End Credits - June 28, 2017

28Jun

On this week's edition of End Credits we mix up the format. For the first half of the show, to mark a very special occasion, we will dive into Canadian cinema and pick a few titles any Canadian cinephile worth their salt should definitely check out. In the second half of the show, we'll talk about a movie that's an assault on good taste, or at the very least severely damages it. 

This Wednesday, June 28, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson and Candice Lepage will discuss:

1) A Canada Watch List. To mark the 150th birthday of Canada this weekend, we'll take the first half of the show to build a list of great Canadian movies to watch over the holiday long weekend. Hope you like horror. Because Candice went all scary movies in her five recommendations. Adam, meanwhile, goes a little artsy-fartsy with some recent picks and Canadian classics covering comedy, drama, and independent cinema. We also had one film in common on our lists, but you'll have to listen to the show to get all the titles and some hints on where you can find them.

REVIEW: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). In this newest Transformers movie, we learn that the robots disguised as cars, planes and other machines have been in the background of Earth history since long before humans knew what a machine was. Secret histories, ancient doodads, and Sir Anthony Hopkins come together to help Mark Wahlberg and his Autobot friends prevent another world ending disaster in this latest entry which is either the last of the series, or the first of a brand new phase of Transformers movies. Somehow they've made five of these, and this week we look at the latest in this series of films based on the popular toy line and whatever Michael Bay thinks is cool this year.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesdays at 8 am*.

Programming note: Next week, End Credits will be moving to its summer home of Thursday mornings for the months of July and August. Details to follow. 

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Open Sources Guelph - June 22, 2017

26Jun

We've got some serious, serious stuff to talk about on this week's Open Sources Guelph. Over in London, there's widespread concern about the safety of high-rises after a council estate went up in flames and killed an untold number of people. Then, we will look at the controversial issue of doctor assisted death here in Canada and how some people aren't getting the access they want despite the legality of it. And finally, we will do what you never thought possible, and welcome a real life Conservative MP into the studio to talk about some federal issues. 

This Thursday, June 22, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) What We Lost in the Fire. The Grenfell Tower fire in London is an unimaginable tragedy that has left hundreds of people homeless, and at least 79 people missing and presumed dead. The 24-storey, 120-unit building in London's pricey Kensington neighbourhood housed people of low incomes and immigrants from such places as Sudan, Eritrea, and Syria. Considering that they lived in public housing, and the fact that the management company who ran it had preciously been cited for breaking fire regulations, the question must be asked, were these people considered expendable? Were the concerns about safety in their building ignored in advanced of the tragedy? And how do we stop this from happening again?

2) Assisting Doctor-Assisted Death. It was about a year ago that the federal government opened the door (legally-speaking) to doctor assisted death in Canada. According to data collected by the CBC, over 1,300 people have opted to end their lives in the face of terminal debilitating illness, but that date also revealed that access to Medical Assistance in Death (MAiD) is not equal across the country. Naturally, this is becoming a religious debate as it's Catholic health organizations that are refusing be a part of anyone wanting to use their legal rights to end their lives, so does this mean doctor assisted death is going to be the next front in the culture wars? And what are the challenges for desperately sick people who want to use their hard fought for rights?

3) Outreach and Chong. This week, we are pleased to be joined by Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong. You may know him from his run for the federal Conservative leadership, you may know him as a maverick politician that once left his cabinet position on principal, or you may know him as the one Conservative politician you can think of as being in favour of carbon taxes. He's a complicated man that's for sure, and he's the representative of that big riding right next door to ours. So we'll ask Chong about what he's learned from the his experiences running for Conservative leadership, what he's up to now with all his free time, and what an opposition MP can do to affect change from his seat on the other side of the House of Commons.

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

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GUELPH POLITICAST #84 - Heather Flaherty, GM of Parks & Recreation

23Jun

June is Parks and Recreation month in Ontario, and Guelph is marking the occasion with a variety of activities at its various open spaces and indoor facilities. For the last year though, the City has been one rec facility short though, but not for too much longer.

The Victoria Road Recreation Centre has been undergoing extensive renovations this last year, a 21st century facelift for a building that was first opened in 1974 when accessibility was barely a requirement for new buildings. While it's not completely correct to say that what's happened at Vic Road is a knock down and rebuild, it's safe to say that when people start heading into the centre once again on the weekend, they might not recognize the place.

