End Credits - March 20, 2019 (Green Book)

22Mar

This week on End Credits, we court controversy. We dig into arguably the most controversial pick for Best Picture in the last 20 years, and ask if it might be too much to expect a road move to solve racism. Yup, we're reviewing Green Book, and we're talking about the last days of a movie studio, another Simpsons squabble, the trailer for *that* Disney movie, and whether or not it's okay to be okay.

This Wednesday, March 20, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Vince Masson will discuss:

The End. This week marks the end of 20th Century Fox as its own Hollywood studio, and the beginning of its time as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Walt Disney Corporation. While a lot of the focus has been on what will happen to your favourite franchises, there could be as many as 10,000 people out of a job, and fewer movies being made in a given year with Disney controlling nearly half of the market. We'll consider the bigger implications of this change.

Stark Raving Bad. The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean took the bold step of pulling one of his most signature episodes of the series from syndication, the one that guest-starred Michael Jackson. In the wake of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, Jean said he suspected that the episode might have been used by Jackson to lure some of his alleged victims though he has no proof. But really, how much of Jackson's legacy can be erased from pop culture?

Oh Kay, Captain, My Captain. Captain Marvel is a box office smash, but many critics have noted that they're not as bowled over by the film as they would like it to be. It's entertaining enough, sure, but it doesn't exactly re-invent the wheel. This prompts the question: Is it okay that Captain Marvel is just okay? Many cultural commentators hope so because the demand for perfection has been holding female-led films back. We'll talk about this new debate.

Arabian Blights. Disney has created something of a cottage industry doing live-action versions of their big animated hits, but they may have met their match in Aladdin. While at first there was concern that the film wouldn't be culturally sensitive enough, now the concern is whether the movie looks too impossibly silly to overcome. From Will Smith's not-so-blue Genie, to a less-than-threatening looking Jafar, we'll look at all the way we're concerned with Aladdin.

REVIEW: Green Book (2018). It was the Academy Award winner for Best Picture this year, and it's been the subject of a great deal of controversy because of it. The inspired-by-true-events tale of Dr. Donald Shirley, and his 1962 tour through the South while being driven by Tony Lip, a low level enforcer for the New York mob, certainly seemed to be a crowd-pleaser, and it has three Oscars, but are people judging the movie for what it is, or what it isn't?  We'll bring a critical eye to Green Book and consider if the blowback has been overblown.

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

GUELPH POLITICAST #164 - The Rookies (OSG Interviews)

20Mar

Today, students and community groups on campuses across Ontario will go on strike to protest the Ontario government's Student Choice Initiative, which could defund in part, or entirely, a lot of different campus clubs, services, and yes, media. One such impacted group would be CFRU, the community radio station that operates out of the University of Guelph.

This is relevant to the Guelph Politicast because CFRU is where the show is recorded every week. It's also relevant because the Politicast's sister show, Open Sources Guelph, is broadcast every week on CFRU. OSG is more or less the only venue where local politicians - from the mayor, to city councillors, to MPs, and MPPs - are interviewed in long format. These conversations are not just about sound bites, but a wider, more in-depth opportunity to talk to newsmakers about the issues.

So this week on the podcast, two examples of this rarefied art form in the local media landscape are submitted for your listening delight. Specifically, this week you'll hear from "the Rookies", Ward 6 City Councillor Dominique O'Rourke and Ward 2 City Councillor Rodrigo Goller.

Dominique O'Rourke appeared on Open Sources Guelph back before she was sworn in on November 8. From the OSG website:

"Council won’t get sworn in till December, but we’re getting ahead of the game when it comes to having members of the new council in studio! This week, we’ll welcome new Ward 6 City Councillor-Elect Dominique O’Rourke for her first live Open Sources interview as a member of the horseshoe. We’ll talk with O’Rourke about her decisive election victory, how she’s been preparing to take up her role as a city councillor, and what she expects some of her first initiatives will be. Do you have a question for the incoming councillor? We’ll ask those too!"

Rodrigo Goller then appeared on the show on December 20, shortly after the first few meetings of this new term. Again, from the OSG website:

"Guelph City Council has only been back in session for two weeks, but what a two weeks it’s been! From a massive development in the west end, to the approval of cannabis retail locations, to an underpass trail beneath the Speedvale Bridge, there’s been a lot of big calls, and some bigger calls are yet to come. That’s a lot for a rookie councillor to handle, but this week, we’ll check in with Ward 2 Councillor Rodrigo Goller to see how he’s handling it. We’ll talk to Goller about how he’s handling the learning curve, what he thinks of the council experience so far, and what we should expect coming up in the new year."

