Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Nitpicking: Avengers Infinity War


It has been some weeks since I initially watched ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and I have seen it a total of 4 times. I maintain it is the best Super Hero and Marvel movie made to date.  But like all things it is not a perfect film and here is a list of some nitpicking things I found with Avengers Infinity War:

-         “Get this man a shield”. So all film I was waiting for that moment because it was in the trailer. In ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Cap left his shield with Tony. It was made with vibranium and since Wakanda is full of vibranium and the King did say to get Cap a shield I assumed it would be as cool if not better than the original…nope. Instead he has 2 cocktail trays attached to his arms. So disappointed. I would have loved to see Cap using a triangle shield (from WW2) or his energy shield.


-         What’s up Hulk?:

So Banner can’t get it up? Performance issues? By ‘it’ I mean the Hulk. Why would the Hulk cower in a fight? Maybe it is leading into the Banner/Hulk for Avengers 4? I just didn’t buy it that the Hulk would shy away from a fight.

-         Why not throw a bone to the MCU Television series?

When shit was going down in NYC why didn’t they take the opportunity to have Luke Cage show up? Daredevil is still MIA, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Agents of Shield and Punisher didn’t have to be there but why not include Luke Cage? It would have kicked ass when Banner is having his initial performance issues if Luke Cage would have come running in and taken on the brute bad guy. And he could have went with Banner to join up with the Avengers…just saying they have these Netflix shows tied in with the MCU so why not use a character from them to help legitimize the Netflix series? And Luke Cage would have been the perfect addition.

-         What happened to Valkyrie?

So they established this kick ass African American /Asgardian character in ‘Thor: Ragnorok” and she is nowhere to be seen in this film.  It is assumed she escaped with half of the Asgardians before Thanos destroyed their ship but it would have been nice to see her. Or Lady Sif…

Just a few nitpicks but as I said in my review of this film: it is as perfect as any MCU film has got to date.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Dark Knight: 10 years later.

I never understood all the hype and praise placed on this movie; some of it yes but not all. When I hear people say “The Dark Knight is the best comic book movie ever made!” my response is always “What?” There are far better comic book movies than that one. Now don’t get me wrong I do think it is a good movie, but is it the best comic book movie? No it is not and here is why:

-         The Joker: Heath Ledger was mesmerizing as the Joker and some have said he was the best person to have taken that role. Unfortunately I think the same people are caught up in his performance knowing it was his last before his unfortunate death prior to the release of the film. Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s 1989 ‘Batman’ film is so much better than Ledger. Nicholson brought the Joker to life in a way that had never been done before. He truly captured the essence of the comic book’s clown prince of crime. Ledger played up the Joker in a way that was not what comic book fans expected from that character. He was good but not as good as Nicholson.

-         Two-Face: I love this character and I was excited he was introduced in this film. But no sooner do they introduce him they kill him off and somehow Batman is the bad guy at the end of the day…WHAT??? Two-Face would have made for a great villain in his own Batman film and was completely wasted here.

-         People having to decide who lives and dies: The whole Joker rigging the two boats to blow up and leaving it to the people and prisoners on the boats to decide who dies was just dumb and very un-Joker like. Joker is an agent of chaos and does not care about what people will decide…he kills for fun and laughs and to get under Batman’s skin. The whole ship sequence was an attempt of Director Christopher Nolan to make this film deeper than it really is.

-         Batman the bad guy: So Commissioner Gordon and Batman its best for everyone that they do not find out the truth about Harvey Dent/Two-Face so Batman takes the wrap for killing Dent and everyone Dent killed prior to his death…WHAT?? It was such a stupid plot twist and again an attempt to give the film a deeper meaning than it really had.  


So what comic book films are better than ‘The Dark Knight’? Here’s a few:

-         Iron Man

-         Avengers

-         Avengers Infinity War

-         Every Captain America film

-         Spiderman (2002)


‘The Dark Knight’ was a great comic book movie, but definitely not the best.

Nuff said.


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Avengers Infinity War Review


I have to spoil some things so if you have not seen the film yet then maybe wait to read this. Now that I have said that I must say that this is (in my opinion) the best super hero movie ever made. This film may even slide into my Top 5 favorite movies of all time (still debating that list).

