we will have Guelph MPP Liz Sandals on this Thursday's show, and Kitchener South-Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara will join us on August 24. You can listen to Open Sources live every Thursday at 5 pm on CFRU. 

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.


Open Sources Guelph - August 3, 2017


This week on Open Sources Guelph, we're going green. For the first half anyway. We'll have an interview with a not-so-well known but now very influential Green Party politician, and no, it's not Mike Schreiner. (He was on a few weeks ago.) Speaking of green though, we will dig into a contentious environmental and legal issue, and talk about why it's so darn hard for our prime minister to stop having his picture taken...

This Thursday, August 3, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Olsen Wins. Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner became the first local candidate to be made official for the 2018 Provincial Election last weekend, and he was joined by a special guest, someone who knows first hand what it takes for a Green Party politician to win provincially: Adam Olsen. Olsen is the MLA for B.C.'s Saanich North and the Islands, one of three Green MLAs to be elected in the new, combined NDP/Green B.C. government. In a wide-ranging discussion, we talk to Olsen about political circumstances, the current mood in British Columbia, and whether or not the electorate is too cynical to buy what the Green Party is selling.

2) Line 9 Blind Side. This time Goliath won as the Supreme Court sided with the lower courts and the National Energy Board in saying that they didn't have to consult with the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation while pursuing their desire to alter the flow of their Line 9 pipeline. Legally, the NEB and Enbridge may have done everything right, but what about the greater moral standing? In Justin Trudeau's Canada, we were promised that the perspectives and rights of Canada's First Nations would be given more deference, but this is not the message we're getting. Whatever happened to "Sunny Ways"?

3) Rolling Moan. It happened again. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau getting overwhelmingly positive international media attention, this time on the cover of Rolling Stone. Admit it, there's a bit of civic pride there. In the wake of what's going on in the White House daily (hourly), Canada looks like a well-oiled machine that runs on neoliberal awesome-sauce, but we Canadians know better. We know that Canada has its issues and its problems, and some of us are cynically fed up with seeing this halo plastered over Justin's head by people that don't get that. So what about it? Are Canadians too cynical, or are our foreign brethren too honorific of the man with the socks of many assorted patterns?

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - August 3, 2017


This week on End Credits, things are going to get hot. Atomic hot! We'll review a new action movie where women kick butt and make it all look so easy in a world full of stupid, beatable men. It's a perfect anecdote for the heat of summer, and if the wags are to be believed, the audience definitely needs a hit to love. Speaking of hot, we'll talk about the controversy of a new HBO series, and how being the worst director doesn't always mean what you think.

This Thursday, August 3, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson with Jenna Gare and Tim Phillips will discuss:

1) Confederate Rag. More controversial than the resurrection of Jon Snow, the creators of Game of Thrones have announced their next project, and it's the loving tale of a modern America where slavery is still in effect in a Confederate South that won the Civil War. Cue outrage. Yes, even though the series itself is still a couple of years away from its premiere, people are fighting mad about a show where two white guys wonder what the world would be like if slavery was still a thing. Did HBO seriously misjudge how this news would be received, and have they handled the controversy well?

2) Franchise Unfair. With the summer winding down. it's time for the annual rake out of how stupid Hollywood is for investing in brainless sequels and franchise films that no one wants to see; Alien: Covenant, Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 all being prime examples. On the other hand, there was the tremendous success of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman and War for the Planet of the Apes. So are pundits assuming too much, or is the caveat with franchise movies, as with any film, that if you make a good one, people will want to see it?

3) Not the Worst? Metacritc published a list of the Worst Directors of the Century (So Far), and in so much as we like to take the piss out of filmmakers that scrape the bottom the barrel, we thought we'd take a closer look at the list, and decide if they really are the worst. And sure, Uwe Boll, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer all definitely deserve to make the Top 2, but taking a more holistic look at the other 18, we can't help but notice that data alone can't determine who is terrible. So who does this list really serve, and do we put too much stock in cold hard numbers?

REVIEW; Atomic Blonde (2017). It's Berlin. It's 1989. The wall is falling, but the heat is rising as Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a British spy trying to get to the bottom of one last Cold War case and looking stylish while doing it to a classic 80s soundtrack. John Wick co-director David Leitch brings the same sense of physical and visceral hardcore action to this movie based on a graphic novel called The Coldest City. The plot doesn't make sense, but you'll sure have a good time watching Theron punch her way out over any, and every, situation. Another excellent entry in the female action hero genre, but don't you dare call her "Jane Bond."

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.


GUELPH POLITICAST #90 - The Year at Council So Far…


You don't really know how busy seven months of council look like until you write out all the highlights in a single script and record them for a podcast, but that's what we've done for this week's podcast. 

As council takes a much needed summer break, we take their pause as an opportunity to reflect on all that's happened this year so far, and boil it down into one convenient 35-minute audio story as told through the dulcet tones of the person who typically just writes down what's happening around the horseshoe. This isn't a blow-by-blow so much as a highlight real. A recap, if you will, that serves as a refresher for all that's happened so far at Guelph City Council in 2017. 

And what a busy year it's been too, so far. Actually, in recapping the recaps, there was some stuff that happened that I had completely forgot about. Like that marathon council meeting on internet voting. Or that time council voted to discontinue Committee-of-the-Whole and threw the entire structure of city governance into chaos for 10 minutes. Good times. On the lighter side, there was a time capsule opening in May that got a lot of people excited, so it wasn't all bad (as they say). 