So let's catch-up with the Rookies on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

Remember: you can listen to each new episode of Open Sources Guelph Thursdays at 5 pm on CFRU 93.3 fm or cfru.ca. Or, you can listen to the podcast version on the Guelph Politcast channel every Monday.

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 - March 14, 2019

18Mar

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we play catch-up, and man, there is a lot of news out there, so we have to take our hour this week and cover all points. We're going to start in Ottawa where the SNC Lavalin affair has gone on simmer, but there are other controversies. Then it's off to Ontario and Alberta to look at the provincial political situation. And the last stop, of course, is Washington D.C. where things got very litigious for the President's former friends.

This Thursday, March 14 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

Pizza Bait. At a town hall in Kitchener last week, Conservative leader Andrew Schreer answered a question about foreign spending, but he "didn't hear" the preamble about Pizzagate, the completely false conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton ran a child sex trafficking ring out of the non-existent basement of a pizzeria. Meanwhile, Trudeau can't escape SNC Lavalin questions, even while apologizing for acts of colonialism. Even the ethics commissioner needs a break, and we'll try and talk about it all.

The Phone Wars. Meanwhile, things have gotten interesting at Queen's Park. While many of the same fights are being fought (autism funding, Student Choice Initiative), the Ford government decided that the time was nigh to ban cell phones from the classrooms, and explore whether banning single use plastics is a good idea. While that might sound vaguely environmental, don't worry, the Ford government is still all-in against the carbon tax. We'll catch up with the doings of the Ontario Legislature this week.

Jason Specs. It seems like it's all but a done deal that Alberta's brief flirtation with New Democratic rule is coming to an end, but what kind of government are they going to be replaced with. UCP leader Jason Kenney has been tamping out scandals all over the place, from accusations of meddling in a nomination meeting, to accusations of stalking government employees with hidden cameras, to proposals to cut corporate taxes that have created a divide among the "United" Conservative members. We'll break it all down.

The Usual Suspects. It was another busy week for the criminal cronies of U.S. President Donald Trump. Paul Manafort went to court and received an additional three-and-a-half year sentence, but if that seems light, don't worry, the New York prosecutors have some freshly unsealed indictments. Roger Stone and Michael Flynn are back in court this week too, and everyone is still anxiously awaiting the delivery of Mueller's final report. So which hammer will be the next to fall in all this Trump crime drama?

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

End Credits - March 13, 2019 (Captain Marvel)

15Mar

This week on End Credits, we'll call up AltaVista on AOL and download a Quicktime over dial up for directions to the mall to get a few grunge CDs... If this 90s overload isn't an indication, we'll come right out and say we're reviewing Captain Marvel this week. We're also going to engage in the ongoing debate about cinema vs streaming, and do a little video store nostalgia before talking about superhero movies, the ones coming out soon, and the ones that are not.

This Wednesday, March 13, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

Get Even Steven. The debate continues on whether Netflix and other streaming services should be able to play for awards like the Oscars on equal footing with theatrical releases. Steven Spielberg entered this debate and was said to be preparing a proposal for the Academy that would bar "TV movies" like Roma from eligibility. That part was misreported, but the debate remains as the Hollywood establishment has to reckon with the upstarts, and so will we.

Video Shame. If you thought video stores were long gone, you don't live in Bend, Oregon, where the last Blockbuster Video on Earth now stands in defiance of the times. The closure of the second-to-last Blockbuster in Australia made the news, and opened up a wave of nostalgia about the good ole days when you'd head down to the store and rent a video, but do we actually still have a fondness for the experience, or is this more pointless nostalgia?

Thank You, Next. This week's review of a superhero movie has us thinking: What other superhero movies are coming soon to a theatre near you? Next month there's Shazam!, the DC Comics hero that's basically Big meets Superman. And speaking of Superman, the James Gunn-produced Brightburn takes the tale of the greatest superhero and gives it a horror turn. We'll talk about both trailers and why they have us excited.

No More Marvel. Before getting into Captain Marvel, we'll look at the next films in the Marvel series: Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and... Yup, that's all. It's weird. Marvel has always been so forward thinking - announcing 10 movies at once in 2014 - that it's hard to believe that they haven't said just where they might be going next, but there are some ideas. We'll look at all the possible directions of the MCU post-2019.