The person overseeing all this is Heather Flaherty, the general manager of Parks and Recreation for the City of Guelph. She's been on the job for a couple of years, and this is, by leaps and bounds, the biggest project she's supervised as GM. On this edition of the podcast, I talk to Flaherty about the changes and upgrades at the Victoria Road Rec Centre, and we talk about her job as general manager. What does a day in the life of Parks and Rec in Guelph look like? How does she balance the  recreational demands of the people of Guelph? What are the challenges of the department?

On top of that, if you're wondering about progress for a South End Recreation Centre, you will have to stay tuned because an update on that project is given in this podcast. So let's head over to the Victoria Road Recreation Centre and hear all about it in this second episode of the week of the Guelph Politicast. (And after you're done listening, scroll down to see an early behind-the-scenes look at the Rec Centre.)

You can learn more about what Parks and Rec has to offer at the City's website, and you can attend the grand re-opening of the Victoria Road Recreation Centre at 151 Victoria Rd N on Saturday June 24 at 11 am.

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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GUELPH POLITICAST #83 - Live (ish) From National Aboriginal Day

22Jun

Guelph marked another National Aboriginal Day on Wednesday bringing First Nations dance, music, culture and food to Downtown Guelph in front of City Hall for all to see. A few hundred people gathered on Carden Street to see a wide swath of Indigenous traditions brought to life, a reminder that as we strive for truth and reconciliation, there's still a culture trying to thrive.

This week's Guelph Politicast comes directly from the street. No, really. It was recorded out and about on Carden Street for National Aboriginal Day and contains excerpts from the speeches and ceremonies as well as interviews with some of the people taking part. While no one will pretend that one day of celebrations will make for centuries of abuse and mistreatment, not to mention efforts to entirely erase the very culture we were there to celebrate, we also can't pretend that for many of us, all we know about Indigenous culture probably (and erroneously) comes from old Westerns.

If you couldn't make it to National Aboriginal Day celebrations this year, this is some of what you missed.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVn8HmSgmTc/?taken-by=adamadonaldson

As to the messages of the day, there was a lot of learning about Indigenous culture, what certain rights and ceremonies mean, a lot of  dancing and music, remarks about how we all need to learn more about our First Nations neighbours and help them preserve their heritage for future generations, and how they have something to teach us all about community and stewardship. You might not be able to get much of the singing, dancing or artistry here, but there's certainly a message to be heard in this week's podcast.

Let's head back to Carden Street and the celebrations of Indigenous culture on this edition of the Guelph Politicast.

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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End Credits - June 21, 2017

21Jun

Now typically there's no swearing on CFRU, but this week on End Credits we're going to have to talk about swearing. Yippee ki yay, Mr. Falcon! This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps on a Monday-to-Friday plane!!! And after we talk about clean versions of certain movies, we'll get into another mess: What do you do/say/think when a favourite actor or celebrity goes to court? And speaking of court, would you still put the director of a bad movie on trial 20 years later? Even if he was sorry? All that, and a review of a wonderful new Canadian film on this week's show. 

This Wednesday, June 21, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson, Tim Phillips and Peter Salmon will discuss:

1) Clean Sweep. Sony Entertainment caused a bit of an uproar when they announced "Clean Versions" of popular titles from their libraries, versions of popular titles sanitized for the whole family by taking out the swearing, the sex and/or the violence. Now nothing was replaced, the unedited versions of the films were still available with the family-friendly versions being offered in addition to the originals, but artists like Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen vehemently demanded that Sony leave well enough alone. Was their reaction justified? And hey, haven't so called clean versions of movies been with us for years on TV and airplanes?

2) Personality Conflicts. It's been a question seemingly as old as Hollywood itself, how can fans separate the real-life controversies of popular actors, directors and other celebrities from their work? That question has come to the fore with the rape trial of Bill Cosby, who's been alleged to do some despicable things in court, but whose TV work was groundbreaking and arguably still relevant. Then there's Roman Polanski, on the run for four decades evading a prison sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl, but now even his victim is saying in court to let sleeping dogs lie? Can you separate a man's works from his crimes? Should you?