So let us review a year of seven months in 40 minutes or less, as we look at the major happenings of city council so far in 2017 on this week's Guelph Politicast. 

Council is on hiatus until September. The first Committee-of-the-Whole meeting after the recess will be on September 5. 

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.


Open Sources Guelph - July 27, 2017


The people have waited long enough, and it is time again for another episode of Open Sources Guelph. On this week's show, we'll talk about the man who loves to talk, and talk, and talk, while digging himself into deeper, and deeper, and deeper holes. After that, we'll look at what's going on here in Canada. In Alberta, the unification of the right is going about as well as to be expected, Sears employees are mad as hell but there's not much they can do about it, and there's a Facebook page with "proud" in the title that might make you feel less proud if you read it. 

This Thursday, July 27, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Scout's Horror. After six months, things have not settled down in Trump's Washington, and the man is still cramming about a week's worth of news into every hour of the day whether it's telling inappropriate stories at the Boy Scout jamboree, or suddenly banning all transgendered people from military service. The most concerning pieces this week though have been President Donald Trump's attacks on his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the Senate Republicans attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on a wing and a prayer in three days. We will try and make some kind of sense about another fuster-cluck kinda week in U.S. politics.

2) No Tears for Sears. The news that Sears Canada is on the brink of bankruptcy was not especially surprising, nor was it surprising that several Sears stores will be liquidating immediately and closed up. What is surprising, or maybe not *that* surprising, is that in these final days of Sears, the company decided to give big payouts to their executives rather than fulfill commitments to their employments in the form of pensions and buyouts. Predictably, this caused an uproar among the people, but does Sears even care about their public perception when they're counting down to their own non-existance?

3) United They Fall? The Alberta Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party have both agreed that they're going to re-unite the right under one banner called the United Conservative Party because that's the only way to rid the province of totalitarian rule of the duly elected NDP premier. Now they have to choose a leader, but in the meantime interim leader Nathan Cooper has had to evolve rapidly given his past statements about the LGBT community, and some members of the PCs feel like they've got no choice but to abandon their party and start over again. So is UCP the solution Alberta conservatives have been dreaming of, and who can lead such a shotgun marriage?

4) Proud Scary. A Facebook group called "Ontario Proud" now has more likes and followers than the social media of just about every other Ontario politics group on the platform, and that includes the pages of the major parties and the major party leaders. What is it that makes Ontario Proud so darn popular? Well, it's got humour, it's got pithy comments, and it captures an impending sense of ennui amongst the electorate and the options they have for next year's election. But there's a dark side to a lot, some profound negativity and a lot of the alt-right whistle words and phrases. Is this kind of outlet helpful, or is it another concerning use of the word "proud".

Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.


End Credits - July 27, 2017


Disasters is kind of theme this week on End Credits. The movie of the week is about a military disaster, snatching victory out of the jaws of total and complete military annihilation, and to kick things off we look at another movie that turned out to be a disaster and the new movie being made about that. In between, we'll ask some serious questions about the nature of Comic Con and the nature of the future of movies. 

This Thursday, July 27, at 10 am, Adam A. Donaldson, with Vince Masson, and guest host Ian Rodgers will discuss:

1) Tommy, Go Figure. Last week, the first trailer for The Disaster Artist was released. James Franco stars and directs this movie based on the memoir of what's been called the "Citizen Kane of bad movies," Tommy Wiseau's The Room (which has nothing to do with the film that won Brie Larson the Academy Award). We talk about our own impressions of The Room, Wiseau, and whether or not The Disaster Artist will be a loving tribute to the spirit of creation no matter how misguided, or a silly comedy made only to make fun.

2) Con Job? San Diego Comic Con took place last weekend, and it had the usual assortment of new trailers, and special announcements for anything even remotely nerdy or geeky. So what's the problem? Some people are wondering if Comic Con has gotten away from the essence of what made it what was to begin with way back in the early 70s, is Comic Con a fan experience, or is it a Hollywood trade show? We discuss that very philosophical matter, and whether or not the fans might be starting to take it back.

3) Not-So-Steller. While promoting his new movie, Christopher Nolan made it clear that under no circumstance would he be caught dead making a movie for Netflix. The streaming site is making a play for the first run movie market, from smaller releases like Bong Joon-ho's Okja to Martin Scorsese's next film The Irishman, but Nolan's not having any of it because theatrical films should be a theatrical experience. Is Nolan right being one of the last ones to stay committed to film as a medium in a darkened room on a big screen, or is he acting like a relic clinging tightly on to the past?

REVIEW: Dunkirk (2017). In the darkest moment of World War II, 400,000 British and Allied soldiers wait on a beach in northern France to escape back to Britain and regroup for the next wave of Nazi blitzkrieg. Christopher Nolan boldly tells this decidedly different war story in three parts: by land, by sea, and by air. As infantry waits helplessly on the beach plagued by German bombers, a group of civilian vessels try to make their way across the Channel as a dedicated trio of fighter jocks protect them from above. Nolan delivers more of a ticking clock thriller than a traditional war movie as survival becomes victory, and hope becomes a weapon.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Thursday at 10 am.


- Older Posts »