End Credits - July 18, 2018 (Skyscraper)

20Jul

This week on End Credits, we're going to get high. No, we know that kind of high is still a few months away! Our definition of "high" here is the literal. We're going up 200 storeys with The Rock for a rollicking adventure where he has to fight fire and bad guys. We'll also talk about that other action movie in an office building, that movie about a cyborg cop, those TV awards, and more trouble from our friend Scarlett.

This Wednesday, July 18, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson, and Candice Lepage will discuss:

The Scarlett Pressure. Scarlett Johansson's casting in a film based on the life of Pittsburgh gangster "Tex" Gill was surprising, and not just because "Tex" Gill was a trans man. No, the surprising part was that ScarJo's been here before, when she played the lead part in Ghost in the Shell, which was originally meant for an Asian woman. So was the actress at fault for wanting to play a complex role, or is the system that sees the trans lifestyle as an "acting challenge"?

Emmy for Your Thoughts? The Prime Time Emmy Award nominations were released last week, and many of the usual suspects were nominated including Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Westworld, and The Handmaid's Tale. But there were some surprises. Sandra Oh became the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for Best Actress in a Drama, and despite the drama around Roseanne, Laurie Metcalf still got a nom. We'll discuss those, and the other noms too.

For the Sequel. A few years ago, they tried to reboot RoboCop, and it was not as successful, either critically or commercially, as people would have liked. That's okay. There really was no way that anyone could recapture Paul Verhoeven's unique blend of satire and over-the-top violence. Or can they? A long since forgotten sequel written by the original screenwriters has been dusted off for Neill Blomkamp, but is there still some juice in this franchise?

With the McClane. So let's talk about a movie where a man has to fight a group of terrorists that have taken over a high tech high rise in order to save his family... But enough about Die Hard! Yes, this past weekend, and 30 years ago, Die Hard was released in theatres everywhere and to this day is a cinematic and cultural touchstone to many. So why does Die Hard endure? What does it do so well that we keep coming back again and again?

REVIEW: Skyscraper (2018). Speaking of Die Hard, what we get with Skyscraper is a new movie that might easily be described as Die Hard meets The Towering Inferno. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays a security consultant who has to save his family from a fire set 100 storeys above the ground and spreading. All that stands in his way is the Hong Kong police, a hand full of gangsters, a secretive CEO, and the urge to look down!

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

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Open Sources Guelph - July 12, 2018

16Jul

Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a balloon shaped like the President of the United States as a baby, and it's going to fly over London in honour of his visit to the United Kingdom! We're going to try and stay grounded on this week's Open Sources Guelph, but we'll still be looking over matters provincially and globally on this edition of the show. We'll check on the Throne Speech here in Ontario, consider our own border issues here in Canada, and then go international with the man who inspired the balloon, and the internal political strife of one of the places he's visiting.

This Thursday, July 12, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

A Doug's Life. Premier Doug Ford announced last week that the Ontario legislature would be recalled on July 11, and there would be a Speech from the Throne on July 12. Hey! That's when we broadcast this episode of the show. Yes, we will bring you highlights from the speech, but the new government has already announced their priorities: they're going to ensure a "quick and fairly resolved" decision on the job action at York University, repeal cap and trade, and cancel the White Pines Wind Project. In the meantime, Ford's given a plum assignment - and six-figure salary - to his party's president, and the "$6 Million Man" still has a job (?). We'll have the latest from Ford Nation Province.

The Immigrant Wrong. While there's been a lot of attention paid to the issues at the southern border of the U.S., Canada's got plenty of problems with our own southern border and our immigration system. The number of temporary visas refused by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is on the rise, Toronto Mayor John Tory is begging for more help when it comes to resettling refugee claimants, and the new Ontario government has washed its hands of the entire affair. We'll break down the problems with Canada's own border and immigration issues, and look at how we're handling, or mishandling, the situation.