3) All Apologies. Twenty years later, Joel Schumacher finally admitted that he might have done a bad thing making Batman & Robin. The 1997 action film gave Batman movies, and comic book movies a bad name, and it regularly ranks today as one of the worst films *ever* made, and last week, in an interview with Vice, Schumacher said that if fans were offended by it, then he apologizes. Let's be honest though: Does Schumacher deserve to be punished (Batman) forever for Batman & Robin? Haven't there been equally bad comic book movies released since then? Hasn't Joel Schumacher done good work on more low key movies over the last two decades?

REVIEW: Maudie (2017). This week on the show, we go to the art house, and we don't just mean the cinema. Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke star in the true life story of Maud and Everett Lewis. Maud has become a renowned folk artist, and a Nova Scotia icon with fans as diverse as Richard Nixon, who personally wrote to Maud to buy a few of her paintings while he was in the White House. The life story of Maud and Everett, their unusual courtship, and Maud's journey into that annals in Canadian art history is lovingly brought to life by Irish director Aisling Walsh, and beautifully acted by Hawkins and Hawke in what may be one of the best movies you will see this year.

End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesdays at 8 am.

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Open Sources Guelph - June 15, 2017

19Jun

This week on Open Sources Guelph, Anarchy in the U.K.! Moments after the show ended last week, the returns in the U.K.'s snap election started coming in, and they were surprising. We'll break down the results and what it means for Brexit, the young people who were against it and the old people that have forgotten they were for it. We'll also talk about *why* you might have to celebrate Canada 150 sober, why you can now blaspheme to your heart's content, and maybe why Ontario should have just one Board of Education. 

This Thursday, June 15, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Jeremy Ain't Broken. In a surprise upset that once again disgraced the good name of pollsters, Theresa May's slam-dunk electoral victory, and Jeremy Corbyn's swift trip to oblivion was not how the snap U.K. election turned out. In what's been considered a swift blow to growing populism, May lost her majority, was forced to team-up with the ultra right DUP to form a government and is now in a weak position to begin to negotiate Brexit next week. Corbyn, meanwhile, delivered the greatest Labour victory since 1945, and all the centrist members anxious to get rid of him now have to kiss his ring. What happened?

2) Drinks Up! A strike at the LCBO five days before the start of a long weekend?! Quel horreur? What will our province do if precious libations are kept from them on a summer holiday weekend? Here's a better question: What is this planned job action by LCBO employees represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) planning on striking against (or in favour of)? Bet you don't know because there's been a pathetic lack of explanation from the mainstream media. So we'll do the work they won't. What's this strike about? What's the Ontario government holding out from the union?

3) Free Blasphemy. At long last, the people of Canada can blaspheme without the fear of Johnny Law coming down on them like a ton of bricks. Okay, so there hasn't been much of a chance of that for at least two decades, but that's Canada, around the world you can still get in trouble for, to use the textbook definition, "the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things." Stephen Fry was basically investigated in Ireland for talking like an atheist, and a man is going on trial in Denmark for burning a Koran. So why is Canada seemingly like the only place in the world that's basically making it okay to be thoroughly secular?

4) Board to Death. Spontaneously, a couple of different think pieces have been written in the last week asking a simple question: Isn't it time for one school board in Ontario? The idea of getting rid of the Catholic Board of Education was a boutique issue in the last provincial election, and with another vote coming up next year, might the issue get more prominence? Is it past time to merge the boards into a singular, secular school system and stop divesting our resources? Would it solve some of the other problems with the education system, lack of French teachers for example, if we weren't separating our efforts into two equal piles? (Good thing that blasphemy law's been repealed.)

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

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End Credits - June 14, 2017

14Jun

This week's episode of End Credits goes on Cruise control. I know. Sorry, it had to be said. Before getting into the latest Mummy movie, we'll also talk about Tom Cruise's other pet franchise in the making, a sequel to a film more than three decades old and is very much a victim of its time. We also talk about Canadians behaving badly by smack talking their own remakes, and whether a return to allegorical apartheid in sci-fi form is in the offing. 

This Wednesday, June 14, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson, and Vince Masson will discuss:

1) I Ain't Afraid of No Boast. Dan Aykroyd once called last summer's release of Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot a film that was both funnier and scarier than the two films Aykroyd had acted in and co-written, but what a difference a year makes. Now the Canadian comedian is saying that Feig is persona non grata on the Sony lot because he lost millions of dollars by, wait for it, not listening to Aykroyd's advice on the picture. But is Aykroyd being fair to Feig? To Ghostbusters? And what does it say about the Blues Brother that he threw a colleague under the bus on British television?

