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FanExpo Canada 2013: Top Ten Picks

Published on August 21st, 2013 in: Art, Canadian Content, Cartoons, Conventions/Expos, Feminism, Gaming, Listicles, Movies, Music, Upcoming Events |

By Less Lee Moore

The Cybertronic Spree
Photo © Paul Hillier Photography

FanExpo Canada 2013 runs from Thursday, August 22 through Sunday, August 25 this year. The annual four-day event is crammed with stuff to do and see across multiple fandoms, like anime, comics, gaming, horror, science fiction, and now, sports. It can be a little overwhelming to plan out your days.

My favorite part of FanExpo is always Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear, but with so much to choose from, there’s always a bit of crossover. I’ve come up with my Top Ten Picks of this year’s FanExpo, which I think will satisfy all of your fandom-related urges.


Ten Horror Movies For Kids

Published on July 8th, 2013 in: Horror, Listicles, Movies, Top Ten Lists |

By Paul Casey

Poltergeist, 1982

Age ratings—whether from state censorship or from voluntary censorship outfits like the MPAA—remain an irritation in my life. They are, at best, an imprecise attempt to prevent ideas and images from reaching individuals who are not able to process them in a reasonable fashion. I do not trust anyone who claims that they were better off in their early years by adhering to such restrictions. Those who do not step over to have a look at what they are told is sure to scar them for life are not only invariably dull people, but also those who end up a blubbering stain when confronted with ideas which do not conform to the guiding hand of the censor. Such people become greater sexual deviants and violent criminals and are a drain on the resources of our fine society.

This fear of cinematic behavior seems to forget how horrifying even an average, moderately resourced human being’s life can be. Genre movies, particularly those on the lower end of credibility, suffer worst. Of these lower genres, none suffer so badly as Horror. Horror, we’re told is the thing from which children should be kept from at all costs. Children and teenagers though can benefit greatly from an early entry into the genre, for it is in Horror that life’s most awkward and disturbing issues can be tackled in relative safety. For those things a person is likely to experience in life, or perhaps already has, Horror can help address them in a way which the safer genres cannot.

There are many Horror movies that children should watch that don’t fall under my selection criteria. Of course you should watch Psycho, the original Dawn of the Dead, and John Carpenter’s The Thing. To qualify for this list though, movies had to be oriented towards the younger viewer. This meant focusing on those films with young protagonists, movies that had something important to say about growing up or the parent/child relationship.

Additionally, any movie with harsher violence or sex had to have a helpful resolution that a younger person can use. Though there are plenty of happy endings here, few are easy or safe. There are also some decidedly unhappy endings. The hope is that these movies will serve as a primer for the adventurous child or young teenager. I also hope that the movies are of benefit in a way that the parade of IT WILL BE ALRIGHT REALLY mush cannot offer. There are horrible things waiting for you. It is worth preparing for them.

Ten Films For The Fourth Of July

Published on July 3rd, 2013 in: Holidays, Listicles, Movies, Top Ten Lists |

By Lisa Anderson

True Colors, 1991

On Thursday, the United States observes its Independence Day. Many Americans will celebrate with cookouts, fireworks, or parades, and many of them will also kick back with a favorite, seasonably appropriate movie. The movies one usually thinks of on the Fourth of July are generally war movies or historical films, like Saving Private Ryan or Patriot, and those are perfectly valid options. However, I thought I’d suggest a few more offbeat choices for films to watch while escaping the heat on the Fourth.


Ten Ways To Make Grimm Better

Published on April 3rd, 2013 in: Horror, Listicles, Top Ten Lists, TV |

By Lisa Anderson


Few shows on TV are frustratingly uneven as NBC’s Grimm. The fairytale-inspired adventures of homicide detective Nick Burkhardt got off to a shaky start early last year, but dramatically improved over the first season. The show got off to a strong start at the beginning of the second season, only to resume wobbling after a long hiatus.

Fans of Grimm acknowledge its flaws, even as they celebrate its strengths. Its ensemble cast and story arcs are strong, and for the most part, the weakness lies in the one-off, week-by-week plots. Here are the suggestions for improvement that I came up with.


Sundance 2013: Top Ten Picks

Published on January 16th, 2013 in: Film Festivals, Listicles, Movies, Top Ten Lists, Upcoming Events |

By Less Lee Moore

Il Futuro

It was nearly impossible to narrow down the films at this year’s Sundance into a Top 20, much less a Top Ten. I tried to pick my top choice from each category to give the best indication of the diversity of films screening at this year’s festival.