Trump Vs the World. President Donald Trump announced his Supreme Court pick on Monday night, and it was just the beginning of a very busy week for our favourite bumbling racist president. After Monday night's pomp, it was off to Europe for a NATO summit where Trump would wag his finger at the other members for not spending enough money on defense. After that, he was off to London for tea with the Queen and to hopefully stay out of sight of the mean protestors with the giant Trump as baby in diaper balloon. But then, Trump will get the meeting he's been dying for, a summit with Vladimir Putin! So what will the damage be when Hurricane Trump blows through Western Europe.

A Boris Line. Within the space of 24 hours, two senior members of Theresa May's cabinet resigned, just as she was about to announce the completion of a plan for the U.K.'s exit from the European Union. Why, because, as Brexit Secretary David Davis put it in his resignation letter, the policy is "at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one." The other resignation was Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was one of the most enthusiastic voices in favour of Brexit, and would be one highly disgruntled man if May went for the "soft" Brexit that still promoted ties to the continent. So why the fallout, and can May survive this fracturing of her caucus?

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

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End Credits - July 11, 2018 (Upgrade)

13Jul

We're kicking out the jams this week on End Credits! We know that sounds weird, but because of the national holiday in our little town this weekend, the jams will be kicked out in the style of the time. While we're at it though, we're going to upgrade the discussion with a review of this week's movie, which is about a guy that becomes more human than human with some surprising results. What's that called again?

This Wednesday, July 11, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson, Vince Masson, and Jesse Mellott will discuss:

Movie Music. With the Hillside Festival taking place in Guelph this weekend, it seemed like a good idea to dedicate some time on this week's show to soundtracks. Now, we don't want to step on the toes of Silver Screen Dream Machine, which you can listen to Fridays at 1 pm on CFRU, but on this episode our panelists choose their five favourite songs from the movies. It's quite the eclectic assortment too, including movie musicals, radio hits, and unconventional jams. Get ready to Spotify!

REVIEW: Upgrade (2018). In the near future, we will all be part machine. Or at least the bad guys will. This new film from Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell sets up the story of a simple man who wishes for more luddite days, but instead wishes for revenge when his beloved wife is killed, and he's turned into a quadriplegic. An experimental computer chip is implanted in his spine, but it does more than help him walk again. On top of that, little does our hero know that this outstanding technology is interested in more than just vengeance. He's, you guessed it, upgraded!!!

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #132 - Plastic Free Guelph

11Jul

Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean there's a big floating mass of plastic that's roughly three times the size of France. While it's true that much of that plastic is fishing equipment, and about two-fifths of it comes from just five countries in southeast Asia, it's making us all think about our wasteful ways, especially when it comes to plastic.

Plastic Free Guelph put forward a bold suggestion a few weeks ago: ban single-use plastic grocery bags in the city. It's been tied before, but it's so far only been done successfully once. On Canada Day, Victoria, B.C. became the first city in the country to ban the bag, overcoming a B.C. Supreme Court challenge in order to do it.

Fear of litigation has always seemed to be the thing holding back the bans, so has Victoria shown us the way? Perhaps. On the other hand, maybe we're all just ready to look at our wasteful plastic bags for what they're really are: waste.

Look at the campaign to end the use of plastic straws. In Guelph, it was a local effort aimed at the mom and pop restaurants downtown, but a chorus of activists pushing for the move locally have prompted companies like McDonalds, Harvey's, The Keg, and now Starbucks, to all ban plastic straws. We're banning straws! Is it really so hard to picture bags as the next plastic domino to fall?

 

It's not for Plastic Free Guelph, and on this week's podcast, PFG's executive director Shayne Ward discusses the reasons why the time is right to ban the bag. Ward answers some of the counter-arguments to the ban, talks about the thinking and the process behind the band, and why now's the time to have this discussion. At the end, Ward also teases about where the anti-plastic effort goes after bags...

So let's bag our talking points and get into this week's Guelph Politicast!

The Plastic Free Guelph proposal to ban single use plastic shopping bags will come before city council on Monday July 23, and the agenda for that meeting should be available this Thursday on the City website. You can also follow the efforts of Plastic Free Guelph by following them on social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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.