REVIEW: Captain Marvel (2019). Right now, Marvel fans are basking in the arrival of Captain Marvel, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film led by a woman, and (co-)directed by a woman. The movie finds the alien warrior Vers coming to Earth on a secret mission, but the secret maybe her's as she starts to remember a past she thought forgotten, and discovers, perhaps, a new destiny. The 90s set cosmic adventure starring Brie Larson is set to make history, and anger a great many neck-beards in the process, but does Captain Marvel deliver?

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

GUELPH POLITICAST #163 - Evan Ferrari, eMERGE Guelph

13Mar

We could start this with the usual preamble about extreme weather, the 12-year deadline from the U.N. Panel on Climate Change report, or the enigma of climate change denial, but let’s take a moment to explore these issues on a more immediate level. And here in Guelph, it seems, we seem to really know how to tackle the problem in an effective way.

One of the leaders in this problem solving is Evan Ferrari, the executive director of eMERGE Guelph. In its own words, eMERGE fights climate change by helping people reduce energy and water use through the promotion of smart behavior, policy and improved efficiency to help Guelph build a road map to beat climate change, and achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.

The fact that they will help you save money by making those changes only sweetens the deal. In the process, eMERGE believes that this will create more good paying jobs, attract innovative businesses, save money on energy costs, and yes, save and restore the environment for generations to come. Although the solving of climate change seems almost too big to wrap your head around, Ferrari and eMERGE seem to be making the case that you can still "think globally, and act locally."

So this week on the podcast we'll test that sentiment. Ferrari will talk to us about where Guelph stands on the battle against climate change, how the debate has changed in the last few years, and how the economic argument has ultimately proved to be very persuasive in getting more people to take action.

Ferrari also talks about how Guelph is leading the way on a lot of those changes (obviously), including how our own development community has seen the value of net zero builds, and how the building code itself is letting us down on that account. And since this is a political show, we do also talk about the politics, how the various levels of governments are sending us different messages, and whether Guelph City Council should follow Kingston’s lead and declare a climate change emergency.

So let's put a hopeful face on our environmental future on this week's edition of the Guelph Politicast!

You can find out more about eMERGE and its services at their website here, and you can take part in Eco Market sponsored by eMERGE on March 23 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Old Quebec Street Mall.

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 - March 7, 2019

11Mar

This week, Open Sources Guelph will give up cynicism for Lent. Just kidding! We might as well give up breathing!! So considering that, we'll spend this week talking about the end of the Liberal Party of Canada, and the death knell of the New Democrats. Good thing we didn't give up hyperbole for Lent either. In any event, we'll welcome back an old friend from Ward 2 to talk about the budget, and all the latest issues from City Hall.

This Thursday, March 7 at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

See More Butts. If Jody Wilson-Raybould's testimony was meant to be the end of the SNC Lavalin scandal, it wasn't! Treasury President Jane Philpott resigned from cabinet saying that she lost her trust in it given the pressures put on Wilson-Raybould. Meanwhile, Andrew Scheer has been pushing Justin Trudeau to resign, which seems relatively unlikely, and the PM's long-time friend and advisor Gerald Butts testified on Wednesday, which means that the shelf life of this scandal will roll on for at least another week. We'll talk about the latest developments.

NDPredicament. Jagmeet Singh finally won a seat in the House of Commons last week, but since the House is recessed, he's going on a cross-country tour for an election dress rehearsal. While things are looking up for Singh and the NDP, they're also looking rather dire. Prominent NDP caucus member Nathan Cullen joined over a dozen other NDP MPs in announcing their intention to not run for re-election, and in a caucus with less that four dozen members, that's a problem. Given the situation mentioned above, what's the deal with the NDP?

Altered Gordon. It was a big week for city council as they passed the 2019 Tax Supported Budget, so what an excellent opportunity to have Ward 2 Councillor James Gordon on the show. We'll talk about all the ins and outs of the budget process, from the infrastructure levy, to the homelessness issue, to the Wellbeing grant. We'll also talk to Gordon about how things are going with his new Ward-mate, updates on the Speedvale underpass, and affordable housing pressures on the City. And, if you're lucky, we'll also get a chance to talk about the Councillor's new album.