2) Neill or No Neill. South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp was once considered the next great filmmaking voice of genre cinema, but it's now a long way from District 9, and Blomkamp's last film, Chappie, had squandered much of the remaining good will he had among fans. What can he do to change that? On the one hand, he's talking about taking on a new film project in the same world as District 9, but he's also started a new project called OATS, which will allow Blomkamp to test the waters of his own ideas with a series of experimental short films. Is this the start of a comeback for Blomkamp?

3) Top Done! While promoting The Mummy, Tom Cruise has been doing a bit of promotion on another potential project, a movie sequel that's now more than 30 years in the making, Top Gun: Maverick. Do we really need a Top Gun sequel though? Cruise has promised the return of dogfights, Harold Faltermeyer, volleyball, and all the things that exemplify the cheesy action quality of Tony Scott's original, but in the age of drones, and dirty wars, and the moral ambiguity of the military digital age, is Top Gun still relevant? And is the entire idea of a Top Gun sequel just a fun idea that's kind of gotten away from Cruise in his giddiness?

REVIEW: The Mummy (2017). The Mummy is back, and this time, he's a girl! And she's part of a shared universe!! Yes, this Mummy is meant to open the door to a Dark Universe, where all the classic monsters lie in wait to attack a world that doesn't know they're coming, and the only one who can save is Tom Cruise! Cruise stars in this first-parter of a grander horror/action franchise alongside Annabelle Wallis and special guest star Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll *and* Edward Hyde. The villain is Sofia Boutella as an ancient Egyptian princess cursed with ungodly powers and ready to stalk the modern world to unleash Set, the God of Death. Does Cruise survive to face off against the next monster? The question answers itself...

End Credits is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 8 am on Wednesday.

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GUELPH POLITICAST #82 - Linda Terry, Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries

12Jun

Jesus said, "The poor you will always have with you," but that doesn't mean we have to be okay with that. Poverty is as real, and tortuous today as it was two thousand years ago when that was written in the Book of Matthew, and try as we might, it seems that Jesus' words are not just gospel, but prophetic. So how can we change that?

Numerous social service and activism groups have been trying to find ways to undo the stranglehold of poverty for decades, but the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries realizes that they need a key partner to make real change happen: the media. Their 12th annual Poverty Symposium will focus on the topic, "Solutions to Poverty Includes Media", and will bring together a variety of media representatives to talk about how media can be used to increase awareness and action on poverty and related issues. Guelph Politico will represent the "new media" there.

So as a bit of prep work before the symposium, I asked Linda Terry, the executive director of the SPCCND to join me on the podcast to talk about her organization's work to combat poverty, how the media has shown in can make an impact in the recent past, and the difficulties in making an issue as big and multifaceted as poverty a media priority. As recently demonstrated, it's clear that this topic has struck a chord in our own committee, the need to talk about poverty and its effects more, so I hope that this podcast, and the symposium Thursday, starts a grand discussion about how local media can best help society's most vulnerable.

So let's talk about anti-poverty activism, the media, and how we can help each other on this week's Guelph Politicast!

The 12th annual Poverty Symposium "Solutions to Poverty Includes Media" takes place this Thursday at 8:30 am at the Preston Memorial Auditorium, 1458 Hamilton Street in Cambridge. To register on Event Brite, click here. To learn more about the work of the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries you can visit their website here.

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 8, 2017

11Jun

This week on Open Sources Guelph we go around the world! Not literally, of course, and mostly in North America and the U.K., but what we're saying is that there are world wide implications. From someone that might be the Prime Minister of Canada if he can get his party's leadership, to a contest to determine who the leader of the United Kingdom will be, to a guy once called the "Leader of the Free World" but seems not even remotely interested in being a leader in his own house. Politics, elections, the environment and terror are all on the docket for this week's show. 

This Thursday, June 8, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:

1) Peter Can! The answer to the question: Who can best lead the New Democratic Party into the next election depending on who you ask. New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian came through Guelph last weekend looking to tap into that same progressive activist spirit that colleagues and fellow leadership candidates Charlie Angus and Niki Ashton have already tapped. We talked to Julian about his ambitious plan to turn grassroots groups and social movements into the base of the NDP, why the media's drumming up of a false narrative about the divide in the party, and how New Democrats have to find a way to remind Canadians they're the real progressive choice.