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Open Sources Guelph - July 5, 2018

8Jul

This week's Open Sources Guelph is sandwiched by change, with violence and sadness in the middle. On the outside, we've got a new government in Ontario that's been sworn in and been making changes, along with a new government in Mexico that's hoping for the same. On the inside, we'll look at another mass shooting event in America, this time against reporters, and those allegations against our feminist PM that just won't go away.

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

Finally, a Government for the People!(?) Doug Ford was sworn in as the newest Premier of Ontario Friday, and the self-described, first ever, government for the people was introduced. Putting aside the rather insulting insinuation that Ford is the first Premier in the history of Ontario to represent "the people", Ford's cabinet is notable for several reasons. Former leadership candidates Caroline Mulroney and Christine Elliott got plum positions, former interim leader Vic Fedeli is the new finance minister, and Scotty's arch-nemesis Sam Oosteroff is a parliamentary assistant. So now that we know the players, what is the game? And what will the opening moves of the Ford government be when they return to the legislature later this month?

Annapolis. It's all been leading to this... Being a journalist has never been an undangerous profession, when "danger" takes on a whole new meaning when a gunman walks into your offices and kills five of your co-workers. The scene of the crime was the Capital Gazette, a local newspaper that covers the area in and around Annapolis, MD, home of the U.S. Naval Academy. Although the case seems connected to the perpetrators own personal issue with the paper, you can't help but make a connection between this, and a President that says the press is "the enemy of the people." So are reporters legitimate targets now? And what about that push to stymie the almost non-stop plague of gun violence and mass shootings in the United States?

The Young Grope. It's been in the ether for a while now, but nearly 20-year-old allegations that Justin Trudeau groped a woman at a B.C. music festival in 2000 were dogging the now PM during his Canada Day tour. Finally going on the record about the matter, Trudeau said in a scrum that, "I don't remember any negative interactions that day at all," but former colleagues of the accuser at the Creston Valley Advance believe her, and the unnamed reporter told the CBC that she doesn't not want to comment, or even discuss it any further. SO what do we do now? #MeToo justice has been brutal and swift, but this is one, old accusation against the proudly feminist Liberal prime minister. Where do we go next?

Un nuevo presidente. There's a new amigo in town, and his name is Andrés Manuel López Obrador! Obrador won in a landslide after 12 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (P.R.I.), which saw two different presidents struggle with corruption, poverty, and an expanding and violent war with the Mexican drug cartels. Anger about the status quo, and a swing of left-wing populism ushered Obrador to power, but what can he do about such intractable problems? Also, how will this effect the Mexican relationship with Donald Trump? The U.S. President said he and Obrador had a good conversation, but how likely is it that the guy who wrote "Oye Trump!" is going to be 45's new best friend?

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

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End Credits - July 4, 2018 (Sicario: Day of the Soldado)

6Jul

There's a lot to laugh about on this week's End Credits. We've got comedians behaving badly and others commenting on it. We've got a new show from a comedy master in the animation realm. We've got Jared Leto being Jared Leto. It's enough to make you ask, "Who's Watching the Watchmen?" Or not. Anyway, for our review this week, things will get very serious as we take a dour trip to the U.S./Mexico border.

This Wednesday, July 4, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

Jerry the Lede. Jerry Seinfeld was out promoting Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee when he tried to wade into the controversy around Roseanne Barr, and the comments that got her fired from her successful sitcom. Seinfeld said, "It seemed like, you don’t need to murder someone that’s committing suicide. I thought the firing was overkill. She's already dead."  Is he right? Was he suggesting that Barr's comments should have gone unanswered?

Irons and Whine. We've been getting a lot more casting news (including the addition of Jeremy Irons) lately about the HBO adaptation of the seminal graphic novel Watchmen. Unlike the 2009 Zack Snyder film, which some people don't like, this project will not be based directly on the Alan Moore novel, but will instead borrow elements and themes. Cause for concern, right? Well, the show is being helmed by Damon Lindeloff, who made up for Lost time with The Leftovers, so is there reason to be excited? Or intrigued?