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

End Credits - March 6, 2019 (Stan & Ollie)

8Mar

This week on End Credits, we're kicking it old school! Quite nearly as old school as Hollywood gets as we're reviewing the Laurel and Hardy bio-pic Stan & Ollie. Before that though, there's some disturbing stuff we have to get through, more #MeToo fallout, and more drama from online trolls. On the lighter side though, we'll talk about matters of removing symbolic rats, and movies based on actual non-action toys.

This Wednesday, March 6, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:

Letter Stocks. Emma Thompson made news last week when a letter was posted announcing why she was quitting the animated movie Lucky. It's because the head of Skydance Animation, Lucky's production company, is John Lasseter, the former head of Pixar and Disney Animation who left the company under a cloud of harassment allegations last year. So why is Thompson the only one taking a stand, and what does Skydance have to say about such a dubious hire?

Toy Story. Last week, it was proudly announced that MGM is working on a View Master movie. The 75-year-old toy that let's you flip through 3-D slides in a binocular-like device seems like the unlikely subject of a major motion picture, but it's the latest attempt by Mattel to turn their toys - like Masters of the Universe, Hot Wheels, and Barbie - into cinema. Still, ever the contrarians, we'll ask the question: is it possible that they could make a good View Master movie?

The Rat Smack. Do you know better than one of Hollywood's most accomplished directors? Well somebody does. A Kickstarter was launched last month to have the final shot of The Departed taken out of 50 Blu-ray copies because the symbolism was a little on the nose. So was this a joke? Does someone on Kickstarter genuinely think that they know better then Scorsese about how to end his movie? We might smell a rat.

Hollywood Troll. Rotten Tomatoes had to make some changes to their website when the trolls attacked a post for Captain Marvel, the next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and the first to feature a solo female hero. Captain Marvel is the latest movie to get a doxxing on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's the first time that the site has had to forcibly protect a movie from online toxic masculinity. Why are bad men on the internet trying again to ruin people's good time?

REVIEW: Stan & Ollie (2018). Laurel and Hardy are Hollywood legends, one of the most successful and dynamic comedy acts of the 1930s, but have you ever seen a Laurel and Hardy movie? Maybe not, but you could at lease check out this well-made bio-pic which is all about the latter years of the duo as they toured the U.K. in 1953 to drum up interest for a new movie. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly play the dynamic duo as they struggle with their legacy, and they struggle to stay relevant in a world they think has forgotten them.

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

Open Sources Guelph - February 28, 2019

4Mar

This week on Open Sources Guelph, we'll be ping-ponging between matters at home and abroad. In Canada, the leader of the NDP will finally be back in the Commons after winning one of three contentious by-elections, and in Ontario, controversies continue to pile up for the provincial government. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, two world leaders are meeting to accomplish something, while "something" seems to be exactly what we got from the Vatican's meeting on sex abuse last week. Yay! More good news!!

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

Singh for the Moment. After a hard-fought campaign with more than a little controversy, Jagmeet Singh finally gets the chance to join the House of commons after winning Burnaby-South. Will a seat in the House mean that the NDP can start building momentum leading up to the Federal Election? And speaking of momentum, the People's Party candidate got a strong 10.6 per cent finish in that riding, what does that say about the party's long odds? Meanwhile, in Outremont, the Liberals took the seat once held by Tom Mulcair. So what does all this add up to looking ahead to the fall vote?

Kim's Convenience. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and U.S. President Donald Trump met again in Hanoi, Vietnam this week for goals that are, at best, nebulous. Trump wants to be seen doing presidential stuff, and win himself a Nobel Prize, and Kim wants to be seen as a world power player by meeting with the U.S. president, but neither of those things lead to denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. Meanwhile, Trump is burning the candle at both ends as his former fixer, Michael Cohen, testified in an open session of a Congressional committee Wednesday. We'll catch up with a busy news week in the States.

Spaghetti Uh-Ohs. When we last left the Ford government, they were dealing with the fallout of changes to autism funding, which took another turn when it was confirmed that Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Children, Community and Social Services minister, had ordered a freeze on expanding services to make the wait list longer, and that she misquoted a Windsor parent to support the government's plan. Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, the PCs held a $1,250 per plate fundraising dinner even as their fundraising so far for 2019 far outpaces all the other parties combined by about six-to-one. So what's next at Queen's Park.

