Maybe, This Christmas (Christmas 2016)

It’s been quite the year for me, dear readers.

As I reflect back on what has been accomplished this year at timotheories, I’m proud of all the new theories we’ve been able to bring to you, the friendships strengthened through opportunities of collaboration whether in monthly interviews, Cross Talk film discussion or the much anticipated Just ‘n Time Games (I swear it’s coming), and of course so much curating I can’t even believe it.

2017 looks to be even brighter, and as I personally wind down for a week of reflection, timed perfectly with the Christmas season, I can’t help but be inspired by the holidays friends.

Normally, I like to tell people that I’m not a large fan of Christmas, after all, it is a lot of effort for very little physical pay-off. But upon the start of my reflection, the mistake I make in writing and believing that, is that Christmas really is a SEASON of giving and goodwill, and I believe that most of us use this time to set aside our desires for recognition to share ourselves and provide something special to those we care about.

With that in mind, I’ve rewritten some Christmas lyrics into a little poem, capturing the intent of this realization for me. I can thank my girlfriend Mysticque for a lot of this inspiration, because she is a dedicated and giving individual, perhaps a bit sentimental too, which I use in a positive light as a robot coming off of his programming.

So this one is for you baby.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, all is calm. All is bright.

I don’t want a lot this Christmas. Just, like, the ones I used to know… You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear, voices singing “And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun. The near and the dear ones, the old and the young.” Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see? A star, a star, dancing in the night. O holy night! The stars are brightly shining.

Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Please have snow and mistletoe. And presents by the tree… Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me.Oh, there’ll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain. and I’ll be happy, Christmas once again. This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special.

I really do believe in you, let’s see if you believe in me. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.

With that shared, timotheories always has been and always will be digital curating at heart, and you can’t have heart without art, creative cuties. I ask you to take some time, whether Christmas inspired or not, to reflect on your own year, consider what you’ve achieved, and set the bar a little higher for yourselves, never measuring against others, but against you, because you CAN achieve your dreams, and Christmas is a great reminder of why sharing with others is vital.

Happy holidays and I’ll see you in the new year, with a new plan, some new theories, and lots of he(art).

Tim!

Now I Have A Machine Gun, Ho Ho Ho (Die Hard review)

What is a die hard anyway? Common knowledge states that it’s someone who stubbornly resists change or uses tenacity to stick to a seemingly hopeless cause.

In a special Theatrical Tuesday review, I look at a movie that is truly die hard, and almost twenty five years later, is still considered to be an achievement in genre film. I think you’ll enjoy this one folks.

 

 

 

Die Hard (1988)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, William Atherton, Hart Bochner, Alan Rickman, James Shigeta
Director: John McTiernan
released on blu-ray November 20, 2007
********** 10/10

die_hard_ver2

IMDB: 8.2
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Audience Score 94%
The Guardian: *****/*****

John McTiernan is an American filmmaker. He is best known for a trio of action films he directed between 1987 to 1990 – Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt for Red October.

Though to be clear, Predator was not his directorial debut, in 1986, he did write and direct his first feature film, Nomads, starring Pierce Brosnan, also effectively starting Brosnan’s career with his own first lead role in a film. While Nomads was neither commercially successful nor critically acclaimed, it did land McTiernan the job of directing science fiction action hit Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Then coming hot off the success of Predator, which was second only to Beverly Hills Cop II for domestic box office in 1987, McTiernan was given an even larger budget and managed to improve his results with Die Hard. This movie has been given generally favourable reviews throughout the years and still trends in top 10 Christmas movie lists almost twenty-five years later.

It is my favourite Christmas movie that doesn’t focus primarily on Christmas – Let’s go over the plot quick.

On Christmas Eve, NYPD Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) lands in LA to visit estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) at her company Christmas party. McClane is driven to the party by an airport limousine driver, who waits for him in the basement. While McClane changes clothes, the party is overrun by German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and team. McClane manages to skip out while the rest of the party are taken as hostages.

Gruber takes the head executive Joseph Takagi (James Shigeta), and interrogates Takagi for the vault codes to reveals that his real plan is to steal $640 million in bearer bonds. Takagi refuses to cooperate and is murdered by Gruber. McClane, who had been secretly watching, accidentally gives himself away and is pursued by the terrorists throughout the building, slowly eliminating terrorists and gaining resources, eventually getting a radio and contacting the LAPD. Patrol officer Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson). Powell helps him from the outside, calling in the FBI.

The terrorists want the FBI shut off the building power, so that the final lock of the vault will be disabled, and they can steal the bonds. Gruber asks for a helicopter to escape, but intends to fake the teams death, simultaneously killing all of the hostages, and providing them with a distraction to leave through the basement via an “ambulance” they brought.