The Princess Snide. Matt Groening's new show premieres on Netflix in just over a month, and a preview clip that doesn't tell us much was released last week. It's been described as The Simpsons meets Game of Thrones, but the tone looks very much like Futurama set in a fairy tale kingdom. So what can we expect from Groening with his third series? How adult can his new adult series get? And when are we going to see more than 45 seconds of this show before the premiere?

The Vampire Method. The last time Jared Leto played a comic book character, it was in 2016's Suicide Squad, and to get into the head of the Joker, Leto sent dead rats and used condoms to his castmates as gifts. The Oscar-winning Leto, you see, is a "method actor", which makes you wonder, what will he do in order to get into character to play Morbius the Living Vampire. Leto will star in the latest Spider-Man spin-off without Spider-Man, and we'll talk about the possibilities.

REVIEW: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018). Picking up from 2015’s Sicario, which left so many unanswered questions, we catch up with Josh Brolin’s rogue CIA agent and Benecio del Toro’s lawyer turned hitman as they try to meld the War on Terror with the War on Drugs. Denis Villeneuve's original Sicario was a masterstroke of tension, action, and some truly screwed pragmatism when it comes to the Drug War, but can the sequel capture that lightening in a bottle without the original's director and vision?

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

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Open Sources Guelph - June 28, 2018

2Jul

This week's Open Sources Guelph takes us on a journey to a mysterious and forbidden land just down the 401: Toronto. One weekend had both reason for celebration and reason for concern, as Pride festivities were overshadowed by more news that seems to say that the city may be a little less safer than normal due to all the gun violence. Of course, Pride highlighted some concerns of its own, and that's something else we'll dig into this week. But that's not the end of the excitement! Along with the news this week, we'll welcome back to the show Guelph's next Member of Provincial Parliament, who, as you might have heard, made some history.

This Thursday, June 28, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Mikey Likes It (Winning)! It's been almost a month since Mike Schreiner made history as the first Green MPP for Ontario, and it's been a whirlwind of interviews and appearances as a lot of people are exciting about the political implications of that one victory (even if they're less than excited about the new government). On the eve of the swearing in of Premier Doug Ford, Schreiner returns to Open Sources for his first sit down interview with Guelph media to talk about how he won, what he thinks of the new government moves so far, and what he has planned for the future as Guelph's provincial representative.

Pride and Seek. Toronto Pride is still the massive party it's always been, but recent events cast a dark shadow over the proceedings, and not just because of the Alberta man that was handing out anti-gay pamphlets that just turned himself into police. Speaking of police, it was the second year without uniformed police in the parade, which is especially stinging since the revelations of the murder spree of Bruce McArthur. At the same time, the presence of the former Premier of Ontario was as conspicuous as the absence of the incoming one, but no where near as conspicuous as accidental nudity on CP24. We'll talk the ups and downs of Pride.

Shots Fired. Last weekend was another deadly one in the City of Toronto as four people were shot and killed over two nights, while the trend indicates that the number of shootings in the city up 55 per cent overall for the year so far. The incoming provincial government has suggested that funding might be restored to the TAVIS program, which was criticized for how often people of colour were carded in high policing areas; Police Chief Mark Sanders meanwhile has said that the answer isn't more policing, but harsher sentences for offenders. So is Toronto facing the prospect of another "Summer of the Gun" and what is the proper response?

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

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End Credits - June 27, 2018 (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)

29Jun

This week's End Credits is a solo mission. While the regular cast of characters is out there conquering their own universes and personal achievements, the host is left to his own devices to review one of the most anticipated movies of the year. This week, we return to a futuristic theme park where dinosaurs are brought back to life using advanced cloning techniques. It's called Billy and the Clone-a-saurus: Fallen Kingdom Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

This Wednesday, June 27, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

The Watch List. July is shaping up to be another busy month at the movies as we head into the proper dog days of summer. Over the next several weeks we're going to be seeing sequels and new entries in film series including Sicario: Day of the Soldado, The First Purge, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Mission: Impossible - Fallout. But if you're looking for something to watch in the meantime, we offer a few suggestions from past efforts, and similar films, you can play, watch or stream right now!