Church and Hate. Pope Francis called everyone to the Vatican last week to discuss an urgent matter that's been at least 20 years in the making, the sexual abuse of women and children by priests. While victims appreciate the attention, they walked away feeling less than assured that the leaders of the Catholic Church are going to take action and deliver long-term consequences to abusive priests. Case in point, an Australian court last week convicted George Pell, the Vatican Treasurer, of child sex abuse, the highest ranking member of the Catholic clergy to be convicted so far. So is this the start of a new age of reconciliation for the Church, or not?

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

End Credits - February 27, 2019 (Alita: Battle Angel)

1Mar

This week on End Credits, we're going to fight that Oscars hangover to talk about who won what, and what we think about it. We'll dedicated some time to our Oscars recap, and then we'll move on to the aftermath, and what impact streaming services will have on awards season in the future. We'll also talk about the best movie scores according to Pitchfork, and we'll wrap up with a review of a rare non-Avatar related James Cameron project.

This Wednesday, February 27, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Peter Salmon will discuss:

The Last Oscars Analysis You'll Need. The lean, mean, and host-less Oscars clocked in at a slim 3 hours and 17 minutes, and it managed to stem the slide in ratings from last year's worst ratings record, but that doesn't mean that is was end of controversy. Green Book winning Best Picture has given people a Crash-back, but at the same time, there were a tremendous number of highlights. We'll talk about the good, the bad, and the meh about Oscars 2019.

Pitchfork Perfect. Pitchfork has put together a list of the Top 50 movie scores of all time, at least from their perspective. Blade Runner took the number one spot, but its pretty typical of a list that includes a number of synch scores including Halloween (1978) and Drive (2011). Also, don't look for classics like Jaws or The Empire Strikes Back in the Top 10, and the scores from other classics are no where to be found on the list. So who made the cut, and why?

A Vue to Kill. A very good night for Roma at the Oscars comes after it was the basis for some threats issued by the Vue Cinema chain in the U.K. to the BAFTA awards, the British film industry equivalent of the Oscars. Vue said they'll withdraw their support for the BAFTAs if they don't stop letting "made for TV" movies like Roma from competing. Is this at all reasonable? We'll talk about that, plus changes that Amazon's making in their release strategy.

REVIEW: Alita: Battle Angel (2019). In the far future, there'll be one city floating in the sky for the lucky few, while everyone else lives on the junkyard of the old Earth. Not exactly a new concept, but coming from a pair of visionaries like Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron, this manga adaptation comes with more expectations than most. In Alita, a young cyborg girl rescued by the kind Dr. Ido realizes there's so much more to her past than she thought possible, she just has to evade human schemers, cyborg assassins, motorball rallies, and her own passions to discover her own secrets...

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

GUELPH POLITICAST #162 - Guelph EDA of the People’s Party of Canada

27Feb

In just six months, the People's Party of Canada has run candidates in three by-elections, finished a strong fourth place in Burnaby-South with 10.6 per cent of the vote, and has set-up electoral district associations, or EDAs, in all 338 Federal ridings, including Guelph. Like it or not, the PPC is a real political force in Canada now.

Now you may have heard about the People's Party, and its charismatic leader and founder Maxime Bernier, but what does it stand for? What does it offer supporters that they're not getting from any other political party? What solutions are they proposing for the problems facing Canadians?

Since it seemed unlikely that Bernier himself would answer a call from the Politicast, the next best thing was to talk to a member of the local Guelph EDA of the People's Party. This week's podcast guest is Mark Paravolos, who is the President of the Guelph EDA, and what follows is a surprisingly long talk about politics in this modern Canada.

Paravolos, as the President of the EDA, has a unique and challenging road ahead. He has to help establish a local platform for a new national party, create and grow a list of supports, and help find a candidate who can carry the PPC's message to Guelph voters. Before that though, Paravolos is bringing his insights to you in a double-sized edition of the show.

Now the original goal of this podcast was to go beyond the national headlines about the People's Party, and talk to one of its grassroots activists about what it's all about. For Guelphites looking for a political change, how does Paravolos answer some of the questions posed above? It's tough to say that this podcast actually achieves that goal, but there should always be value in hearing good conversation between two people of different political perspectives discuss their respective points of view. Hopefully.

So let's talk about the people of the People's Party on this week's Guelph Politicast!

If you'd like to learn more about the Guelph EDA of the People's Party of Canada, you can visit their website, or by finding them on Facebook and Twitter. Remember, Canadians go to the polls to elect the 43rd Parliament of Canada on October 21.

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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