The lead up to this film has been 10 years and 18 films in the making. Marvel studios has made some really great choices during that time and everything paid off for this film.  There could be some nitpicking stuff I could throw out there (Where’s Lady Sif? Why would Odin have a replica of the Infinity Gauntlet in his collection if it hadn’t been made yet for real? Maybe Thanos got his idea to build a gauntlet with the infinity stones from Odin?) but I’m not going to nit-pick. This film had a lot of great characters, the story was amazing, the villain was the real star of the film and he was outstanding, the ending was both shocking and heart breaking. This film had all the ingredients for a great film.

Josh Brolin as Thanos was so well cast. Thano’s motivations in some weird way made some sense and made him an interesting antagonist to watch. Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt and all the other cast members brought their A-game and delivered on so many levels. The Russo brothers (directors of the last 2 Captain America movies) did their best directorial work for this film and delivered the impossible to the world. This film is what ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is to Star Wars fans: Simply the best.


5 Stars out of 5 *****
Can't wait for 'Ant Man & The Wasp' and 'Captain Marvel'. But it does suck having to wait for the conclusion to 'Infinity War' which will not be until May 2019.... :(

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Goodbye TV Dad and good riddance

So this week Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault on women with many more lining up to testify against him if necessary. My question is why? Why did he drug and assault these women? I understand being a man and wanting to have some fun but why drugs? Why assault? He is rich enough I’m sure he could have hired some high end prostitutes where ever and whenever he needed so why drug women and assault them? The simple answer would seem to be he is a monster. Only monsters assault and drug people for their own selfish desires so clearly he is one. And like all monsters he deserves to be locked away forever.
This realization makes me sad. Like most kids raised in the 80’s watching ‘The Cosby Show’ was a weekly event. And when his show became syndicated it became daily viewing. Bill Cosby as ‘Cliff Huxtable’ was the dad everyone would want. He was loving, funny, reliable, goofy, wise and forever patient with his kids. He not only was a great dad he was also a great doctor. Also Cosby hosted ‘Kids say the darndest things’ and Jello commercials, he produced ‘Fat Albert’ and starred in the film ‘Leonard Part 6’ (which I loved as a kid) and so on. So Bill Cosby was always there in my life….now he’s gone and good riddance to him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Buddhism and me

(Continuing from my last post 'Where is God'?)

Now don't get me wrong I do believe in heaven. The universe is so complex and fascinating that there has to be something else when we die, there just has to be. We do not simply blink out of existence. Maybe God created the earth and gave us it and decided to leave us to our own devices; live and learn. Maybe he (or she) decided long ago to cut us loose, let us live and learn from our mistakes in life, have our lives be what makes us into the people we are for heaven. If that is the case then maybe God simply cannot pick and choose when to interfere, when to strike those down who deserve it, when to make his (or her) presence known.

When I met with my pastor for the first time he asked me if I thought I would be going to heaven when I died. I answered yes. he was a bit surprised that I was so sure as most people answer that question by saying "I don't know". I explained that once in 1997 a few months after my Grandpa passed away he came to me in a dream. This was no ordinary dream; I cannot relate into words why I feel this one was different it just was. I knew then that my Grandpa had saw my sorrow and guilt from heaven and he came to me to show me he was fine, and to tell me that he loved me. I awoke from that dream and cried and felt better than I had in months. So if my Grandpa was somewhere else after death he had to be in heaven. He was a great man and did good in his life; he was also quietly Christian and kept his beliefs to himself (I later found out), so the only logical conclusion is that he was in heaven. So if I live my life like he did I will be there too when my time comes. I don't know if my Pastor completely agreed with my analysis but it is what it is and no one can change my mind about that. But what if there was another explanation...

So after my Uncles death and my daughters statement about God I decided to study other faiths and see if I could find an answer. So I came to study Buddhism. Buddhism does not deal with heaven or God, and is more of a belief system than a religion. Buddhism deals with karma and reincarnation. If you do good in this world and create good karma you will be rewarded in this life or the next. And reincarnation means that when our journey ends in this life we will have another one. And if we create good karma in this life we will enjoy a good life in the next. But if we create bad karma in this life or a previous one it will affect us later in this life or the next. So in that theory if we die young in this life it could mean that karma has dictated that. Maybe the reason why someone dies unexpectedly is because they did something bad in this life or previous lives. For example: Maybe a man who dies suddenly at the age of 40, but was for all intents and purposes a good person, died because he took a life in a previous life. Maybe he was a solider fighting in a war in another life and because he killed a 40 year old man then he will die in this life as a 40 year old. Its karma coming full circle. But because he was a good man in this life he will live a full life in the next.