Shortly after, Gruber sees a news report from reporter Richard Thornburg (William Atherton) and realizes that McClane is Holly’s husband. Gruber and team send the hostages to the roof with the explosives, holding Holly as leverage, but McClane is able to get out of the situation and send the hostages back downstairs before the roof blows. The criminals head for the garage, but as McClane goes to cut them off, Gruber threatens Holly and forces his hand. With some luck, McClane is able to trick Gruber and henchman, revealing a pistol taped to his back. He shoots Gruber in the shoulder, and kills the other guy. Gruber crashes through a window,eventually falling to his death.

The movie ends with Thornburg getting punched out by Holly, and McClane and Holly leaving with limo driver Argyle.

This movie really is a textbook example of what an action/crime film should be. The plot is clear, with the setting and characters being believable. We always root for John McClane because he is the every man, at risk consistently throughout the film, though lucky and funny enough to realize he is in over his head. It is easy to sit through because the weight of the supporting cast allows us to root for McClane and Holly as they work to get out of this surreal situation.

Pros: From cokehead deal maker Ellis, to down on his luck beat cop Al Powell, the characters in this story are interesting and all work together to make a believable narrative for John McClane to fight his way through a team of criminals that are more than they appear to be. The one-liners are definitive and the action is fun to watch.

Cons: You will realize rather quickly that this is pulling on all of the right chords to get you hyped up for the story and then regret how easily you were manipulated into the plot. Paul Gleason plays the deputy chief who questions if McClane really is a cop, and he is incredibly frustrating to watch.

Runtime:  2 hours 11 minutes

Points of InterestIronically, Bruce Willis was born in Germany, while Alan Rickman was English and most of his henchman were from other other parts of Europe. The Nakatomi tower is in fact the real head offices of 20th Century Fox, and the company charged itself rent to use the then-unfinished building while filming.

Die Hard is iconic. That much is true. But the real reason why people enjoy it, is not because of some surface level interest, it’s because it represents a style of filmmaking that sometimes gets lost in a franchise, suspense and awe. It provides us with intelligence from all of it’s characters – we see minority groups and women being represented in a positive light. It’s an amazing achievement.

McClane is beaten up, shot at, wounded (both in the shoulder and his shredded bare feet) but he continuously comes back, a fly in the ointment, a monkey in the wrench, a pain in the ass. He refuses to give up, and he’s hard to kill. But on top of that, this film improves and impresses with every scene, its enlisted several die hards in its own time, proving that it’s a pinnacle in action and crime cinema. It’s my favourite Christmas movie.

I hope you enjoyed this review friends. I’ve about spent my theories on film this year, but fortunately for you, I still have some wisdom and a timely event to share this week. So come back tomorrow and share this article if it meant something to you.

Tim!

Fa La La La La, La La, La La (The Singing Christmas Tree)

This Christmas season dear readers, I decided to start a NEW positive tradition for myself. And so far, it’s gone over pretty well.

Now, I realize I can’t really call it a tradition until I’ve been doing it for a few years in sequence at the very least, but the event I was originally going to embrace was the holiday spirit.

Yeah, that looks weird upon second viewing.

I’m gonna run with it though. So gaining holiday spirit and participating more fully in all of the things going on in the city is important to me to foster community. With the intent of relaying more value on Christmas and showcasing the creative talents so many people throw into supporting a holiday of peace and goodwill I think I found the perfect event that demonstrates these ideas. But given the new state of affairs, I may or may not have ramped up my efforts INFINITELY MORESO because I met a special someone recently.

buddy-the-elf-activities

That’s right folks, my new girlfriend is a lover of all things Christmas. So I said to myself, I said “Tim, you need to buck up and enjoy Christmas more than before,” and so far, sooooo good friends.

As a for instance, we decided this week to check out The 47th Annual Singing Christmas Tree at the Jubilee Auditorium. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to this event in all of my years – I’ve lived in Edmonton my whole life folks and I’ve never been to this event before. I think it helps that my girl is bffs with one of the Singing Christmas Tree singers, Candice Ryan. And Candice has a solo performance in the show too. What this means is that I have to pay special attention to one spot of the 35 foot tall Christmas tree to ensure I give proper feedback on her performance and then I can somewhat relax when she is on stage by herself, well, because it’ll be easier for my ears to jusge and less of a visual distraction for my eyes.

Candice is also the new morning disc jockey at CFWE Radio, which is pretty cool, but that’s more of an aside then particularly relevant to this post. Just a thing a good boyfriend should remember.

Now, if you’re like me and you don’t know very much about The Singing Christmas Tree, I’ll fill you in. As previously mentioned, The Singing Christmas Tree has been around for quite a long time and features a choir of over 150 singers, a live orchestra, incredible sets and costumes, and an assortment of performances that include dancing, acrobatics and solo singing performances. All of these is themed around Christmas classics, and taking place between December 15-18 at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium (11455 87 Ave Edmonton, AB T6G 2T2), this is one of those family friendly events that always generates a ton of excitement.

Even better, all of the net proceeds go to the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree Foundation, which is set up to give music education, food and gifts to children in need. It’s pretty neat.

As I share this with you, I am in the midst of the first performance, so keep your voices down, I’m trying to enjoy the show.

Tim!