2) The Wrath of Khan. A terrorist attack in London Saturday that killed seven and injured nearly 50 became the third such attack in Great Britain in almost the same number of months, and on the eve of a fundraising concert to support the victims of the Manchester suicide bomber at an Arianna Grande show. Englanders approached the matter with their renowned "keep calm and carry on" stoicism, but on the other side of the ocean, the U.S. President seemed lose what little was left of his sanity. We'll talk about the wave of terrorism that's been affecting Britain, and how it might affect the outcome of Thursday's election across the United Kingdom. Speaking of which...

3) May's Day. After surprising everyone with a national election call that was a few years early, Theresa May will find out if she can get the broad support she needs to pursue tough Brexit negotiations sometime after our show's over Thursday night. May bet all her chips on Jeremy Corbyn not being able to mount a strong contest for the residency of Downing Street, but Corbyn's been turning out big crowds at his campaign rallies, and he has some old timey Labour members sweating that the electoral fate of the party is now completely tied to Corbyn in what was supposed to be his last hurrah. John Atkin, a former editor at the BBC, will join us to talk about the campaign and what we can anticipate when the returns come in.

4) Climate Discord. President Donald Trump seemed to put the nail in the coffin of both the planet, and on American leadership last week when he announced that the U.S. was leaving the Paris Climate Change Accord and throwing his lot in with Nicaragua, who think the deal was too weak, and Syria, who've got *ahem* bigger concerns. But something interesting happened. The world turned around and decided that they didn't need the U.S., or at least federal U.S. leadership. A dozen state governors and the mayors of 150 American cities have said they'll commit to the accord on their own. Can America, and the world, pursue a carbon neutral future without the support and funding of the federal government?

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

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End Credits - June 7, 2017

7Jun

This is it! The first episode of End Credits! Every week in this space, we, a small but dedicated group of local movie lovers, will talk about some of the latest news items from the realm of pop culture and review a recent cinematic offering. This week, we have concerns. We have concerns about using soured fruit to rate the quality of a film, about the portrayal of women in movies (even the prestigious ones), and about men's rights wackos getting scared of women enjoying a movie without them. All this, and a journey back to World War I with a warrior princess, on this week's inaugural show!

This Wednesday, June 7, at 8 am, Adam A. Donaldson, Candice Lepage, and Jenna Gare will discuss:

1) Something Rotten With the State of Tomatoes? Disappointed with the opening weekend returns of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Baywatch, some studio execs are blaming the know-it-alls on Rotten Tomatoes for giving those films such terrible notices. Really? Now the Tomato-Meter is to blame for terrible movies getting terrible reviews? There's always bene a push/pull between studios and critics, but are the former complaining about the latter too much? Especially when those same studios love to celebrate when their movie's are "certified fresh".

2) Jessica Chastises. At the close of the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival, shortly after Sofia Coppola became only the second woman in the festival's history to win Best Director, actress Jessica Chastain told a press conference that she was "disturbed" by the portrayal of women in the films she saw as a jury member. Chastain's comments caught a lot of people's attention, not out of surprise, but because she's given voice to some pretty broad concerns about women in movies both in front of and behind the camera. We'll discuss Chastain's comments and where the debate could, and should, go from here...

3) Ladies' Fight. Leading into our review this week, we'll talk about why so many men were upset at the idea of ladies' only screenings of Wonder Woman. The Alamo Drafthouse in several U.S. cities is hosting the sold-out screenings, which made certain men mad because the idea of women gathering on their own without men around is... scary (?). We'll talk about how bizarre this situation is, and why a proposed "men only" screen Star Wars was doomed to failure, and not just because of the incredibly false assumption that there's no such thing as a female Star Wars fan.

REVIEW: Wonder Woman (2017). The latest entry in the DC Extended Universe is now in theatres everywhere, Wonder Woman. Not only is this the first major superhero movie to feature a female hero, it's the first major comic book movie to be helmed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. So does Wonder Woman succeed as a superhero movie with all the weighty expectations of fans for the art form? Does it succeed as a glass ceiling shattering social statement that women can play the game just as good as the men? We'll talk about all the action and all the social commentary as Gal Gadot fights for truth, justice, and box office dominance in Wonder Woman.

End Credits is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 8 am on Wednesday.

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