I honestly don't know what to believe. I call myself a Buddhist Christian because I believe in certain aspects of both but cannot commit fully to either. One day I will find out for myself, just hopefully not anytime soon.

Where is God?

A few years ago I had a spiritual awakening. I wanted to learn about God, Jesus, The Bible, the Holy Spirit, all of that. I went to a number of churches and became a regular at one in particular. My church family was very welcoming, friendly and kind. I learned quite a bit during this time and began studying the Bible. I learned a lot and feel like a better person for having devoted so much of my time to this; I even started a short lived podcast called ‘Faith & the Good Words’. In church and from reading the bible we learn it is our duty as Christians to use our talent to spread the work of God and his son Jesus Christ. Since I was a somewhat accomplished podcaster it seemed natural to me to use my talents to spread the word.


But as time went on and I continued to see the evil in the world on the news; then my Uncle died suddenly. He was a great man and only 61 years old; it just wasn’t supposed to happen. Then my young daughter told me she no longer wanted to go to church. When I asked her why she told me “Why would God let a good man like Uncle die when there are so many bad people in the world who get to live?” And I had no answer for her.


Why do good people die and evil ones live? Why does god create creatures that can kill us? Why are there child rapists? Why are there rapists? Why do people starve in this world when there is enough food for everyone? Why do the rich get richer and the poor stay poor?

Where is god in all of this? Is life but a test to qualify for heaven?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Thoughts on Tipping

I worked as a waiter in grade 10. It started as a work experience position for high school credits but they were so impressed with me I was offered weekend hours. This was in my hometown of Fort Assiniboine and being a 'waiter' rather than a 'waitress' was not common back then in small town Alberta. This was the school year of 1995-1996 and the only time I remember seeing a waiter was in Edmonton restaurants, so I like to think of myself as a bit of a trailblazer. The restaurant I worked at was located at the old Fort Assiniboine hotel, which burned down in the summer of 1998.

Back then I was lucky to get a dollar or two as a tip. Food was cheaper back then but I also know some of the rig guys refused to tip me because I was a man. Rig guys will tip a bad waitress if she's flirty and shows off her assets but a good reliable waiter gets almost nothing from them; that's just the way it was. But at the end of the day I was proud of the tips I earned.

Now fast forward over twenty years; I have been out of the service industry since 1996 but I do frequent restaurants. Not just because I am not a good cook but I am also kinda lazy when it comes to cooking but whatever I can afford it. I do my best to tip as I know its part of the service industry. But I have a few stipulations:

1- Service has to be good (I'm not expecting to be waited on hand and foot but I do expect my refills and asking "Do you need anything" from time to time)

2- A positive attitude towards me and my family (I don't expect cart wheels or an ear to ear smile but a nice friendly attitude)

If the service is poor, the attitude bad I will not tip or tip at a lower level than I would have normally. I generally as a rule tip at 10%. I know some people say it should be 15% now but a 10% tip is fair I think for service. For example a meal out with my growing family of 5 is between $60-$90 typically, so I would leave a $6 tip to $9 depending on the actual meal, and I typically round up. So on a $63 dollar tab I would leave $7 for a tip.

Now Monday night we had supper at Westlock BP's and it was a $90 tab. But our waitress was less then impressive. She took our orders, brought us our drinks then nothing. It was other waitresses who brought us our food, I'm assuming ours was on a break. We ate our food and she did not come back. it wasn't until another waitress saw me looking around the room for our waitress did she get alerted and returned to our table. We only left a $5 tip, and when we paid for our food she said nothing to us, no "Have a nice day" or "How was your meal?", nothing. I think she noticed the $5 tip and was not happy with it. But I am sorry she was terrible and the fact we left anything was an act of kindness on our part as far as I'm concerned.

Follow my 2 small stipulations to good service and you will get a 10% tip guaranteed.