1. Shorts Competition: The Capsule
Information on this film is scarce, but Sundance’s website description, taken directly from the film’s website, is captivating: “Seven young women. A mansion perched on a Cycladic rock. A series of lessons on discipline, desire, discovery, and disappearance. A melancholy, inescapable cycle on the brink of womanhood—infinitely.” The Capsule is a French production with a Greek cast from director Athina Rachel Tsangari, who produced both Alps (2010) and Dogtooth (2009). Read more …


Movies: Ten To Watch In 2013

Published on January 14th, 2013 in: Listicles, Movies, Top Ten Lists |

By Less Lee Moore


I still haven’t seen all the 2012 films that I wanted to and I’m already thinking about what 2013 has in store. Those who complain that there aren’t any good movies anymore are just not paying enough attention. It was tough to pick from the three Ryan Gosling films scheduled for this year and I guess I cheated a little by including two Noomi Rapace flicks on this list, but I will not apologize. I also didn’t include the requisite blockbusters like Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, Thor: The Dark World, and Iron Man 3 because that’s just too easy (plus, I’ll likely see them all anyway). If Terence Malick’s Knight of Cups comes out this year, go ahead and pencil that in at #11.

Here are ten films that I do not want to miss in a theatrical setting this year.

1. Dead Man Down (March 8, US)
Noomi Rapace teams up with Colin Farrell and his real Irish accent. Farrell is New York hitman Victor who has been blackmailed by his new neighbor Beatrice (Rapace) into killing his crime lord boss, played by Terrence Howard, the man who brutalized her and left permanent scars on her face. Dominic Cooper and Isabelle Huppert also star. As much as Fincher’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was visually superior to Oplev’s, consider those films were made for TV and at a fraction of the budget for the big screen adaptation. They’re still excellent movies, anyway, and with a cast like this, I can’t be anything but excited. (trailer)


Top Ten: More Holiday Tunes That Won’t Make You Sick

Published on December 21st, 2012 in: Holidays, Listicles, Music, Top Ten Lists |

By Less Lee Moore

i dread december

We all hate the played out holiday tunes that we’re forced to hear every year in malls, grocery stores, offices, and restaurants beginning at the end of November (or for those of us in Canada, the beginning of November). I can’t say I unequivocally hate Christmas music, just the Christmas music I hate. Here are ten songs that might change your mind about holiday tuneage.


Five Reasons We Love Nathan Fillion

Published on May 30th, 2012 in: Canadian Content, Comics, Gaming, Issues, Listicles, Movies, Science Fiction, The Internets, Top Five Lists, True Patriot Love, TV |

By Lisa Anderson

mal reynolds firefly
Nathan Fillion as
Mal Reynolds on Firefly

Few Canadian actors have been as beloved in the 21st century than Nathan Fillion. He’s perhaps best known for his role as spaceship smuggler captain and war veteran Malcolm Reynolds, in Joss Whedon’s short-lived but influential Firefly series. It’s true enough that Browncoats (Firefly fans) still love their Captain; he even unintentionally set off an online fundraising firestorm last year by suggesting that he would buy the rights to the show and distribute it for free if he had enough money. There are many other reasons that Nathan Fillion has as many fans as he does, though—even aside from being handsome and seeming friendly and funny in interviews and at conventions. Here are are just a few.

Top Ten: Jim Carrey’s Most Humorous Characters

Published on May 30th, 2012 in: Canadian Content, Comedy, Issues, Listicles, Movies, True Patriot Love, TV |

By Julie Finley

Jim Carrey: some people love him . . . some people hate him. I would fall into the “love” category, although I don’t love every single role he has played. But the ones I do adore, I REALLY love because no one could ever pull it off quite like him!

Sadly, there are people who actually claim that he’s “Not Funny!” or “Stupid!” I honestly do not know how anyone could NOT find at least one of his characters humorous, but some people are just assholes that lack a sense of humor. So, if you are one of those types, don’t even bother to read this! If you do have a healthy sense of humor, but have only paid attention to one or two characters he’s played, read on (or if you just appreciate the guy, this will be of interest)!

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite comedic roles he’s portrayed over the years. This list will not include his dramatic or more serious roles. He is a great dramatic actor, but comedy is truly his forte, and I really wish someone in Hollywood would write an incredible comedy film script that could bring his finest talents back into the spotlight. It’s been a while since he’s been in a rip-roaring hilarious feature, and I blame that on the absolute garbage that has come out of Hollywood in the past 10+ years. I think the last really great comedies I’ve seen were anything involving Sacha Baron Cohen, Bad Santa, The Forty Year Old Virgin, and Stepbrothers. Everything else has been totally lame, and I am sick of seeing the same five actors in the same roles over and over again!

With that said, here are my favorites, and I will note: these are original characters developed by Jim, not impersonations (which he is incredible at doing, but these are his own creations).