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Netflix Coming To Canada

In: Gadgets & Tech, Movies, Random Reads, Topher

About f’ing time!

Netflix announced on Monday that they will be expanding their service for the first time outside of the U.S. The Canadian service which will feature streaming T.V. shows and movies directly to your computer / T.V. will be released this fall. First in English, and secondly in French.

Unlike the service Netflix provides in the States, the Canadian version will be streaming only, so no DVD distribution. I think that’s perfect. Canada already has Zip.ca for a mail-order option. I mean, they suck, and it’s almost impossible to get new releases, but they exist.

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I know this may seem like an odd movie to review out of the blue, but hear me out. My first Retro Move Review was Mommie Dearest. Retro for sure, and I reviewed it because, well, this is a gay site, and a lot of gay men love that movie. I wanted to continue the trend of reviewing older movies that have some gay link to them.

1985′s Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge may not seem like an obvious choice if you’ve never seen it. Pretty much everyone over 20 is familiar with Freddy Krueger and the Wes Craven created Elm Street franchise. Seeing how there are over 7 movies (not including the remake or the fight with Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees) I wouldn’t expect everyone to have seen all of them. But let me tell you, this movie is loaded with gay subtext, and stars the self-proclaimed first male scream queen, now openly gay actor Mark Patton. Usually these teenage torment films star females, due to their inherent vulnerabilities. Freddy’s Revenge sort of bucks the trend here.

Now, I have seen snippets of Elm Street movies over the years, but I can’t say for sure if I had ever watched one straight through to the end. The original came out in 1984. I would have been 1 year and a bit, so I wasn’t the target audience upon release. A lot of other people were though. New Line Cinema’s early success can be attributed solely to that movie, and earned the nickname “The House that Freddy Built”.

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In news sure to thrill both me and Dan, non-stop octogenarian Betty White will guest star on the best thing on T.V., NBC’s Community.

Ms. White will be playing “professor June Bauer, an esteemed, albeit slightly unhinged, anthropology professor” in the second season premier.

Golden Girl alumni do very well in guest roles. Bea Arthur earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Malcolm in the Middle, and White herself earned three nominations and one win for the same category. Nominations for a role on Yes Dear! (one of my guilty pleasures), Suddenly Susan (another guilty pleasure) and My Name is Earl (NOT one of my guilty pleasures). She won back in ’96 on The John Larroquette Show (who honestly remembers that?).

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

So stupid Spain, won the stupid World Cup final last night. The stupid score was 1 stupid goal to 0.

Being in Amsterdam for the final was quite the experience. I prepared early. I bought an orange shirt, and due to a bet I made earlier in the tournament, bought some orange underwear. I bought some Heineken, and some water, and headed down to the Museumplein to watch the game with 120,000 other people. I got there at 7:00pm our time, and the place was packed. The game didn’t even start until 8:30. Some news reports were saying that by 5:00 there were already 100,000 people there. Needless to say, this was an event.

The game was pretty great in my opinion. Although no one had scored by the end of regulation, there were a couple nail biting moments. Robben had a breakaway that deflected off the Spanish goalie’s leg, and Spain had a few shots too. The ref has been taking some heat here in Holland. The Dutch were racking up yellow cards left and right. Some deserved, some not so much. I don’t know if I would have been cheering for the Netherlands if I wasn’t living here. They played really aggressively (prime example would be the cleated drop kick to the chest by de Jong), which I don’t normally like.

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Spend a day in Winnipeg and you’re likely to have a conversation about mosquitoes. Spend a day in Ottawa and you’re likely to have a conversation about the government. Spend a day in Vancouver, and eventually you’re going to have a conversation about real estate. Spend 20 seconds in Amsterdam and you’re likely to be bombarded with anything and everything World Cup related. Everyone has an opinion on who has been playing poorly, or what the best goal of the tournament was. I’ve never seen a city so focused.

The Netherlands will be playing Spain in the World Cup final on Sunday. An unexpected final to say the least. The Netherlands pulled quite the upset knocking out Brazil in the quarter finals, and Spain similarly knocking out Germany in the semis. No matter who wins, there will be a few firsts. Never have a European team won the World Cup outside of Europe. Never have The Netherlands or Spain won a World Cup. Never have I been so excited about soccer.

I watched the semi final game between The Netherlands and Uruguay on Tuesday night, and it was intense. The Dutch scored first on an amazingcross field corner shot by Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, my choice for best goal of the tournament (shown below). The cheating Uruguayans tied it up just before the end of the half.

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2010 Polaris Prize Short List

In: Music, Topher

The short list for the 2010 Polaris Prize was announced on Tuesday with some interesting choices. Last year, hardcore band Fucked Up took home the $20,000 prize for their amazing album Chemistry of Common Life.

The annual prize is awarded to the best Canadian album based “solely on artistic merit”. No album sales, or number of tabloid appearances count here. The list is determined 198 music journalists and broadcasters from across the country, and is narrowed down to 10 from an original longer list of 40. All albums under consideration were released between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010.

Here’s the list:

  • The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night
  • Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
  • Caribou – Swim
  • Karkwa – Les Chemins de Verre
  • Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice
  • Owen Pallett – Heartland
  • Radio Radio – Belmundo Regal
  • The Sadies – Darker Circles
  • Shad – TSOL
  • Tegan and Sara – Sainthood

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Retro Movie Review: Mommie Dearest

In: Movies, Topher

Back when a few of us were in Dublin for a bit, we went out one night to a drag show at Panti Bar. Being out for 10+ years, I’ve seen my fair share of drag, and usually it’s not that entertaining to me. Two queens in the show reenacted a couple of scenes from some classic camp movies, and I loved it. One performance was a mix of scenes from the 1962 What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?. That movie has quite a few overly dramatic scenes that fit well in a drag show.

The other movie that the Irish queen’s performed was from the 1981 Joan Crawford bio-pic, Mommie Dearest. There are some movies that are famous because they are good. This is not one of those movies. MD is trashy, B-movie camp through and through, and for that reason is very popular in the gay community. The movie is a film adaptation of the book with the same title, written by Crawford’s eldest adopted daughter, Christina Crawford, and focuses mainly on their relationship and Joan’s supposed OCD for success and cleanliness.

There has been just as much drama behind the scenes as there were on celluloid. After being cut out of her mother’s will, Christina wrote the scathing tell-all biography of her family life. Many of Joan’s friends and acquaintances have responded by denying the accounts of Christina, while one of Joan’s other children Christopher, (the only other one to be cut out of the will), sided with Christina.

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The-Dream: Yamaha

In: Music, Topher

Hands up. Who likes Prince? You better have your hand up, and you better check out this track off The-Dream’s Love King album. Yamaha continues with the recent trend in music of rehashing the 80s, but instead of trying to re-work what made the 80s so terrible into something modern, he’s taking inspiration from artists whose songs have past the test of time.

The-Dream has had more success behind the scenes, penning both Umbrella AND Single Ladies, and winning a Grammy for the latter. He’s had moderate success with his own ambitious career. He’s release three albums since 2007, though, I can say I’ve only really heard one or two songs besides this one, and maybe a collaboration with Drake.

If he stops giving all the hits to the ladies, and keeps them for himself though: lookout. Yamaha is retro-fresh, and is stuck in my head. I don’t have full understanding of the lyrics yet, but I think he’s singing about a girl that reminds him of a motorcycle, because he wants to ride her. Well, isn’t that cute.

listen to Yamaha after the jump

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