REVIEW:Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). Life finds a way, and so do franchises... Twenty-five years after the park opened in the original Jurassic Park, a volcano closes the whole thing down in Fallen Kingdom, a direct follow-up to the rebooted 2015 mega-hit Jurassic World. As the volcano on Isla Nublar blows, our heroes Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return to save as many dinosaurs as possible, but despicable forces are trying to use their altruism to make a tidy profit. Does capitalism trump compassion? Who cares?! Dinosaurs!!!

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #131 - Back With the Back-Grounder

27Jun

News is the art of delivering the day's information in an organized and coherent way, but stories don't just happen with a beginning, middle and end all in one day. Some of the biggest stories, including the most important stories, trace their roots back many years. In the news, there's an important function to not just understand the day's events, but the events that led to the day's events.

That's the job of the Guelph Back-Grounder run by Bill Hulet. A long time political activist and operative, Hulet launched the Back-Grounder in 2016 to quite literally tell the story behind the story. In the last two years he’s broken down the complicated history of hydro bills, Walmart, local boards, the OMB, and most recently, housing and solid waste, and he did it all with his impeccably, and exhaustively, researched pieces. Like Guelph Politico, the Back-grounder is a crowd-funded, independent local media endeavour.

This marks the second occasion that Hulet has been a guest on the podcast, and we begin this time by catching up about life in the local indie media scene, his successes building the site, and what insights he gleamed from his recent research efforts. We also get some deep history on Hulet's role in the early days of the Green Party. He ran to be MPP twice back in the day, and it could be argued that he helped lay the ground work that led to history being made earlier this month with the election of the first Green MPP in Ontario by Guelph. We also squeeze in some discussion about that other election later this year.

So let's go back on the proverbial background with the Back-Grounder himself on this week's Guelph Politicast!

Of course, you you can find the Guelph Back-Grounder online at here. You can also get Hulet’s book Walking the Talk: Engaging the Public to Build a Sustainable World in eBook form here or in paperback at Lulu and the Bookshelf. You can also find Hulet on Twitter.

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.

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Open Sources Guelph - June 21, 2018

25Jun

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we're going to try and not make the children cry, but it will be hard. We'll discuss the latest from the humanitarian crisis south of the border, which is stressful enough to make you want to take a puff of the wacky tobaccy. That will have to wait a few more months here in Canada, but if there's one thing you won't have to wait for, it's the new Ontario government undoing the work of the last one. All that, plus some depressing discussion about the dangers of the big city streets, are coming up on this week's show.

This Thursday, June 21, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

High Time. Although it’s a little behind schedule, the legalization of cannabis in Canada seems finally ready for launch with the House and the Senate reaching an agreed upon bill that’s ready for Royal Assent. There is one big question left to answer though: is the public ready? Are the provinces ready with all the storefronts and internal infrastructure they need? The answer to those questions seem less than certain, and we’ll talk about those as we count down to the beginning of legal weed.

Crisis and Cruelty. A new policy by the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. has seen a huge uptick in parental separation, kids taken from their parents as they try to cross the Mexican border illegally and are detained separately. Human rights advocates, Democratic politicians, and even some Republican lawmakers were all demanding the policy be revoked at once, and as journalists work hard to find the kids, the Trump administration works hard to spin. We’ll talk about the latest in this still developing story.

Ford Struck. We knew it was coming, and indeed the Doug Ford era in Ontario began with the new Premier pulling the plug on cap and trade and swearing to fight tooth and nail (legally speaking) to stop the federal carbon tax. He then put a hiring freeze on the government, cancelled all the perks, and bared any government employee from out of province travel, all before cancelling Ontario’s various energy efficiency programs. So is this more or less what we expected from Ford, and where do we go from here?

Ride and Die. A couple of years ago, Toronto Mayor John Tory launched Vision Zero, an initiative to eliminate all road fatalities in the city by 2021. Two years out from the start of Vision Zero, Toronto streets has seen nearly 100 pedestrians and cyclists killed, and there's still three years to go before the deadline. The pressure has been turned up on Tory to take firmer action. Former chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, made the point that SARS took just 44 lives to be considered a crisis. So what can Tory, or any Toronto politician, do?

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

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